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Gura Humorului is a town located in north Romania, Suceava County in southern Bukovina (47◦25◦).
In those years Bukovina was the easternmost crown land of the Austrian Empire and covered an area of 10,422 square kilometers. In the 1775 census of this province, its population was only about 60,000
To encourage the development of this sparsely-settled land, the Austrian emperors subsidized the immigration of colonists to Bukovina.
After end of these official immigration programs, colonists would continue to arrive at their own expense. As a result, by the census of 1910, the population of Bukovina had risen to over 800,000. People of many different ethnic groups took part in this immigration, including Germans Armenians, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Poles, Romanians and Jews.
In the beginning of the nineteenth century there were no Jews in Gura Humorului.
The Jews begin to settle in Gura Humorului around 1835 as well as other ethnic groups (like the German Bohemian that emigrates from the Bohemian Forest. Thirty families settled on the mountainous virgin forest land near Gurahumora, establishing the village of Bori.)
The Jewish community began to flourish in 1869, then about third from Gura Humorului inhabitants were Jews (880 souls). In that year also the old "Beth Ha Midrash" was established.


Gura Humorului after the great fire of 1899

An important point mark in the history of the town is the disastrous great fire of May 11, 1899 that turned almost all Gura Humorului into ashes, destroying more than 400 houses including many businesses and houses of Jews. The town was built up again with the help of American-Jewish donations.

During World War I, Bukovina became a battlefield between Austrian and Russian troops. Although the Russians were finally driven out in 1917, Austria would lose Bukovina with the war, ceding the province to Romania in the Treaty of St. Germain.
In spite of the war The Jewish community in Gura Humorului continued to flourish
and in 1927 there were 1951 Jews there.
The Jews in Gura Humorului had a dynamic Jewish life full of vitality. They spoke in Yiddish alongside German and Romanian.
They had a traditional Jewish life. The Jewish youngsters studied Torah along with general subjects such as geography, History, Mathematics and so on. The Jews established a Jewish social and political institute, and they took part in all life fields.

World War II - Transnistria

Transnistria is a region in the western Ukraine, across the Dniestr River from Romania that Hitler handed to Romania as a reward for its participation in the war against the Soviet Union. After it was occupied, Transnistria became a concentration ground for the Jews of Bessarabia, Bukovina, and northern Moldavia, whom the Romanian authorities deported on the direct order of Ion Antonescu.

The deportations began on September 15, 1941, and continued on-and-off until the autumn of 1942; September 15 is the official date of the deportation of the Jews of Bessarabia.


Gura Humorului Jews deportation

Month later on Friday, 10 October, 1941: 2945 Gura Humorului Jews went to bed in peace. Nothing unusual had happened that day or in the past few days. After midnight they were awakened by the beating of drums in the streets. People went outside, not knowing what was afoot. Jews were told that they must be at the railway station by 3 a.m. at the latest which meant that they had two hours to put some bundles together, lock up, and leave. At the station they handed over their house keys and their residency papers, and were given in exchange a personal identification number. Then they were put on a train. They did some of the journey by train, the rest on foot, and crossed the Dniester on boats.

 Most of the deportations to Transnistria took place on foot, via four transit points: Atachi (the principal transit point), Cosauti, Rezina, and Tiraspol. In all, an estimated 150,000 persons were deported; German sources speak of 185,000. In addition to massacres carried out by Romanians, Jews were murdered in the camps of Bogdanovka, Akhmechetka and Domankevk.



Deportation of Romanian Jews to Transnistria


Survivors returned

On October 13, 1942, the Romanians called a halt to the deportations to Transnistria
Finally, with the Soviet army closing in on Transnistria, permission was given for the Jews to come back, and in mid - December 1943 the first group of 1,500 survivors returned. In March 1944 a group of 1,841 orphans, out of 4,500 still alive at the time, came back. On March 15, the Soviet army launched the liberation of Transnistria. At this point a Jewish committee from Bucharest succeeded in repatriating another group, consisting of 2,518 deportees. Of the Jews who had been deported to Transnistria, a total of 145,000 to 150,000, some 90,000 perished there. Many of the remaining survivors were allowed to return to Romania in 1945 and 1946.
Most of Gura Humorului Jews hed lose their lives in Transnistria particular in Mogilev Podolski, Bershad, Shargorod, Obochov, Murafa and in Djurin.

