The Founding members of Asociatia Tikvah decided in June 2023 to start the process of dissolving their not for profit association. It is a process which takes several months.
A number of volunteers have come forward to maintain this website as it contains many unique contributions and they do not wish it be unavailable for families of those lost in the Holocaust, researchers, teachers and the general public who may wish to know about this dark period of history of Oradea and Northern Transylvania.
Tikvah posted News on this website from when they became active back in 2011 until 2018 when, due to limited resources, they chose to focus upon the Tikvah Facebook page:
However, should you wish to see their activities over many years you can browse News under their About us section.
Our projects have now all been completed, but many of them have left a legacy of resources primarily aimed at teachers. A short description of the main projects is set out below.
Eva Heyman film
This film relates the short life of Eva Heyman and has been produced by the Asociatia Tikvah team and volunteers. It aims to highlight the impact of the Holocaust and serves as a warning of the perils of prejudice and discrimination. It has been effective in explaining the impact of the Holocaust in Oradea to pupils in schools. It has also been seen in other countries.
Memorial to remember a lost generation of children
In 2015 we unveiled the Eva statue in the memory of the lost generation of Jewish children deported from Oradea during the Holocaust in Northern Transylvania. It is sited in Balcescu Park, Oradea from where the trains left to Auschwitz. It was achieved through three years of extremely hard voluntary work by the Asociatia Tikvah team and the generosity of donors from around the world. The sculptor, Flor Kent, is pictured holding the Diary of Eva Heyman.
In 2018 the memorial was gifted by Asociatia Tikvah to the City of Oradea.
Red bicycle projects
Eva Heyman exhibition (Oradea 1931 - Auschwitz 1944)
In March 2012 Asociatia Tikvah launched its first mobile exhibition telling the story of Eva Heyman, a Jewish girl with a red bicycle. This exhibition, aimed at schools, was curated by Emilia Teszler the President of Asociatia Tikvah. Over the next two years dozens of schools in a 50 mile radius were visited and the exhibition was harmonised with the curriculum.
Lights in the Night exhibition
Our second exhibition for schools reflected that although it was important to remember the evil of the Holocaust, it was just as important to remember the acts of heroism that took place. One of the more unselfish and co-ordinated actions of World War II was by the Danish people in saving most of its Jewish population; the exhibition also features the Kindertransport to the UK; thousands of Jews were saved by Romanian diplomats; and indeed in Oradea there were individual unselfish acts which saved several Jews.
The exhibition Lights in the Night was successfully launched in October 2013 in the presence of His Excellency Michael Sternberg, the Danish Ambassador to Romania.
Oradea had a thriving Jewish community before World War II and the thousands of families living and working here provided a dynamic and varied contribution to the life of the city. The events of the early 1940's brought that to an irrevocable halt.
We do not want all this information about people, events and environment to be lost and ourÂ Family AlbumsÂ part of our website allows us to assist those families who wish to use our pages to celebrate lives that were lost.
Hosting family pictures, documents and stories also gives everyone a greater insight into Jewish life in Oradea before the Holocaust.
Voices of the Liberators
In order to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz we undertook an ambitious project to tell the stories of the liberators of three concentration/extermination camps, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Mauthausen. These three camps were liberated by Soviet, British and United States troops respectively.
The sheer horror of the Holocaust is perfectly illustrated by the reaction of ordinary soldiers who had never seen such sights even though they had been exposed to many horrors of war in their fighting across Europe.
Hedy and her Memory Book
Our third exhibition told the remarkable story of the memory book which survived the Holocaust in Oradea, whilst its owner, a young girl named Hedy, was deported to Auschwitz. They were re-united after the war Hedy having survived and emigrated to Canada. The exhibition was supplemented by videos from Hedy who was still visiting schools in Toronto telling of her experiences and explaining all the contents of her memory book.
Asociatia Tikvah had a very productive partnership with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in the UK and between us we produced tailored materials for a UK schools audience. These materials were downloaded over a thousand times by teachers in the UK and Australia.
On identity, diversity and equality - two minorities, two histories
This project provides educational resources (background materials, lesson plans and PowerPoint presentations) produced by Asociatia Tikvah for teachers, primarily in Romania.
The resources prompt discussion about identity, stereotypes and discrimination whilst inviting students to consider how these factors have impacted upon the histories of the Roma and the Jews.
