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Louiza Vecsler

Before World War II, I had worked as a pharmacist. The owners of the shop where I worked were Jews, and they lived upstairs. Their name was Rosenberg, and I got along very well with them. In 1942 all the merchandise in the shop was handed over to a Christian pharmacist, Mrs. Constantinescu. She wanted to keep me because she was from the countryside and she didn't know anybody in Botosani, except for her sister, who lived there. And it was something else, when the customers saw somebody familiar at the counter. People in Botosani knew me, and whoever came into the shop said: 'Thank God you are still here, you know what to give us'. There was a peasant from Cotusca [a small village near Botosani], whose wife was sick, and he always bought a 100 gram bottle of valerian tincture. He used to say, 'I wouldn't buy it from somewhere else, even if they gave me a kilo for free! This one is clean, carefully prepared and it cures!'

On one winter day, when it was already dark and there was a blizzard outside, the ex-owners upstairs asked me to sleep over because I lived far from the chemist's shop. I accepted, I had also joined them for dinner on several occasions. And in the morning, when I came down, a man from Social Insurance came into the shop, saw me and said, 'What is a Jew doing in a Romanian drug shop? You just got your shop, Mrs. Constantinescu; if you keep her, we will revoke your license!' I went upstairs, took my coat and left. [This happened around 1942.
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Isac Tinichigiu

The owner died and his wife married a Christian for convenience, and officially her husband became the owner of the grocery. That way she could keep her grocery.
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Rifca Segal

When I came to Botosani, I believe more than 50% of the population of Botosani was Jewish. And what did Jews have? Stores. There was a man in Botosani, his name was Bogokovski, who had a large store, and then, in order to be able to keep the store open, he entered a partnership with a Christian, he recorded the shop as being owned by a Christian friend [10], but he was a nice man – I forget his name. And the store was recorded under the name of that man. That man wasn’t a nobody, either, financially, that is. And they caught them, they found out the former registered his shop under the name of the latter, and they arrested Bogokowski. Only the Jew. I remember this, for we were outraged back then. Life was very hard. But he escaped with his life as well when the Russians entered Botosani.
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My uncle had sheep. I believe he had them registered under the name of a Romanian peasant. I’m sure of it, but I can’t say, for I don’t know for sure. I was around 13-14, and I didn’t meddle in their affairs. And they had money, and they helped us.
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Iancu Tucarman

After the pogrom we had to obey several restrictions. You could really feel that you were different from all the people that you had very well lived with until that day. You were not allowed to go to the market by 10 o’clock in the morning. That was the time when we wore the yellow star [4]. I was out at work doing forced labor; my sisters were still too young. The shop was given to a Christian, a certain Maftei Constantin, and my father was able to work with him. He got a certain percentage of the profit. He was a special man, an understanding man. There were some who took the shops altogether and drove the real owners away [5]. This one was a wise man. I don’t remember how much he received, but anyway this is how we managed to survive.
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Janos Dorogi

My father had only one sibling, a little sister called Ilonka.  She married Zsigmond Brechel, the son of a very well-to-do family from Beszterce [now Bistrica, Romania].  That was a patriarchal Jewish family in Beszterce.  They had a brewery called Hohrich and Brecher.  They made a quality of beer that was very well known in Transylvania.

There was a brass mesusah on every door in the brewery. Uncle Zsigmond worked in banking, and for awhile he was the Director of the Romanian-Hungarian Bank in Kolozsvar [now Cluj, Romania], and then Arad.  Then the bank somehow didn’t do too well, and the family asked Uncle Zsigmond, who understood banking, but didn’t like to work, to run the brewery.  When the Jewish laws were passed, Count Balazs Bethlen took on the brewery as a strohman [false director, or frontman].  Then they deported the family.  They would have saved my uncle. Mengele told him to step a bit to the left, but after a little thought he went over to my aunt.  He was murdered immediately….the first day.  In Auschwitz. They had a daughter, Eva, who was also killed, but there’s no way to tell where.
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