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joi, 2 august 2012
THE EMERGENCE OF THE PROBLEM OF BUKOVINA WITHIN THE EUROPEAN GEOPOLITICAL SPACE
Rezumat: Problema Moldovei nord-vestice (numită de ocupanţii
austrieci Bucovina) aapărut în
spaţiul geopolitic european în 1775, când teritoriul respectiv a fost anexat deImperiul Habsburgic. Totuşi, până atunci
partea nordică a viitoarei Bucovina (ŢaraŞipeniţului)
a fost disputată de Polonia şi Moldova. Cu toate acestea, hotarul
stabilit, incluzând partea nordică a Bucovinei (dorită de Polonia) înPrincipatul Moldovei. Împăratul şi
administraţia austriacă au folosit câteva motive pentruanexarea Moldovei nord-vestice: 1. impunerea unui cordon „sanitar”
împotriva ciumei(„care se stinsese
de mult în Moldova”); 2. „necesitatea” anexării unei „fâşii” (în realitate,au fost anexate două mari ţinuturi) din
teritoriul Moldovei pentru construcţia unui drum caresă lege Galiţia de Transilvania; 3. drepturile istorice ale
Pocuţiei (respectiv, Galiţiei), ajunseîn
posesia Austriei, asupra nordului Moldovei (Ţinutului Şipeniţului). Printre
cauzele anexăriimenţionăm: 1.
„nepotolita poftă de noi achiziţii teritoriale”: pofta de expansiune a
imperiuluişi de acaparare a noi
teritorii aducătoare de profit; 2. compensarea pierderii Olteniei cu unalt teritoriu – în speţă, cu cel al
Moldovei nord-vestice; 3. dorinţa de a avea o zonă strategicădin care să fie desfăşurată o expansiune ulterioară
în Principatele Moldova şi Valahia,respectiv
în regiunea Dunării de Jos şi în Balcanii de Est. O soluţie a problemei
comunităţiiromâneşti din nordul
Bucovinei este posibilă prin trecerea localităţilor româneşti dinregiunea Cernăuţi în cadrul Republicii
Moldova, în schimbul trecerii localităţilor locuite deucraineni şi de rusofoni din Transnistria moldovenească în cadrul
Résumé: Le problème de la Moldavie de nord-ouest (nommé, aussi, par les
occupantsautrichiens, la Bucovine) est apparu dans
l’espace géopolitique européen en 1775, lorsque leterritoire respectif a été annexé par l’Empire Habsbourgeois.
Jusqu’à cette époque-là, lapartie
nordique de la future Bucovine (le Pays du Sipeniţ) a été disputée par la Pologne et laMoldavie. Pourtant, la frontière polonaise
moldave avait été clairement établie, incluant aussila partie nordique de la Bucovine (voulue par la Pologne) dans la Principauté de la Moldavie.L’empereur
et l’administration autrichienne ont utilisé quelques motifs pour l’annexion de
laMoldavie de nord-ouest: 1.l’imposition d’un
cordon “sanitaire” contre la peste (“qui étaitdisparue depuis longtemps en Moldavie)”; 2. “la nécessité”
d’annexer une “bordure” (enréalité,
on avait annexé deux contrées) du territoire de la Moldavie pour la
construction d’unchemin qui lie la Galice de la Transylvanie; 3. les
droits historiques de Pocuţia(respectivement
de la Galice),
entrées dans la possession de l’Autriche, sur le nord de laMoldavie
de Sipeniţ). Parmi les causes de l’annexion, on mentionne: 1.“l’insatiable désir de nouvelles annexions
territoriales”: le besoin d’expansion de l’empire etd’accaparer de nouveaux territoire apportant de profit; 2. la
compensation de la perte del’Olténie
avec un autre territoire – c’est à dire, celui du nord-ouest de la Moldavie; 3. le désird’avoir une zone stratégique, d’où on
puisse dévelloper une expansion ultérieure dans lesPrincipautés de la
Moldavie et de la
Valachie, respectivement dans la région du Bas Danubeet dans les Balkans d’Est. Une solution du
problème de la communauté roumaine du nord dela Bucovine
est possible par le passage des localités roumaines de la région Tchernovtsy à laRépublique
de la Moldavie,
à l’échange du passage des localités habitées par des Ukrainienset des Russophones de la Transnistrie moldave
dans le cadre de l’Ukraine.
Abstract: The problem of the North-Western Moldavia (named
later on, by the Austrianoccupants,
Bukovina) emerged within the European geopolitical space in 1775, when theterritory has been annexed by the Habsburg
Empire. However, before that moment, theNorthern
part of the future Bukovina (Şipeniţ district) was disputed by Poland and
MoldaviaYet, the Polish-Moldavian
border was clearly established, including the Northern part ofBucovina (wanted by Poland) within the
Moldavian Principality. The Austrian emperor andadministration used a few motivations for the annexation of the
North-Western Moldavia: 1.the
imposition of a cordon against the plague ("which burned down long time
before inMoldavia"); 2.
"the need" to annex "a strip" (in reality, two big
districts were annexed) fromthe
territory of Moldavia for the construction of a road linking Transylvania with
Galicia; 3.the historical rights of
the Pocuţia (i.e., Galiţia), which have come in possession of Austria, onthe North of Moldavia (Şipeniţ County).
