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Elias Schwartzfeld

The Jews of Romania
from the Earliest Times to the Present Day



Internet Modern Jewish History Sourcebook for Central and Eastern Europe

SOURCE OF MATERIAL: Schwartzfeld, Elias. “The Jews of Roumania from the Earliest Times to the Present Day.” Amercan Jewish Yearbook, Philadelphia: 1901, pp. 25-62.




The history of the Jews of Roumania, or, to put it more correctly, of the Roumanian principalities, has not yet been written; nor will it be written in the near future; for no chronicles or accounts of any kind have been handed down by earlier generations; and it was only with some difficulty that a few Hebrew documents of secondary importance and of comparatively recent date were brought to light. This strange condition is without doubt due to the numberless scourges with which the country was afflicted — unceasing wars between neighboring powers, intestine feuds, periodic invasions of the Tartars and the Cossacks, recurring conflagrations, which destroyed whole cities one after the other, famine, and plague, and the intolerable exactions of the princes and the boyars, who forced the population to seek refuge in the forests and the mountains, and sometimes in neighboring countries.

The question arises how the Jews could continue to exist in these countries, in the face of so many hardships. But for the inherent tenacity of the race and the comparative tolerance which they enjoyed, they must certainly have given way.

The Roumanian chroniclers, occupying themselves solely with the wars and the intestine conflicts, and with the relation of the prince to the boyars, paid no attention to the Jews, and made only the barest mention of them in certain passages. Moreover, the official documents were for the most part destroyed in the conflagrations; and those which escaped destruction are still hidden away in the archives. Some few documents have appeared in rare collections, or in literary and political magazines; and it is to these sources, the collections and the magazines, as well as to the accounts of travelers, that the writer must resort to compile a sketch, however brief, of the history of the Jews in the Roumanian principalities.


If some historians may he believed, Jews lived in Roumanian territory as early as at the time of the Dacians. They say that after the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews by Titus, Decebalus received Jews into his country, and assigned to them the city of Talmus or Talmaci on the border of Transylvania, generally known under the name of the Rothethurm. Other Roumanian historians contest this fact, because the word Talmus is by some derived from the Talmud, which did not exist at that time. The argument is weak. A false interpretation of the name of a place does not necessarily imply that the history of the place is unauthentic.

However that may be, it is admitted that Jews inhabited Dacia after its conquest by the Romans; for it is an established fact that many Jews followed the Roman legions in their triumphal marches across the continent, as purveyors to the army, and that they settled in the countries favorable to their trade. Moreover, Jews had lived in the places scattered along the shore of the Black Sea a long time before the Christian era, and after the dispersion their number increased. Gradually, the Jews penetrated into the interior of the countries. Some of the coast cities later formed an integral part of Wallachia and Moldavia.

In the eighth century the Khozars, a people partly Finn and partly Tartar, who had become converted to Judaism, made their appearance in southern Russia. Soon they extended their conquests in the east of Europe as far as Pannonia, and traces of them still exist in the Roumanian principalities and in Transylvania, a number of places bearing the names Jidova, Jidovchitza, etc. The Khozars left a strong impress also on Roumanian poetry and tradition, in which "Jew" is synonymous with "giant" or "hero," an epithet which can date only from the time of the Khozars.

At an early period, too, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and the principality of Kiew, all adjacent to and enclosing Moldavia and Wallachia, were inhabited by Jews. The shortest and most frequented route for those countries in their traffic with one another naturally lay through Moldavia and Wallachia, and at least part of this traffic was in the hands of the Jews. There is no doubt that they inhabited, since its foundation, the principality of Berlad, which, in the twelfth century, included the commercial cities of Little Halicz (Galatz) and Tecuci, under the dominion of a Galician prince. In addition, it is certain that they inhabited places in the northern part of Moldavia and in Bessarabia, in which there were Wallachians as early as the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century. The Jews also lived in the banat (domain) of Severin, which was under Hungarian suzerainty.


There is no doubt that Tugomir Basarab, known as Radu Negru (Rudolf the Black), was followed by the Jews when he left Transylvania, crossed the Carpathians in search of a new country, and founded Wallachia in 1290. This is the explanation given to the statements of the chroniclers, who say that Radu Negru, duke of Amlash and Fogarash, left the country with a large following of Roumanians, Catholics, Saxons, and all sorts of individuals, in order to found a new state. Another immigration of Jews into Wallachia took place at the beginning of the reign of Vladislav Basarab, between 1365 and 1367, when they were driven from Hungary by Louis the Great. Many of them came to Wallachia, and were well received by Vladislav, who assigned to them the town of Turnu. According to some historians, Turnu was built by the Jews, They made it a commercial centre from which they reached all the Danubian countries.

When the principality of Moldavia was founded (1348 or 1349), Jews were already living there, at least in certain localities. At the moment of its appearance on the scene of history, Moldavia came under the suzerainty of Poland;

and immediately thereafter it accorded facilities and privileges to the Polish traders, the greater number of whom were Jews. In order to people the towns and villages, privileges were granted to all invited to settle there. When Roman I (1391-1394) founded the city bearing his name, Jews took up their abode in it, doubtless the first to do so. Roman I and his son Alexander the Good (1401-1433) issued decrees permitting the Jews of Roman and the rest of the country to establish themselves wherever they chose and to pursue any kind of trade or industry. They were exempted from military service, and all that was asked of them was the payment of three Loewenthaler a person. These decrees were confirmed by the successors of Roman and Alexander.

Information concerning the Jews of Wallachia during the fifteenth century is very scanty, especially as the history of the principality itself is wrapped in obscurity. The Jews were for the most part traders, and the commerce of the country was principally conducted through their agency. They shared the lot of the whole population, who were subjected to the caprice and the despotism of the princes succeeding each other on a slippery throne. The reign of Vlad Tzepesh (= the Impaler), 1456-1462, was particularly baleful. He was a veritable monster of cruelty, who took pleasure in the cries and teary of his victims — gypsies, Turks, pagans, and Jews. He hacked them into bits, or crammed them into great pots with a hole in the lid, through which he poured boiling water, or he impaled them on their sides—all, as he said, out of zeal for the Christian faith. Every one suffered at his hands, boys, girls, men, women, old and young. During his second reign (1476), he seized Turkish Jews who came to the country on business, imprisoned them, and demanded their whole fortune as a ransom; and if any would not or could not pay a ransom, he put out their eyes or cut off their ears or hands.

