Egon and Margo Lovith

This is a picture of my wife Margo Lovith, nee Breuer, and me. The photo was taken at a DJYO ball in 1946, one year after our marriage. The DJYO - Demokrata Zsido Ifjak Szovetsege, Democratic Jewish Youth Organization - was a completely separate organization. A couple of younger guys organized it, who had previously come back from Buchenwald. I was the secretary of the DJYO for a while. The DJYO collaborated with the Jewish Committee. The Jewish community had nothing to do with these organizations. Back then we didn't really have a political agenda yet, but many of us were already party members and I, myself, joined the party in 1945. The main program of the DJYO, similarly to the communists, was to stay in the country and build up our homes. There was an educational purpose to teach people a profession. Most of the DJYO members who returned after the war didn't have any parents left and they lived in an apprentice hostel that was founded by the Democratic Jewish Association. [Editor's note: The Democratic Jewish Association was a Jewish institution, founded after the war that helped the returning Jewish youth.] We directed lots of kids into work in factories, we held them together. We held a DJYO ball nearly every year. We held the party in the big hall of the side building of the National Museum on Kiraly Street. These were all charity parties with the purpose of collecting donations for the orphans who lived in the apprentice hostel and for other collective projects. Margo took part in the organization of the parties as well. We thought out the schedule and program of the party with the other DJYO boys and Margo sewed the dresses for the show. I did the sets and props. The program had funny parts, sort of burlesques. I remember we put on a performance about a concentration camp story because many of us brought concentration camp clothes back and we were lying on the stage like half dead people. Then one of us said, 'Oh, no, I can feel that my leg is rotting?'. There were also some scenes when we mocked capitalism. We invited singers and actors and they performed in satires or in comedies. Gyorgy Harag, the Jewish actor, also came to act from the theater of Kolozsvar, because he was already sympathizing with us, the DJYO. Another time a Romanian ballerina came. There were well-known bands that came to play various kinds of music: tango, foxtrot and so on. There was a lot of food to be made. There weren?t enough eggs so we baked a cake from porridge and decorated it nicely and it was the grand prize of the raffle. It was a very wealthy bourgeois Jewish man who won the cake and he offered to share it with everybody. As soon as people tasted it, we heard a big scream: 'goddamn these swindlers' [it became clear that the cake was made of porridge]. Margo was very popular within the DJYO and at these parties I hardly danced with her because everybody cut in on me and asked Margo for a dance.

Photos from this interviewee