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Title:

Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community Collection

Description:

This collection contains almost exclusively documents related to the post-war period. Like all Transylvanian communities that came under the Horthy regime during World War II, the fate of the pre-war documents is unknown but most likely the bulk was destroyed. Neither do these four series represent a comprehensive collection of post-war community documentation; the location of the bulk of the documentary material created by the post-war Jewish community of Sighet is unknown; it may also have been destroyed or lost. Nevertheless, the files here provide us with fragmented but valuable portraits of post-war Jewish life in rural Maramureș. Series I contains registers and photographs, many of these registers record details related to the immediate aftermath of World War II and the return of survivors from death camps and forced labor. Series II is unique in that the documents were not created by the Sighet Jewish community, but rather were transferred to the community at some point in time, probably in the 1980s and possibly even later. These documents were created in Oradea by the Federation of Jewish Communities’ regional division responsible for overseeing Jewish communal properties (“serviciul bunuri”).  The documents comprising this series are of great interest, revealing details of survivor life in the post-war period, tensions between various administrative bodies (Jewish and non-Jewish), and the efforts made by this division to determine the fate of Jewish communal property. Series III contains administrative documents related to Jewish communal property within the town of Sighet itself and Series IV contains accounting documentation. For greater detail on the contents of each series, please see the respective scope and content note below.

Creator:

Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community and the Regional Division for Jewish property of the Federation of Jewish Communities (Serviciul Bunuri Federația Comunităților Evreești din R.P.R.)

Date:

1941-2010

Extent:

1.85 meters

Language:

Romanian; Hungarian; Yiddish

Provenance:

The documents within this collection were stored in various storage spaces of the Sighetu Marmației Jewish community offices. As of May 2019, this material was processed and put into archival folders and boxes for safe storage.

Access Rights:

Please contact the Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community for access.

Call Number:

Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community Collection; box [xx]; folder [xx] (please see container list below for individual folder call numbers); Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community

Bibliographic Citation:

Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community Collection; box [xx]; folder [xx] (please see container list below for individual folder call numbers); Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community

Repository:

Sighetu Marmației Jewish Community; Str. Basarabia 8; 435500 Sighetu Marmației; România; cesighet@gmail.com; comusighetmail.com; tel. 0040 (0) 0262 311 652

Container List:

