10/13/11

Gheorghe Alexianu – The Governor of Transnistria

Alexander Dallin – Larry L. Watts (Introduction)
Odessa, 1941-1944: A Case Study of Soviet Territory Under Foreign Rule
Iasi-Oxford-Portland: Center for Romanian Studies, 1998
CHAPTER II: Transnistria: Theory and Practice

“[…]The civil governor was Professor Gheorghe Alexianu. The holder of a chair in administrative law at Cernauti University, a close friend of the “Number Two Man” of Romania, Mihai Antonescu, (Alexianu and Mihai Antonescu had co-authored the volume on Romanian law in comparative-law series published in Paris before the war. Alexianu had the reputation of being both “the only liberal” in the Romanian government and the sponsor or the anti-Semitic measures under the Goga regime a few years earlier. Alexianu was apparently a Western-type intellectual with megalomaniac tendencies, some administrative ability, and a good deal of vitality. His secretary-general was Emil Cercavski.[…]

In the civil government there were, as a matter of policy, a considerable number of Bessarabians who knew the Russian language and were familiar with the cultural background and special problems of Transnistria. There were also ambitious young Romanians who had studied under Alexianu or his colleagues and obtained draft exemptions to serve in this way. In the hope of attracting “good people” -and making it possible for them to give up other jobs-Antonescu, in his first decree, provided that officials in Transnistria were to receive double the corresponding salary in Romania plus a subsistence allowance up to the basic salary. A Romanian civil servant transferred to Odessa would thus receive three times the pay he drew in Iasi or Galati. A number of Transnistrian officials were Romanians who had been attracted by high pay.[…]Governor Alexianu occupied a middle position. He sought to build up Transnistria and to convince the authorities in Bucharest to pour in funds and goods, perhaps, in part, to enhance his own power. But his attitude was basically patronizing, almost hostile, toward the native population; he widely proclaimed the need for radical re-education, for developing political understanding; though the peasants disliked them, he claimed that it was impossible to abolish collective farms; his formula, “freedom and labor” gave to the average citizen a freedom that was distinctly limited, and labor that was plentiful. Yet comparing his with extremist views and with German practice in the neighboring Ukraine, Alexianu was a moderate.[…]”

10/8/11

Misbehaving Hasidim?

I have taken the liberty of posting here, a post that had been rejected because the moderators closed the original thread. Please feel free to continue the discussion below.JeromeFrom Charles Rosner:(I know that you decided to close this thread, but I believe that the following testimony may still go to the List )Dear Gary,I have ancestors as well from Sadagura as from Wiznitz. And one of my great-grandfathers from Sadagura even decided in his old age, after his second wife died, to travel to Palestine around 1908-10 so as to die in the Holy Land.Personally, I was born in Czernowitz and I live in France: I consider myself as a Jewish-Czernowitzer- Frenchman. And, when a Frenchman, an Israeli or a Jew in general misbehaves to the extent of what the Hassid do in Oman, I feel ashamed.Now, it happens that I travelled via Oman on my way to Czernowitz for the 600-years-celebration, a few days before Rosh Hashanah in 2008. The Hassid arrive there per thousand: just imagine thousands of them in a city smaller than Czernowitz! They own many houses (but certainly not enough accommodation) around the grave of the Tsadik and I can tell you that many of them really misbehave in the city and around.On the same trip I also made a stopover in Odessa: the big synagogue is located on one of the main streets of the city: there were quite some Jews praying when I got inside. I didn’t notice any policemen stationing nearby the building, whereas I saw quite a few of them maintaining order near the Tsadik grave in Oman.I was posted in Ukraine 1996-99 and I consider that things slowly change for the better over there. But, even in 1996, there was a Sholem Haleichem statue downtown in Kiev. This doesn’t mean that there are no Anti-Semites, like in every country all over the World, including France and Israel.This is just to say that there are correct people in every group and others, nationalists and extremists in general, who misbehave with the exception, of course, of the Old-Czernowitzers and their children and grandchildren, who are all and always correct.
Regards,
Charles

10/2/11

Unveiling Ceremony for Eliezer Steinbarg’s Funerary Monument on 08.10.1933

It is sad, children, in this wide giant world.It is bitter! Let’s at least enjoy a fable!

Moshe Altmann Memorial Plate on 23, Kobylanska Street (Herrengasse)

History Museum of the Romanian Jews, Bucharest

Links: Eliezer Steinbarg, Arthur Kolnik, Barbu Lazareanu, Jacob Sternberg, Moshe Altmann, Dr. Shlomo Bickel, Leib Malach

Photos: Courtesy of Edgar Hauster, Irene Fishler, Lydia Schmerler, Sergij Osatschuk, Iosif Vaisman