Short history of Bucovina
How did Bucovina appear?
In 1774, part of the Upper Upper Moldavia was included, with the consent of the Ottoman Empire, in the Habsburg Empire, following a fake history, namely the assertion that this territory had been part of the Province of Poland (former province of Poland) and returned to the Habsburgs following an agreement with the Ottomans defeated in the Russian-Turkish War (1768-1774). The Ottoman Empire in exchange for peace and after imperial diplomatic interventions gave up part of the territory of Moldova1.
Grigore III Ghica, the ruler of Moldavia between 1774-1777, opposed this understanding, but without any result other than the fact that he lost his throne and his head2. The border was finally established between Moldova and the Habsburg Empire in 1776, with the Habsburgs annexing other villages on the border in addition to what they had occupied since 1774.
From this moment a new region, under the name of Bucovina, with a surface of 10,441 km2, with a length of 168,7 km and a width of 97,7 km, inhabited by about 70,000 people, out of which over 90% were Romanians. At the time of the annexation, the Habsburg Empire promised to maintain the country’s church and nationality, the population of the new region being mostly Romanian; the Romanian language was to be maintained in administration, justice, school and church.
From September 1, 1774, the province was subordinated to the Vienna Aulic War Council and the Military Command of Lemberg, constituting a distinct autonomous administrative unit in Austria3
The city of Cernăuţi was designated as the capital of the Bucovina district. In 1779 the province was divided into five directorates, with centers in Cernăuţi, Suceava, Siret, Câmpulung Moldovenesc and Câmpulung Rusesc4. During the time of Emperor Joseph II, the autonomy of the new province and the rights of the Romanians were preserved by the monarch imposing the avoidance by all means of everything that “would resemble a new form of government, to preserve everything that was good before, habits and religion of the inhabitants of the land “. Moreover, in the positions of directors of the provinces of Cernăuţi, Suceava and Câmpulung were appointed, in 1777, representatives of the local Romanian nobility. In September 1780, as head of the chancellery of the military administration of Bucovina was named the Bucovina boyar Vasile Balş5.
Following the reorganization in 1783, Bucovina was structured on four directorates: Cernăuţi, Vijniţa, Siret and Suceava. After the incorporation of Bukovina in Galicia in 1786, the military administration was replaced by a civilian (Kreisamt), and civil servants were appointed at the head of the districts, Bucovina being the 19th circle until 1849 (Stefan Putici, Bucovina at the beginning of the Habsburg rule, The History of Moldova Magazine, no. 4/2015, p. 55).
Until 1849, Bukovina remained one of the provinces of Galicia, but the Revolution of 1848 awoke to the action of the Romanians and the national consciousness. A Hurmuzaki family had an important role in this respect, just as the setting up of a Romanian language school at the Cernăuţi gymnasium, having Aron the Pumnus teacher, was an important step in national waking.
During the Revolution of 1848, the Bucovinians demanded the detachment of Galicia and the administrative allegiance to Transylvania. By the Constitution of March 4, 1849, the Duchy of Bucovina was established, which received the status of autonomy through the Imperial Patent of September 29, 1850.
Between 1848 and 1860, the Duchy was ruled by German governors, the majority of the military. After 1860, the Bucovina Diet, consisting of 30 members (29 elected and the Orthodox Bishop of Bucovina by law), was organized. In 1875, the University of Chernivtsi (with three faculties: Greek-Oriental Theology, Law and Philosophy) was established, its rector being a member of the Provincial Diet. The Romanians had, from 1861 until 1914, a relative majority in the Diet.
After the capture of Bukovina, the Orthodox Church in Bucovina was taken out of the Moldovan Metropolitan Church and passed into the administration of the Serbian Metropolitan Church of Karlowitz. When the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Transylvania (1864) was restored under the direction of Andrei Şaguna, the Orthodox Church of Bucovina was not allowed to subordinate it, but a Metropolitan of Bukovina and Dalmatia was created in 1873, where all the functions were data, through direct appointments, by the imperial government. The first metropolitan was Bishop Eugenie Hacman7.
The Bukovina Church Fund, which owned about one-fourth of the country’s territory (estates and forests), was used by random authorities, sometimes abusively, with only a few exceptions, the Romanian schools: the Faculty of Theology of Cernăuţi, two secondary schools German: the high school in Suceava and the real school in Cernăuţi. No Romanian rural school was financed from these Romanian private funds, a notable exception being the payment from this fund of salaries of the Orthodox clergy, thus kept under the obedience by the imperial administration. In spite of all these avatars, Bucovina was, in 1918, the province with the highest percentage of population that could write and read – about 40%.
