A ROMANIAN HUMANIST
THE GREAT MAECENAS EMANUIL GOJDU
Emanuil Gojdu, the great Maecenas of the Romanians from Transylvania, Banat and Hungary, was born on February 1802 in Oradea, into the family of the irerchant Atanasie Popovici Gojdu and his wife Ana (born Poynar).
Most historians and researchers who have dwelt upon the exceptional personality of Emanuil Gojdu state that his patemal ancestors were Romanians from Macedonia, whose origins can be traced in the town of Moscopole (located today in southern Albania).
This town was plundered and destroyed several times by the Turks. That is why in the 18th century many Romanian families from Macedonia took refuge in Poland. However, in the late 18th century, Poland was also a victim of the hege-monic, expansionist policy carried on by Russia, Pmssia and Austria, which divided it among themselves. For this reason many Romanian Macedonians left Poland and settled in Budapest, Vacz, Esztergom, Szentendre, Miskolc, Kecskemet, Oradea, Arad and Timisoara.
From among these Romanian Macedonian emigrants, who got involved in the political, religious and cultural life of the communities they settled in, families such as Mocioni, Sima, Dumba, Grabovsky, Saguna, loanovici, Naco, Cazacovici, Manu, Muciu, Stupa, Sunda and especially Gqjdu, by its most outstanding representative, Emanuil, remarked themselves by the humanitarian actions they most generously performed.
After their refuge from Poland, the Gojdu family settled first in Miskolc, where the Sagunas were living. From there, a branch of the Gojdus emigrated across the Danube, while another branch settled in Bihor.
Emanuil Gojdu’s maternal ancestors belonged to the Poynar family of Craidorolt.
Emanuil Gojdu spent his childhood in his parents’ house of Oradea, together with his brothers (Dumitru, loan, Simion, Vasile and Gheorghe) and his parents, Ana and Atanasie, who offered him a distinguished moral-religious education and who seeded in his heart the love for the Romanian people and for our ancient Orthodox church, the two fundamental coordinates of his existence.
Emanuil Gojdu attended with excellent results the Romanian Orthodox School and the Catholic High-school of the premonstratensi monks (the High Premontori Gymnasium) of Oradea, as well as the Catholic High-school of Eger (1819-1820). Next, he completed his studies m juridical sciences at the Academies of Oradea (1820-1821), Pojon (today’s Bratislava, 1821-1822), being one ofthe out-standing students of these higher education institutions.
In 1824, after he got his lawyer’s diploma, he worked on probation for three years in the office of the Serbian lawyer
Mihai Vitkovic of Budapest. Vitkovic had the most refmed cultural concerns and was also an appreciated poet, who wrote in a folk-like style. In his house young Emanuil Gojdu had the opportunity to meet the most renowned Hungarian wnters of the time – Francisc Kazinczy, Benedict Virag, Damil Berzsenyi, Andrei Fay, Carol and Mihaly Kisfaludy – who guided his attempts at writing poetry in Hungarian which he published in the “Szepliteraturai Ajandek” magazine.
In the same period Emanuil Gojdu attended the literary circle ofAtanasie Grabovsky, together with the members of the Romanian community of Pest, namely young Romanians who were studying there. In the spiritual atmosphere per-vaded by the historical and linguistic views of the Transylvanian School, a good many Romanian literary and cultural personalities met in Grabovsky’s literary circle such as Petru Maior, Samuil Micu Clain, Damaschin Bojmca, Stefan R Neagoie, Teodor Aaron, Emanuil Gojdu Ettimie Murgu, Partenie Cosma, Zaharia Carcalechi etc.
On the same occasion Emanuil Gojdu started a close friendship with Atanasie Grabovsky’s nephew, Andrei Şaguna, future bishop, then metropolitan of Transylvania and one of Emanuil Gojdu’s most important collaborators When he ended his probation as a lawyer in M Vitkovic’s office, Emanuil Gojdu opened his own office as a lawyer and notary m Pest. Shortly he became a well-known juridical authority and one of the most famous lawyers in the Hungarian capital. His pleas were published in specialized revues and presented as models to the students of law from the Universities of Pest and Pojon (Bratislava). He was the first to replace Latin with Hungarian in the actions brought to court in Buda and Pest.
Because of his professional successes, Emanuil Gojdu quickly came to have a high living standard. Being a practical-minded person and a good manager, the young lawyer became the owner of two steam mills and chairman of the steam mill owners’ association from the Hungarian capital. In 1832 he bought for 30,000 Vienese forints Wilhelm Sebastian’s house, situated today in Kiraly Street (Royal Street).
Several years later he paid 2,910 forints for 36,015 square fathoms from Baron Ludovic Podmaniczky’s orchards (the Racos estate). In 1954 he divided the housing surface in Kiraly Street into plots – where gradually were put up the buildings which now make up the Gojdu passageway (Gojdu-udvar).