Some of the real reasons of occupation were: 1."insatiable hunger for new territorial acquisitions; lust for
the expansion of the Empire andseizing
new territories bringing profit; 2. to compensate for the loss of another
territory –Oltenia – in this case,
with the North-Western Moldavia; 3. a desire to have a strategic areato be pursued in a subsequent expansion in
Moldavia and Wallachia, respectively in theDanube
region and in the Eastern Balkans. As in June 1940, the Soviet authorities have
linkedthe issue of Bessarabia with
the issue of Bukovina, I believe that the problem of Transnistria(Moldavia) should be viewed in connection
with the issue of ethnic Romanian Communityterritory
of Northern Bukovina (now in Cernăuţi region). A solution for the problem of
theRomanian community in Northern
Bukovina is possible by the passage of municipalitiesinhabited by Romanians from Northern Bukovina to Republic of
Moldavia, in return forpassing
several areas with villages and towns populated by Ukrainians or Russian
speakersfrom Moldovian Transnistria
The annexation of the North-Western part of the Principality of Moldavia(named Bukovina by the Austrian occupants)
in 1775 was preceded by periods ofoccupation
of certain areas of the concerned region, and of the fortress of Hotin, bythe neighboring Poland. The annexation of
Bessarabia by Russia in 1812 waspreceded
by Turkish annexations of the counties of Chilia (July 14, 1484) and CetateaAlbă (August 5, 1484), the county of
Tighina and Budjak steppe – where theyestablished
the Nogai Tatars (1538) and Hotin County .
Before submitting data on the Polish-Moldavian territorial dispute, we
have toreport on events in 1359 in
regards to Şipeniţ County. Dimitrie Onciul refers to theVolokh Princes (1359), recorded by the Polish chronicler Dlugosz,
who "still, are notknown in
Moldavian Chronicles; their names are not in the diptych which containsthe oldest authentic list of rulers
princes from Bogdan hither"
. After the
death of oneruler, Ştefan, “his
sons, Ştefan and Petru started the quarrel for the paternalinheritance. The youngest son, Petru, with
the help of the Hungarians, occupied thethrone
and banished his elder brother; Ştefan asked for help from King Casimir ofPoland, and provided obedience of
Moldavia to the Polish suzerainty. In 1359, at theSt. Peter and Paul festal occasion, Casimir sent an army in
Moldavia as an aid toŞtefan. But the
Polish army registered a hard failure in the «Plonini» Woods, land ofŞipeniţ , and
many Polish noblemen were made prisoners by Moldavians” . I thinkthat in this
passage, names "Moldavia" and "Moldavians" must be accepted
withsome reserves, because the
medieval sources mentioned the word "Vlachs": "It isknown that that after a decisive win at
Sinie Vody on Tatars, Podolia region –including
the Bolohoven Knezats – got under the Lithuanian domination of TeodorCoriatovici. However, in 1354, he
withdrawn his lordship to King Louis the Great ofHungary; he also surrendered the fortresses to «Valach» (...); the
information isprovided by the
Russian Chronicle of Bychowich”, and those fortresses arerepresented by Hotin, Ţeţina and Hmielov” . Referring to the Hotin fortress,
Gumenâistated: "Of course,
being situated in a territory inhabited by Valachs (...) the garrisonwas composed of Romanians, information in
this respect presenting Bycovich, in1354" . In the same respect, Gheorghe I.
Brătianu stated: "In the same year , aPolish expedition against the small Moldavian [?] Northern State of
Şipeniţ, at theedge of Galiţia,
ended by a disaster in the Bukovina forest: soon a matrimonial unionfavored a merger of that voivodship from
North, with that which was created by thePrinces who emigrated from Maramureş; this will give enough force to the
unified Moldavia to the
extend its border to the East, and to ensure a full control of thecommercial road, which will be its main
economic and political reason of existence" .It is known that
in 1392 Moldavia has imposed a control over that road: "This road isthe one that, ultimately, without any
doubt, led to the foundation and to thedevelopment
of the Moldavian State, from its cradle in the Carpathians of Bukovinato the “Big See”, which its rulers
declared that they have reached in 1392" .
evidence”, Ştefan Gorovei showed that Dragoş' settlement occurredin 1347, and the overthrow of his
dynasty by Bogdan after 1364 . I believe that, in1359 was recorded the small Valachs
voivodeship resistance against Poland, and thePolish chronicler Dlugosz named it Şipeniţ Country (Terra
Sepenecensis). AsBrătianu stated,
the year 1359 remained in Moldavian Annals/Chronicles as the yearof the independence of the common State
of the Principality of Moldavia, which,however,
only later acquired the independence against Hungary. If subsequently, inblurry conditions, the Şipeniţ Country
became a part of Galiţia, the informationpresented above explains why the rulers of Moldavia were being
interested in thatterritory.
The Polish – Moldavian territorial
In accordance with the Moldavian chronicles, an action that led in future
to theMoldavian-Polish dispute
can be identified during the reign of Petru I Muşat "Princeof Moldavia (1375-1391), founder of the
Muşatin’s Dynasty, son of MargaretaMuşata,
the Laţcu Voievod’s sister"
“borrows the Polish King, which was inall
respects very puzzling, a sum of 3,000 Italian silver coins, and receives as
suretythe Halici County. But this
County of Halici was only proper to the North of UpperMoldavia, nowadays Bukovina; so Petru could certainly have very
well this countrythrough his
chancellors. But then they established the most appropriate Land for suchpossession, in the so-called Pocuţia:
this province, in direct touch with the northernborder of Moldavia, included the Şipeniţ Country, where Lord did
put a “staroste”,according to the
Polish fashion; the County was including the fortress of Ţeţina, theruins of which can be seen near
Cernăuţi – and Hmielov, that was utterly destroyed;maybe even the Hotin, a big fortress, placed on the right bank
of the Dniester river,.right
on the water. That country remained in the Moldavia’s possession for a long.time, although the Polish
kings never accepted to leave their right on it, considering it.as a hostage for money which
the Polish did not want to pay at all" .
that when the Şipeniţ Country was incorporated into the Principality of.Moldavia for money lent by
the Moldavian ruler. From the point of view of Polish, it.was the putting into service of that
territory, not a surrender of it: they have never.accepted to leave the right over the
territory in question, whilst they did not want toreturn the contracted debt.
