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Recollections of Német (II): the Mučalov family members

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Milutin Mučalov was born on May 8th, 1909 in Nagy-Becskerek, Banat, Austro-Hungary (today Zrenjanin, Serbia). He was the youngest son of Ivan Mučalov and Jelena Lilic. Around 1943, he married Ingeborg Sophie Ludmilla Korte. They had three sons: Sima Andreas, Georg Dietrich and Peter. Between 1944 and 1949, Ingeborg and Milutin lived at the Mučalov family’s mansion in Német (today the village of Beregsău Mic, Timiş county, Romania), which was originally built by the Damaskin noble family.

Unfortunately, in 1948/1949, all the Mučalov belongings from Német were nationalised and the family had to leave the country. It was only after 1990 when the properties from Német were returned to Sima Andreas Mučalov, the first son of Ingeborg and Milutin. After years of neglect, the mansion is now in an advanced state of degradation.

Milutin was the last Mučalov to reside at the mansion. In her recollections of Nemet, dedicated to her daughters Suse and Anne, Ingeborg describes Milutin’s special relationship with the Serbian village: “Tata and Német were exactly made for each other, Tata needed lots of work and a rich and well filled workday. He was involved with everything. He was up at 5 o’clock and soon was outside, dealing with the work.”

Shortly before his death in 1999, Milutin dictated his memoires about every Mučalov family member to Suse (the oldest daughter of Ingeborg), which we invite you to read about in the following lines.

Our team would like to thank Yves Dupont, Anna-Maria Muchalov and Ivan Muchalov for sending us this precious family document and old photos of Német. Thank you!

According to the recollections of my father, Milutin Mučalov  ̶  September 1994, Newmarket Canada

(as recorded in German by Suse Stütz)
Mučalov family tree

Mučalov family tree

My paternal great grandparents Proka Mučalov and Justina (?)

My paternal great grandfather on my father’s side was named Proka Mučalov (IV.8).  He was born in Mártonos, Serbia and was married to Justina …. (?) (IV.9). She was buried in the church graveyard of Német (Beregsău Mic Romania). Her dates of birth and death may still be legible on her tombstone.

Proka was decorated for bravery by the Austro-Hungarian Government and was granted exclusive rights to a transport business over the Tisza north of Titel (Serbia). The well operated business was lucrative and yielded so much profit that Proka with his son Sima, in Német (Beregsău Mic) in 1873, registered, at the land registry, from the Damaskin family a lease of 1,940 Jochs of land (1,116 ha) (the Damaskin family erected the warehouse and the church in Német).

They had three children:

  1. Milos Mučalov was a businessman by profession; after his bankruptcy, he lived his last ten years at his brother Sima’s house. He was not married and had no children.
  2. Gjura Mučalov came seldom to Német and little is known about him.
  3. Sima was my grandfather.
My maternal great grandparents (IV.10) and (IV.11) are unknown.
My paternal grandparents Sima and Julka Mučalov

My paternal grandfather Sima Mučalov (III.4) was also probably born in Mártonos. His exact birth date might be found on his tombstone in the Serbian graveyard in Temesvár, in town, on the way to Calea Tortontalului. He was born around 1838 and died eventually in 1908.  He married Julka, born Popoviči (III.5), daughter of the archpriest of Cakova (Grădinari, Romania). She died in 1868 after the birth of her first child, Ivan Mučalov (II.2).

Ten years later, he married again with Mileva, daughter of the archpriest of Osijek (now Serbia). The marriage took place in 1878 in winter. When Sima brought the young bride to Német, a coachman dressed in fur waited for her at the railway station with 2 pistols. He gave one of them to my grandfather Sima. Mileva was terrified as she believed she had married into a bandit family.  These were very uncertain times. The second marriage remained childless. In 1885, 646 Jochs of land (372 ha) were purchased, the rest of the land remained leased.

