Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

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Futurist
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Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 04 Jul 2020 21:10

Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Here's a map of Romania's total Jewish population in 1930:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... re1930.PNG

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... re1930.PNG

Image

I can understand why northern Romania initially acquired a larger Jewish population than southern Romania did--specifically, as a result of it being right next door to Jew-heavy Poland and Ukraine (whereas the countries to Romania's south had much less Jews than Poland and Ukraine had). However, this doesn't explain why there was no subsequent mass migration of Romanian Jews from northern Romania to southern Romania--with the exception of Bucharest, of course. Was southern Romania (other than Bucharest, Romania's capital city) just that unappealing to Romanian Jews? Or is there something else to this story--and, if so, what exactly?

Any thoughts on this?

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 04 Jul 2020 23:15

Hi Futurist,

That map doesn't tell us very much because it is unclear what the numbers mean. Is it, for instance, saying that there were less than 5,000 Jews across most of southern Romania, or that each of a number of administrative units within that area had less than 5,000 Jews each?

Sid

P.S. Moldavia had been Russian before 1918. It was in the Pale of Settlement where Jews were allowed to reside. The dark blue area in the South is the Bucharest region, where settlement presumably dated from the Turkish era. I suspect that most of those in the formerly Hungarian-controlled are of Transilvania were also in the towns and cities.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 05 Jul 2020 01:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
04 Jul 2020 23:15
Hi Futurist,

That map doesn't tell us very much because it is unclear what the numbers mean. Is it, for instance, saying that there were less than 5,000 Jews across most of southern Romania, or that each of a number of administrative units within that area had less than 5,000 Jews each?
The latter, I'm presuming.
Sid

P.S. Moldavia had been Russian before 1918. It was in the Pale of Settlement where Jews were allowed to reside.
Yes, I know.
The dark blue area in the South is the Bucharest region, where settlement presumably dated from the Turkish era.
Yes, I know--though I also wonder just how many Jews moved to Bucharest from other parts of Romania in the decades before World War I in search of better economic opportunities--which national capitals often provide.
I suspect that most of those in the formerly Hungarian-controlled are of Transilvania were also in the towns and cities.
Yes, very possibly.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 05 Jul 2020 02:23

Hi Futurist,

It would help if you told us what you already know in the first place. That would save the rest of us wasting time trying to each you how to suck eggs, as they say.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 05 Jul 2020 03:00

Sid Guttridge wrote:
05 Jul 2020 02:23
Hi Futurist,

It would help if you told us what you already know in the first place. That would save the rest of us wasting time trying to each you how to suck eggs, as they say.

Cheers,

Sid.
I knew who controlled which parts of Romania and when, I knew that a large part of Jews in Eastern Europe were historically town-dwellers, and I knew that the part of southern Romania which had a lot of Jews is the Bucharest area.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by steppewolf » 05 Jul 2020 13:30

map is most probably per county, for example in my home city (Pitesti) was a big community, they built a big synagogue still being used and historical monument:
http://www.romanianresorts.ro/sinagoga-pitesti

there's no record of big communities of Jews settling in in Ottoman era, not sure from where that come

Moldova was probably easier to settle for them, that's all. In fact if you look at the most crowded areas, these are urban ones: Bucharest, Iasi, Chisinau, Cernauti, Galati, Oradea, Cluj. As for why are so few in Oltenia, legend said they avoided that area because competition, most of the Roman cohors stationed there 2000 yrs before were from Judeea. :P

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Peter89 » 11 Jul 2020 07:22

I believe an importnant part of info is missing (also the answer regarding the transsylvanian Jewish question), the Jews of Transsylvania overwhelmingly identified themselves as Hungarians, and close to the Romanian-Hungarian border, Hungarians formed a majority in 1930. The Székely "isle" is also quite unpopulated by Jews, because the Catholic Székelys tolerated the Jewish presence far less than the otherwise Protestant Hungarians of the rest of Transsylvania.

The same goes for pre-1945 censii, where the Hungarian population was always "overrepresented" (so to say), because the Jewish population - particurarly in Transsylvania - opted for the Hungarian nationality.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 18 Jul 2020 20:48

Peter89 wrote:
11 Jul 2020 07:22
I believe an importnant part of info is missing (also the answer regarding the transsylvanian Jewish question), the Jews of Transsylvania overwhelmingly identified themselves as Hungarians, and close to the Romanian-Hungarian border, Hungarians formed a majority in 1930. The Székely "isle" is also quite unpopulated by Jews, because the Catholic Székelys tolerated the Jewish presence far less than the otherwise Protestant Hungarians of the rest of Transsylvania.

