My Childhood 1927-1939

I was there.

Livia Fränkel was born 1927 in Sighet in the Maramures region of Northern Transylvania. She had a sister called Hédi who was a couple of years older.  Her father, Ignatz, owned a firm where they made packaging, and her mother Frida was a housewife.

When Livia started school she was subjected to antisemitism. The children questioned her right to be there in what they called "their country". In the 1930s the situation was very turbulent in Europe. In order to know what was going on Livia's parents bought a radio.

* Livia's maiden name was Szmuk.

Livia Fränkel (1927), Romania/Hungary

Livia Fränkel (1927), Romania/Hungary

Consider here the life of Livia before the war

My Family

Livia talks about her family and childhood in Sighet.

This is a picture of Livia's family: Livia (in the middle), her sister Hédi, and their parents Frida and Ignatz. The picture was taken in 1936 when Livia was 7 years old and her sister 12.

1)  Look at the picture of the family and answer the questions.

  • 1a. Describe the family of Livia.

  • 1b. What hopes and dreams do you think they had?

2) Listen to Livia as she talks about her childhood. Answer the question.

  • 2a. Was Livia harassed at school because of her Jewishness?

Antisemitism and Troubled Times in Europe

Livia talks about antisemitism and an incident at her school.

3) Listen to Livia as she talks about antisemitism. Answer the question.

  • 3a. How did Livia's mother explain what happened to Livia in school?

Jewish Life in the Town of Sighet 


Extra Material