In the secularized estates, colonists were brought in: the Germans, the Slavs, the Hungarians, and the profoundly Romanian ethnic composition of the province.
The lack of elementary education in more than half of the population, access to public functions, Romanian justice, leases and trades has also lowered the number of Romanians who chose to leave the province.
The founder of the Romanian movement in Bucovina was the Romanian scholar Eudoxiu Hurmuzaki (1812 – 1874)8, who performed the most important administrative function of the province between 1864 – 1870 and 1872 – 1874: the Captain of the Land, ennobled in 1873 by Emperor Franz Joseph, as a baron.
Eudoxiu Hurmuzaki was the personality that marked cultural and political Chernivtsi and Bucovina in the middle of the nineteenth century. He translated the Civil Code and the German Penal Code into Romanian, was one of the signatories to the petition by which the Bukovinians demanded the establishment of the Duchy of Bucovina.
“Between the Carpathians, Nistru de Sus and Molna, Bucovina, the old Moldavian garden, the old capital of Suceava and the graves of Dragoş and Stefan cel Mare […] are 115 years since Bukovina is swirling in the ravines of the pajura with two heads. The Western neighbor’s policy falsified the institutions of the unfortunate youngster, stripped her of her national character, abducted and wealth and the possibility of developing according to her genius, substituted the Romanian element foreign elements, sought to stifle and mourn the voice of those noble sons of hers”9.
Bucovinaans and their rights
Continuing the tradition started by Eudoxiu Hurmuzaki and Aron Pumnul, a group of Bukovinian Romanians founded the “Concordia” political society in Chernivtsi in 1885 and in 1892 the Romanian National Party in Bucovina.
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century there was a revival of the Romanian national movement in Bucovina. Since 1875, the Imperial Decree, the University of Chernivtsi, was established by the Faculty of Philosophy and it was headed by Ioan Gh. Sbiera10, a pupil of Aron Pumnul and close of the Hurmuzaki brothers.
A Romanian intellectual class began to rise, this being in the Bucovina Diet, which, after the 1910 reform, consisted of 61 MPs (59 elected from four national colleges: Romanian, Ruthenian, Jewish and Polish, and two right : the Metropolitan of Bucovina and the rector of the University of Cernăuţi)11.
At the beginning of the 20th century the 61 deputies were: 23 Romanians, 17 Ruthenians, 10 Jews, 7 Germans, 5 Poles. In 1910, following the major population changes in Bucovina, 273,254 Romanians lived in the South and the middle of the province in the districts of Câmpulung, Suceava and Rădăuţi, where they held an absolute majority, but also in Siret, Storojineţ, Gura Humorului and Chernivtsi, where they coexisted with the other nations12.
The Romanian National Party had an important contribution to the evolution of the Romanians in Bucovina, to the emergence of a Romanian political class and to a unified Romanian stream, uniting the Romanians from urban and rural Bucovina. The presidents of this political formation were Iancu Zotta (1893-1896), Vartenes Pruncul (1896-1897), Iancu Lupul (1897-1899), George Popovici (1900), Eudoxiu (Doxuţă) Hurmuzachi (1902-1904) (1900-1902, 1908-1910). Other distinguished members of the party were: Modest Grigorcea, Constantin Isopescu, Niculae Mustatza, Victor Stârcea, Valeriu Braniste, Vasile Bodnărescu, George Tofan, Constantin Morariu.
The party also had a newspaper published in 1891, which changed its name several times: “Gazeta Bucovinei” (1891-1897), “Patria” (1897 – 1900, 1909 – 1910), then “Awakening” (1900 – 1904), “National Defense” (1906-1908), “Romanian” (1908-190) and “New Life” (1912-1914).
The Romanian National Party of Bucovina fought for the autonomy of Bucovina, the Bukovinian Orthodox Church, for education in Romanian, for the use of the Romanian language in administration and justice. The members of the party arrived at the Parliament in Vienna.
The urban elite of the Romanians in Bucovina tried to approach the Romanian rural elites in the province. It is worth mentioning the activity of Iancu Flondor, a defender of Romanian Orthodox priests from Bucovina villages and a promoter of the use of Romanian private funds for the establishment of village schools in Romanian.