The same goes for pre-1945 censii, where the Hungarian population was always "overrepresented" (so to say), because the Jewish population - particurarly in Transsylvania - opted for the Hungarian nationality.
So, ironically, the Holocaust reduced the Hungarian percentage in Transylvania, thus weakening Hungary's claim to this region. How ironic!

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Jul 2020 08:49

Hi Futurist,

The Jews were overwhelmingly urban. The cities were largely Hungarian. Therefore the Jews often had common interests with Hungarians and before 1918 were quite considerably Magyarised. This probably still inclined them towards Hungary twenty years later, but the Hungarian claim to Northern Transilvania was not based on them.

It was based on historic precedent for Transilvania as a whole, where Romanians were in a clear majority over Hungarians, and on outnumbering Romanians in the more confined area of Northern Transilvania - something that was itself debateabale.

However, most of the rural population was Romanian. By removing the Northern Transilvanian Jews it not only increased the ethnic Hungarian share of the population, it boosted the Romanian share as well.

The difference was that, because Romania controlled the area after the war, it was the one able to take advantage.

If memory serves me correctly, before WWII Romanians were a minority presence in Northern Transilvanian cities. This is no longer the case. Before the war four only counties in central Romania had Hungarian (Szekeler) majorities. This has been reduced to three, with one of the others approaching parity.

The real irony is that the removal of Jews and Germans from Transilvania in and after WWII had the identical result, in that both allowed the Romanian presence to grow relative to the remaining Hungarians.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 20 Jul 2020 01:27

Yes, the murder, expulsion, and/or emigration of Jews and Germans from Transylvania increased both the Hungarian and the Romanian percentages in Transylvania, but since there were more Romanians than Hungarians in Transylvania, the big winners of this were Romanians.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by romsitsa » 07 Aug 2020 10:36

See Ion C. Bratianu.

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 22 Aug 2020 19:12

romsitsa wrote:
07 Aug 2020 10:36
See Ion C. Bratianu.
What about him?

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Victor
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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Victor » 19 Feb 2021 22:18

steppewolf wrote:
05 Jul 2020 13:30
map is most probably per county, for example in my home city (Pitesti) was a big community, they built a big synagogue still being used and historical monument:
http://www.romanianresorts.ro/sinagoga-pitesti

there's no record of big communities of Jews settling in in Ottoman era, not sure from where that come

Moldova was probably easier to settle for them, that's all. In fact if you look at the most crowded areas, these are urban ones: Bucharest, Iasi, Chisinau, Cernauti, Galati, Oradea, Cluj. As for why are so few in Oltenia, legend said they avoided that area because competition, most of the Roman cohors stationed there 2000 yrs before were from Judeea. :P
That's more of an urban legend. The XIII Gemina had spent most of its time in Pannonia & Germany, not Judea.

As to why the Jewish presence in Southern Romania was lower, it is most likely due to the fact that most of the Jewish settlers came from Russia and they remained in the region in which they crossed the border. There were few meaningful urban centers in the South and certainly no bigger opportunities than in Moldova (obviously with the exception of Bucharest). At least in Moldova there was an established Jewish community. Why move to Caracal or Rosiori de Vede ?!

The concentration of Jewish communities is also clear from the list of synagogues: https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_sin ... m%C3%A2nia

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by steppewolf » 22 Feb 2021 12:01

Well, I said cohors not XIII Gemina :)

My post was rather directed to the statement that there was Jewish migration during Ottoman empire

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Re: Why did southern Romania have much less Jews than northern Romania had in 1930?

Post by Futurist » 21 Mar 2021 21:03

Victor wrote:
19 Feb 2021 22:18
steppewolf wrote:
05 Jul 2020 13:30
map is most probably per county, for example in my home city (Pitesti) was a big community, they built a big synagogue still being used and historical monument:
http://www.romanianresorts.ro/sinagoga-pitesti

there's no record of big communities of Jews settling in in Ottoman era, not sure from where that come

Moldova was probably easier to settle for them, that's all. In fact if you look at the most crowded areas, these are urban ones: Bucharest, Iasi, Chisinau, Cernauti, Galati, Oradea, Cluj. As for why are so few in Oltenia, legend said they avoided that area because competition, most of the Roman cohors stationed there 2000 yrs before were from Judeea. :P
That's more of an urban legend. The XIII Gemina had spent most of its time in Pannonia & Germany, not Judea.

As to why the Jewish presence in Southern Romania was lower, it is most likely due to the fact that most of the Jewish settlers came from Russia and they remained in the region in which they crossed the border. There were few meaningful urban centers in the South and certainly no bigger opportunities than in Moldova (obviously with the exception of Bucharest). At least in Moldova there was an established Jewish community. Why move to Caracal or Rosiori de Vede ?!

The concentration of Jewish communities is also clear from the list of synagogues: https://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_sin ... m%C3%A2nia
Very interesting! Thank you. :)

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