Liza Haimovici and her family

n this photograph, Mothe Haimovici, my sister’s husband, is on the left, Lea, my eldest sister, is in the middle, and Braha, their daughter, is on the right. Lea was her Jewish name, her Romanian name was Liza, and Mothe's was Marcel. The photograph was taken in Iasi in 1946.

My mother was a housewife, she raised 9 children. I don't remember my mother ever going to bed or waking up at the same time as we did. We always went to bed and she stayed up longer, for she still had chores to do. In the morning she got up long before us in order to get us ready for school or work. We always found her where we left her, about the house, doing the chores. And let us not forget that washing machines or other possibilities of making life easier didn't exist in those days. She washed by hand, we didn't even have running water. Sometimes, when the material situation of our household was better, mother used to hire a woman to do the laundry. She collected the dirty laundry during a week or two and, if she managed to hire a woman to help her with the laundry, they washed all the laundry and stretched it out to dry in the courtyard. All the courtyards were full of washed laundry. This was during summer, it was harder during winter, when we strung the laundry to dry inside the house. Mother was a very hard-working woman. It was only when the girls were a bit older and could take over some of the household chores, that my father started taking my mother out for a walk, or to the park once in a while during summer. That's how it was in all households, not only in our home. She was always cooking, back then people ate cooked food at lunch and at dinnertime. Young people nowadays can't even imagine the kind of life that our mothers led. Father worked from dawn to dusk so that he could support the entire family.

Liza, our first sister, was born around 1915. She worked as a dressmaker. Shortly afterwards, they left to Israel illegally through Hungary. In Austria they were welcome by and received the support of Zionist organizations which helped them to continue their journey. They made it to Cyprus and they waited there for almost 2 years until they could enter Israel. They had a macolet [Hebrew], a sort of bakery. She is still alive today, she is over 90 years old. Liza's husband is no longer alive, they have an only daughter, Braha, who is also living in Israel.