Photo taken in:DevaYear when photo was taken:2003Country name at time of photo:RomaniaCountry name today:RomaniaName of the photographer / studio:Oana Aioanei
This is a photo of my family - me, Andrei, my wife Maria, our daughter Gilda and our cat, which we all consider the fourth member of the family. The photo was taken in Deva in 2003.
I couldn't find a job in Arad, but, since Dr. Raznicu, the chief inspector in Oradea, was a good friend of mine, he got me a job in Ineu. I was a commuter for six months or so. Then, they appointed me manager and gave me an apartment. When I got the place, I was able to marry the woman who's still my wife now. The wedding took place on 15th March 1965. My wife, Maria, nee Toduta, was born on 27th January 1933, in Ineu. She's not Jewish. She worked as an accountant. The two of us observed separate holidays - I celebrated my own and she celebrated her own. We never had any problems because of that.
Our daughter, Gilda Eugenia, was born in Arad, on 6th April 1966. Her mother raised her in the Christian-Orthodox faith, but later, when she went to Israel in 1986, at the age of 20, things changed. How come she decided to go? In my opinion, this wasn't a good move, but I suppose she didn't have a choice. She took the entrance exam at the University in Timisoara, but, although her grades were high enough, she wasn't admitted; naturally, this was the doing of the Securitate. So the poor girl said there was nothing else she could do here, that she had no future. She signed up for Israel, she left, and she stayed there for seven years. She went to Haifa. She first lived in a student hostel, then with a lady who had made friends with her and let her stay at her place. She graduated from college in Haifa; she got a BA degree in French and English language and literature. She also lived in Natanya. Gilda speaks Hebrew perfectly.
She's Romanian by her mother, but, after she left the country, she went to Paris, to one of France's chief nrabbis, took a course, and went through all the formalities in order to convert to the Mosaic religion. She became a Jew - she holds a 'rabbinic certificate' to prove it, and she has Israeli citizenship. She currently lives in Deva; she returned because she didn't like it there anymore. She keeps her degree in her pocket and lives at my place - she's single. For a while, she worked as an assistant at the Ecology Faculty in Deva, her degree is recognized by the Romanian authorities, but now she's attempting to recover the values that the Communists confiscated from my family and my uncles. I don't know for how long she plans to stay here.
I didn't immigrate to Israel because I couldn't. I had a paralyzed mother, an old mother-in-law who was a Romanian peasant, a Romanian wife, and a daughter aged six or seven. How was I supposed to go to Israel on my own and make enough money to support five people? I couldn't do it, so I stayed here. Our working conditions were good, we were paid very well, and our pensions are all right. I mean, they're not great, but my wife and I do receive a monthly total of seven million. I have been a retiree since 1984.