Juci Scheiner at home

Juci Scheiner at home

This is a picture of me taken in my apartment in Marosvasarhely in 1995.

During the communist era I traveled abroad quite a lot compared to the average citizen. My first husband, Jeno Schonbrunn, didn't like to travel at all, so in the 1970s I traveled pretty much alone. And this way I could get a permit more easily. They never granted it when you requested it, but when you expected it the least. The first time I went to America in 1968, then to Italy in 1972 and 1975. I went to Italy nine times, which was quite amazing during the communist era. In 1983 and 1989 I went to America with my second husband, Aladar Scheiner, and in 1989 we spent the high holidays there at my brother's. I've been to Israel two or three times, but I don't remember exactly when.

At home, we went with Aladar to Felix spa each spring. He really loved this place. [Felix spa is in the western part of Romania, near the Hungarian border. During the communist era many local Hungarians went there to spend the summer holiday, because they could 'steal' the TV broadcast from Hungary, since there was no TV broadcast in Hungarian in Romania.] When we first went there, I couldn't imagine what I could do there, but I came to like the place so much that I couldn't wait to go there again. [Even after her husband died, Juci continues to go there, and the employees know her very well.]

Since 1989 my life hasn't really changed: I am retired. Of course, our community was very pleased with the events. I had Jewish friends but others, as well. The truth is that everybody was relieved. In the communist era nobody really liked to be told where to go and how many steps you are allowed to take. But one had to comply because if you didn't play along, you were instantly punished. Neither of my husbands was a party member, and we never took part in anything political.

Aladar died in 1994, at the age of 90. Then I received the reparations Hungary paid to him, because he had been imprisoned in Russia [Editor's note: after 1990 the Hungarian government compensated everyone who had been a prisoner of war in Russia.] Then I also received reparations for his forced labor years. The reparations payment for me was a far lesser amount.

I have always felt I've had a beautiful life. Most of the people were very friendly and nice to me. My parents loved me, I got along very well with my brothers and sisters and I am on good terms with everybody. All my life I've never been left alone, I had a big family and many friends. Now I'm waiting for a call from either my sister-in-law from Bologna, or my brother from America. He calls me every Saturday.

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