Glimpses of Youth Activities in Pre-War Bucovina

The Orchestra and Choir of the Aron Pumnul Liceum, conducted by Prof. Sava Arbore, in April 1940, prior to departure to Bucharest for a live performance at Radio Bucuresti. Prof. Alfred Schneider: “I am the second accordion player from the left; The cello player in the front was known to us as Burschi Schwefel, you met him as Radu Armsa, a retired high official and diplomat in post WWII Romania; the student in the right corner of the last row was the son of the Mayor of Czernowitz Marmeliuc; there were several Jewish students in this picture, notably the first violinist at the left in the first row.”

The Marching Band of the Aron Pumnul Liceum. Prof. Alfred Schneider: “The date of the parade on the Siebenbuergerstrasse was June 8,1940, on the birthday of King Carol II. I am the first accordion player on the right. Three weeks later, soldiers of the Red Army were marching there and singing ‘Moskwa moya…’. Later in October I marched there with my school carrying banners hailing the great Stalin before a reviewing stand on which stood an honorary group of German SS soldiers, in Czernowitz to supervise the ‘repatriation’ of the Volksdeutschen.”

Four Jewish strajeri (successor organization to the Boy Scouts) at the public school in Wiznitz. Prof. Alfred Schneider: “The photo was taken in 1936, we were in third grade of Public Elementary School in Wiznitz. I am standing, the three other boys who survived Transnistria were Bertl Koller (left) and Baruch Winter (right), both later lived in Israel, Erwin Rosner (front) lived in Chile (?). The photo caused an international incident*: when my uncle in New York received it he was very upset, promptly returned it noting that his nephew giving the Hitler salute is an insult! He must have forgiven me, because in 1948 he sponsored my immigration to the U.S.”
[*The raised right hand (Roman) salute was certainly not a traditional Romanian Boy Scout salute. The Romanian Scouts (cercetasi), abolished in 1935, used the international three-finger salute. King Carol II, trying to counteract the growing fascist movement, started to change from a constitutional to an authoritarian rule. In 1938, all political parties were abolished and replaced by the Front of National Renaissance (Frontul Renasterii Nationala) and the Straja Tarii youth organization became an integral part of the Front. The spoken salute accompanying the raised right hand was “sanatate”, which translates to Gesundheit or Heil in German.The similarity with the Hitler salute was not accidental.]

Courtesy: Prof. Alfred Schneider, Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Engineering Georgia Tech and MIT

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