Berta Malek and Paula Fogel with friends

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    Austria-Hungary pre 1918
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I know from the persons on this photo only my mum, Berta Malek and mum’s younger sister, Paula Fogel, the others were my mum’s friends.

My mum is the first from right, her sister is next to her, she has a ribbon.

This photo was taken on 2nd May 1917, mum was young, she wasn’t married yet.

My grandfather, Nachman Walter had two wives. His first wife died during childbirth, and she left behind 6 children, then my grandfather married my grandmother, Hene Rajze [Raise] Szegal, my grandmother wasn't a young girl yet, and they had two children together, my mum, Berta Walter and my aunt, Paula Walter.

My mother's name was Berta Walter, her Jewish name was Bajle, but everybody called her Berta.

She was born here, in Maramarossziget, in 1889.

Her hair was cut short too, but she left some on the forehead, which was showing when she put on a shawl.

She also had a wig, but she didn't put it on at home, just in the synagogue, there she put on a turban or a little hat.

My mother had seven children, though she could have had more.

She could have had 11 children, but one them died, a girl called Rozika, she got suffocated because of a bean, she put it up in her nose, it swelled up there, and she got suffocated.

And my mother also had miscarriages, the babies weren't born. I heard them speaking about this at home, she could have had 11 [children]. And seven left alive.

My parents were deported in 1944, in the year we were all taken [from Maramarossziget].

They were taken first to Birkenau, and from Birkenau to Auschwitz, that was the lager of death, they died there.

My mother’s sister was called Paula, Perle. Her real name was Perle, but we called her auntie Pepi.

She was a beautiful girl, she had a little white dog, a puli called Buksi, she always went for a walk with the dog, it had a very nice small chain.

And she always met her suitor. An engineer was courting her, but he wasn't religious, therefore the family didn't allow them to get married. In those times religion was given a special importance.

Alas, when they married her [to someone else], she wanted to kill herself.

The chupa was ready [the wedding ceremony was over], and people waited for her at dinner, and she knew well - as she got married in this house, and the train goes through our garden - when the train was passing, she ran to the train, she wanted to kill herself, because they didn't let her marry the person she loved.

People rushed to her from the garden and took her back.

The husband of my auntie Perle was Fishel Fogel. He first ran a pub, which became bankrupt, then he tried out all kind of things, he didn't have a secure job.

He traveled mainly, he was always on the road, he was presenting goods from factories.

That's what I heard back then. They had six children, the oldest was Nachcsu [Nahman], one of the girls was Julcsi, then there was Lajbi [Laje], Hersi [Hers], Berl, and the youngest was Lia, a girl.

None of them returned [from deportation].

Interview details

Interviewee: Golda Salamon
Emoke Major
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Maramarossziget, Romania


Berta Malek
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Austria-Hungary pre 1918
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before WW II:
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