SUBDIVIDING THE COMITAL ESTATE: A SALE AND PURCHASE AGREEMENT / Gizella Kánai
I am from Gyál: I was born in Pest in 1950, but Gyál is where my parents brought me from the hospital. I went to school here, and I worked in Gyál for thirty-eight years. I taught in several schools here. In consider myself a true Gyál native, born and bred.
My grandmother was a factory worker, a widow with six children. She raised my father and his siblings in modest circumstances in a rented flat in Pest. When my father and his younger brother started working, the subdivision of the Károlyi estate had just begun in Gyál. It was done very nicely, rows of trees were planted to mark the streets. Every street was bordered by two rows of locust-trees. The plots were sold at reasonable prices, but even this reasonable price was too high for my father to pay alone, so he bought a plot together with his brother. There was a further twist, however: the sale and purchase agreement was signed in March 1940, and my father, who had been born on 28 September 1918, was still considered a minor by the law at the age of twenty-one, not to mention his brother, who was born in 1920. Thus, my grandmother was appointed as their legal guardian, and this is how they were able to buy the plot.
I believe my father must have begun building immediately, because in 1944, when the village was evacuated, due to the approaching frontline, the house or at least part of it was already standing. According to the customs of those times, it had two bedrooms, a kitchen, a hallway and a veranda. The plot itself was pretty large, and my father planted it with grapes and fruit trees. The sale and purchase agreement contained a clause referring to the Anti-Jewish law of 1939. Jews were not allowed to buy real estate at the time. Our family had a Jewish line, but, according to the law, Jewishness was inherited only on the mother’s side, and thus this bloodline died out when my Jewish great-grandmother married a Christian boy and was converted to Christianity. So, my father met the requirements of even the strictest anti-Jewish laws, he was not considered a Jew, not even in a tiny proportion, at least in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, the relevant documents have been lost, it was probably my mother who destroyed them. We once found them when we were teenage girls in the mid-sixties, and we hooted with laughter at names like Eugénia and Manó, because how can you give a person such a name? My mother was afraid of the repercussions, and she probably did away with the documents.
My father kept the sale and purchase agreement, and we found it among his papers after his death. My uncle, with whom my father had bought the lot, was still considered a minor in 1940, but he came of age when he turned twenty-four in the spring of 1944, and he was immediately enlisted in the army. He died in the autumn of the same year, on the territory of what was then Yugoslavia. Only a piece of paper came to announce his death to his wife. We never learned anything about the circumstances or place of his death. He left behind a daughter, my cousin.
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