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”Elie Wiesel” Institute`s Journal:
Holocaust. Studii şi cercetări, vol. VIII, issue 1 (9), 2016

Title: Holocaust. Studii şi cercetări, vol. VIII, no. 1(9)/ 2016
Price: 30 lei

List of Authors

Adina Babeş is a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and an associate lecturer at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration in Bucharest. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Sciences and is a graduate of MA programs in Social Sciences (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel), Hebrew Culture and Civilization (University of Bucharest, Romania), and Nationalism Studies (Central European University, Hungary). She has authored articles, book reviews, and translations published in volumes and academic journals, and participated with scientific papers in conferences, seminars, and round tables. E-mail:

Ana Bărbulescu is a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and an associate professor at the University of Bucharest, Department of Jewish Studies. She is working on the collaborative project “The Reconstruction of Holocaust Public Memory in Post-Communism” and also on a project on daily life in the Transnistrian ghettos during the Holocaust. She is the author of Evreul înainte şi după Cristos (Curtea Veche, 2016) and a co-editor, with Alexandru Florian and Alexander Climescu, of Forced Labor of the Jews in Romania (Polirom, 2013). She is the recipient of the Felix Posen Doctoral Fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as of fellowships from the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School and the Foundation for the Promotion of Jewish and Israeli Culture. E-mail:

Sonia Catrina is a Research Project Manager at CSMI (Centrul de Studii Memoriale şi Identitare) – Centre for Memory and Identity Studies, and a Senior Editor for MemoScapes. Romanian Journal of Memory and Identity Studies. As an independent researcher, she is also associated with CSIER – Centre for the Study of the Jewish History in Romania (Centrul de Studii pentru Istoria Evreilor din România). E-mail:

Marius Cazan is a research assistant at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. He has received a BA from the University of Bucharest, Department of History, in 2009, and an MA from the same institution in 2011. In June 2015, he defended his Ph.D. thesis, entitled „The Dynamics of the Urban Habitat in Bucharest (1948- 1989), Constructions, Facilities, Perceptions”. He is also a member of the research team of the project “Economic Planning, Higher Education, and the Accumulation of Human Capital in Romania during Communism (1948-1989)”, developed at the Centre for Administrative, Cultural, and Economic Studies, Department of Administration and Business, and financed by the National Research Council. His research areas of interest are the Holocaust in Romania, Romanian communism, urban history, the history of Romanian higher education, the history of everyday life during communism. E-mail:

Alexandru Climescu is a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania and a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science of the University of Bucharest. He is working on the collaborative project “The Reconstruction of Holocaust Public Memory in Post-Communism” and has published widely on the Holocaust in Romania and on right-wing extremism. He is co-editor, with Ana Bărbulescu and Alexandru Florian, of the volume Forced Labor of the Jews in Romania (Polirom, 2013). E-mail:

Laura Ioana Degeratu has graduated with an MA in History at the Department of History of the University of Bucharest with a dissertation on “Romanian Cinematography in the 1970s — Means of Propaganda? Case Study: The Movie Puterea şi adevărul (Power and Truth, 1972)”. She worked as a researcher at the “Elie Wiesel” National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. Her research interests: forced labor of the Romanian Jews during the Second World War; the ghettos in Transnistria; cinema and propaganda. E-mail:

Anca Filipovici has a Ph.D. in History (2012) at the Babeş-Bolyai University with a thesis focused on cultural localism in interwar Romania. She is interested in topics focused on regional and local history, the history of the Jews from Romania, and the history of education. She is the author of Cărturarii provinciei. Intelectuali şi cultură locală în Bucovina şi Transilvania (Institutul European, 2015) and of many articles and studies published in academic journals. E-mail:

Liviu Neagoe has a Ph.D. in History (2013), specializing in Modern History. He was editor of the magazine Cuvântul and editorial secretary of the periodical History, Culture, and Society of the “George Bariţiu” Institute of History and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal for Democracy and Electoral Studies. He coordinated the volume Elite, naţiune şi societate în România modernă (Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2012) and is the author of Cetăţenie, naţiune si etnicitate. O perspectivă comparată (Avalon, 2014) and Români şi evrei în secolul al XIX-lea. Dileme etnice şi controverse constituţionale (Hasefer, 2016). E-mail:

Daniel Perdigão was an auxiliary professor of Anthropology, Epistemology of Social Sciences, and also Romanian Language at the Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon. Since 2009, he represents the Camões IP in Bucharest, teaching Portuguese Civilization, Culture, and Language at the Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Bucharest.

