A Military ceremony in Constitution Square of Bucharest commemorated the 145th anniversary of the appointment of the first Jewish officer in the Romanian Army.
Mauriciu Brociner, born in 1854 in Iasi, was a military man and diplomat, a hero of the Romanian War of Independence and an official of the Royal House of Romania.
He enlisted as a volunteer in the army and was promoted to corporal and sergeant. Then Second Lieutenant. He fought on the Plevna front. He was rewarded with the most important distinction at that time, the Order of the Star of Romania.
Around 1,000 Jews participated as volunteers in Romania’s War of Independence.
They had not received the right to citizenship under the Constitution of 1866, and military service was not compulsory for them.
President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, EJCs affiliate, Silviu Vexler was present during the ceremony.
Vexler said that “even though the story of Col. Brociner is almost lost in history, his example is defining for the Jewish presence and contribution to the defense of Romania. His success has inspired generations, who began to believe, for the first time, that a life lived as citizens with equal rights is possible”.
The President of Romania Klaus Iohannis sent a message, that was presented by State Councillor Mihai Şomordolea, thanking the ” Jewish community for its involvement in social life in Romania” and he assured its members of his “full support in achieving the proposed goals. Only together can we contribute to the development of Romania”.