My parents Ivan and Jelena Mučalov

My father Ivan Mučalov (II.2) was born in Mártonos on the Tisza in Bacska on July 7, 1868 (then Hungary, but now Serbia). Around 1873 he moved to Német (now Beregsău Mic, Romania) with his father and grandfather. He studied agriculture in Kolozsvár (n.r. Cluj-Napoca) for a year to obtain his final high school diploma. In order to learn currency exchange, he went to work for another year in a bank. His father was very stringent with him, but Maika Mileva put sometimes some money in his pocket.

He married Jelena Lilič (II.2) (called Maika) in Budapest around 1899 or 1900. From 1900 to 1910, my parents were living in Nagy-Becskerek (now Zrenjanin), 25 Temesvár lane. During this period, five children were born: Sima, Olga, Milorad, Ivan and I, Milutin. My grandfather had the idea that my father was not mature enough for Német and that he must first acquire some experience. Together with three friends, two farmers and a lawyer, they leased 4,000 Jochs (2,300 ha) of land. These fields located in Nagy-Becskerek in the vicinity of the Danube were very productive and yielded a good profit in the first year.

Ivan Mučalov (1868-1935)

Ivan Mučalov (1868-1935)

But one day, on May 25th, the dike of the Danube broke close to a pump station and the fields were flooded and covered with a layer of 40 cm of sand, rendering them useless for agriculture. Obviously this gave them difficulties to settle the questions of responsibilities. This resulted in a court case that my father won. A place of the dikes is still called today “the hole of the Mučalovs.” After the death of my grandfather around 1910, the family moved to Temesvár. In winter, we lived in town and, in summer, outside in Német on our land. My father became the president of the Serbian Bank and had the privilege of “double vote.”

Our house was located in a very good area of the city center, just across from the Reformed Church, 1 Battyany street. It had seven large rooms: a large dining room with a big candelabra above the dining table, a living room in the Rococo style. The 22 square meter bathroom was, for that time, something uncommon. The bath tub was 1 m wide and 2.2 m long, built into the floor with three large marble steps to go into it.

Unfortunately, my father was a gambler and lost also lots of money in games. Later he developed a nervous disease, he walked with difficulty and went frequently for spa treatment. In 1931, as my studies and my military service came to an end, I took over the management of our belongings. Finally, in 1934, the city house was sold and the family moved to Német. My father died on June 21, 1935 of pneumonia and was buried in Német.

My mother Jelena Lilič (II.3) was born on April 17, 1878 in Budapest. She was many-sided, was well read and well educated, as only a very rich family could afford (in Budapest and in Budapest schools, but surely with either French or German governesses).  Obviously, she travelled frequently. She spoke fluent Hungarian, German, Serbian and French.  She was born a lady, stately imposing with a very straight stature, clever, kind and with great quality of leadership. She was the soul of the family and ran the big household of Német as a sovereign, took care of the flowers, the park and the vegetable garden with much love. She was the president of the Serbian Women’s Association.

She died in Német on November 27, 1947 after a stroke and was buried in the Német cemetery beside her husband. Thanks to God, she did not have to live through the expropriation and the expulsion of 1948∕1949.

My brother Sima Mučalov and his family

My brother Sima was born in Nagy-Becskerek (now Zrenjanin, Banat, Serbia) on April 7, 1902. He studied medicine and became a gynecologist. He married three times: the first marriage with Lia Hermann, the second marriage with Duzi, and the third marriage with Anka Veselinovici, who brought from a preceding marriage Mile Prcic, a son. The two first marriages remained childless, but, in the third marriage a son, Zlatko Mučalov, was born in 1947 or 1948.

  1. Mile PRCIC is a lawyer; he is married and has a son, Drazen.
  2. Zlatko Mučalov is an architect, is married to Hajnalka and has a daughter Tanja, born around 1989.
My sister Olga and her family

My sister Olga was born in Nagy-Becskerek (now Zrenjanin, Banat, Serbia) on October 10, 1903.  She was strikingly good looking, gifted in language and music and had a marvellous voice. She sang in the church choir and played piano well. Unfortunately, she was eccentric and had a dramatic behavior. She was the source of tension and anger in the family; she was never satisfied and neither wise in life. She was not a good housewife either. She liked going for walks or visiting coffee houses with very eccentric women friends. Beside this, she could also be joyful and comical.  For example, she once said: “The best time of my life was when I was in jail, without Nicu!” She was put in jail for trafficking gold coins, which was then absolutely illegal.

