Artur Weiser with his family and Janos Gottlieb

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  • Photo taken in:
    Baia Mare
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1920-1945)
    Country name today:
    Romania
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    Laszlo Gottlieb

This bald man - the person on the right in the upper raw - was one of the owners of the Phonix Factory in Nagybanya, he was called Artur Weiser. My father worked for him as a highly positioned employee, but in fact the manager summoned him many times as a private secretary and asked for his advice. That’s why I was on good terms with the entire family. The child on the photo, so the boy on the left in the first raw is me, Janos Gottlieb. The others are all relatives of Artur Weiser, his family, but I don’t remember their names. He wasn’t married. According to the style of the photo I presume it was taken by my father [Laszlo Gottlieb].

In 1919 my father went back to Maramarossziget, he fell in love with my mother, and married her. They moved to Nagybanya together in 1926 or in 1927, because there were better possibilities of employment. My father became one of the main clerks of the famous Phonix Factory, which was mainly a sulfuric acid factory. He worked there until World War II, until deportation. The Phonix Factory had three owners: Artur Weiser, his brother called Oszkar Weiser and one more person, but in fact it was Artur Weiser who managed the factory. He was an extremely good manager. Artur Weiser wasn't married; he survived World War II, he lived in Bucharest, he didn't have any money, and he died there at an advanced age, he almost starved to death. I don't know what became of Oszkar Weiser. Miklos Weiser was the son of Oszkar Weiser, he supported me in the period following World War II.

After I got back from deportation, I lived on aids, I was receiving aid. I went to the leadership of the town, I got assistance from the town as well, because I was an IOVR member - Invalizi, orfani si vaduve de razboi [War invalids, War orphans and War widows]. I got money from them, I got assistance from the community, so I could live on these aids. I don't know how I managed to live, but somehow I could go through this. And I had a great luck. One of the owners of the Phonix Factory lived in Bucharest, and he stayed sometimes in Bucharest, sometimes in Nagybanya. He was Jewish, his name was Miklos Weiser. He survived the war in Budapest. He got married there, he met his wife there. I know from his own telling why he got married there. For many women showed interest for him. Imagine a tall, good-looking man, who is wealthy, who has a university degree - he studied chemistry and music -, he could sing very well, he had a nice voice. He had everything, and most of all he had money, so women were pining for him. However, he didn't get married, because he said women all wanted to marry him for his money. But there he met somebody, who fell in love with him without knowing who he was, so he married that girl.

Miklos Weiser was very fond of my father, because my father had done for him his mineral collection besides other things. They were approximately of the same age, maybe he was younger than my father. And he helped me after the war, while I was in high school. And he helped me for real. He didn't support me as much when I was studying at the university. This was because I went to university in 1947, until 1948 I was receiving some aids I could live on, but in the meantime - in 1947 or in 1948 - he left the country. He fled to the west. He was right. He offered me his home. He wanted to adopt me. I didn't want anybody to adopt me. I had my own personality, and I didn't want to obey others. It's not always a good thing, but that was it. They went somewhere to America, but I don't know precisely where, maybe to Argentina. I suppose he managed to take a lot of money with him, so he had means to live on, but unfortunately he didn't live much, after some ten years he died of a heart attack. So he died quite early, he didn't get old.

Interview details

Interviewee: Janos Gottlieb
Interviewer:
Emoke Major
Month of interview:
October
Year of interview:
2006
Iaşi , Romania

KEY PERSON

Artur Weiser
City of death:
Bucharest
Country of death:
Romania
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Factory owner

Other Person

Janos Gottlieb
Year of birth:
1929
City of birth:
Baia Mare
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1920-1945)
Occupation
after WW II:
University professor

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