Erzsebet Barsony

Erzsebet Barsony
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This is me. The photo was taken in Budapest in the 1940s. My husband had a textile shop, which went well, but as a matter of fact we started doing better when I also opened a shop, although I didn't have the slightest intention of doing so originally. Where we lived, besides the owner, another family lived there too. The wife was a teacher, and she opened a stationery shop, because she had quit teaching. She convinced me to open a milliner's since I was a milliner. Hats were very much in vogue at that time. I was afraid that I would go bankrupt, and that I would lose the money. My husband knew these things better and told me: 'I set aside a certain amount of money for this, and if it is lost, I accept it. Fortune favors the brave.' So we opened a tiny little shop, which we furnished ourselves. We bought a mirror, we made the boxes ourselves, and we furnished it in a very simple way, but it worked from the first moment. I opened on 30th May 1930. Business prospered, even though it was the end of the season when I opened it. So my business prospered, and I employed apprentices, too. We could make a very nice living. We could even save up some money. Two years later, in 1932 I opened a bigger shop, because we had outgrown the small shop. The small shop was in a good spot, but the other one was in the center of Kispest, in the best place. It was beautifully furnished. There wasn't any other shop in Kispest as modern as mine was, with neon lamp, coconut carpet, fitted furniture, mirrors and drawers with a glass top. There were shop-windows, where the hats were displayed. I opened a beautiful shop, and there was a separate workshop, too. It was a very elegant shop. Fortunately this one was also prosperous, and even though I had spent a fortune on it, it was worth it. I couldn't complain at all, until 1939 started. We had no financial problems, until 1939 we had no problems at all. But then we had to close the two shops, because Jews were not allowed to have shops. I know, that in the evening we closed, and in the morning we couldn't open anymore, so everything was left there, was wasted.

Interview details

Interviewee: Jozsefne Erzsebet Barsony
Klara Lazok and Viktoria Kutasi
Month of interview:
November - May
Year of interview:
2004 - 2005
Budapest, Hungary


Jozsefne Erzsebet Barsony
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Year of death:
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after WW II
before WW II:
after WW II:
Worker, manager at a knitwear factory
Family names
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  • Previous family name: 
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