The Nizkor Project

Shattered!
50 Years of Silence

History and Voices
of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria

Demographic Notes


Romania is an eastern European country. Before World War II, Romania was bordered by Czechoslovakia and Poland to the north; the River Dniester and the Black Sea to the north- east were the border with the former Soviet Union; the River Danube divided it from Bulgaria to the south; and at its western border were Yugoslavia and Hungary.

A large segment of the Carpathian Mountain Range runs from the northeast to the southern part of the country, where it curves westward. Romania is a picturesque country, and it was rich in natural resources.

The pre-World War II territory of Romania was 113,918 square miles, and, according to the census of 1930, it had a population of 18,057,208. Of this number, 800,000 to 850,000 were Jews<1>.

Romania's Jewish population was the third largest in Europe, after Russia and Poland. Other large minority groups were Hungarians, Germans, Bulgarian, and Ukrainians.

Romania was divided into counties: Muntenia, Moldova, Oltenia, Banat, Transylvania, Maramuresh, Dobrojea, Bessarabia and Bucovina. The capital of Romania was and remains the beautiful city of Bucharest, referred to, before the war, as the Little Paris. Some of the counties were being run by Prefects; the affairs of the cities were run by Mayors.


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