Book excerpt with info on the Wasserreichs

I came across this book excerpt that gives a flavor for the life of the Wasserreich family in Montevideo in the 1940s. The author Eva Ross was born in Austria as Eva Stoessl. The uncle David she describes below had the surname Stossl, which is the married name of Erich Wasserreich's daughter. 

Making a Rose After the Diaspora: An Autobiography

by Eva E. Ross

pp 54-55

On weekends in the summer we would go to the beach; if my uncles picked us up in their car we would go to Carrasco, a nicer and more exclusive beach. We could also take the bus, but they were always terribly crowded and we had to stand the whole way for 30 minutes. Coming back in the evening it was even worse; people would hang like grapes from the bus. Nevertheless, Montevideo was a city where one could live quite well without a lot of money or a car. The transit system was very good, going from east to west and south to north, but often overloaded. One could stay on the beach all day without paying a penny, and food was not expensive.

My uncle David, who had divorced his first wife with whom he had a son, Ernesto, was dating a very pretty young German refugee by the name of Eva Wasserreich, who had come with her parents from Berlin where her father had been a prosperous businessman. New her father was selling butter from door to door! My uncle’s hobby was horseback riding, and with his factory taking off, he was able to afford a car and to join the equestrian club. He taught Eva to ride also and they went riding every weekend in winter, but in summer they loved to go to the beach. As the club was near Carrasco and the best beach happened to be there as well, we sometimes had the opportunity to get a ride in their car to Carrasco.

David and Eva eventually got married and moved into an apartment near her parents. We often had meals together, especially for the Jewish holy days. My uncle would often say to me, a twelve-year-old, “Children should be seen but not heard.” Or, “You keep quiet, you are too young to participate in this discussion.” Such comments did not encourage me to be outgoing. 

Family Story:


This find is amazing!  "Children should be seen and not heard"--thats exactly what Herman Ringel told Helga while she was growing up. Somehow glad to learn that Wasserreich had to sell butter door to door in Montevideo--thats at least some form of karmic justice...

I think “seen but not heard” was a German-Berlin thing, whereas that was not the norm in the author’s family. When the 12-year-old comes to a Seder at the Wasserreichs, her uncle warns her what is expected.

I had the wrong URL in there but now it is fixed.

I wonder if Helga knew Eva in Berlin. They were about the same age and daughters of business partners.

Add new comment