The denationalization policy applied by the Austrian authorities to the Romanian population at the beginning of the twentieth century led to the unification of the Bukovinian Romanians in the struggle for their rights, going over the political partisans and group interests. Thus, on the brink of the Great War, the Bukovinian Romanians were prepared to participate in the life of the empire they belonged to, to claim their rights and to defend their interests
Following the example of the Bessarabians, a group of Romanians from Transylvania and Bucovina living in Paris constituted, on 17/30 April 1918, the Romanian National Committee of Transylvania and Bucovina, whose aim was at first the struggle for the independence of the two provinces and then for their union with the Kingdom Romania. Among those who had this initiative were Traian Vuia, Dionisie Axente, Jean Tisca, Iosif Muresan. From the committee, all the Romanians from Transylvania and Bucovina, as well as those from the Kingdom, could participate as ordinary members. There was also an Action Committee funded by members’ contributions and donations, who received full powers to take action when needed. This committee has contacted the recognized committees of other oppressed nationalities in Austria-Hungary to act jointly in the struggle to liberate oppressed nationalities.
The Bukovinians and the Transylvanians had to act in order to gain their rights in the Austro-Hungarian Empire at a time when the existence of the Romanian Kingdom was questioned and the fate of the Romanian dynasty seemed to resemble the good mood of Emperor Wilhelm II .
In 1918, the Bukovinian Romanians became more and more vocal, demanding now not only their rights, but also their autonomy or unity, understanding that the end of the war and the defeat of Austro-Hungary were ever closer.
The initiation of a union declaration had been made in Iasi by the Bucovinean scholar Ion I Nistor, who signed on October 6/19, 1918 the “Declaration of Unification of the Bukovinian Romanians living in Moldova and Bessarabia and of the officers and volunteers, presented to King Ferdinand in Iasi on October 6, “through which the Bukovinian Romanians, who broke all the ties with Austria-Hungary, swore faith to King Ferdinand and stated that they were ready to bring any sacrifice for the political union of all Romanians.
The statement submitted to the King by the representatives of Bucovina was:
“The Bukovinian Romanians living on the territory of the Romanian Kingdom, on our behalf and on the subjugated brothers from home, whose conscience is silly and therefore unable to manifest freely, we declare the following:
We want to be liberated from the yoke of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and we are determined to fight by all means and by all means that the entire Romanian nation be constituted in a single national and free state, under the rule of the Romanian Dynasty
We do not acknowledge the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s right to deal with the fate of the Romanians in Bucovina because, for centuries, it has kept us in the most shameful bondage.
All attempts to federalize the House of Habsburg are desperate gestures of kingdoms judged to decay and perish.
The fate of the Romanians in Austria-Hungary was decided through the war of the Romanian Kingdom and by the free will and the whole Romanian people, and it will consecrate the General Peace Congress, which will also be attended by the official representatives of liberating Romania.
We demand that the entire territory of the Habsburg Monarchy claimed by the Romanian State, recognized and guaranteed by the alliance treaties concluded by Romania with the powers of the Understanding, be liberated and united with the motherland.
All the statements of the Romanians in Bucovina that would be done against these national aspirations, we consider them squeezed by the enemy authorities and these statements will not mislead the opinion of the world, which proclaimed the principles of justice and freedom for all nations oppressed. Iasi, October 6, 1918 “.
On behalf of the Romanians living in Moldavia and Bessarabia and of the Corps of Officers and Volunteers signed the chairman of the Executive Committee Ion I. Nistor and T.V. Ştefanelli as a member.
The reaction of the Austro-Hungarian authorities was not to be expected, trying to stop the Romanians in Bucovina. In October 1918, the president of the Bucovina province, the Count of Etzdorf14, wrote to the Austro-Hungarian Interior Minister Count Dögerich of Toggenburg and to Otokar Czernin, Austrian-Hungarian Foreign Minister, a telegram announcing that the Bukovinian Romanians were organizing to proclaiming solidarity with the Romanians in Transylvania and Hungary, and choosing a National Council to represent the interests of the Romanians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Austro-Hungarian authorities could not prevent the gathering and actions of the Romanians in Bukovina and Transylvania, but they supervised them to intervene in case of need.
In Bucovina, in addition to the danger from the Austro-Hungarian administration, Ukraine was a growing danger, which wanted the province to be constituted. On October 16, the Ukrainian National Council summoned Lvov a Constituent National Assembly proclaiming the independence of the Ukrainian territories of Austro-Hungary, namely: East Galicia, North-West Bucovina and sub-Carpathian Russia.
On October 21, the day when the autonomy of Bessarabia was proclaimed, the National Council of Transylvanian and Bucovinian refugees and volunteers held in Chisinau attended by the Ambassador of the United States of America and the Consul of France, that impressive meeting, in which the resolution as “the whole territory of the Habsburg monarchy, claimed by the Romanian state, recognized and guaranteed by the alliance treaties concluded by Romania with the powers of the Entente (Entente), was liberated and united with the motherland”.
