Sighetu Marmației was one of the Romanian, Rusyn, and Jewish cultural and political centers in Hungary.

Sighet 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 1940 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 Rachel Grunebaum, Dr.Amos Grunebaum's mother, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel) and other Nazi extermination camps. Nowadays there are only about 11 Jews living in Sighetu Marmației.

The history of Romania and the country’s involvement in World War II was vague until 2004 when the government released papers linking Romania to the death of more than 350,000 Jews. The country “deported” Jews for being “communist.” The deportation involved killings and transportation to concentration camps where the passengers were later killed. Today the Jewish population is about 9,000 to 15,000 strong.

When the cold of winter sets in, chicken soup recipes are often sought out to treat colds in pregnancy and other illnesses. Jewish Penicillin recipes from Romania often include parsnip and laurel leaves.


Chicken breasts, 2
Carrots, peeled and chopped
Parsley root, chopped
Celery root, chopped
Leeks, cleaned and sliced
Parsnip, chopped
Potatoes, peeled and chopped
Onions, sliced
Chicken bouillon cubes, 2
Parsley leaves, chopped
Laurel leaves


  1. Place chicken breasts in the stockpot and cover with water.
  2. Heat on high until water comes to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down to low.
  4. Skim foam from the surface as needed.
  5. Continue to simmer and skim foam one more time.
  6. Add chicken bouillon cubes to the water.
  7. Add vegetables to the stock, except potatoes, and cook for 3 hours on low.
  8. Add potatoes during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  9. Vegetable amounts can vary based on how many people being served or how chunky you like the soup.
  10. Remove soup from heat and ladle into bowls.
  11. Top with parsley and laurel leaves.
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