I did not feel anti-Semitism from my fellow students, but the official policy was different.

Iudit Cohen
Date of birth:
Getta Neumann
November 2012
Lod, Israel

You were part of both Jewish and non-Jewish circles. Have you ever noticed anti-Semitic attitudes?

Actually, there was no anti-Semitism in my entourage. Why? Because Timișoara is so cosmopolitan! I never heard at home: “that German” or “that Romanian” or “az a goy” (1). No such thing! The character mattered! That’s how we were educated! That’s how I educated my children, as well. Adina’s lovers were all Romanian students. No issues if one of them had married her! And everyone accepted me as I was.

I did not feel anti-Semitism from my fellow students, but the official policy was different. There were 27 Jews per year at the beginning of my studies. In the fifth year, they expelled almost all of them. There were approximately 270 of us a year, of which 27 were Jews, so 10%. I remained, along with Jakabfi Vera, who hadn’t come out as Jewish. The others applied to emigrate to Israel and got kicked out during the exam session! They were expelled from UTC (The Union of Communist Youth) with a big fuss, being told that “the motherland is where you were born” and nonsense like that... The so-called “unhealthy origin” also applied to college admissions. Later, I found out that they had a list of the categories who were not admitted: children of “capitalists”, shop and factory owners... It was not against Jews, but many Jews were listed in this category. There were also the children of priests among the Romanians. They had no chance to get in.

“That goy!”. Goy (Yiddish) = non-Jew, a term usually used pejoratively.

Neumann, G. (2014) Destine evreiești la Timișoara. Portretul comunității din perioada interbelică până azi, Bucharest: Hasefer Publishing House

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