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This database contains details extracted from questionnaires distributed by the World Jewish Congress in Romania in the spring, summer, or fall of 1945. The questionnaires were 16 pages long and queried families about the head of household and associated family members. The majority of the details included in this database come from a cover sheet associated with each questionnaire or packet of information about a family.
During the interwar period, antisemitism was a constant feature of Romanian politics, culture, society, and economic life. In 1940, Romania formally joined the Axis alliance, and participated significantly in planning the German-inspired Axis invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In domestic pogroms and other violence in the nine months prior to and in the first days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Romanian authorities and vigilantes killed up to 20,000 Jews at locations throughout the country. During the Nazi-Soviet war, Romanian troops and gendarmes killed at least 104,000 Romanian Jews, mostly residents of the re-conquered provinces of Bessarabia and Bukovina and in Romanian-occupied Ukraine (then called Transnistria). Romanian authorities also murdered at least 130,000 Ukrainian Jews in Transnistria, with limited assistance from German SS and police units.
In August 1944, Romania left the Axis and switched sides. Subsequently, Romanian troops fought alongside Soviet troops in Hungary and into Germany. About 275,000 Romanian Jews survived the war, in part due to the Romanian regime’s refusal to transfer Romanian Jews residing in the provinces of Moldavia, Wallachia, Southern Transylvania, and the Banat to German custody for transportation to killing centers in German-occupied Poland, and in part due to the reversal of Romania’s murderous policy against the Jews of Bessarabia and Bukovina in summer 1942. Another 44,000 Romanian Jews residing in Hungarian-annexed northwest Transylvania survived the war, virtually all of them after a year of incarceration in German concentration camps.
After the fall of communism, an independent international commission concluded that Romanian authorities were the primary perpetrators of mass murder against the Jews in Romania, Transnistria, and the reconquered provinces of Bessarabia (today Moldova) and Bukovina.
The questionnaires in this collection asked surviving Romanian Jews for personal data, such as place and date of birth and occupation, as well as information on their wartime experiences, including details of persecution, expropriation of property, and deportations.
What's in the Records
Data on heads of household typically includes the following:
- date and place of birth
Data on other family members may consist of
- relationship to head of household
- year of birth
These records are in Romanian. Additional information—including details on education, deportation, “probable fate,” and place of death—may be available on the original documents.
Additional details about these victims may be included in the original records. While the index is freely accessible from Ancestry.com, the images of these records are not available in this database. Copies of the images can be ordered at no cost from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Click here for ordering information.
More information about the Holocaust in Romania is available in the online Holocaust Encyclopedia and in the report of the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania.