In 1944 there were close to 25,000 Jews in Oradea, going about their daily lives. They could have expected to stay in Oradea for the rest of their days and beyond.

In 2010 Jewish burial land was transferred to the local Council for other uses as it would no longer be needed by the few remaining Jews of Oradea.

How did these people disappear?

What did they do for Oradea?

Does their legacy exist today?

When and where did they go?

Did they go of their own free will?

Did people try to help them?

Do we remember these men, women and children of Oradea and how?

Why should we care?

Has it happened since?

Could it happen again?

How do we prevent prejudice and intolerance?

News

Link to selected items of News:

 

 

We have limited resources at this time and cannot maintain News here as well as Facebook. We are now posting our News on our Facebook page. Do please visit: https://www.facebook.com/tikvahoradea
 
This main website will keep hosting and updating the present content which is extensive. 
 
Our educational resources website for teachers www.tikvahedu.ro will continue to be developed.

We thank you for your interest and we hope you will keep following our activities. Our efforts can be helped through donations!

 
27 January 2018

International day of remembrance

Today, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we remember those who suffered and perished in the Holocaust, including the tens of thousands from Oradea who were sent on forced labour or who were deported to that death camp.

Asociatia Tikvah has created a short film aimed as an educational resource for pupils,

"My Little Diary...The Diary of Eva Heyman". The film is available in Romanian and in English.

Go to our Facebook page to see the films.

 

Update on activities

Our new focus of activities is explained on our News page.


6 September 2017

 Last letters

The Family Albums part of our website collects memories of families who have lived in Oradea.

We have added a particularly poignant story of two mothers writing to their children days before they were taken to the ghetto.

Copies of the original letters can be read.


3 May 2017

Racial discrimination

On 21 March in 1960, 69 people were killed in Sharpeville, South Africa, during a peaceful demonstration to protest against the apartheid system. Six years later the United Nations designated the 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

 

21 Jan 2017

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet forces in 1945 and is marked in many countries as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Events in countries associated with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance can be found here.

Resources for teachers to use on this day in schools can be found on our educational website.


27 Jan 2017

Enthusiastic pupils explore identity

See more on Facebook.

2 Nov 2016

Launched in Baia Mare

The exhibition is available for viewing in Baia Mare public library until 21 October following its launch on 5 Oct 2016

More pictures are available in News and on Facebook.

8 Oct 2016

 

Shortly on our way to Baia Mare

 

28 Sep 2016

Fourth year of tennis competition

The Lenke Ziszovits Popper Memorial tennis event was held at the weekend for the fourth year in a row. It has now been adopted as a national event by the Romanian Tennis Federation.

It is important to remind participants of the reason for the naming of the event and Emilia Teszler explained the background to parents of the young tennis players.

27 Aug 2016

 

 

Taking exhibitions to a summer camp

In a new approach we took selections of our exhibitions to a summer camp.


7 Aug 2016

The importance of Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) does vitally important work in collecting and analysing data in the EU. 

At this particular time of multiple challenges caused by migration,increasing incidence of intolerance and the possible destabilising effects of the UK withdrawal from the EU, their role is even more important.

In our News section we provide a link to their analysis of priorities in 2016 which are important for everyone concerned in ensuring that human rights are respected.

29 Jun 2016

Presenting our work to an international audience

Today, our project manager, Maia Teszler gave a presentation of our work in Asociatia Tikvah to delegates from 40 countries attending the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance conference in Bucharest. The chairmanship of the IHRA rests with Romania until March 2017.

 

 

Pictures of Maia at the event and the award by the President of Romania to Professor Yehuda Bauer is on our News and Facebook.

24 May 2016/28 May 2016

Launching in Salonta on 25 May

We will opening the Anne Frank- a History for Today exhibition in Salonta on 25 May (see our News for the detail) in these beautiful surroundings.

 

21 May 2016

Anne Frank exhibition

Thanks to our major sponsor Claims Conference we have been able to continue our programme of visits to different regions of Romania with our Anne Frank exhibition. In April 2016 we have been to Resita and Hunedoara. More detail on our Facebook.

 

 

25 Apr 2016

Reaching young people

Our programme for reaching young people in schools with our travelling exhibitions continues and with visits to Sintandrei and a synagogue in Oradea we have now reached 11 different locations. See our Facebook.

 

18 Apr 2016

Successful launch in Timisoara

The "Anne Frank A History for Today" exhibition was launched on 9 March and will run until 29 March.

 

 

9 Mar 2016

Anne Frank exhibition in Timisoara

Tomorrow we launch the "Anne Frank A History for Today" exhibition in Timisoara. It will be available for viewing for the next month. See our Facebook for pictures of the event.