During the reign of Alexandru cel Bun (1400 – 1432) it was recorded a
furtherstage of negotiations on
the territory in question: "Alexandru leaved to the King ofPoland 1,000 Silver coins of Genoa from
the debt and got from the King, who nolonger
called back Şepeniţ country in 1411, “the true” Pokutsya, with the famousfortresses of Sniatin and Colomea" . We can see that Alexandru cel Bun
obtained alegal regulation by an
interstate (international) act (an agreement) on the membershipof the Şipeniţ Country to Moldavia, but
also the right (as a hostage on account ofunpaid debt of 2,000 "Genoese Silver coins") on "the true
Pocuţia" – the southern partof
Halici Country (with the citadels of Colomea and Sniatin). However, the Polish
didnot pay back the debt, so in
1432, Alexandru cel Bun has conducted a predatorycampaign in Pocuţia, as a result of which Moldavia wasted the
Ţeţina and Hmielov .After the death of Alexandru cel Bun, Moldavia has failed into
decline: "Moldavia,which was
not threatened by any enemy, did fail quickly in a few years after the deathof Alexandru cel Bun. Although Ilie was
the older brother, though his father has tookhim, a piece of time, as the companion near the throne (...),
although, last but notleast, he
was the legitimate son unlike other sons born from voivode’s relations and,there for he deserved to get as wife
the Vladislav the younger's sister, the new King ofPoland, - his brother Ştefan dared to rise up against him. They
have fought a numberof years, and
Moldavia dwindled in importance, meaning it must recognize, inhumiliating conditions, the sovereignty
of Poland and to leave for Poland thePocuţia" . Namely Poland supported the
replacement of Ilie (or Iliaş) with Ştefan, asthe first "followed his father's foreign policy, while
maintaining Moldavia within theanti-Poland
Coalition" . Polish King Sigismund
Kiestut in 1433 "agreeing withMoldavia’s
Lord [Ştefan] by an exchange of letters, in addition to the fact that Ţeţinaand Hmielov will be returned to
Moldavia (lost by Moldavia during the campaign ofAlexandru cel Bun in Pocuţia, in 1432), established the
boundaries between Moldaviaand
Poland. The act stated: «And between these towns Ţeţina and Hmielov and ourCountry Russia will be this border:
first between our town Sneatin and Şipeniţ –Şipeniţ that belongs to Moldavia, these are separated by the
Kolachin river, and fromthe
Kolachin river to the great river Dniester, above the village Potok, which
villagePotok belongs to Moldavia,
and from this village down on the Nistru river, up to the[Black] Sea belongs to the Country of
Moldavia, and over the shores of the Dniesterriver is our Country of Russia». As is indicated by this act,
Hotin was in possession ofMoldavia.
But disputes for the throne between Iliaş and Petru will determine the firstto request the support of Polish,
making them a concession, namely offering themŞipeniţ Country, «the country which Moldavia had from Crown,
with the towns ofthis Şipeniţ
Country namely Hotin, Ţeţina and Hmielov and with all districts, placesand villages of this country we giving
them back. Iliaş justified the fortress’relinquishment
as a reward for the Alexandru cel Bun predatory campaign inPocuţia" . But the document indicates that the Poles took over the territory
becausethe Moldavia Country
"had it from the Crown", meaning that the owner has returnedwhat is his.
The next phase related to the political evolution of the Şipeniţ
territory wasrecorded during the
reign of Ştefan cel Mare (1457-1504). "From Poland, Ştefanclaimed the land which his predecessor
Iliaş left (promising also to return ŞipeniţCountry), i.e. the Pocuţia. Yet before getting up on the throne
the new King JanOlbracht (...)
Ştefan permeated in Pocuţia and picked up in the dominion (1490). JanOlbracht could not tolerate long time
this humiliation and to receive such a significantdamage; so in the year 1497 (...) began an expedition against
Moldavia. At first, theyoung
King, however, does not present him self as an enemy of Ştefan; contrariwise,he promised to help him to get back
Chilia and Cetatea Albă"
. After the
Poles attackand battles at Codrii
Cosminului and Lenţeşti, Moldavia keeps the disputed territory;According to N. Iorga, "Şipeniţ
Country, meaning Pocuţia" is not "the true" Pokuţiafrom the South of Halici Country.
"In the years of old age, Ştefan had just one wish:to strengthen his domination in Pocuţia and to snatch the
recognition of thisdomination
from Polish King. At 1502, fall, immediately after the death of JanOlbracht, not recognizing the Treaty of
1499 towards his descendant Alexander, whowas, however, an old friend of Moldavians, Ştefan put his hand across
the Land onwhich he has having a
right. Everywhere Russians of Orthodox law received him withjoy, the Moldavian governor (pârcălab)
and customs officer seated in all the fortressesof the Land, till Halici. King Alexander could not find any
support againstMoldavians: with
the Turks and Tatars Ştefan has stood in peace, and they do not takea dare to try anything against him. The
far Tsar of Moscow, Ivan, was a relative, bythe marriage of the Ştefan’s daughter Elena, with the Tsar’s
successor. The newsituation in
Pocutsia, be the power of Moldavian weapons remained, so, untouched" .Therefore, this time, Ştefan cel Mare came in possession of "the
true" Pocuţia, beyondthe
Kolachin River – the Southern part of Galiţia.
