Alexandru Kohn, memoriile unui evreu in Romania anului 1940
And indeed, the shop went very well. At the beginning Uncle Schwartz vouched for them and enabled them to get a loan. By 1940 they managed to pay back all the debt and buy a house in Arad. At first they had tenants in the house, but later it was nationalized and confiscated by the Antonescu regime.
Before 1940 an anti-Semitic trend was already in existence in Romania and Hungary, with its center in Nazi Germany. After Hitler came to power, the anti-Semitic movement became stronger both in Hungary and Romania. One could feel the oppression and discrimination that all the Jews in neighboring countries were experiencing. In Romania anti-Semitic papers were published that imitated those issued in Germany. Even a paper edited by the German Embassy was published.
I sensed the rise of anti-Semitism throughout my childhood. When we went to bathe, for example, all the children would stare at me because I was circumcised. I was different from those of my age, and children had learned all kind of things at home that gave them an aversion to Jews. Walking through the village we were sometimes told, 'Hey Yid, go to Palestine!' Everything only got worse when the legionaries came in the 1930s.
The whole situation with the legionaries was something of a nightmare. They came and brought us to the cemetery. They probably wanted to kill us. My parents were frightened, and the legionaries threatened to take the shop. They kept us in a state of terror in the cemetery for over an hour. At one point a car came, as the Jewish cemetery was along the road to Beliu. The legionaries weren't happy about seeing the lights, and so they let us go.
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