The Moldavian princes displayed more wisdom, and treated the Jews with favor. Under Stephen the Great (1457-1504) they traded freely, even at Suchava, the capital of the principality, where they made large profits in their traffic with cattle. They also negotiated the ransom of captive Christians. They willingly paid the war taxes in money and in produce, and rendered many services to the prince, whose reign was one constant warfare against the neighboring peoples. Isaac hen Benjamin Shor, a Jew of Jassy, was steward to the prince. He was even raised to the rank of Logothete (chancellor), and held the same position under Bogdan (1504-1517), the son and successor of Stephen. Before his death Stephen was cared for by a Jew, the physician of the khan of the Tartars, and Bogdan acknowledged the Jew’s services by sending him hack to his master after Stephen's death, while detaining against his will an Italian physician who had also attended Stephen.

It is probable that many Jews settled in Moldavia in 1498, when Stephen, after his incursion into Poland, carried away with him one hundred thousand prisoners in order to establish them in his own country. The treaty of commerce concluded with the king of Poland in April, 1499, expressly stipulated that the traders be allowed to carry on commerce in the two countries freely.


With the sixteenth century came new immigrations, composed of Polish and Turkish Jews. The religious dissensions which broke out in Poland at the beginning of the century encouraged the Jews to make proselytes, and they sent the converted Christians into Moldavia and Wallachia in order not to bring upon them the hatred of the Christians. These proselytes formed an addition to the voluntary immigrants. Other immigrants came from Turkey. Wallachia had fallen under the suzerainty of Turkey at the end of the fourteenth, century, and in 1513 Moldavia shared the same fate. This was exactly at the time when the Jews of Turkey began to play an important role in the State and to gain diplomatic influence at the court, in the harems, and with the pashas and the grand viziers; and the princes of Moldavia and Wallachia turned to these influential Jews to obtain the throne or to strengthen themselves in possession. Commerce with Turkey was extended, and the Jews of Constantinople and other places frequently visited the principalities. Many established themselves there permanently. But the situation of the Jews varied with the prince, and depended upon the favor which he obtained from an influential Jew or Jewess at Constantinople.

In Moldavia Bogdan (1504-1517), following in the footsteps of his father, treated the Jews kindly; but his successor, Stephen the Young, accorded privileges to Christian merchants of Lemberg to the detriment of the Jews, whose influence he wished to weaken (1522). When Peter Raresh was driven from his throne, he was helped back to it again, in 1541, by a Jewess, the confidante of the mother of the Sultan, who even advanced him a sum of money. This did not prevent him from seizing the horses of Jewish traders; and his successors did not fail to imitate him in this respect whenever they were short of money. He also imprisoned many of the Polish merchants in order to extort money from them. The exactions of Alexander Lapushneanu (1552-1561), a cruel tyrant, were so severe that the Jews uttered shouts of joy when he was dethroned by Jacob Heraklides, despot of islands in the Ægean, whose reign was favorable to the Jews. In spite of his ill-treatment of the Jews, Alexander Lapushneanu obtained a gift of ten thousand ducats from Joseph, Duke of Naxos, to help him in getting back his throne (1563). During his second reign he seems not to have molested the Jews to the same extent.

The orthodox clergy, usually less unfriendly, and Very often favorable to the Jews, assumed a hostile attitude in the reign of John the Terrible. They oppressed them, extorted money from them, and placed them under the ban. The bishop of Roman ordered them to be expelled from the city and to be burned in the cemetery on Purim, 1574; but they were saved by Isaiah ben Joseph, secretary of the prince; and the prince granted them the right to have an official to represent them before the provincial authorities of the country.

Peter the Lame (1574-1579), emboldened by the support of Saitan Oglu Cantacuzene, who was a rival of the Duke of Naxos, pitilessly exploited all the inhabitants, and did not spare the Jews. He put a heavy tax upon the wines transported through Moldavia (1578), the trade in which was for the greater part in the hands of the Jews; and in order to rid himself of the Jewish cattle dealers from Poland, he decreed their expulsion from the country. He was dethroned shortly after, in 1579; but assumed the throne again in 1582, through the help of the physician Benvenisti, who went so far as to have one of his rivals maimed in 1584. Benvenisti's help as well as the increasing influence of Solomon Ashkenazi seems to have made Peter the Lame more prudent in his conduct-toward the Jews.

There is little information concerning the Jews of Wallachia during this time. The secretary of Alexander Mircha (1567-1577) was Isaiah ben Joseph, whom he dismissed, probably in 1573, in consequence of intrigues conducted by the Duke of Naxos to dethrone Alexander and put himself in his place. Isaiah ben Joseph then entered the service of John the Terrible in Moldavia.

While the Duke of Naxos was intriguing without success to obtain the throne of Wallachia, Solomon Ashkenazi succeeded in placing on the throne of Moldavia a prince of Jewish extraction, Emanuel Aaron, a natural son of a Moldavian prince. Although Aaron was a good Christian, he was branded by the chroniclers as the most cruel of tyrants.

The end of the sixteenth century was marked by massacres of the Jews in the two principalities. The princes of Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania allied themselves under Austrian influence. In 1594 Michael the Brave of Wallachia assembled his creditors, Turks, Greeks, and Jews, and had them all massacred; and then he informed certain individuals that they all would be released from their debts. This was the signal for a general slaughter of Turks and Jews. The entire community of Bukharest perished. At the same time Emanuel Aaron had nineteen Turkish Jews put to death at Jassy. On the strength of their victories at the beginning of their campaign, both the princes, Michael and Emanuel Aaron, massacred the Jews wherever their armies passed — the Wallachian, at Giurgewo, Rustchuk, Braila, and Plevna; and the Moldavian, at Kilia, Bender, and Ismail. The Jews left Wallachia with most of the inhabitants; but in Moldavia they were soon after delivered through the fall of Aaron and the accession of Jeremiah Movila, a creature of the king of Poland. The Jews could once more breathe freely; in fact, a new immigration took place. The Polish army which established itself in Moldavia in order to protect its master's protege, was accompanied by Jewish purveyors. Nevertheless, the Jews of Soroca were massacred by the Cossacks, who made a raid on the town, and led men, women, and children into captivity and slavery. The purveyors of the army suffered also at the hands of the Moldavian people, who profited by the victorious entrance of Michael the Brave to rob them of their cattle. Even the native Jews were soon forced to leave the country for a time in consequence of Tartar incursions and the plague, which broke out at Roman, Bakau, Piatra, Neamtz, and Suchava.


The accession of Stephen Tomsha (1611-1615) was propitious to the Jews of Moldavia. His treaty with Poland assured them entire commercial liberty; and in 1614 he invited the Jews of Lemberg and probably of other places to settle in Moldavia. He excused and explained the decree of expulsion issued against them by Peter the Lame.

Under the successors of Michael the Brave, the Jews returned to Wallachia, and led a tranquil existence there; but they were far from attaining to the number and importance of the Jews of Moldavia. With difficulty traces of them are found at long intervals during the seventeenth century. The Greeks and the Armenians, more numerous, monopolized commerce as well as the trades, and the legislation of Matthew Basarab bears witness to the inferior condition of the Jews.

