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Industry and commerce

In 2010, Editura Muzeului arii Criurilor published the book "Contribution to a

history of industry in Oradea between 1848-1948", written by Dr. Ronald
Hochhauser, engineer and museum curator.

Professor Dr. Ioan Godea, in the preface to the book states: "... the work offered
by the author is ... of very exceptional documentary value ... rich bibliography,
annexes, topographical references bilingual (Romanian-Hungarian), maps, plans
and urban sketches, photos, postcards of the time and an analysis of previous
studies, together this comprises a work of exceptional scientific value. "

The information provided in this book is also extremely valuable to the mission
of Tikvah. In this part, we want to show a selection of the significant
contributions that Jewish entrepeneurs of Oradea made to economic

We asked the author to allow us to reproduce parts of his text and images from
the book. With great generosity he agreed and we express here our gratitude for
this privilege.

We selected those parts of the book where (hopefully without error) we

identified Jewish figures. We have therefore "cut and pasted" from many
chapters and in order not to create confusion we have not identified the sources
for texts and pictures, all of which are documented in the book.

A review of this complete book can be found on the Oradea Mea website.
The development of the modern city of Oradea and its economic, social and (implicitly)
cultural fulfilment has been achieved through projects implemented by the local
administration. Amongst the long series of responsibilities that weighed on the shoulders of
the city council representatives, the most important turned out to be the
industry of Oradea the basis of the development of the city and its surrounding areas.
The successful fulfilment of economic goals through supporting all aspects of industry
largely depended on city incomes which, in general, were insufficient even for
the coverage of ordinary public expenses. To meet the responsibility of contributing to
industrial activity, the city administration relied on the ability of its richer citizens

(merchants and industrialists, the majority of whom were Jews), to contribute significantly
to the city treasury by investing considerable amounts of money and through
paying substantial income taxes on their business profits.
"La Roche and Darvas" forest exploitation
This was an enterprise that was able to compete with some of the major European industrial
enterprises in the same line of business due to its stable foundation. Withstanding various
economic hardhships, it became an important economic factor of Bihor County throughout
its existence.
The enterprise was popular and recognised for generously sponsoring cultural and
humanitarian activities in the city of Oradea.
"Jakab Weinberger" rolling mill
The Mill was set up by Jakab Weinberger in 1884, on land situated on the Pecze river. A few
months after it started to function, the owner entered into a partnership with Mr Aufricht,
with whom he went on to develop the business, under the new name of Emilia rolling mill.
A contemporary view of the Emilia roller mill.

The "Adria" rolling mill, Adolf Moskovits and Sons

The Mill was set up in 1890, on a 3,000 square metre area, situated on Vmhz Street.

The architectural ensemble of the Adria rolling mill, owners Adolf Moskovits and Sons. Its
buildings were almost entirely destroyed by a fire that occurred in 1922.
Lderer and Klmn steam mill

General view of the Alcohol factory and the Lderer and Klmn mill architectural
"Mr Moskovits and Son" alcohol factory
The Mr Moskovits and Son" alcohol factory was one of those factories which performed
continuously in the City of Oradea from its inception in the second half of the 19th century.

Image 1. The Mr Moskovits and Son architectural ensemble can be seen in the
background of this picture. The original wrought iron access gate kept to the art principles
of 1900s design (see Image 2).

Image 2. Entrance to the former alcohol factory (true copy of the original). This is all that
is left after the demolition of the factory in 2007. Its state of conservation is satisfactory but
as cultural property with historical value, it is worthy of preservation.
"Lderer and Klmn" alcohol factory
Founded in 1857, the Lderer and Klmn alcohol factory was one of the oldest
enterprises in the City of Oradea and had a notable role in its development.
"Adolf Moskovits and Sons" alcohol and yeast factory
The alcohol and yeast factory was founded by Adolf Moskovits as an individual enterprise
and was registered in 1876.

Remains of the Adolf Moskovits and Sons alcohol and yeast factory architectural
ensemble. It has not been properly preserved. Even so, it has high historical value and is
regarded as an industrial monument.
"Regner & Weisz" cotton weaving mill
The factory was established on 1st January 1928 as a general partnership.
"Electra" string, lace and ribbon factory
It was founded in the interwar period circa 1928 by Lipt Incze, constructor engineer, a
business man from Oradea.
in his will dated on 2nd November 1943, Lipt Incze bequeathed his enterprise together
with all its assets and liabilities to its 42 workers, technicians and clerks, who then served it
with boundless diligence.
The text of the will was published in the 19 th February 1944 issue of
the Nagyvradnewspaper, alongside a commentary recording this noble gesture: All the
other events which occurred yesterday in the city have become insignificant in comparison
to the published will of Lipt Incze. For one day, the people of Oradea forgot about daily
problems, touched by the content of this generous will, unique in its own way. We do not
recall a similar event; we cannot offer an immediate example of a similar case, in which
someone endows his own valuable factory exclusively to his most industrious workers, as a
sign of faithful and honest collaboration. Certainly, the relatives of Lipt Incze noted his
gifts with consent and consideration. His son, engineer Lszl Incze, indicated that his
intention to hand the factory over to its new owners was a sign of homage paid to his
The ceremony of handing over the factory took place in a touching atmosphere. In his
speech, the son of Lipt Incze expressed the following: I hand to you the Electra string,
lace and ribbon factory. Nurture it, lead it with the same love and social thoughtfulness as
my father. May his noble soul be your guide and help in overcoming obstacles of everyday
life. May God be with you and may His kindness guide you in your endeavours.

Under the new political regime, the factory was moved to Dimitrie Cantemir street, replacing
the former Flora hat and cloche factory and was renamed Drum Nou (New Road) in 1952.
"Heller and Deutsch" hat factory
This was a leading enterprise in the local industry of Oradea which, due to the diligence of
its two owners, became known throughout Transylvania. Its high quality products were
regularly promoted in the local newspapers through slogans like: Rain or snow will not
damage my hat because I bought it from Heller and Deutsch.
"Jzsef Leichner" furrier factory
The history of this factory began in 1926.

