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  Historical research about state violence in the 20th century

    01-2-1

    The survey of the Romanian Section of the World Jewish Congress on the effects of the Holocaust in Romania (2008-2009, closed project)

    In 1945-1946, the Romanian Section of the World Jewish Congress (henceforth WJC) conducted a national survey among the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. The objective of the survey was to assess the human and material losses and record all encroachments on their rights. According to the initial plans, the results were to be presented at the Peace conference ending World War II.

    The survey covered Jews living under Hungarian administration during the war (Northern Transylvania), as well as under Romanian administration. Two types of forms were printed: a bilingual one for the Northern Transylvanians and one in Romanian for the rest of the Jewish population from Romania, respectively. There was a letter attached to the form, written by the WJC, which contained the scope of the survey, and also a guide for filling the form.

    The questionnaires were filled not just by the head of the family, but by each surviving member of the family. The questionnaires from 1946 contained information concerning the survivors and victims too: the name of the person making the declaration, date and place of birth, education, profession, family situation, information related to the victims and survivors as declared by the respondent. Next to personal data, the questionnaires offer information about anti-semitic persecutions and material losses. The questionnaires ended with the testimonies of he victims about their sufferings during the time of the Holocaust.

    For unknown reasons data processing had never happen. Filled-in questionnaires were abandoned in the basement of the Revista Cultului Mosaic (now called Realitatea Evreiască) editorial office in Bucharest. This basement was repeatedly flooded, hence, a significant part of the material perished. Nowadays, the remaining documents are kept at the archive of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Romania, called the Archive of the Center for the Study of the History of Jews from Romania, but a considerable part of this material is severely deteriorated. The approximate number of existing questionnaires rises to 5000-6000, but only about 3000 are in a condition that allows for examination.

    Notes: the research run by RIRNM focused on processing data from Northern Transylvania. Working on questionnaires concerning other regions of Romania was initiated in 2009 by Anca Ciuciu (Center for the Study of the History of Jews from Romania, Bucharest). In July 2010, there was a workshop organized at Cluj-Napoca that aimed at harmonizing research on the WJC's survey and developing the collaboration between the two research groups.

     

    RESULTS

    Data base: during 2008 and 2009 were processed questionnaires from Cluj, Oradea, Timişoara and Carei. The SPSS data base can be consulted at the RIRNM Documentation Center (D. 24/2010).

    Publications:

     

    Gidó, Attila - Sólyom, Zsuzsa: Kolozsvár, Nagykároly és Nagyvárad zsidó túlélői. A Zsidó Világkongresszus 1946-os észak-erdélyi felmérése./The surviving Jewish inhabitants of Cluj, Carei and Oradea. The survey of the World Jewish Congress in 1946. RIRNM, Working Papers in Romanian Minority Studies, no. 35, 2010.

     

    Gidó, Attila: A holokauszt mérlege. 1946-os helyzetkép az észak-erdélyi zsidóságról [Striking the balance of the Holocaust. The situation of Northern Transylvanian Jews in 1946]. In Regio, no. 3, 2010, 116-148.

    Gidó, Attila: Supravieţuitorii evrei din Cluj, Oradea şi Carei. Ancheta Congresului Mondial Evreiesc din 1946 privind efectele Holocaustului [The surviving Jewish inhabitants of Cluj, Carei and Oradea. The survey of the World Jewish Congress in 1946 on the effects of the Holocaust]. In Ciobanu, Vasile - Radu, Sorin (eds.): Partide politice şi minorităţi naţionale din România în secolul XX [Political parties and national minorities in Romania in the 20th century], vol. 5. Editura Techno Media, 2010, 277-290.

    Gidó, Attila: A holokauszt székelyföldi forrásai. Dokumentumok az 1944-es zsidóüldözések székelyudvarhelyi történetéhez [Archival sources of the Holocaust in Szekler Land. Documents on the anti-Jewish meassures in Odorheiu Secuiesc in 1944]. In Areopolis. Történelmi és társadalomtudományi tanulmányok. X. Udvarhelyszék Kulturális Egyesület, Odorheiu Secuiesc, 2010, 177-190.

