Zsuzsa Diamantstein and Juci Traub

Zsuzsa Diamantstein and Juci Traub

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This picture was taken at home in Vasarhely, in the yard of the family's house, I'm there with my classmate and girlfriend Juci Traub. We were around 14, that is in 4th grade of middle school.

This is an amateur snapshot taken by my uncle Sandor Riegelhaupt. Photo was his hobby then. He was here so he took a picture of me. He had a camera and he used to develop his pictures himself. He didn't like the timber business, so after World War II he became a photographer, that was his hobby. He became a professional hotographer, but he didn't have his own studio, he became the cameraman for the local Romanian newspaper in Petrozseny.

In 1932 when I entered the Unirea high school - it was the part of the building that gave onto the Boulevard, a university is there at the moment - the high school was a very good school, with an outstanding lady principal, Doamna Georgescu [Mrs. Georgescu in Romanian] who was an extremely decent person. I finished there the four grades of high school. Towards the end, around 1936, there were so insecure years, it wasn't a warlike atmosphere, but anti-Semitism was already present. I can't say they made us feel it, we knew there were Iron guard girls, but otherwise we didn't feel it. There were several Jewish pupils in the class we were on good terms with. At the age 14 I was a backward girl, I always had one girlfriend, and I used to go everywhere with her, I never liked big crowds. I was on good terms with everybody, but I didn't like to go to parties. From this point of view I had a quite difficult personality, I was full of inhibitions. I had a very good girlfriend, a Romanian girl called Margareta Moldovan, but so was Juci Traub, a Jewish girl.

Juci was a very clever girl, she was the best in the class in every subject. No matter whether it was arithmetics or we had to write an essay in French, she was always the best. She was a very, very smart girl. Unfortunately her parents lived in very poor conditions, so she wasn't able to continue her studies, she learned sewing. We finished high school in 1936, we had this so called little graduation, and most of the Jewish girls decided to learn a profession.

After graduation I didn't learn together with Juci, but I know that she had a serious boyfriend, Sanyi Rosenblatt, we called him Kokisch. I know they were in loved, but the war came, and the deportation as well. Juci didn't come home to Vasarhely after the deportation. She survived the deportation, moreover she lives even today, but we didn't keep in touch. She got married, she had a lot of troubles in her life, and finally she established in Vienna, and she lives there as a widow. Her daughter lives in Vienna, too. This is my last information about her. We met last in 1987.

At the age 14 I was a backward girl, I always had one girlfriend, and I used to go everywhere with her, I never liked big crowds. I was on good terms with everybody, but I didn't like to go to parties. From this point of view I had a quite difficult personality, I was full of inhibitions. Especially after we ended up in Szaszregen, my life somewhat fell apart. I don't have too pleasant memories from this period. I can't say I had a beautiful youth there.

At the end of the 1930s, the Jewish youth still organized conventions, but slowly the atmosphere got worse. The anti-Semitism appeared in Romania, the Iron Guard began to rule the country, so this things impressed the Jewish society life and mood - we could already feel the war psychosis.

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Interviewee

Zsuzsa Diamantstein