 Olga and Nicu in Német

Olga and Nicu in Német

She married Nicolae Ivanescu, then lieutenant and later colonel with stars, which was the prelude to being general in the Romanian army.  He was very clever, hard working and a Professor at the Romanian Military Academy. After the so-called liberation by the Soviets, he was dismissed; he went to the market in night clothes to attest his poverty. He was miserly. For example, a smoked ham came from Német and was kept so long in a box that it was eaten by maggots and thus, it became inedible. Also, some inherited carpets, over which both he and Olga bitterly fought, were rolled together and kept in a humid cellar to the point that they deteriorated completely. All of Olga’s jewelry, including a 5 carat diamond, was not reported and was lost, no one knows how. Both stockpiled nice things, but they could not rejoice about these. During the bad times, the apartment was left in complete disorder. Olga died on June 6, 1981 and was buried in Bucharest.

From this marriage, two children were born:

  1. Miriana was born in 1925. She married against the will of her parents (this was unique among the practices in usage then in Német). Her husband was called Liviu Radu. Her marriage ended in a divorce after a short time.  Because of a grave illness in her youth, she was unable to have a good scholarly education. She lived in poverty in Bucharest and had, here and there, some support from Tata. Her son, Sergiu Radu, was born on July 20, 1949. He studied in Bucharest and finished the commerce academy for foreign commerce and export.  Unfortunately, he was to put up with poor health.
  2. Alexander (called Sasha) was born in 1926. He has an engineering diploma in mechanics and was married three times.  From his first marriage with Iliana came Sandi (Alexander), a son. He has an engineering diploma in hydraulics and is not married yet. The two following marriages remained childless. Sasha spent his life in Temesvár and is the only one living still in Romania.
My brother Milorad Mučalov and his family

My brother Milorad Mučalov was born in Nagy-Becskerek (now Zrenjanin, Banat, Serbia) on April 4, 1905 and was kinder and more joyous than his contemporaries. He studied in Zagreb, graduated from the academy for import and export and attained, through his work, the level of director of a Serbian Bank. At home, he was rather too indulgent. For example, he gave his daughter a dog of whom Milorad himself was afraid. He was married to Martha Bartak who was, on her part too, very joyous. She brought life in the big house in Zagreb. Martha died in May 1981 and Milorad on April 4, 1983. Both were buried in Zagreb.

From this marriage, three children came:

  1. Jelena was born on March 3, 1942. She is gifted in languages and worked as a foreign language correspondent in Zagreb. She married Ivo Loncaric who was an artist painter. Ivo died very young in 1990. Jelena has a son, Vedran, born in 1977. Jelena lives in Zagreb.
  2. Marjan was born in Zagreb on September 27, 1943. He is an electrician by profession and was married to Dina.  The marriage was terminated in a divorce. From this marriage came one son, Boris.
  3. Lidia was born in Zagreb on October 2, 1949. She worked for some time as an office worker. She was married twice and is called Lidia Rexer. From the second marriage came a daughter, Katharina, born on October 17, 1987. The family lives in Puchheim in the vicinity of Munich
My brother Ivan Mučalov and his family

My brother Ivan Mučalov was born in Nagy-Becskerek (now Zrenjanin, Banat, Serbia) on July 17, 1907. He was uncommonly likeable, a being full of the zest for life and living his life to the fullest. He had studied in various countries, he had a gift for languages and was an appreciated friend. He could manage particularly well with children. He was married to Klara Szenczy, born in Hungary on March 2, 1910. Ivan was a lawyer by profession in Budapest, but had to flee the country on political grounds in 1949. He established a second existence in Toronto and reunited his family after 1956. The early times in Toronto were very difficult for Klara. She worked as a waitress, then at a cleaner’s and opened a leather clothing store. She carried a fundamentally important part of the family’s business, while Ivan lost repeatedly a part of his salary on gambling and horse race bets. Ivan died on December 28, 1975 and was buried in Toronto.