In Moldavia the reign of Basil the Wolf (1634-1653) was favorable to the Jews; and they probably would have been happy but for the insurrection of the Cossacks against the Poles. Basil the Wolf had kept in touch with Constantinople. Early in his career he seems to have had connection with the Dr. Cohen who in 1656 was sent by the Porte to Moldavia in order to negotiate peace with the king of Sweden. In 1660 Dr. Cohen became physician to Basil the Wolf at Constantinople, where the prince lived after his fall. The code decreed by Basil the Wolf shows that a considerable degree of protection was accorded the Jews; it lacks all signs of hostility towards them. It is true, he granted facilities to converts, but the high opinion he had of Jewish physicians made him attach great importance to their testimony. Traders enjoyed perfect security, and the law protected all others equally with the Christians. The insurrection of the Cossacks, however, was as disastrous to the Moldavian as to the Polish Jews. An especially severe attack was the incursion into Moldavia in 1650. They pillaged, and sacked, and sowed terror among the Jewish population. The Jews of Jassy were treated with such cruelty that all must have perished but for the intervention of the Patriarch of Antioch, who was passing through the city. The Cossacks shut them up in the towers, and tortured them night and day in order to make them reveal the place where their treasures were hidden. Even when the Cossacks entered Jassy as friends, in the train of Timush, son of Chmelnitzky, who came to marry the daughter of Basil the Wolf (1652), the Jews were forced to hide themselves; for if the Cossacks caught a Jew, he had to ransom himself with a good round sum in cash.

In Wallachia Matthew Basarab (1633-1654) encouraged the baptism of the Jews, and conferred high dignities on converts. One of these was appointed Porter of the Court. The codes which he decreed in 1640 and 1652 were not favorable to the Jews, except in the part which was modeled after the code of Basil the Wolf: all the other parts are in the spirit of the middle ages and of the Councils of the Church fathers. The Jew was treated like a leper or as though pest-ridden. No one might approach him, or come in contact with him, or sit with him at the same table, or touch the objects which he touched. The Christian might spit upon the Passover bread; he was forbidden to consult a Jewish physician; the testimony, of a Jew, except that of a physician, Was refused; and his conversion was encouraged.

But little is known concerning the situation of the Jews under the successors of Matthew Basarab. They engaged in commerce, and in the making and the sale of brandy, and some practiced medicine. Under Constantine Brancovean (1689-1714) a Jew, surnamed "the saltpetre maker," furnished the prince with powder for the army. The Jews constituted a corporation with a provost at their head. At Bukharest, and probably in the other cities, they were confined to certain quarters, and paid more taxes than any other body of people in the city. They were not compelled to wear a special garb, but the color of their clothes and shoes had to be black.

Although the condition of the Jews in Moldavia Was better, their religion was not officially recognized. For the erection or rebuilding of their synagogues they had to obtain the authorization, of the princes; the synagogues had to be made of wood, and be built on side streets at a certain distance from churches; and the Jews paid higher taxes than any other corporation. Nevertheless, they enjoyed commercial and industrial liberty; commerce and the petty trades were for the most part in their hands. The Russian and. the Polish Jews continually traversed the routes leading across the country to Turkey. They traded in cattle, horses, honey, and Wine, imported manufactured articles from Germany, and also farmed large estates. They left the practice of usury to the Turks, the Greeks, and the Moldavians.


With the beginning of the eighteenth century the condition of the principalities underwent a great change. From the end of the seventeenth century the princes became fragile instruments in the hands of the pashas, who appointed and recalled them at will in order to extort as much money as possible from them. To satisfy the increasing desires of the pashas and the harem at Constantinople, the princes pressed the people; but when their exactions became unbearable, they were deposed. Often they were transferred from the one principality to the other, or, after an interval, they were restored to the same throne. Some princes were appointed and deposed six times within a short period. It is difficult to follow their actions amid all these revolutions and to obtain a distinct idea of the situation of the Jews.

On April 5, 1710, the Jews of Neamtz (Moldavia) were accused of ritual murder. Given the cue by a renegade Jew, some Christians killed a Christian child on Passover eve, and threw the body into the courtyard of the old synagogue. The next day the people, with the renegade Jew at their head, attacked the Jews, killed five of them, and pillaged without restraint.

Twenty-two Jews were imprisoned by order of the parcalab (prefect). A Jewish deputation waited on the prince at Jassy; an investigation was made, the charge was found to be false, the Jews were set free, and the guilty punished.

In 1714 the same false charge was made at Roman. Some Poles abducted a Christian girl, a servant in a Jewish house, and the master was arrested. The mob plundered Jewish houses, two Jews were hanged, and the others would not have escaped massacre, if a Pole had not given information of the rape and led to the finding of the girl.

In Wallachia it was the prince himself who arraigned the Jews. Stephen Cantacuzene (1714-1716), in order to obtain the people's pardon for his exactions, donned the religious mask, and in 1715 caused the synagogue at Bukharest, situated in a retired corner of the city, to be torn down. The Jewish provost was killed in the riot that broke out on the occasion. It was only through great sacrifices that the Jews obtained permission to rebuild the synagogue and resume their religious practices.

The successor of Stephen Cantacuzene, Nicholas Mavrocordatos (1716-1730), a cultivated and enlightened man, healed the wounds which the attitude of Cantacuzene had caused the Jews. He invited to Bukharest a Jewish banker, Celebi Mentesh Bally, whom he overwhelmed with favors, and exempted from taxation, but he was most closely connected with-the physician and diplomat. Dr. Fonseca. Dr. Fonseca had been the physician of the Sultan, and the intimate friend of the French ambassadors at Constantinople; and in 1719 lie went to Bukharest as physician to Mavrocordatos. He aided the prince with his counsel, and his influence was so great that it aroused the rancor of the Austrian internuncio at Constantinople.

During his reign in Moldavia (1714) Nicholas Mavrocordatos succeeded in keeping the people in check, and he punished the guilty persons who had reopened the question of ritual murder; but there was frank hostility to the Jews on the part of Michael Racovitza, who succeeded to the throne in 1716, occupying it for the third time from 1716 to 1726. Once when a church was being erected at Olasheni, the authorities seized the necessary building materials from the Jews by force. Racovitza was the type of a cruel and oppressive ruler, and history stigmatizes him as a repugnant personality. In order to extort money from the Jews he took advantage of the murder of a child by some rascals at Onitzkani to accuse the Jews of ritual murder. The Jew charged with being the author of the crime protested in vain. He was led to Jassy, and maltreated and tortured in the presence of the prince. The bastinado was administered to the so-called accomplices, the synagogues were destroyed, and the rolls of the Law were burned. Finally, after having extorted enormous sums from the Jews, Racovitza set his victims free. In consequence of the complaints which they lodged against him at Constantinople, Racovitza was removed and thrown into prison. Nicholas Mavrocordatos and Gregory Ghika, both aspirants to the Moldavian throne, contributed to his downfall. Later, he succeeded in having himself appointed in Wallachia (1730-1731), but, taught by experience, he did not oppress the Jews more than he oppressed his other subjects.