To note in this context that the disputed territory – Şipeniţ Country and
Pocuţia– do not concern the South
half of the future Bukovina: the Moldova River Valley –the old hearth of the Moldavian State, where was built the
monastery of Moldoviţa, somuch
the less the old capital Suceava and other ancient localities (Ştefan cel Marebuilt churches at Reuseni and Bădăuţi , not to insist on the monastery of
The descendant of Ştefan cel Mare, Bogdan III the Blind (1504-1517), for
aRoyal link – for becoming
relatives with the King of Poland (he asked for one of hissisters) – "was able to immolate
Pocuţia". The Lord of Moldavia has ceded theregion, but the Polish King did not send the bride.
"Failing towards the new KingSigismund,
who was to reign in Moldavia if Jan Olbracht would be a winner in 1497,Bogdan gets angry and raids over in
Poland, trying to take control again in Pocuţia(1506)"20. "When the Poles try to take revenge, they
could not make a stunt (...); thewar
was at a stop from a time (1510) by both parties fatigue" . Pocuţia remainedunder
the Polish domination in the effect.
Referring to Petru Rareş (1527-1538, 1541-1546), the historian Iorga
writesthat he was "a
neighbor bent to interfere continually in the domestic affairs of Poland,through Pocuţia and of Hungary by
Transylvania"22. "With great prowess Petru-Vodăprepared his attack on Pocuţia, keeping
talking with the Polish and getting thepermission
from the Sultan" . "With much easiness
Petru was able to get this wayPocuţia.
Poles did not have a permanent army, but had fought only with themercenary, which necessitate money, and
the Kingdom did not want to pay, or withthe
routs of nobles, which gathering very slowly; castles were badly defended. But
ifPetru thought that to conquer
Pocuţia means to keep it, he was all wet. Poland hasgreat generals, and especially Jan Tarnowski, famous everywhere.
Thus, when aPolish Army had the
chance to gather again, Pocuţia got again quickly under theKing’s domination. However, Petru
didn’t want to leave this like that, but in a strongrushing, he got in the heart of the province. Then, on 22 August
1531, the fight fromObertyn took
place, where the tactics of Tarnowski, who commended the armyhimself, the mastery of his gunners,
has overcome Rareş; our Lord lost the guns fromFeldioara, and run, with three wounds on the body, to Moldavia.
Petru, who sent forth the routs of
predators, among which Turks and Tatars, in the country which he couldnot keep, judged this way the Obertyn
affliction, in way that shows from what highpoint of view our people from the past looked at the defeats and
needs which werecoming upon them:
«Do not be proud, for his win the King, hath he did not got it withhis self power, but with luck, that
changes often; and did not conquered the King, butGod, who punishes Lords for their great confidence in them
self" . As a result of theactions of Petru Rareş it seems that
Moldavia has resigned with the loss of "the true"Pocuţia – beyond Kolachin, as well as
with the amount of money borrowed by Petru IMuşat to Polish Kingdom. But Poland has acquired subsequent the
Hotin fortressfrom Moldavians.
The following historical moment linked to the territory in dispute was
the onerelating to the period
from the reign of Alexandru Lăpuşneanu (1552-1561, 1564-1568). Pointing out
that his reign meant "disunity, cruelty and losses towardsforeigners", Iorga pointed out:
“From now on Moldavia did not take a dare to askfrom Poles, seriously, Pocuţia; if, thanks to the Turkish
demands, Hotin becomeMoldavian
again, Alexandru-Vodă does not reinforce it, but contrariwise,commanded, in his second reign, to
broken walls, that can no longer be a threat toneighbors beyond the Dniester and, especially, to the Turks, who
wanted that neverfrom the country
over which Ştefan and Petru Rareş held sway over cannot rises anydistress for them" . However, Ioan Voda cel Cumplit
(1572-1574) “held upPocuţia" . Nevertheless, the question had been
clarified, meaning that the borderbetween
Moldavia and Poland settled on the Rivers Cheremush, Kolachin and Hotin.
However, Poland has demanded on several occasions from Ottoman Porte thearea from the Moldavian framework,
which can be identified as the Şipeniţ Country.By “capitulations” (treaties) between Moldavia and Ottoman
Empire – basic elementof
Moldavian-Turkish relations in medieval times, the Porte did not cede it. The
firstcapitulation was completed
in 1511 by Bogdan, the Prince of Moldavia, and thesecond one, by Petru Rareş, in 1529. These agreements stipulated
that "The Porte isobliged to
defend Moldavia against any aggression" and that "The borders ofMoldavia will be keep intact throughout
their extent" . Although some historiansdispute the authenticity of the
"capitulations" principle of taking under protection of aState that has voluntarily subjected
its borders and defence (in return for a tribute) bythe suzeran power is known in the Islamic world, which has
belonged the OttomanEmpire too.
