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ČERNIVCI (CERNĂUȚI), UKRAINE: Planul Municipiului Cernăuţi. Zoom

ČERNIVCI (CERNĂUȚI), UKRAINE: Planul Municipiului Cernăuţi.


An attractive uncommon map shows Černivci (Cernăuți), today a part of Ukraine, between two World Wars, in 1930s, when this multicultural city belonged to Romania.

Author: Ludwig WEST.
Place and Year: Černivci: Leon König (publisher) - Orient (lithography) [1930s].
Technique: Lithography in colours, printed on thin paper (Very Good, soft folds with tiny holes on crossings, old collector's stamps in the title and verso) 65 x 48 cm (25.6 x 18.9 inches).
Code: 65668

This is a rare map of the city Černivci (Чернівці́), or Cernăuți in Romanian, which is a part of Ukraine today, but belonged to Romania between the two World Wars. Text on the map, designed in an attractive Art Deco style, is written in Romanian language and marks most important buildings of the city.

Until the early 20th century Černivci was a city on the south Austian-Hungarian border. It had a mixed, in majority Jewish population. After WWI, in 1918, the city came under Romania. In 1930 it had a population of 112,400: 26.8% Jews, 23.2% Romanians, 20.8% Germans, 18.6% Ukrainians, the remainder Poles and others. Černivci’s economy was supported by a strong trade, led by the Jewish population. 

Leon König was one of the leading publishers, as well as paper sellers in the city. Other two paper sellers were Hermann Lichtendorf and Josef Horowitz. König, who also owned a photography studio, had his premises on Ringplatz 6.

The first map of Černivci in the publishing house of König, with cooperation with the engineer Ludwig West was published in 1912, what was at the time the most modern map of the city. Until WWII they together issued further updated and modernised maps, all of which are rare today. 

References: Othmar Andrèe, Czernowitz gestern und heute. Von der Aktualität eines Mythos, in: Czernowitz: die Geschichte einer untergegangenen Kulturmetropole, 2006, p. 121; Verena Dohrn, Nataly Shevchenko - Helmut Kusdat, Das jüdische Czernowitz, 2009, p. 60; Zvi Yavetz, Erinnerungen an Czernowitz: wo Menschen und Bücher lebten, 2007, p. 241.