Klara Hartmann : Childhood, war and arrest

 

“I don’t remember exactly because I was very small: my parents died. And my uncle and his family brought me up. He was a police officer in Gönc. That’s where I lived until I was 14 or so. I went to school. The family got used, or rather, I got used to the family and became fond of them.

The war arrived. And they fled abroad. They fled the war. And they left me in their big flat. So it would not be left empty, they brought a maid in so she would be there and we would stay in the flat.

But the fighting went on a very long time: the Russians withdrew and the Germans came back. It kept changing. My street was lived in by policemen, so to speak, and their barracks was there too. There were many of them who were already retired. The rumour went that the fighting only lasted so long because the police defended the village. But there was surely no one there: everyone was trying to leave. But that’s what people said. And that is why they took me away.

In the end, it was the Romanians who entered the village, not the Germans or the Russians. The Romanians threw their weight around and took away all the people they could.

And then the Romanians, when we were staying in Rakamaz, I think it was… that’s where the train left from. But where they were taking me and why, I didn’t know. I was so young, I was so afraid, I had so many problems that I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than my fear.

 

How did the arrest go?
There was no arrest! Some soldiers came into the house with someone from the town hall. They took hold of me and took me away.

And they took the maid too?
Yes.

 

 

Her as well.

 

Yes, but I didn’t see her again. I never saw anyone again that I knew from before.”

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Klara Hartmann in Gödre, 31 August 2009
© CERCEC & RFI