I HAD TWO FATHERS / Ildikó Gordán Leányfalvi
Both of my fathers were excellent and honest people with pure hearts full of love and loyalty.
My birth father, Captain József Borsányi was a teacher of armoured warfare at the military Ludovica Academy. When his underage students were conscripted and sent to the front, he also volunteered to serve at the frontline, although he was exempted, due to a former accident.
I was three months old when he was killed in action during his voluntary service, while he was trying to rescue the wounded driver of a tank that had been shot. He had already lifted the hurt man into his car to take him to a first-aid station, when a splinter of a mine exploding right next to him injured his head fatally.
Around the age of eight, I ran to open the door for two tall men wearing brown hats and long brown leather jackets. By the time my mother reached the door they had already entered. Annoyed, severe words – I was sent to the kitchen while the two men searched the apartment. It took ages before they left, taking my father’s Browning without its case. This little gun case is one of the objects that connect me to my father whom I have only seen in my dreams.
They were difficult years, which seemed natural to us, children, yet the distressing images were there in our subconscious and in our dreams. Because my father and my uncle had been registered as politically suspicious, my mother, a dance teacher by profession, could not find a job. She made money for our living by having tenants, for whom she cooked, did the laundry and the ironing, and cleaned up the flat.
One day we were away from home, only the tenant girls were in the apartment, when the order came that we would be resettled by force within 24 hours. The girls desperately asked the young officer of the Secret Service where they could live if we had to leave. They also explained their living conditions and how much they had to pay for it. The young officer promised that he would double-check whether the order was a mistake. He never returned.
The maternal line of my family made the decision that my mother should have a sham marriage, and his husband should adopt me. This is how I got my second father, János Gordán, who had been treated as family for a long time. In 1920, my grandmother was walking across Freedom Bridge when she glimpsed a boy who was about to jump into the Danube. She called him off the rail, talked to him, took him home, fed him, and finally decided to escort him back to his mother. The mother, living in deep poverty, happily agreed to her son moving out of home and learning a trade. Thus, János Gordán became a laboratory assistant at the Krupka Film Laboratories and practically a member of our family.
I had known him since I had been born, I loved and highly esteemed him, so I was very happy when he accepted the sham marriage and adopted me. After the nationalization of private companies, my stepfather did not find his place for a while. Finally, he was employed by the Rainbow Film Laboratories, first as a technician and later as a laboratory manager. His work was acknowledged by numerous certificates, badges of honour, awards of excellence, and the Order of Labour – bronze, which I all cherish.
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