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Jewish Business Registrations in Romania (Transylvania)
in July-August, 1940
By Professor Emeritus John M. Hoenig

BACKGROUND

In July and August of 1940, a series of 11 articles (available here) appeared in the Jewish newspaper Új Kelet with titles similar to “Owners of Jewish companies are also required to register an order proving their nationality at the company registry” (A zsidó cégek tulajdonosai állampolgárságukat igazoló végzést a céghivatalnál is kötelesek bejegyeztetni). The 11 articles gave lists of people who had complied with this order. There are close to 700 people in the lists.  Új Kelet was a Hungarian-language, Jewish newspaper published in Kolozsvár (now Cluj-Napoca), Romania. (It has been published in Tel Aviv since 1948.)

Source Documents

The first list appeared on July 28. It did not have a number but, here, it has been assigned the number I. All subsequent lists were assigned a Roman numeral. The lists are as follows:

List            Date              Page

I               July 28                   7

II             July 30                   4

III            July 31                   7

IV            August                   7

V             August 2               7

VI            August 3               7

VII          August 4               7

VIII         August 6               7

IX            August 7               7

X             August 8               7

XI            August 9               6

DATABASE

The database includes 679 records of individuals and businesses from the newspaper articles described above.  The fields in the database are:

  • List number
  • Registration number
  • Surname (See Note A & B)
  • Given name (See Note A & B)
  • Title (See Note B)
  • Spouse’s name (See Note A & B)
  • Name of business
  • Type of business
  • Town (See Note C)
  • Address
  • Comments

General Notes:

Some of the records provide the name of the company (like International Transport Company) instead of the name of the owner. Others have entries with surnames but without given names, such as Smith & Jones. But, most of the records have given names and surnames. For married women, the maiden name is often also provided. Sometimes street address is given but, in most cases, just the town is provided.

Because the format of the records can be inconsistent, there may be transcription errors, and some records are inherently confusing, it is advised that the user confirm information in the database by checking the original documents which are available here.

Note A: Be aware that the lists contain a mixture of Romanian and Hungarian names. Hungarian names are written in the order surname followed by given name. But, the creators of the lists were not always consistent. (Even within one line of the newspaper article you can sometimes see the surname followed by the given-name and given-name followed by the surname.) It is possible that in some cases the surnames and given names were confused when I created the database.  Therefore, it may be advisable to search for given names of interest if a search for a surname does not provide desired results. Married women were described in two formats. One format looks like: Hani KLEIN born EDELHEID. The other looks like Hani EDELHEID married to KLEIN. I entered the names in the database as they appear in the record. So, for the first format KLEIN would be entered as the surname, Hani as the given name, and EDELHEID is the maiden name (maiden names are located in the Given Name field). For the second format, the same entries would be made, with a note made in the comments field that Hani EDELHEID was married to KLEIN.

Note B: The title field indicates doctors and other professional degrees. It is also used to indicate a married woman, as when a man’s name is given with the designation spouse. Thus, sot. REITER Hersch is taken to mean Mrs. Hersch Reiter.

Note C: The geographic coverage is northern Transylvania. There are many towns included in the database, especially Bistrlţa, Cluj, Dej, Gherla, and Huedin.

Abbreviations:

There are a number of Romanian words and abbreviations that occur in the lists. Common ones are listed below. A long list of professions and their abbreviations in Romanian, along with English equivalents, can be found in the JewishGen InfoFile on “Romanian Occupation Definitions” available at  https://www.jewishgen.org/infofiles/romanianoccs.htm

  • com. stands for comercial (business)
  • fiul (son)
  • ing. dipl. indicates the person has a degree in engineering
  • măr. stands for măritată (married)
  • născ. stands for născut (born)
  • S.A. or Soc. An. stands for societate anonimă (type of business, generally like a corporation in the US, and a public limited company in the UK)
  • i. n. c. is something like societate industriala in nume colectiv (a type of collective business
    • established in industry, services or commerce area)
    • și (and)
    • sot. stands for soţul (husband) or soție (wife) or sotilor (spouses)
    • succ. might stand for succesor (successor)
    • văd. stands for văduvă (widow) or văduv (widower)
    • zis means called, or also known as, as in Smith called Jones

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    The information contained in this database was indexed from the newspaper articles described in the Background section above. Dr. John Hoenig, a Professor Emeritus of Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, (College of) William & Mary, compiled the list. We thank Arcanum Database Publisher (Arcanum Adatbázis Kiadó), which has made 60 million pages of newspapers, journals, encyclopedias and other documents available through its website Arcanum.com, for permission to reproduce the newspaper articles containing the information in this database. Dr. Anca Filipovici kindly assisted with issues of Romanian language. 

    We’d like to thank Nolan Altman, Director of Special Projects and Coordinator of the Holocaust Database, for his continued devotion and dedication to JewishGen's important work.

    December 2023

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