Year when photo was taken:1890Country name at time of photo:Austria-Hungary, pre 1918Country name today:Hungary
This is my maternal grandfather, his wife and mother-in-law, and children weren?t born yet. The picture was taken around 1890. It's either spring or fall, because they aren?t wearing overcoats, and I have a feeling Erno, their first child wasn?t born yet. It could be on an excursion. My grandmother is standing on the left. On the bench beside her sits her mother Regina Schon, born Klein. I don?t know who's sitting beside her, but my grandfather is standing on the right, pretty bald, but still pretty young looking. The people standing behind them, I don?t know. My maternal grandfather was Mano Neufeld. They magyarized it to Sebestyen, but I don?t know when. My maternal grandfather had six true, and six step-siblings. I only remember three of the daughters? names: Hanna, Frida and Terez. Of the true siblings, there was Aunt Hanna, who married Mano Alexander, and they lived in Satoraljaujhely. They had a lot of children. There was Odon, Sandor ? whose wife's name I remember as Cora. Dudus [a nickname]? I don?t recall what his other name was. Elza, Ilona ? who lived in Szerencs and, if I remember correctly, her husband was a doctor ? and finally Erno. Erno's wife, I believe was called Margit, and their son was Gyurika [diminutive of Gyorgy (George)]. We had a close, loving relationship with their family. You could say they were the most religious branch of the family. My grandfather was the principal of a school of commerce for many decades, and at the same time, he was a court handwriting expert. I knew him from my early childhood. He was a very kind, good man. He loved me a lot, but I can?t say much about him. I have more memories of my grandmother. I really had two mothers, my grandmother Hermina and her daughter Leonora. Grandmother lived with us. My maternal grandparents had four children, none of them are still living. Though my grandmother had her teacher accreditation, she didn't work. Women traditionally took care of the raising of children then. In the 1920s, it was not an easy thing to raise four children from one income. My uncle, Erno Sebestyen was the oldest. He worked a bit as a lawyer and was able to live through the war with false documents, working in a factory. There was a pretty big age difference between Erno and their next child, Lilike [diminutive of Lili] who was born in 1901. She died young around 1930. The family never got over her death. It was a tragedy for us, she got blood poisoning and they couldn't cure her. Then came my mother, Leonora Sebestyen, born in 1904 and probably died in Ravensbruck. My mother spoke very eloquently and attended the acting school for a while. But nothing came of that, most likely, due to financial reasons, she had to quit. She became a housewife and lived at home. My grandparents? youngest child, Lajos Sebestyen, was born in 1908. Both the boys, Erno and Lajos were trained as lawyers, and for my grandfather to afford that expense, his two daughters had to find husbands from wealthy families. That was the cost of educating the boys. The girls succeeded. Note well, that the boys couldn't really practice because, by the time they were qualified, the anti-Jewish laws [numerus clausus] came in. The older brother, my uncle Erno Sebestyen, probably lawyered a little bit, but Lajos never did.