Photo taken in:BotosaniYear when photo was taken:1957Country name at time of photo:Romania (1945-1989)Country name today:Romania
This is me, Ietti Leibovici, with my husband, Iosef Leibovici, around 1957-1958, in the Public Garden in Botosani, I believe. The photograph was probably taken with our camera by some friends.
We met at a youth party. People organized balls, reunions. We met through a third party and we liked each other. The balls were very nice, with Wienese waltzes - the waltzes of Johann Strauss -, tangos, with 'damen waltz' - meaning a waltz like all others, but it was the women who invited the men to dance. There was a cinema, which was called Lux [Luxury], where balls were organized, and also at the Casa Armatei [House of the Army] - there were several ballrooms there. I don't remember separate parties to be organized for the Jewish youth - these balls were for all who wanted to attend. On Purim it was a different matter. A ball was organized on Purim. There was a hall, Sala Meseriasi [the Handicraftsmen's Hall], which belonged to the community and where weddings and parties were organized. I think many handicraftsmen used to meet at this club, in the Handicraftsmen's Hall.
I didn't wear long dresses. The fashion was to wear dresses that weren't too short, above the knee, and with sleeves or sleeveless, low-cut, yet not too low. It was very beautiful. But it was very hard to manage to buy something. It was just after [the return from] the deportation, just after the war, and you didn't even have something to wear. Fabrics were being sold on a system based on points. For everyone had a card with a number of points. In the 1950's, from what I remember - for so many years have passed since then -, the City Hall issued cards with a certain number of points to everyone who had an ID card; everyone received the same number of points, and you could use them to buy anything you wanted, but you would eventually run out of points. I don't remember exactly, you had 100 points, and if you bought an overcoat, that would be worth let's say 80 points, you'd have 20 points still left, enough to buy a pair of socks. But there were huge queues, you had to stand in line from daybreak, when you found out they were supplying the stores. And if you managed to buy a piece of fabric for a dress, oh dear, it was quite something [a big deal]… There were calicos for dresses, pajama fabrics, and you could buy a few fabrics or a pair of sandals, a pair of shoes. That's how it was in those days. I believe even food was being sold based on a points system back then. But I'm sure it was like this in the case of clothing.