Zsuzsa Diamantstein and her family

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  • Photo taken in:
    Petrosani
    Year when photo was taken:
    1966
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1945-1989)
    Country name today:
    Romania
    Name of the photographer / studio:
    Sandor Riegelhaupt

This picture, an amateur snapshot, was made by my uncle from Petrozseny, my father's younger brother Sandor while we were there around 1966 or 1967.
I am in this picture, next to me that's my husband Imre Diamantstein, on my right that's my elder son Peter, while next to my husband that's my younger son Gyuri. Peter was a university student then, while Gyuri was still in high school.

We were on holiday there. Usually our every holiday ended in Petrozseny, we used to spend time there, and the family used to gather there. My uncle from Petrozseny was like a grandfather to our children, and I adored him as if he was my father. And he was like a father to us. Our children used to spend their summer holiday there, and there were times when they went there with a maid or we took them there and we arranged for someone to look after them, but later they went by themselves and my son Gyuri used to work there in the summer, for example one summer my uncle got him hard manual labor for him to make some money. We were very happy there in Petrozseny, they pampered us as if we were children, e used to go on trips, walks, it was very nice. I really miss those times.

Peter, who became an electronics engineer, was a really outstanding person, was accepted to the university first go, but this department only existed in Bucharest, and after he graduated he remained there as research engineer. His wife is a Romanian girl, Angela, a serious woman now, whom he met in Bucharest. She was working in the city library, but in the meantime she finished law school, and that's how they met. They got married in 1981.
His Jewish origins never caused him any problems. He was a hard-working boy, almost stupidly honest. In the meantime they had a girl, Andrea, after five years of marriage. So Peter remained in Bucharest and worked at a research institute, he was very respected, he worked very well. After the revolution [after 1989], my daughter-in-law wanted to emigrate at all costs. They were getting these news about how in Israel everything is made of gold, and she had a feeling that she may have problems with this name, Diamantstein. She told me this although she is a Romanian 'get-beget' (to the backbone), and she insisted, so in 1992 they emigrated to Israel. Now they live in Petah-Tiqwa, my son has a job in his profession, while my daughter-in-law finished again law school, but in Ivrit, and even the locals can't believe that someone could learn a language so well, especially in a profession where speech is a must. My grandson was six years old, so he learned it quickly. My son Peter knows the least Ivrit, but, as I have heard, he can manage. Peter's daughter Andrea will graduate high school this year [in 2004]. She is 18 and wants to become a doctor.

My younger son Gyuri has done a lot of thinking about what to do and made quite a choice: he became a history teacher. He graduated in Iasi with outstanding results. He worked a long time in Bucharest, he wasn't able to move back home because he didn't have a job here and there was a quite annoying inspector who didn't want to bring him back, so he had to work in Bucharest because when he graduated, there were no adequate openings here. In fact he wanted to become an archeologist, but there were no openings in any museum nearby, so he remained in Bucharest thinking that Bucharest is a good place for a transfer. But it wasn't easy at all, he wasn't able to change places with anyone. He got married in 1982, he married a local Hungarian girl, Zsuzsa Derzsi, who graduated the Economics university in Kolozsvar. After my husband died his former general manager, a incredibly decent man - unfortunately he died too, his name was engineer Argint -, created an inspector position in Szaszregen, because the company had a school, and asked Gyuri to fill it so he could return home, because he was a family man by then and used to commute to Regen. After the revolution he ended up again in the public education system, and since he didn't find any other openings, he still works in Gernyeszeg in two schools. He is content with his job. His wife Zsuzsa worked in that period at the National Statistics Institute (Directia Generala de Statistica), and later got a transfer to the Asirom and makes insurance policies. Five year after they got married they too had their elder daughter, in 1987. Her name is Kati. Their second daughter was born in 1990 and is called Judit.

My son Gyuri told me once we were Jews, so what's to it, but his Jewry woke up in him during the Six Day War. One day he came home saying 'These aggressor Jews...' Then my father took him to task for doing that, telling him how could the Jews be the aggressors when they only had that small country, surrounded by all those enemies, so how could this small country be the aggressor? From that moment this Jewish feeling woke up in Gyuri, in 1967, when he was still a little boy, and he has this sentiment. This is not that strong in Peter. I don't know how Jewish he considers himself, but he lives there and thank God he's fine.

Interview details

Interviewee: Zsuzsa Diamantstein
Interviewer:
Julia Negrea, Vera Badic
Month of interview:
March
Year of interview:
2004
Marosvasarhely , Romania

KEY PERSON

Zsuzsa Diamantstein
Jewish name:
Rifka
Year of birth:
1922
City of birth:
Targu Mures
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1920-1945)
Occupation
before WW II:
Employed by craftsman
after WW II:
Office clerk
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Riegelhaupt
    Year of changing: 
    1946
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

György Diamantstein
Jewish name:
Rifka
Year of birth:
1955
City of birth:
Marosvásárhely
Occupation
after WW II:
Történelemtanár

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