Emanuel Gruber with relatives

This picture was taken in 1983. Standing from right to left are my nephew Dan Grunberger, who is an officer, his wife, who is a teacher, and me Vasile Grunea. Sitting from right to left in the first row are my father Emanuel Gruber, my mother Erzsebet Gruber (nee Sporn), Aunt Margit Lazarovici (nee Gruber), my father's younger sister, Klari Grunberger, Dan's grandmother. Sadly, from all these people only the three of us standing in the back row, are alive. They - my father, mother and Aunt Margit - all died at an old age, at the age of 95, 96, in Israel; my parents died in Jerusalem and my aunt in Haifa. My parents had lived in Haifa for a long time, they only moved to Jerusalem in the last years of their life to be in the same town as their daughter and son-in-law. They had quite a comfortable house with a big garden in Haifa, and as long as they lived there the whole family used to gather there on Sabbath. I remember from the times when I was there that my three aunts, my uncle, my mother's 'fellow mother', Mrs Grunberger, and the neighbors - that is, 10 to 15 people altogether - got together to have coffee and gossip in the garden of their flat in Haifa. As soon as it became possible to emigrate after the war, my father and mother emigrated to Israel in 1950. My father was 58 years old then. When my father made aliyah, he was already fluent in Hebrew [Ivrit], so he didn't need to take ulpan classes. He adored Hebrew [Ivrit], and he constantly perfected himself. When he arrived there, he bought a tape recorder from his first economies and he recorded everybody who spoke a nice Hebrew and he listened to their pronunciation on tape. His dictionary was always at hand. Sometimes he was listening to something on the radio and if he didn't understand a word, he would jump up and look it up in the dictionary. For a long time he worked as a clerk at a big construction company, the Solel Boneh in Haifa. My mother also liked it in Israel. When my parents, my sister and her family and other friends put down their names on the list for emigration, I didn't. I was the black sheep of the family; I stayed here for family and other reasons. My mother came to visit for the first time in 1969. We hadn't seen each other for 19 years. My mother stayed with us for a month in Kolozsvar and she developed a very good relationship with my wife. Then we went to Brasso for a week because we had two cousins on my mother's side and their children who still lived there, and we stayed with them. And of course my mother went to see the houses we had lived in before. I went to Israel for the first time in 1970 and I saw my father for the first time since he had emigrated. All in all I went to see them at least ten times, I think, and I usually stayed for a month or two.



Vasile Grunea

Photos from this interviewee