Clara Foldes with pupils

Clara Foldes with pupils
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This is me with one of the classes I was teaching. I taught at the Jewish elementary school in Arad for seven years, from 1942-1948. After I graduated in 1939, I returned to Curtici. I didn't work as a teacher in Curtici. I couldn't work in a state school because Jews weren't admitted to state institutions anymore [because of the anti-Jewish laws in Romania], although I had a state diploma in Romanian. The Jewish community in Alba Iulia needed a teacher at their Jewish school, so I moved to Alba-Iulia on 1st December 1939. I stayed there until 31st August 1942. The name of the rabbi of Alba Iulia was Kraus. He had a daughter of my age. The Jewish community in Alba Iulia was a very religious one; I wasn't even allowed to wear a purse on Saturdays. We were two teachers at the Jewish school. The other one was a Hungarian teacher, Gal. He taught in the 3rd and 4th grades, and I taught in the 1st and 2nd grades. The community was a large and very rich one; there were land owners among them. I stayed in Alba Iulia for two and a half years. In 1941 my parents were forced by a new law to move to Arad. I think that my parents talked about me with the Jewish community from Arad, saying that I would like to move to Arad. When one of the teachers retired, I was brought here. I taught the Aleph-Bet at the Jewish school because I had learned a little Hebrew in Alba Iulia. The Aleph-Bet was a very good book, with pictures; it was easy for children to learn from it. There were many children in one class at the Jewish school in Arad, some 30 to 35 pupils, most of them Orthodox Jews. I was the youngest teacher there. During the war, the Germans needed the building of the school and we had to move into the building where the community had its office. The Jewish School was closed by the Nationalization Law in 1948 - all schools of the minorities were turned into state schools. I was moved to a state school in Arad, the Ghiba Birta School, where I worked for 30 years, until I retired in 1978.

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Interviewee: Clara Foldes
Oana Aioanei
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Arad, Romania


Clara Foldes
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