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Lot 243

Historic Photograph of the Reception in Satmar in Honor of Carol II, King of Romania

Carol II inherited the kingdom from his father, Carol I, in 1930. His attitude to the Jews in the early days of his rule was 'lukewarm.' In 1936, he caused a great Kiddush Hash-m in the country. He arrived, accompanied by a large parade, to the city of Satmar. The municipality had prepared a huge stage on which all the religious and municipal leaders of the town stood. The leaders of all religions stood on the platform of honor, Jews beside the other religions. The occasion led to a double Kiddush Hash-m.

The Admor Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, the city's rabbi, arrived accompanied by his son-in-law, the rabbi of Semihalle and community leader Rabbi Shmuel Rosenberg. Beside them were also rabbis of the status quo and neolog communities. And next to them, other religious and municipal leaders. The king arrived with a splendid parade comprised of thousands of soldiers and courtiers. When the king approached the stage, he surveyed all the people who stood on it and started walking in the direction of Rabbi Yoel. Meanwhile, two priests started walking toward the king; however, he ignored them and turned to Rabbi Yoel, who stood alone, one hand holding his rabbinical stick and the other, his hat. Rabbi Yoel immediately noticed what was happening: he saluted and said the blessing "Shenatan MiChvodo LiVnei Adam" (who gave from his honor to human beings). The king gave Rabbi Yoel his hand. The moment was documented by a Jewish photographer and was published in the Romanian press. Several days later, the king was asked why he approached the Orthodox rabbi first and he responded: immediately when I walked toward the stage, I surveyed all those who were standing on it, my heart was attracted to this rabbi, or in his words "Yiddishen geistlichen rabbiner," due to his appearance that radiated spirituality. The king's response was published in the Jewish press in the country.

However, two years later, in 1938, he formed an anti-Semitic government with fascistic tendencies. The citizenship of approximately a third of the Jews of Romania was revoked and a campaign of exploitation, discrimination and economic robbery of the Jews of the country started. In late 1940, he was deposed from his office.

[1] photograph. 8.5x13 cm. Moderate-fine condition. Minor stains and creases.