From the pages of his famous will – drawn up in November 1869 – Gojdu emerges as a wise and thoughtful man of exceptional husbandry , who made daring investments in real 6state and personal property, the value of which rose continuously.(l)
Besides his thriving situation, Emanuil Gojdu was also blessed by God with an exceptional family life. On June 30, 1832 the young lawyer married Anastasia Pometa (born in 1796). She was the daughter of the Romanian-Macedoman merchant Constantin Pometa and had been previously mar-ried to the Romanian merchant Alexandm Vulpe. The two young people were married by the priest and writer loan Teodorovici and their godfather was Atanasie Grabovsky.
The young family was blessed by God with a daughter, Maria-Cornelia, who lived only one year. Then, for 31 years – between 1832 and 1863 – Emanuil and Anastasia Gojdu lived in perfect harmony, their infinite love pouring over the young Romanian students, to whom they were like second parents.
Here is what Partenie Cosma wrote about Emanuil Gojdu s family life: “He was proud of his Romanian Orthodox origin, of his being a man from the people (not an aristocrat), and, whenever he had the opportunity, he would show it both with his words and with his deeds. Whenever he had his meals together with foreigners, he would meaningfully cross himself both before and after the meal. On Easter days, whenever he sat down at table, he would sing “Christ has resurrected”. In his house only foreigners were addressed in their own language. But in the family or when he was with other Romanians he would only speak Romanian, partly the Romanian-Macedonian dialect, partly our language, which he had learned in his parents’ house and which his wife had learnt from him or during the frequent conversations with Romanian young people… Both before and after 1848, his house was well known as a Romanian household, where all Romanians were well received and well supported. In his lawyer’s office he would employ only Romanian young people. A great number of the former university youngsters are still alive, who used to spend their Sundays and their summer holiday afternoons in Gojdu’s house, where, even as unexpected guests, they used to be well received and well fed. Gojdu used to stay with them, make jokes and sing national songs, inspiring them with national ideals. He was one of those rare elderly persons in Hungary who deeply trusted the future of his nation.”
The Budapest newspaper “Concordia” (No.1/13 July 1862) wrote that, on such an occasion, Gojdu, deeply moved, had uttered the following words: “As a faithful son of my Church, 1 praise God for making me Romanian; the love 1 have for my people steadily prompts me to… keep doing the same, so that even after my death 1 can rise out of my tomb and be forever in my nation’s bosom”
The Gojdus’ family life and the example set by them last-ed till 1863, when Anastasia passed away.
A year later, on 8 January 1864, Emanuil Gojdu married young Melania, born into a Macedonian-Romanian family and daughter of the bank director Ignatiu Dumcia. Melania Dumcia remaried after Gojdu’s death and lived until 1911.
Having a high living standard and being enthusiastically supported by his family, Gojdu became from early youth an enlightening apostle of the Romanian people.
His spiritual links with the Hungarian writers he met in the house of the laywer Mihail Vitkovic, as well as with the Romanian intelligentsia and the Romanian young people who used to attend Atanasie Grabovsky’s literary circle, determined Emanuil Gojdu to back the Romanian cultural activities and printings issued in Pest in the first half of the 19th century.
He wrote for the magazine “The Romanian Library”, edited by Zaharia Carcalechi, and sponsored the printing ofboth this magazine and the “Romanian Calendar”(1830) edited by Stefan R. Neagoie, teacher of the Romanian school in Pest.
Emanuil Gojdu’s wish to see an intellectual elite rising also from his nation made him evince – as we have already stated – a steady concern for the young people studying at Hungarian universities.
Moreover, he tried to find other ways and means to make his ideals come true. Thus, in 1861, when in Transylvania and Banat restrictions were imposed on the right to education in Romanian, he donated 2,000 forints for setting up the Romanian high-school of Lugoj, and also offered help to the young people who were to study there in order to accede to higher state administration positions from where to serve the interests of the Romanian people, according to the law.
With the same purpose — the cultural progress of the Romanian people — in 1861 he set up the “Committee of the Young Jurists from the University of Pest”. Likewise, he launched an appeal through the Romanian press to the entire population of Transylvania to contribute with donations to the creation of a fund meant to help the Romanian students attending the Law Faculty of Pest Starting with April 1862 scholarships were granted from this fund also to students attending human and veterinary medicine as well as sylviculture.
Emanuil Gojdu was also one of the founders of the School of Arts and Crafts from Budapest, later on transformed into a Polytechnic School.
Likewise, he was one of the founders of ASTRA, set up in 1861, and he blended the cultural activities of this institution, meant to enlighten the people, with his well-known political actions.
Emanuil Gojdu lived in a period of great political turmoil, marked by fierce disputes and national manifestations, which he perceived in their deep significance and which he used for the emancipation of the Romanians.