    Gidó, Attila: The Situation of the North Transylvanian Holocaust Survivors Reflected in the 1946 Survey of the World Jewish Congress. In Transylvanian Review, no. 1, 2011, 85-94.

    Gidó, Attila: Ancheta Congresului Mondial Evreiesc din 1946. O nouă sursă documentară privind situaţia evreilor din Transilvania de Nord după Holocaust [The survey of the World Jewish Congress from 1946. A new source for the study of the situation of Norther Transylvanian Jews after the Holocaust]. In Faur, Antonio - Gyémánt, Ladislau (eds.): Situaţia evreilor din Europa Centrală la sfârşitul celui de-al doilea Război Mondial (1944-1945) [The situation of the Jews from Central Europe at the end of the Second Word War (1944-1945)]. Editura Universităţii din Oradea, Oradea, 2011, 264-292.

     

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    01-2-2

    A comparative analysis of the labor service systems from Hungary and Romania between 1938 and 1944

    Research period: 2012

    Project coordinators: Attila Gidó (RIRNM), László Csősz (researcher at the Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest)

    RIRNM researcher participating in the project: Attila Gidó

    External researcher participating in the project: László Csősz (researcher at the Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest)

    Topic of the research: the labor service systems in Hungary and Romania during the Holocaust. The comparative analysis deals with the legislative framework, as well as with the functioning of the system.

    RESULTS

    working paper

     

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    01-2-3

    The history of the Jewish community from Cluj in the interwar period

    RESULTS

    Gidó, Attila: L'enseignement préscolaire et pré-universitaire juif de Cluj à l'époque de l'entre-deux-guerres. [The development of the Jewish pre-school and undergraduate educational institutions in Cluj in the interwar period]. In Transylvanian Review, no. 2, 2009, 106-123.

    Gidó, Attila: Cadrele instituţionale ale reprezentării intereselor politice evreieşti din Transilvania interbelică (Uniunea Naţională a Evreilor din Transilvania şi Partidul Evreiesc) [Institutional Frames of Representing the Political Jewish Interests in Interwar Transylvania (The National Union of the Jewish in Transylvania and the Jewish Party)]. In Ciobanu, Vasile- Radu, Sorin (eds.), Partide politice şi minorităţi naţionale din România în secolul XX [Political parties and national minorities in Romania in the 20th century]. Techno Media, Sibiu, 2009, 79-93.

    Gidó, Attila: Stratificarea socială a evreilor din Clujul interbelic [Social stratification of the Jewish community of Cluj in the interwar period]. In Ciuciu, Anca - Crăciun, Camelia (eds.): Istorie şi memorie evreiască. Volum omagial dedicat doamnei dr. Lya Benjamin [Jewish history and memory. Homage volume dedicated to dr. Lya Benjamin]. Editura Hasefer, Bucureşti, 2011, 86-107.

     


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    01-2-4

    Kohn Hillel's biography 

    Research period: 2012

    Project coordinators: Attila Gidó (RIRNM), Virgiliu Ţârău (associate professor at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of History and Philosophy)

    RIRNM researcher participating in the project: Attila Gidó

    External researcher participating in the project: Virgiliu Ţârău (associate professor at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of History and Philosophy)

    The topic of the project: the biography of Kohn Hillel, politician with Jewish origins, who is known as the leader of the Jews from Transylvania after the Holocaust. His political carrier, however, is more diversified. At the beginning of the interwar period, he was a Zionist leader, after that he entered the communist movement, and between 1940 and 1941 he was the leader of the Communist Party from Northern Transylvania.

    Expected results: biographical book in Romanian language written by Virgiliu Ţârău.

     


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    01-2-5

    Magyar-zsidó viszony a 20. századi Erdélyben. Digitális szövegtár [Hungarian-Jewish relationships in Transylvania in the 20th century. Electronic text collection]

    Research period: 2011-

    Responsible: Attila Gidó

    Research topic: Jews in Transylvania.

    The objective of the project: compiling a collection of texts in digital format.

    Project description: with compiling this collection our primary aim was to present the state of the art and the main tendencies in the research on the history of Transylvanian Jews in the 20th century. On the web page Adatbank-erdélyi magyar elektronikus könyvtár-Transindex [Data bank - Transylvanian Hungarian digital library - Transindex] 30 articles have been published in 2006. The primary selection criteria consisted of the scientific value and the novelties brought by the research. In 2011, the collection has been enriched with 10 more studies, while in 2012 the number of articles uploaded amounts to 45. The articles are written in English, Hungarian or Romanian.

