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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Maramureş Cu Connie (Heaton) Goddard, NT '61

Connie arrived from Aleşd via bus.

On November 13th and 14th Klaus and Duncan showed Connie Goddard, my New Trier High School classmate (though first met in Romania last June!), a bit of Maramureş.  Connie, a Peace Corps volunteer in Aleşd (near Oradea) for over a year, had never before had a chance to visit Maramureş.  It was a really fine day, climaxing with a sumptuous lunch of ciorba de pui and sarmale in Baia Mare with the fine family of Lia and Nelu (or Aurelia and Ioan) Bruma, whose daughter Claudia Serbanuta is a doctoral student in library science at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.  They are friends of Connie, and had invited her for Saturday night, so Klaus and I are home in Cluj today.

(Tomorrow is departure day for my trip to Orlando for Jamie and Amy's wedding.  Perhaps the next post will be from Stateside.  JJ, please dig out my Florida Bag!) 

Ruddy red Klaus, parked at a good restaurant in Beclean.

Cosbuc, Romania

I guess Covered Bridges were not invented in New England

Cosbuc's is still in use.

Connie with bust of George Cosbuc, poet, author, teacher, and advocate for Romanian Culture

At the Cosbuc Museum, Cosbuc, Judeţul Bistriţa-Nasaud



Spinning frame

Spinning frame take-up reel.

Hay drying rack, seen along road from Beclean to Sacel.

Klaus loves such roads, & Shirl loves terraced hillsides.

Connie's first wooden church in the Maramureşan Style.

Local denizens

New Church, Breb

Biserica noua, Breb

Breb is near Ocna Şugatag

Churchyard view, Breb.  Prince Charles of England is said to own a home here.

16th c. Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, in Breb
In closing, I must acknowledge the Hell that Romania has been through over the past seven decades. My earlier posts on Maramureş have not done justice to the museums in Sighetu Marmaţiei.  At the Elie Wiesel home (now a museum) one reads of the over 30,000 Jews in Maramureş who were uprooted by the Nazis in the 1940s, mostly as late as 1944, and sent to Auschwitz and other concentration camps.  Few survived.  Today, of over 10,000 Jews in Sighet in the 1930s, only 33 citizens remain who trace their families to Jewish ancestors.  Unfortunately, this is recent history, and such "Ethnic Cleansing" is still going on in our world. 

The birthplace of Elie Wiesel, Sighetu Marmaţiei, Maramureş

Elie Wiesel, his father Shlomo, and his maternal grandfather.

Prof. Wiesel and I both taught at Boston University in the 1980s (though we have not met).
As moving as is the Elie Wiesel home, equally terrifying is the detailed depiction of the Communist oppression of the religious leaders, artistic and intellectual elite of Romania detailed in the magnificent Museumul Memorial, located at the very prison in downtown Sighet where many thousands of political prisoners died between 1948 and 1989.  The entire history of the Communist era in Romania is described in this large and carefully assembled collection of artifacts and displays.  I wish that every American could visit this museum.  Thereafter, The Second Amendment would have few opponents.
Museum Memorial
to the Victims of Communism, Sighetu Marmaţiei

Sculpture "Convoy of Martyrs" by Aurel Vlad, in a Museum (Prison) Courtyard.

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