Vili Sternschein

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  • Photo taken in:
    Chernovtsy
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania
    Country name today:
    Ukraine
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    Max Sternschein
This is a photo of my cousin, Vili Sternschein, the son of uncle Max Sternschein and Aunt Suzi. You can see that he is all dressed up in a Tyrolean costume; these Tyrolean costumes were very fashionable back then, in the 1930s. My aunt and uncle also had another child, a daughter called Ani. When the Russians came, in 1940, Ani had just finished high school, she had passed her graduation exam. And Russians imposed that everybody who had graduated from high school was to go to Bessarabia to teach there. Uncle Max was desperate, but he couldn't do anything. So he married Ani in a hurry with a medicine student, one of her pretenders, so that she wouldn't be all alone and with no protection there. But the German front came, and they were massacred there, they weren't heard of again. He was still hoping to hear from Ani, his daughter. Uncle Max sent people to look for them, my mother kept asking everybody who went to or was coming from Bessarabia, and the answer was always the same: no Jews were left alive. Uncle Max had a very hard time accepting this, he adored his daughter. Soon after the war, Uncle Max left for Buenos Aires because his wife, Suzi, had relatives there, and of course they left with Vili. Uncle Max died there some time in the late 1950s, I think. I wanted to keep in touch with their son, Vili, I even contacted the Red Cross who gave me his address, I wrote him a letter, but he never replied. I know he got married to a Jewish woman, a pharmacist, who left from Transylvania with her family. He became a diamond polisher there.

Interview details

Interviewee: Melitta Seiler
Interviewer:
Andreea Laptes
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2003
Brasov, Romania

KEY PERSON

Vili Sternschein
Year of birth:
1931
City of birth:
Cernauti
Country name at time of birth:
Romania
Occupation
after WW II:
Manual laborer

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