Iules Tobias

This is Iules Tobias, my mother's only brother from Bacau. The photo was taken at the Adele's photo cabinet in Bacau, in the 1930s. Uncle Iules lived in Bacau, where he owned a pub. The place was called 'The Fair Horse'. In the interwar period, when our material situation gradually deteriorated, Uncle Iules would send us supplies: little barrels with cheese, olives and sausages. Even though he had a better material situation, he had the time to think about his sister's problems and helped her the best way he could. He invited my brother and me to spend a part of our vacation with his family every year. I liked to go the banks of the Bistrita River, to raft, or to play with the other kids at the Mosilor fair. This fair was held in the summer, in July, on Saint Ilie - the prophet Elijah of the Tannakh, assumed and celebrated by the Christian-Orthodox tradition. It was held in the open air, at the outskirts of the town. It was full of people, carts, horses, smaller domestic animals and poultry. There was an indescribable hubbub. A circus would sometimes come too, and the children would immediately gather around it. The fair gave the peasants in the area the opportunity to sell and buy everything they needed: cattle, fruit, and household utensils. Jews attended these fairs too, as some of them were peddlers and had a very important economic function in these villages, where they brought essential necessaries: salt, matches, oil etc. When I got home from vacation, I felt drawn to the North Station; in fact, coming back home meant returning to this railway station. It's hard to explain why I missed the station, not my home? I know that when the war came, he was already married to Silvia, a Jewish woman of an exceptional inborn intelligence. In 1940 or 1941, they wanted to leave for Russia, but they were told at the border that things were very serious there and that it was risky for them to go on. So they came back. After the war they made aliyah to Israel, settled in a kibbutz and took up high performance agriculture. I kept in touch with them even under the communist regime, when sending letters abroad was difficult.