Category Archives: History

Bearing Witness: Paula Neuman Gris

Bearing Witness: Paula Neuman Gris from The Breman Museum on Vimeo.

Remarkable Stories from the Holocaust

With her mother performing backbreaking labor for the Nazis in the rock quarries of Transnistria, Paula Neuman Gris was the sole caretaker of her baby sister. Barely older than a toddler herself, Paula had to use her own smarts and spirited nature to survive. Experience Paula’s incredible story of determination at the Breman’s Bearing Witness, Jan. 17, 2016.

Emunah Czernowitz – “Heimkehr” Essays jüdischer Denker

Another of the Jewish fraternities was “Emunah”.  On June 3, 1903, the Jewish National Academic Reading Society was “thrown open,” with the club colors gold-violet-gold. “Emunah” was highly active in the field of Zionism – a  characteristic for all the Jewish fraternities –  and also set up a library open to the public. Furthermore, “Emunahs” intellectual athmosphere culminated in publishing several books. To mention is especially “Heimkehr. Essays jüdischer Denker”  with a preface by Leon Kellner. (Homecoming. Essays of Jewish Thinkers). This anthology contains contributions by notable Jewish authors like Balaban Majer, Nathan Birnbaum (who coined the term “Zionism”), Max Rosenfeld, Salomon Schiller and Leon Kellner. It came out 1912 and is now available online via the university library of Frankfurt: http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/freimann/content/titleinfo/936863

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JNAV Heatid Czernowitz

Hi all, i am currently worlking on a Research paper on Czernowitz Jewish academic fraternities. With “Hasmonäa”, founded 1891 by members of the Viennese “Kadimah”, this new type of Jewish academic fraternity appeared in Czernowitz and found successors throughout the German-speaking Universities. The Jewish academic fraternities were modeled after the traditional type of “Studentenverbindung”, that existed in Czernowitz from 1875-1938/40. The members of the various “frats” distinguished themselves by wearing ribbons and caps showing the club colors of their fraternity. In the Romanian period the University organisation was changed to the “college System” and members of the fraternities were issued membership cards. here i have got one issued by JNAV “Heatid” for Josef Stark in 1922. “Heatid” came into being in 1918/19 and existed until 1936. Its club colors used to be green-silver-black shown in the ribbons with white caps. Any further information on “Heatid”, Josef Stark or any of the Czernowitz fraternities – especially photographs – would be highly appreciated. Thank You!Heatid_Cz0001

Lehmann Online

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One of the major digitization projects for the Vienna City Library, located on the 1st floor of the Vienna City Hall since the building’s completion in 1883, covers Lehmann’s Address Books for Vienna between 1859-1942. Once the project has been completed in 2011, about 200,000 pages became available for researchers. Keeping in mind that many Czernowitzers escaped to Vienna during WW1, this online database is an important resource both for genealogists and historians focussed on Bukovina. Click on the logo below in order to research the annual volumes between 1859-1942!

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You don’t need to read German for your research. Look (1.) for the period of time. Scroll down (2.) to the requested year. Check (3.) the volume(s) displayed for the subsection “Namenverzeichnis” [catalogue of names] and refine your search accordingly. Enjoy (4.) the results of your research!

The Liberation of Bukovina – The Capture of Czernowitz (1917)

General Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli at his command post; briefing with Austrian officers at the map table [00:10]; destroyed bridges over the Pruth before Czernowitz [02:11]; Austrian troops bivouac on the banks of the Pruth [03:04]; horsepond [03:49]; Czernowitz after being taken on 3rd August 1917: burning railway station building and burning crossties [04:37]; destroyed dome of the railway station [05:50]; ruins of houses [06:23]; the fire brigade extinguishing flames [07:14]; children in the city streets [07:25]; Austrian troops march past Archduke Franz Joseph on 4th August 1917 in Czernowitz [07:42].

Source: EFG european film gateway & filmportal.de

In Search of the Synagogue of Boian in Bukovina

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Florin Dyrda from Boian, a graduate of the Chernivtsi National Yuri Fedkovych University both in history as well as in computer systems and networks, is the creator/webmaster for a huge number of websites related to the history of Boian. A couple of days ago Florin drew our attention to his posting (in Romanian laguage) on the former Synagogue of Boian, erected at the end of 19th century and destroyed by the Russian Cossacks during WW1. Florin’s fine investigative skills led to this detective work:

http://www.mareleboian.com/lacasuri-sfinte/sinagoga-evreiasca/

In addition a list of Jews from Boian, compiled by Prof. Vasile Bizovi, is available at the site above and can be downloaded by clicking here. No doubt about, Florin’s perception of history is from a Romanian angle of view, but his websites focussed on history, churches/synagogies, schools, traditions, today’s life, photos, videos and events offer a wealth of material around Boian. Don’t miss Florin’s links/websites:

Boian Map Room: http://www.mareleboian.com/istorie/imperiul-austro-ungar-1775-1918/harti/
Museum of Boian in Alberta/Canada (English): http://www.boianalbertamuseum.com/
Bukovina Open Air Museum (English): http://bukovina-museum.com/en/

Meyer Ebner on Leibu Levin – 1935

From Ruth Levin, an article from the “Ost-Yiddishe Zeitung”, 2.6.1935:

“…Dr. Landau introduced to the audience a young man whose name
should not be forgotten. Probably, we’ll hear from him again and again.

Levin isn’t a singer, rather he’s an artistic reader. He’s not a reader, rather
he’s an actor. As a matter of fact he’s all in one: singer, artistic reader, actor
and poet. Why also poet? He reads to us only the poems of others, does he not?
That being so, this is the secret of his art. He reveals what is hidden between the lines.
He brings the poet to completion. He draws from the poet’s soul riches the poet himself
did not know of, riches that were hidden in his sub-conscious…

Frequently the words of the text in his mouth serve solely as a stimulus that awakens –
just for a passing moment – the poetic spiritual inheritance of his own, and that has
always to be born anew, like the music.

The art of Leibu Levin needs not only to be heard, though, but also to be seen. He himself
one has to hear and see, how he breathes into the dim hall, into the pearls of strangers’
poetry, his young burning soul, the creative, sometimes ecstatic, and sometimes weeping
soul…  His profound understanding drew one deeply into the fables of
Eliezer Steinbarg and the ballads of Itzik Manger.

From time to time the reader becomes singer, and only when he was seen as well as heard,
did I finally understand the meaning of the old expression “to sing and to say”
regarding troubadours and minnesingers. When his spoken word passes to song, it reminds me
of a flying ship hovering above the earth and taking off to the blue heavens…

Talent is as rare as gold. From the gold it is possible to forge a holiday crown for
priests who serve gods and it is possible to pay with it the penance for sinful impurity…

Talent can be refined to capture surpassing art, or can descend to cheap popular
entertainment. It seems to me that all in Leibu Levin aspires toward and is uplifted to the
shining heights of noble art .”

Dr. Meyer Ebner
The newspaper “Ost-Yiddishe Zeitung”, 2.6.1935

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