[Cz-L] Re: czernowitz-l digest: September 20, 2008

From: Andrew Halmay <venivici_at_rogers.com>
Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 05:53:48 -0700 (PDT)
To: Czernowitz Genealogy and History <czernowitz-l_at_list.cornell.edu>
Reply-to: Andrew Halmay <venivici_at_rogers.com>

Dear Czernowitzers: 
 
It is my understanding that there are in excess of 350 members in our list.=
 I would guess that more than half of us are descendants of born Czernowitze=
rs. Those of us who were born in Cz are getting long in the tooth and if you=
 are like me, you grind your teeth every time you think of the home you lost=

 
My grandmother was widowed in her early twenties, left with two little girl=
s under the age of three, pulled herself up by her bootstraps, taught hersel=
f how to design and sew, became a top couturiere and built a lovely mansion =
in which I was born, which ultimately ended up as part of Soviet state prope=
rty.
 
 I would like to hear from all of you who have a clear memory of the h=
ome in which you were born in Czernowitz or anywhere in Bucovina which was t=
aken from you without compensation.
 
To the best of my knowledge all the ex-Communist states with the exception =
of Russia and the Ukraine have repatriated confiscated property. I have a fr=
iend, a Romanian whose father was a minister in King Carol’s governm=
ent, who had several homes and by now, if I recall correctly, they have all =
been given back to him by Romania’s post-revolution government.=
They dragged their heels over one of them, as I recall, because it had b=
een leased to some Asian country for use as an embassy.  My friend=
s lawyers found no problem with that. They broke no leases but simply =
collected the rent instead of having the government collect it.  That i=
s Democracy.
 
Granted, property confiscated after the Russian revolution 1917-1919 would =
be difficult to return to the original and rightful owners since so much tim=
e has elapsed, but Bucovina was never a part of Russia or the Ukraine before=
 Stalin held a gun to King Carol’s head and made a bullying land gra=
b.  Those of us born in Cz will have no trouble identifying our origina=
l homes.
 
Those of you living in the U.S. or Canada should know that the taxes you ha=
ve been paying helped the U.S. provide the Ukraine with over $1.5 billion in=
 aid since the dissolution of Communist Russia, and Canada added some four h=
undred odd million to that.  A two billion dollar gift to a country tha=
t illegally holds our properties.  If you presently live in other count=
ries I’ll be happy to research and inform you if your taxes have add=
ed to this aid to the Ukraine.
 
I don’t know what can be done about getting our homes back but a go=
od first step would be to develop a list of homes that were taken and their =
Cz addresses so that we can estimate the size of this atrocity.
 
This, of course, is not confined to the list of Jewish survivors but addres=
ses all Czernowitzers be they Catholic or Protestant or Atheist or Muslim.=
  If you lost a family home anywhere in Bucovina, I would like to hear =
 from you.
 
Cu noroc.
 
Andy.
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Received on 2008-09-21 12:53:48

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