Giza Altman and Roza Altman

This is a picture of my aunt Giza Altman and my grandmother Roza Altman, taken in the 1930s in Budapest. My grandmother's maiden name was Roza Glatter, she was from Gyongyos. My grandfather, Ignac Altman, started as a railroad braker but worked his way up and died as a chief ticket-inspector. I believe he finished four years of middle school but had no further education. They lived in several places in Hungary, as railroad workers they were sent here and there. They were in Dunaszerdahely, then in Zsolna, but most of all in Pest at the MAV [Hungarian State Railroad] colony in Rakospalota. As far as I know they weren't very religious. They wore middle class clothes, observed Yom Kippur and seder, and they lit candles at Chanukkah. They didn't observe much else. My grandmother died in 1936. My mother's sister Gizella or Giza was born in 1904 in Dunaszerdahely. When she was born my grandfather was working for the Hungarian State Railroad in Dunaszerdahely and Pozsony. Auntie Giza completed for grades of middle school, but she didn't particularly want to study. She was a very beautiful woman and wanted to get married as soon as possible. She had three husbands. The first was Ferenc Horvath, who wasn't Jewish, but the second, Dezso Szanto, was. She married the first at the end of the 1920s, it lasted a short time, she married again in 1936. I don't know what happened to her first two husbands. Her third husband, Karoly Altman, was her cousin. Ignac Altman had a sister called Fani, and she had a son, Karoly, on the wrong side of the blanket. That's why he was called Altman, as we didn't know anything of his father. Fani was supposedly a dissolute woman, I think she lived in Pest. Karoly was Auntie Giza's first cousin, but while grandmother lived she didn't allow them to marry because the belief was, and still is today, that cousins marrying is unhealthy. When my grandmother died they married immediately, in 1937, I think. There were only civil marriages then, and I was there. It was in Aszod, as Karoly Altman was a car mechanic and had a workshop there with a partner.

Photos from this interviewee