Timisoara, a city bordering the Balkan states
in the Banat region of Transylvania, was first settled by Turkish Sephardi Jews.
In later centuries, German culture became predominant. In 1762, both Sephardi
and Ashkenazi synagogues were built. In 1865 the imposing Citadel Synagogue was
built by the Ashkenazi Jews, who soon after declared themselves as Neologs.
(Hung., Temesvar), city in southwestern Romania in the area of Transylvania, near the Yugoslav border. Timisoara was under Hungarian rule until 1918 and thereafter under Romanian rule. Jews first established a community there in 1739. During the nineteenth century, they initiated the industrialization of the city. In 1930, 9,368 Jews lived in Timisoara, comprising about 10 percent of the city's population. After World War I, antisemitism increased there, especially in the second half of the 1930s. In 1936, members of the Iron Guard threw a bomb into an audience during a Jewish theater performance, killing two. Ritual slaughter was outlawed in 1938, and in 1939 some 1,000 Jews were deprived of their Romanian citizenship. In July 1941, the Jews throughout southern Transylvania were moved from small villages to larger cities. Thousands of Jews, lacking almost everything, reached Timisoara, swelling the Jewish population to 11,788. On August 4, all the Jewish males between the ages of eighteen and fifty were taken to forced - labor camps. The Jewish community obtained provisions for them and also worked to have men released. Many were let go or were at least sent to work near Timisoara. During 1941 and 1942, most of the buildings owned by the Jewish community were confiscated by the Romanian authorities.
In the summer of 1942, it became known to the leaders of the Jewish community that plans had been made to deport the Jews from southern Transylvania. The leader of the Timisoara Jewish community, Shmuel Ligeti, contacted Jewish leaders in Bucharest. They intervened with government officials to avert the move, and the deportation order was rescinded. During 1944, local Germans (Volksdeutsche) tried to intensify anti - Jewish activity in Timisoara, but with little success.
Hungarian Jewish Refugees.
Beginning in 1943, many Jews from Hungary who had fled to Romania reached Timisoara. This flight reached its peak in the spring and summer of 1944, with Timisoara as one of the main crossing points on the Hungarian - Romanian frontier. When Romania withdrew from the Axis on August 23, the flow of refugees virtually ceased.
About 100 Jews from Timisoara were deported to Transnistria and met their death there, and among the draftees to labor camps some also died. Most of the community, however, lived to see the Soviet army enter the city in September 1944.
history of Romania
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Comunitatea Evreilor din Timisoara - The Jewish
Community of Timisoara