Rifke, Samuel and Etel Feld

Rifke, Samuel and Etel Feld

These here are my mother, Rifke Feld, nee Friem, my father, Samuel Feld, and my sister, Etel Feld. Judging by her age in this photo, I think it was taken about 80 years ago, in the mid-1920s, in Resita.

My mother was born in Kulikowka, Poland, in 1897, and her native tongue was Yiddish. I think she went to elementary school as a child, but that's all the schooling she had. Of all my mother's siblings, I know only of Eugenia Goldstein, nee Friem, who lived in Resita, Romania, with her family. She moved there some time before World War II, but I don't know the exact year. That's why my mother came to Resita: her family found out that Eugenia was ill, and they wanted to send somebody from the family to take care of her, and that was my mother. She came to Resita in her early twenties, some time at the end of World War I, and she never went back to Poland again, nor did she see her parents again. Her mother died shortly after my mother left for Romania, and her father passed away some time after that. She came by train to Resita, to look after her elder sister Eugenia, and she stayed here for good. My mother told me that the journey to Romania was a nightmare: she came with a train full of soldiers, and, as you can surely imagine, that wasn't easy for a young single woman.

My father was born in Belchatow, Poland, in 1893, and his native tongue was Yiddish. I believe he graduated from high school. He came to Romania to look for a job when he was a young man, and he ended up in Resita because the town had a strong metallurgy industry. There were many factories and one could find a job as a laborer much easier. And that's what my father did for a living in his first years here. He met my mother in the Jewish circles in Resita, I think. They met, fell in love and got married in 1918. It was a religious wedding, but I don't know if they went to the synagogue or if the rabbi came to their home. It was at the end of the war and times were rather troubled. My parents didn't have Romanian citizenship for a very long time, I think they only received it after World War II: periodically, they had to pay a fee and renew their passports.

In 1920 my mother gave birth too early to a baby boy - she was eighth months pregnant - and he died. After that, in 1921, she gave birth to Etel Feld, my sister. I never got to know her though because she died in 1929 or 1930 of meningitis. My parents were devastated; she had been the joy of their lives. From what my parents told me, she was a very smart girl: she was the first in school, and she always received prizes and so on.

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