In 1699 it ended a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the PolishState by the peace of Karlowitz. The
northern part of the Moldavia Country, whichwas under the occupation of Poland, was restored. About the
peace concluded, theMoldavian
chronicle says: "The Poles still hardly demanded Country of Moldavia,but the Turks answered to Poles about
the Country of Moldavia that they can not givethe Country of Moldavia to be them a gift because it is free, it
is dedicated to theTurks, it is
not taken with the sword. Thus, the Poles seeing that, agreed this way: inthe fortresses and monasteries they
took and other places, everything to give back theMoldavians. And Turks to return Cameniţa fortress to Poles, with
all its land, andUkraine, and to
raise the all the Nohai from Bugeac and to remove them beyond riverDon, only the Tatars from Bugeac to be
able to remain. And Turks never will repairHotin, or another fortress in Moldavia the Turks will nor build" . In the 1700s thePolish King sent an envoy to Istanbul
in order "to show for Ottoman dragomans theinstability from Moldavian-Polish border and to ask for a
correction of borders for thebenefit
of the Kingdom, by including Hotin and Cernăuţi counties in its composition.The Ottoman Porte still did not cede
and the borders were re-established by theTreaty of Delimitation of 14 October 1703, on the previous line before
the war" .
Slightly later, Austria began to claim on the territory of Moldavia. At
the end ofthe 17th century,
Transylvania entered within the Austrian Empire as an autonomousPrincipality. In 1685 the Austrian
troops entered territory of Transylvania, and, in1699, by the Treaty of Karlowitz (Sremski Karlovci, in present-day
Serbia), theOttoman Empire ceded
to Austria: Hungary, Transylvania, Croatia and Slavonia.Banat of Timişoara remained in the Ottoman Empire, but was
annexed by Austria in1718 by the
Treaty of Passarowitz (Požarevac). In 1718, in an answer given to theAustrian authorities, who demanded
Moldavia, the Ottomans used the same argument– they can not cede Moldavia Country because it's
"dedicated, not conquered with thesword".
After 1793, after the second partition of Poland, Austria came into possessionof Galiţia and it oriented its claims
on a part of Moldavia – its northwestern side.
The annexation of the North-Western
Moldavia (future Bukovina)by Austria
In 1775 we consign the moment of annexation by Austria of the
North-Westernpart of Moldavia.
"Although at the peace of Passarowitz the Porte declared it may notyield the Country of Moldavia to
Austria, being dedicated, not conquered with thesword, however, later it ceded Bukovina and Bessarabia in 1812,
i.e. the Hotindistrict, a large
part of land of Moldavia and the properly Bessarabia by the DanubeRiver" . By the Treaty of Passarowitz from July 21, 1718 ended the war
between theOttoman Empire on one
side and the Habsburg monarchy and the Venetian Republicof the other part. Austrian imperial troops have defeated the
Ottomans, which hadceded to the
House of Habsburg Banat of Timişoara, Northern Serbia, includingBelgrade, Northern Bosnia and Oltenia.
However, after 21 years of administration(1718-1739), due to the increasingly large difficulties encountered by
the Austrians,after the war of
1737 and 1739, ended by the peace of Belgrade, Austria returnedOltenia to Ottoman Empire.
In 1775, Turkey had breached the provisions of the capitulations with
Moldaviaand allowed the
annexation of the North-Western Moldavia by Austria. There areseveral causes and motivations of the
annexation of the North-Western Moldavia(named
Bukovina by the Austrians). Iorga notes that "The Austrians would havewanted to use the war [from 1768-1774]
in order to uproot once again the Olteniandistricts from the Turks. Failing, they made a deal with the Russians,
and thus, whenpeace was now
settled, scouts passed in Upper Moldavia, under the word that theycame to establish a cordon against the
plague and the imperial troops had reached,lodging pillars of border, up to Roman. But the Government in Vienna
found that thisbreach would be
too scandalous, so they picked only the whole Cernăuţi district, theCâmpulung district and the largest part
of Suceava district, along with Putna, whereis buried Ştefan cel Mare, and with Suceava, where the greatest
Lords of Moldaviahad resided.
Boyars protested to no avail, and Turks were influenced to agree by gifts.So in 1775 is concluded the Convention
which gave to Austria, under the name ofBukovina
(the Moldavians were saying: Cordun), Upper Moldavia, with the mostbeautiful forests, the most brilliant
monasteries and villages where were living betterthe conscience of old peasant’s independence. The Austrians
hurried to break anylinks between
these Moldavians and the old Lord’s Moldavia" . Referring to thedecision
to restrict the lusts of the Emperor of Austria, the historian Ion Nistor'squoted a letter: "On 19 June 1773,
and Emperor Joseph visited Transylvania andreaching the Saxon’s Reghin wrote from there to his mother, Empress: «I
visited rightnow with
trecătoarele and Ciuc and Gurgh with the passes leading in Moldavia, aswell as a part of the territory
occupied in 1769. This is a real wildness, covered withbeautiful trees, but which rot without any use. If by returning
of that territory toMoldavia,
otherwise pretty stretched, but almost without any value, being unculturedand unpopulated, we might get the
corner of Moldavia that touches and Transylvania,Maramureş and Pocuţia, then it would make a useful stunt and
therefore I would askyour Majesty
to request Kaunitz to take into deliberation this issue». The corner ofMoldavia that was mentioned by Joseph
in his letter was the Upper Country ofMoldavia,
named after the occupation, Bukovina. But without waiting for response,Emperor Joseph II charged Carol
Enzenberg, commander of the 2nd Regiment of theRomanian border guards from Năsăud, with the discreet mission to
pass in Moldaviain order to
collect information on the popular masses spirit and attitude of Moldaviansin the case of a possible Austrian
occupation" . After the Austro-Turkish
agreementfrom 1775 on the illegal
cession of the North-Western Moldavia, "in a letteraddressed on 4 February 1775 to his son and her co-regent Joseph
II, Empress MariaTheresa said
that she is not right in the issue of the cession and that this matter isdoing a press on her conscience and she
did not know how escape honorable from thisabashment. From these considerations they have recourse to the
appointment of theattached
province, by famous beech forests - silvae faginale – named by chroniclersbucovine - after slavon name buk -
beech, which ranged throughout the UpperCountry
of Moldavia, stretching out between Prut and Dniester as small bucovins, andbetween the Prut and the Valley of the
upper Ceremuș as large bucovins – silvaefaginales
or bucovinae maiores or dictae minores. And so it came to the name ofBucovina/Bukovina - Buchenland – for
the Upper Moldavia Country, occupied by theHabsburgs and incorporated within their empire" . Austria called the two lands of thefrontier "Bukovyna, to cover the territorial spoils in the
eyes of Europeandiplomacy" . Pressing of consciousness did not
prevent the Maria Theresa to agree"the
devouring" by the State apparatus of the Moldavian territory annexed to
Austria,so those remorses were
not anything but tears of a crocodile before to devour thevictim.