In the Vienna Parliament, in a meeting on October 22, 1918, Socialist Grigorovici demanded that Bukovina be returned to the country from which it was broken 140 years before, but not all Bukovinian MPs had this attitude.
During this turbulent period appeared the newspaper “Glasul Bucovinei”, edited under the direction of Sextil Puşcariu and which, in the first issue, through the “What we want” editorial program to Romanians, is also an exhortation for independence and union.
On October 12/25, 1918, in Chernivtsi, the Ukrainian Regional Committee led by Omelian Popowicz was established to represent Bucovina in the Ukrainian Council. And the Ukrainian Council voted for the creation of the People’s Republic of Western Ukraine claiming the north-west of Bucovina, Chernivtsi, Radauti and Siretul.
In reply, Iancu Flondor and Sextil Puşcariu convened a National Assembly of Romanians, which opened their work on 14/27 October 1918 in the presence of 400 delegates mandated by organizations and communes. Age President was Dionisie Blejan, who proposed Iancu Flondor to chair the meeting. The Assembly was proclaimed the Constituent Assembly of Bukovina and adopted a motion.
In an electronic copy of Count von Trauttmansdorff, addressed to the Foreign Ministry in Vienna on October 19 / November 1, 191815, it was announced:
“Yesterday, in the afternoon, the Romanian National Assembly under the chairmanship of Dr. O. Flondor, the following resolution was drafted:
“1. The representatives of the Romanian people in Bukovina, gathered today on October 27, 1918 in the capital of the country, declare, in the power of the national constitutional sovereignty of this Romanian country.
2. The constitution decides to unite the entire Bukovina integral with the other Romanian countries in an independent national state and will proceed to this purpose in full solidarity with the Romanians in Transylvania and Hungary.
3. To lead the Romanian people in Bucovina and to defend their rights and to establish a close connection between all the Romanians, the Constitution establishes a 50-member National Council. This council will represent us through mandators and at the peace conference, and besides it we do not recognize anyone’s right to decide or treat the Romanian people in Bucovina.
4. The Constitution firmly rejects any attempt to target Bukovina. But he wants to get along with the cohabiting peoples. ”
“The youth, after the meeting, went through the streets singing” Wake up Romanian. The gendarmerie was a lot in Chernivtsi. It was General Fiser. But he did not show signs of life. The Wilsonian principles paralyzed the Potential Quake. The Manifesto of King Charles IV unleashes the subjects of the oath of obedience. Self-determination was the order of the day”16.
On October 27 / November 9, 1918, the first meeting of the Executive Committee of the Romanian National Council in Bucovina was held, under the chairmanship of Iancu Flondor, with vice-presidents Dionisie Bejan, Dori Popovici and Sextil Puşcariu, secretaries Vasile Bădnărescu, Radu Zbiera and Tomoioaga Laurenţa cashier Gh. Bancescu. It was decided to set up three sections: the department for external relations led by Iancu Flondor, whose collaborators were Gh. Grigorovici, Al. Hurmuzaki, Sextil Puşcariu and Gh. Sarbu; Supply Department led by Gh. Sarbu, alongside Vasile Marcu and Aurel Turcan; and the administrative section headed by Dori Popovici, deputy Nicu Flondor and secretary Victor Timmasciuc. The administrative section was the one more numerous and divided into subsections: internal administration, public safety, school, church and church fund, finance, communications and post, hygiene, justice, agriculture, trade and industry, structuring a true Romanian government.
At the same organizing meeting, the Romanian National Council decided that the next day, a delegation of the council consisting of Iancu Flondor, Gh. Grigorovici and Gh. Sarbu to go to negotiations with the imperial governor.
On 15/28 October 1918, during the meeting, the delegation asked Count Etzdorf to hand over power to the National Council representing the will of the Romanians in Bucovina. The president of the province refused and said that he would continue to exercise the power so far, that he did not even allow the influence of power, but that he would send this request to the Vienna government.
The views of the Romanians in Bucovina regarding the destiny of the province were different. Thus Aurel Onciul deputy in the Imperial Parliament did not participate in the Romanian National Assembly in Chernivtsi, standing in a pro-Austrian position and considering that Bucovina must be part of a federation led by Austria; Isopescu-Greek, Simionovici and Baron Alexandru Hurmuzaki, provincial captain, did not attend the assembly, all three being deputies in the Imperial Parliament, like C. Grigorovici who attended the assembly and supported the division of Bucovina on national principles.
