Istvan and Lea Merenyi in their grandparents' garden


Here you can see my brother Istvan Merenyi and me, fencing in the garden of my maternal grandparents' house in downtown Barmen.

My grandfather earned a good living as a doctor, and he paid for us to attend a fencing course. We got equipment, and a fencing sword, too. I was fencing very enthusiastically for a while, but not for long.

They had a double-storied villa, they were wealthy. The house had a tiny little garden. In the middle of the garden there was a cherry tree. The cherries that grew on this cherry tree were as sour as vinegar, we couldn't eat them, and I felt insulted, that the tree was there for nothing, because we couldn't eat its cherries. Inside the patio there were all kinds of patterns painted here and there on the wall, which a patient of my grandfather's had painted in gratitude for the treatment because he didn't have money to pay for it.

We, the children, lived in Hanover, but we spent every vacation at their place. We went to their place by train. There were quite a lot of vacations in Germany, but there wasn't a two-month summer vacation like here, only a one-month vacation. There was a big vacation in the summer, that was four weeks; there were 10 or 14 days at Easter, 10 days at Pentecost and a fall break in October, which was also 10 days.

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Lea Merenyi

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