Ion Nistor referred to some causes and motivations of the Austrian
annexation.He confirmed the
Iorga’s thesis about annexation of North-Western Moldavia "foraccount of" Oltenia, mentioning
the most often cited motif – the need to obtain a stripof routes linking Galiţia with Transylvania: "By the Act of
partition of Polandbetween the
three neighboring powers – Russia, Austria and Prussia – august 5, 1772,Austria is in possession of Pocuţia,
Lodomeria and Galiţia, incorporating within theHabsburg empire an area of 81 900 kmІ, with a population of more
millions souls.But in its
insatiable lust for further territorial purchases, the Government from Viennais looking to exploit the weakness of
the Porte, trying to grab Oltenia, as a reward forits role of mediator between Russians and Turks. But as the
occupation of Olteniawould woke
up too much noise among Western powers, which agreed to hold upPoland in order to save the integrity
of the Ottoman Empire, the Vienna Governmentendeavoured to obtain in exchange for the claims on Oltenia an
extend of territory inUpper
Moldavia Country, which was less exposed to the European powers, seeking tomaterialize their claims by occupying a
narrow strip of land in Moldavia, in order tobe able to open a more convenient way of communication between
Transylvania andGaliţia, although
they existed long before, through Kцrцsmezц pass, leading fromGaliţia to Maramureş, by the upper
Valley of the Prut and Tisa to SighetulMarmaţiei" . The reason for obtaining a road
between Galiţia and Transylvania hasbeen
communicated to the Moldavian authorities from Iaşi, but they have exposed theact of annexation of a stretched
territory, under the pretext of invoking "the necessity"of a strip for a road link between
Galiţia and Transylvania: "Information collected byEnzenberg in Moldavia cane true by the fact that the Moldavia's
nobility, led byPrince Grigore
Ghica opposed to the Austrian occupation, sending over memoirs toPorte, accompanied by maps by which
denounced to Porte the Austria, under thepretext of opening of a road between Galiţia and Transylvania, and wants
to occupytwo of the most wealthy
lands of Moldavia. Austria did not consider the Moldaviansprotest" . In 1814, the Habsburg authorities have finished the
construction of theroad "by
which Austria said, at the annexation of Bukovina, it needs to link Galiţiawith Transylvania" . Another formal motif of Austrians was
to set up a health cordonagainst
the epidemic of plague, "which is much ebbed in Moldavia" .
The reason of annexation by a state of a foreign territory of another
state for aneed regarding a road
course seemed ridiculous even in that time. Therefore, Austrianspecialists in strategies have resorted
to another reason: after incorporating Galiţiawithin the Austrian Empire, Vienna Court claimed its right
(taken over from Poland)to put
the problem of the territory that throughout history has been in dispute(between Poland – as a possessor of
Galiţia and Moldavia): "As the reason for takingthis strip of the North-Western Moldavia in order to obtain the
and Galiţia was not sufficiently convincing, they tried to make otherarguments, more thorough. Then they
launched the hypothesis that NorthernMoldavia
would have belonged to the Pocuţia (a county situated between the riversPrut, White Cheremush and Black
Cheremush), which now had been annexed byAustria and the Vienna Court and would demand the "historic
rights" on this county.Colonel
Seeger had left recently to Warsaw, to collect historical evidence in favour ofAustria pretensions on Bukovina, since
Kaunitz has taken the decision to claim fromTurkey this territory as part of Pocuţia" . The Austrians would be "identified" eventhe old frontier between Pocuţia
(Şipeniţ Country) and Moldavia: "Already in may1774, two detachments of Austrian Hussars, under the pretext of
a repair, haveentered into
Bukovina, so that immediately after the departure of the Russians to takeover this territory and to fix the
terminals of the frontier along the new border linesalready drawn by Mieg. During his journey in Bukovina, the
captain Mieg spotted amane of
hills and mountains, which, with some interruptions, stretched from Hotin toTransylvania and which he regarded as a
natural border very favorable towardsMoldavia.
Mieg even "discovered" a milestone, and this was interpreted as
evidencethat the times Poland
borders would be stretched up to the ridge of the hills. Inaddition, Colonel Seeger, who was in
Poland, worked to support the Mieg’s opinionby historical data. These successes have been accepted in full
by the Court of Vienna,and for
these merits Captain Mieg was elevated to the rank of major" . It should benoted that Austria had hoped to obtain the fortress Hotin with
the surrounding area, oreven
several villages in the northern part of Hotin County, but Turkish authoritieshave retained their territory which
they have annexed in 1715.