Gregory Ghika, who succeeded him in Moldavia (1727-1733), was more tolerant; and one of his successors, Matthew Ghika (1753-1756), seems to have been entirely well-disposed towards the Jews. He was very fond of amusements, and took pleasure in the dancing of certain Jewesses whom, he invited to his court.

John Mavrocordatos in Moldavia (1744-1747) was the type of a dissipated and debauched prince, who passes his time in orgies. At the end of his reign he carried with him the curses of the people. His entanglement with a Jewish farmer of a village in the district of Suchava is a matter of history. He ravished the man's wife, daughter, and sister-in-law, and when the Jew complained at Constantinople, John Mavrocordatos had him hung. This aroused the anger of the pashas, and cost the prince his throne.


Under Constantine Mavrocordatos, who occupied the throne of Wallachia four times and that of Moldavia (1730-1763) six times, the Jews led a peaceful existence. He decreed reforms which show his desire to promote the welfare of the lowly and the humble. The charter promulgated by him in Moldavia, in 1741, granted the Jews the, same protection as the rest of the people. Their homes were to he inviolable; lodgers were not to be quartered upon them without due payment; no claim was to be made upon them for their bedding, for their plate, for post horses, or for any kind of sustenance, under penalty of a fourfold compensation; they might settle in all the cities and villages, and follow whatever craft or trade they chose; and they could appeal directly to the prince against any injustice. At the same time, they as little as the Turks could employ Christian servants under thirty years of age, and Jewish women as well as Christian women might not sell spirituous drinks.

Although the terms of the charter were never literally executed, its good effects made themselves felt. The Jews lived in all the cities, villages, and market-towns of Moldavia, and their activity was perceptible everywhere. Many went to Hotin at the border of Moldavia and Poland, with leather belts, embroideries, textile fabrics, and carpets, and brought back furs from Russia. Others exported cattle, saffron, cotton, carpets, dates, and other fruits as far as Breslau and Frankfort, and imported silver and merchandise. The Jews were engaged in all the crafts; the cultivation of the land was in their hands; the wayside inns on the main routes of travel belonged to them, and, according to the travelers, these were the only places which offered comfortable quarters. The best houses in the cities were those of the Jews, and they were chosen for lodging distinguished guests.

Gregory Alexander Ghika (1764-1767), however, expelled them from the rural districts, and forbade their renting inns or land. It is true, he authorized the Jews to repeople the city of Tirgu-Frumos; but his ill-will toward the Jews encouraged the population of Roman to accuse them of having profaned a church, though the crime was actually committed by three Hungarian Christians. The people fell upon the Jews, and would have massacred them, if the guilty persons had not been discovered in time.

His namesake, Alexander Ghika, who reigned in Wallachia (1766-1769), at the advice of Ephraim, Patriarch of Jerusalem, destroyed the second synagogue erected at Bucharest. In addition, the Patriarch, who was on his way through the city, pronounced his anathema against the Jews.

The Russo-Turkish war (1769-1774) brought sad times to the Jews of the principalities. After massacring the Jews? of Uman, the Cossacks advanced as far as Balta-Roumania, and demanded the Polish Jews who had taken refuge there. When the Turkish garrison refused to give them up, the Cossacks murdered the garrison along with the Jewish population. The Russians entered Moldavia; and the Russian and Turkish soldiers vied with each other in making exactions and in pillaging. Jews and Christians fled the country, those who remained enduring the maltreatment of the janizaries. At Botoshani the rabbi fell a victim to their brutality. At Bukharest the people, taking advantage of the disorder induced by the Turks, fell upon the Jews (1770), who took refuge with the boyars. A Jewish woman seized by the mob saw her children slaughtered before her eyes, and this at her own request rather than let them be baptized. It was during the Russian occupation that the first anti-Jewish pamphlet appeared at Jassy in 1771. It is a Roumanian translation of the Opus Aureum of Samuel Maroccanus, written in Arabic in the fourteenth century.

Tranquillity was not restored in the principalities until nearly the end of 1774, when peace was concluded. Alexander Ypsilante was appointed in Wallachia (1774-1782), and Gregory Alexander Ghika for the second time in Moldavia (1774-1777).

The code of Ypsilante contains no restrictions upon the Jews except in regard to their testimony against Christians. Nevertheless, he destroyed the synagogue which the Jews had built at Bukharest during the Russian occupation, and he granted privileges to converts, which were confirmed by his successors.

Gregory Ghika renewed his decree expelling the Jews from the villages and forbidding them to rent farms or inns. By the law which determined the functions of officials, he abolished the guild of petty dealers at the markets, thus depriving the Jews of the cities of a profitable occupation in which they had been engaged.

His successor, Constantine Moruzi (1777-1782), continued to enforce the prohibition against the settlement of the Jews in the rural districts, and in a decree issued at the secret instigation of the Porte, he forbade the importation of spirituous liquors, a severe blow to the Jews engaged in this trade.

The prohibition against the importation of spirituous liquors into Moldavia caused the boyars to erect distilleries, whose management they left to the Jews. Alexander Mavrocordatos (1782-1784) decreed the destruction of these distilleries, provided that the Jews derived the greatest profit from them. Moreover, he refused Jews the right to live in the rural districts, though he permitted them to rent farms. During his reign an accusation of ritual murder was brought at Botoshani (1783), and the prominent men of the community, the rabbis and the Dayanim, were imprisoned. They obtained justice from the council of the prince. The community decreed that Lag be-Omer, the day of their deliverance, should be a festival.

Under the successor of this prince, his namesake Alexander Mavrocordatos II (1785-1786), the Jews of Moldavia received better treatment. He had a Jewish physician who enjoyed his entire confidence.

In Wallachia, Nicholas Mavrogheni (1786-1788) was likewise well-disposed toward the Jews; and at last the Jews of Bukharest were permitted to build a second synagogue. But forced by the demands of war, the prince imposed heavy taxes upon corporations and, consequently, upon the Jews.

The Jews of Jassy were less fortunate. They had to undergo all the torments of the Russo-Turkish war. Fifteen thousand janizaries entered the city in November, 1787, drove the merchants from their shops, sold their wares, broke in. the casks of wine, and killed all who offered resistance.

