This is a picture of our shop in Prein, which belonged to my maternal grandfather Eduard Friedmann and was later taken over by his son, Isidor Friedmann. The photo was taken sometime in the 1910s. I am not a hundred per cent sure, but I think the people standing in fornt of the shop are my uncle Isidor Friedmann and my grandmother, Sofie Friedmann.
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.
Uncle Isidor, who was just called Isi, took over my grandfather's house and shop in Prein. He was married to Josephine Katz. Her parents had a huge house in Vienna's 16th district. Isi and Josephine had two children: Erika and Erich. Shortly before World War I Uncle Isi built a new house opposite the old one.
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.