    The main topics covered in the collection are the following: the search for identity after the First Word War, the relationship between the Jews and Hungarians, the role played by the Jews in the development of the Hungarian culture, and the Holocaust. There are studies included that address issues of the institutional framework, the political role of the Jews, anti-semitism and Zionism. In the previous years a series of articles have been published about the Romanian interpretation of the Holocaust from Transylvania, as well as local history monographs. Research interest is increasing in the topics of restarting life after the Holocaust, Jewish communitarian life during communism and after 1989. Less studied areas represent the history of Sabbatarians from Szekler Land, and the situation of Jews from Southern Transylvania during the Second Word War.

    As far as possible, the text collection is going to be extended with new articles and books.

     

    RESULTS

    Collection of texts entitled Magyar-zsidó viszony a 20. századi Erdélyben. Digitális szövegtár [Hungarian-Jewish relationships in Transylvania in the 20th century. Electronic text collection] uploaded on the web page Adatbank - erdélyi magyar elektronikus könyvtár - Transindex [Data bank - Transylvanian Hungarian digital library - Transindex], here.


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    01-2-6

    Private, confessional and state educational institutions between 1918 and 1948

    Responsible: Attila Gidó

    The objectives of the research: to identify and characterize the private, confessional and state (public) educational institutions in Transylvania, Banat, Crişana and Maramureş in the 1918-1948 period.

     

    RESULTS

    Gidó, Attila: School Market and the Educational Institutions in Transylvania, Partium and Banat between 1919 and 1948. RIRNM, Working Papers in Romanian Minority Studies, no. 39, 2011.

     

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    01-2-7

    Political organizations of minorities in Romania between 1944 and 1953

    Research period: 2011-2013

    Project coordinators: Attila Gidó, Csaba Zoltán Novák (historian, researcher at the „Gheorghe Şincai" Institute for Social Sciences and the Humanities of the Romanian Academy, Târgu Mureş) and Mihály Zoltán Nagy (deputy director at the Romanian National Archives, Bucharest)

    RIRNM researchers participating in the project: Attila Gidó, Levente Olosz (MA student at the Babeş-Bolyai University, RIRNM scholarship between July and December 2012)

    External researchers participating in the project: Csaba Zoltán Novák (researcher at the „Gheorghe Şincai" Institute for Social Sciences and the Humanities of the Romanian Academy, Târgu Mureş) and Mihály Zoltán Nagy (historian, deputy director at the Romanian National Archives, Bucharest)

    Partner institution: Romanian National Archives, Bucharest (nu este încă sigur!!)

    Topic of the research: political organizations of minorities between 1944 and 1953.

    The objectives of the project: firstly, the analysis of the Romanian minority-policies between 1944 and 1953. After the Second Word War a series of organizations came into being meant to represent the interests of national minorities, for instance, the Jewish Democratic Committee (Comitetul Democratic Evreiesc), the Hungarian People's Union (Uniunea Populară Maghiară), Bulgar Democratic Committee (Comitetul Democrat Bulgar), German Anti-fascist Committee (Comitetul Antifascist German), Federation of Hellenic Democratic Union in Romania (Federaţia Uniunii Democrate Elene din România), "Front of Armenia" Organization (Organizaţia „Frontul Armeniei"), Democratic Committee of Albanian People of Romania (Comitetul Democrat al Populaţiei Albaneze din România). These mass organizations functioned under the influence of the Communist Party, and played the role of "transmission belts". The project is aimed, secondly, at analyzing the activity of these organizations and their role in the organization of their own minoritarian society.

    The research tasks consist of documentation, archival research (at the central Romanian National Archives and its local branches) and compiling a collection of the most important documents. This volume is going to contain a comprehensive introductory study too. For the first year (2012) it is scheduled the collection, selection and transcription of documents. During the second year (2013) the introductory study shall be finalized, and also the volume (in Romanian language) published.