On October 21 / November 3, 1918, the Ukrainians convened a large gathering in Chernivtsi, which voted for the division of Bucovina on the ethnic criterion. The Assembly of the Ukrainians then decided that the city of Cernăuţi, the districts of Zastavna, Coţmani, Vascăuţi and Vijnita, the constituencies of Cernăuţi and Siret, according to the majority settled at the last census, and some localities from Storojineţ, Rădăuţi, Suceava and Campulung with Ukrainian majority became national- Ukrainian, and the Ukrainian National Council takes power over these territories. (Constantin Ungureanu, Union of Bucovina with Romania, in 1918, p. 41).
With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, anarchy extends throughout its territory. In Chernivtsi, the Galician soldiers broke the military storages and stole everything they found, while the Romanian soldiers threw their weapons and went to their homes. The robbery was generalized, the soldiers took all the food found: flour, sugar, and clothing.
On October 22 / November 4, 1918, Iancu Flondor, accompanied by the delegation appointed by the Constituent Assembly, with Count Joseph Etzdorf, met with Alexandru Hurmuzaki in the house of Alexandru Hurmuzaki, who showed that the administration can not cope with the robberies and the wave of soldiers returning on the front and devoted themselves to all evils and that it intends to transmit the power of the two Romanian and Ukrainian national committees to decide the fate of Bucovina. Iancu Flondor opposed this plan, pointing out that the Ukrainians wanted Bucovina to be dismantled. In order to restore order, the Romanian government was asked for support, Vasile Bodnărescu being sent to Iaşi, who met with Alexandru Marghiloman, the president of the Council of Ministers, and he was only engaged in sending weapons to the establishment of a national guard. But the situation in Bukovina’s capital had become critical. Even on the evening of November 5, Vasile Bodnărescu goes back to Iaşi to request the intervention of the Romanian Army in Bucovina17
“But the richer and more fruitful autumn for Bucovina and our nation than for the autumn of 1918, we did not have. From the very first days on the west front, Marchetti’s great offensive, Franchet d-Espérey, rose vigorously against the Bulgarian-German front and broke it. On September 29, Bulgaria captures. General Ludendorff determines that a conference will be held at the Spa, whose conclusions culminate in the formulation by the Germans of a torture addressed to President Wilson, calling for leniency. On October 4, Ferdinand of Bulgaria abdicates refugee in Vienna. Meanwhile, the hurricane unleashed by allies is constantly avalanche, crushing German resistance. On October 17, 1918, the Vienna Kaiser manifesto, which puts Austro-Hungary in liquidation, appears”18.
On October 24 / November 6, 1918, the governor’s palace in Chernivtsi was occupied by a platoon from the Ukrainian Legion. The governor was forced to sign the protocol no. 12566 through which power was transmitted to three delegates: two representing the Ukrainian Council and one – Aurel Onciul – as representative of the Romanian people in Bucovina (although he did not have the necessary support). The Lviv Council appointed Omilian Popovici “Ukrainian national commissioner” and Aurel Onciul declared himself “Romanian national commissioner” in Bucovina. The Ukrainian troops also occupied the building where the Romanian National Council in Bucovina was operating, some of whose members were arrested. Deputy Aurel Onciul, without consulting other representatives of the Romanians, agreed with the Ukrainians that a Romanian government was established for the South, and a Ukrainian one for the north of the province, the city of Cernăuţi having a common administration, and the future Peace Congress to decides definitively the fate of Bucovina (Constantin Ungureanu, Unirea Bucovinei with Romania, in 1918, p. 42).
On the same day, the government led by Alexandru Marghiloman resigned, being replaced by a cabinet headed by General Constantin Coanda. The intervention of the Romanian army in Bukovina was immediately approved, the first gendarmerie troops and border guards entering southern Bukovina to restore order. On the evening of November 6, the command of the 8th Division, headed by General Iacob Zadik, was installed in the border town of Burdujeni, where a delegation of the Romanian National Council arrived on 26 October / 8 November 1918 and sent to General Jacob Zadik the Council’s message to enter Bucovina and advance as soon as possible to Chernivtsi; At the same time, Zadik received an order from the Romanian government to head to the capital of Bukovina19.
