24 July 2015

Meeting Friends in... (Cluj-Napoca - 7040 km)

(Cluj-Napoca, 22.07.2015 - 23.07.2015) There were good reasons to deflect from my initially scheduled return trip via Ukraine and Poland to Germany and to go back to Romania. In Cluj-Napoca I had the opportunity to meet (f.r.t.l.) Prof. Dr. Ossi Horovitz as well as Irene Ciobotaru and her daughter Ingrid Ventuneac.

Prof. Dr. Ossi Horovitz lectured and carried out researches - and still does - on Chemical Thermodynamics, Materials Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Nanobiochemistry at the Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca. He was born in Czernowitz on 20.08.1945 as the son of Bernhard and Laura Horowitz, Holocaust survivors of the Bershad Ghetto. Ossi made it possible that rediscovered poems, written by his parents in Transnistria between 1941-1944, survived under the title "Stimmen der Nacht" [Voices of the Night], edited by Erhard Roy Wiehn and published by Hartung-Gorre Publishers, Konstanz. But above all, Ossi is a very pleasant dialog partner, erudite but nevertheless modest.

Even an "Interethnic Marriage - October 1941" didn't defend Jewish spouses from deportation to Transnistria. This was deeply revolting for Dr. Albert Twers (Radautz 1904 - 1972 Radautz), a lawyer of German ethnic origin, who succeeded to rescue his Jewish wife Debora Alpern (Siret 1910 - 1997 Cluj-Napoca) and other relatives from the clutches of the Romanian authorities, but not only: It was Dr. Albert Twers, who acted as messenger between the deportees in Transnistria and their relatives and friends from Bukovina.

On 03.01.1942 Dr. Albert Twers was captured and arrested by the police at the Czernowitz Central Station, carrying 213 "Undelivered Letters from the Death Camps of Transnistria". These letters, paraphrased as "Bottles in the Sea" by Florence Heymann and/or "Voices From the Past" by Christian Herrmann, retrieved from the deeps of the State Archives of Chernivtsi Oblast, were transcribed/translated into German, Ukrainian, Romanian, English and published under the title "Schwarze Milch" [Black Milk] by Dr. Benjamin Grilj.

It was my privilege to meet Dr. Albert Twers' daughter Irene Ciobotaru and his granddaughter Ingrid Ventuneac, to learn more on their family history and to get access to additional documents and photos, such as this one above, never published before. Ingrid wrote in December 2013 to Dr. Benjamin Grilj: "Albert Twers was my grandfather, the father of my mother. My grandmother Debora (Musia) Twers, born Alpern, was Jewish. She told me much about World War II. My grand grandfather, Naftali Alpern was teacher for Greek and Latin in Radautz. At the end of the 19th century he studied in Vienna. My grandfather was his pupil and so he met his soon-to-be wife. During the war my grand grandparents and three brothers of my grandmother were deported to Transnistria. A brother of my grandfather was in a high position at the court in Iassy and had direct contact to Marshall Ion Antonescu. So the whole family of my grandmother got an authorization by Antonescu to come back to Radautz. After the war my grandfather was deported to Siberia because he was ethnic german. After three years working in a copper mine he came back to his wife and daughter, the elder sister of my mother, sick and nearly dead. Before he was deported, the Jewish Community of Radautz tried to save him, remembering what he did, during the war. They wrote a letter, signed by everybody to declare Albert Twers as ethnical Czech. But the Soviets ignored the letter. [...]". What a story on humanity! Irene and Ingrid, thank you both so much for sharing!

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