    Antecedents and partial results: archival research was started in 2011. The documents of minority organizations kept at the Central National Archives (Bucharest) were photographed. These can be consulted at the RIRNM Documentation Center.

     


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    01-2- 8

    Discoursive strategies of the Hungarian elite in Romania before 1989

    Research period: January - March 2012

    Project coordinators: Nándor Bárdi (researcher at the Institute for Minority Studies, Center for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapesta), József Lőrincz D. (Babeş-Bolyai Unveristy, "Jakabffy Elemér" Foundation, Cluj-Napoca)

    RIRNM researchers participating in the project: Tamás Kiss, Attila Gidó

    External researchers participating in the project: József Lőrincz D., Nándor Bárdi, Stefano Bottoni, Attila Hunyadi, József Gagyi, Gábor Egry, Kata Ágnes Miklós, Lóránt László, Sándor Oláh, Stefan Gaucik, Ágnes Horváth, Tamás Gusztáv Filep, István Papp

    Partner institutions: Institute for Minority Studies, Center for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Budapest), "Jakabffy Elemér" Foundation (Cluj-Napoca)

    The objectives of the project: on the one hand, compiling collections of texts addressing the themes of the "characteristics" of the Hungarians and Szeklers from Trasnylvania, "serving the people" and minority ethics in the interwar period and after 1944, and preparing case studies, on the other hand. The analyses shall make use of memorialistic literature (the emphasis being on the Hungarian literature) - published and manuscript autobiographies, diaries and memoirs - and shall focus primarily on the manners the members of the minority elites perceived their activity on behalf of their national community.

     

    RESULTS

    Collection of texts

    Manuscripts. 16 manuscripts submitted in 2011, which will be published in a volume in 2012.

    Conference participation. Members of the research group participated with a panel entitled The concept of "serving the people" and changes in its interpretation in the history of Hungarian minority communities at the 7th International Congress of Hungarian Studies (August 22-27, 2011, Cluj-Napoca) co-organized by the International Association for Hungarian Studies, Babeş-Bolyai University, Transylvanian Museum Society, Committee from Cluj of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Sapientia - Hungarian University of Transylvania, Bolyai Society, Kriza János Ethnographical Society.

     


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    01-2-9

    Minority elites in Transylvania during the communist period - Oral History

    Research period: 2008-2010

    Project coordinators: until 2010, the project has been coordinated by Zoltán Novák (historian, researcher at the „Gheorghe Şincai" Institute for Social Sciences and the Humanities of the Romanian Academy, Târgu Mureş) and Ágnes Maksay (editor, documentary film director at Video Pontes Foundation). In 2010, Gidó Attila (researcher at RIRNM) joined the team coordinating this project.

    Partner institution: Video Pontes Foundation (Cluj-Napoca)

    Description:

    The Minority elites in Transylvania oral history project whishes to offer an alternative primary source for researchers interested in reconstructing recent history from the perspective of those who lived through it. Sharing their memories, the interviewers reveal many, so far unknown events and evoke the past through details of their own experiences.

    This project was born from the need to preserve the history of the minorities in Transylvania, detailes engraved upon the memory of those who lived during the interwar period, the World War II, the installation of the communist regime and/or throughout the decades up until the 1989 regime change.

    The objective of the project is to create an oral history archive that will present both the traumas suffered by various persons and communities during the communist regime and their survival strategies. The recorded testimonies will serve as usuful tools for historians and sociologists interested in the contemporary history of the minorities from Transylvania.

     

    RESULTS

    14 interviews (audiovisual material, transcriptions) archived at the RIRNM Documentation Centre (arhiv. D. 13/2010). About the results of this research please inquire at the following address: centru.doc@ispmn.gov.ro.

     


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    01-2-10

    The institution of censorship in the 1960's - archival documents about the General Directorate of Press and Printing (Direcţia Generală pentru Presă şi Tipărituri)

    Research period: February-March 2009

    Responsible: Zsuzsa Plainer

    Research topic: controlling the culture and the public sphere in the times of communism in Romania

    Research objective: compiling a collection of archival documents (from the Romanian National Archives, fond no. 2571, Comitetul pentru Presă şi Tipărituri /Press and Printing Committee/) that covers the following themes: the system of control and the most important aspects concerning the activity of the Directorate of Instruction and Control (Direcţia Instructaj-Control). The activity of DIC exposes the relationship of the central controlling fora with its local branches.