On 27 November / 9 November, the first Romanian military units (a detachment of Lugojan soldiers) entered Chernivtsi, while a military plane threw manifests announcing the entry of the commanding units of Iacob Zadik on the territory of Bukovina. The Ukrainian forces began to withdraw, so the most important institutions in Chernivtsi were taken under the control of the Romanian National Council, and the priest Gheorghe Şandru became the mayor of Bucovina20. On 29 October / 11 November 1918, General Zadik, at the head of the Romanian military units, entered Cernăuţi. Within a few days the entire territory of Bucovina was under Romanian control.
The priest Petre Popescu21 describes the unfolding of the events:
“On Thursday, November 7, a Romanian Air Force flew over the city, spreading manifestations, revealing the appropriation of the Romanian army.
On Thursday, the shooting became more rare, but the Austrian army household: horses, carriages, etc. was robbed. One of the platoons who lived in my building, found a large bunch of good horses, took what was his and left. Like he did many other servants.
Sunday, November 10, 1918. In Chernivtsi silence was made. The shotguns entered the ground. The trace was lost.
On November 11, the Romanian army entered.
The Romanian army also entered the peace and security of the inhabitants’ lives and lives. ”
On October 30 / November 12, 1918, in the meeting of the Romanian National Council, the provisional fundamental law on the powers in the country of Bucovina was voted. On the same day, the Bukovina government is headed by Iancu Flondor (president and interim judge) and 11 members, who were responsible for various secretariats: (Sextil Puşcariu – Foreign Affairs, Dori Popovici – Interne, Nicu Flondor – Finance and Interim at Defense Gheorghe Sârbu – Agriculture, Radu Sbiera – Instruction, Ipolit Tarnavschi – Cults, Max Hacman – Trade and Industry, Vasile Marcu – Social Affairs and Public Affairs, Aurel Ţurcan – Public Works, Cornel Tarnovieţchi – Communications, Post and Telegraph, Octavian Gheorghian – Public Sanitation)22.
Priest Petre Popescu, representative of the city of Cernăuţi in the session of the Romanian National Council and voter of the Union wrote:
“Time from 11 to 28 November 1918
Archduke23 Wilhelm was captured by the Romanian army in Pocuţia, in a village.
The Ukrainian government for a week ended in shame.
At this time, from November 11-28 in the Romanian society, the way of the Union was discussed alive, that is to say, conditionally or unconditionally proclaiming the act of the Union.
And it was not surprising that there were also voices calling for conditions, for 144 years worked to alienate the Romanian sense. But the healthy sense of the nation was strong and joyful that the time of the Union arrived, and the nation struggled with the storm of time. The convention was: Conditional union.
Day 28 was a feast day. After the divine service and the deployment of the Romanian army, all the people of pure feelings gathered in the Synodal Hall where the proclamation of the unconditional union of Bucovina with Patria-Mum for the eve was held.
Impressive was the act of the Union. Many have shed tears of joy. Feelings of hope in a better future woke up in the souls of the sons of the Romanian people.
The Germans and the Poles, through their representatives, sympathized with the Union Act.
The sheep have noticed an expectant attitude and have joined the Union Act later.
The Ukrainians have not joined the Union Act until today. ”
The Government of Bukovina has taken measures to establish order and combat anarchy and to prepare for union with Romania. Iancu Flondor wrote a government program, the priority being “close ties with the Romanian Kingdom and the Transylvanians”. It was decided to send a delegation to Iasi, under the direction of Sextil Puşcariu, who handed over to King Ferdinand a thank-you message for his help by sending the Romanian army. During this time it is also notes the return to Chernivtsi of a large number of Bucovinian refugees, some of whom are co-opted in the Romanian National Council.
The Romanian National Council decided to convene the General Congress of Bukovina on 15/28 November 1918 to establish the political relations of Bukovina with Romania.
Grigore Mandriş, former volunteer in the Romanian Legion of Italy, witness of the events in Cernăuţi:
“… Ask for the word Socialist deputy Grigorovici, who asks the government’s position towards the co-nations of the country through the determined answer of Iancu Flondor and the clear statement of the Government’s referent, Radu Sbiera, expresses his point of view on the nationalities of the country. A categorical statement: all nationalities will live a national free life, according to their ethnicity. They will be able to develop in all freedom within the framework of the Romanian national state. Romanians will not do the injustice to others for their sake.