On the renewal of the Russo-Turkish war, in which the Austrians took part, the Russians took Ismail by storm, November, 1790, and massacred a great number of Jews, sending others as prisoners into the interior of Russia. The Austrian occupation of Wallachia was disastrous for the Jews. In consequence of the frequent requisitions made for agricultural products, the distilleries, which were almost exclusively in the hands of the Jews, could no longer be run, and many Jews were ruined. Commerce stopped, and the traders were heavily burdened with taxes. A special and severe order was given by the authorities of the districts to take a census of the Jews, including even the purveyors to the imperial army, and to impose large taxes upon them.

Under Alexander Moruzi (1793-1796) the Jews of Wallachia experienced all the severities of an oppressive ruler. Moruzi renewed the privileges of the converted Jews, destroyed the synagogue, which had been constructed on one of the principal streets of Bukharest, and inflicted the bastinado on those who defended themselves against their aggressors. He forbade the settlement of Jews at Bukharest; and the people, influenced by his acts, became so inflamed against the Jews that he was compelled to adopt protective measures, and inflicted the bastinado on a tailor who had forcibly baptized a Jewish child. At the same time Moruzi recognized the services rendered by the Jews engaged in industries. He granted privileges to a Jew by the name of Moses, who was a manufacturer of glassware; he exempted certain artisans from taxation; and he even appointed a Jew to the post of Giuvaergiu-Basha.

In Moldavia the Jews were subjected to fewer vexatious. Nevertheless, Alexander Kallimachos in 1796 drove from their shops the Jews that lived about the mother church of Jassy, under the pretext that they defiled the sacred precincts. At Galatz the never-dying accusation of ritual murder was made in 1797. The Greeks attacked the Jews, beat them, pillaged their houses, killed four, threw others into the Danube, and burned the synagogue with the rolls of the Law. The Jews escaped entire destruction only through an old priest, who gathered them together, and sheltered them in his church.


In spite of the wars, and the Cossack and Tartar incursions, the pest, the floods, and the famine, the number of Jews in Wallachia and Moldavia, especially in Moldavia, increased. Whenever a calamity threatened the country, those who were in good circumstances crossed the frontier, and returned after the storm had blown over. One advantage of the wars was that the Jewish purveyors came into the country, and established themselves there, attracted by the commercial and industrial liberty which they were allowed to enjoy.

In Wallachia, during the eighteenth century, the number of Jews increased through immigrants from Hungary, Russia, and Turkey. Though they were traders, they engaged in all kinds of crafts—tailoring, shoemaking, tinning, lace-making, working silver, making jewelry, bookbinding, engraving (in which they excelled), making pipes, and manufacturing potash and glassware. They joined the guilds of artisans and craftsmen, on an equal footing with Christians. They were also the best distillers, as such enjoying certain privileges. They rarely engaged in money changing. The people at large, however, despised and insulted them;

yet they were well received by the boyars, the high dignitaries of the State, and even by the princes and the court, at which the artisans through their skill succeeded in obtaining exceptional positions, in acquiring privileges, favors, and influence, and exemption from taxation. Several princes appointed the provost of the Jews of Bukharest as Cuiungi-Basha, or grand provost of the silversmiths. In 1792 a Jew named Eleazar was made Giuvaergiu-Basha, grand provost of the jewelers. These were high positions, which conferred upon the holders a certain authority and certain judicial powers over all the members of the guild, of which they were the natural defenders.

Authors are agreed in declaring that the Jews were good. husbands and fathers, seeking happiness in their families. Beneficence, practiced especially toward their kindred, was one of their virtues, and their probity was beyond question. Their religious practices often affected strangers strongly, and challenged their admiration.

The same is true of the Moldavian Jews, whom neither prayers, threats, nor bribes could move to depart from their customs.

The Jews of Moldavia exerted a still stronger influence on the social and economic condition of the country than the Jews of Wallachia. Here hindrances were frequently put in the way of their settlement, but in Moldavia the people summoned them with eagerness. Many a village and town and some cities, like Folticheni and Mihaileni, were founded or re-peopled by them or their agents in the eighteenth century. After obtaining the authorization of the prince, the boyars, that is, proprietors of estates, generally made an agreement with certain foreign Jewish families, by which these bound themselves to people the town within a limited time, and in case the engagement was not fulfilled, to pay a severe penalty. Privileges were granted the founders and their descendants, and the land and the material for the construction of synagogues and the management of cemeteries were given them gratuitously. They were assured the independent administration of their internal affairs, and they took an active share in the communal affairs with rights equal to those of the other citizens.

They followed all the professions and crafts. There were Jewish physicians, surgeons, barbers, midwives, wholesale and retail merchants, bankers, brokers, traders in cattle, grain, tobacco, wines, fruits, skins, and fish, inn-keepers, and middlemen. Among the artisans there were Jewish clock-makers, coppersmiths, workers in hides and furs, cap and hat makers, keepers of coffee houses, shoemakers', tailors, tanners, silversmiths, jewelers, glaziers, engravers, bookbinders, butchers, housepainters, masons, drivers, lacemakers, bakers, etc. Among the manufacturers, there were distillers on a large and small scale, manufacturers of liquors, butter, glassware, potash, paper, and textile fabrics. In Wallachia the artisans were absorbed by the Christian guilds, but in Moldavia Jewish artisans formed independent organizations, each with a provost and councillors, and they were absorbed only by the great guild called the Jewish corporation.


The only Phanariot princes who openly showed themselves by their actions to be hostile to the Jews were the Moruzi. In 1799 Alexander Moruzi again mounted the throne of Wallachia. The people of Bukharest, probably encouraged by his presence, raised the charge of ritual murder, and, aided by the soldiers, attacked the Jews, spreading the rumor, whether true or false, that it was the will of the prince. They assaulted the Jews, pillaged their houses, and killed one hundred and twenty-eight persons (April 8, 1801). In this way, with veritable Sicilian Vespers, was inaugurated the nineteenth century. The prince, awed by his responsibility to Turkey, was compelled to send the instigators of the massacre to do enforced labor at the salt mines.

Soon after, Moruzi left the throne of Wallachia and ascended the throne of Moldavia. His presence immediately made itself felt. A Jew of Neamtz was accused of ritual murder (1803), and three of his coreligionists were imprisoned and tortured. On February 8, 1803, a libelous publication against the Jews, Infruntarea jidovilor ("The Insolence of the Jews"), appeared at Jassy. It was printed by the presses at the residence of the Metropolitan, with the blessing of this high dignitary of the Church, and probably with the consent of the prince. It contains the old absurd accusations and slanders, and gives silly interpretations of the customs of the Jews. The pamphlet was spread among the people; and at Jassy it provoked mob violence against the Jews, which threatened to become a massacre. The Jews were saved by the Metropolitan, who sheltered them in the court of his archiepiscopal residence. In order to increase the taxes which the Jews paid as a corporation, Moruzi had the boyars address a request to him against the overrunning of the country by the Jews (1804). In addition, he forbade Jews to rent farms (1803). Wallachia, also, was excited by the accusation of ritual murder. The charge was carried from mouth to mouth; and to put a stop to it, Constantine Ypsilante in 1804 was forced to address a rescript to the Metropolitan, requesting him to draw up an encyclical which the priests should read from the pulpit, proclaiming that the charge is false, that the Jewish law permits no such practices, and that the accusation is an invention of the rabble seeking for a pretext to pillage the houses of Jews.

