Re: [Cz-L] Traian Popovici

From: <>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 22:12:54 -0400 (EDT)

I don't think the following text (see below) answers your specific
questions, Mimi, but I hope it may contribute to our finding the answers. =
It is
clipped from International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, Present=
ed to
Romanian President Ion Iliescu November 11, 2004, Bucharest, Romania, pp. =
and can be found at
An Exemplary Hero: Dr. Traian Popovici
Of the Romanian Righteous among Nations, the case of Dr. Traian Popovici=
1946), the mayor of Cernăuţi, stands out as unique. Popovici def=
ied the
orders of Antonescu and fiercely opposed the ghettoization and the subsequ=
deportation of Cernăuţi Jews, and contributed directly to the re=
scue of
thousands of Jews from deportation and death. His was a case of assuming=
responsibility for carrying out a moral duty, because to act or to remain =
passive is
ultimately contingent upon making the decision to accept or reject
participation in an abominable crime, especially when the crime is =
legally” covered.

Immediately after the war, Popovici wrote a book entitled Confession of
Conscience in which he described the tragedy of Bukovinan Jewry, which he=
believed to be the consequence of a “barbaric” enterprise. =
At the same time, he
also viewed those events as a Romanian tragedy with deep implications for =
moral consciousness of the Romanian nation. Traian Popovici was 14 Randolp=
h L.
Braham, Romanian Nationalists and the Holocaust: The Political Exploitatio=
of Unfounded Rescue
Accounts (New York, 1998), pp. 95-119; Zoltán Tibori Szabó, =
let és halál
mezsgyéjén. Zsidók menekülése és mentés=
e a magyar-román határon 1940-1944
között (Between life and death: the escape and rescue of Jews ac=
the Hungarian-Romanian border between 1940-1944) (Cluj-Napoca, 2001).
10 not an adversary of Antonescu. He confessed,

“Like many others in this country I believed in the myth of the st=
rong man,
of the honest, energetic, and well-meaning leader who could save a damaged=

What was the inner mechanism of Popovici’s formidable resolution? =
posed this question to himself and arrived at the following answer:
As far as I am concerned, what gave me strength to oppose the
current, be master of my own will and oppose the powers that be,
finally to be a true human being, was the message of the families of
priests that constitute my ancestry, a message about what it means to
love mankind. What gave me strength was the education I received in
high school in Suceava, where I received the light of classical
literature, where my teachers fashioned my spirit with the values of
humanity, which tirelessly enlightens man and differentiates him from
the brutes.15 Yet, many other people received the same education and had t=
same family tradition. But, unlike most of the people with similar family =
and educational backgrounds, Popovici was able to turn a moral lesson into =
philosophy of life and a set of daily ethical norms. He refused to accept t=
comfortable “escape clauses” people around him offered: off=
icial orders,
wartime, the advancing enemy, “national priorities.” In dec=
isive moments,
Popovici was aware that his intransigence compensated for what he called th=
e “moral
disorder” and the “anarchy” of most
people. He was confident that he would thus build a basis for asking for =
Eytan Fichman

In a message dated 3/28/2008 9:00:10 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:
Before being named mayor of Cernauti, Traian Popovici,
was a practicing lawyer. Does anyone know where
his law practice was located, or where he lived?
Are any of his descendants alive?

Advance thanks for any information,

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Received on 2008-03-29 02:12:54

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