He made his debut on the political scene in 1848 and turned out to be a passionate defender of the national interests of the Romanians from Bihor and other parts of Transylvania which had been joined to Hungary.
From the very beginning, “Gojdu stood out in Pest as an authoritative voice of the Romanians in the political milieus of the Habsburg and the Austro-Hungarian Empires, and thus contributed to outlining and supporting their ideals. Owing to his sparkling and open personality, with great propensity for interculturalism, he was a catalyst for the Romanian-Hungarian cultural links, an appreciated and much listened to interlocutor in the political circles from Budapest, and also a convincing champion of the Romanians’ national ideals.”
On 21 May 1848, in close co-operation with other Romanian 1848 militants from the counties of Arad, Bihor, Torontal and Caras, Emanuil Gojdu drew up the “Petition of
the Romanian people from Hungary and Banat”, a genuine political programme for the emancipation of the Romanians. The document comprised the requests of the Romanians from the Empire: schools in Romanian, autonomy for the church, direct participation in public life.
After the defeat of the 1848-1849 revolution Emanuil Gojdu withdrew from the political scene for a whi e, devoting himself to strictly professional concerns, to philanthrophic action and also to helping his close friend, the Orthodox bishop Andrei Saguna from Sibiu, with advice and concrete Sns, in order to regain the autonomy of the Romanian Orthodox Church from Transylvania.
Gojdu returned to the political arena at the beginning of the liberal constitutional period (1861-1867), being appointed supreme comite (prefect) in Lugoj and member of the House of Magnates, the highest legislative body of the Hungarian Parliament.
His appointment in these two positions and the political programme he presented – in which he pledged to reconstruct the constitutional life, to defend justice and lawfulness to listen to and to support the needy, to back up any good and useful initiative for the inhabitants of the county aroused enthusiastic response both among the Romanians and among the Hungarians and Germans (Swabians) from Banat. As prefect of Lugoj, Gojdu also uttered the following memorable words: “I see the Roman.an and the Hungarian peoples like two tmns who, given their history”, called forth to live together and to drink the milk of the same mother”.
As the House of Magnates, Gojdu endeavoured o carry on his political activity with dignity and entirely in accordance with the duties he had assumed. In order to better know the past of the Romanians from Transylvania and Banat, who had elected him to represent their interests, Gojdu asked for data from the Orthodox and the Greek-Catholic hierarchs (Andrei Saguna, respectively Alexandru Sterca-Sulutiu and Vasile Erdeli). At the same time, he acted as a cohesion element, gathering around him all the political personalities who represented the Romanians’ interests in Budapest.
The way he acted in order to obtain the support of all deci-sion-making political and ecclesiastical factors for the progress ofthe Romanian nation made Teodor V. Pacatian to say later that “none of the representatives of the Romanians in the Parliamant understood the difficult situation of their co-nationals better than Emanuil Gojdu. And none of them was more convinced than Emanuil Gojdu of the necessity of solidarity among the champions of national ideals “.
True to the solemn pledge he took on 8 January 1861 in front of the Romanian students from Pest to “strive as a Romanian and as a patriof’ for the material and spiritual progress of the people, Gojdu delivered memorable speech-es to defend the Romanians’ political and social rights. According to the historian loan Lupas, the acme of his polit-ical career was the speech held on 19 June 1861, when Gojdu clearly pointed out the weaknesses of the political measure by which, despite the will of the Romanian majori-ty, the Diet summoned in Cluj in 1848 had decided to join Transylvania to Hungary.
After the dissolution of the Diet and the inauguration of the provisionality status in 1861, Emanuil Gojdu – “a man of principle and with a solid conception on constitutionalism”, according to Teodor Nes, resigned from the political positions he had occupied.
In 1865 he rejoined the Diet of Pest as a deputy for the electoral circumscription of Tinca (Bihor). In this period Gojdu was representing the Romanians in the commission entrusted with working out the law on the equal rights of nationalities. As a supporter of close relationships between Romanians and Hungarians, in the speeches he delivered and the actions he carried on within this commission, he had a conciliatory and tolerant attitude, arisen from his experience of peaceful co-habitation with the other nationalities of the Empire.
That is why, at the acme of his political career, he did not hesitate to assert the following creed: “I was born in Hungary, 1 have to thank the Hungarian nation for my development and my happiness (and when 1 say happiness, 1 do not mean my present state, for this is not happiness for me); as early as my childhood years, 1 was protected by the Hungarians; though everybody knew 1 was Romanian and Orthodox, no Hungarian accused me of being those; only owing to them and among them did 1 attain a thriving situa-tion, and still, no one ever told me to stop being a Romanian. 1 love my homeland with all my heart, and for its good 1 am ready to sacrifice my life at any moment. That is why 1 can-not see the Hungarian cause otherwise than identical to our common freedom. But, apart from that, 1 have grown old as a good Romanian…”
In 1867, after he left the barricades of active political hfe, enjoying the high esteem of his conationals and of the state authorities, Emanuil Gojdu was awarded the Leopold Order 3rd Class. Likewise, in 1869 he was appointed judge at the Supreme Court of Hungary, a position that he was to occupy until his death, on 3 February 1870. His mortal remains were laid into the ground on 5 Febmary 1870 in the Kerepesi
Cemetery of Budapest.