In December, 1806, war again broke out between Russia and Turkey; and the Russian troops occupied the principalities. As soon as they approached Bukharest, Ypsilante left the city, the wealthier of the residents following his example. Taking advantage of the disorder resulting from this departure, the people fell upon the Jews, penned them up, and gave them .the choice between baptism and death. They were saved from their terrible plight by the entrance of the Russians.

The accusation of ritual murder, however, did not cease in Wallachia. In 1808 the Metropolitan was again forced to protest against it; in 1811 a Jew of the district of Jalowitza was imprisoned on a similar charge; and in 1815 an abortive attempt to raise the cry was made at Ploeisht.

The Russian occupation, ill-fated for the Roumanians, was still more baneful to the Jews of the two principalities. They had many vexations to undergo at the hands of the authorities and the army. Commerce was paralyzed; the traders were burdened with taxes; and the Jewish artisans were prevented from working on Christian holidays even at their own homes. At Bukharest a Christian provost was forced upon them. The Russian army made all kinds of extortionate demands, and when the Kalmucks entered Bukharest in 1812, they went through the streets inhabited by Jews, and spitted Jewish children on their lances; then roasted and ate them. In order to free themselves of these monsters the Jews offered money to their general to induce him to withdraw them from the city.

After peace was concluded, the simultaneous reigns of John Caradja in Wallachia (1812-1818) and Charles Kallimachos in Moldavia (1812-1819) were marked by the ravages of the plague in both principalities. In Wallachia, Caradja, needy and avaricious, profited by the calamity to drain money from the Jews, while accusing them of filthiness. He forbade them to employ Christian minors as servants, or to rent or buy shops in the vicinity of churches. In Moldavia, Kallimachos, kinder and more disinterested, treated them well; but the ritual murder calumny was repeated at Piatra (1816). The authorities maltreated the Jews, and extorted money from them, using the plague as a pretext.

Nevertheless, the codes issued by the two princes show that fault was found with the pocket not the person of the Jew. The code of Caradja is thoroughly mediocre. It treats of all matters and exhausts none. But it contains only one restriction against the Jews, by which they were not allowed to testify against Christians. The code of Kallimachos was drawn up on a purely civil basis, modeled after the Austrian code; but it has the one great merit of having eliminated from the Austrian code all the shameful clauses in which the Jew is regarded as a pariah. Nevertheless, Jews were forbidden to own estates or vineyards. This regulation was derived from the common law of the Moldavians, but had never been strictly executed. By the terms of the code, the Jews enjoyed all civil rights; they could marry and divorce at will; they could give, bequeath, inherit, administer their property, and act as mandataries and as mandators, even before the law; they could buy and sell and engage in all pursuits and industries; and every community, as soon as it was recognized as such by a princely decree, constituted a legal person.


In 1821 a tremendous storm broke out bringing mortal terror to the Roumanian Jews. It was the epoch of the hetæria, of the Greek revolution, when the Greeks sought to free themselves from the Turkish yoke. Some high-minded youths enrolled themselves in the ranks of the insurgents, called hetserists, but the rest were of the scum of humanity, who were forced into service if they did not join of their free will. They were undisciplined bands of plunderers, of gallows-birds, who stole, sowed destruction, and pillaged the houses of Jews. They killed and massacred those whom they met on their march to Piatra, Neamtz, Folticheni, Hertza, Fokshani, etc., and their route through Moldavia and Wallachia was flooded with Jewish blood. These wretches found assistants in the Greek monks of the Moldavian monasteries.

The entrance of the Turks put a stop to the carnage; but then the Turks and the janizaries took their turn at pillaging; on occasion they even put persons to death in spite of the strict orders of their superiors. The Jews lived in a constant state of dread; terror reigned in the two countries, especially in Moldavia. The well-to-do crossed the frontier; but the poor wandered about in the forests and the mountains. The city of Jassy, at first partially destroyed by conflagrations, was converted into a furnace of living coals before the departure of the janizaries (August, 1822). All the Jewish houses and synagogues were reduced to ashes, and thousands bewailed their vanished fortunes and lost kindred.

The reign of John Alexander Sturdza in Moldavia (1822-1828) was characterized by indecision. He treated the Jews according to the impulse of the moment, sometimes well, then again badly. Taxes were doubled, they were forbidden to engage in certain trades or to buy houses in the cities; the authorities maltreated them; and an accusation of ritual murder brought desolation to Bakau (1824). On the other hand, Sturdza permitted them to rebuild some synagogues, won their cause for them against the inhabitants of Roman, and authorized them to repeople certain villages and to found towns.

The Russo-Turkish war and the consequent Russian occupation (1826-1834) brought with it all the suffering incident to a foreign occupation, and, more than this, the plague and the cholera. The Jews on their part endured the terrible consequences; but a worse scourge for them than this was the influence of Russia. Hate and chicanery were introduced, and the spirit of exclusiveness and of persecution henceforth pervaded the legislation of the two principalities, especially of Moldavia.

The princes, Alexander Ghika (1834-1842) and George Bibescu (1842-1848), besides passing some exceptional laws, made no change in the situation of the Jews of Wallachia, and they gained in number and importance. It was not so in Moldavia. Michael Sturdza (1834-1848) had spent his whole fortune in the effort to ingratiate himself with Russia and to gain Turkey's recognition of him as prince. Now he had to fill his empty coffers, and a perpetual hunting down of the Jews began, with their purses as the final object of pursuit. The " Organic Law/' a charter drawn up under the inspection of Russia, provided him with sufficient pretexts. He availed himself of its provisions, elaborated them, and invented and decreed all sorts of measures, of which the most annoying and effective was the law on vagrancy. This law was sometimes strictly executed and sometimes wholly neglected. During the fourteen years of his reign hardly a year passed but brought with it some decree to harm the Jews: the objects of their machinations were the inn-keepers of the villages; Jews were forbidden to inhabit certain streets or districts in the cities; restrictive measures were passed against merchants, peddlers, brokers, and artisans; and they were forbidden to rent certain shops or build their synagogues in certain places. These laws or decrees depended on the willingness of the Jew to unfasten his purse strings, or on the interests of the boyars. The accusation of ritual murder was brought in several places, and riots against the Jews were frequent. Hatred of them was entertained in all quarters, and to crown their ills, the abduction of a child is recorded, prototype of the Mortara case, the government taking the guilty under its protection. Yet there was need of the Jews; the boyars, with the authorization of the prince, summoned them to found and people market-towns; and at this time they established some small towns in Moldavia, which are flourishing to-day.

