Former name Sighet
German: Marmarosch-Eiland, Marmaroschsiget, Siget
|— Municipality —|
|• Mayor||Eugenia Godja (Social Democratic Party)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
Sighetu Marmaţiei, also spelled Sighetul Marmaţiei (Former name Sighet, German: Marmarosch-Eiland, Marmaroschsiget, Siget', Hungarian: Máramarossziget, Slovak: Sihoť, Ukrainian: Сигіт|) is a city (municipality) in Maramureş County near the Iza River, in north-western Romania. Its name in Hungarian means "Island in Máramaros". (Sziget=island)
Neighboring communities include: Sarasău, Săpânţa, Câmpulung la Tisa, Ocna Şugatag, Giuleşti, Vadu Izei, Rona de Jos and Bocicoiu Mare communes in Romania, Bila Cerkva community and the Solotvyno township in Ukraine (Zakarpattia Oblast).
The city has 44,185 inhabitants.
- Romanians - 79.73%
- Hungarians - 15.80%
- Ukrainians - 2.97%
- Gypsies - 1.08%
According to the 1910 census, the city had 21,370 inhabitants; these consisted of 17,542 (82.1%) Hungarian speakers, 2,002 (9.4%) Romanian, 1,257 (5.9%) German, and 32 Ruthenian speakers. The number of Jews was 7981; they were included in the Hungarian and German language groups. There were 5850 Greek Catholics and 4901 Roman Catholics.
Inhabited since the Hallstatt period, the urban area was situated on an important route that followed the Tisza Valley. The first mention of a settlement dates back to the 11th century, and the city as such was first mentioned in 1326. In 1352, it was a free royal town and the capital of Máramaros comitatus of the Kingdom of Hungary.
From 1556, the settlement - like the Castle of Huszt - was a residence of Transylvanian Princes; from 1570 to 1733, the town and the county were part of the Principality of Transylvania. In 1733, King Charles III returned it and Máramaros County to his Hungarian domain.
Sighetu Marmaţiei was one of the Romanian, Rusyn, and Jewish cultural and political centers in the Kingdom of Hungary. The Jewish community was led by the Teitelbaum family — who also led the Satmar Hasidic community.
It became part of the Kingdom of Romania after World War I (see Greater Romania), and was again under Hungarian administration during World War II as a result of the Second Vienna Award. The latter lasted until 1944 and in these years more than 20,000 Jews from Sighet would be sent to Auschwitz (including the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, born in Sighet) and other Nazi extermination camps. Nowadays there are only about 21 Jews living in Sighetu Marmaţiei.
The Treaty of Paris at the end of World War II voided the Vienna Awards, and Sighetu Marmaţiei returned to Romania.
In the 1950s and 1960s, after the establishment of the Romanian communist regime, the Securitate ran the Sighet prison as a place for political repression of public figures who had been declared "class enemies" — the most prominent of these was the former prime minister Iuliu Maniu (who died there in 1953). The former prison is now a museum, part of the Memorial for the Victims of Communism.
|Săpânța||Rona de Jos|
Rona de Sus