Gojdu’s will is the utmost expression of his generosity and was drawn up on 4 November 1869, in the presence of loan Puscariu, Rorian Varga, Atanasiu Cimponeriu, Simeon
Popovici and loan Alduleanu, friends and trustworthy peo-ple, who played an outstanding role both in enforcing the provisions of the will and in the history of the Gojdu Foundation. The enforcement of the will was entrusted to Michail Szeher, George loanovici of Duleu and Valea Mare and George Grabovsky ofApadia (Art. 8). The will was multiphed in several authenticated copies, which were entrusted to Melania (Gojdu’s wife), Mihail Mandrino (his nephew) loan Poynar senior of Oradea, metropolitan Andrei Saguna, the Orthodox bishops of Arad and Caransebes, as well as the authorities of Budapest.(Art.lO).
The will was made public on the very day of Goidu’s death, 3 February 1870.
Gojdu’s wealth consisted of the house in Kiraly Street, the villa on the Rakos estate, land, shares at the banks “Pesti Hazai Elso Takarekpentztar” and “Hazai Bank”, famiture, silver, gold, precious stones, horses, cattle, carriages, carts, tools, ete.
Among the legal heirs to the wealth acquired by Emanuil Gojdu were the children of Iulia Mandrino (daughter of Anastasia Pometa’s sister), special mention being made of the magistrate Mihail Mandrino, who was to receive yearly 360 forints (Art.1). The others were to receive 12,000 forints (Art 7 par.A).
To Melania Gojdu (bom Dumcea, his second wife) he left a yearly income of 6,000 forints.(Art.3). Ifshe were to get married agam she would receive 60,000 forints. If she never remaried and died as Gojdu’s widow, she would receive, besides the annu-al mcome, the sum of 25,000 forints, which was to be used according to the late Mrs. Gojdu’s will (if she ever drew up one) (Art.4.)
Gojdu also entrusted Melania with the expenses for his funeral (“as few as possible”). He asked to be interred only by the Romanian priest from Pest. Then, on the first Saturday, 100 forints were to be distributed to the poor, since “the expensive luxury of one hour will never change the world’s judgment, which speaks freely of a person only after his death”. He specifically stated his wish to be laid inside a copper coffin, m the Pometa family crypt, beside the coffin of his first wife. Then, after Melania’s death, he wanted a new crypt to be built “in the area assigned to the Romanians”, where his earthly remains would be laid beside hers. (Art.6)
After the reimbursement of the debts, the donations to the church (Art. 1 and 4) and the funeral expenses (Art.6), Gojdu explicitly stated that he was leaving his entire wealth “to that part of the Romanian nation from Hungary and Transylvania that preserves the Eastern Orthodox religion”, so that they would set up the “Gojdu Foundation” (Art.7).
For the good functioning of the Foundation he established the following rules:
– The representative body of the Foundation was to administer his wealth so as to increase it under the most profitable circumstances.
– The 54 bank shares were to be preserved as “a safe source of income”
– The representative body was to be made up of the
Orthodox metropolitan or bishop, all the Romanian
Orthodox bishops from Hungary and Transylvania and an equal number of lay members, plus other three lay persons of great authority, known for their honourableness and their devotion as Eastern Orthodox Romanians. A representative of the Poynar family was to join the per-sons mentioned above.
– For 50 years (1871-1921), 2 thirds of the income of the Foundation were to be capitalized, while one third was to be distributed in the form of scholarships to “those young men of Eastern Orthodox religion who distinguish them-selves by their good conduct and by their talent, and whose parents are not wealthy and therefore cannot see to the bringing-up and education of their children”. – In the next 50 years (1921-1971), three fifths of the yearly income were to be capitalized, while two fifths were to be offered as scholarships to students and young people who wanted to make a career as artists, priests or teachers. – In the third period of 50 years (1971-2021), 50 of the income was to be capitalized, while the other half was to be used, in keeping with the above principles, “to help more young students, and also to pay particularly gifted but poor priests and teachers with large families or advanced in years”. – In the fourth period (2021-2071), the capitalization of the income was to stop and a reserve fund was to be created from one tenth of the yearly income. The remaining goods were to “be used for any other religious purposes of Eastern Orthodox Romanians… bearing in mind the prosperity and welfare of the country, of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the Romanian nation”. – The representative body of the Foundation granted the scholarships, the Poynar family members having priority only “if they remain true to the Eastern Orthodox religion”. – The members of the representative body got no material reward, they ought to feel “rewarded in their conscience for helping in processing the material I offered them, with a view to developing our beloved nation”; – The representative body of the Foundation was to present reports on its activity to “the large public”, by means of the publications of the time (“the official Hungarian newspaper and three Romanian largely read newspapers); should errors be committed in the administration, then the
“governmental inspection may intervene, as defined and ruled by the law”.
