Ernest Galpert with his wife Tilda Galpert

This is a picture of my wife Tilda Galpert, nee Akerman, and me. The photo was taken on our wedding day in Uzhgorod on 30th April 1947. In 1940 I went to work at Mr. Rot's stationery factory, which was still operating at the time. I became a mechanic. At Mr. Rot's factory I met my future wife, Tilda. She was called Toby then. Tilda and I were the same age. She came from Mukachevo. She told me that we studied together at elementary school, but I ignored her. Tilda worked at the factory. There were other girls there, too. When something went wrong with the equipment they called me to fix the problem. That's how I met Tilda. We had Jewish friends. Tilda's friend Frieda and my friend Voita worked at the factory. Frieda and Voita were going to get married when World War II was over. Tilda and I also fell in love with one another. If it hadn't been for the war we would have got married, but because of the war we didn't know what was going to happen to us. After the war Tilda stayed in Uzhgorod with her sister Serena. She went to work. I demobilized in 1947 and came to Uzhgorod. Tilda worked at the town trade department. When we met I was wearing a faded soldier shirt and soldier boots. Tilda and Serena gave me their coupons to buy clothes since all goods were sold per coupons. I went to work as a mechanic in a small shop. We all lived in Serena's apartment. She shared her furniture and kitchen utensils with us. I didn't have a passport. I only had my military identity card. Tilda and I lived together without discussing the issue of marriage. On 30th April 1948 Tilda and I decided to go for a walk. It was a lovely day. By that time I had obtained a passport. We went outside and then one of us said, 'Let's go to the registry office'. Things were simple at that time. There were no best friends or advance applications required. We went to the registry office, showed them our documents and the director of the registry office put down our names and issued us a marriage certificate. It was like any other ordinary day. I bought a bottle of champagne and chocolates and invited the director of the registry office to drink to our happiness. He gave us a few glasses and we opened the bottle of champagne. Then we were photographed in the photo shop in the same building as the registry office. We went outside and Tilda said she had to go to work since her colleagues were going to prepare for the celebrations on 1st May. My colleagues were also going to have a celebration and invited me to come. So we parted and each went to his work. This was our wedding day.