The revolution of 1848, which had overturned several thrones, also swept over Wallachia. The Jews took part in it, and were most worthily represented by Daniel Rosenthal, the painter, whose attachment to the revolution and the revolutionists later cost him his life. The Jews contributed to the cause in different ways, some giving up their fortunes to help the proscribed revolutionists; and at the entrance-of the Turks into Bukharest they sealed their love of liberty with their life's blood.

In the struggle for the union of the two principalities, which agitated the country after the Crimean war, many Jews of Wallachia and Moldavia ranged themselves on the side of union. In Moldavia they were the scapegoats of the two parties, the unionists and the anti-unionists, each of whom wanted to attach them to its side (1857-1858).

It is an open question whether the reign of John Alexander Cuza (1859-1866), the first prince of the united principalities, was as favorable to the Jews as has been pretended. The history of the time has not yet been written, and the documents are for the most part unknown. Both anti-Jewish excesses and accusations of ritual murder took place under this prince as well as before; and decrees and circulars bearing the earmark of persecution were drawn up in his reign. Later these served as models for the governments of Prince and King Charles; and certain laws made by Cuza contain the germs of present restrictions. It is just to admit, however, that an article of the civil code promulgated in 1864 foresaw the gradual emancipation of the Jews; but, it is proper to add, the application of this clause was suspended.


The organization of the Jews in Roumania merits special attention. The internal administration of their affairs did not differ greatly from that obtaining in the Jewish communities of Poland; hut the same is not true of their representatives before the constituted authorities of the country. These bore titles borrowed from Poland and Turkey, but they had different functions from those of the Polish and Turkish officials of the same name.

The community was known to outsiders as the Breasla (corporation); and its most ancient representative was called the Starosté (provost), who, by the end of the sixteenth century, acquired the right to represent the community officially before the authorities of the city. The title has been preserved in Wallachia. In Moldavia, since the beginning of the eighteenth century and probably before, the highest position is that of the Hahambasha. After 1750 this position was occupied chiefly by rabbis, though its character and functions were essentially secular. Probably it arose out of the predominance acquired in the course of time by the Starosté of Jassy over his colleagues in the province. This is more likely than that it was created by the central authorities and the prince. The Jews conferred upon the holder of this office the title of Rosh Medina, regent of the country: and as his authority and influence increased, he was recognized as chief also by the Jews of Wallachia. Thus a kind of union was established between the two countries before their actual political union.

The Hahambasha was appointed by a princely decree, which had to be renewed with the accession of each prince. He represented the Jews before the prince and the central authorities, and was freely admitted to their presence, enjoying many privileges and immunities. Each head of a family owed him an annual sum, and a certain sum was due him at betrothals, marriages, and divorces, and from Jewish butchers for each head of cattle slaughtered. He himself and his near kindred were exempt from taxation on the beehives, wine, cattle, and drinks belonging to them, and he owed no corvée, even to the prince. The decree by which he was appointed invariably contained a reference to important services previously rendered by him to the prince.

The Hahambasha had absolute authority in religious questions and very great authority to decide questions in litigation, both civil and criminal. An appeal could be made from his decision only to the Vel-Camarash (the chamberlain of the court) or to the Divan (the supreme court, over which the prince presided), and this solely in questions of importance. In all the larger cities of Moldavia, as well as at Bukharest, he had a direct representative, Vekil-Hahambasha (locum tenens), appointed by a princely decree on his recommendation. This representative collected the fees granted the Hahambasha by the prince.

It was at his recommendation, also, that the prince appointed the Starostés in the communities of the province. There were three in Jassy and one in every other city. The Vekil-Hahambasha and the Starosté were his intermediaries with the authorities of the district, and, like himself, they enjoyed certain privileges and immunities.

Although the rabbis were nominated by the Fruntashi (notables) of the Jewish community and all its members, they had to be recognized and appointed by the Hahambasha, who had the absolute right to revoke their appointment.

For a long time in Wallachia there was only one Starosté, at Bukharest, for the whole country. Later there were Starostés Vekils (locum tenentes), and these were not elevated to the rank of full Starostés before the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The Starosté of Bukharest was in addition Vekil-Hahambasha, under the authority of the Hahambasha, and charged with collecting his fees. At the accession of each prince the decree by which he was appointed had to be renewed. Though the Hahambasha was his superior, he had free play in certain questions. During the reign of Michael Sutzu (1818-1821), the Starosté of Bukharest emancipated himself entirely from the domination of the Hahambasha at Jassy, and assumed the title of Hahambasha, at the same time preserving the title of Starosté in his official relations with the authorities.

Though the office of Hahambasha was not hereditary, it remained with some slight interruption in the hands of one family. About 1740 Bezalel ha-Cohen, a distinguished rabbi, brother or nephew of Naphtali ha-Cohen of Prague, known for his disputes with Chajon, became Hahambasha; and after 1750 or 1752 the office was handed on to his descendants, and with some exceptions did not leave them until 1832. In this year the office was abolished in consequence of intrigues and hot contests over the incapacity of the last incumbent, Isaiah ha-Cohen, also called Naftulowich.

In Moldavia, the office of Starosté was abolished at the same time, but only in so far as it involved the functions of chief official of the Jewish corporation in one place. The representatives of the community took the name of Epitropi (administrators). On several occasions the communities were reorganized by the princes Michael Sturdza and Gregory Ghika.

In Wallachia the office of Starosté was officially retained until 1851; but various statutes decreed by the princes subtracted from its importance, and finally the Epitropie (council of the community) was introduced into Wallachia to the exclusion of every other governing agency.


Researches concerning Jewish literature in Roumania have not yet been made. Indeed, doubt may well be entertained whether any such literature worthy of special attention exists. For circumstances were by no means favorable to its production; during the troubled course of Roumanian history the people lived a hand to mouth existence. The epitaphs in the cemetery at Jassy, the only one which has been examined, give evidence of a series of scholars, rabbis, and Dayanim. But the epitaphs prove nothing—the rabbis were generally recruited from Poland or, later, from Russian Poland; even those who were native Roumanians liad to resort to the Yeshiboth of Poland, and were lost among the mass of rabbis there; and most of them left their positions to go to other countries or to end their days in Palestine.