– The scholarships were to be offered after contests organized by the representative body. (“after contests announced in three Romanian newspapers”;)
– The Gojdu Foundation could not be subject to discussions in the Romanian-Serbian congresses or synods, nor in the joint Greek-Catholic and Romanian ones. “…my foundation cannot be subject to discussion under any circumstances; – on the fate of this foundation the vote or the opinion of the Serbs or of Unitarian Romanians shall have no power”.
– At the end of these provisions, the great Maecena
Emanuil Gojdu expressed his wish that “The will shall be read by all Eastern Orthodox parish churches every year on 9 February, the day when i was born.”
– Emanuil Gojdu’s will is the highest expression of his enlightened Christian humanism, which guided him along his entire earthly existence, which he steadily promoted in his political creed and in his exceptional deeds, and which granted him the moral right “to be forever in the Romanian nation’s bosom”.
The Gojdu Foundation was set up by the will of 4 November 1869 and began to function after the death of its outstanding founder.
According to the provisions of the will, Gojdu’s wealth was to be administered by a representative body, made up of the Orthodox metropolitan of Transylvania, the Orthodox bishops of Arad and Caransebes and lay members among whom one from the Poynar family.
The first representative body was elected on 23 April 1870 and included metropolitan Andrei Saguna, bishop Procopie Ivascovici of Arad, bishop loan Popasu of Caransebes, Ioan Alduleanu, loan Puscariu, loan Faur, Dionisie Poynar, George Mocioni and Nicolae loanovici. They gathered for the first time for a preliminary meeting on 4 June 1870. On that occasion Nicolae Ioanovici was entrusted with the administration of the assets. Afterwards, the representative body gathered in a constitutive meeting on 25 September 1870. (1)
The representative body owned a seal with the inscription “Let the children come to me. The Goszdu Foundation 1870″.
The representative body was to be re-elected every three yearc. It would meet in two sessions, either in Sibiu or in Budapest, in March and August.
The Gojdu Foundation and its representative body functioned under the aegis of the Romanian Orthodox nadonal church, respectively under the aegis of the Metropolitan Consistory of Sibiu.
From among the members of the Gojdu Foundation “representative body”, the following names are worth mendoning here: metropolitan Andrei Saguna, Miron Romanul, Ioan Medanu, Nicolae Balan, bishops Procopie Ivascovici, Iosif Goldis and Ioan Papp of Arad, Ioan Popasu, Nicolae Popea and Miron Cristea from Caransebes, and Roman Ciorogariu from Oradea. Likewise, loan Puscariu (1870-1911), Ioan Alduleanu, Dionisie Poynar, losif Gall (1872-1912), Atanasie Cimponeriu, George Stupa, Iacob Bologa, Gheorghe Serb (1885-1914), Partenie Cosma (18902-1923), Ioan Mihu (1912-1915), Antoniu Mocioni, Andrei Barseanu (1916-1922), Avram Berlogia, protopope Emilian Cioran and others, all of them outstanding personalities in the religious, political and cultural life of Transylvania.
From among the members of the representative body, Ioan Puscariu had an essential role in the existence of the Foundation. Several times the Foundation risked being dissolved. First, nght after Gojdu’s death, his widow Melania, prompted by persons displeased with the provisions of the will which favoured only Romanian Orthodox young people, prepared to contest the will in court. This was extremely easy, for in his will, Gojdu had specified that, in case of trial, the court was always to decide m favour of the widow (Art. 9 of the will). It was only the tact and skill of loan Puscariu that managed to avoid the trial and saved the Foundation.
Also, as a result of the claims made by Gojdu’s relatives – the families Poynar, Mandrino and Getzo-Sztupa – the same Ioan Puscariu succeeded in appeasing the conflicts and in avoiding tn-als. As chairman of the executive committee of the representative body, loan Puscariu took great pains to administer the assets, to sell profitably some land, to draw up the statutes of the Foundation and to publish the “Annals of the Foundation”.
In order to carry on its activity under the best conditions, in keeping with the provisions of Emanuil Gojdu’s will, the representative body of the foundation gradually elaborated a series of normative acts, such as:
1. Orderfor the internal affairs of the representative body of the Goszdu Foundation (at the meeting of 25 September 1870), stipulating that the body was always made up of a chairman (always the metropolitan), a deputy chairman, a notary and an executive committee consisting of three members. Mention was made of the duties always incum-bent on its members.
