Julia Foldesne Altman and Giza Altman

This is a picture of my mother, Julia Foldesne Altmann, and her sister, Giza Altman. This photo was taken in Bratislava (Pozsony) probably around 1910. My mother is about 10 years old here and aunt Giza is 4 or 5. At the time the family lived in Dunaszerdahely.

My mother is blond on this picture but in later years she wasn't. There was a Spanish flue epidemic inn 1918, and she lost all her hair and when it grew again it was no longer blond but much darker.

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 Bratislava. 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.

Aunt Giza survived the war, she was with us, and then she left for France with my brother Bandi. But they came back to Hungary in 1950 and she found a position as a bookkeeper at the Ganz Electric Factory. She retired from there. She died in 1983.

Photos from this interviewee