Supported Publications

Jewish Witness to a Romanian Century. Pictures and stories from the Centropa Interviews

This is the catalogue of an exhibition within the scope of the correspondent Centropa project that focuses memories and old family snapshots to preserve Jewish memory and so brings history to life. Culled from 93 interviews and 1.600 privately-held images in fifteen countries the travelling-exhibition acts as a digital bridge to a world that no longer exists. The result is a far better understanding of what Jewish life was like in Central and Eastern Europe because through these stories, history becomes personal, emotional, compelling.

During the Holocaust, between 280.000 and 380.000 Romanian Jews, almost half of the Jewish population, were murdered, or perished from starvation or diseases that swept through the Romanian government-administered concentration camps. In the summer of 1944 the Horthy regime in Hungary deported nearly all its 150.000 Jews to the Nazi death camps in Poland. Less than fifteen percent survived. While there are perhaps less then 10.000 Jews living in the country today, its communities are especially active: Young Jews belong to youth groups, attend Hebrew classes and go to community summer camps; elderly Holocaust survivors are looked after in day care centers, old age homes and poly-clinics; there are even programs to train a new generation of community leaders. Centropa is the first oral history project hat combines old family pictures with the story that go with them. For this exhibition Centropa brought together oral historians and academics from the United States, Germany, Austria and Israel, and flown them in to meet Centropa interviewers in Russia, Hungary, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic and Turkey. By doing so they created a two-way street of cooperation and germinated learning communities among those committed to preserving Central Europe┬┤s Jewish history.