Izu Gatlan and his family


This is a photo taken in 1942, on the day my father's brother, Izu, got married. This picture has the following dedication: ‘A souvenir from our wedding day. Rica and Izu. 22nd November 1942. To our brother and sister-in-law, with love. Wechsler photo cabinet, Barlad.’ My paternal grandmother, Clara Gatlan, is in the lower row, on the left. My parents, Rebecca and Noe Gatlan, are in the upper row, on the left. On the right, there are my father's sister, Aunt Luta, and maybe her boyfriend. My father had three brothers and a sister: Victor, Arnold, Izu and Luiza, whom we called Aunt Luta.

I only met Victor and Izu, the youngest brother. Victor was born around 1896, and Arnold - in 1901 or so. My father's brothers left for Israel, but I couldn't tell in what year. They said they were going to their country. No sooner had the State of Israel been formed than all the Jews wanted to go there, to the place that is actually our country. The last of my father's brothers who left was Izu. I kept in touch with the family in Israel for a while, by mail or phone, as long as my mother was alive. We weren't too close though, at least not as close as other families, whose members came to the country once in a while.

They were all married. I don't know what they did for a living, but I know they didn't have a university education. I couldn't say they were religious people, bigots - they were moderate. Of course, they kept the Sabbath and the major holidays, like any Jew, but they didn't overdo it.

Arnold died at a rather early age, just like my father for that matter, at 60-something. He had diabetes. The ones who lived longest were Aunt Luiza and Izu. The latter was the last to die - it happened about ten years ago, in 1993. He got married on 22nd November 1942 and his wife's name was Rica. I have the exact date of my uncle's marriage on a photo from their wedding. I don't know exactly what they did for a living: maybe they had a store, or maybe they worked for some company, like my cousin, Izu's son, is working for now. This cousin of mine is named Leonard and has a daughter, Lili, who, in her turn, has a boy and a girl. Leonard's wife calls me from time to time.

Aunt Luta was a housewife, but I remember the boys ran a business - a clothes workshop and store - like all Jewish tradesmen used to, but they had no university education. Our aunt left to Israel before my maternal grandparents did, but I think she went by herself and got married there. Her husband was a Polish Jew, so he wasn't from Romania. I don't know what his name was. I know my aunt brought him to Romania once, and we met him. At that time, my mother was still alive and was living with me. They only had one daughter, Corina, who lives in Israel. I don't know her last name. She's a lawyer and has two children of her own. I don't know their names either. Aunt Luiza died about five years ago, in 1999 or so.



Cornelia Gatlan