In this family, three children grew-up:

  1. Buli, born from Klara’s first marriage, was a real estate agent and is divorced. She has two sons.
  2. Anna-Maria (called Cili) was born in Budapest on September 4, 1944. She studied mathematics and is married to Yves Dupont. Both are working as self-employed programmer and consultant. They have a daughter, Adèle born in 1978.
  3. Ivan was born on March 7, 1947. He is very talented, particularly in artistic house building. He is a mechanical engineer and also created many valuable inventions.  He has constructed a workshop and has many employees. He is not married and lives near Toronto.
My maternal great grandparents (IV.12) and (IV.13) are unknown.
My maternal great grandparents Panajot Demetriades and Theresia Klim(m)

My maternal great grandfather, Panajot Demetriades (IV.14) was born in Athens in 1817. He was an efficient man who worked a lot in an honest trade and with knowledge. He bought a large house in Budapest at 25 Trommel lane.  He married Theresia Klim(m) (IV.14), born in 1829. Panajot Demetriades died on March 22, 1885 and was buried in Budapest in the Kerepescher cemetery. Of Theresia Klim(m) (IV.15), only little is known that she had one brother whose name was Antal. She died on August 6, 1897 and was buried beside her husband.

From this marriage, two children were born:

  1. Helene, born on December 18, 1850, and was married to Lazar Koits. The marriage remained childless.
  2. Eugenie (III.7), born around 1852.
My maternal grandparents Stojan Lilič and Eugenie (born Demetriades)

My maternal grandfather Stojan Lilič (III.6) was born in Negotin (east of Belgrade in Serbia, not far from the Bulgarian border) in 1846. He married Eugenie Demetriades (III.7) in 1876, moved to 25 Trommel lane and became the house owner. Helene Demetriades and her husband Lazar Koits lived in the same house. Stojan Lilič (III.7) had an outstanding gift for languages (however, strangely he never learnt Hungarian, although he lived most of his life in Budapest) and was very active in business.

He developed some sort of a wholesale commerce. He bought and sold, wholesale, non-perishable goods, such as salt, coal, lime. He owned also gravel pits and lime kilns. Most of the business was dealt with over the telephone or in writing, and the goods were delivered by wagon across the border. He packaged all sorts of deals together and was a well known personality who was very prominent among Serbian customers. He also had good relations with the Serbian Church. Vác (a city north of Budapest) was, at that time, a Serbian bishopric. The bishop was one of his familiar hosts and, through him, Stojan had good contacts with the senior clergy in Belgrade, who visited him quite often. He died in Budapest on October 10, 1914 and was buried in the Kerepes Cemetery.

My grandmother Eugenie (III.7), born Demetriades, was born in Budapest in 1852. She married Stojan Lilič (III.6) in 1876. She was not a good housewife and she was rather of an artistic nature. She played piano with enthusiasm, she had studied piano for seven years and was on the creative side. She practised so much that her despairing young husband threatened to divorce her. During the last years, as she lived alone with her son Stojan, she waited up for him half the night, and when he came home, both played music until the morning: Eugenie (III.7) played piano, her son Stojan played violin. In 1933, she went to Német (now in Romania) to her daughter Jelena’s (II.3). During the second world war, Eugènie (III.7), as a Serbian citizen, went to Novi Sad, to her daughter Irina. There, she died around 1947. She brought seven children into the world: Milutin, Jelena (II.3) my mother, Irina, Stojan and the three others died in chilhood.

My uncle Milutin

My uncle Milutin was a very gifted athlete. In artistic and speed skating, he reached even some European records and got many trophies. Unfortunately he became ill with tuberculosis. He went in search of a cure even to Egypt with his brother Stojan. However, he died at the age of 32.

My aunt Irina and her family

My aunt Irina, born Lilič, was younger than my mother. She married Vlajko. In Vrsac (south of Temesvár, Yugoslavia) they farmed a land of 500 Jochs (278 ha). But they lived in Vrsac only in the summer, their main residence being in Novi Sad, where they had an individual house.

