Here are four more old family photographs…Aebly Szidonia was Paul’s great-grandmother and was called, so my mother-in-law told me, “Die Liebe Gute”, because she was neither especially loving nor especially good! But I hope she actually better than this sounds! She was the mother of Paul’s grandmother Vilma and great-Aunt Margit and great uncle Andor.
Whatever Szidonia’s shortcomings, her daughter Vilma seems herself to have been truly Loving and Good…..All her grandchildren adored her and about four of them confided in me that they thought they were her favorite. Actually it may be five of them who told me this….I think she must have been very special indeed. She had difficult times after her husband died in the late twenties and the depression began, and three of her four children died before she did, all in tragic ways which I am sure was a profound sorrow to her. But she remained loving and good to the end.
Paul always told me of their parting when all the family – except for Isa who remained, and Feri who was a Jesuit and out of the country already – left Hungary for the West after the Hungarian Revolution. His grandmother told him it was the last time he would ever see her, and he, at eleven years of age, thought this was impossible, almost nonsensical. He could not imagine such a thing. But of course, she was right. We visited her grave in the little cemetery in Gyal many times and Paul would tell me this story with tears in his eyes, always.
(Only the picture of Vilma and Margit as young women is ours…The other pictures belong to Mari, a granddaughter of Paul’s Aunt Elizabeth. She lives in Szentendre and very generously let Paul photograph these pictures, and also the portrait of his great-grandfather Ignacz which was in the previous post.)