Language: Romanian; Hungarian; Yiddish
Extent: .35 meters
Scope and Content: This series contains various registers and photographs. The two registers in box R1 contain information about Jewish individuals who returned or came to Sighet after deportation or forced labor. The earliest entries in the register are from October 1944, the last ones are from 1946. The information recorded includes: date (when information was recorded), first and last name of individual, residence, profession, place and date of birth, name of mother, number (unclear to what this refers), a series of possible welfare items received (boxes are checked), where deported from, name of camp, monetary assistance received, and handwritten additional items received besides what was in the earlier checked boxes above; in some cases, the number of days the individual was in Sighet is recorded. On occasion additional notes are made such as “relocated to Cluj”, though this is rare. The individuals here are overwhelmingly from the region, though not necessarily overwhelmingly from Sighet, many were born in surrounding villages or small towns. Many, but not all were in Auschwitz, there were many in other camps or labor camps. More so than the first register, the second register has a noticeable number of names that were in work detachments rather than Auschwitz. The second register may also record a majority of individuals from small villages and towns rather than Sighet; perhaps they initially returned to those small settlements (according to the column: residence). The first register contains 2,039 names on 138 pages; the second register 5,062 names on 319 pages. The register Welfare Lists. 1946 was printed in 1934 in Uzhhorod and the printed pages are in Ukrainian and Czech or Slovak, entries are in Romanian. It seems to have been used only for 1-2 years. It is arranged alphabetically. Information includes name of individual, year and place of birth, parent names, residence, notes on fate during the war (i.e. deported), occupation, marriage status, and welfare received. For example, one Helena Appel, born 1912 in Ieud to Mendel Leb and Maria Appel, lives in Sighet (address), was deported, is impoverished without profession, non-married, and lives with Markovits Cili, a seamstress. Dates are given for money received and amount, as well as dates and receipt of other items such as boots, soap, sugar, various items of clothing. There are, however, only a handful of names per letter and as such, it seems unlikely the register reflects a comprehensive picture of the community in 1946-1947. Nevertheless, it is certainly a valuable resource for researchers examining the reestablishment of a community in the immediate post-war years.  The register entitled “Chevra Kadisha” contains burial information beginning in 1941. There is no indication, however, regarding to what cemetery it refers or to what specific community it belonged. In 1941 the Jewish community in Sighet still numbered in the many thousands - this book certainly did not record all the deaths in the community. In light of its title, perhaps it was originally intended only for the members of the Chevra Kadisha but over time, it began to be used more generally, especially after the war. The Sighet community today (2019) is not aware of other extant burial record books (they are likely in the National Archives branch in Baie Mare, but unfortunately the LBI survey could not cover this material). The information in this book includes the date of death, Hebrew date of death, name, place of birth, profession, age, name of parents, name of wife or husband, place of death, cemetery plot. The book stops abruptly on March 29th, 1944. After several blank pages it begins with much less thorough recording in 1944, no month provided (those returning from deportations arrived at the earliest in October or November). Afterwards it is used with some frequency though with fewer and fewer entries until 2010, the last entry. The item entitled register of civil records was casually maintained and there is no indication of when it was started or for what precise purpose it was used. It appears to have primarily served for recording Jews in the surrounding villages, perhaps from circa 1970s to the 1990s. It is arranged alphabetically. Information generally includes the name of an individual, perhaps an address or the name of the village in which they lived, then some notes on family members or occupation and a date for when they emigrated or when they died. Three registers in box R3 relate to the cemetery and appear to have been made after the war. The creator is not known nor is it known on what basis they were created, that is, whether they copied an older register or worked from the cemetery itself. They are in Hebrew with very little transcribed Romanian and are incomplete. The information contains the name on the tombstone and plot number, sometimes dates of death are recorded. The earliest entries are from the late 1800s (but it is incomplete). Two of these registers are variations of the same information (chronologic versus alphabetic), the third item may be a typed version of one of the other registers. There is no indication to which cemetery these items belong. Finally, there are two boxes of photographs. The photographs were found within the synagogue. There is no indication regarding the subjects or when they were taken. All except one appear to be from the post-war period; they depict community gatherings, Rabbi Rosen, a wedding.
Box Folder Title (English translation) Language Date
R1   Register I: Jews from Sighet who returned from work detachments and deportation camps Romanian 1944-1946
R1   Register II: Jews from Sighet who returned from work detachments and deportation camps Romanian 1944-1946
R2   Welfare lists. 1946 Romanian 1946-1947
R2   Chevra Kadisha: register of deaths Hungarian; Romanian; Yiddish 1941-2010
R3   Register of civil records [for villages?] Romanian circa 1970s-1990s