The family had three children:

  1. Lenkica was born in 1905. She was very good looking, unfortunately she became ill after her exams at the end of high school. She had a cancer of the larynx. She died young at the age of 22.
  2. Jefta was born on July 14, 1907. He was a business lawyer by profession and had his practice in a house in Nov Sad. He was married twice and had two children:
  3. Lubisa is a lawyer. She took over the practice of her father.  She is married and she is now called  Culak.  She had at least two children.
  4. Vajko is an engineer in alpine construction. At the end of his studies he specialized in Japan and is working in Tuzla, if nothing has changed.
  5. Bozidar was born on Christmas night of 1908.  He lived in Nagy Becskerek (now Zrenjanin). He was a very active and well liked gynecologist. When he died, there was a minute of silence in his memory in all the hospitals of Vojvodina. He was married to Vukosava. Besides, he was compulsive about exactitude and had published many reference books. From this marriage, a daughter, Irina, was born. She was a ballerina at the Belgrade Opera. Her husband comes from Herzegovina and he was only contemptuously called a Herzegovinist  by his mother-in-law. He is an engineer in construction, by profession. The family has one child.
My uncle Stojan

My uncle Stojan, allegedly, was his mother’s favorite child and that he got special treatment in her testament is what came out of old letters.  He inherited, as it will be asserted, the best part of the fortune. He obtained a Doctor title after some studies in political sciences, he was an excellent conversationalist and a playboy, he was also the favorite uncle for us children. He showed us the whole Budapest and fulfilled many childhood wishes. Well ordered activities did not suit him at all.

He spent his time with friends who helped him to spend his fortune. His love for the Stradivari came under the hammer and he sold too his blue post stamp from Mauritius.  As he advanced in age, he became eccentric. For example, in the morning, he went walking about the garden in a dressing gown and a hat, and to the question of why he went to the garden with the hat, the answer came back: “Stupid, to be able to salute people.”

He played music often with his mother until the early hours of the morning. Impoverished, he married, at 52, a clever tenant of the house. She was of Jewish descent and was called Ilonka. His sister Jelena (II.2) had to support the family with a wheat wagon. Later, she took the small family to Novi Sad in Yugoslavia. They lived in a single room, Stojan earned small amounts of extra money, as he saw what the future would bring, repairing shoes or footballs for the children of the neighborhood. He died shortly after his mother.

The Ivan Mučalov Senior family circa 1930. First row from the left: Milutin Mučalov (1909 - 1999), Unkown, Olga Mučalov (1903 - 1981), Unknown, Ivan Mučalov Senior (1868 - 1935), Unknown, Ivan Mučalov Junior (1907 - 1975), Unknown, Unknown. Second row from the left: Eugenie Dimitriades (1852 - 1947, mother of Jelena Lilič), Unknown, Jelena Lilič (1881 - 1947 wife of Ivan Mučalov Senior, also nicknamed Maika), Unknown, Unknown.

The Ivan Mučalov Senior family circa 1930
First row from the left: Milutin Mučalov (1909 – 1999), Unkown, Olga Mučalov (1903 – 1981), Unknown, Ivan Mučalov Senior (1868 – 1935), Unknown, Ivan Mučalov Junior (1907 – 1975), Unknown, Unknown.
Second row from the left: Eugenie Demetriades (1852 – 1947, mother of Jelena Lilič), Unknown, Jelena Lilič (1881 – 1947 wife of Ivan Mučalov Senior, also nicknamed Maika), Unknown, Unknown.

Jelena Mučalov (Maika) and her children in Timișoara, cca. 1911

Jelena Mučalov (Maika) and her children in Timișoara, cca. 1911

 Ivan Senior and three of his children in front of the Mučalov house in Temeswar, cca. 1910. Today, the house is located on Timotei Cipariu street, no. 4.

Ivan Senior and three of his children in front of the Mučalov house in Temeswar, cca. 1910. Today, the house is located on Timotei Cipariu street, no. 4.

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