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The Jewish minority (ethnicity) on the present territory of Romania has a history spanning over almost two thousand years but became significant in terms.

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Presentation on theme: "The Jewish minority (ethnicity) on the present territory of Romania has a history spanning over almost two thousand years but became significant in terms."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Jewish minority (ethnicity) on the present territory of Romania has a history spanning over almost two thousand years but became significant in terms of numbers and from the economic and cultural point of view especially since the nineteenth century. The Jews existence in Galati from old times is related to the fact that this place exists as a port on the Danube, at the end of "the Siret road" that makes the trade between Poland and the Ottoman Empire. The rulers take measures to attract the Jewish merchants, whose contribution to the prosperity of the country they appreciated very much.


4 The Jews presence in Galati is attested by the first local Jewish cemetery, dating from the years 1590-1595. A second cemetery is established in 1629, then another in 1774 and, finally, the current existing cemetery in 1867. The Jews were concerned, from the beginning, about the religious life - prayer houses installed in normal houses and then by building synagogues by various categories of parishioners who attended them. Thus, in 1780 they founded the Great Synagogue in whose yard was installed a mikwe with a steam bath, too. Then there is recorded the establishment of new synagogues, reflecting an increasing Jewish population in Galati.


6 - The Tailors Synagogue (Snaderis Sil - 1826), - The H ă bad Synagogue (1846), - The Blinzer Synagogue (1847), - The Blecher Synagogue (1847), - The Oel Synagogue (1848), - The Dolingher Synagogue (1854), - The Blacksmiths Synagogue (1856), - The Applemens Synagogue (1858), - The carmens Synagogue (1860), - The Caritas Synagogue (1871), - The Chesed sel Emes Synagogue (1878), - The Craftsmens Synagogue (inaugurated in 1896, the only still existing).

7 A special mention deserves the construction of a Coral Temple in Galati, which was opened in 1885 - but was demolished in1942, the building being damaged in the earthquake of November 1940. The Jewish community of Galati founded the first Health House since 1834 ("Hecdos"), which served as an improvised hospital during the cholera epidemic of 1847. Education has been a constant concern, especially because the Jewish childrens access to public schools was obstructed. The first primary school for boys was organized by the community of Galati in 1859 and in 1899 the primary school for girls was opened. They built granaries which allowed Galati to compete with Odessa and Cherson from Russia. They developed the timber trade.

8 During the late nineteenth century there were in Galati : the Konzelman soap factory, the Babat soap and candle factory, the Albina (Max Fischer) blacking and metal packaging factory and others.

9 A special place was held by the small workshops of Jewish craftsmen: tinsmithing, brass, bookbinding, printing, watchmakers, leather, fur, shoemakers, jewelry, photographers, cleaners and painters, tailors, etc.. According to the official census of 1930, the total number of Jews in Romania was of 756.930. At the end of the twentieth century this minority was reduced to a very small number of members and in 2002 Romania had 6.179 Jewish, of which 223 only in Galati.

10 Many of them have left to found the state of Israel but some remained assimilated among the Romanian population, adopting their religion, language, citizenship, and the Romanian culture.


12 The first Armenians settled in the Galati city by the fifth century A.D. The Armenians who arrived in Moldavia were merchants, craftsmen, generally wealthy people who, because of the privileges they achieved and due to the commerce that they developed, they made the principality of Moldavia prosper. Moreover Nicolae Iorga said that "the Principality of Moldavia was created via trade, and those who followed this path of trade became collaborators in the creation of the national state in Moldavia. So that the Armenians are somewhat Moldavias parents." ( ntent&view=category&layout=blog&id=36&Itemid=57)

13 As time passed, their number increased, being known as the best merchants and artisans in jewelry manufacturing. Prince Alexandru cel Bun (Alexander the Good) (1400-1430) brings into the country, by the year 1418, the first Armenian families, which were settled in seven cities in Moldavia, including Galati. The first mentions about an Armenian church in the city come from the seventeenth century, from the Catholic missionary Maria Luigi Bidu (1669), who stated, among other things, that an Armenian church in Galati was pastored by the Armenian Bishop Sahag. In 1821, we know that the Greek revolutionaries (during Eteria) found refuge in this sacred place, but it was burned by the Turks and it is understood that the church burned too. Another one was built dedicated to "Mother of God", made of wood, on the place where in 1858, the present church was built, re-blessed by His Eminence Mardichian in 2008. The street where the church was built a century and a half ago has a suggestive name "Armenian".



16 The first documentary record of the stable presence of some ethnic Turks on the present territory of Romania is from 1264 when, following the feudal infighting in the selgiucid Anatolian Empire, a group of 12 thousand soldiers led by the emperor Izeyddin Keykavuz settled in Dobrogea. They were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael Palaeologus to defend the Byzantine Empire against the foreign invasions. The Dobrogean settlement was called by the pre-Ottoman Turks Babadag, which means "father of the mountains".


18 Many years, it was a military garrison but also an important cultural center. A new wave of ethnic Turks arrives after the conquest of the Varna town in 1484, and in the coming years, with the increasing economic relations between Walachia and the Ottoman Empire. The most impressive figure in Dobrogea was the spiritual leader Jump Saltuk Dede who had such a great influence on the ethnic Turks that in 1641, when Peter Bogdan Bagsik visited Babadag, said that in this town the Turks honored especially his grave, which was surrounded by candles, and the Christians took him for St. Nicholas.

19 Since the seventeenth century almost all villages, towns and cities in Dobrogea had Turkish names, we can say that the Turks came to be in large numbers in Dobrogea. On the other hand, education and instruction had more of a religious character, schools being near the places of worship (mosques). The old glory disappeared largely. If in 1900 there were 238 mosques in Dobrogea, today in the whole Romania there are only 72, of which 7 are in need of restoration and they are closed, and three are under construction.

20 The Turks were always attentive to the instruction for their children. Over time, besides the primary schools special schools appeared too, that prepared teachers and hogis in Babadag. Thus, on 9 th November 1891 in Medgidia was founded on a new training center for teachers and hogis. During the interwar period we can talk about a development of the Turkish intellectuals. Magazines and newspapers appeared, at first only in the Osman Turkish, then bilingual.

21 If students wore uniforms characteristic to the Ottoman period until 1923, with the establishment of the Turkish republic and under the influence of the Kemalist reform, uniforms got an European allure. Besides the Turkish language with Latin characters the Romanian language was introduced too.


23 The Rroms Brief history There are several theories regarding the arrival of the Rroms in the present territory of Romania. Their presence here is first attested in 1385, but it is likely that members of this ethnic group have arrived much earlier in the Romanian countries. There are different opinions regarding the origins of the Rroms enslavement. Some historians believe that the Rroms, prisoners of war of the Tatars, would have followed them to the shores of the Danube during the mongole invasion in the thirteenth century. After they were defeated by the local population, the Tatars in turn would become slaves, and thus the fate of the Rroms would not be changed.


25 The Rroms were slaves for many centuries, as slaves of the rulers of the Romanian countries (the gypsies of the ruler),of the clergy or of the noblemen. Throughout years in the two Danubian principalities and in Transylvania measures were taken for the secularization and civilization of the Rroms but this thing has never been made entirely.

26 Only during the first decades of the nineteenth century, under the influence of the European Enlightenment ideas, the Rroms are released from their slavery. In 1837, Walachia decides the emancipation of the gypsies belonging to the state settling them in the noblemens villages. The Rroms receive arable land and are treated henceforth as free peasants.

27 For nearly a century, the Rroms continue to live generally marginal in the Romanian society. Only in the interwar period there is a coagulation of this ethnic identity consciousness



30 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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