Irinel Rotariu graduated from the Law School of the “Al.I. Cuza” University (1994) and has an MA in Communitarian Security and Violence Control at the Faculty of Philosophy and Political Science of the same university (2010). Between 1994 and 1996, he was a prosecutor in the Iaşi Prosecutors’ Office and has been working for the Iaşi Military Prosecutors’ Office since 1996. Since 2007, he is an associate professor at the Law School of the “Al.I. Cuza” University and, since 2012, he is deputy military chief-prosecutor for the Iaşi Military Prosecutors’ Office. E-mail:

Măriuca Stanciu is Head of the Computational Library Services Department of the Romanian Academy Library and an auxiliary lecturer at the Center for Hebrew Studies, University of Bucharest, teaching Jewish Civilization and Culture, Jewish Iconography, and Hebrew. E-mail:

Danilo Trbojević is a Ph.D. candidate at the Belgrade University Department of Ethnology and Anthropology. During his Master studies at the same Department, he also researched processes of social and national memory and systems of remembrance. Besides the Master paper, Danilo Trbojevic has published numerous works about politics of memory, traumatic social memory, and identities. The author took part in numerous domestic and international scientific symposiums and conferences. In 2015, he was awarded a scholarship by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and participated in the conference on Holocaust in South-Eastern Europe, in Bucharest, Romania. E-mail:

Alexandru Climescu


This study aims to examine how Romanian legal experts reacted to the anti-democratic and anti-liberal politics of the Romanian state starting with 1940. Our intention is to investigate how constitutional theory positioned itself in relation to the new regime changes that occurred in Romania in 1940. An examination of the works published in the field of public law allows us to establish which were the legal justifications offered for an authoritarian state, anti-individualism and the anti-Semitic policies of the Antonescu regime.

Keywords: Antonescu regime; constitutional theory; Romania; fascism

Marius Cazan


This article is an attempt to bring forth more concrete details on those who, during the pogrom in Bucharest, participated in the violence against the Jewish minority. Most of the authors do mention the perpetrators in their writings about the pogrom or rebellion, but extensive research is missing, so far, to provide conclusions on their socio-cultural background, on the relationship between the perpetrators who were active in the Legionary Movement and those who had no political affiliation. In other words, we do not know enough about who the perpetrators of the Bucharest pogrom were.

Keywords: Holocaust perpetrators;Legionary Movement;1941;Pogrom of Bucharest

Irinel Rotariu


The investigation of the common grave discovered in Popricani, in the autumn of 2010, was an unprecedented challenge for the members of the Military Prosecutor’s Office in Iași. This happened because of the number of victims, the particular features of the investigation at the crime scene, and because of the actual development of the investigation proper. The inquiry established that the 36 victims were Jews who had been brought from the commune of Sculeni, Bessarabia, at the beginning of the offensive against the USSR, and were executed by the military formations belonging to the Romanian army, possibly with the involvement of German forces, without any trial or legal motivation. The legal classification assigned to these deeds was genocide, under Article 357 of the 1968 Penal Code (article 438 of the 2009 Penal Code), and the investigation established that the deeds had already been judged and the initiators and perpetrators had already been convicted.

Keywords: Holocaust perpetrators;Legionary Movement;1941;Pogrom of Bucharest

Ana Bărbulescu


Vapniarka is probably the best-known camp operational in Transnistria under Romanian authority, being often recorded in connection with either its communist inmates or the spastic paralysis epidemic that broke out in the early winter of 1943. The present study aims to present the complex history of the camp, with its different stages and different categories of inmates. A special attention will be given to the internal organization of the camp, the official structures, and its parallel developments.

