FOUR FAMILY SOUVENIRS / Anna Balassa
New Year’s Greetings
New Year’s Eve of 1939-40. My grandfather, who had a good sense of humour, sent this witty card to his friends and business partners, calling their attention to the fact that the coming year of 1940 is a “leap year”, when it is still possible to “take a leap” and escape the country. To the card, he added an exquisite self-portrait, a caricature on parchment paper, in which his impish smile is reminiscent of Anti-Semite pictures in the Nazi tabloid, Der Stürmer. He was a printer, a foreman at the General Printing House, the publisher of the newspaper Friss Újság, and a highly acknowledged expert.
The Daughters’ Photo
The eldest of his daughters, Ibolya took the leap: she found a husband and a new home in Australia. Aliz, the girl leaning on her elbow in the middle of the photo taken in 1923, was not that lucky, she “never came back from Auschwitz”, and her beautiful, five-year-old daughter, Juditka was also “lost there”. These were the euphemisms we used to circumscribe mass murder for decades after the war. The youngest girl in the picture is Vera, whom my father chose when both of them returned from Mauthausen alive, for my mother had been gassed in Ravensbrück.
Family News in Print
Document of an age, from 1946. My grandfather, the printer, outwitted the regulation restricting correspondence, and edited the Family News, using the smallest “Diamond” fonts available, to keep in touch with his daughter living in Australia. Unfortunately, the original publication is lost.
Prayer Book from Australia
This prayer book was used by my stepmother, Vera in her childhood, while attending the Jewish Grammar School. Then she gave it to her sister travelling to Australia as a farewell gift, being aware that they might not see each other again. After Ibolya’s death, the book was returned to us in a parcel. Worn by the past half a century, its pages were falling out, so I got it bound and cherish it as a relic.
Köszönet a tárgykölcsönzőknek és történetmesélőknek:
FISCHER ÁGOTA ÉVA
FÜLÖPNÉ WELTZ MÁRIA
HÁTSZEGI GÁBORNÉ, JULIKA
HELLER MÁRIA (RÓZSA PÁL)
HELLER SÁNDORNÉ, MÜLLER ANIKÓ
KÁNAI GYULÁNÉ PEREDY GIZELLA
LEÁNYFALVINÉ GORDÁN ILDIKÓ
TERÉNYI ISTVÁNNÉ SULLAI VINCENCIA
TÓTHNÉ RUDI MARGIT
Köszönet a kiállítás létrejöttéhez nyújtott segítségért
TÓTH GERGELY MÁTÉ
ELEVEN EMLÉKMŰ CSOPORT
HERITAGE CONTACT ZONE
HUMÁN PLATFORM EGYESÜLET
OPEN SOCIETY ARCHIVES
Castrum Peregrini, Amszterdam
Asociatia Timişoara Capitala Cultural Europeana, Temesvár
Eleven Emlékmű / Humán Platform, Budapest
Etz Hayyim, Hanía, Kréta
European University Institute, Firenze
Culture Action Europe, Brüsszel