 


8 Mar 2016

Helping the Fundamental Rights Agency

Asociatia Tikvah was very pleased to be invited to the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union in Vienna to partake in an important workshop last week. More information in News.

 

29 Feb 2016

Reaching young people

Asociatia Tikvah has been supported by Joods Humanitair Fonds and the Bernard Charitable Trust to take its exhibitions to many schools and other places where young people are present. 

The first three school presentations can be seen on our Facebook pages.

 6 Feb 2016

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, we remember those who suffered and perished in the Holocaust, including the tens of thousands from Oradea who were sent on forced labour or who were deported to that death camp.

 

We are participating in a number of commemoration events. Please refer to our News or Facebook for more information.

 27 Jan 2016

Projects

Our projects have now all been completed, but many of them have left a legacy of resources primarily aimed at teachers. A short description of the main projects is set out below.

 

 

Eva Heyman film

 

 

This film relates the short life of Eva Heyman and has been produced by the Asociatia Tikvah team and volunteers. It aims to highlight the impact of the Holocaust and serves as a warning of the perils of prejudice and discrimination. It has been effective in explaining the impact of the Holocaust in Oradea to pupils in schools. It has also been seen in other countries. 

Memorial to remember a lost generation of children

 

 

In 2015 we unveiled the Eva statue in the memory of the lost generation of Jewish children deported from Oradea during the Holocaust in Northern Transylvania. It is sited in Balcescu Park, Oradea from where the trains left to Auschwitz. It was achieved through three years of extremely hard voluntary work by the Asociatia Tikvah team and the generosity of donors from around the world. The sculptor, Flor Kent, is pictured holding the Diary of Eva Heyman.

In 2018 the memorial was gifted by Asociatia Tikvah to the City of Oradea.

 Red bicycle projects

          Eva Heyman exhibition (Oradea 1931 - Auschwitz 1944)

In March 2012 Asociatia Tikvah launched its first mobile exhibition telling the story of Eva Heyman, a Jewish girl with a red bicycle. This exhibition, aimed at schools, was curated by Emilia Teszler the President of Asociatia Tikvah. Over the next two years dozens of schools in a 50 mile radius were visited and the exhibition was harmonised with the curriculum.

          Lights in the Night exhibition

 

 

Our second exhibition for schools reflected that although it was important to remember the evil of the Holocaust, it was just as important to remember the acts of heroism that took place. One of the more unselfish and co-ordinated actions of World War II was by the Danish people in saving most of its Jewish population; the exhibition also features the Kindertransport to the UK; thousands of Jews were saved by Romanian diplomats; and indeed in Oradea there were individual unselfish acts which saved several Jews.

The exhibition “Lights in the Night” was successfully launched in October 2013 in the presence of His Excellency Michael Sternberg, the Danish Ambassador to Romania.

 Family Albums

 

 

Oradea had a thriving Jewish community before World War II and the thousands of families living and working here provided a dynamic and varied contribution to the life of the city. The events of the early 1940's brought that to an irrevocable halt.

We do not want all this information about people, events and environment to be lost and our  Family Albums section of our website allows us to assist those families who wish to use our pages to celebrate lives that were lost.

Hosting family pictures, documents and stories also gives everyone a greater insight into Jewish life in Oradea before the Holocaust.

 

Voices of the Liberators

 

In order to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz we undertook an ambitious project to tell the stories of the liberators of three concentration/extermination camps, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Mauthausen. These three camps were liberated by Soviet, British and United States troops respectively.

The sheer horror of the Holocaust is perfectly illustrated by the reaction of ordinary soldiers who had never seen such sights even though they had been exposed to many horrors of war in their fighting across Europe.

We created six substantial modules which can be viewed on our educational website.

 Hedy and her Memory Book

 

Our third exhibition told the remarkable story of the memory book which survived the Holocaust in Oradea, whilst its owner, a young girl named Hedy, was deported to Auschwitz. They were re-united after the war Hedy having survived and emigrated to Canada. The exhibition was supplemented by videos from Hedy who was still visiting schools in Toronto telling of her experiences and explaining all the contents of her memory book.

Asociatia Tikvah had a very productive partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in the UK and between us we produced tailored materials for a UK schools audience. These materials were downloaded over a thousand times by teachers in the UK and Australia.

On identity, diversity and equality – two minorities, two histories

  

 

This project provides educational resources (background materials, lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations) produced by Asociatia Tikvah for teachers, primarily in Romania.

