Photo taken in:Baia MareCountry name at time of photo:Romania (1920-1945)Country name today:Romania
I’m with my mother, Rozalia Gottlieb on this photo. This is the only photo I have about my mother; I think it was taken by a photographer.
The maiden name of my mother was Rozsi Zelmanovits, Rozalia, I don't know for sure how her name was entered in the ID. My mother died when I was five years old, so I have only a very few memories of her. She played the piano well, I remember this. One thing is sure, I met people who had known her, everybody loved her as well as they liked my father. I don't know much about her. Well, I was five when she died. And not only that I was five, I have to tell you one more thing. When I was three years old, I didn't live with her anymore, but at my paternal grandparents, because my mother had tuberculosis, so they took me away from her to avoid that I got the disease. Finally my mother died in 1934.
I was born in 1929 in Nagybanya. From the age of three I lived at my paternal grandparents. My grandparents lived in a village somewhere near Nagybanya for a while, I was with them there too, then in Nagybanya. But when I was five years old, my father took me with him, he rented a quite nice apartment, in a nice part, let's say, of Nagybanya, in a villa. The owner was a woman from Kolozsvar, a widow, her family name was Herczeg. The rent was quite high, but it was in the outskirts, the air was fine there. My father always feared that I got tuberculosis or something like that. This was when I was five. We had somebody who did the housekeeping; my father had a good salary, in those times this didn't mean a problem. Later it was my step-mother who did the housekeeping. Well, it wasn't her who actually worked, but she gave out the tasks for everybody. It wasn't her who did the cooking, we had a cook. This wasn't a problem.
I inherited from my mother my liking for music. If I can, I listen to music all day. Classical music, not just any kind of music. After my mother's death I took piano lessons too. My piano teacher was called Erzsebet Kadar, she was the disciple of Bela Bartok. Her husband was Geza Kadar, the painter. They were both communists in illegality, I don't know how they escaped. And Erzsebet Kadar was Jewish, but she was christened, so she wasn't deported. Her maiden name was Hevesi, and she had a younger sister, who was a pianist in Budapest - so they were both pianists -, and who was deported. She didn't come back.
So I was playing the piano from the age of five. We had a piano at home, and I enjoyed playing the piano, but I didn't want this to be my profession. After I came back from the concentration camp, I continued learning it, I played the piano again, because I enjoyed it. Then I got to the university, and it was over. I have a cottage piano, but I play rarely, because my fingers don't work anymore as they should, and it bothers me. However, I like listening to music a lot. For example I like the violin and piano concertos of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, I very much like Schumann's piano concertos, and I also like cello concertos. I like many things. I like all good music. And I agree with those who say there is no light music and serious music, but good and bad music. The truth is there are songs in light music, which are very nice, and I like them.