Paula Riemer

My mother Paula Riemer is in this picture (then she was Riegelhaupt). It was taken on 6th May 1921, one year after her marriage, because she married my father Fulop Riegelhaupt in 1920. This is a studio photo, it was taken in some studio called Bordam. It was taken in Petrozseny or in Arad. She sent this picture to someone, but I don't know who that was. It says: 'Love, Paula.'

She had no short hair [when she got married], she still had the knot, and later, when her hair grew very long, her knot got heavy and told us it was always giving her headaches. She waited short hair to come into fashion and she had it cut then. She had beautiful blond hair.

When my father wanted to get married, he came to Vasarhely, mom was introduced to him, and they ended up together somehow and mom got married in 1919. the fact is they were brought together. The marriage took place in Vasarhely, I don't know if it was a religious wedding with a rabbi, but I'm sure it was. I'm pretty sure because my mother's youngest sibling wedded there as well, and it was a normal wedding with a rabbi and chuppah. Mom never related about the wedding, I don't know why. It was such a short and sad marriage, they lived together only nine years of which four or five they spent going from one hospital to the other.

Since my father was a timber merchant, they lived on a lumber mill in Lonya. Lonya was a mine settlement, but separately there was a lumber mill also. Some of the clerk's who worked there were Jews, on the other hand there were a lot of Jews in Petrozseny, there was a synagogue also. Regarded to those times, uncle Goldmann was a social approached leader, who build beautiful worker's dwelling's. There were storied, beautiful brick buildings. The workers had one or two room apartments, the clerks had a separate building and they also lived in Lonya, but not in the workers' dwellings, but in another area of the mill, where there was a separate building for clerks, with apartments with more rooms. A one room apartment was given to two singles and the newly married couples, while those with families got a two room apartment. There was a common bath, because they had a boiler. The guests who came to buy board or were on business trip, were lodged in guest-chambers, because there was no hotel in Lonya.

We had an apartment, too, in the building where the clerks lived. I don't remember exactly if we had one or two rooms. My dad managed the whole lumber mill while he was healthy. When my father fell sick and didn't work anymore in Lonya, we had a very nice apartment in Petrozseny then, four rooms, bathroom, balcony, in a word it was a very nice apartment we rented. They lived very happily there, my mother was well off, she was unbelievably pampered, she didn't work anywhere.

Mom was 31 when she remained a widow. She came home to Marosvasarhely and after two years married my stepfather. I think he was five years older than mom, and he was a bank clerk here in Vasarhely, but he was born in Fogaras, as far as I know. They knew our family very well, my stepfather's parents and my maternal grandparents were on very good terms.

Grandpa Mittelmann was my tutor from my maternal side, and after my father's death he took care of issues related to the life-insurance by buying a big house in which he also invested this money. This was a corner building on the boulevard, one side was opposite to the building which is the Unirea school today, the other side gave onto the boulevard. The family was big then, the youngsters, Aliz and Gabi were still at home. They held the ceremony at home, and considering that it was mom's second marriage they didn't make a big fuss about it. I remember that the chuppah was under the gate and the marriage took place there. I was in the first grade then, and they took me away from home during the ceremony. [Editor's note: according to the Jewish tradition, children are not allowed to attend their parents' wedding.] I know there was a dinner after the ceremony. It was the only time the family gathered. Mom and my stepfather went to Brasso for the great honeymoon. My name remained Riegelhaupt, but mom changed it to Riemer after the marriage.