This is a picture of my grandmother on my mother's side, Sofie Friedmann [nee Daniel].
My grandmother came from Kobersdorf in Burgenland province. My grandparents lived in Prein, a small health resort, on the foot of the Rax mountain. They had a beautiful house and a grocery shop. One could buy anything in this shop - which was usual in the country at that time. There were newspapers, tobacco, food, handkerchiefs, and there was also a small gas station attached to the shop.
My grandparents had six children: My mother, Johanna, Isidor, Julius, Fany, Berta and a son, who died of typhoid, I think at the age of 14. I don't remember his name. My grandfather died in 1900 at the age of 49.
My grandmother wasn't very old yet and still helped out in the shop after her husband's death. She stopped wearing a sheitl when she grew older. When I was five or six, she was very old and lived in a room on the first floor of my uncle's house. Uncle Isi wasn't very religious and didn't lead a kosher life. She wouldn't have touched any of the food in the house, so my uncle regularly drove from Gloggnitz to Neunkirchen to get kosher meat for her. In the afternoon my grandmother went down to my uncle and aunt's place for coffee. The house was always bustling with activity, there were often visitors, and our whole family got together there, too. The house was extremely beautiful. It was torn down a little while ago. When I heard about this I felt miserable. I think I would have bought the house if I had had the money because to me it was more than just a house.
The house and shop in Prein were Aryanized in 1938. Sometimes there were people who tried to help my grandmother. The priest's cook, for instance, brought her fresh vegetables. However, there were also people who spit at my grandmother's feet; they were customers who had debts in my grandfather's shop.
My grandmother was deported to Theresienstadt ghetto at the age of 86 on 22nd July 1942 and died there on 29th November 1942.