During 1944, when the members of the Leichner family were deported, the enterprise went
bankrupt. The owner of the company never returned from the death camp at Auschwitz, the
factory management was later taken over by his son, Gyrgy Leichner.
With nationalisation, the name of the company was changed to 1 May.
"Farkas Moskovits and Partner" shoe and boot factory
On 10th February 1924, the name of the enterprise was changed to Derby boot factory.
"Carmen" boot factory
This factory, representative of Oradea throughout its years of activity, was set up on
1stJanuary 1923, in a modest setting, as a general partnership. Having a manufacturing
nature, it operated in a rented space on Alecsandri Street no. 42, having Jen Steiner, Miksa
Hillinger and Adolf Katsher as its main shareholders, all of them successful experts in this
After nationalisation its name was changed to Solidaritatea footwear factory.
"Sonnenfeld" printers (1856-1948)
TheSonnenfeld typography was founded in 1856, at the initiative of Simon Sonnenfeld,
and had a long-established tradition in the city. Gradually, it underwent a modernisation
process and ended up as one of the outstanding printers in Transylvania.
"rmin Laszky" typography (1874-1919)
This typography was established in 1874, being registered as a sole proprietorship on
13thMarch 1876.
"Jzsef Lng" typography (1890-1919)
This typography was established in 1890 by Jzsef Lng, by taking over theOtt Hgel
"Aurora" ether factory

This joint-stock company was established on 27 th August 1905 by the Adolf Moskovits and
sons alcohol factory in order to process its derived products.
"Vesta" chemical and pharmaceutical enterprise
The Vesta chemical and pharmaceutical enterprise was set up on 3rd April 1920 at the
initiative of pharmacist-chemist dr. rmin Messinger.
"Farkas Rippner" hairpin and comb factory
The hairpin and comb factory was set up in 1914.
"Celluloid" brush factory
It was founded in compliance with the regulations set in the general establishment assembly
of 27th August 1924. On 25th January 1927, the industrialist Farkas Rippner was among the
members of the board of directors, himself the founder of the above-mentionedClip and
comb factory.
"Isomit" comb and bakelite factory
This factory was established on 1st April 1936 as a general partnership, initially having
between 20 and 40 workers. Its line of business was the manufacturing of combs and other
household objects out of artificial resin.
The factory owners were Eugen Birnfeld and Iuliu Weis who emigrated to Palestine because
of the pressure hanging over the Jews during the Second World War.
It was situated on Millerand Street, no. 12.
"Vulcan" brick and tile factory
It was established on 23rd July 1906 as a joint-stock company. Among the members of the
board of directors notably were Jakab Weinberger, owner of the Emilia rolling mill, Emil
Adorjan and Ede Kurlnder, lawyers, and Sndor Ullmann, businessman.
Although we do not have enough information on this brickyard, we consider it is important
to mention it, because it was the one who produced the bricks a total of 4 million for the
building of the Vulturul Negru Palace, a large, Secession style architectural monument
building, representative of Transylvania, which Professor Ioan Godea would later
describe: represented a centre of the social and cultural life of the city and one of the
masterpieces of architects Marcell Komor and Dezs Jakab.
The "Melocco" Romanian Establishments
The predecessor of the Melocco Romanian Establishments began its activity in 1890, being
a branch of the Pter Melocco Cement and construction factory in Budapest.
It was located on Szlls Street no. 16 (according to the current numbering, no. 2224).Cement, reinforced concrete, paving slabs, sewage tubes, as well as other construction
items were manufactured in this factory.
On 17th June 1922, the Oradea branch turned into a joint stock company, named
the"Melocco" Romanian Establishments, having as an additional object of activity to those
enlisted above, the selling of building materials. In 1923, the enterprise was taken over by
the Czitter family, which kept its previous name.

The production unit represented the core around which the cement-asbestos and cementware enterprise was founded in 1952.
The Izs Rosenberg factory of industrial cement asphalt and pitch merchandise.
Various patterns of cement and marble plaques used for interior slabs:

The first limestone and sand brick factory of Oradea

The rapid growth of the civil engineering sector of Oradea such as the building works of
the Weiszlovits, Darvassy, Sonnenfeld and Apollo Palaces, of the Fodor, Markovits-Mathser
and Rth houses, as well as of the Gendarmes School gradually forced the establishment
of a new brick factory, because the production of the existing ones could not meet public
The patented Aerolith factory
This joint-stock company was established on 10th January 1912. The purpose was to obtain
the manufacturing right over the production and use, in construction, of thebuilding
stone patented by Jen Ris, engineer in Budapest; moreover, it sought its processing out of
concrete or other plastic materials, as well as the production, commercialisation and use, in
the civil engineering sector, of the Aerolith artificial stone.The Board of Directors included
other members, such as: Imre Darvas, owner of La Roche and Darvas forestry enterprise,
Mikls Moskovits, owner of Moskovits and Son alcohol factory and Jzsef Kszeghy, chief
engineer of Oradea.

Grnwald and Partners metal and tin ware factory

in 1922 when, together with his brothers, Hermann Grnwald, a renowned jewellery
maker and Mr Grnwald, the licensee of the baths located in the Kossuth Garden in Satu
Mare, established the Grnwald and Partners metal and tin ware factory, called The
Grnwald Brothers as of 1924.

Image 2. Glass holder/tap/pint of beer promoting the Dreher-Haggenmacher

brand.Product of the The Grnwald brothers metal and tin ware factory, Oradea.


