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Ploiesti, Romania (cont.)

On November 21, 1940, Stanescu, the prefect of the Legionnaires, ordered all Jews, without difference in age and profession, to present themselves for the work of destroying and clearing out the ruins of the Jewish buildings that were destroyed and the buildings that were damaged by the earthquake.

In December of that year and in January 1941, the property of the Jews was pillaged. Almost all of the Jewish enterprises were given to the Legionnaires, without any compensation.

21 Jews of Ploiesti were sent to the Oravita Camp, and were later transferred to the Targu-Jiu Camp, with the charge that they were not Romanian citizens.

In July 1941, 49 Jews who were heads of the community were imprisoned in the building of the synagogue on Basarab Street as surety, including Rabbi Tzvi Menachem Safran. They were told that they would be taken out to be killed because of all the damage to the liquor stills and factories, and because of all the disruptions to the instructions during the blackout. Al of the Jewish men between the ages of 18-60 were gathered at the police station, and then were collected into several streets. On July 14, the liquor stills were bombed by the Russians. As a result of this, all of the Jewish men were expelled to the Teis Camp. The authorities freed the rabbi from the expulsion, but he

[Page 223]

refused to be freed, and went with his community. In Ploiesti itself, all of the children between the ages of 13-18 were drafted for labor. Among other things, they had to clean the streets. When the camp in Teis was disbanded on January 1, 1942, the men above the age of 50 were permitted to return to the city, whereas the rest of the men were transferred to places determined by the police. There, the Jews were sent to various jobs according to the direction of the army leaders. Food was not given to them, and they had to concern themselves with their own livelihood. Those Jews that had been transferred to Buzau were sent to Tarutino in Bessarabia in April, 1941 to work on paving roads. From there, they were transported to the Dobrusa Forest. They lived in burrows of dirt. From there, they were sent to southern Bessarabia, where they worked in the quarries of Saba and Cetatea-Alba. Finally they were transferred to the quarries near Tansa in the Vaslui region, where they remained until the ceasefire agreement of August 23, 1944. The Jews who had been transferred to the city of Focsani were forced to work at paving the roads, and were later sent to the Vidra-Valea Sarii work camp.

The Jewish community suffered from various problems during this period. Due to the absence of the men and the closing of Jewish businesses, the sources of livelihood were closed off, and the income of the community dwindled from 552,000 Lei in 1940 to 15,000 Lei in 1941, and 36,000 Lei in 1943. On the other hand, the number of dependents that the community had to support grew, as is shown from the following table.

YearNumber
of
Dependents
194045
194190
1942110
1943300

In order to cover its expenditures, the community received a stipend from the Central Jewish Committee of Bucharest.

A gymnasium with 50 students was set up for the students that remained in the city. Due to the destruction of the boys' school (see above) and the confiscation of the girls' school, only one mixed school functioned. However, the number of students continued to dwindle due to the fat that many families left the city.

The following numbers demonstrate the economic situation of the Jews. Due to the laws of racial purity, 103 Jewish officials were left without employment; 84 of the 153 merchants and factory owners; 108 of the 201 tradesman; 23 of the 37 practitioners of the free professions, and 17 of the 25 practitioners of various other professions. (These numbers were taken from the entire region, but very few Jews lived in the regions around Ploiesti.

After the war, a significant percentage of those who were expelled returned, and the community renewed its activities as previously.

TY”L

 

rom1_223a.gif [43 KB] - A report from the head of the chamber of commerce
A report from the head of the chamber of commerce
to the Minister of the Interior informing him of the refusal of the
Jewish merchants to turn over their stores to the Romanians

 

rom1_223b.jpg [24 KB] - The Luca Moise School for boys, which was destroyed by the men of the Iron Guard
The Luca Moise School for boys,
which was destroyed by the men of the Iron Guard

 


The General Archives of Jewish History RM 44; RM 72; RM 73; RM 129; RM 160.

[Page 224]

Yad Vashem Archives
JM 1220; O-11/7-1 (56, 173); O-11/6-5; PKR/I-5 (24-25); PKR/I-32 (726-28);
PKR/I-34 (281-82); PKR/I-67 (777); PKR/I-134 (1359-63); PKR/I-135 (1364-73);
03/1103; 03/1512; 03/1519; 03/1494.

Archives of W. Filderman
10a (152, 184-189, 224-225, 230); 17 (113-114, 124-125);
18 (19, 28, 39,41, 61, 66, 75-76, 109, 122, 128, 131, 132, 163,
181, 203-204, 235); 32 (8, 149); 45 (11-13, 20-22).

Archives of M. Karp
I, 10-12, 45, 85-86; III, 414-16, 420, 433, 458;
VI, 51, 60-61, 71, 72, 122, 123, 127, 134.


Bibliography

Lavie, Thedore: Romanian Jewry in its Struggle for Salvation,
Jerusalem, 5725 (1965), pp. 18, 22, 27, 40, 43, 53, 97.

Klausner, Yisrael: Chibat Tzion in Romania, Jerusalem 5718 (1958),
pp. 155, 230, 235, 271, 276, 278, 279, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294,
309, 311, 312, 321.

The Murder of the Admorim of Romania; The Lot of the Jews
During the Harrowing Days of the Iron Guard. Haaretz,
issue 6467, 10 of Kislev 5701 (1941), pp. 1, 2.

(Yonatan) Taubman, Y(ehuda) L(eib): Jewish Cities of Romania
(Memorial writings for the Jews of Botosani, Ploiesti and Iasi).
Hatzofeh, issue 1909, 20 Nissan 5704 (1944), page 5;
issue 1916, 30 Nissan 5704 (1944), pages 2-3.

rom1_224.gif [69 KB] - Bibliography

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