The Jewish Communities of Romania Collection (sometimes also described by the Romanian National Archives as the Documents Collection of the Jewish Communities of Romania) contains documents created and received by Jewish communities and organizations functioning in Romania from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.
The documents until World War II are composed of a variety of items reflecting community life, including statutes, correspondence, reports, and membership lists. Documents from the World War II period generally address the plight of Romanian Jews during this period. This material includes reports on persecutions and expropriations, correspondence and other documents related to deportees, and emigration paperwork. The post-World War II material generally deals with the repatriation of Jewish deportees to the Romanian-organized camps in Transnistria, the welfare of survivors, emigration, and the activities of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania and of the Jewish Democratic Committee (communist Jewish organization). For the complete inventory list of the collection, please see this link (in Romanian only).
JBAT archivists surveyed folders containing material related specifically to Bukovina and Transylvania. For details on the contents of these folders, please see the list below and click on any link.
Please note JBAT archivists did not survey this material directly. The folder description provided by the CNSAS inventory reads: File on the problem of Israeli spionage in the district of Sighișoara. The history of the Jewish community, reports, the history of nationalist elements in the Jewish community, summary of the Zionist problem, the history of the Joint, chart of Jews from the district of Sighișoara, chart of citizens who received help from the Joint, records of the leaders of Zionist organizations, minutes or records of interrogations, plans of measures [to be taken], character descriptions of some informers, chart of informers (with code names), operational records, declarations, summaries regarding activities against socialist countries initiated by organizations and parties from Israel and the Jewish diaspora, decisions to close some files of informative espionage, plans of measures, reports on informative operational work.
The collection includes the paperwork and material collected by the Mureș county Securitate (Romanian Communist Secret Police) offices under communism. The material includes select folders from the pre-communist period; these folders were presumably in the possession of the police and seized by the Securitate at some point in time. At the time of the JBAT survey (2015), the inventory for this collection was accessible only at the physical location of the CNSAS and only in digital form on the computers of the CNSAS reading room. The inventory provided no indication as to the linear extent of the collection and gave no additional details as to its history, content, or the number of pages in individual folders. The collection is large, over 1,000 files, and as such there are many hundreds of folders which are obliquely titled and may contain reference to Jewish residents. It was beyond the scope of the present survey to inspect the contents of all such folders. There are, however, a number of folders with titles specifically referencing the Jewish content. Several of these contain material from World War II and others contain histories of the local Jewish communities. For details on folders mentioned above and others with material clearly related to the Jewish population, please click on the link(s) below.
This folder contains two charts. One is from the Sighișoara Jewish community and contains the names of individuals with permits exempting them from forced labor. The chart includes the names, company for which they work and position, number of family members, salary, and other comments. The second chart is from the Mediaș Jewish community and is a list of individuals with professional licenses/permits. It is not clear whether this term was meant to be synonymous with permits exempting them from forced labor. The information recorded is the same as the chart from Sighișoara: name, company, position, salary, family members, other comments, but the list is over three times as long (135 from Mediaș, 40 from Sighișoara), though the Jewish population of Mediaș was larger than Sighișoara.
This entry is for multiple folders; each contains the paperwork for an individual from Sighișoara petitioning to be allowed to exercise their profession (with the support of their employer) and/or to be exempted from forced labor. The documents may include birth details, occupational details, various references and recommendations, and often a photo of the individual. For the names of individuals applying, please see the National Archives online guide to this collection (https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B54MeDlSJl3IMXVrTkFLMEhtVXM, only in Romanian) and consult the folder (dosar) number listed under the call number.
The folder contains various correspondence between the central office and local branches of communities in the counties of Târnava-Mica and -Mare regarding forced labor obligations. The towns of Mediaș, Sighișoara, Dumbrăveni, and Blaj are mentioned specifically.
This folder appears to have been created by the welfare branch of the Jewish council. There are hundreds of communications regarding sums transferred to various locations in Transnistria. But the material also contains correspondence (requests, messages, announcements of money transfer) between branches in Tranyslvania and elsewhere in the country.
This folder is entirely in Hungarian, it contains sheets listing the births, marriages, and deaths with the Jewish community in Sighișoara in 1895. It is all handwritten, this is not a printed record book. It is unclear where the other civil record register for Sighișoara's Jewish community are stored.
Please note that the inventory for this collection was missing in 2015, so the precise contents are not known. Two folders were requested, one dealt with the regional committee, as per the title of the collection; the other folder was from the Sighișoara committee. The folders contain meeting minutes, reports, surveys, and other written material created by the Jewish Democratic Committee for the region of Mureș (or Sighișoara). It is not clear how the region of Mureș differed from the county of Mureș (there is also a collection for the Jewish Democratic Committee for Mureș County). The committee had a wide range of responsibilities, surpassing basic political tasks. The reports and meetings record decisions about secular and religious holidays, the Jewish school, teachers, emigration matters, unresolved events (missing persons) from World War II, religious staff (butcher, teachers), cultural events, and general happenings in community life. There are surveys on the community, including data on community numbers, language, occupations, and so forth. There are reports on the surrounding towns and the respective population's receptiveness to communist ideology versus Zionism. There may also be speeches made by the leadership on holidays or for other gatherings. The collection may be of interest to those studying Jewish life in the immediate post-war period and especially those looking at questions of identity, Zionism, and Jewish roles in early communist Romania.