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December 19, 2005
The fact is that the doctors at the princiary courts were Jews, especially in Moldova. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, there are plenty of documents attesting the presence of Jewish doctors at the courts of Stefan the Great, Vasile Lupu, and Nicolae Mavrocordat. Even in the army of Mihai Viteazu, who succeeded around 1600 to unite the Romanian principalities the first time after the Roman period, there were Jewish soldiers. Many cities have been made by Jews, especially in Moldova, where Jews were brought from other countries by the rulers or by the nobility to get the economy in a better state. Despite this, the Jews did not get any political rights in the Romanian principalities; even though they got commercial privileges, they were not recognised as citizens. The revolution at 1848 wanted to give all the inhabitants of Romania the right to claim citizenship. From 1877 to 1878, some 4,000 Jews were fighting alongside Romanians in the Independence War of the country. After the victory, they were made Romanian citizens. As late as 1918, all inhabitants of the country were given the right to Romanian citizenship, a time when the Romanian national state was founded. Since, very little time has elapsed.
Not everyone agreed to this right of citizenship given to “foreigners.” So right afterwards, the Iron Guard was formed. It followed the rebellion of the legionaries and the Communist regime that suppressed the scandal, without bringing it to an end. That was the issue of a free and democratic Romanian society that was built after the downturn of Communism in 1989. To a greater extent, we may say that has been solved.
From journal Weekend in Bucharest
The Jewish Museum in Bucharest has been organised in a synagogue as soon as 1978. It is located in the old Jewish quarter of the city, downtown in Bucharest. Here, some 60 years ago, this was the place where much of the commerce of the town took place. Now the area is enclosed by a circle of blocs of flats, built during Communist rule. It is hoped, however, that this part of the city will shortly rise again.
In the very centre of the museum there is a statue of the Holocaust, a symbol of the dead of all pogroms. The statue has no head and it is hollow inside. Leading to it is a so-called “Road of the Death,” on which one can recognise footprints. All prints seem to lead only one way, in the direction of the Holocaust, as there is no return from death. The visitors learn that two former Auschwitz prisoners were asked to walk barefoot on the symbolic road to the death. In front of the statue there are six light bulbs switched on for the 6 million dead of the Holocaust.
Except the frightening statue, there are in the museum various objects to show the history of the Jews on Romanian grounds. There are reasons to think that the first Jews arrived in this area shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem. In the Roman Army that conquered Dacia, the ancient country that covered the area of today’s Romania, under the emperor Trajanus, there should have been a Jewish corpus too.