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[Page 192]

Botiza

(Botiza, Romania)

47°40' 24°09'

(Romanian: Botiza, Hungarian: Batiza)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Botiza is a village approximately 30 kilometers southeast of the district city of Sighet. All of its residents were Romanian.

Jewish Population

Year Population % of Jews
in general
population
1830 10 [507 residents]
1920 194 10.2
1930 121 5.9

In the population census of 1930, three families are noted: Marco Fried (8), Yosef Fried (6), Leib Fried (5).

We do not have documents regarding the Jewish population in Botiza. Not one Jew was registered in that village in the censuses of Jewish population from the years 1728, 1735, 1746, and 1768. Apparently, the first Jews arrived in Botiza at the end of the 18th or beginning of the 19th century. There is no doubt that these Jews came from Galicia and were occupied in liquor distilling, commerce in grain and produce, and leasing of lands of which they later took ownership.

[Page 193]

The small community apparently became organized in the middle of the 19th century. It owned a small synagogue and ritual bath [mikva]. With time, they also employed a ritual slaughterer [shochet].

The following were the town notables and administrators [parnassim] from the beginning of the 20th century until before the First World War: Reb Nachum Stein, Reb Yitzchak Moshe Fried, Reb Efraim Weisel, Reb Shmuel Aryeh Stein, Reb Moshe Aharon Farkas, Reb Elimelech Haber, Reb Chaim Wolf, and Reb Meir Schwartz.

The Jewish population of Botiza declined between the two world wars. Some moved to Sighet, some settled in the cities of Transylvania and Romania, and a small number succeeded in immigrating overseas, from where they sent support to their families until they succeeded in bringing them over.

From among the natives of the community of Botiza, it is appropriate to mention Reb Mordechai Leichter, who was born in Botiza in the year 5640 (1880). He studied in Yeshivas in Hungary. After his marriage, he moved to Sighet, where he worked in religious Zionist activities. He participated in the first convention of the Zionists of Transylvania in 1920. In 1922, he was a delegate to the Zionist Congress in Vienna, representing Mizrachi. He was the president of that organization in Sighet for many years. He published his book “Maamar Mordechai,” – articles on morality and defense of the Jewish religion and customs in the spirit of religious Zionism (Sighet 5687 – 1937). He made aliya and settled in Rechovot, where he was active in Mizrachi, and was elected to the city council representing the Mizrachi Party. He spent his final years in a retirement home in the Visznitz neighborhood of Bnei Brak, and reached a ripe old age.

We do not have precise information on the unfolding of the Holocaust in Botiza. During the latter half of April 1944, the Jews of the village were gathered together and deported to the Dragomiresti Ghetto, from where they were sent to Auschwitz for extermination.

Yosef Fried escaped, hid in the forests, and survived. He lived in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, and made aliya to Israel with his family.

After the war, the survivors of the Holocaust returned to Botiza (there were 28 after the war). However, they left after a brief time. Most of them made aliya to Israel.

Today, there are no Jews in Botiza.

Bibliography

Maramures-Sighet (Book in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Hungarian), edited by Yehoshua and Helen Reich, Tel Aviv, issue 29, pages 1-2.
Yad Vashem Archives, 03/3385.

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