2.0rderforgrantingfundsfrom the “Goszdu Foundation”
(at the meeting of 24 December 1871) – mentioning the five categories of scholarships, amounting to between 100-500 Austrian forints, as well as the duties incumbent on both the contestants and the winners of the respective grants;
3. The Statutes of the Goszdu Foundation — approved in the meeting of 14-19 August 1879, comprised provisions concerning the object and purpose of the Foundation, the representative body and the way of appointing its members, the activity of the representative body and the order of scholarships between 1870-1920. (6) 4. Foundational Letters – authorized by the national ecclesiastical Congress on 21 October-2 November 1879, then reviewed in 1882 and approved during the meeting of the representative body in Budapest, on 2 May 1885; the Letters were also sent to the Hungarian Ministry of Cults led by Agoston Trefort, who approved them on 25 November 1885. The Letters comprise an inventory of the assets of the Foundation, a statement on its object, character and purpose, the statute of the representative body, the manner of distributing the scholarships and that of administering and controlling the assets. The Foundational Letters specify that, being the indivisible property of the Orthodox Romanians from Hungary (and Transylvania), because of its religious character, the Foundation belongs with Church foundations and, apart from the right of the government to supreme inspections, it is under the authority of the Romanians’ national ecclesiastical Congress, respectively the metropolitan Consistory as a supreme ecclesiastical body. (8) 5. The Regulations for the internal affairs of Goszdu’s Foundation – comprise rules concerning the representative body, the order of the meetings, the election of new members, the administration of the assets, the way of granting scholarships and assistance, the administrative office of the Foundation and its expenses. It was reviewed and approved in the meetings of 28-29 August 1896, being the final form of this normative act for the Foundation. (10)
All these regulations – drawn up in keeping with the provisions of Emanuil Gojdu’s will – constituted the legal juridical framework for the activity carried on by the members of the representative body according to state regulations related to this category of institutions.
Right after Gojdu’s will was made public and the court of Budapest inventoried the assets, the wealth was estimated at about 93,000 forints.
With spirit of sacrifice, perseverance and skill, in two decades the leaders of the Foundation’s representative body managed to increase the wealth (burdened by fiscal debts). In 1883 the Foundation bought the house at 16 Dob Street, in 1884 the house at 8 Hollo Street and in 1888 the proper-ties of Oradea (the house, plots of land inside the town and vineyards, bought from the Poynar family).(15)
Between 1903-1905 seven new buildings were erected at 13 Kiraly Street and 16 Dob Street (four 3-storeyed buildings and three 2-storeyed ones), while the house at 8 Hollo Street was modernized, the total cost of the construction works amounting to 978, 935.80 kr.
The houses were erected according to architect Gyozo Czigler’s design.
According to the report drawn up and read by engineer Rainer Karoly (Czigler died that very day, 18/31 March 1805), the buildings in “GojduYard” – the seven aforesaid constructions – “make up a passageway with 5 yards, from Kiraly Street to Dob Street, comprising 39 modem flats pro-vided with all facilities, while the groundfloor has 45 shops and 2 dwellings for the porters”. All in all they cost 977, 277.20 kr, while the adjustments on the house at 8 Hollo Street amounted to 5, 128.09 kr. The total cost of the works was 982, 405.09 kr.
The shops and the flats were rented, the income thus obtained being used by the Foundation.
Besides these buildings, an important role was played by he shares at the banks “Pesti Hazai Elso Takarekpenztar” and “Hazai Bank”.
If in 1870 the Gojdu Foundation owned only “54 shares in the savings bank called Prima patriotica, in Pest” and 45 shares in the “Concordia” steam mill, in 1916 – the year when the value of the shares kept in banks was at its highest it had 335 shares in Pesti Hazai Elso Tkpt., 10 shares in the Concordia steam mill, 5 “Tisza” shares, 1,553 shares in
Hazai bank and 50 shares at “Pesti Hazai Elso Tkpt” the whole amounting to 6 500, 934 kr.
On 31 December 1917, the overall value of the
Foundation’s assets was 8 390, 704 kr, while in 1918 it exceeded 10 000, 000 kr.
The first world war (1914-1918) had a strong impact on the wealth of the Foundation. In 1915 the representative body approved a war loan of 250,000 kr. In 1916 another loan of 400 000 kr was approved, followed by a third one of 100,000 kr. These sums were never repaid to the Gojdu Foundation, because of the disruption of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918.
Also, the Foundation granted the sum of 10,000 kr to the construction of an orphanage in Sibiu for the orphan children of the soldiers who had died in war, since most of those who had benefited from Foundation scholarships were on the battlefield and died heroically. The sum was offered from the fund meant for scholarships.
On 31/18 August 1912 the Foundation Committee entrusted loan Mihu with the task of drawing up a report and concrete proposals concerning the necessity of moving the representative body of the Gojdu Foundation from Budapest to Sibiu, a proposal which was accepted and put into practice also because of the new historical circumstances.
