(Iași, 14.07.2012 - 17.07.2012) 38 °C = 100.4° F and more than 80% relative humidity on Union Square in Iași, designed by the late Gheorghe Hussar, a renowned Romanian urbanist and architect and - in addition - a relative of mine. [A few years ago, the descendants of Gheorghe Hussar learned from me, that they have Jewish roots, as Gheorghe's great grandmother was a sister of my great grandfather Isak Hausthor. - What a surprise for them!]
The name "Union Square" alludes to the Moldo-Wallachian Union from 1862, but some right-leaning Romania nationalists would prefer to apply the name of the place to the creation of Greater Romania, when in 1918, at the end of World War I, Transylvania, Bukovina and Bessarabia united with the Romanian Old Kingdom.
Concomitantly with the creation of Greater Romania, the Romanization process started, which culminated in the Iaşi Pogrom on June 27, 1941 and the Romanian Holocaust. Lazar Leibovici's testimony "On 'That Sunday' of Jassy Pogrom", released by courtesy of Peter Elbau, particularizes the upsetting events. In memory of the vast number of victims, a memorial has been erected at the Iași Jewish Cemetery.
Irony of history: Adjacent to the memorial site, one can find the burial ground, where the Jewish soldiers killed in action during World War I are interred.
But, beyond its significance as military cemetery and memorial site, at the Iaşi Jewish Cemetery about 55,000 headstones are visible on a surface of more than 25 hectares.
Finally, let's return from the cemetery to the city of Iaşi, discovering and photographing - despite the opressive heat - some now and then urban images.
The relatively small Great Synagogue of Iaşi was built in 1670-1671 and is the oldest surviving synagogue in Romania. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Monuments.