David Edelmann’s family

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kosice
    Year when photo was taken:
    1924
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

In this photograph my father's family have gathered at the wedding of my father's youngest sister Etelka. She and her fiance Jakab Bluemenfeld are in the center of the upper row. From left to right: sitting in row 2, 2d from the left is my grandmother Amalia Edelmann (nee Polster). Standing in the 3rd row: the first from the left - my father David Edelmann, beside him are his brothers Jeno, Elemer and Izidor Edelmanns. This photo was taken in Kosice in 1924.

My grandfather Adolf Edelmann also moved to Kosice. He married Amalia Polster from Kosice. She was born in the early 1870s. My grandfather and grandmother rented a small two-bedroom apartment, and across the street from there my grandmother's older sister Frieda lived. Frieda was my grandmother's only relative, whom I knew. My grandmother was short and plump, but Frieda was a tall slender woman with regular features. Frieda's husband was rather rich. They had a house and gave their children good education. Two of her sons were lawyers. I remember that we were invited to Frida and her husband's golden wedding in the late 1930s. Regretfully, this is all I remember about my grandmother sister's family. My grandfather was a wise, kind, very honest and decent man, and many Jews asked his advice. Kosice residents believed my grandfather to be wiser and smarter than any rabbi. He tried to help all giving money or advice. My grandmother Amalia was a breadwinner in the family. She owned a small grocery store. Grandfather spent all his time reading books. He didn't help her in anything. My grandmother gave birth to 9 children, but only 7 of them survived. Two children died in infancy. I only know the dates of birth of my father David Edelmann and his brother Mor. My father was born in 1905 and was the fourth child in the family. My father's older brothers were Izidor, Elemer and Jeno. My father's brother Mor was born in 1906. Then my father's only sister Etelka was born and the youngest brother was Armin. They must have had Jewish names, but I don't know them. Besides their own children, my grandfather and grandmother also raised my grandfather sister Pepka's children, who called my grandmother "Mama".

My grandfather's daughter Etelka married Jakab Blumenfeld, a Jewish man from Kosice. They had four children: daughters Edit, Izabella and Marta and son Erno. During WWII Etelka and her husband Jakab Blumenfeld and their younger children - son Erno and daughter Marta perished in the concentration camp. Older daughters Edit (Gerstl in marriage) and Izabella (Kovartovski in marriage) were in a work camp and survived. After the war they moved to Israel.

My father's parents spoke Hungarian. My grandfather and grandmother were very religious. I never saw my grandfather and cannot describe his looks or manners. My grandfather spent almost all of his time reading religious books. My grandmother wore a wig and long dark dresses. She prayed a lot at home. She took her book of prayers and when she was praying she paid no attention to anything else. My grandmother made charity contributions to the synagogue and Jewish hospital and to help the needy. My grandparents celebrated Sabbath and all Jewish holidays. On Friday my grandmother went to mikveh. On Sabbath and Jewish holidays my grandparents went to the synagogue. My father and his brothers studied in cheder. Of course, they had bar mitzvah as Jewish traditions required. As for my father's younger sister Etelka, I think her parents may have taught her at home. She knew Hebrew, could pray and knew Jewish history and traditions. My grandmother followed kashrut strictly and taught Etelka to know it. There was a Jewish housemaid in the house. My grandmother was not very fond of doing work about the house and in due time Etelka took over housekeeping. My father and I think all other children studied in a Czech school and later - in a grammar school.

My grandmother was hoping that her sons would grow up religious Jews, but her expectations were not to come true. They got fond of communist ideas. Only three of them - the oldest Izidor, Jeno and the youngest Armin, who was single and lived with his parents, were religious. My father and his brothers became atheists.

Interview details

Interviewee: Judita Haikis
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2004
Kiev, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

David Edelmann
Jewish name:
David
Year of birth:
1905
City of birth:
Kassa
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1975
City of death:
Uzhgorod
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Office clerk
after WW II:
Departmental head/manager in socialist

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