Photo taken in:On the banks of the RhineYear when photo was taken:1976Country name at time of photo:German Democratic RepublicCountry name today:Germany
Here we are in Germany with my husband Andras Gaspar, Andris. They asked us: 'Why do you want to go to Germany, for spying?' 'We want to visit our relatives.' We had an invitation, we needed many documents, lots of leg-work, but my husband arranged everything. We got the visa. We were there for three months and what I find interesting it is that we went by plane to East Germany, there we had to get off and went by train until Frankfurt, because our relatives were in Frankfurt, and there we got on the train. The atmosphere on the train was just like here, and when we reached the border with West Germany, many people came with brooms, clothes this and that. There was no water or toilet-paper in the closet; they cleaned up and disinfected everything in West Germany. This was the big difference. And the houses, what a difference between East and West Germany!
And another interesting thing: after they cleaned the train, it was an entirely different air in the train, and a child came, tossing ads on the seats. And the first thing I did was, of course, to look at the ads, and it was an ad for a boat trip on the Rhine. I told Gyuri and Andris I would love to participate. So it was all set. Gyuri didn't say a word, I said what I wanted to, and when we arrived to their apartment, he told me: 'Ani, I have a surprise for you,' and she showed me three tickets for the boat trip on the Rhine. This picture was taken on the boat. On the banks of the river there were castles all the way. These were all private castles, and if the flag wasn't up, it meant the owners weren't at home. This trip on the Rhine was quite an experience for us.
Some of our neighbors spread the rumor that the Gaspars weren't coming home. And it turned quite nasty. Then everyone began saying we would not come home. And when we did, everyone asked us how was that possible that we came home? I told them: what do you think, I'll leave my daughter and two grandchildren here?
As for the period I spent in Germany, they [the relatives] weren't willing to let me go. Everyone I met, former classmates, acquaintances, former acquaintances from Nagyvarad, they all put some Deutch Marks in my hand. At a given point I went to my room and started crying because I wasn't a beggar. I never complained about anything, never told anybody I needed anything... because people who had relatives or acquaintances abroad used to complain all the time. They used to say you couldn't this or that... I never complained to anyone. I never asked anyone to send me anything. And it seems these Germans or those who emigrated to Germany knew this, so everyone gave me some money. What was I? A beggar?