THE COPPER MORTAR / Margit Rudi Tóthné
I was born in Gyál, as were my siblings. My family has lived here in Pozsonyi Street for almost a century. Before that, my mother and grandmother used to live in a small house a few streets away, but they sold the house and moved here. This mortar is about two hundred years old, and it probably belonged to my great-grandmother, who used it to ground peppercorns, poppy seeds and sugar.
Towards the end of the war, in 1944, there were severe fights here in Gyál between the Germans and the Russians. The Soviets were firing from Ócsa, the Germans from Budapest. Gyál was evacuated; it was believed that the entire town would be destroyed, and everybody should flee wherever they could. My family – my father, my mother and my four siblings – escaped on a small four-wheel cart to Kürt in Komárom County. They lived in a small ramshackle flat there. My father was a deserter. There were fights and bombings in Kürt, as well. My elder sister was eleven at the time, and a bomb hit close to her – she was terrified. When the Russian soldiers came, my parents were afraid for her, because it was rumoured that the Russians raped little girls, too. So, my sister and my father hid in a pyramid-shaped bunker they had built from sheaves of maize stalks, and the soldiers did not find them there. My mother stayed in the kitchen with the other three children. Suddenly a Russian soldier entered and pointed his gun at her, demanding to know where the Germans were. The children were crying and holding on to my mother. Luckily, an officer came, who was a more humane man, and he told the soldier to “Leave this family alone!” And so, they were saved.
In the spring of 1945, when it was said that the war would soon come to an end, my parents returned to Gyál. They lived in a small dugout together with my grandmother and the children – it was a large family, and very poor, of course. When my parents could finally move back into their house, they noticed that a few objects were missing, including the copper mortar. After a few days, my mother visited one of the neighbours, and recognized her mortar. The neighbour denied having taken it, but my mother did not desist, and said that there was a number 7 on the bottom of the mortar. The neighbour was forced to return the copper mortar to her.
All of this happened before I was born. Budapest was liberated in February, and I must have been conceived during the celebrations, as I was born nine months later, in early December 1945.
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