Janos Gottlieb and Cleopatra Mociutchi

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  • Photo taken in:
    Cheile Bicazului
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1945-1989)
    Country name today:
    Romania

This is me [Janos Gottlieb] with my wife [Cleopatra Mociutchi]. I think my wife hadn’t been there before. We went to an excursion in the 1960s to the Bekas-szoros [in Romanian: Cheile Bicazului, in English: Bicaz Canyon]. Sometimes we went to trips with our students. Well, we were colleagues at the university, so we were together on excursions etc.

I finished my studies - mathematics at the Bolyai University - in 1951, then I was an assistant professor for one year at the Bolyai University. In 1952 I applied for admittance to doctoral studies in Iasi, I came here at the end of December, and since then I live here. So I spent January 1st 1953 here already.

When I moved to Iasi, I made some new acquaintances, and I tried to get close to them. I was on quite good terms with everybody. However, it is hard not only to establish good relationships, but to find people to work with. That's how I chanced up my second wife - back then she was someone else's wife. She was a clever woman, and she always told me useful things. Her advantage was that my way of thinking was mathematical, hers was a physicist's. Now then, I came here to teach theory of physics, but I was thinking hermetically about physics. She started to explain me that this wouldn't work like this. And she was right. She taught me how to write studies in physics. In turn I taught her some mathematics to be able to work together. And we succeeded. We have several works in common.

She didn't work at the Department of Physics Theory from the beginning, she got there later. So it was natural that we worked more and more in common. And we could help each other in no matter what problems. For example she had to keep courses of theory of physics, and it was me who told her what and how she should do. She told me to watch out what I was doing with physicians. I told you, my way of thinking was much too pervaded with mathematics, and this won't do for physicists. One has to learn the golden mean, the aurea mediocritas. So we could get along with each other well, much too well, in my opinion. Because she was having family problems, it was her husband who wanted to divorce her, he even sued for and divorced her. I predicted to myself what was going to happen. I will tell you why. For her mind was much more brilliant than her husband's. Women don't bear a less clever man, and men are even less predisposed to live with a cleverer woman. Of course this marriage broke up. They broke in spring, and in fall I already asked her to marry me. I didn't let her ponder over it too much.

I had been divorced for several years already. When I came here from Kolozsvar, my marriage was on the way to break up. In theory. We actually divorced only after that. We separated in a civilized manner, without any scandal. So this didn't mean a problem. It was her who had problems, she was married and had two kids. I didn't want to convince her to divorce, because when children are in the middle, it is a difficult case. But happily for me that's what happened. In fall 1962 we got married, and we are together since then, for forty-four years; it is a well-tried relationship.

My wife kept her maiden name. Not in her first marriage, but after she divorced, she took back her maiden name, and we agreed that she would keep it. We decided so mainly because we were working together, and thus everybody had their own name, otherwise people would confuse us. Her name is Mociutchi, it's a Polish name. In fact one of her paternal great-grandfathers was Polish, he had fled the Russians; he got to Bessarabia, and got married there. So this name comes from there. In turn her given name is Cleopatra, friends call her Pati. Her children have her former husband's name, both of them are called Tomozei. Of course the boy kept his name, the girl got married and now her name is Timofte after her husband. After we got married, we raised my wife's children together.

Interview details

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

KEY 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

Other Person

Cleopatra Mociutchi
Year of birth:
1926
City of birth:
Cotiugenii Mari
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1920-1945)
Occupation
after WW II:
University professor

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