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Povestea lui Edmund Edmund’s story

A fost odata ca nici odata .... Asa incep si au inceput toate povestirile copilariei , oriunde pe lumea asta si in orice limba a pamintului.
Once upon a time ... this is how all childhood stories start or have started, anywhere on this earth and in any language spoken on this planet.

Apoi, regi, printi, printese, zine, copii saraci, copii bogati, haiduci, animale, ba chiar si fructe si legume sau papusi si ... cite si mai citi, treceau prin fel si fel de intimplari sau incercari, se luptau cu fel si fel de dusmani, obstacole, minciuni si nedreptati si-apoi cu dragoste, de oameni de frumos si adevar, cu ajutorul prietenilor sau pur si simplu al celor intilniti pe drum , oameni, gize, cai inaripati, ptitici ... cite si mai citi, invingeau, aduceau binele si adevarul la lumina, indreptau greselile, puneau dragostea pentru oameni inapoi la locul ei, aveau neveste, copii, nepoti si bineinteles traiau apoi impreuna, fericiti pina la adinci batrineti !
Then, kings, princes and princesses, fairies, poor children, rich children, outlaws even fruits and vegetables or dolls and ... god knows who and what else, where going through all kind of happenings or trials, where fighting with all kind of enemies, obstacles, lies and unfairness and then, with love for people, beauty and truth, with the help of their friends or simply of those whom they would meet on their roads, bugs and flies, flying horses, dwarfs ... or god knows what else, they always managed somehow to win, they would bring the good and the truth back to light, fixed the mistakes, put the love for people back in it's place, they would have wives, kids, grand sons and on top of it all ... live together, happily ever after !

Ca orice copil le-am auzit si eu si – credeti sau nu - chiar si acum la 58 de ani, aproape in fiecare duminica dimineata, ascult teatru radiofonic pentru copii ( ultima oara cind am ascultat a fost Alice in tara minunilor).
As any other kid, I heard them all – an believe it or not – even now when I am 58, I do listen, almost every Sunday, the Radio theater program for kids. (Last time I listened Alice in wonderland was on).

Si totusi unele povesti ale copilariei mele incepeau ca oricare alta, restul insa ...
Unfortunately, some of my childhood stories started like any another, the rest of it though ....


Povestea lui Edmund
Edmund's story

A fost odata ca niciodata, un bebelus care s-a nascut linga Cluj in Romania. Parintii iau pus numele de Edmund. Bebelusul a devenit copil, a copilarit, cum se copilarea atunci, a mers la scoala si intr-o buna zi a devenit un tinar evreu, pe numele de Edmund Lustig. Ca orice tinar barbat s-a indragosti de o tinara evreica Iolanda Hermann.
Once upon a time, a baby was born, near Cluj, in Romania. His parents named him Edmund. The baby became a child, played through his childhood, like any other child in those days, went to school, and one day he became a young man by the name of Edmund Lustig. Like any another young man he fell in love with a young Jewish girl by the name of Iolanda Hermann.

Era totusi o problema : tinara Iolanda, dintr-o familie instarita , nu putea, conform traditiei evreiesti sa se marite inaintea sorei mai mari.
There was a problem though: young Iolanda, from a quite well off family, according to the Jewish traditions, was not supposed to marry before her elder sister.

Si totusi, pentru ca se iubeau foarte tare s-au casatorit.
Iolanda a fost dezmostenita iar Edmund, chiar si cind isi aducea copiii in vizita la bunici nu avea voie sa intre in casa.
But in spite of it all, because they loved each other dearly they married. Iolanda was disinherited and Edmund, even when he was bringing his kids to visit their grand parents, was not allowed in the house.

Nu s-au dat batuti si cu Edmund mai mult fara slujba (notar) decit cu, au facut 7 copiii pe care cu greutati si eforturi au reusit sa ii creasca si sa-i trimeata la scoala, cu alte cuvinte o familie obsnuita, cu dureri si bucurii, cu suisuri si coborisuri, pina cind ... lupii cei rai ... de data asta in uniforma neagra si pene de cocos la palarie – voluntarii Nylas, unealta a regimului fascist ungar de la acea vreme – pe 3 mai 1944, i-au scos din casa, i-au suit in care cu boi, i-au dus in ghetou, apoi i-au suit in vagoane de tren pentru vite si dupa un drum lung, fara sa fi intilnit, zine, vinatori, lampi fermecate ... care sa-i ajute, pe 9 Iunie 1944 au ajuns la ... Birkenau – Auschiwitz, statia terminus ... a vietii.
They didn't give up and with Edmund in and out of jobs as a public notary (more out then in), they had 7 kids whom, with big efforts and difficulties, managed to bring up, send them to school, they managed to build a normal family, with joys and sorrows, ups and downs until ... the big bad Wolfs, this time wearing a black uniform and cock feathers at their hats – Nylas volunteers, tool of the fascist Hungarian regime of those days- on the 3rd of Mai 1944, forced them out from their houses, put them on oxcarts, took them to the Cluj ghetto, then put them in cattle train wagons and after a long road, without meeting fairies, good hunters, wander lamps ... to help them fight back, on the 9th of June 1944 they arrived in ... Birkenau-Auschwitz, the terminus stop ... of life.

