Szerena Edelmann, her sister Izabella Tomm her mother Bertha Klein and father Herman Klein

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kosice
    Year when photo was taken:
    1925
    Country name at time of photo:
    Czechoslovakia, 1918-1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

This is my mother Serena Edelmann's family. From left to right: my mother Szerena, her sister Izabella Tomm, my grandmother Bertha and grandfather Herman Klein photographed near their house. This photo was taken in Kosice in 1925.

My mother's parents came from Kosice; they were born in the early 1870s. They were a very beautiful couple. My grandfather Herman Klein was a raven-head man with tick moustache and my grandmother was a slim blonde with green eyes. Her name was Berta Klein. They were very much in love. They had two daughters. My mother's older sister Izabella, born in 1907, was very much like her father, and my mother Szerena, born in 1909, took after my grandmother. She was quiet and reserved.

My mother's parents were neologs. They went to the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. My mother's father Herman Klein worked in a state-owned printing house. He went to work on Saturday and had a day off on Sunday. My grandmother was a housewife. My grandfather and grandmother wore casual clothes in fashion at the time. They didn't follow kashrut or paid much attention to their daughters' religious education. They were a common family, living in a small apartment. There wasn't even a bathroom. Both daughters finished a Czech general school. Izabella graduated from the Department of Economics of the University and became an accountant. As for my mother, her parents sent her to study dressmaking. She learned to make garments, but she was too vivid to like this job.

My father met my mother when he was 18. My mother was 15. She was a pretty blonde with wavy hair, gray-greenish eyes, snow-white teeth and was lovely built. Her name was Szerena Klein. Since her childhood everybody called her 'Szoszi' My parents fell in love once and for all. My mother received the first awards at beauty contests in her town several times. She had many admirers, but my father became number one. My parents got married on 14 July 1929. He was 24 and my mother was 20 years old. They had a real Jewish wedding with a rabbi and a chuppah. My father was working for the company. He rented a two-room apartment and furnished it.

Interview details

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

KEY PERSON

Herman Klein
Decade of birth:
1870
City of birth:
Kassa
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1940
City of death:
Kassa
Country of death:
Hungary
Died:
before WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Office clerk

Other Person

Bertha Klein
Decade of birth:
1870
City of birth:
Kassa
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1944
City of death:
Auschiwtz
Country of death:
Poland
Died where:
Auschiwtz
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife

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