Part II May 2004 Visit to Bihor County #hungary


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Dear Fellow Researchers,

With the help of a map I bought at a rest stop/gas station in Hungary of Transylvania our guides were able to find the Jewish cemetery in Ermihalyvfalva/Valea lui Mihai.

After locating the caretaker and telling him the surnames we were searching for we were able to locate several gravestones and memorials of the GLUCK family. Although my great-grandmother Roza GLUCK was born in Szalard, her husband [my great-grandfather] Ferencz GOTTLIEB was born 1834 in Ermihalyfalva. He was the son of Josef Maier GOTTLIEB also born in Ermihalyfalva and Rebekah [surname unknown].

When I explained to the caretaker that I was looking for the GOTTLIEB family he showed me one gravesite and said that the family was still living in town. It then started to rain and we decided to leave but the caretaker told us to stay because the GOTTLIEB widow lived down the street and she was coming to meet us. He then explained that she was the second wife of Carol GOTTLIEB and a Catholic. The first wife got "taken away" and never returned. Carolne GOTTLIEB was very happy to see us. She said that her husband died last year and was buried in the Christian cemetery next to the Jewish cemetery because when she died she wanted to be next to him. Our guide had to translate this for us because neither the caretaker or the widow could speak English.

It was raining quite hard by now and Mrs. GOTTLIEB insisted that we come to her house and meet her family. Both children, a son Gabor who lives in Oradea and a daughter Beatrice who lives in Bucharest are thirtysomething, well educated and English speaking. Their mother disappeared into the kitchen and proceeded to cook. She brought out platters of homemade donuts,fried bread with dill and expresso. It was an amazing visit but unfortunately they didn't know anything about their family tree and couldn't find any family pictures. I will be sending them the research I have on the GOTTLIEB family and perhaps this might jog their memories.

On the way out of town we passed a farmer with a horse drawn carriage. The roads are loaded with potholes and our car ride was just as bumpy as the farmer who was driving his horse and buggy.

The next cemetery we visited was the Jewish cemetery in the town known as Cubulcut [Romanian],Kobolkut[Hungarian] and Szegelhut [German] where my grandfather Mor GOTTLIEB was born in 1871. Everyone in this town spoke Hungarian which made it difficult for our guides to ask for directions since they only spoke Romanian. Finally a man, who was identified as the mayor was able to explain to the guides where the cemetery was. It was a very small and overgrown cemetery right next to a gypsy encampment. There were very few gravestones. One was a memorial to Dr. Beno ROSENFELD, a well known doctor in town who was deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Another name, Sali FERENCZI was a possible first cousin of my grandfather Mor whose cousin Zali GLUCK had married into the FERENCZI family.

We then proceeded to Oradea/Nagyvarad where we spent the night at the Continental Hotel. Part III will be about the Jewish cemeteries in Szalard/Salard,Bihar/ Biharia and Oradea/Nagyvarad.

Best Regards,
Fran Meng
Walnut Creek, CA

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