Ruined Buildings in Siret, Romania


This photograph shows Jewish residents of Siret, a town in northeastern Romania close to the border with Ukraine, standing in front of a ruined building slated for reconstruction. Siret was located in the region of Bukovina, which was annexed to Romania following World War I and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the first decades of the 20th century, Siret had a relatively large Jewish population that supported a number of communal philanthropic associations. During this period, outside support was also provided by the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), a humanitarian organization formed to provide wartime relief to the stricken Jewish communities. This photograph is from an album documenting the JDC’s work in Bukovina, which included a loan for the rebuilding of this structure. Encouraging reconstruction, rather than merely providing relief, was a focus of the JDC’s activity in Romania in the period after World War I. The JDC has operated as a global humanitarian organization, providing food, clothing, medicine, child care, job training, and refugee assistance in more than 90 countries since it was established in 1914. The archives of the JDC contain documents, photographs, documents, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Last updated: March 4, 2016