The resources prompt discussion about identity, stereotypes and discrimination whilst inviting students to consider how these factors have impacted upon the histories of the Roma and the Jews.

We try to encourage a learning experience that is interdisciplinary and so these resources can be used in a number of ways:

  • as background research material relating to identity and diversity; or the history and culture of the Roma or the Jews
  • as a complete lesson plan to be used in a History or Social Science class (or series of classes) through using the whole or selected parts of the materials
  • selected materials to be used in an interdisciplinary context, perhaps in Literature or Arts activities.

The materials can be seen on our teacher's education website.

Museum of the history of the Jews in Oradea 

For several years Asociatia Tikvah promoted the concept of the creation of a Museum of the Jews from Orade in this beautiful, but abandoned, synagogue. The first task of the Jewish Community and the City institutions was to get the Primariei (Teleki) Street synagogue waterproofed and repaired, after decades of use as a vegetable warehouse. With donations from the USA and support from the City of Oradea, the synagogue was repaired sufficiently for Asociatia Tikvah to hold the first public event there on 27 January 2014 when we launched Hedy and her Memory Book in the presence of the Canadian Ambassador to Romania and a large audience.

Subsequently, Asociatia Tikvah became the only Romanian representative at the Association of European Jewish Museums and explained the ambitions of Oradea to create the Museum, but this was in 2014/15 and financing was not forthcoming.

In subsequent years the responsibilities for the creation of the Museum changed. The City of Oradea took the major initiative and thanks to their generosity and the co-operation of the Jewish Community the restoration was completed to a high standard in 2018. 

Finally, the Museum opened its doors in December 2018 with many interesting exhibits. Hopefully, it will be a magnet for all segments of society to learn about the role of Jews in Oradea (and the wider county of Bihor).

Disability, propaganda and the Nazi regime 

Our main project for 2017 sought to raise awareness about the reality of life for people with disabilities. We wanted to provide a better understanding of how propaganda can influence behaviour, by looking at how this was used by the Nazi regime as they attempted to eradicate people with disabilities in pursuit of its concept of racial purity.

We have produced materials for schools which can be used in the context of the Holocaust, whilst also providing a better understanding of the nature of disability and how society currently seeks to provide protection. The materials can be found on our educational website.

Shalom !

 

In its wish to promote mutual knowledge and acceptance of diversity, Asociatia Tikvah created an itinerant roll-up exhibition entitled “Shalom – On Judaism and Jewish Life”. The exhibition panels present essential moments in the history of Judaism, the significance of some of the great Jewish holidays, ritual objects and basic traditions, information about the main Jewish communities which existed in Oradea before 1944, as well as a brief presentation of the Jewish community of Oradea today.

Footprints 


“Footprints: Discovering the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts” is an 8 minute video created in English by the Institute of Education of the University of London and subtitled into Romanian by Asociatia Tikvah. It is primarily addressed to young people aged 10 to 18. 
The video material is accompanied by a PDF lesson plan and by a PowerPoint presentation created by the Institute of Education and translated into Romanian by Asociatia Tikvah.

Anne Frank exhibition touring

Asociatia Tikvah had a very productive partnership with Anne Frank House in Amsterdam over the years 2014 to 2016 during which time we translated their travelling exhibition "Anne Frank - A History for Today" into Romanian so that they could produce a dual language version (Romanian/Hungarian) for us to tour the length and breadth of Romania. We also created Romanian subtitles to their short film "The short life of Anne Frank".

We received great support from the Dutch Embassy in Romania and the Ambassador attended several of our events.

Memorial Lenke Ziszovits Popper

 

The Lenke Ziszovits Popper tennis competition for children was founded in 2013 by Asociatia Tikvah and was played in Oradea for four years, until the lack of funding made it impossible to continue. Lenke was Romania's ladies tennis champion in the 1930s but became a non-person under Nazi occupation and was deported to Auschwitz, where she perished along with her baby. 

Events for 27th January 

 

Starting in 2013 Asociatia Tikvah initiated formal high profile events in order to mark the International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January; the date on which the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army took place in 1945. We had events at the Jewish Community, the Primariei (Teleki) Street synagogue and the City Hall; all in Oradea. We had Ambassadorial presence and/or support from the United Kingdom, The United States, Canada and Russia.

 Human Rights through the prism of the Holocaust

 

One of our more ambitious projects was to design and run multiple lessons in a high school using the overall title of Human Rights through the Prism of the Holocaust. Our hosts were Onisifor Ghibu High School and our programme lasting for 10 months was approved by the regional Education Authority. More details of this project can be viewed in our Human Rights section of our website.