My great-grandfather with his grand-daughter Erzsi


My great-grandfather with his grand daughter Erzsi.

He was called Steiner. He must have been born around 1840-1850. He had a sort of guesthouse in Gyongyos. He died relatively young. He had 7 or 8 kids, boys and girls mixed. If I look at his picture, I had a really 'gutmuttig', dear, and very handsome grandfather. He wasn't deeply religious. He had a true Jewish family, full of love. But the rest of the siblings, the kids all married Jews. He wasn't a Neolog in the sense of today - he surely kept the great holidays. I don't believe the house was kosher. Well, the guesthouse wasn't kosher for that matter. One of his sons took over the guesthouse. He tried out all the serving girls there, and so had syphilis too. But he was nice. He was a great singer.

Erzsi’s mother aunt Berta was one of my mother's aunts. She was very smart, and cross-eyed, and one of the ugliest of the girls, and she married a man named Richard Igel. Uncle Igel was a schorte /wiry/ haired, bandy-legged Jewish man. He never did know Hungarian well. He was from Moravia, and was the son of a very well-to-do family. My mother's family got to know his mother, and his five sisters who were elegant ladies. They were well-to-do Moravian Jews. Richard Igel didn't really want to study, and he zipped in to be a soldier in the Monarchy. He was a gear-making sergeant, and he'd make horse tack, saddles, and horse outfits. And when he got married, and took aunt Berta, they opened a saddlery in Gyongyos that became famous all over the country. The aristocracy there had their coach gear, and horse fittings done there. I got a rocking horse from him when I was 3 or 5 years old, and it was covered with real hide. Aunt Berta would come up and visit Pest from time to time, to see my mothers' family. Then she was really devastated because her sole daughter, Bozsi, married a non-Jew from there, Sandor Benei. Those Beneis were very well-to-do peasants. And their boy, who wasn't prejudiced against her because she was a Jew, fell in love with her, and Bozsi married him, and they had a child. Erzsi died quite young in 1940.

Photo donated by

Janos Dorogi

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