Photo taken in:BotosaniYear when photo was taken:1942Country name at time of photo:RomaniaCountry name today:Romania
This is a notification that we received in 1942 when we were evacuated from our house on the basis of the Romanian cleansing racial law.
There were restrictions for Jews during World War II. In 1940, at the age of 7, I was enlisted at a Romanian school - as the principal of that school, which was located near our home, was a friend of my father's - but I was pulled out of the school on the basis of the racial law in force at that time, in 1940. [Editor's note: In October 1940, Jewish pupils and students were denied access to public education of all degrees. The Jewish people were free to organize private primary and secondary schools. Jewish schools were allowed to function but they weren't allowed to be advertised. The graduation diplomas were not recognized by the state and had no practical validity regarding the graduate's admission into a profession.]
From around 1941 until 1944 we wore the yellow star in Botosani. We were allowed to go to the market to buy things only after 10 o'clock. Life was very hard for us during the war. As long as we had our home where we lived, we sold some of the things we had, my father had a grocer's shop, we sold a weighing scale, we sold this and that.
Our house was on Calea Nationala St. We were evacuated from our house in 1942 on the basis of the racial law of Romanian cleansing, and we had to move to a different place, we paid rent. The house had been our property. A Christian liked that house, for it was near the street, he moved in and started a business there, a store. Both in our house and in that of my grandfather, Lupu Meir. My grandparents moved in with one of their daughters, Rasela. And we moved somewhere else, we lived with some relatives, over at uncle Iancu's place, a brother of my grandmother Maria Meir. It was still in Botosani, only we formerly lived near the train station, and we moved downtown. Still, it was a shack used as a kitchen during summer, we had to live in difficult circumstances, nevertheless. Of course, we didn't get along that well, for our living there wasn't really to their liking.
My parents were taken to forced labor. My father was initially taken somewhere around Husi, and then to Macin to a stone quarry. I forget in what year he was concentrated, but it was after wearing the yellow star became mandatory, and he stayed there until 1944, he returned home after the Russians entered Romania. My mother performed forced labor as well. She was forced to go to a military unit here, in Botosani, I don't know what she did there, I couldn't tell you. She received no payment there. But as we were poor, my mother worked for more well-to-do people as well, she worked instead of those women. The wife of that respective family had to go to do forced labor, my mother would go in her stead, and she would pay my mother for that.
We were freed by the Soviet army on 7th April 1944. A month or two before the Russians came, or was it a week - I don't remember exactly -, the Christians who lived in our house left, they were evacuated. Or perhaps they moved to another place, somewhere else in Romania, I couldn't say. But the majority of Romanians who were employed in state institutions in Botosani moved to Oltenia, in the area around Bucharest. For instance, those who worked at the post office, at CFR, at… And that's when we moved back in our house. If the Russians arrived on April 7, we moved back in our house around April 10. For there was great bustle around the city, with army troops, we couldn't move about the city right away. We found very few things inside the house. For we had no room to store our things where we moved, and they were destroyed.