Keywords: Transnistria;Vapniarka camp;Râbniţa prison;Târgu-Jiu camp

Daniel Silva Perdigão


It is the intention of this article to objectively present the motifs and the outstanding socio-cultural climate during the first years of the World War II, which determined the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, Aristides Sousa Mendes, a Righteous Among the Nations, to disobey the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regulations by issuing thousands of visas, free of charge, to mainly Jewish war refugees in order to facilitate their flight from Nazi-occupied Europe, using Lisbon as their departure harbor.

Keywords: Aristides Sousa Mendes;Portugal;Bordeaux;entry visa;António de Oliveira Salazar; Jewish refugees;World War II;consular circulars;consular regulations

Măriuca Stanciu


The article tries to present an objective and comprehensive image of the Portuguese socio-political background during the first years of World War II, which allowed the local Jewish community organizations, together with the JOINT and HIAS to receive, shelter, and assist thousands of Jewish refugees fleeing from the Nazi regime and looking forward a new life far from the occupied Europe. The ambivalent way in which Portuguese authorities decided to solve the refugee problem is also dealt with.

Keywords: Portugal;World War II;Jewish refugees;COMASSIS;the Joint;HIAS-HICEM;António Oliveira Salazar;short-term visas

Anca Filipovici


Romanian anti-Semitism in the 20th century can be explained not only by the clash between the real and the imaginary Jew, but also by a proper contextualization of facts. In individual cases, such as that of Sociologist Traian Brăileanu, my interpretation of his biography and of the socio-political context of the time enabled me to sketch some founding mechanisms of Anti-Semitism. Thus, by studying his biographical path, his sociological work and other publications of Brăileanu, my intention is to show certain mechanisms of his anti-Jewish ideology. Brăileanu built his discourse upon cultural and economic considerations that described the Jew as Otherness, as someone who would never integrate within Romanian society. He also supported the perception of Jews as the embodiment of Bolshevik danger. Furthermore, his views were determined by specific features of nationalism in a multi-ethnic province: Bukovina.

Keywords: Anti-Semitism; the Legionary Movement; Bukovina; nationalism; ethnic minorities

Liviu Neagoe


Studiul structurează evoluția comunității evreiești din România în anii pre mergători Holocaustului din perspectiva a două atitudini care au marcat decisiv percepția publică asupra evreilor în perioada interbelică: antisemitismul și legionarismul. Relația dintre identitatea evreiască, antisemitism și legionarism este cercetată pe câteva paliere de analiză. Un prim palier este orientat spre analiza romanului De două mii de ani… de Mihail Sebastian și a Prefeței scrise de Nae Ionescu, pentru a pentru a înțelege felul cum comuni- tatea evreiască — prin cazul exemplar al lui Sebastian — și-a construit propriul discurs identitar într-o perioadă în care antisemitismul devenea dominant în discursul public. Un al doilea palier al cercetării este direcționat spre analiza originilor intelectuale ale anti semitismului în raport cu paradigma statului național. Prestigiul cultural al intelectualilor reprezentativi ai secolului XIX, dintre care se detașează Mihai Eminescu, a fost folosit ca sursă de legitimare pentru a justifica ultranaționalismul și antisemitismul care au susținut apariția și evoluția legionarismului. În acest sens, ideologii legionarismului au stabilit o linie de continuitate între propriile convingeri antisemite și ideile promovate de fondatorii antisemitismului românesc, pentru a scoate în evidență faptul că legionarii sunt reprezen- tanții genuini ai poporului român. Al treilea palier al cercetării investighează istoria intelec- tuală a legionarismului privit ca mișcare palingenezică centrată pe crearea „omului nou“ considerat chintesență a românității. Pe lângă teme și motive specifice teologiei ortodoxe, pe care le-a integrat în propria doctrină, legionarismul își are sursele intelectuale în discursul palingenezic al naționalismului romantic și al mesianismului istoric din prima jumătate a secolului XIX. Literatura apologetică legionară se intersectează cu textele „tinerei generații“, în proiectul comun al unei noi spiritualități, al regenerării naționale, al căutării autenticității. Intelectualii marcanți ai „tinerei generații“ s-au regăsit în fervoarea legionară, ceea ce le-a justificat critica societății românești interbelice, revoluția spirituală și regenerarea prin distrugere, antisemitismul, alimentând o ideologie a excluderii și a urii, care a făcut posibil totalitarismul de dreapta, autoritarismul antonescian, pogromurile și Holocaustul. Analiza resorturilor și implicațiilor care au stat la baza relației simbiotice dintre activismul politic al Mișcării Legionare și manifestările culturale ale „tinerei generații“ raportate la comunitatea evreiască reprezintă în ultimă instanță miza acestei cercetări.

