Alzbeta Schafferova, Helena Pollakova and Viera Slesingerova

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This is picture of me as a small kid, aunt Alzbeta Schafferova, nee Paszternak, who is the lady in white, and my mum Helena Pollakova, nee Paszternak, who wears dark clothes. The picture was taken in Bratislava in 1927. My mom was born in 1896 in a small village near Kosice called Buzita. She had a secondary school education, probably with a focus on commerce. My mom was a nice, pretty woman. She was a housewife. She did the shopping and cooking, as dad came home for lunch. She always had a maid to help her out. In the afternoons she would knit, crochet and make covers, which she enjoyed doing. She also enjoyed having company, visiting friends and going to cafes with dad. Mom used to read a lot, mostly in German, especially Werfel, Mann and Zweig. My mom came from a large, religious family and had nine brothers and sisters - Izidor, the oldest, Serena, Koloman, Irma, Charlota, Ilona, Alzbeta, Mikulas, Marie. Most of her siblings lived in various places in Slovakia and were far less religious than their parents. Aunt Alzbeta was my favorite aunt. Before getting married, she graduated from a commercial high school. She worked and lived with us in Bratislava, as we had a large apartment there at the time. She then married a Jewish traveling salesman called Viliam Schaffer. Her husband wasn't home very often, due to the nature of his job, so she used to stay at our place. I loved her very much and was very close to her. She was very witty. I knew my mom's side of the family the most. Dad's sister, Aunt Hermina, was once staying over at our place when Aunt Alzbeta came along. When dad brought her in, I ran up to her with joy, as I always did. Afterwards, mom told me off for never greeting Aunt Hermina in the same way. Aunt Alzbeta always had health problems. She loved children and in 1939 became pregnant, but because of the war she didn't want to have a child, so she gave it away. During the war, Alzbeta and her husband were in a camp in Novaky and during the Slovak Uprising they hid out in the mountains. They both survived the war. They didn't have any children later on.

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Interviewee

Šlesingerová