We try to encourage a learning experience that is interdisciplinary and so these resources can be used in a number of ways:
- as background research material relating to identity and diversity; or the history and culture of the Roma or the Jews
- as a complete lesson plan to be used in a History or Social Science class (or series of classes) through using the whole or selected parts of the materials
- selected materials to be used in an interdisciplinary context, perhaps in Literature or Arts activities.
Museum of the Jews from Oradea
For several years Asociatia Tikvah promoted the concept of the creation of a Museum of the Jews from Orade in this beautiful, but abandoned, synagogue. The first task of the Jewish Community and the City institutions was to get the Primariei (Teleki) Street synagogue waterproofed and repaired, after decades of use as a vegetable warehouse. With donations from the USA and support from the City of Oradea, the synagogue was repaired sufficiently for Asociatia Tikvah to hold the first public event there on 27 January 2014 when we launched Hedy and her Memory Book in the presence of the Canadian Ambassador to Romania and a large audience.
Subsequently, Asociatia Tikvah became the only Romanian representative at the Association of European Jewish Museums and explained the ambitions of Oradea to create the Museum, but this was in 2014/15 and financing was not forthcoming.
In subsequent years the responsibilities for the creation of the Museum changed. The City of Oradea took the major initiative and thanks to their generosity and the co-operation of the Jewish Community the restoration was completed to a high standard in 2018.
Finally, the Museum opened its doors in December 2018 with many interesting exhibits. Hopefully, it will be a magnet for all segments of society to learn about the role of Jews in Oradea (and the wider county of Bihor).
Disability, propaganda and the Nazi regime
Our main project for 2017 sought to raise awareness about the reality of life for people with disabilities. We wanted to provide a better understanding of how propaganda can influence behaviour, by looking at how this was used by the Nazi regime as they attempted to eradicate people with disabilities in pursuit of its concept of racial purity.
We have produced materials for schools which can be used in the context of the Holocaust, whilst also providing a better understanding of the nature of disability and how society currently seeks to provide protection.
In its wish to promote mutual knowledge and acceptance of diversity, Asociatia Tikvah created an itinerant roll-up exhibition entitled "Shalomâ - On Judaism and Jewish Life. The exhibition panels present essential moments in the history of Judaism, the significance of some of the great Jewish holidays, ritual objects and basic traditions, information about the main Jewish communities which existed in Oradea before 1944, as well as a brief presentation of the Jewish community of Oradea today.
"Footprints: Discovering the Holocaust through Historical Artefacts"is an 8 minute video created in English by the Institute of Education of the University of London and subtitled into Romanian by Asociatia Tikvah. It is primarily addressed to young people aged 10 to 18.
The video material is accompanied by a PDF lesson plan and by a PowerPoint presentation created by the Institute of Education and translated into Romanian by Asociatia Tikvah.
Anne Frank exhibition touring
Asociatia Tikvah had a very productive partnership with Anne Frank House in Amsterdam over the years 2014 to 2016 during which time we translated their travelling exhibition "Anne Frank - A History for Today" into Romanian so that they could produce a dual language version (Romanian/Hungarian) for us to tour the length and breadth of Romania. We also created Romanian subtitles to their short film "The short life of Anne Frank".
We received great support from the Dutch Embassy in Romania and the Ambassador attended several of our events.
Memorial Lenke Ziszovits Popper
The Lenke Ziszovits Popper tennis competition for children was founded in 2013 by Asociatia Tikvah and was played in Oradea for four years, until the lack of funding made it impossible to continue. Lenke was Romania's ladies tennis champion in the 1930s but became a non-person under Nazi occupation and was deported to Auschwitz, where she perished along with her baby.
Events for 27th January
Starting in 2013 Asociatia Tikvah initiated formal high profile events in order to mark the International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January; the date on which the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army took place in 1945. We had events at the Jewish Community, the Primariei (Teleki) Street synagogue and the City Hall; all in Oradea. We had Ambassadorial presence and/or support from the United Kingdom, The United States, Canada and Russia.
Human Rights through the prism of the Holocaust
One of our more ambitious projects was to design and run multiple lessons in a high school using the overall title of Human Rights through the Prism of the Holocaust. Our hosts were Onisifor Ghibu High School and our programme lasting for 10 months was approved by the regional Education Authority.Â