Mr. Marks’ Story

The emigration of Romanian Jews on a larger scale commenced soon after 1878; numbers rose and fell, with a major wave of Bessarabian Jews after the Kishinev pogrom in Imperial Russia (1905). The Jewish Encyclopedia wrote in 1905, shortly before the pogrom, “It is admitted that at least 70 per cent would leave the country at any time if the necessary traveling expenses were furnished”. There are no official statistics of emigration; but it is safe to place the minimum number of Jewish emigrants from 1898 to 1904 at 70,000. By 1900 there were 250,000 Romanian Jews: 3.3% of the population, 14.6% of the city dwellers, 32% of the Moldavian urban population and 42% ofIași.[41]

The Synagogue of Brasov (built in 1901)

The Synagogue of Brasov (built in 1901)


Land issues and predominantly Jewish presence among estate leaseholders accounted for the 1907 Romanian Peasants’ Revolt, partly antisemitic in message.[42] During the same period, the anti-Jewish message first expanded beyond its National Liberal base (where it was soon an insignificant attitude),[43] to cover the succession of more radical and Moldavian-based organizations founded by A.C. Cuza (hisDemocratic Nationalist Party, created in 1910, had the first antisemitic program in Romanian political history).[44] No longer present in the PNL’s ideology by the 1920s, antisemitism also tended to surface in on the left-wing of the political spectrum, in currents originating inPoporanism – which favoured the claim that peasants were being systematically exploited by Jews.[45]




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