    Description:

    The documents collected for the GDPP database were issued in 1965 and 1966, thus in the first years of the Ceauşescu-regime. This choice can be motivated by two reasons: on the one hand, the documents concerning the first two decades of the GDPP are under processing, on the other hand - due to political changes brought by the installation of the new regime - the years of 1965 and 1966 witnessed a rearrangement of the controlling institutions. Consulting archival material, one may conclude that 1966 is particularly rich in GDPP documents.

    While constructing the database, a special attention was paid to the activity of the Directorate of Instruction and Control, the organ responsible for tutoring local censors, as well as for controlling their activity. In addition to shedding a light on the center-periphery relationship working within the hierarchical organization of the GDPP, the documents regarding the activity of the DIC from 1965 and 1966 reveal the minoritarian aspects of censorship too. In other words, the collected documents offer a comparative perspective on the monitoring of the Romanian and the Hungarian cultural production.

    The database consists of two parts: the first part contains documents (D. 1/1966, D. 27/1966, ff. 6-18, 22-40) that describe the general, systemic aspects of the controlling fora (tasks of the prime director, leaders of directorates, the lectors, the instructors etc.), as well as some organizational aspects of the DIC (controlling techniques etc., see D. 1/1966, ff. 228-239). The second part of the database contains documents concerning concrete activities of the DIC, for instance, controls performed by instructors in local offices or the meeting organized at Bucharest for local deputies (D. 37/1966). The activity of the DIC is documented by the following dossiers: D. 37/1966 and D. 27/1966 containing annual reports for 1965 and 1966, D. 39/1966 about the internal analysis of the work performed in 1956 and 1966, and D. 35/1966 containing reports of DIC instructors performing their fieldwork in the provinces in 1966.

     

    RESULTS

    Database archived at the RIRNM Documentation Centre. Please inquire about the materials and research results by sending and e-mail to: centru.doc@ispmn.gov.ro">centru.doc@ispmn.gov.ro.

     

    Publication:

    Plainer, Zsuzsa: Controlul presei locale orădene în primii ani ai sistemului ceauşist. Descriere generală şi aspecte minoritare [Controlling local press in Oradea in the first years of the Ceauşescu-system]. RIRNM, Working papers in Romanian minority studies, no. 44, 2012.

     


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    01-2-11

    How do fighters against censorship turn into politicians?

    Research period: September-December 2012

    Responsible: Zsuzsa Plainer

    Research topic: defining censorship mechanisms through elite change occurred at Oradea, 1989.

    Research objective: comparing local cultural elite carriers from Oradea before and after 1989 in order to prove that censorship played an important role in the recruitment of the political elite after 1989. Among the antecedents of this project one can enumerate a series of articles published in the previous years, as well as the PhD thesis defended in 2011.

    Plainer, Zsuzsa: "Irregularly but full of hope" - high culture and minority nation-building in the Hungarian theatre from Oradea during the 1980's. In New Europe College Yearbook 2008-2009, 2011, pp.

    Plainer, Zsuzsa: Din piesă de teatru - discurs. Cum se făcea politică în mod simbolic în anii 1980, într-o societate locală maghiară din România [Turning theater play into discourse. Symbolic politics in the 1980's in a local Hungarian society in Romania]. In Gidó, Attila - Horváth, István - Pál, Judit (eds.): 140 de ani de legislaţie minoritară în Europa Centrală şi de Est [140 years of minority legislation in Central- and Eastern Europe]. ISPMN, Cluj-Napoca, 2011, 231-247.

    Plainer, Zsuzsa. Színdarabból diskurzus - A nyolcvanas évek szimbolikus politizálása egy romániai magyar helyi társadalomban [Turning theater play into discourse. Symbolic politics in the 1980's in a local Hungarian society in Romania]. In Korunk, nr. 11, 2009,

    Methodology: the interviews made with the members of the local cultural elite focus on the control mechanisms impinged on cultural institutions, as well as on the formation of the new local political elite after 1989. Data obtained this way shall be augmented with information from narrative-interviews made with elites reflecting on the studied phenomenon.