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Jewish Women’s Activities during the Holocaust in Romania
Jewish Women’s Activities during the Holocaust in Romania

Mela Iancu, Director of the Jewish Center for the Protection of Mother and Child, as a Case Study

Author(s): Sylvia HERSHCOVITZ
Subject(s): Jewish studies, Civil Society, Oral history, Social history, Gender history, Interwar Period (1920 - 1939), WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), Post-War period (1950 - 1989), Fascism, Nazism and WW II, History of the Holocaust, History of Antisemitism
Published by: Institutul National pentru Studierea Holocaustului din Romania ELIE WIESEL
Keywords: Romania; Holocaust; gender; orphans; Transnistria; Mela Iancu;

Summary/Abstract: Although the war and the Holocaust struck men and women equally, there are reasons to discuss the fate of the women and their specific problems, in order to fill in a missing linkin describing Jewish life and to offer a fresh perspective that would give us better tools to write the history of Jewish life at that time.This paper will discuss the Romanian Jewish Women’s activity during the Holocaust and will particularly look into the activity of “The Jewish Center for the Protection of Mother and Child”, founded in Bucharest by Mela Iancu. What was the center’s contribution to the Jewish children and mothers during the war in Romania and to the orphans rescued from Transnistria? What can be learned about the women’s role during periods of crisis and war? “Mama Mela”, as the children of the center used to call her, was a symbol of determination,inspiration, wisdom, and hope. Finally, by including her story in the historical discourse, this paper aspires to shape and contribute to the large framework designing a reviewed historical approach and a gender-sensitive agenda.

  • Issue Year: XII/2020
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 73-93
  • Page Count: 21
  • Language: English