Keywords: antisemitism;evrei;legionarism;Mihail Sebastian;Corneliu Zelea Codreanu

Adina Babeș


This paper investigates the survivors’ personal narratives as sources for the study and research of the Holocaust in Romania. I am interested in reviewing those documentary sources, the subjects they refer to, and how these subjects are discussed and introduced to the public. I place this research within the theoretical framework of “collective memory”, being interested in bringing to the reader the manner in which these personal narratives could contribute to building the memory of the Holocaust in Romania. My study is placed in the context of historical research with a qualitative methodology of the social sciences approach. The personal narratives of the Holocaust survivors are the primary sources of this research, and the analysis focuses on the message and the sender.

Keywords: Holocaust survivors’ personal narratives; “collective memory”; historical research; Romanian history

Laura Degeratu


The current study regards films as a powerful vector of memory and aims to identify if and how the main events in the history of the Holocaust in Romania are represented in movies produced in the post-communist period or aired on Romanian televisions. Starting from the above-mentioned inquiry, my aim is twofold: on one hand, I am interested to identify how the Holocaust is remembered in the Romanian filmography. What is the status ascribed to the victim, perpetrator, and bystander? Do we have a throughout the description of these categories or some of them are eluded while others are described in a distorted manner? Where does the responsibility lie and how is the relation between the Romanian authorities and the German ally constructed in these films?

Keywords: Social memory; Holocaust in Romania;post-communism;lieux de mémoire

Sonia Catrina


Linking our own research interest for the processes of public memory building and remembrance of difficult pasts through the lens of heritage-work, the aim of the current study is to address discourses on ‘the Holocaust issue’ and perceptions of Jews in Romania after more than two decades since the 1989 Revolution. Our focus is mainly on the perceptions of Jewish people from the city of Oradea, a territory where two-thirds of about 27000 Jews were killed during WWII. By examining private initiatives of heritage-making carried out with the purpose of contributing to the preservation of the memory of those killed during WWII and comparing them with the official ones, we intend to disclose aspects of the ‘social distance’ and intercultural communication on this Romanian territory where Jews and Roma people were ghettoized, then sent directly to extermination camps (mainly to Auschwitz), where genocide was carried out. The symbolic re-enactment of Jewish history in the public sphere through heritage-making helps remodel perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors in a multi-ethnic society by promoting moral values regarding other human beings such as tolerance and mutual respect. Therefore, our study inquires to what extent the public memory relating to the Holocaust contributed to shaping social relationships in a multi-cultural society. Our anthropological reflection on the (re-)enactment of the Jewish history during the Holocaust through heritage-making and its social appropriation offer insights into (1) discourses on the Holocaust in Romania and the way in which public memory operates, (2) perceptions of Jews among local people from Oradea and, (3) the building of identity narratives on the acknowledgment or denial of a dark side in our past.

Keywords: Holocaust;heritage-making;memory-work; the “Eva Heyman” Memorial; Northern Transylvania

Danilo Trbojević


The politics of specific selective social/national memories in contrast with globally accepted and promoted pictures of past happenings is always a very interesting field for anthropological research. This paper also deals with another social phenomenon — the political usage of the dead bodies, or “political lives of the dead bodies” of the Holocaust victims buried on ex-Yugoslavian territories. We will try to show and understand the process of changing political and historical context and its influence on the way Yugoslavia and, later, its independent states used history and traumatic social memory presentation to recreate new views on these happenings and, therefore, new national identities. Using this kind of analysis we will show how the “victim” and “perpetrator” identities were reconstructed and used in different ways and for different purposes. These recreated identities are supposed to be very important factors in the Euro integration, but also a part of the revisionism threat and power struggle in the Balkans today.

Keywords: Yugoslavia;Holocaust;politics of memory;martyr;perpetrator;conflicting identities

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