Vasile Grunea with his family

This photo was taken in 1969. From right to left are: me, my mother Erzsebet Gruber, my wife Erzsebet Grunea (nee Galfi), and my son Vasile Gheorghe Grunea. The writing on the back of the photo is mine and says: 'I, my mother, my wife and my son; in memory of our meeting in 1969.' As soon as it became possible to emigrate after the war, my father and mother emigrated to Israel in 1950. My parents liked it in Israel. When my parents, my sister and her family and other friends put down their names on the list for emigration, I didn't. I was the black sheep of the family; I stayed here for family and other reasons. I met my wife in 1949. There was a club called ARLUS at 1 Egyetem Street, where the editorial office of the newspapers Tribuna and Steaua and the headquarters of the Writers' Association are located today. It was quite a well heated place, at a time when places weren't well heated in Kolozsvar. It was the club of the Asociatia Romana de Legaturile cu Uniunea Sovietica, that is, the Soviet-Romanian Friendship Association. As it was well heated, secondary school students who lived in badly heated dormitories or rented rooms usually spent their afternoons there. There was a very good library and a rather cheap buffet there, and one could also play chess and do what-not there. I used to go there, just like my future wife, and we met there. She was in the last year of the Unitarian Lyceum for Girls and she was a very pretty girl. I soon married her; we got married in August 1949. We went to the people's council with two witnesses - one was her classmate and the other her husband, a teacher - and after the wedding we invited them to have a beer and a Wiener Schnitzel in a restaurant, and that was it. My mother wasn't very pleased with my marrying a non-Jew. Although she had nothing against her as a person, only against the fact that she wasn't Jewish. My father kind of resigned to it, although he wasn't very happy either. But my mother said it openly, 'Don't do this, my son!' Just like young people in general, I didn't listen to mother and did what I thought was right. Erzsebet enrolled into Bolyai University majoring in Romanian literature and language. She was still a student, in the 2nd or 3rd year, when our son, Vasile Gheorghe Grunea, was born in 1951. My mother came to visit for the first time in 1969. We hadn't seen each other for 19 years. My mother stayed with us for a month in Kolozsvar and she developed a very good relationship with my wife. Then we went to Brasso for a week because we had two cousins on my mother's side and their children who still lived there, and we stayed with them. And of course my mother went to see the houses we had lived in before.


Vasile Grunea