|Gabriel Anton, Baron Splény de Miháldy (1734-1814)|
First District-Governor of Bukovina (1774-1778)
Excerpt from the article "Under Austrian Administration (1774-1786)" by Dr. Nathan Michael Gelber: "On August 31, 1774 the Austrian General Gabriel Freiherr von Splény marched into Czernowitz. On October 10, 1774, all of Bukovina was occupied by Austrian troops under the supreme command of General Splény and became in accordance with the terms of the May 7, 1775 treaty signed in Constantinople by Austria and Turkey an official possession of Austria. With this action of giving up possession of Bukovina and giving sovereignty to Austria, Turkey demonstrated its friendship, gratitude and good will for Austria. With this event, the direct connection between Galicia and Siebenbürgen desired by Austria since its acquisition of Galicia became reality. [...] When Austrian troops marched into Bukovina in October, 1774, according to Splény’s census there were 17,047 families in Bukovina, among them 526 Jewish families giving a ratio of 38 Jewish families per 1000 families of all religions, who were distributed over the entire land. The cities that Splény found were Suceava, Czernowitz, Sereth and Wiznitz. The best houses of the Jews were in Czernowitz. The rest of the houses, about 200, were miserable affairs of wood and clay. [...] In 1776 there were a total of 650 Jewish families with 2906 souls as compared to 526 families in 1775. [...] In the view of the authorities, this rapid increase in the number of Jews called for steps to be taken to reduce their numbers. In 1778 the Jews were even warned not to build any more houses. The authorities even went further by making the Jews pay extremely high taxes and they took measures to make sure the Jews would find no opportunity to obtain funds to pay these increased taxes."
Courtesy: State Archives of Czernowitz Oblast