Kauders on the Danube

Rowing trip on the Danube in the summer of 1943. From left to right: my mother, my father and I.

There was a group of friends. When my sister started to be a grown-up girl, there were these Jewish youth balls, to which she regularly went. At the time, my mother still escorted her. She met two very cute boys there, who went to the Madach [high school], and were just about to graduate. A circle of friends formed with them and their friends which I dropped into at the age of fourteen. Four of the boys had a row boat together, and rented a place for it cheap in one of the boathouses. We didn't have a rowboat, but from the age of fourteen - my sister was seventeen - we went rowing with this group of friends.

The tour where the picture was taken was a special tour. We weren't allowed to go on tours longer than a day. In the morning we went out to the Danube, and we came home at night. The big wish of the guy who took this photo was to make a tour around the island. My parents said I could go, if they came with me. The minor little detail they forgot was that neither my father, nor my mother could swim, but despite that they went for my sake, so that I got have a good time. They made an entire trip around the Szentendre Island with us. They couldn't row either, the boys and us rowed. This picture where it looks like my mother and father are rowing was a fake, because they were leaning the oars on the bank.

The boy who took the photo was Emil Buchler, born in Zalaegerszeg in 1922, the only child of a well-to-do family. He also graduated from Madach, like the other boys in the group. Since he couldn't go to university, he learned a trade. Like the country boys, he was the most gentlemanly of the boys. Or maybe the only gentleman? That's probably what convinced my parents about the island tour. He was just a really good friend to me. He survived the war, and at the beginning of 1945, he looked us up, and said that he's leaving the country. He invited me but I didn't go. Not long ago I heard that he's living in Australia.