Memoirs & Diaries
1940 - 1952
Author: Wilhelm Filderman
Edited by: Jean Ancel
Wilhelm Filderman was the leader of the Romanian Jewish community during the crucial years between the two World Wars, the Holocaust Period, and the immediate years after World War II. He supervised the process of obtaining equal rights for Jews following World War I and was a member of many Jewish committees in Romania, including the Central Refugee Assistance Commitee, set up in Bucharest to aid the refugees who entered Romania from Poland in 1939.
The first volume of Filderman's Memoirs & Diaries covers the years 1900-1940, and deals with the fate of the Romanian Jewish community, its organizations, education, assimilation, Zionism, its struggle for civil rights amid the increasing antisemitism between the two World Wars, and the first pogroms.
This volume takes an in-depth look at the years 1940-1952. It details Filderman's activities aimed to assist the struggling Romanian Jewry under the National Legionary State and under Antonescu's military dictatorship. Furthermore, it introduces Filderman's ongoing correspondence and meetings with Antonescu and with other leading members of the government.
The book covers the deportations from Bessarabia and Bukovina, the assistance to Jewish authors and artists, the efforts to help Jews emigrate from Romania to various destinations, and articles in the Romanian press about Filderman. In addition, it describes Filderman's own deportation to Transnistria, his internment in the Moghilev camp, and his endeavors to track down his two sons.
Filderman started writing his memoirs in Paris after having survived the war and escaped from Romania in 1948. Although he wrote in French, he used a large amount of archival material in Romanian, as well as some excerpts from daily notes of his secretaries Matatias Carp and Charles Gruber.
The fire burning in his soul encouraged him to continue with his life-long task of aiding his people throughout the world.
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