Alexandru, Margareta and Andrei Popper

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  • Photo taken in:
    Buteni
    Year when photo was taken:
    1930
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1920-1945)
    Country name today:
    Romania

This is a photo of our family taken in Buteni in 1930. We lived there in a rented house - my father had never owned any real estate. We had two or three rooms and running water; the heating was based on fire wood. The owner of the house lived there, too; he took care of the garden.

Buteni had a pretty large Jewish community; there were 15 to 20 families. Jews didn't live separately from the other inhabitants of the town. There used to be a beautiful Neolog synagogue, until 1924/25. It was about that time that many Jews came from Maramures and the Orthodox became the majority group. My father was the president of the community. We didn't have Talmud-Torah classes; there weren't too many children. We didn't learn Ivrit, but we did celebrate our bar mitzvah when we turned 13; the hakham prepared us for the event. We didn't have a rabbi in Buteni, we only had a hakham. The nearest was Rabbi Sonnenschein in Pancota, in Arad and in Gurahont there was Rabbi Schwartz. After World War I ended, a very powerful Orthodox community was founded in Gurahont; it was larger than the one in Buteni.

The market day in Buteni was Friday; then Wednesday became a market day too, I think. My mother did all the shopping. My family wasn't very religious. My mother lit the candles on Friday evenings and ate matzah for Pesach. My parents celebrated the New Year, the Day of Atonement and Pesach. But we didn't eat kosher food, nor did we use separate vessels for Pesach. I remember we had books at home, mainly Hungarian literature. Today's high levels of crime are mostly due to the fact that, while the parents are at work, the children are left to do whatever they want. In the past, the mother stayed at home and raised the children. My mother always had an aid around the house. All the families used to have an aid back then; moreover, when there was a great clean up or laundry had to be done, more than one aid would be employed.

Interview details

Interviewee: Andrei Popper
Interviewer:
Oana Aioanei
Month of interview:
September
Year of interview:
2003
Arad, Romania

KEY PERSON

Alexandru Popper
Jewish name:
Salmen
Year of birth:
1888
City of birth:
Szekudvar
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1968
City of death:
Buteni
Country of death:
Romania (1945-1989)
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Lawyer
after WW II:
Lawyer

Other Person

Margareta Popper
Year of birth:
1890
City of birth:
Simand
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1982
City of death:
Arad
Country of death:
Romania (1945-1989)
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Werner
    Year of changing: 
    1914
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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