Trip near Petrozseny

Trip near Petrozseny

The picture was taken on the occasion of a trip near Petrozseny. There is a beauty spot near Petrozseny called the Szurduk pass. This is on the Zsil river, which passes through Petrozseny and flows through Oltenia, as well. It has a beautiful valley, on one side there are some high mountains, while on its other side there's the road. It's splendid! Even Switzerland can't be that beautiful as this region. The picture was taken in 1932 or 1933.

We were invited to Romulus Moga, a Romanian friend of the family, he had this house in the Szurduk pass. We were there with my father's younger brother Sandor Riegelhaupt (he took the picture), my aunt Regina (on the right, she sits with her back). She was a very high spirited, nice and warm-hearted woman, you can see she's in a good mood. On her right, I'm the one in that short-sleeved dress, I was around 10, on my right, upwards, the one holding a glass is Vilma Weisz, but I'm not sure about that. Next to her that's Romulus Moga, our host, thinking. The man on the left in white shirt is another friend, Dr. Fekete, and with her back I think it's his wife. This is an amateur snapshot made by my uncle Sandor while on this very pleasant, beautiful trip. We used to climb and eat most of the time. On these occasions we ate mostly cold food, as far as I remember. There's a pitcher in the picture, so I think they weren't drinking alcohol.

Lonya was a miner settlement, but there also was a saw-mill there. My father was the manager of the lumber-mill and my uncle did the business part, he traveled, he was a timber merchant. The timber merchants had to bargain all the time, but this was only for a short period, because my father got sick and slowly the mill was closed down. After my father died, uncle Sandor managed the factory for a while, then it became a stock company. We had no stocks there, but the truth is I don't know what happened after that. I remember that the lumber-mill operated for a while. After that it was closed down, before World War II, already in the Romanian era [Editor' note: Zsuzsa Diamantstein referred to the period between the wars, when following the peace treaty of Trianon Transylvania returned under Romanian authority.]

Each year I used to go to my uncle in Petrozseny, my father was already dead, but we always got to Lonya, to see what's going on. When the holiday began, I spent the summer holiday at my uncle's - I went by myself there. This was my second home. Together with the friends we went to excursions to Petrozseny's neighborhoods, the Zsil valley was beautiful, wherever one went. We went on excursions for an afternoon or a whole day, we didn't spend the night there. Nobody had a car, but we rented one, so we got to the location. There we climbed the mountain, but we didn't do much climbing, we preferred eating. We ate cold meal then, I remember there were delicious salamis and cheeses. I don't know whether we drank alcohol or not, but it was a very jolly company, and we had fun. I had nice memories about Petrozseny. It was an interesting small town, Petrozseny was a miner town, it was asphalted, had water piping, in a word there was a very cultured life, the inhabitants lived well there.

My uncle didn't like the timber business, and after World War II he became a photographer, this was his hobby. He became a professional photographer, but he had no private studio, he was the press photographer of the Romanian newspaper from Petrozseny. They liked and respected him all over the town. He was a very honest man. Uncle Sandor wasn't religious at all, but he stuck to his Jewish origins. My father's younger brother died in 1981 in Petrozseny, he is buried in the Jewish cemetery. His wife, Regina, who died in the 1960s is also buried there.

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