Lea Merenyi with her mother on Margitsziget

This is my mother, Clairette Schuller, and I, on the Margitsziget in Budapest, I think. The photo was taken in the 1930s. I came to Pest in 1932. There was a splendid building on City Park Avenue no. 3, that was Olga Szentpal's art of movement school. I went there, and in the meantime I kept house for my uncle, Mariusz Rabinovszky. Mariusz was a journalist, and there was a German newspaper here in Budapest, I have forgotten what it was called, and he wrote articles for that. I didn't know a word of Hungarian when I came here to Pest, I only spoke German. The Hungarian language was in my ears to some extent, but in the beginning I didn't speak it. Then I used to go to their place so that my cousins would learn German from me. Well, it happened inversely, because I learned Hungarian from them, and they didn't learn German. At the time I got there I only had two cousins, the two girls. While I was there a boy was born, who now lives in France with his wife. In the meantime Aunt Olga's maid left or died, and not only the children, but the entire household became my task. My parents and siblings came two years later, in 1934. Until then I lived at Aunt Olga's. I know, because I was there, that Aunt Olga and my mother had a fight over me. Because Aunt Olga didn't want to give me to my mother. They needed me, I kept their house. Aunt Olga worked at the school, Uncle Mariusz at the editorial office, and the kids were there. I don't know how they came to an agreement, but I went home to my mother, and they returned me in the end. So at that time I was a wanted housekeeper!



Lea Merenyi

Photos from this interviewee