Haia Sura Grunberg

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  • Photo taken in:
    Iasi
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania
    Country name today:
    Romania

This is my mother, Haia Sura Grunberg (nee Schatz). The photo was taken when we lived in Iasi, some time in the 1920s, when my mother was in her forties.

My mother was born in 1888 in Iasi, and her mother tongue was Yiddish. She studied at a boarding school for young ladies in Iasi, which belonged to two old German spinsters, so she knew German very well. My mother worked before she married: she taught German and manual training classes at the Jewish school in Iasi; my mother was known in Jewish circles because of her father and grandfather.

She married my father, Saia Grunberg, in 1914, but she soon became a widow, because he died in 1921. She had two children by then, my sister Angela and myself. After his death in 1921, my maternal grandparents came to live with us: my mother being a young widow and their only child, it wasn't proper for her to live alone.

When I was little, I met a few rabbis that were in Iasi, because my grandmother wasn't happy for my mother to be so young and remain a widow with two children, she wanted her to remarry. But my mother didn’t accept anybody. So although she was still young, my mother never remarried, she didn’t fancy anyone.

My mother wasn’t very religious: she didn't observe the Sabbath very strictly, but she tried not to light the fire, she didn't sew, she didn't cook. She went to the synagogue only on the High Holidays more for her father's sake, whom she didn't want to upset. But I think she was a bit angry with religion, because her husband died so young.

Interview details

Interviewee: Felicia Menzel
Interviewer:
Andreea Laptes
Month of interview:
November
Year of interview:
2003
Brasov, Romania

KEY PERSON

Haia Sura Grunberg
Year of birth:
1888
City of birth:
Iasi
Country name at time of birth:
Romania
Year of death:
1980
City of death:
Bucharest
Country of death:
Romania (1945-1989)
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Teacher
after WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Schatz
    Year of changing: 
    1914
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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