Iolanda si cei trei copii mai mici au fost omoriti (prin gazare ) chiar la sosire. Edmund si ceilalti 3 copii au continuat sa „traiasca" la Birkenau.
Iolanda and the three little kids were gassed upon arrival. Edmund and the other 3 kids continued to "live" in Birkenau

Foarte repede Edmund afost mutat la Mauthausen. La scurta vreme insa, ne-a spus un martor care a supravietuit, unul din "vinatorii" cei bunii, americanii, au efectuat probabil singurul lor bombardament in zona si Edmund, ranit de o schija, a murit spunind : "am sapte copii si nici unul nu e linga mine pe patul de moarte". (Sa fi fost mai "omenoasa" o astfel de moarte decit cea a celorlalti detinuti striviti de infometare, frig (pe timpul iernii nu aveau voie sa inchida ferestrele la baraci), bataile si sutele de pietre de chiar si 50 kg carate in spate pe mii de trepte in sus si in jos in cariera de la Mautahausen ?)
Soon after their arrival Edmund was moved to Mauthausen. Shortly after his arrival, a surviving eye witness told us that one of the "good hunters", the Americans, did bombed for once the area and Edmund, wounded by a shrapnel, died saying: I've got seven kids and none of them is near me on my death bed.( May this kind of death have been more "human" than the ones of his fellow inmates, who died crushed by starvation, cold (they were not allowed to close the windows of the barracks during the winter), beatings and the hundreds of up to 50kg stones they had to carry on their backs up and down the thousands of stairs of the Mauthausen quarry?)
Asta a fost povestea lui Edmund, bunicul pe care nu l-am mai avut.
Lipseste ceva?
Da !
Partea cu nepotii (adica si cu mine) si fericirea, impreuna, pina la adinci batrinteti.
De ce?
Pentru ca, odata ca niciodta, fara sa ceara, bebelusul Edmund s-a nascut ... evreu !
Si au fost milioane. Si nu numai evrei. Au fost, tigani, oponenti politici, prizonieri de razboi , oameni cu handicap si tot felul de alte "categorii" pe care alte milioane iau crezut (si din pacate inca ii mai cred) mai prejos de fiinta umna si un pericol "mortal" pentru viitorul omenirii si trebuie sa dispara.
That was the story of Edmund, the grand father I didn't get to have.
Anything missing?
Oh yes, the part with the grand sons (me included) and the together happily ever after!
Because once upon a time, without asking, baby Edmund was born ... a Jew!
And they were millions. And not only Jews. They were gypsies, political opponents; war prisoners, handicapped people and all sorts of other "categories" whom other millions of people believed (and unfortunately still believe) are lesser people and a "mortal" danger to the future of the mankind and must disappear.
Cum a fost posibil ?
Pentru ca ... regina albinelor nu a putut intra in vagon sa-i salveze (nu erau ferestre)?
Pentru ca Batman, Superman, Spiderman ... inca nu aparusera ?
Sau pentru ca noi, "vinatorii cei buni" din vremea aceea (dar si de acum), dintr-un motiv sau altul nu au facut nimic iar cind s-au hotarit, pentru Edmund a fost prea tirziu ?
How was this possible?
Because the queen of the bees couldn't get in to help them (the wagons had no windows)?
Because Batman, Superman, Spiderman... were not yet invented?
Or because us, the"good hunters" of those days (but from these days too), for one reason or another decided not to take action and when they did though, it was to late for Edmund?
document edmunds deadCe a "ramas" din Edmund ?
O hirtie!
In diabolica lor minutiozitate, doctorii nazisti ai lagarului au completat registrul:
Edmund Lusig, mort in Infirmerie, 14.07.1944, ora 7,20
What's "left" of Edmund ?
A piece of paper!
In their diabolical meticulousness the Nazi doctors of the camp filled in the log:
Edmund Lustig, dead in Infirmary, 14.07.1944, 7,20hrs
Pe linga minunea a doua poze de familie regasite, este singura "urma" lasata pe acest pamint de cei cinci ai familiei lui Edmund, morti in lagarele de concentrare naziste
Beside the wonder of the "survival" of two family pictures, this is the only "mark" left on this earth by the 5 members of Edmund's family, dead in the Nazi concentration camps.
Cornel LustigIn memoria bunicului meu la exact 70 de ani de la moartea sa!14.07.2014.
Cornel LustigIn the memory of my grandfather, exactly 70 years from his death!14.07.2014.

edmunds family

Edmund's family

In picioare / Standing: Tiberiu, Eva, Oliver, Emilian
Rindul din mijloc / Middle row: Cornel, Iolanda, Cornelia, Edmund
Jos / Down : Valentin