The remarkable boom recorded in heavy industry, especially after 1870, coincided with the
development of commerce. These two economic fields influenced and created the banking
system of Oradea. The mutual ties between them all made for a distinctive modern
economic and cultural life.
Ever since the Middle Ages, Oradea has been a significant commercial city. It gained this
attribute also due to its advantageous geographical position, being situated at the
crossroads of certain important commercial roads. Therefore, besides local and regional
commerce, an important role in the then and later economic life of the city was held by
commercial transportation.
The industrialisation process launched after the 1848-1849 revolution within the absolutist
Empire, followed by a general urbanisation process, led the way to a new category of
manufacturers and consumers - the industrial, commercial and financial bourgeoisie, on the
one hand, and the factory proletariat, on the other. These categories of people gradually
renounced the type of existence that was ensured exclusively by small-scale rural
production. In order to guarantee the daily requirements, they resorted to the advanced,

provision type of operation, serviced by the new category of tradesmen. The two categories
of commerce, rural production commercialised at fairs and that of the new tradesmen
developed especially in enclosed, specially set up venues have continued to coexist to the
present day.
Many types of stores were opened on both sides of the Criul Repede River, on the main
arteries and in the main squares of the city: F street, Sas street, Zldfa street, Szent
Lszl market, the so-called Pia mic (Small square) and, a bit later, the Nagyvsrtr
square, the so-called Pia mare (Large square). These shops were generally rented by
businessmen. The highest rent, up to 6 times more, compared to the one paid for
commercial premises situated on F street, was claimed for the stores located on Zldfa
street. This is explained by the fact that this was the artery, of the so-called market, which
linked the two fairs in town - the Small square and the Large square - which was crossed by
a branch of the inter-urban railway. This is how the merchandise provisioning for stores on
that street was achieved. It is also notable that there was a long-standing and wellpreserved tradition, that the rural inhabitants would not cross the Criul Repede River to
shop on the right side of the river. It remained an appendage of the citys rich population.
The progress of commerce in Oradea to a flourishing, enviable level, as recorded by the
then city archivist Lajos Lakos, was exclusively owed to Jewish tradesmen settled in this
"Jzsef Popper junior spice, delicacy, wine, citrus fruits and mineral water
storehouse and shop
The spice shop was opened in 1887 in a modest setting. The high quality of commercialised
products and the polite service provided by the personnel of the small shop brought to it
fame in the city. Consequently, the owner later raised the status of the shop to the level of a
grocery shop, establishing a storehouse nearby that was located at the intersection of F
and Sztaroveszky streets. From the point of view of technical facilities and display of
merchandise, the shop reached the level of similar ones in Budapest. For example, the store
was equipped with coffee roasting electrical equipment which was very popular with
The company dealt with the commercialisation of mineral waters - Borsec - considered
the Queen of mineral waters -, Vita and Matild - originating from Bodoc -, as well as of
various types of home-bred and French champagnes, table wines, dessert
wines,Martell brandy, different types of rums and liqueurs. Moreover, it displayed the
products of the Jzsef Manner and Partner chocolate factory, the Kitz and Meller floor
varnish, as well as hunting ammunition. The Jzsef Popper junior enterprise was also
celebrating the prestige of being the supplier of the Public hospital of the Bihor county and
of several Romanian institutions such as the Jiga Foundation.
"Kroly Ignc Deutsch china and glass store
This was established in 1877 when Deutsch took over the store, but it had been previously
functioning under the ownership of Jzsef Sonnenfeld. From the era of peace and welfare
before the First World War, the commercial activity performed by this enterprise went
beyond the range of a provincial store, especially after its management was taken over by
Dnes dn Deutsch, the owner`s son. In the line of business of glass and chinaware
commercialisation, the store became one of the most important emporia throughout the
Monarchy. Apart from these goods, it sold a series of other goods at the suggested retail
price such as high quality electrical light bulbs and chandeliers of various shapes and
sizes.Moreover, the enterprise would offer electrical installation services to customers.

In 1909, Deutsch`s enterprise went into business with the Glass factory in the Padurea
Neagra (Black Forest), establishing an anonymous company with capital stock amounting to
700.000 crowns. Large and small canning jars covered with Viktria lids which ensured
hermetic closure were numbered among the products typically manufactured in the glass
factory and commercialised in the Oradea enterprise store. When the factory was sold in
1917, the capital stock value dropped to 245.000 crowns as a result of repayment of
withdrawn shares.
In 1920, the company was taken over by a consortium which maintained its
reputation.Therefore, over the next period of development, the shop simultaneously acted
as a warehouse for the glass factories in Hungary and main stockroom of the Ceramic
factory in Hollhza (nowadays a town in Hungary), of the Porcelain factory
in Schlaggenwald andChodaui (nowadays both towns in the Czech Republic), as well as
of the Brnner brothers joint stock company. The rise of the business had even held on
during the financial crisis in the fourth decade of the 19th century.
Following the national economic relaunch, the store offered a large range of glass and
porcelain products, houseware, Urs and Wellner and silver chrome cutlery. Moreover, it
included a generous range of gifts. Out of courtesy for their potential customers, the owners
arranged a permanent exhibition in which products assigned for commercialisation were
tastefully displayed.
The Jen Deutsch drapery
One owner of a drapery store stood out among the young generation of merchants in the
city during the interwar period. He was Jen Deutsch who, due to his professional
knowledge acquired in Vienna, Komarno (today in the Czech Republic), Budapest and Gyr
(today in Hungary), managed to preserve the commercial renown of the city of Oradea,
given the developing economy extending to large parts of the Romanian Kingdom.
Shortly after the end of the World War I, he established his first cloth and fabric store the
displayed merchandise having been procured from the great European capitals of those
times - which, between 1918 and 1934, functioned in the Black Eagle Palace. Following that
date, the store was moved on Avram Iancu street no. 429. Due to the ingenuity with which
he ran his business, the drapery became, according to the press of those times, the greatest
one in Ardeal, being known outside Romanian borders. The quality of the commercialised
products met the standards of the most demanding competition of those times. Therefore,
in 1938, the range offered by the store included a broad variety of latest fashion fabrics,
products of some renowned factories: the Scherg cloth factory and theTellmann cloth
factory, both from Braov; the Azuga cloth factory; the coat fabrics Gndisch &
Simonis from Cisndie. Also, the company staff would manufacture specialDeDe branded cloths made of English weaves according to their own designs.
Aside from raising the professionalism of the trade, Jen Deutsch actively participated in
numerous charities.
The Andriska and Rosenbaum mechanical workshop and garage the first
Ford agency in Oradea
The period of the First World War, but also the one that followed, witnessed a rapid technical
and technological development. Among others, highly safe military and passenger planes
were built, the radio was invented and more silent vehicles appeared to replace the existing
puffing and noisy automobiles. In this area of production, the automotive factories
throughout Europe could not meet the demand. Consequently, two large automotive
factories, Ford and Chevrolet, manufactured thousands of cars in Europe. Because of

their competitive price

manufactured in Europe.









