Jeno Simonovits and Golda Salamon with friends

  • Photo taken in:
    Sighetu Marmatiei
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1949-1989)
    Country name today:

This photo was taken at the neighbors.

The person on the right is my first husband, Jeno Simonovits, then to his left a man from Rona, the next is me, Golda Salamon, behind me is Berta Konstenczky, then Zoli Szajber, and the person on the left side is Smil Mutai, that was his name, he is from Hosszumezo, he was unmarried, he lived in Israel, and he came to visit from Israel to Maramarossziget, that’s why we took the photo.

These men were all friends, they were all interested in horses. It’s interesting, nobody is alive from this picture, only me, the others all died.

I knew my prospective husband, as his [first] wife, Malka Walter had been my cousin.

She was deported with her two children, and they didn’t come back.

My husband, Jeno Simonovits - in Jewish they call him Jajni, Jojne - was born in Remete [Palosremete, today Remeti] in 1907.

He lost his father when he was eight. His mother was left with five children.

He started to work at the age of eight, he was already a wage-earner. He went to shake plum and walnut from the trees, and he got paid for it.

Then he became a coachman, he explained me all his life and the things he passed through.

He had here [in Sziget] an uncle, who had a perfumery, he saved money there, that's how he managed to become a szkimbas [schimbas in Romanian, substitute], a hussar - szkimbas, that's how hussars were called.

There weren't hussars in the Romanian army, Golda Salamon refers to soldiers when she says hussars.

[Editor's note] Only that person could become a hussar, who had money. He was orphan, although he was working and saving money, so he had money.

My second husband was a hussar too, they were soldiers together [in Nagyvarad], both my first and second husband.

All this in the Romanian era [under Romanian rule, after 1920].

My first husband was a very skilled horse-coper, a good merchant, he knew all about animals, cows and horses.

Soldiers had to present themselves with their own horse.

He joined up with such a beautiful mare, a white one that the kolonel [the colonel] told him: 'I shall ride this horse.

You go to the stable and look for other horse, which one you'd like. But you won't ride a more beautiful horse than mine.

When you'll get disarmed, you'll get back your horse.' It was so splendid, one couldn't even paint a more beautiful one. As he was an expert, and he knew what he was buying.

Jeno knew me well too and my parents from home. That's how I became his wife.

We had only a religious wedding, but not a civil marriage.

My husband used to say that if we had children, it was worthy going in for getting married, but if we hadn't, it had no reason. We didn't have any children.

I don't blame him, as he had had wife and children, but he never allowed me to see a doctor, to get examined, because it might have been a minor problem. I would have liked to have at least one child.

He said that if God didn't give us in a normal way, he wont' let me see a doctor, he won't let me undergo an operation, to go to baths, he won't let me anywhere. He didn't want to let me anywhere.

That's how I lived next to him thirty years. But I didn't lack anything with him, because he was skilful, he ensured everything.

We kept all kind of poultry, we had cows, horses, we were farmers. We had a dray, and we transported things.

My husband wasn't religious at all, he didn't go to the synagogue, he went there only during the autumn festivals, at Rosh-Hashanah, on the Day of Atonement and at Sukkot, on these high holidays.

He attended before the war [World War II] the Neolog synagogue.

He wasn't religious at all, but he didn't mix milk with meat, and he observed religion possibly, but he didn't go frequently to the synagogue, because he didn't have time for it, he was busy even on Saturdays.

He died in 1970, here in Sziget, he is buried in the Jewish cemetery.

We had no rabbi anymore, the schochet buried him. I sat shivah, but not on the ground, just on a chair. I couldn't sit for long, we still had the horses, and I had to look after my duties.

Interview details

Interviewee: Golda Salamon
Emoke Major
Month of interview:
Year of interview:
Maramarossziget, Romania


Jeno Simonovits
Jewish name:
Year of birth:
Decade of birth:
City of birth:
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
City of death:
Country of death:
after WW II
before WW II:
after WW II:
Carrier, farmer

Other Person

Golda Salamon
Year of birth:
Decade of birth:
City of birth:
Sighetu Marmatiei
Country name at time of birth:
Románia (1918-1940)
after WW II:
  • Previous family name: 
    Year of changing: 
    Reason for changing: 
    Decade of changing: 

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