Ilona Seifert, her mother Iren Riemer and her sister

Me (on the left), my sister (on the right) and our mother in our flat. The photo is from the 1930s. My parents bought this house when they got married in 1917. It was a single story house and they extended it by building more stories on top. It also housed daddy's bakery and soda-water workshop. There was a terrace rather than a roof on top of the house, and my parents had a garden made for us there, with a child's sandbox, a flower garden and beautiful garden furniture set. There were eight rooms in our apartment: bedroom, children's room, parlor, dining room, drawing room, living room. The parlor was beautiful. It had golden furniture in, including two large standing mirrors with golden frames. Then there was a drawing room for daddy - with a suite of furniture, bookshelf and a filing cabinet. The living room was a great big room and we actually spent the whole day there. We even dined there. Then there was a huge dining hall. It was a special room with lovely furniture and carpets, which had to be arefully taken care of. m You were not allowed to drop crumbs, or drag in dirt. We used the dining room whenever we had company at the house. There were always plenty of guests in our house, because at that time, an active social life was very fashionable. My parents usually invited factory owners like themselves, wholesalers, merchants, district borough members and business people. I loved having these guests, and we were dressed nicely on these occasions. To entertain them, I sang, and mommy played the piano. My sister did not often come in, because she was shy. After supper the women usually went into the parlor had a chat there, and the men stayed in the parlor or went to the drawing room. The children's room was furnished with pieces of painted, white furniture. Our ?Fraulein? slept there with us. There was one room just for the live-in cook and another small room for the maid. No one slept in the kitchen. Naturally, there was a bathroom with running water and a tub connected to a bathroom stove that had to be heated up. At that time people took a bath only on Sundays, and if someone took a bath every day she was considered a ?bad girl.? But we took a bath least every other day or so.

Photos from this interviewee