Country name at time of photo:Hungary
This photo was taken in the 1920s. Here you can see my father, Jozsef Lazar.
He was born in 1891, in Nagybanya. He had a final examination certificate, which showed that he graduated from a school of commerce.
He was a bank clerk in Szatmar when he was young; then, when a common army was established for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy during World War I, he enrolled there as a first lieutenant and fought throughout the World War.
He fought on all front-lines, starting from Galicia, Romania and Serbia, and they occupied Bucharest as well; there's a place to the north-west of Bucharest called Gaesti, where he was a town-mayor.
During retreat he withdrew with the Austro-Hungarian troops, which is how he got to Hungary.
Since he knew it would reflect badly on him in the eyes of the Romanian authorities that he had been a town-mayor in Gaesti, he didn’t return for a few years, and instead settled in Hungary.
My father had many medals; Franz Joseph even gave him a retirement deed, awarding him a pension which would have enabled him to live carefree.
But the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy failed, so nothing came of it.
My father had 48 wounds, he even lost one eye. Thus he was a war invalid, so he at least received a disability pension.
In those times there were large estates, and as my father was good at farming, he became a bailiff near Nagyecsed, at Zsirospuszta, looking after an estate in the fens of Ecsed, while the owner called Forray lived in Budapest.
Forray had three land agents, one of whom was my father, and another was Moricz Vertes, the husband of one my mother’s elder sisters.
My parents met each other there, when my mother was visiting her sister, Malvin.
After they got married in 1924, my father was a land agent on a large estate.
Then they moved to Hajdunanas in 1925. In Hajdunanas my father rented a town hotel and restaurant, called ‘Bocskay Vendeglo es Szalloda’.
My brother and I were both born in Hajdunanas. My brother, Istvan Lazar was born in 1925, and I was born in 1929.
My father was demanding, so our home was very strict.
I can tell you honestly that when my father was at home, we couldn’t breathe a word. When he left, well, then we had a good time.