R3   Sighet cemetery: alphabetic index Hebrew; Romanian no date
R3   Sighet cemetery: chronologic register from 1-38 Hebrew; Romanian no date
R3   Sighet cemetery list (see scope and content note for more information) Hebrew no date
P1   Photographs Hungarian; Romanian circa 1920s-1950s
P2   Photographs Hungarian; Romanian 1950s-1980s
Language: Hungarian; Romanian
Extent: .6 meters (6 boxes)
Scope and Content: Despite originating from the post-war period, when northern Transylvanian communities had been decimated by the Shoah and then disappeared almost entirely with the mass emigration of survivors, these files contain startling revelations regarding rural post-war Jewish life, administrative attitudes towards survivors, community strategies for engaging with communist officials, and especially, efforts to exert control over the fate of architectural remnants of Jewish life. These files are rich and varied, containing numerous reports from Andrei Partos, the director of the regional division responsible for community property (“serviciul bunuri Oradea”) of the Federation of Jewish communities, as he traveled throughout the region inspecting synagogues, cemeteries, and other properties. They also reveal the extent to which there were synagogues in countless villages in this region. To the knowledge of the Leo Baeck archivist who undertook the surveying, these documents may represent, in some case, the sole extant records testifying to the erstwhile existence of these village synagogues. Many files record dimensions or other architectural features of the structures, some even include photographs. On occasion there is correspondence between multiple parties regarding what should be done with the synagogue, these conversations reveal tensions between Jewish officials and local officials as well as between Bucharest Jewish leadership and the local leadership (Andrei Partos was based in Oradea). In general, Partos almost always advocated the demolition of the synagogue, so as to, according to his written reasoning, avoid profanation of the building. Several times survivors oppose the demolition and on occasion appeal to Bucharest. Buy-sell contracts are also included in the files. Most or all of the synagogues listed here were demolished. The files appeared to have been stored in Oradea for many years and it is not clear when or why they were transported to Sighet. Please note that there is a very similar collection of documents in Satu Mare, please see the Satu Mare Jewish Community Collection on the JBAT site for more information. We maintained the titles of the folders given at the time of creation, these generally list the respective village and then greater administrative designations. The designations relate to the administrative divisions under communism, we have translated “raion” as “district”, “region” as “region”, “judet” as “county”. Some of the nomenclature was altered over the course of the communist period. When a photograph was included in the file, we tried to note this in the title. “Prayer house” and “synagogue” were used interchangeably in the files, the designations below may likewise refer to either.
Box Folder Title (English translation) Language Date
9 1 Bârșana, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: mikvah, cemetery, synagogue) Romanian 1950-1974
9 2 Berbești, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue with sketch, school, mikvah, cemetery) Romanian; Hungarian 1955-1972
9 3 Bistra, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue, cemetery) Romanian 1962-1976
9 4 Budești, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: wooden synagogue, “big” synagogue -unfinished- with photo) Romanian 1951-1970
9 5 Câmpulung la Tisa, Maramureș county (content: synagogue, mikvah, cemetery, other properties) Hungarian; Romanian 1955-1984
9 6 Coștiu, Maramureș county (content: synagogue, correspondence from Rona de Sus/Ronaszek) Hungarian 1971
10 1 Crăciunești, Sighet district, Maramureș region (I) (content: wooden and stone/brick synagogue, cemetery) Romanian 1955-1976
10 2 Crăciunești (II) (content: wooden and stone/brick synagogue, cemetery, Bocicoi) Romanian 1964-1984
10 3 Cuhea (Bogdan Voda), Maramureș county (content: synagogue) Romanian 1962-1972
10 4 Folder on books in Hebrew (inventory?) Romanian 1978
10 5 Iapa, Sighet district, Maramureș region (neighborhood in Sighetul Marmației) (content: other property) Romanian 1955-1972
10 6 Ieud, Vișeu district, Maramureș (I) region (content: synagogue, mikvah, cemetery) Romanian 1962-1980
10 7 Ieud (II) (content: cemetery) Romanian; Hungarian 1980
11 1 Leordina, Maramureș county (content: two synagogues) Romanian 1954-1970
11 2 Moiseiu, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: cemetery and synagogue with sketch) Romanian 1955-1980
11 3 Petrova, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue with photos, cemetery) Romanian 1955-1970
11 4 Remeți, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue and other property) Romanian 1964-1983
11 5 Rona de Jos, Maramureș county (content: synagogue) Hungarian; Romanian 1974-1988
11 6 Rona de Sus, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue, cemetery, mikvah) Hungarian; Romanian 1967-1984
12 1 Rozavlea: property issues (content: other properties) Romanian 1970-1975
12 2 Rușcova, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: synagogues (2) with photos of one, mikvah) Hungarian; Romanian 1955-1984
12 3 Sălistea de Sus, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue, wooden synagogue, mikvah) Romanian 1954-1973
12 4 Sein [sic: Sieni], Maramureș county (content: cemetery) Romanian 1962-1975
12 5 Strîmtura, Maramureș county (content: cemetery, prayer house) Romanian no date (circa 1980)
12 6 Tisa, Sighet district, Maramureș region (content: other properties) Romanian 1954-1974
13 1 Vișeu de Jos, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: synagogue – possibly regarding Vișeu de Mijloc, see folder 2) Romanian 1955-1984
