Photo taken in:MarosvasarhelyYear when photo was taken:1911Country name at time of photo:Austria-Hungary, pre 1918Country name today:RomaniaName of the photographer / studio:Geza Csonka photo studio
In this picture that's my mother Paula Riemer (nee Mittelmann), at the age of 14, meaning that the photo was taken in 1911. It was taken in Marosvasarhely, in the photo studio of Geza Csonka, on Kossuth Street [Calarasi street today]. The studio was founded in 1904.
There were no Jewish school at that time when my mother was child, therefore she finished the four classes of the elementary school and the four classes of the middle school in Marosvasarhely in a Catholic denominational school. The building of the convent is the building of the art school today in Szentgyorgy street [Revolutiei street today]. Nuns leaded it, the nuns were the teachers and my mother graduated the middle school there. after the middle school the girls didn't use to graduate the high school then, there were no girls' high school, that was the maximum what my mother graduated from. I couldn't say where was the girls' high school. Her younger sister, Agnes, already graduated from the high school.
My mom was considered a very nice woman at her time. She had white skin, and she hadn't a thin, boy-like stature, flepper as they called it then, but a full figured, tall one. In a word she was a very nice girl, with beautiful blond hair. She had a very long hair. As an adult, she kept her hair in a knot, her knot was heavy, and she told us the heavy knot always gave her a headache. Only after she got married - they were still living in Lonya -, in the 1920s, shorter hair came into fashion, so she cut her hair in order to prevent her suffering more from the heavy knot.
When she was a girl, she was the belle of the ball in Marosvasarhely: she was Miss ball and Miss Vasarhely. Her story is very interesting: considering that grandpa was a bank manager, thus an important person in a small town like Marosvasarhely, he was invited to the balls. During the war - as far as I know it happened in 1918 - there was a very high-class ball in Marosvasarhely, where archduke Jozsef also made his appearance [Editor's note: archduke Jozsef Habsburg (Alcsut, 1872 - Rain bei Straubing, Bavaria, 1962) field-marshal, governor, member of the Hungarian Academy (corresponding from 1906, full between 1917-1945), nephew of palatine Jozsef, participated in WWI as constable] and he asked mom the first dance. It meant that mom was a very beautiful girl, she wasn't invited for her social position, but for her aspect, indeed. Mom related this proudly. I think the Palace of Culture already existed, and the ball was surely held there.