Bukovina and Gura Humora Chronology

378 The battle between the Huns and the Visigots in the area of Humor river poured.
1152-1187 Galicia was ruled by prince Iaroslav Osmomysl (Yaroslav Os'momysl). He expaneded the Galician principality to the Danube.
1189 Hungarian king Bela III occupied Galicia and became "King of Halychyna".
1240 Bistrica Occupation by the Mongol-Tatar.
1324 The Tartar invasion to Bukovina regien.
1370-1387 Galicia ruled by Hungary.
1387-1772 Galicia ruled by Poland.
1412 Bukovina was first mentioned in an agreement between King Ladislaus II of Poland and Sigismund of Hungary.
1490-1775 Bukovina an integral part of the Principality of Moldavia; under local rulers but a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire
26.2.1490 The foundation of Gura Humora by Stefan cel Mare.
1514 Bukovina, became tributary to the Turkish sultans.
1538 Final transfer of Bukovyna/Bukowin (former Galician Land) to Turkish sovereingty
1648-1652 The Cossacks invasion.
1768-1774 Russo-Turkish War.
1772 First partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in which Austria annexes Galicia
1774 The annexation of "Austrian" Moldavia, later called Bukovina by Austria.
1774 Major General Gabriel Baron von Spleny serves as military governor of "Austrian" Moldavia
7.5.1775 Constantinopol contract. Austria annexes Bukovina legaly.
1778 First census of Bukovina shows a population of a little more than 100,000.
1782-1787 German Protestants from the Palatinate, Rhineland, and Wurttemberg settle in already-existing communities of Arbora, Tereblestie, Illischestie, Fratautz, Milleschoutz-Badeutz, Satulmare, Molodia, Rosch, Zuczka, Mitoka-Dragomirna, and Czernowitz
1784-1809 Germans from the Zips (Spiss in today's Slovakia) brought to Bukovina by Anton Manz
1784-1849 Bukovina administratively was placed under the Austrian province of Galicia.
1786 were leading some limitations on the Jews as limitations of marriage approval, Jewish property was banned and atc.
1787 Post office was opened in Gura humora.
1835 Telegram connection with Vienna.
1845 The start of the Jewish colonization (3 families)
1848-1849 Bukovina becomes an autonomous crownland.
1854 Floods in Gura Humora.
1854 First telegraph service in Czernowitz
1857 Gura Humorului had a population of 2033 souls among them 190 Jews.
1859 Moldova and Wallachia unite and call themselves Romania.
1861 Bukovina is Autonomy.
1866 Outbreaks of cholera in Bukovina (About 50 people died in Gura Humora).
1866 Railroad completed linking Lemberg (Lvov) with Czernowitz.
1867 Establishment of Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary which lasts until end of World War I, Gura Humorului became a small market town.
1869 Austrian census reveals a population in Bukovina of more than 500,000, The first synagogue in Gura Humora was erected.
1871 The Great synagogue in Gura Humora was erected.
1877 Romania gains independence from the Ottomans.
1880 Gura Humorului got its own independent Jewish cultural council.
1881 Kingdom of Romania declared, under Carol Hohenzollern, the 1st.
1883 First telephone in Czernowitz
1886 Railroad line (Hatna-Kimpolung) ran through Gura Humorului.
1888 Floods.
1897 Gura Humorului become to a county city with 31 villages.
11.5.1899 The town was burn almost absolutely.
1900 Sixty post offices in Bukovina equipped with telegraph
1904 Gura Humorului become to a town.
1914 Outbreak of World War I
1915-1917 Intermittent Russian occupation of Bukovina.
1918 Romanian troops occupy Bukovina.
1919 Treaty of St. Germain by which Bukovina passes to Romanian administration
1919-1923 Romanization of schools and civil service; those not competent in Romanian language are removed from their positions; German National Council works to promote and safeguard German cultural interests.
1922-1926 The parliamentarian Constantin Ardelianu is the mayor of Gura Humorului.
1925 Bukovina loses its provincial status and autonomy,Gura Humorului status as county city was canceled.
1930 Census in Bukovina shows 853,524 inhabitants
1930-1939 Great Depression; high tariffs and a policy of autarchy intensify economic problems
1940 Soviet annexation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.
9.10.1941 Jewish deportation from Bukovina to Transnistria.
7.4.1944 Difficult battles in Gura Humorului until the start of September.
1941-1944 Germany attacks Soviet Union; Bukovina reoccupied by German and Romanian troops.
5.1945 World War II ends in Europe.
1947 Northern Bukovina, formally was reannexed into the USSR / Ukrainian SSR, Kingdom becomes Republic under communistic regime.
9.1947 The firs wave of immigration from Gura Humorului to Israel, 140 Jews left.
23.12.1947 The second wave of immigration from Gura Humorului to Israel, 160 Jews left.
1948-1951 The last wave of immigration from Gura Humorului to Israel, Only a few Jews remained behind.
1967 Ceausescu becomes head of the state - dictatorship.
1989 Romania turns towards democracy and capitalism, remains Republic, Ceausescu overthrown.
2001 Only 2 Jews remained in Gura Humorului.
06.2004 The last head of the Jewish community in Gura Humorului was demise, Only 1 Jew remained .


Gura Humorului Jewish Community

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