The minister – the president – also said he had contacted the nationalities, inviting them to take part by their representatives at the November 15th Congress. The most willing to an understanding were the Poles. They will not be the Union’s adversaries. … Nor are the Germans categorical opponents, but they have asked for a life of free cultural development in the future Romanian state. The Jews are in arrears; and the Ruthenians could not reach an understanding, being intransigent in the unjust claims […]
Earth will be divided among the peasants, both from the Church Fund and the large property: about 60,000 jaws of arable land. This, however, can not be done in a week or two. The prime minister binds with his word of honor to do what he promises. […]
The duty of peasants’ deputies of every Romanian is to enlighten the world of villages on these things, and to show them that the division they have done by self-immolation will not remain, can not be the foundation of righteousness, and whoever removes the sword of the sword dies, Christ said the Apostle Peter. That is why Romanian peasants do not laugh. If the government, which has the power to punish harshly, has not done so today, it’s because he did as a parent, waiting for the stray child to straighten out. But also the parent from time to time puts his hand on the barrel and punishes. The peasant will have land, and the parcel will be done by no later than next autumn. Everything requires patience and the peasant who has suffered forty years of injustice and foreign oppression to wait for the justice of the Romanian Government to come to him. Do not make us ashamed and blush before history”24.
Ownership of the peasants was another issue discussed in Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania and Banat alike. A sensitive subject at a time when Bolshevist propaganda promoted the confiscation of land from landlords and giving it to the proletariat, but also the right to equal voting irrespective of social class and many other desiderata.
In the Kingdom, King Ferdinand had promised to the Romanian soldiers, mostly peasants, the ownership of their bravery in the summer of 1917
On November 15/28, 1918, the works of the General Congress of Bucovina opened in Cernăuţi in the Synod Hall of the Metropolitan Palace. There were 74 members of the Romanian National Council, six Polish delegates, seven Germans, as well as 13 inhabitants of several Ukrainian villages. There were guests from Bessarabia (Pantelimon Halippa, Ion Pelivan, Ion Buzdugan and Grigore Cazacliu), from Transylvania and Hungary (Gheorghe Crişan, Victor Deleu and Vasile Osvad), as well as representatives of the Romanian army headed by General Iacob Zadik25. The opening word had the octogenarian Dionisie Blejan, the chairman being proposed Iancu Flondor, general secretary Radu Zbiera. Ioan Nistor, a Bucovinean Romanian, made a history of the breakup of Bucovina from Moldova and of the injustices suffered by the Bukovinian Romanians in the 144 years of occupation, both from a cultural, economic and political point of view. The Polish and German minorities have recognized the Romanians’ historical right over the territory of Bukovina, expressing the certainty that their religious rights will be recognized.
Then Iancu Flondor read the decision of the General Assembly of Bucovina, unanimously voted by those present, on “the unconditional and eternal union of Bucovina, in its old frontiers, to Ceremus, Colacin and Nistru, to the Kingdom of Romania.”
The Congress elected a delegation26 consisting of Iancu Flondor, Dionisie Blejan, Ion Nistor, Eudoxiu Hurmuzaki, Radu Sbiera, Vasile Bodnarescu, Stanislaus Kwiatkowski who left for Iasi and presented the act of the King Ferdinand Union. From Iasi, the delegation went to Bucharest, together with the government and officials, on 18 November / 1 December 1918 entering the liberated city and returning, after two years, to the capital of the Kingdom of Romania.
December 3/18, King Ferdinand and Ion I.C. Brătianu, the president of the Council of Ministers, signed the decree-law by which the Union of Bucovina was consecrated. On the part of Bukovina, two state ministers without portfolio, Iancu Flondor and Ion Nistor, one delegated for the administration of Chernivtsi and the other representative of the Bucovinians in Bucharest, joined the government.
- Bucovina under Austria. One hundred five to ten years of misfortune and pain, Iaşi, Petru C. Popovici Printing House, 13 Stefan cel Mare 13, 1891
- History of Romanians, vol. VII, tom II, From Independence to the Great Union (1878-1918), Encyclopaedic Publishing House, 2003,
- Testimonies. 1918 La Români. Completing the national-state unity of the Romanian people, vol. II, VII, VIII, Scientific and Enciclopedic Publishing House, Bucharest, 1989
- Veniamin Ciobanu, At the Border of Three Empires, Iasi, Junimea Publishing House, 1975
Iurie Colesnic, Union Generation. Encyclopedia, Museum Culture, Chisinau, 2016
- Mihai Iacobescu, From the history of Bucovina (1774-1862). From the military administration to the provincial autonomy, Bucharest, Romanian Academy Publishing House, 1993
- Ion Nistor, Remembered memories from the Union. 1918, Chernivtsi, 1938
- Ion Nistor, History of Bucovina, Humanitas Publishing House, Bucharest
- Ion Nistor, Remembered memories from the Union. 1918, Chernivtsi, 1938
- Ion Nistor, History of Bucovina, Humanitas Publishing House, Bucharest
- Ştefan Purici, Bukovina at the beginning of the Habsburg rule, Moldova’s History Magazine, no.4 / 2015
- Emil Satco, Ioan Pinzar, Prefecture. Local Historical Landmarks, Iasi, Junimea Publishing House, 1995
1 The Peace of Kuciuk-Kainargi (July 1774) ended with the right of the Tsarist Empire to intervene in the Romanian Lands.
