Codrul Cosminului
Department of Human, Social and Political Sciences, 2020
Paper title:
Extremes and Exceptions: Civilian Attitudes toward Jews in Bukovina
during World War II
Published in:
Issue 1, (Vol. 26) / 2020
Publishing date:
Stefan Purici, Harieta Mareci-Sabol
The pre-war political and social atmosphere, the subsequent regulations imposed by authorities, interests or circumstances, the international context, and the moral principles motivated – together or in part – some of the decisions and actions against the Jews of Bukovina. The authors of this article raise a few questions: When and in what con¬text did the violence occur? Where did the violence happen? Why did people do that? The organization of information in order to obtain the answers contributes to highlighting the responsibility of the actors of the time, other than the army: civilian authorities, the popula¬tion of towns and villages in Bukovina. Usually, attacks, robberies and murders are most often cited in historical analysis. They were the result of instigations and challenges, some organized at the state level, some manifesting themselves as "improvisations" of the locals. Moreover, the “social field” of violence was systematically prepared in the interwar period, the ideology of right-wing radicalism and anti-Semitism entering the Romanian society, amid economic difficulties. In addition, the fear of being punished by the military authorities (who coordinated the arrest, deportation and guarding of Jews) is a basic explanation to justify avoiding mutual contact between the Jews and non-Jews. As for non-Jews civilian's solidarity, charity and support, they are less analyzed in the historiography of the problem. That is why their knowledge becomes extremely important, as long as these examples illustrating not only the acts of resistance against government actions but also the human decency and absolute, uncompromising respect for the values of humanity.
Jews, Bukovina, anti-Semitism, World War II, civilian, violence, persecution, solidarity, humanity.

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