It deserves to be evoked some concrete means by which Austria has come
intopossession of the
North-Western Moldavia: "On 10/21 July the Treaty of Kuchuk –Kainarji was signed by Russia and
Ottoman Porte, and the Russians even in April1774 did withdraw a part of the troops stationed in Cernăuţi and
Suceava counties.Then the most
favorable moment to make the planned annexation has come. MarshalRumeanţev was bribed with 5,000 golden
and a gold tabacco holder, obtaining thetacit
consent of authorities of Russia for the Austria claims" .
Therefore, there were several motifs for the annexation of the
North-WesternMoldavia by Austria:
1. The imposition of a cordon against the plague ("which burned down
longtime before in
2. "The need" to annex "a strip" (in reality, two big
districts were annexed)from the
territory of Moldavia for the construction of a road linking Transylvaniawith Galiţia;
3. The historical rights of the Pocuţia (i.e., Galiţia), which have come
inpossession of Austria, on the
North of Moldavia (Şipeniţ County).
Among the causes of annexation we can name:
a) "insatiable hunger for new territorial acquisitions; lust for theexpansion of the Empire and seizing new
territories bringing profit;
b) to compensate for the loss of another territory Oltenia – in this
case,with the North-Western
c) a desire to have a strategic area to be pursued in a subsequentexpansion in Moldavia and Wallachia,
respectively in the Danuberegion
and in the Eastern Balkans.
Although in the 143 years of Austrian occupation the territory has beensubjected to colonization and
assimilation processes – Ukrainization (especially from1786, when it was incorporated into Galicia, until 1849, when it
obtained a statute ofautonomy,
and became a Duchy under the Empire) in 1918 Bukovina issue has beensolved by the reincorporating of the
North-Western Moldavia (hereinafter referred toas the Austrian Bukovina) in Romanian state, founded in 1859,
including by thePrincipality of
Moldavia (which the Bukovinian territory had been broken of, at1775). This triumph of justice and
historical truth had been possible thanks to Romanians from
Bukovina, but also due to the negotiations of Romania with theEntente States: "One of the
conditions of the secret Treaty, through which theRomanian Government entered into war together with the Entente
Powers, was besideregaining
Transylvania, also the regaining of Bukovina, down to the Prut River withits capital Cernăuţi, in which the Russians only after lengthy
negotiations renouncedand after
it was demonstrated the notability of this small town for the political,ecclesiastical, cultural and economic
life of Bukovina. The secret Treaty ofrecovering
of Bukovina and Transylvania was signed in Bucharest on 4/17 august1916" .
Russia was intended to incorporate the extension, at the North of HotinCounty, of the territory between Prut
and Dniester rivers (Bessarabia). In June 1940,when the Soviet Union included in the diplomatic note
(ultimatum) the demandregarding
the annexation of the Northern Bukovina, the Soviets wanted to secure adirect and short link between Galiţia and
Bessarabia, including a railway whichconnects
Bessarabia with Galiţia. By collapse of the Russian Empire, Romania hasbeen able to incorporate the entire
Moldavian historical territory (including theBukovinian territory between Prut and Dniester rivers, located
north of the HotinCounty) that
Austria had annexed in 1775.
By annexation on June 28, 1940, of the Northern Bukovina by the
totalitarianand aggressor Soviet
Union, the problem of Bukovina was reopened. After August24, 1991 – the day of Declaration of
independence of Ukraine – the historicalMoldavian
(Romanian) territory of Northern Bukovina is under the control of theauthorities from Kiev.
After the incorporation of North-Western Moldavia in the Habsburg Empire,several variants of administrating that
territory were proposed, which, by extension,since then, could be seen as some solutions to the problem of
Bukovina. "Someexpressed the
opinion to include Bukovina in military confine of Năsăud. Others werefor joining [of Bukovina] to Galiţia.
An intermediate solution was of those whostipulated cutting in half of the Bukovinian territory, so that the
Northern part to beannexed to
Galiţia, and the Southern to the confine of border guards from Năsăud.(...) A single voice acted for the
creation of an autonomous province of Bukovina, inorder to to acquire on the way this sympathy and confidence of
the Moldavian nation(...)" . In June 1940, the Soviet Union
invaded Northern Bukovina with themotivation
that the Soviets take over that territory because "population [from that
partof Bukovina] in its majority
is related to Soviet Ukraine by the historic community ofdestiny, as well as through the
national language and national [ethnic] composition".Also, the totalitarian Soviet authorities
noted that "the transmission of that Northernpart of Bukovina to the Soviet Union could represent – it is
true only to a limitedextent – a
mean of compensating for that big damage, which has been brought to theSoviet Union and to the Bessarabia's
population by 22 years of Romania’s dominationin Bessarabia" . In
the light of the outcome of the processes of colonization with Ukrainian
population (during the Austrian occupation), perhaps even the presence ofold of a Ruthenian population in
Şipeniţ Country, a solution regarding the division ofthe territory of Bukovina, at the end of World War I, by the
ethnic criterion, betweenUkrainians
and Romanians, would be circumscribed in the European process ofsolving of the problems of the peoples
of the former Habsburg Empire. In accordancewith the schedule of the 14 Points of Woodrow Wilson, the
peoples got the right toconstitute
states on their historical territories. Within the terms of remaining of theNorth-Western territory of Moldavia (the
future Bukovina) within the MoldavianState
(in 1775 the territory in question was poorly populated, having a population of70-80 thousand inhabitants on an area
of 10.442 kmІ), through its naturaldevelopment,
it would certainly have been an integral part of the territory of theethnic Moldavian (Romanian) population.
