THE MUSEUM OF FAMILY HISTORY
Summary of the
The purpose of this work is to display a monograph of the daily Czernowitzer Morgenblatt, one of the most important mouthpieces available to minorities not only in the Bukovina but also throughout whole Romania during the period between the two World Wars. The newspaper appeared between the 14th May 1918 and 28 June 1940 in the capital of the former Austro-Hungarian Crownland Bukovina 6470 times, representing a total print of approximately 39,000 pages. More than two decades, it registered all events, sometimes at a breathtaking pace successively following one the other, keeping its readers informed not only about the situation in Bukowina and the kingdom Romania, but also about the events that occurred in the World and particularly in Western Europe. They published in mid-October 1918, the manifesto of Emperor Karl in which Austria was declared to be a federal republic and said a few days later, farewell to old-Austria; it reported in early November 1918, about the disintegration of the empire and takeover of the management of the City of Czernowitz and the Ukrainian regions by the Ukrainian National Council, as well as the marching in of the Romanians to Bukovina and on their entrance to Czernowitz. The paper published late November the manifesto abdication of the emperor and also detailed reports of the Congress of Romanians of Bucovina, and, at the beginning of January 1919 the royal decree on the reunion of Bukovina with Romania. It complained in mid-June 1919, about the end of the Czernowitz German University; struggled, starting in October, for an effective change of value for the (Austrian) crown and praised, in early December, the signing by Romania of the Peace Treaty. It described, in May 1920, the visit of the royal couple to Czernowitz and protested in the autumn of that year against the expulsion of local strangers and against the imposition of the Romanian judiciary to Bukowina, published in February 1923 the new constitution draft and informed in detail from April 1924 about the acquisition and loss of Romanian citizenship, described mid-November 1924 the unveiling of the "Unirea" monument in Czernowitz, explained at the beginning of July 19 the new division of districts in Bukovina; judged, in early January 1926, Crown Prince Carols Abdication; dedicated in November 1926, whole pages to the tragedy of David Fallik. It advised the population, in April 1927 about the census carried out throughout Romania, reported in late July 1927, about the death of King Ferdinand and the proclamation of the heir to the throne King Mihai, registered in early August 1928, the arrival of the first postal aircraft to Czernowitz and the opening of passenger air traffic Bucharest – Czernowitz. It evaluated, in autumn 1929, the stock market crash in New York; praised, in early June 1930, the return of Prince Carol; commented in detail, from February 1933, Hitler's seizure of power and its accompanying features in Germany and in Czernowitz, including the burning of the Reichstag building, the expulsion of Jews and the proclamation of the National Revolution by Hitler, respectively, the rally against the "Nazi atrocities" in Germany by Dr. Norbert Zloczower, the boycott movement and the counter-boycott of products and brands from Germany; praised, in early May 1934, the idea of building a subway in Bucharest and in early June 1937 that of an European Union. It tacitly accepted, beginning in 1938 its own suppression and did not mention how much of its reappearance owed to the good will and the influence of N. Iorga. It published at the end of February 1938, the new Romanian Constitution of King Carol II, reported fleetingly, in mid-March 1938, the "Anschluss" of Austria to Germany, deplored in July 1938 the death of Queen Mary. It reported in mid-March 1939, the occupation of the Czechoslovak Republic by German troops, that of the port of Gdansk in early September, in late November the establishment of the Warsaw ghetto, in mid-May 1940 the German invasion of Belgium and Holland, in mid-June the occupation of Paris - and finally registered, a few days before its final suppression, the transformation of the Romanian "Frontul Renaşterii Nationale" to "Partidul Naţiunei."
The appearance of the Czernowitzer Morgenblatt overlapped broadly with the period during which the entire Bukovina belonged to the Kingdom of Romania, a period characterized by a stubborn Romanization of the territories annexed after WW1. Romania's political scene in the twenties and thirties is now, thanks to the tireless work of top Romanian and foreign historians, almost completely known. Still, the task to find secondary literature for our work has been ungratefully rewarded.
The two themes "Czernowitz" and "The Bukovina", as well as the theme of "Jewish life in Eastern Europe" have already, as I said, been treated extensively, especially by Western European scholars of history and literature. Accordingly, the western – but not so much the Romanian - libraries are well equipped with books that meet the subject. Even to the general theme of "journalism" we have found enough literature to read in order to arrive at a modern understanding of the decades ago, when the newspaper appeared. Only the themes "The Bukowina Press", not to mention „Czernowitzer Morgenblatt“, have unfortunately still been treated too little - and if at all then rather in articles than in books. In that sense, our study is thought as a contribution to the currently unwritten Czernowitz Press story.
In order to avoid an unauthorized expansion of the theme, as well as the snare of redundancy, we have consciously abandoned the traditional approach that requires to look at the newspaper from a perspective of the whole historical, social and cultural context. Guided by the awareness that we have the rare opportunity to witness live history, we have preferred to rediscover the history of Rumania through the restricted frame of a mainly journalistic study, i.e. from the standpoint of the German written Czernowitzer Morgenblatt, a newspaper which defined itself from the outset as the mouthpiece of the masses of the Bukowina population. This resulted in a corresponding line of the paper, an unpleasant dimension to former, present and future Romanian nationalists, namely to maintain as long as possible the combat against a policy of Rumanization by the Czernowitz minority press and thus also by the Czernowitzer Morgenblatt.
In second place are depicted and commented the linked relationships that the Czernowitzer Morgenblatt had at different times to its readers and to other Czernowitz newspapers. In terms of intention of this monograph, a series of precisely five other newspapers is shown to be the context the Morgenblatt is arguing with contraversionally, in chronological order, the Glasul Bucovinei, the Forward, the Ostjüdichen Zeitung, and the Czernowitzer Deutsche Tagespost.
Thirdly, also – the not always strikingly, but occasionally well-marked
Jewish component of the paper is analyzed, namely, on one side their
position versus the Romanian and pan-European anti-Semitism, on the
other their opinions about Zionism. Underlined here is also the tolerant
attitude the Jewish majority of its editorial staff had for persons of
other confessions and religions.
to completeness however, was the original index of contents – we confess
to have been faithfully following it only up to the last two chapters.
The third chapter, to be called "The editor and his team", and a fourth,
- more than a newspaper" has still to be completed.
Also read The Jewish Press in Europe: "The Jews Press in Bukovina"
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