The two competing American factories were looking for representatives in various countries
in order to locate their own products.
Henry Ford (1863-1947), a notable figure of industrial life during the first half of the
20thcentury, appointed Klmn Andriska and Simon Rosenbaum as his automotive company
representatives in Oradea. The first handled the technical aspects and the second managed
the commercial side of the business. Upon request, customers were trained, at no cost, in
the management of their motor vehicle. Under the management of these two individuals,
the workshop developed rapidly, achieving fame across the entire country.Outside the
responsibilities related to the agent/ selling role, electric soldering, cylinder boring and
turnery work were performed in the skillfully managed workshop. Moreover, cogwheels were
manufactured and all sorts of tractor repairs carried out. The auto service, which sold
gasoline and motor oils, was located on Delavrancea street no. 15.

Impact on the life of Oradea population

Progress achieved by the factory system of industry and by the new type of commerce,
influenced greatly the lifestyle and way of thinking of the city`s inhabitants.
Shortly after having implemented the dual state structure, the major events in the city,
alongside weekly fairs, were represented by the various public dance parties and musical
evenings. The situation changed after 1890 due to the developing infrastructure and to the
population growth. The existence within it of certain socially demanding categories, with
refined taste, directly influenced the phenomenon. These groups organised the spending of
their leisure time at preset hours and in compliance with a code of good manners. The
activities that were predominantly agreed upon were: mutual visits at home, dinner
invitations, chamber concerts, attending balls and other charity gatherings. This range was
further complemented by participation in the social and cultural activities organised by
various associations and, after 1900, in theatre, cabaret and cinema shows. Performances
were usually followed by going to restaurants, tea rooms or cafs mostly to those located
in Bmer Square. In these places especially cafs , the middle-class elite (the socalled dzsentri read gentri) would discuss, read local and foreign newspapers, find out the
news and scandal and would inform each other.
The increasing demands of the population were also reflected in the arrangement of living
spaces. The civic type of furniture became widespread, the interest towards French and
English furniture made out of special leather increased; meanwhile, the offerings of some
notable furniture factories, such as that of Klmn Rimanczy Senior, in Oradea, but
especially that of the factories in Arad, was also notable. The floors of hallways, of kitchens
and of bathrooms were made of cement boards and mosaic marble, produced at the Izs
Rosenberg cement, concrete construction, sewage and asphalt industry factory, and those
of rooms were made of varnished parquet. In order to provide a pleasant appearance to
their homes, people installed artwork and family photos on the interior walls, using as
auxiliary phone appliances, bells and chandeliers, usually bought from the Kroly Ignc
Deutsch porcelain and glass store. Houses were heated with iron stoves (mostly produced
at Reia) and tile stoves, generously decorated with eclectic and later on secession motifs
and with fuel procured at the Vapour alcohol factory.
The obvious social life changes also influenced the way people used to dress. Clothes were
no longer purchased directly from Paris, Vienna, Budapest, but through profile stores in the
city. Shop windows had a tasteful display arrangement inspired by similar shops in the
West. Out of the multitude and variety of items offered by these shops we

mention:fashionable tailcoats, tuxedos and jackets made of the finest English and Scottish
fabrics, furs, leather coats, gloves and other leather items, ladies and gentlemen
hats. Fashionable ladies dresses sold in these shops were adorned with ribbons and
lacery. Costumes and bath gowns also became popular.
The modern lifestyle also imposed participation in Maial, in the summer rustic parties
organized at Vrosliget and Rhdey Garden, in trips to Bile Episcopale and to Bile Felix,
with the purpose of taking treatment and recreation baths or simply to walk in the forests
nearby. The vivacity was also maintained by the resort restaurants which ensured specific
food menus, fine beverages and music played by fiddlers throughout the entire day. These
outings eventually led to the development of local tourism. Part of leisure time activities
within city life was also attending public baths, of which the most renowned one was the
steam bath, property of architect and businessman of Oradea, Klmn Rimanczy
Senior.Given the large number of Jewish people in the city, the development of baths must
have been based on the existence of their ritual baths.
Another aspect related to lifestyle was covered by sports competitions. At first, equestrian
competitions held near the horse fair and mostly on the horseback riding field located in the
current Petfi Park, initially used by the army, were the most noteworthy, along with
fencing, walking, cycling and lawn tennis. Skating was a fashionable pastime activity during
winter. Later on, athletics came in the public eye. The city gradually took hold of a more
recent sport of the 20th century, football.
With the evolution of living standards, the focus of city officials also targeted the
improvement of health and public safety services. While progress in the health sector was
slow, public safety recorded favourable outcomes.
The impetus of the economic life of Oradea was also owed to a group of local investors, rich,
influential people engaged in the running of the city. Being around 60 people, they drove the
socio-economic, financial, architectural and cultural development of the city by investing
considerable amounts and through paying substantial income taxes on their profits. Their
names were periodically published in the then press, alongside the amount of taxes paid to
the treasury of the city, as indicated, for example, by the Municipal Tax Office, published in
the Tiszntl newspaper of 30th August 1914. Out of the 110 people shown in the statistics,
the following are particularly notable: Lajos Weinberger, the owner of the Emilia rolling
mill, Adolf Moskovits, the owner of the Adria joint-stock company for industry and
agriculture, Kroly Andrnyi, owner of the Ironware warehouse, Emil Weiszlovits, owner of
the Parc Hotel, Kroly Ignc Deutsch, glassware and porcelain merchant, Izs Rosenberg,
construction material manufacturer, Vilmos Rendes, architect, and Jzsef Popper Junior,
owner of a spice, delicacy, wine, citrus fruits and mineral water grocery shop and wholesale
Several common features characterised the industrialists and merchants of Oradea. Most of
them were Jews, followed by those of Hungarian ethnicity and, to a lower degree, by those
belonging to Romanian families. They were all good prospectors of the then commercial life,
knowledgeable about developing, locally, the trade branches missing on the
market.Although some of them came from other parts and settled in Oradea, they shortly
became ardent citizens, bringing their contribution to its prosperity. They developed their
own businesses and protected their own interests, without harming others of the
community.They also participated in other fields of activity of the city life: the confessional,
the intellectual, and last but not least, the charitable. They actively participated in the sports
life of the city, which was then beginning to take shape. Moreover, they were loyal servants
of political regimes, even if sometimes these contradicted their own beliefs.

