Gustav Finkel with family at his bar mitzvah

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This photograph was taken when my son, Gustav Finkel, donned the tefillin. The one on the left is my husband, Mikel Finkel, the woman next to him is Itic Blaicher's wife, the one between them in the back row is a certain David Benter, who lived in the Jewish cemetery in Botosani, the little daughter in front is my daughter, Carola Finkel; I, Beta Finkel, am behind her, the one behind me is Itic Blaicher, one of my husband's in-laws; my father, Marcu Grimberg, is on the right, the one on the right is my mother, Toni Grimberg, and behind her is that old man who lived with us, Haim Meer Hersch. The photograph must have been taken here, in Botosani, in 1971.

My father's name was Marcu Grimberg, but at the shul he was called Mortha [his Jewish name was Mortha, Mortkhe]. I don't know in what year he was born, but he was around 5 years older than my mother [he was probably born around 1895]. He belonged to the 1916 contingent, but I no longer remember how old he was at that time. My father had no formal education. And he actually had other brothers as well, but I don't know if any of them went to school.

My mother's maiden name was Toni Meerovici, and her Jewish name was Toba [Tobe]. She was from Sulita, she was born in 1900. She went to school in Sulita, I don't know how many classes she graduated. But my mother spoke French, she learned French in private, my grandfather hired a private teacher for her.

I don't know how my parents met, I didn't even ask. But they were both from Sulita, they probably knew each other. They certainly had a religious ceremony performed.

I, Berta Finkel, was born in Sulita in 1925. I married here, in Botosani, in 1951. I didn't have children right away, it took a while.

My son, Gustav Finkel, was born in 1958. He went to the talmud torah. There was this man, Haim Aranovici, who eventually taught him. I sent my son to study, and he studied. My son is very skilled at reading the Torah, he also performs the religious service at the synagogue. When my son was 16-17 - I don't remember what grade he was in, but he attended the Laurian High School -, rabbi Moses Rosen - who has also died - came to Botosani, and he wanted to send him to study in France, to learn Ivrit there. In fact, he knew Ivrit, for he learned it here, but… And my husband said he wouldn't send him there, that he should first go to university. He graduated the Faculty of Polytechnics in Iasi, he's an engineer. He served his military service before going to the faculty, when he was 18-19. He served in Buzau, he was part of the transmissions unit. He got married in 1992. His wife is Jewish, too, her maiden name was Beatrice Brif. They also had a religious ceremony performed at the synagogue in Botosani, I think Bruchmaier came from Bucharest to perform the service. I have a grandson from my son, Avi, he was born in November 1992.

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Interviewee: Berta Finkel
Emoke Major
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Botosani, Romania


Gustav Finkel
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Tonia Grimberger
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