Arthur Margulies

This is my father, Arthur Margulies. The picture was taken in Czernowitz in the 1920s. He looks young here. My memories of him display him older.

Before World War II, my father was a high-ranking clerk in Czernowitz, Bukovina, which belonged to Romania at the time. He was responsible for the security of the news that entered the country. He used to check the newspapers like an agent of the Siguranta, like it was called back then. As he spoke several languages, he read various newspapers; when he came across an article that attacked the royal family, he simply blocked that newspaper from reaching the population. At that time, the country was under a royal dictatorship, and they didn't want the people to find out that King Carol II had a girlfriend, Lupeasca, while Prince Michael was still a child. [Editor's note: The woman was Elena Magda Lupescu, daughter of a Christianized Jew. Carol met her in 1922. She was known under various names, including Lupeasca or Duduia - the latter was the one by which Carol used to address her.].

By the time the war began [World War I], my mother, whose maiden name was Antonia Engler, had finished school in a catholic monastery in Vienna. The Austrians didn't trust the Czechs and Poles, as they wanted to have the country just for themselves, so they treated them as enemies, not as friends, especially after the war began. So they took those girls who had studied at the monastery and sent them to Czechoslovakia. This is how my mother got to Dulmen, where she worked with my father for a police station. My father was an officer and clerk in Czernowitz, but he got sent to several cities across the country; this is how he got to Dulmen, where he met my mother. After a while, my father was sent to another place, Seletin, but he kept in touch with my mother by mail.

When the war ended, my father returned to Czernowitz; and so did my mother. She didn't go back to Vienna, because, once the Austrian-Hungarian Empire collapsed, the Czechs, Poles, and Baltic people founded their own independent states. The Romanians received a part of the territories, too. In those days, the Russians had their Revolution. My parents got married in 1920. I don't know if they had a religious ceremony. They settled in Czernowitz, which belonged to Romania at the time.