Vladimir Roseanu with Oscar Roseanu and Frida Rosenfeld

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From left to right: myself, Oscar Roseanu, my son, Vladimir Roseanu, and my mother, Frida Rosenfeld (nee Lustig). This photo was taken in a park in Petrosani, in 1956.

My name is Oscar Roseanu [changed in 1947 from Oszkar Rosenfeld]. I was born in Petrosani, on 2nd May 1923. I went to college in Bucharest and started a new life. I graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry of the University of Bucharest. I could never get over the first thing I heard from that Russian colonel at the end of the war: ?Remember you are Jews before being Communists!? 11 years after 1945, I was reprimanded in a Party meeting for having been a member of the Ihud [the Zionist Social-Democratic Party]. I may have been an university lecturer teaching Marxism-Leninist, but none of these mattered. My being a Jew was more important.

My boy , Vladimir Roseanu, was born in 1952, in Bucharest. When he was little, we took him to the weekly nursery. I had a bicycle with a seat in front, where he sat. In the morning, I took him to Dumbrava Rosie St., in the vicinity of Icoanei Garden [park in downtown Bucharest], where the nursery was located. He enjoyed the ride until we entered that street and he realized where we were going. He began to sob and there was nothing I could do about it. Saturday at noon, I went to take him home. He held me tight and he wouldn't let go of me. Then he went to the kindergarten. He ate there and we took him home every evening. It took him some time to realize we were coming for him every day - in the beginning, he was afraid we would let him stay there for an entire week again. After a while, he began to like it in there.

My son went to the ?Mihai Viteazul? High School, then to the Faculty of Chemistry. He was the first in his graduation year countrywide. He was on very good terms with his professors and he attended the science circles. He had always wanted to pursue a teaching career. Eventually there were 5 vacant positions here in Bucharest and he was employed by IOR [Intreprinderea Optica Romana ? the Romanian Optical Enterprise]. He founded the electroforming section and led it for 25 years.

My mother, Frida Rosenfeld [nee Lustig], was born in 1901 and was 11 years younger than my father. In her youth, she worked as a cashier in a cosmetics store in Petrosani. I know my father experienced a ?coup de foudre? [love at first sight] when he met my mother. He married her in 1921.

My mother was a very good cook. Our house in the company town had a nice porch and a flower garden in front of it. At the back of the house, there was a vegetable garden. My wife remembers: 'I watched Mother go to the garden and pluck a carrot from the ground. She came back, chop-chop, and the food was almost ready. Then she remembered she also needed a parsnip.' She grew all the vegetables she needed in her garden; everything was neatly ordered. My father made her a box that allowed geese to stick out only their necks. She would force-feed them corn. She gave them salted water to make them even more thirsty and hungry. This is how she secured 12 fat geese for the winter. The meat was smoked in order to last through the winter. We bought the milk from a momarlanca [Ed. note: peasant woman from the Jiu Valley] who used a horse to carry the pails. They would put mamaliga [Ed note: food made of boiled corn flour] around the pail so as not to spill the milk and taste it on the spot. My mother negotiated with the momarlanca. It was funny to watch my mother speak Romanian. Nevertheless, she could make herself understood. We only used Hungarian at home. My mother was on good terms with all our neighbors. Everyone felt equal to everyone else and there was no discrimination whatsoever.

Interview details

Interviewee: Oscar Roseanu
Anca Ciuciu
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Bukarest, Romania


Vladimir Roseanu
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Chief technician at the electrotype section

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Frida Rosenfeld
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after WW II
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