Klmn Weisz textiles manufacturer

Klmn Weisz was one of the representatives of the new generation of industrialists who
continued the economic activity of their predecessors, after the end of the First World War
and the realisation of the Great Unification. He was born in 1899 at Satu Mare where his
father was a renowned cloth merchant. He studied in his hometown and in Bratislava.
After the end of the war, eager to progress, he left for Vienna and Berlin where he gained
professional knowledge in some of the most renowned textile stores.
In 1921, Weisz opened a cloth store in Satu Mare, becoming the representative of certain
renowned foreign textile companies: Heinrich Piski, Poviller et Comp., Mark Ados and Julius
Hirschl, until 1925.
When the import of textiles became hindered by the implementation of prohibitive customs
duties, he decided to begin their production in the country. In order to achieve his plan, he
decided to do this in Oradea which was closer to Budapest, where he ran other
businesses.He bought a land on which he built a textile factory fitted with the most modern
weaving and braiding machines, named Regner & Weisz. The warehouses of the factory
were located in Bucharest, as well as in Satu Mare, Timioara, Arad, Galai and Brila. Due
to his professionalism, Weisz also managed to survive the hardships of the Great
Simon Klein hat manufacturer
Similarly to Jen Knig, Simon Klein was another renowned hat manufacturer. He was the
type of merchant who progressed due to his diligence. He was born on 6th February 1892, in
Oradea. During his youth he introduced himself to the craft of small-ware trading at the
wholesale warehouse of the renowned Silbermann i Asociatul company in Oradea. Then he
left for Budapest, working in the wholesale warehouse of the Ignc Agulr company, which
at that time was enjoying worldwide recognition. There he acquired solid professional
knowledge. Returning to Oradea, he occupied a leading position within a subsidiary of
theFlp Wallerstein and Sons company. He was recruited for military service in
1914. During the war he fought on the Russian, Serbian and Italian fronts, being injured on
several occasions. He was awarded several decorations and medals for his sacrifice during
the war.
After the end of the armed conflict, Klein returned to Oradea and opened a hat and clothes
store. In 1919, he founded a ladies hats factory, following the model of the
renownedSiegfried und Orenstein hat factory in Vienna, where he had learnt the secrets of
the trade. The factory in Oradea was fitted with modern production means and its activity
was launched by experts brought in from Germany. Around 1922-1923, Klein extended his
field of activity and started producing gentlemens hats, at the same time opening a
womens fashion store. His products, always matching the latest fashion trends of the great
capitals of Paris, London and Rome, were developed in several towns in Transylvania and in
Bucharest where he gradually opened subsidiaries. Between 100 and 120 employees would
work in the factory and store owned by Simon Klein, even during the great depression.
He was also an active member in the citys social life, supporting a series of charitable
Jzsef Leichner - furrier manufacturer
Jzsef Leichner was one of those industrialists from the city of Oradea who gained his
reputation both in the Romanian Kingdom and abroad, due to his professionalism and
through introducing new quality products on the market. The activity performed in his
furrier factory, founded in 1926, made him a pioneer in Romania in this industrial field.

He studied in Vienna and when he finished his studies, he enhanced his professional
knowledge in Berlin and Paris. Due to his acquired skills and experience, he reached the
conclusion that the fur industry also required a product range suitable for the general
masses. Even if the idea was not original, it was notable for the creative adaptation to the
field and for its application within the geographical setting. In this respect, he innovated in
manufacture of fine lambskin furs. The markets abroad immediately appreciated the value
of these products and their manufacture appeared in England, Germany and the
Scandinavian countries. Continously developing the activity of his factory, Jzsef Leichner
succeeded in providing jobs for 180 employees. In 1930, he participated in the World
Exhibition designed for furrier products, in Leipzig, where he was awarded a diploma for
merit. The export of his products was hampered by currency restrictions. In recognition of
his outstanding merit, he was elected member of the leadership of the Commercial Hall of
Oradea. In 1931, he received the Commercial and Industrial Order decoration, Second
Class. One year later, he was awarded the First Class of the same order.
The Jzsef Leichner furrier factory also had a branch in Bucharest, warehouses in the
more important centres in the country, as well as agencies abroad, in Vienna, Leipzig and
Smuel Motzen furrier manufacturer
Furrrier manufactuer and exporter, Smuel Motzen was one of those people who progressed
by his own efforts. Growing up in a poor family, he endeavoured to study abstract
science. He came to Oradea in 1905, where he had to face the inherent hardships of
starting a career.
His refined business sense helped him observe the requirements of the niche markets in
Central European countries. In 1920 he established a profitable enterprise handling the
collecting, processing and export of feather goods. After carrying out this activity for a
decade, due to the imposition of autocratic policies, export activity witnessed a decline
which led him to turn his attention to other areas of industry.
Although the furrier industry in Romania was developed, it did not produce Chevraux leather
(goat and kidskin), a high quality French product. Romania used to pay high excise taxes for
the import of various types of leather which were not produced in the country. Noting this
phenomenon, Motzen set up the Majestic leather factory in 1931 which quickly grew to
employ 80 people. His factory produced exclusively for Romania Chevraux leatherand
antelope leather.
The technical department of the factory was run by engineer Gyrgy Krausz, and the
commercial one was run by David Deutsch, the owner`s son-in-law. The latter had
previously fulfilled several positions within the Citron et Deutsch leather factory in
Media. His son, Bla Motzen, also worked in the Oradea branch of the factory.
Besides his economic activity, Smuel Motzen also carried out an extensive social
activities. In 1932 he was elected Vice President of the Orthodox Jewish Community of
Jen Steiner General Manager of the "Carmen" shoe factory
Jen Steiner succeeded in acquiring leading positions through his own hard work, having
started off from the lowest ranks of the trade.
He was born in 1873 in Halast, of the Vas County (today in Hungary). At the early age of
11 he started working as apprentice for several shoemakers, where he learnt the trade for
four years. In Budapest, he developed his professional and cultural knowledge during

