||Four language memorial booklet published in Rumania by Dr. Alexandru Shafran, chief rabbi of Rumania, English, Hebrew, French, and Rumanian. The green front cover has an appeal from Dr. R. Shafran for help in rebuilding the synagogue destroyed in the war. The following pages have more detail, then photographs of the synagogue , a large majestic building, prior to the war and then of the destroyed structure. Next is a drawing of the proposed new building and pages for entries of names of contributors.
During World war II Cluj was annexed by Hungary. After the Hungarian annexation in 1940, anti-Jewish measures and economic restrictions were imposed, followed by physical persecution. A large number of Jewish males were drafted into forced labor and transported to the eastern front to the Nazi-occupied area of the Soviet Union, where most of them perished. In the summer of 1941, several hundred Jews who could not prove their citizenship were deported to the area of Kamenets-Podolski, where they were massacred. In May 1944, after the Germans entered Hungary, a ghetto was set up in the Iris brickyard in the northern part of the city. At its peak it contained approximately 18,000 Jews, including those brought in from Szamosújvár and from the neighboring communities in Kolozs County. The Jews were deported in six transports between May 25 and June 9. Exempted from the deportation were 388 Jews who were taken to Budapest on June 10. Their transfer to Budapest was part of a controversial agreement between Rezsö (Rudolph) Kasztner and other leaders of the Budapest-based Relief and Rescue Committee (the Va'adah) and the SS. These Jews were included in the so-called Kasztner transport of 1,684 Jews, which left Budapest on June 30,Page 763 | Top of Article 1944, and, after an ordeal of several months in a special camp in Bergen-Belsen, ended up in Switzerland. The few survivors who returned to Cluj from the camps, with those who had joined them from other localities, numbered 6,500 in 1947. Community life was subsequently reorganized. A Communist-inspired local Jewish organization was also set up, principally to fight the remnants of Zionism; Zionist activities continued until 1949. By 1970 only 1,100 Jews (340 families) remained registered with the community. Prayers were held in three synagogues. The unified communal organization maintained a kosher butcher and canteen. Community life was declining, however, and Jews were leaving Cluj. At the turn of the century there were about 300 Jews in Cluj, mostly elderly and ill.