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Borsa, Romania

BORSA (Rom. Borşa), mountain village in Northern Transylvania, Maramures region, Romania; within Hungary before 1918 and from 1940 to 1944. Jewish communal life had developed there by 1751. According to local Hasidic legend, *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov visited the village. At the beginning of the 19th century there were nearly 250 Jewish residents. Hasidism was strong in Borsa. Many Jews there were occupied in agriculture, forestry, and lumbering as manual laborers; Jews also owned lumber mills and woodworking plants. The community numbered 1,432 in 1891 (out of a total population of 6,219), 1,972 in 1910 (out of 9,332), and 2,486 in 1930 (out of 11,230). On July 4, 1930, the Jewish quarter was destroyed by fire – a clear act of arson prompted by the *Iron Guard .

After the annexation of Northern Transylvania by Hungary in September 1940, the Jews were subjected to the anti-Jewish laws already in effect in Hungary. After the German occupation, the Jews were placed in a local ghetto, from which they were transferred to the concentration and entrainment center of *Viseul-de-Sus (Hg. Felsövisó) together with the Jews from the neighboring communities in the district of Viseulde-Sus. The Jews of Borsa were among the approximately 9,100 Jews who were deported from Viseul-de-Sus in three transports on May 19, May 21, and May 25, respectively. Of those who returned, 395 were living in Borsa in 1947. Their number subsequently decreased, with most emigrating to Israel, and only two or three families remained in the 1970s.


D. Schön, in: Uj Kelet, nos. 5382, 5385, 5396, 5401, 5406 (1966). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: R.L. Braham, Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary (19942); PK Romanyah, 95–99.

[Yehouda Marton / Randolph Braham (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.