2 On October 12, 1777, Lord Grigore III Ghica was polished and beheaded, his head was sent to Stambul, and the body buried at the Saint Spiridon Church in Iasi.
3 Veniamin Ciobanu, At the Border of Three Empires, Iasi, Junimea Publishing House, 1975; Mihai Iacobescu, From the History of Bucovina (1774-1862). From military administration to provincial autonomy, Bucharest, Romanian Academy Publishing House, 1993, pp. 114-116.
4 Emil Satco, Ioan Pinzar, Prefecture. Local Historical Landmarks, Iasi, Junimea Publishing House, 1995, p. 32.
5 Ştefan Purici, Bukovina at the beginning of the Habsburg rule, The History of Moldova Magazine, no. 4 / 2015p. 55.
7 Eugenie Hacman (1793-1873) Romanian Orthodox cleric, bishop of Bukovina (1835-1873), Marshal of the Duchy of Bucovina, did not want the bishopric of the Transylvanian Artillery, to fight to become a Metropolitan; Archbishop of Chernivtsi and Metropolitan of Bucovina and Dalmatia from January to March 1879, when he died in Vienna.
8 Eudoxiu Hurmuzaki (1812-1874), a politician from Bukovina, studied at the University of Vienna, where he follows Law and History, a doctor of the University of Vienna, wrote the Memorandum of the Romanians in Austria (Transylvania, Banat, Hungary and Bucovina) that called for the establishment of a the Romanian duchy in Bucovina, the struggle for the rights of the Bukovinian Romanians. On his travel trips in Vienna, Istanbul and the whole of Europe, he gathers 6,000 historical documents on the Romanians, which he publishes in 12 volumes, demonstrating the age of the Romanian people.
9 Bucovina under Austria. One hundred five to ten years of misfortune and pain, Iaşi, Printing For C. Popovici, 13 Ştefan cel Mare 13, 1891, p. 3.
10 Ioan G. Sbiera (1836-1916) pupil of Professor Aron The Pumn at the Higher Gymnasium in Cernăuţi, a graduate of the University of Vienna, returns to Cernăuţi in 1861 where he supplements his former teacher, Aron Pumnul, sick, at the Romanian language school of Gymnasium superior, founder of the Adventure Meeting, then of the Romanian Society for Culture and Literature in Bukovina, custodian of the Bucovina Library, has been teaching since 1875 at the University of Chernivtsi, the Faculty of Philosophy, the Romanian language school.
11 Bucovina, Data from the point of view: administrative, political, financial, industrial, economic, agricultural, scholastic, juridical, eclassistic, Theodosiu Jonniţiu Sons, Bucharest, 1915, p. 10.
12 Idem, pp. 4-5.
13 “La Transilvania”, Paris, an. I, no. 1 of May 15, 1918
14 President / Governor of Bucovina province, Count of Etzdorf.
15 Phone No. 17833 of 1 November 1918 in the Testimonies. 1918 La Români. Completing the national-state unity of the Romanian people, vol. II, pag. Bucureşti, 1983
16 Petre Popescu, in the homage volume Remembered memories of the Union, Cernăuţi, 1938
17 Constantin Ungureanu, Union of Bucovina with Romania, in 1918, Moldova’s History Magazine, no. 1/2013, Chisinau, p. 42.
18 Idem, pp. 83-84.
19 Constantin Ungureanu, Union of Bucovina with Romania, in 1918, Moldova’s History Magazine, no. 1/2013, Chisinau, p. 42.
20 Ibidem, p. 43
21 I. Colesniuc, Union of Generations. Encyclopedia, Museum Culture Publishing House, Chisinau, p. 84.
23 Ion I. Nistor, Remembered Memories of the Union. 1918, Chernivtsi, 1938
24 I. Colesnic, Union Generation. Encyclopedia, Museum Culture, p. 87.
25 Ion Nistor, History of Bucovina, Bucharest, 1991, pp. 394-395.
26 Romanian Academy, Romanian History, vol. VII, part II, Encyclopaedic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2003, p. 506.