Beginning with 1871, the Gojdu Foundation continuously granted study scholarships to Romanian Orthodox students and pupils. Most of them studied at the reputed universities of Vienna, Pest, Graz, Berlin, Zurich, Chemnitz, Mariabrun, Jena, Karlsruhe, Leipzig etc.
If in 1871 only 4 scholarships were granted, 12 in 1872 and 33 in 1873, in 1884 their number rose to 116, then to 135 in 1900, 233 in 1911 and 306 in 1917.
From the Annals of the Gojdu Foundation it results that, between 1871 and 1900, 1,492 scholarships were granted, amounting to 1 063,968 forints. Likewise, 358 students benefited from occasional assistance in taking their graduation exams and doctor’s degrees, the total cost amounting to 80 409, 60 forints.
In this period, out of a total number of 415 beneficiaries of the Foundation scholarships, 149 studied law, 114 studied medicine, 7 studied pharmacy, 45 philosophy, 72 polytech-nics, 21 sylviculture and 7 commercial sciences.
Out of these, only 226 graduated, 44 abandoned their stud-ies and 145 continued them.
Between 1901 and 1918, 1,835 scholarships were grant-ed, amounting to 1 232, 905 kr.
At the same time, 570 students benefited from assistance for their graduation exams and doctor’s degrees, the total sum amounting to 344,442 kr. Out of a total number of 420 students, 96 attended medicine, 17 pharmacy, 198 law, 14 philosophy, 18 the polytechnic institute, 15 sylviculture, 17 commercial sciences, 11 the veterinary academy, 8 pedagog-ical sciences, 12 agronomy, 6 the fine arts, 6 the academy of music, 1 Oriental studies and 1 went for sports. Out of them 219 graduated, 115 abandoned their studies (a great number of them going to war) and 86 continued their studies.
Between 1871-1900 the pupils from various schools and high-schools were granted scholarships amounting to 54,224 forints, while between 1901-1918, 673 scholarships were granted, amounting to 249, 552 kr.
According to the statistical data above, it results that, between 1870 and 1900, students were granted scholarships amounting to 1 063, 968 forints and 358 financial aids amounting to 80,409 forints. Pupils were granted 455 scholarships amounting to 54, 224 forints.
In the next period, between 1901-1918, students were granted 1, 835 scholarships amounting to 1 232, 905 kr and 570 financial aids amounting to 344, 442kr.
From the data above it results that a total of 4,455 scholarships were granted to students and pupils, amounting to 1 117, 292 forints and 1 481, 458kr. 928 occasional aids were offered, amounting to 80, 409 forints and 344, 442 kr.
Among the grantees of the Gojdu Foundation mention should be made of Stefan Velovan, Patriciu Dragalina, Victor Babes, Traian Vuia, luliu Prodan, Comel Miclosi, loan Lupas, Silviu Dragomir, Romulus Vuia, Valer Moldovan, Octavian Goga, Valeriu Braniste, Petru Groza, Nicolae Zigre, Aurel Vlad, Teodor Nes, Aron Cotrus, Augustin Hamsea, Avram Sadeanu, Liviu Blaga, Enea Hodos, Zeno Vancea, Andrei Mageru, Dumitru Staniloaie etc. All these belonged to the Romanian intellectual elite and spread the light ofculture among the people, keeping awake Romanian Orthodox consciousness and playing a decisive role in preparing the great Union of Transylvania and Romania on 1 December 1918.
After World War II almost all the assets of the Gojdu Foundation remained in Hungary. The representative body was in Sibiu, while the Budapest property Administration had its headquarters at 8 Hollo Street The houses of the Gojdu Foundation were entrusted to the parish priests Ghenadie Bogoevici (23 November 1933) and Toma Ungureanu (until 1952).
After the disruption of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Hungary was forced by Art. 249 of the Trianon Peace Treaty to return all foundations to their owners. The assets of the Gojdu Foundation were to go to the Orthodox Romanians from Romania (90), from Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia (6), and from Hungary (4).
The representative body from Sibiu immediately began to lobby for the Orthodox Metropolis of Transylvania to assert its legitimate right to these assets. To this effect, the Romanian Government was approached for the necessary diplomatic interventions. Thus, on 16 April 1924, a temporary agreement was concluded between Romania and Hungary, according to which the Gojdu Foundation was able to freely dispose of its real and personal property from Budapest for three years. At the same time, in order to settle once for all any problems related to the Gojdu Foundation, the Romanian Government had to invite experts from Hungary, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia to the negotiations scheduled to take place within the “Representative body” of Sibiu . The negotiations were carried on between 1925-1926, but the Hungarian Government attempted to postpone a solution to this problem. Thus, in 1927 the Hungarian Government blocked the Foundation’s accounts in the Budapest banks, forcing the administration of the buildings to depose its rental income into these accounts.
In the same year 1927, in exchange of the Gojdu Foundation assets, the Hungarian Government required that the Romanian Government should pay damages to the Hungarians from Transylvania.