13 2 Vișeu de Mijloc, Vișeu district, Maramureș region (content: mikvah, synagogue, also see folder 1) Romanian 1955-1971
13 3 Vișeu de Sus, cemetery and synagogue (content: mikvah, prayer house, synagogue) Romanian 1964-1983
13 4 Vișeu, Str. M. Eminescu (content: other property) Romanian 1981-1987
13 5 Vișeul de Sus (I) (content: synagogue, mikvah, other properties) Romanian; Hungarian 1969-1976
13 6 Vișeul de Sus (II) (content: other property) Romanian 1973
13 7 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Carpați 16 (content: former butcher) Romanian 1969-1972
13 8 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Carpați 31 (content: other property) Romanian 1965-1971
13 9 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Carpați 37 (content: other property) Romanian 1965-1975
14 1 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Deportaților 13 (content: other property) Romanian 1965-1974
14 2 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Eminescu Nr. 6, 8 (content: Talmud Thora, possibly synagogue) Romanian 1964-1983
14 3 Vișeul de Sus, Str. Griviței 7 și 6-5 (content: possibly synagogue) Romanian 1966-1980
14 4 Vișeul de Sus, Str. T Vladimirescu 14, 16 (content: other property) Romanian 1968-1970
14 5 Vișeul de Sus, Str. T. Vladimirescu 31, 19 (content: other property) Romanian 1965-1980
14 6 Vișeul de Sus: Str. Carpați 35 (content: other property) Romanian; Hungarian 1965-1972
14 7 Vișeul de Sus: Str. Maramureșului 20 (fost Deportaților) (content: other property) Romanian 1965-1974
14 8 Property lists (content: former owners killed in deportations, subsequent users and owners) Romanian 1952-1980
Language: Romanian; Hungarian
Extent: .8 meters (8 boxes)
Scope and Content: This series contains documents related to properties held by the Jewish community of Sighet. Some of these were previous community holdings, such as synagogues and other communal buildings (schools, etc.), some appeared to have been private residences and the chain of events that led to these being community property is not always clear (that is, whether the addresses were community property prior to the war or whether they belonged to individuals who were killed and the community managed to assume ownership). The vast majority of these files contains correspondence and paperwork regarding rental and/ or selling of the respective property; when related to a former synagogue there is paperwork regarding demolition.  Folders 2 and 3 have more unique content, including correspondence regarding a conflict situation surrounding Jewish individuals receiving welfare with arguments around the topics of definitions of Jewishness, poverty, returned deportees. There is also correspondence regarding books brought from the demolished synagogue in Vișeu de Sus and other documents related to property expropriated in order to construct residential blocks. Folder 3 also contains documents regarding the former Talmud Thora in Sighet and its demolition.
Box Folder Title (English translation) Language Date
1 1 Sighet: cemetery and other documents Romanian 1984
1 2 Sighet I, Jud. Maramureș Romanian, Hungarian, 1971-1978
1 3 Sighet II, Jud. Maramureș Romanian 1971-1982
1 4 Sighet, Str. 1 Mai 30 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1973
2 1 Sighet, Str. 9 Mai 33 Romanian 1982-1984
2 2 Sighet, Str. 9 Mai nr. 33, 17, 30, 41 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1984
2 3 Sighet, Str. 9 Mai nr. 75, IRVA Sighet Romanian 1969-1973
2 4 Sighet, Str. Bogdan Vodă 130 (I) Romanian, Hungarian, 1968-1980
2 5 Sighet, Str. Bogdan Vodă 130 (II) Romanian, Hungarian, 1976-1980
3 1 Sighet, Str. Caprioarei 26,28 Romanian 1966-1983
3 2 Sighet, Str. Cloșca (Gării) nr. 1, 13 Romanian, Hungarian, 1966-1980
3 3 Sighet, Str. Corbului nr. 19-21 Romanian 1966-1976
3 4 Sighet, Str. Coșbuc nr. 1, 9 Romanian 1964-1976
3 5 Sighet, Str. Creangă nr. 13 Romanian 1972-1975
3 6 Sighet, Str. Deportaților (Traian) nr. 11 Romanian 1967-1975
4 1 Sighet, Str. Deportaților (Traian) nr. 27, 34, 47 Romanian 1965-1973
4 2 Sighet, Str. Dragoș Vodă 4, 7, 19, 116 (I) Romanian, Hungarian, 1968-1984
4 3 Sighet, Str. Dragoș Vodă 4, 7, 19, 116 (II) Romanian 1974-1984
4 4 Sighet, Str. Eroilor nr. 74 Romanian 1971
5 1 Sighet, Str. Fost. Republicii Romanian, Hungarian, 1976-1984
5 2 Sighet, Str. Gheorghe Doja 29 Romanian 1966-1976
5 3 Sighet, Str. I. Ehrenburg nr. 5 (Zorilor) Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1984
5 4 Sighet, Str. I. V. Lenin nr. 16 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1974
6 1 Sighet, Str. Kogălniceanu nr. 4 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1978,
6 2 Sighet, Str. Mara nr. 21 (I) Romanian, Hungarian, 1969-1970
6 3 Sighet, Str. Mara nr. 21 (II) Romanian, Hungarian, 1970-1974
6 4 Sighet, Str. Mara nr. 21 (III) Romanian 1974-1981
6 5 Sighet, Str. Mărășești nr. 6 Romanian 1966-1983
7 1 Sighet, Str. Plugarilor nr. 27, 22, 47,34, 38 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1986
7 2 Sighet, Str. Republicii nr. 13, 4, 23, 30 Romanian 1965-1979
7 3 Sighet, Str. Rodnei nr. 4, 6, 8 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1983
7 4 Sighet, Str. Ștefan cel Mare 16,22,33 Romanian, Hungarian, 1966-1976
8 1 Sighet, Str. Traian 27 Romanian 1973-1980
8 2 Sighet, Str. Viseului nr. 8 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1980
8 3 Sighet, Str. Xenopol nr. 3, 55 Romanian, Hungarian, 1965-1976
Language: Romanian
Extent: .1 m. (1 box)
Scope and Content: This series is one box and contains accounting paperwork from the community for the 1960s. The last folder contains accounting paperwork related to properties in the larger Maramureș region, including information on rented properties and leases.
Box Folder Title (English translation) Language Date
15 1 Accounting papers Romanian 1960-1962
15 2 Accounting papers Romanian 1963
15 3 Accounting papers Romanian 1964
15 4 Accounting papers Romanian 1965
15 5 Accounting papers Romanian 1968-1969
15 6 Maramureș county Romanian 1983-1984

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