Life Changes 1940-1944

I was there.

In 1940, Northern Transylvania was annexed to Hungary, upon a deal with Germany, and so, the antisemitic Hungarian laws were imposed here too. Jewish children could no longer attend public schools and universities, and many Jewish businesses were confiscated or closed down. A Jewish High School was set up in Cluj, so that children can continue their studies.

Vasile Nussbaum (1929), Romania/Hungary

Vasile Nussbaum (1929), Romania/Hungary

Consider here how life became different for Vasile

Racial Laws and Antisemitic Attitudes

In 1940, life for Jews changes dramatically, and Vasile and his family are affected by the antisemitic racial laws. The Jewish leadership succeeds in establishing a Jewish high school in Cluj, and Vasile continues his studies here.

1) Listen to Vasile as he talks about racial laws and antisemitism. Answer the questions.

  • 1a. How do you think Vasile felt when he was not allowed to go to the public school anymore because of his Jewish background?

  • 1b. Do you think people should be excluded on ethnic or religious grounds? Give more details.

  • 1c. What did the school represent for Vasile? What does it represent for you?

Antisemitic Propaganda

In 1944, the atmosphere is loaded with antisemitic propaganda. The media is concerned only with the Jewish question, and Jews are being blamed for everything that is happening.

2) Listen to Vasile as he talks about the antisemitic propaganda. Answer the questions.

  • 2a. How did Vasile feel the anti-Jewish propaganda?

  • 2b. How did Vasile learn about the antisemitic propaganda?

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