evening classes organised by trade unions. He improved his skills to such an extent that, in
1891, at the age of 18, he became editor at the speciality magazine Cipsz (The
In 1894 he was based in Cluj, where he worked as a foreman for a leather merchant. In
1895 he started working for the Npszava (Voice of the people) daily paper. He was
sentenced to prison after his articles encouraging workers to defend their own interests,
were published in this daily paper. Given that the Budapest government persecuted the
political activity of the proletariat organised within the Social Democrat Party, with which
Steiner also sided, he was expelled from the city in 1898, together with other party leaders.
Reaching Vienna, as an expert in his trade he quickly advanced to leading positions. The
footwear patterns which he designd soon received attention and he was elected a member
of the Vienna Institute of Fashion. His articles, published in renowned speciality magazines
of the time, of the Kingdom and abroad, brought him into contact with the shoe
manufactuer Tams Bata of the town of Zlin (today in the Czech Republic). Together, they
set up the first Bata leather factory, within which Steiner was assigned the task of
providing raw materials, predominantly from Transylvania. At the same time he issued the
Der Werkmeister (The Factory Foreman) magazine and set up the Association and House of
Pensions of Foremen and Employees of the Leather and Footwear Factories.
Some years after the end of the First World War, in 1922, Steiner decided to close his
businesses in Vienna and based himself in the city on the Criul Repede. Noticing that dry
goods and the production of childrens footwear were scarce, he set up the Carmen and
Primus shoe factories, as well as the special Esta-Sun chemical goods factory. These
three factories ensured jobs for approximately 800 workers.
The activity carried out by Jen Steiner showed the value that such an industrialist and
businessman can have for a city.
Jen Weisz owner of the We-Ego footwear factory
Jen Weisz was born in Debrecen and came from a family of workers. His father`s profession, a
shoemaker, compelled him to learn the secrets of this trade. During the period from 1903 to 1910, he
acquired the necessary knowledge in his hometown at Bla Glck`s store. In 1910 he came to Oradea
to improve his professional skills, working in Spreng brothers` store. In 1913 he joined with Mr
Gelbert, and together they opened a gentlemans footwear and fashion store named Weisz and
Gelbert. This profitable activity was taken over at the outbreak of the First World War, Weisz having
been conscripted and sent to the front where he was seriously wounded.
Returning to Oradea in 1919, with kidney failure, he was registered as an invalid. However, the
existence of the Commercial Hall in town helped him pursue commercial activity. Following success
recorded in 1924 at the Commercial Hall Exhibition with luxury footwear for women, led him to
produce them in large quantities. He set up his own factory and fitted it out with modern machinery,
producing We-Ego brand footwear, highly appreciated throughout the entire Romanian Kingdom. The
factory ensured jobs for 100-120 workers even during the years of economic crisis. Following
recession, he went on to produce childrens footwear.
Jen Weisz was a member of the Commercial Hall and of the Romanian Association of Industrialists.

Jzsef Reich carbonic acid and oxygen industrialist

Jzsef Reich was born in jfehrt (Ratzfert in German, currently a town in the Szabolcs-SzatmrBereg County in Northeastern Hungary) in 1865. He studied under the guidance of the most renowned
rabbis. At the age of 17 he left for Oradea, where his father was a clerk at the Jewish Orthodox
community. At the age of 18 he took over the management of a siphon factory located on Clujului
Road. At that time, carbonic acid, necessary in the production of siphons, was obtained through a
rudimentary procedure, out of sulphuric acid and dolomite.

Eager to better himself, he left for Germany to Leipzig, Berlin and Breslau to refine his professional
skills, where he acquired knowledge on carbonic acid production through closely examining the most
modern methods. Returning to Oradea, he set up the National carbonic acid factory in 1904, the first
of its sort in this part of the world. The machinery necessary for the production of the liquid carbonic
acid manufacturing was produced by himself thus succeeding in saving large amounts of money
having only to procure a compressor from Germany. The carbonic acid produced in his factory was
used in almost all places in the eastern Romanian Kingdom.
After the end of the war and with the political changes occurred through the union of Transylvania with
the Motherland, the production of the factory decreased because of competition with other similar
factories. Nevertheless, overcoming difficulties, Reich succeeded in expanding the business through
readjustment, producing oxygen, essential in the activity of hospitals.
He was a hard-working participant in the activity carried out by the Jewish Orthodox community of
Oradea, being elected its president in 1927. During this time, he set up a ritual slaughterhousewithin
the community that complied with the highest European standards.

Jnos Rippner needle and celluloid industrialist

Jnos Rippner came from a poor family. After graduating from elementary school, he worked
as apprentice for Mihly Leipnik, who owned one of the largest stores in town. Shortly after
joining he was promoted to a sales position within the company, handling the entire eastern
part of the dual Kingdom.
In 1909, together with this brother-in-law, he set up Leitner and Rippner, a wholesale dry
goods store. After two years spent in this field of commerce, he set out to establish a bold
and large scale business. He had visited the needle factory in Sachen (Germany) and
celluloid factories in France and on his return to Oradea, together with his brother Vilmos,
he set up the Hungarian needle and celluloid factory, a joint-stock company with substantial
financing from banks in Oradea. Although the new business was positively launched, the
needle section was sold in the crisis year 1913. The celluloid operation continued to exist
under the ownership of the family.
During the First World War, Rippner participated in the front-line battles in Russia and
Following the war, in 1919, he settled in Budapest where he established Rosinger and
Rippner together with his cousin. One year later, this company opened a wholesale
storehouse in Vienna, followed by another one in 1921 in Oradea. The storehouse in Oradea
remained one of the most important ones in Transylvania for many years.
Farkas Rippner manager of the hairpin and comb factory
Farkas Rippner was born in 1886 in Oradea. From a modest family background, having
graduated from secondary school, he found a job at the Hungarian needle and celluloid
factory, a joint-stock company, founded in 1911. Due to his diligence, he was quickly
promoted to one of the leading positions within the factory. Before the outbreak of the First
World War, Rippner bought the stock of the almost bankrupt company. Despite having
insufficient stock and functioning in extremely tough conditions, the factory was eventually
restored and turned profitable.
After the end of the war and with the change of historical circumstances, the factory
benefited from the advantage of being the only one in Romania in this industrial field. Its
products were developed all across the country. During the great economic crisis of the
interwar period, the factory maintained jobs for about 200 people.