Because, during the Austrian occupation,by
immigrant flows – especially Ukrainians from Galiţia – it was reached a
situationwhen, in 1918, in the
Southern part of Bukovina the Romanian population was in themajority, and in the northern part the
Ukrainians population was in the majority, adivision of Bukovina by the ethnic criterion would be finally
accepted (even if with ahandshake
heart for the loss of a historical Moldavian territory – of the NorthernBukovina) by the autochthonous Romanian
population of the province. In June 1940,the Soviet authorities had committed an illegality against Romania,
annexing a part ofits national
and historical territory. But the Soviets did not respect thereason/motivation from the diplomatic
note (ultimatum): besides the illegality of anannexation of a territory which never belonged to any Ukrainian
State, the crime ofthe Soviet
authorities in 1940 consisted in the fact that the Soviet-Romanian politicalborder has not been overlap on the
ethnic border (between the two ethniccommunities:
Romanians and Ukrainians) as the Soviet authorities suggested thatthey wished to proceed. Furthermore,
the Soviets annexed the Herţa Region, with acompact and homogenous Romanian population, a zone that never
was part of the Bessarabia or
Bukovina – required by the USSR.
As in June 1940, the Soviet authorities have linked the issue of
Bessarabia withthe issue of
Bukovina, I believe that at present the problem of Transnistria should beviewed in connection with the issue of
ethnic Romanian community from the territoryof the Northern Bukovina (now in Chernivtsi oblast). A solving
of the problem of theRomanian
community from the Northern Bukovina is possible by the passage ofmunicipalities inhabited by Romanians
(Moldavians) from the Northern Bukovina(and
of the former county of Hotin) to the Republic of Moldavia, in return for
passingof several areas of
villages populated by Ukrainians or Russian speakers fromMoldavian Transnistria within Ukraine.
Regardless of the fact when this solution willbe taken into account and proposed to Ukraine and to the
international community bythe
Government from Chişinău, the Moldavian Executive must do all that is possibleto help the autochthonous Romanian
(Moldavian) population – from historicalMoldavian
estranged territories (Northern Bukovina) to preserve the ethnic identity.Currently, yet the processes of
assimilation of the ethnic Romanians in Moldavianhistorical territories in Ukraine take proportions.
1. In 1713, the
Turks took control of the fortress of Hotin, and in 1715 the land was convertedinto a Raya.
Onciul, Din istoria Bucovinei [From the history of Bukovina], Chişinău, Editura
1992, p. 49.
terra, in Bukovina, between the Prut and Dniester, where today is located the
4. Ibid., p. 48.
5. Ion Gumenâi,
Istoria Ţinutului Hotin. De la origini până la 1806 [History of the Hotin land.
From its origins
to 1806], Chişinău, Editura Civitas, 2002, p. 68.
6. Ibid., p. 105.
Brătianu, Marea Neagră [Black Sea], Iaşi, Editura Polirom, 1999, p. 386.
9. Neagu Djuvara,
Thocomerius – Negru vodă. Un voivod de origine cumană la începuturile
[Thocomerius – Negru vodă. A voievode of cuman descent at thebeginnings of
Wallachia], Bucureşti, Editura Humanitas, 2007, p. 208.
10. 100 de
portrete istorice color. Regi, domnitori, alte personalităţi [100 historical
rulers, other figures], Iaşi, Editura Porţile Orientului, f.a., p. 14.
Iorga, Istoria românilor [History of Romanians], Chişinău, Editura Universitas,
1992, p. 74.
12. Ibid., p. 84.
13. Ion Gumenâi,
Istoria Ţinutului Hotin..., p. 69.
Iorga, Istoria românilor..., p. 92.
15. Ion Gumenâi,
Istoria Ţinutului Hotin..., p. 69.
16. Ibid., p.
Iorga, Istoria românilor ..., p. 121-122.
18. Ibid. p. 124.
19. Ibid., p.
20. Ibid., p.
21. Ibid., p.
22. Ibid., p.
23. Ibid., p.
24. Ibid., p.
25. Ibid., p.
26. Ibid., p.
Eminescu, Basarabia [Bessarabia], Sibiu, Editura Mileniul Trei, 1990, p. 19.
28. Ion Neculce,
Letopiseţul Ţării Moldovei [Chronicle of Moldavia], Chişinău, Editura Ştiinţa,1993, p. 36.
29. Ion Gumenâi,
Istoria Ţinutului Hotin..., p. 90-91.
Eminescu, Basarabia, Chişinău, Editura Verba, 1991, p. 30.
Iorga, Istoria românilor..., p. 288-289.
32. Ion Nistor,
Istoria Bucovinei [History of Bukovina], Bucureşti, Editura Humanitas, 1991, p.9.
33. Ibid., p.
34. Ibid., p.
35. Ibid., p.
36. Ibid., p. 10.
37. Ibid., p. 85.
38. Ibid, p. 10.
Ungureanu, Bucovina în perioada stăpânirii austriece (1774-1918) [Bukovina inthe time of Austrian rule, 1774-1918],
Chişinău, Editura Civitas, 2003, p. 10-11.
40. Ibid., p. 11.
42. Ion Nistor,
Istoria Bucovinei..., p. 371.
43. Ibid., p,
Molotova-Ribbentropa i ego posledstviia dlea Bessarabii [Molotov-Ribbentrop
Pactand its consequences for
Bessarabia], Chişinău, Editura Universitas, 1991, p. 19-20.