Albert Steinmetz

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  • Photo taken in:
    Maramarossziget
    Year when photo was taken:
    1943
    Country name at time of photo:
    Vienna-Diktat Transylvania, 1940-44
    Country name today:
    Romania

This is my second husband, Albert Steinmetz. He was 40 years old, I didn’t know him yet. This photo must have been taken at that time.

How did I meet my second husband, Albert? There was a girl from Maramarossziget, Flora, and she was a very good friend of mine. Flora Steinmetz was the younger sister of my [second] husband. She got married here, to a merchant. He was called Jeno Baruch, his nickname was Onyi. He was her fiancée before the war already. But they didn't get married because of the situation, she didn't want to get so far from her family, since Marosvasarhely was the ends of the earth for those in Maramarossziget, there weren't buses or planes. Both [Steinmetz] siblings came home from misery, and my husband's sister got married here in Marosvasarhely. My husband visited her every weekend, because only the two of them survived from the eight siblings. In those times he worked in Szatmar, and there was a flight from Szatmar to Kolozsvar, so he visited his sister every week. So my girlfriend had this idea, that he wasn't married, I was a widow, and she introduced us to each other. However, as she knew well, that I would refuse people to arrange for me, she visited me Sunday morning, and said: 'Come out, stop that cooking! Come, let's take a walk!' The promenade in the morning was fashionable. It wasn't for us though, because we weren't elegant… But she agreed with her brother that 'You too, come out, and we will meet on the esplanade.' And my husband escorted me until the door already. He took his leave from me so hardly… And he asks me if I would let him to visit me. 'Well - I answered - you are welcome.' I got married [again] in 1947. I came home in 1945, and I took more than two years getting persuaded, I was afraid to marry him. I told myself, he was 41-42 years old, and he wasn't married before, either he wants a cook, either he is impotent. So I started to wonder, what the hell… I was a married woman for 14 years. The poor man courted me, he came from Szatmar to Kolozsvar every week by plane, from there he came here. He had one sister here. Finally I told him: 'You know what, we have nothing to loose, we get married, if the marriage is working, fine, if not, one of us steps out.' I didn't have any children, nor did he. That's how we got married.

Albert survived, because he was taken to Kassa for work service. He had luck, because there was a stupid guy at the office, who had no idea about accounting, about management. Once he announced: 'Is there anyone among you who knows a little office work, accounting?' My husband presented himself. He says: 'Yes, I do.' He took him in and asked him: 'Well, can you fix this?' When my husband saw it, he realized that was a child's play, and he said: 'Well, I will try. I might be able to arrange this.' Of course, he says, he could have fixed it in one hour, because it was so simple. 'But I kept on prolonging it, and after two days I said: 'Well - I have no idea about his rank - it's done, take a look, it's fixed now.' 'You were really skilful. You stay here, you will get separate meals, and you will get a decent bed.' That's how my husband survived, otherwise he was a thin little man. Briefly, he wouldn't have survived even a transportation to a concentration camp, not mentioning that there… So he was in Kassa until the end, he was set free there. He was provided with bacon. The sergeant was very grateful to him for having saved him, because they came to check what he had done at the work service, how much food he took over, and it was extremely hard for him to calculate these. That's how my husband escaped.

Interview details

Interviewee: Bella Steinmetz
Interviewer:
Ildiko Molnar
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2005
Marosvasarhely, Romania

KEY PERSON

Albert Steinmetz
Year of birth:
1903
City of birth:
Máramarossziget
Year of death:
1994
City of death:
Marosvásárhely
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Fõkönyvelõ
after WW II:
Tisztviselõ

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