His son, Gyrgy Rippner, inherited the business acumen and the diligence of his father,
graduating from the Business Academy of Bern, where he obtained his Ph.D. Alongside his
father, we was an active participant in the leadership of the factory.
Sndor Wasserstrom brick industrialist and editor of the Npnk (Our
people) magazine
Sndor Wasserstrom was a leading representative of the Jewry of Oradea, whose
contribution to the economic and cultural progress of the city was vital.
He was born on 7th June 1887 in Oradea and, following to the tradition of his ancestors, he
began his studies at the Jewish school. His ambition and his desire to acquire secular
knowledge led him pursuing his studies at the Premonstratens Order Gymnasium. Then he
enrolled at the Academy of Law but, at the age of 22, he interrupted his studies and got
married. Then he took over his fathers en dtail business, succeeding in turning it into a
wholesale one.
In 1918, he bought the Jzsef Guttmann brick factory located in Csillagvros (Stellar
town), in the Salca area, which had been there there since 1879. Moreover, he acquired the
surrounding land on which, together with the brick production, he set up a model
agricultural farm. Then he went on to to split up the land around the factory, creating places
for the construction of houses to the extent of approximately 15 streets. By granting certain
amenities to the beneficiaries, the partial construction of the Wasserstrom colony became
possible. The excavations carried out in the area disclosed numerous archealogical finds of a
cultural nature. Some of them can be found in the various collections stored at the Tarii
Crisurilor Museum.
An anecdotal curiosity of the Wasserstrom colony was the tree planted by its inhabitants at
the spot where a plane crash-landed carrying the future sovereign of Greater Romania,
Carol the Second, together with his mistress, Magda Lupescu on their return from Paris.
From a young age, Sndor Wasserstrom wrote and published extensively, especially about
the social problems faced by the Jewry. He was an active member of the Mizrachi religious
movement, becoming in 1928, the President for the Transylvanian region.
Jen Grnwald locksmith
Jen Grnwald was born on 10th November 1869, in the Botiz village of the current Satu
Mare County. After having acquired knowledge in the locksmith trade and following his
seven-year apprenticeship achieved according to the provisions of the old craft system, he
settled in Oradea where, in 1893, he set up a locksmith workshop. Locks and metal fittings
work were carried out in his workshop for most of the important buildings in town, such as
the: City Hall Palace, Moskovits Palace, Rimanczy House, the terrace of the Royal Coffee
House, Cadets Academy (today situated in the Tarii Crisurilor Museum), Gendarmes
School (today within the University of Oradea). Due to his diligence and artistic sense, the
workshop also became known in other larger cities across the eastern part of the AustroHungarian Monarchy, receiving repeated orders. Consequently, his company executed the
ironmongery of the County Palace of Aiud, of the Court House Palace of Zalu, of
theMiramare Hotel of the harbour town Crikvenica (today in Croatia), of
the Pallace Hoteland several other palaces in Budapest. The name Grnwald is also linked
to the first introduction in Oradea of autogen welding which allowed the joining and the
dividing of cast pieces, of machine parts, of bronze, copper and aluminium.
After a training stage performed abroad, Grnwald set up an iron/steel rolls factory in 1911,
probably unique at the time, which competed with the standards of larger towns. Shortly

after its establishment, the factory was inundated with large numbers of orders, initially
from limited partners in Satu Mare, Debrecen and Nyregyhza (today in Hungary).
During the Great War, Grnwald worked in the Hungarian gun factory of Gyr, as a clerk in
the technical department, as well as engineer of machine tools, obtaining remarkable
In 1922, together with his brothers, Mr and Herman Grnwald, he set up a metallurgic
factory, and in 1929 he extended his business and started manufacturing wooden rolls. For
this type of product, the enterprise became, as of 1920, an agency of the Wooden rolls
factory of Esslingen. Even during the economic decline, the owners managed to maintain
jobs for about 45-50 people.
In recognition of his outstanding work, in 1930, Jen Grnwald received a secondclassCommercial and Industrial Merit order.

The "Farkas Moskovits and Partner" shoe and boot factory - advertisement

Correspondence paper issued by the Heller & Deutsch hat factory

Correspondence paper issued by the Grnwald Brothers which included the metal and tin
factory, and the iron rolls and System Esslingen wood rolls factory.






