Samuel Deutsch

Samuel Deutsch

This is my father-in-law Samuel Deutsch. The photo was taken in Szaszregen.

My husband Gyula's grandparents were originally from Nagyabony, Hungary, but I don't know when they came to Regen. His father graduated from the Academy of Commerce in Budapest.

He spoke perfect German. He didn't smoke. The family lived both in Regen and in Marosvasarhely. They were wealthy; they owned a textile store in Regen, which was founded by Gyula's grandparents at the end of the 1880s.

They also had a store here in Marosvasarhely. This branch - which was on the main square, on the corner of Posta Street, where the Bernady statue stands today - was opened much later and was closed quite early, because they hired a manager who couldn't manage it properly.

My husband was born in 1918. During the time Gyula went to school they already lived here in Marosvasarhely. He didn't go to the Jewish elementary school, but to a normal one, but I don't know why, because by the time he started school the Jewish school already existed.

After finishing the four years of elementary school he went to Papiu Lyceum, where he graduated from in 1936. His parents lived here all this time.

During the week his father used to manage the store in Szaszregen, and he came back on Friday evenings because on Saturdays all the Jewish stores were closed, while Sunday was an official holiday. He used to stay in the city until Sunday evening or Monday morning, when he went back.

As far as I know, they kept a kosher household, and they too were Neolog, and not Orthodox Jews. They observed the holidays. I think Gyula's family used to go to the synagogue on Saturdays. Gyula had a bar mitzvah and his brother too, or so he told me.

At home they talked in Hungarian, but in German too, as everyone in his family spoke German well.

I don't know exactly in which year they moved back to Szaszregen. Gyula worked in the store, and helped out his father, while he was attending the university in Kolozsvar, taking correspondence classes - that is, he studied at home and only went to the university for exams - at the Law School, from which he graduated.

Back in Szaszregen his father taught him his profession and he only went to Kolozsvar during the examination period. The store was open from morning until afternoon, and Gyula didn't get any special treatment, he was treated just like any other employee.

His father made no difference between his son and his employees; he treated them equally.

Gyula told me his grandmother lived with them in Szaszregen. I don't know any more exactly, whether she was his paternal or maternal grandmother.

There was a Romanian family there - customers of the store, I believe that's how they knew each other -, and they lived in a very remote place in a nearby village.

They wanted to hide Gyula's parents from deportation, but they didn't want to accept the grandmother. The parents couldn't accept that because they didn't want to leave the grandmother by herself, and unfortunately they remained in Szaszregen.

They were all deported: father, mother and grandmother, and all ended up in the gas chamber. If they had accepted the offer then, they would have probably escaped, because it was such a remote place, that there was no sign of the war; no Germans, Russians or anybody else went there.

Open this page