Felicia Menzel in high school

Felicia Menzel in high school

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This is me when I was 13 and was at the Orthodox High School in Iasi. I was wearing a uniform, as you can see; we had to have a white collar and white cuffs. The photo was taken in 1933.

After elementary school I went to an Orthodox High School, whose principal was Princess Cantacuzino. [Editor’s note: Alexandrina Cantacuzino was the president of the Society of the Orthodox Romanian women and founder of the Orthodox schools and high schools in Romania.] I went to that High School because of a friend of my mother’s, a doctor, Mrs. Dona, whose daughter taught history there, and probably recommended it to my mother.

I was a good student, and quite appreciated: I sang in the choir, and on one Christmas, I received a box of sweets with a note saying that I was delicate, disciplined and well brought-up. I didn’t celebrate Christian holidays, but I took part in the festivities, as I had to sing in the choir; also, I took classes about the Christian religion. Once on an Epiphany festivity, I was sprinkled with holy water by the metropolitan bishop himself!

There were many other Jewish girls there at the school, like a friend of mine, Toni Moscovici, but the Jewish girls had to pay a higher fee for education than the priests’, officers’ and teachers’ daughters, who benefited from a reduction. So the principal talked to my mother and advised her to move me to Mihail Kogalniceanu High School, which was cheaper, and in a Jewish neighborhood, which my mother did, especially because Angela was studying there as well.

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Interviewee

Felicia Menzel