Martor No. 24 / Year 2019

The Aliyah of 1949: Unpublished Migration Requests of Jews from Romania as Vehicles of Memory (Download PDF)

Author: 

Raluca Mateoc

Social Anthropology Unit, University of Fribourg, Switzerland 

Pages: 97-108

Keywords: Aliyah, immigration, Israel, memory, archives.

Abstract: 

In 1949, the political context of the People’s Republic of Romania and of the newly founded Israeli state formally provided a framework for the immigration of Romanian Jews to Israel, upon the opening of the Israeli Legation in Bucharest in 1948. Our paper proposes an analysis of the Aliyah in 1949 as portrayed in migration requests addressed by members of the Jewish community all over Romania to the Israeli Legation in Bucharest. The requests, never published before, have been hosted since 1997 by the Center for Research on Romanian Jewry within the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. First, we address the history of the fonds, the hypotheses of historians on the submission of the requests, the shape of the material and characteristics of the documents. Second, our in-depth textual analysis allows a refined understanding of writing patterns, engagements, and reasons for requesting migration. Overall, our study contributes to the understanding of archives as “vehicles of memory” (Confino 2011) and of individual and group responses to historical transformations.

How to cite this article: Mateoc, Raluca. 2019. “The Aliyah of 1949: Unpublished Migration Requests of Jews from Romania as Vehicles of Memory” Martor 24: 97-108.