crt. 1867-1918





Szent Jnos utca

str. Vlahu

Szent Jnos utca

str. Bla Breiner

str. Ady Endre


Zldfa utca

str. Nicolae Iorga


str. Vasile Alecsandri

str. Vasile Alecsandri


Orszg t

Calea Aradului

Aradi t

Calea Aradului

Calea Aradului

Grf Tisza Istvn


str. Ferenc Rkczi II

Vg t
Aradi t


Denumirea actual


Arany Jnos utca

str. Millerand

Arany Jnos utca

str. Arany Jnos

str. Arany Jnos


Nagy Malom utca

str. Vasile Lucaciu

Malom utca

str. Vasile Lucaciu

str. Avntului

str. Kroly Vcsey

str. Bacului

Bogr utca
Malom utca


Vcsey Kroly utca

str. Mreti



Fels Kis Nmet utca

str. Simion Brnuiu

Damjanich utca

str. Simion Brnuiu

str. Simion Brnuiu

Parcul Regele Carol

Bunyitai liget

Parcul Muncitorilor

Parcul I.C. Brtianu

str. Dimitrie Cantemir





Bunyitai liget

Parcul Alba Iulia


Gillnyi sor

str. Astra

Gillnyi t

Calea Dimitrie Cantemir


Bnya sor

str. Minelor

Gillnyi t

str. Dimitrie Cantemir


Terzia utca

str. Panait Cerna

Terzia utca

str. Panait Cerna

str. Panait Cerna


Nagy Frd utca

str. Episcop Ciorogariu

str. Adolf Hitler

str. Attila Jzsef

str. Episcop Ciorogariu

Calea Victoriei pn la
Calea ferat

Mtys Kirly t

Calea Matei Corvin pn

la Calea ferat

Calea Clujului

ri utca


Kolozsvri t
Szna utca

Kolozsvri t

str. 20 Aprilie dincolo

de Calea ferat

Calea 1 Mai dincolo de

Calea ferat


Erzsbet utca

str. Miron Costin



str. Miron Costin

str. Miron Costin


Posta siktor

str. George Cobuc



str. George Cobuc

str. George Cobuc

Calea Decebal

Vitz utca

Calea Decebal

Calea Decebal

Posta utca
Szalrdy Jnos utca


Gyep utca
Nap utca
Vitz utca



Piaa Mihai Viteazul

Benito Mussolini

Piaa Mihai Viteazul

Piaa 1 Decembrie


St utca

str. Horia


Dobrogeanu Gherea

Dobrogeanu Gherea

str. I.C. Brtianu

Szaniszl utca

str. I.C. Brtianu

str. Mihai Eminescu

Vr utca


Bthory utca


Apoll utca
Nagy Pereces utca
Szaniszl utca


Ritok Zsigmond utca

str. Delavrancea

Ritok Zsigmond



Bmer tr

Piaa Regina Maria

Bmer tr

Piaa Stalin


str. Kertsz

str. Grdinarilor

Horty Mikls tr



str. George Enescu



Kertsz utca

str. Bolintineanu



Vr utca

str. Griviei

Snc utca

str. Griviei

str. Griviei

Tglagyr utca

str. Guttenberg

str. Johann Guttenberg

Templom utca

str. Bla Somogyi


str. Avram Iancu

str. Avram Iancu

str. Lajos Kossuth

str. Independenei

Vr tr
Snc utca


Tglagyr utca



Templom utca

str. Bisericii

Nagy Tkr utca

str. Episcop E. Beniamin

Kert utca

str. General Mooiu


str. Avram Iancu



Mezey Mihly utca


Sas utca - nainte de






Kossuth Lajos utca dup 1904


Nilgesz telep

Colonia Nilgesz

Nilgesz telep

Cartierul Nicolae Iorga


ssi telep

Colonia Ioia

Cartierul Ioia


ssi tr


nainte de 1904

Piaa Ioia

Gusztv utca

str. tefan Octavian Iosif

str. tefan

str. Nicolae Jiga


str. Nicolae Jiga

str. Nicolae Jiga

str. Nicu Filipescu

Zsigmond utca

str. Mihail Koglniceanu


str. Iosif Vulcan

Jzsef utca

str. Jzsef Nagysndor

str. Aurel Lazr


str. Episcop Ciorogariu

str. General Magheru

str. Dimitrie Cantemir


str. Petru Groza

Str. Iuliu Maniu

str. General Holban

Mikszth Klmn

str. Karl Marx

str. Menumorut


str. Sindicatelor

str. Moscovei



Lukcs Gyrgy utca dup 1904


Pecze sor
dr. Vrady Zsigmond


Szarvas sor





Olaszi utca

str. Sztaroveszky

Sztaroveszky utca

Piaa Iailor
str. Episcop Radu


Nagy Magyar utca

Bethy dn utca


Szles utca

str. Mihail Sorbul



Apcza utca

str. Prinul Carol


Szilgyi Dezs utca

str. Regele Ferdinand

Hatr utca

str. Fabricelor

Gyr utca

str. Tito

str. Eftimie Murgu

Szlls telep

Szlls telep

Colonia Seleu

Cartierul Nufrul


Oncsa telep


Kis kt utca

str. Ferenc Berkovits

str. Ioan Ciorda junior

str. Olteniei

Vzvezetk utca

str. dr. Ioan Ciorda

Berkovits Ferenc

Kzp utca

str. Episcopul Pavel

Pvel utca

str. Episcop Pavel

str. Episcop Pavel

Nagy hd utca
Gyr utca


Cartierul Oncea

Pvel utca


Hideg utca

str. Louis Pasteur

Mihly utca

str. Louis Pasteur

str. Louis Pasteur

Parcul Carmen Sylva

Bbornok tr

Piaa Sndor Petfi

Parcul Sndor Petfi

str. Alex(cs)andri

Grf Teleki Pl

str. Visinszki

str. Primriei

Rkczi t

str. Republicii

str. Republicii

str. Republicii

str. Republicii

Hidegser utca
Krhz utca


j sor
Schlauch tr


Nagy Teleki utca nainte de 1904

Grf Teleki Pl utca dup 1904



F utca

Rkczi t


Nagy Szllsi utca





Horthy Mikls t

Rkczi t
Horthy Mikls t

str. tefan Octavian Iosif

Szlls utca

str. Ervin Szab

str. Seleuului

Krs tr
Szlls utca


Fzes utca

str. Praga

Apca utca

str. Louis Barthou

str. Sovata


Rzsa utca

str. Aurel Vlaicu

str. Sucevei


Vmhz utca

str. Aurel Vlaicu



Templom tr

Piaa Veneia

Szent Istvn tr

Piaa Imre Szacsvay

Piaa Tineretului


Szent Lszl tr

Piaa Unirii

Szent Lszl tr

Piaa Malinovszki

Piaa Unirii


ssi t

Calea Ioia

str.Tudor Vladimirescu


Nagy Krs utca

Str. Take Ionescu


str. Tudor Vladimirescu

str.Tudor Vladimirescu

Krs utca





str. Sucevei




str. Klmn Rimanczy

Klmn utca

str. Klmn Rimanczy

str. Iosif Vulcan

We are reproducing below the introductory pages of a 1927 directory of

professions, trades and businesses in Oradea. Over time we will be reproducing
the full catalogue in alphabetical order to allow people to appreciate the
extent of Jewish presence in Oradea; to carry out research; or to help
track relatives.
We are grateful to the Library of Congress in the USA for permission to provide
this resource.