Among the rabbis the following two maybe mentioned: Jacob ibn Arvani, of Jassy, described as a physician and profound Cabbalist by Joseph del Medigo, who visited Jassy; and Nathan Nata Hanover, rabbi at Fokshani and at Jassy, author of Juan Mezula, an excellent, trustworthy document on the sufferings of the Jews during the Cossack insurrection.

There can he no question of a Jewish literature in the Roumanian language during the middle ages, in view of the fact that the Roumanian literature itself consisted of little more than inedited chronicles, or religious and popular works, most of which are of quite recent origin.

Jewish authors writing in Hebrew, who were natives of Roumania or lived there from early youth, do not appear until the second quarter of the nineteenth century. These were poets and prose writers, some of whom displayed a fair amount of originality, and handled the Hebrew language with ease and elegance. Such were: Hillel Kahane, M. Pineles, M. S. Rabener, Benjamin Schwarzfeld, D. Wexler, Baron Waldberg, and recently, M. Braunstein-Mebaschan. The rabbis for their part repeated and repeated their superannuated commentaries.

The first Jew who took a place in general Roumanian literature is Dr. Julius Barasch; he created a scientific Roumanian language and popularized the sciences for the Roumanians. The best writers on folklore and on Roumanian philology are Jews, namely: Dr. M. Gaster, Haham of the Sephardic community at London, author of a work on popular Roumanian literature; Aureliu Candrea, author of a work on surnames; M. Schwarzfeld, author of a critical work on popular Roumanian poetry; Lazar Shineanu, author of several works crowned by the Roumanian Academy; and H. Tiktin; the last two recent converts.

Joseph Brociner, lyric poet, is the first Jewish poet who wrote in the Roumanian language; and Ronetti Roman is the most gifted of all Roumanian poets. His poem Radu is epoch-making, and gives him rank among the best poets. Others are Dr. A. Steuermann, poet and prose writer; B. Giordano (Goldner), a writer of excellent epigrams, unique of their kind; Stephen Cruchanu; Richard Torchanu, and Senea (Frumeshanu alias Schoenfeld).

Among the writers who publish their works in foreign languages are: Dr. M. Caster; Dr. Solomon Schechter, Reader in Rabbinic at Cambridge and Professor of Hebrew at University College, London; Dr. Marcus Brociner; Dr. Paul Weisengrün; Oswald Neuschatz; Dr. B. Lebel; and Dr. C. Lippe.

The Judeo-Roumanian literature is almost exclusively represented by the Anuarul pentru Israelitzi, a year book for Israelites, mainly literary in character, under the editorship of M. Schwarzfeld; and by the publications of the present writer and his brother, M. Schwarzfeld.

Homiletics is represented by Dr. M. Beck; Talmudic exegesis by Dr. C. Lippe; and Jewish folklore by Dr. M. Gaster. M. Schwarzfeld has published essays in the last-mentioned science, but he is chiefly occupied with biographical studies.

The present writer is the only writer of Roumanian Jewish novels. The object of his tales is to paint the soul and the manners of the Roumanian Jew, and they aim at presenting the persecutions and scenes of the past. S. Janovich publishes sketches of the Roumanian Jew. He is a good Roumanian stylist, but is not sufficiently acquainted with Jewish customs.

The historians of the Jews in Roumania are Moses and William Schwarzfeld (the latter of whom is dead), and chiefly the present writer. Mention must also be made of Jacob Psantir, author of a Judeo-German book, improperly entitled a history of the Jews in Roumania. It is a history of Roumania drawn from second-rate sources, and containing some notes upon the Jews. Its interest resides in the accounts he has gathered from the mouths of old men, and in the publication of certain epitaphs. Joseph Kaufman has published notes on the communities of Piatra, Neamtz, and Roman; the traditions collected by him are the only ones of interest.

Jewish journalism extends back as far as 1856, when the first Judeo-German journal appeared-at Jassy. In 1857 the Jsraelitul-Roman, in Roumanian and French, appeared at Bukharest. Other journals, whose existence was ephemeral, followed; they were written in Judeo-German, in German, in Roumanian and German, in Roumanian, and in Hebrew. Among the journalists the following may be mentioned: Dr. Adolph and Dr. Leopold Stern, brothers. Dr. M. Beck, Julius Schein, A. S. Gold, and San Cerbu. The present writer may claim the honor of having definitely traced the path for Jewish journalism in Roumania by the Fraternitatea, which has served as a model for all Jewish periodical publications. He was aided in the task by his brother Moses Schwarzfeld, who for twelve years has edited the Egalitatea.

Pamphlets in defense of the Jews or in the interest of Roumanian Judaism have been published, chiefly by the present writer.

Some writers voluntarily left Roumania in consequence of the persecutions of the Jews there. Dr. Gaster and the present writer were expelled in October, 1885, in consequence of the law against aliens, which was applied to native Jews.


Following is a list of the articles and studies which have been published on the history of the Jews in Roumania and which partially serve as the basis for the present article:

Dr. E. Schwarzfeld: " The Jews during the Hetæria" (1884); " A Jew on the Throne of Moldavia in 1591" (1884); "The Institutions of the Jews of Moldavia in the Eighteenth Century and during the first part of the Nineteenth Century" (1885); "The Massacre of the Jews under Michael the Brave and Aaron of Moldavia" (1886); " A Chronicle of the Jews in Roumania from 1801 to 1866" (1887); "The Jews of Moldavia under the Code of Kallimachos " (1888); "The Jews under the Organic Law" (1890, 1891), eight studies in the legislation of the time; "Jewish Physicians in the Roumanian Principalities" (1890); " The Jews in the Legislation of Matthew Basarab of Wallachia" (1895); "The Situation of the Jews under Michael Sturdza " (1896); "The Abduction and Baptism of a Child at Jassy in 1843" (1896); "The Jews of Moldavia during the Plague and the Cholera" (1896); "Prince Alexander Sturdza and Dr. Drey" (1896); "The Excesses against the Jews of Galatz between 1840 and 1853" (1898); "The Jews of Bukharest in 1852 to 1853 " (1898); " The Tribulations of Rabbi David Halperin of Bukharest" (1898); "A Prohibition forbidding the Jews to inhabit Certain Quarters " (1898); " An Act of Revenge of Isaiah Hahambasha" (1898); "Statistics of the Jews of Bukowina in 1781" (1898).

M. Schwarzfeld: Three communications to the historical society Juliu Barasch in 1887, 1888, 1889; "A Memorial Roll" (Megilla Lezikoron, 1890).

W. Schwarzfeld, "Education among the Jews of Jassy from the beginning of the Nineteenth Century to 1866" (1889); "Jewish Scholars and Writers at Jassy, from the earliest times to the present" (1890); " Epigraphical Researches " (1895), four studies.