Andras Gaspar as a child

Andras Gaspar as a child

My husband Andras Gaspar, Andris is in this picture, he was still a child, probably around nine years old. He has a toy-gun in his hand. One of our acquaintances, a lawyer related us, because he was from Szilagysomlyo, that Andris was the terror of the neighborhood. He was really bad, very naughty. The picture was taken in Szilagysomlyo. I met my husband when they moved in from Szilagysomlyo to Nagyvarad. He was already in high school then, in the Zsidlic, probably in second or third grade of high school.

Andris was a late-born, his mother was 43 when she gave birth to him. He had an elder sister, who was 16 years older than him, and she didn't come home, neither. And none of his relatives, especially his mother. His father was a lawyer, but he died of heart-attack when Andris was in twelfth grade of high school, and he left them nothing. By then his bother was already working and he had to help out his mother, while Andris had to sustain himself: he gave lessons to the weaker students for money.

After I moved to Nagyvarad I met Andris on the Main Street. He fell on my neck, since we were friends and lived opposite to each other. During the Holocaust he was a forced laborer in Poland. To be honest, we didn't really talked about this subject. Some time ago I wasn't able to talk about this, I didn't even tell anything to my children. He was a real sportsman, he played tennis and was a swimmer. But when he came back, he was nothing but skin and bones. In the last weeks-months of detention they were all thrown in a relocation camp. He was amongst the first to come home to Nagyvarad. His elder brother has not been deported, because he, for the sake of his wife, converted to Christianism and he wasn't taken away because he wore the white armband.

When we met he was already working at a mining company, he was the manager at a clay and kaolin mine in Rev [Bihar county]. He was hired as manager although he only had a high school graduation diploma. And from then on he came to Nagyvarad every Saturday-Sunday. Andris was glad too to have someone he could talk about the things [before the war].

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