Katalin Erdos

This is my graduation photo taken in our house in Budapest in 1936. I felt great at high-school. I felt that I was in the right place. When I was in the 3rd grade a modern school building was built in Abonyi Street. There was a tennis court, one could do gymnastics and play tennis outdoors, too. There was also a physics room, a chemistry room and a drawing room. It was comfortable, nice, and modern for its time. I don't know how many of us there were at Munkacsy Street, but in the new building in Abonyi Street, there were almost seven hundred girls. We learned to cook, in a kosher way, of course. There was fried chicken and red cabbage and meat soup. I remember that. This was a twin building; the boys were on one side, the girls on the other. On every floor there was a door in the same place, which was locked with a key, and we knew that the boys were behind it. But there were dancing lessons in the afternoon, where boys could come. I had classmates who had boyfriends from the parallel class. But I didn't. As for me, when I went to Kapuvar, there was a boy, and our fling lasted from when I was 14 years old until I was 18, but only in the summer. Then when I was 18 years old I got bored of it and wrote him a letter to break it off. At [one of] my classmate's place, who lived a very social life, there were boys, and there were always brilliant people. Her elder sister was a student of the Academy of Music, and she had a very interesting group of friends. And because we lived close to each other, I was hanging around almost every day. I mixed in the high-school with the same people I went to elementary school with, but there were others as well. In the high-school there was no separation between wealthy and less wealthy like in the elementary school, but we knew where the lines were drawn. I didn't rub shoulders with the rich kids, they had their own circle. I felt sympathy for them, but they lived far away from us, in Uj-Lipotvaros. After high-school graduation I wanted to go to the Conservatory, but I could only have been a private student, because I would have altered the allowed percentage of Jewish students. After two years I quit because I realized that I just wasn't talented enough.

Photos from this interviewee