On 28 April 1930 a new agreement was signed in Paris between the governments of the two countries, according to which a joint commission was to be set up in Sibiu to address the problems related to the Gojdu Foundation. On Romania’s behalf the agreement was signed by the minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicolae Titulescu.
After further negotiations in Sibiu (1931), Cluj (1931,1932), Budapest (1931) and Bucharest (1932, 1934) -when the Hungarian Govemment presented a list of buildings from Transylvania it made claims to – a final agreement was reached on 27 October 1937 in Bucharest. This agreement stipulated that, within 30 days from its ratification, Hungary should return to Romania the whole patrimony of the Gojdu Foundation, which was to be put at the disposal of the Sibiu “Representative body”.
The patrimony of the Foundation was made up of: the buildings at 13 Kiraly Street, 16 Dob Street and 8 Hollo Street; 678,316 pengo and 2,306 shares in the accounts of the aforesaid Budapest banks, 600,000 old Hungarian kr, granted as war loans; unpaid rents, various objects, acts, files and records making up the archives.
At the same time, the agreement stipulated that, within 30 days from its ratification, Romania should hand over to Hungary a sufficient amount of pengos to set up a new foundation, which was to be called “the study scholarship foundation of Eastern-Greek (i.e. orthodox) Romanians from Hungary”.
The agreement — the last regulation of the Gojdu Foundation’s affairs — was ratified on 5 May 1938 by king Charles II of Romania and on 20 June 1940 by regent Miklos Horthy of Hungary. Nevertheless, it could not be enforced because of the aftermath of the Dictate of Vienna, 30August 1940.
Throughout this period, the worthy metropolitan Nicolae Balan of Transylvania made a great many interventions -official and private – in order to solve the problems related to the Gojdu Foundation. Proof stand the documents preserved in the Sibiu Archbishopric archives, in the Gojdu Foundation collection, in the archives of some govemmental institutions of the country (the ex-Ministry of Foreign Affairs), those of the Romanian Orthodox parish of Budapest, those of the Arad and Oradea bishoprics, and the State Archives from Oradea. Testimonies can be found everywhere, both in unpublished and printed documents, about the outstanding endeavour of metropolitan Nicolae to this effect.
The second world war also had detrimental consequences for the Gojdu Foundation, whose buildings continuously eroded (then were turned into ghettos for the Jews of Budapest and into armament warehouses), while the money and the shares in banks diminished their value because of inflation and monetary reforms enforced m Hungary at the time. .
Submitted to historical vicissitudes and to transient regimes, the Gojdu Foundation was forced to put an end to its activity in 1952, as a result of the infamous nationalization of its personal property and buildings from Budapest by the Hungarian communist state.
In l996, aware of the necessity of having such an institution and in order to back up the legitimate aspirations of the Romanian youth as well as the Romanian Orthodox communities of Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine, the Orthodox hierarchs from the metropolis of Transylvania and Banat, together with a group of intellectuals from
Transylvania and Banat, re-kindled the flame of the Gojdu Foundation. Today, the Foundation’s aim is to preserve the spirit of the ideals served by Emanuil Gojdu throughout his life and thus to militate and act in order to encourage Romanian values, facilitate contacts among Romanians all over the world, encourage and support research in the history and culture of the Romanian people and of the neighbouring peoples from the common area of central Europe.
Deprived today of the financial means which would enable it not only to fulfill these lofty ideals but also to do away with the injustice that was an obstacle to Gojdu’s generosity, the Foundation is still fully aware of the justness of its cause. Therefore, it has brought once more to the attention of public opinion and state authorities from Romania and Hungary the issue of the recovery of its patrimony, abusively confiscated by the ex-communist regime. Moreover, it is already taking concrete juridical and diplomatic steps to this effect.
200 years after his providential birth, Emanuil Gojdu is still a living presence, a symbol in the collective memory of the Romanian and Hungarian peoples, both of which honour him and acknowledge his cultural and political merits in the service of the two nations today called forth to be part of the great family of a united Europe.
Owing to his entire activity, Emanuil Gojdu deserves a prominent place in the gallery of our illustrious ancestors and, after so many years, continues to remain a steady bridge between Romania and Hungary.
Berenyi Maria – A history of the Gojdu Foundation ( 1870-1952), Budapest, 1995; Berenyi Maria, The Life and Activity of Emanuil Gojdu, 1802-1870, Giula, 2002; Cherescu Pavel, A Romanian Humanist: the great Maecena Emanuil Gojdu, Bucharest, 2002;
Emanuil Gojdu. 1802-1870, Oradea, 1972 (collection of articles)
Lupas Ioan, Emanuil Gojdu, 1802-1870. His onyn and his work, Bucharest, 1940;
Sigmirean Cornel, Pavel Aurel. The Gojdu Fomdation. 1871-2001, Târgu-Mures, 2002.