Magda Erdelyiova with her cousin Karol Kürti and a friend

This photograph was taken in 1936 at the Eva swimming pool in Piestany. From left: Jan Grilus, our cousin Karol Kürti and my sister Magda Erdelyiova.

During our high school studies, we didn’t have a lot of free time. Before that, in elementary school, we used to go on outings with our mother every Sunday. Back then going out into nature was something new among Jews. Later we began exercising at Maccabi.

Our mother also wrote children’s plays, so we’d help her. She also designed costumes. She had helpers who’d then sew them. They’d sew the costumes at our place. Our mother would write the scripts, and the practices also took place at our place. The plays were put on only by Jewish children, but in the audience there’d also be non-Jewish children. We had a busy life. The plays were put on in a park in Piestany. There was this one terrace there, and in the summer various performances would take place on it. There was no admission, it was for free. Well, and then when we were already in high school, there were classes six days a week. On Saturdays we’d come home at 3.30 in the afternoon. On top of that, there was French, exercise at Maccabi and piano. My sister played excellently – she had long fingers. My daughter inherited the musical talent in our family.

I graduated, but didn’t get into university, because it was already 1940. They still accepted my sister into university, back in 1938. She was very talented. She attended the State Music Conservatory in Prague. Besides music she also studied English. Right when the Germans occupied Prague in 1939 she had to stop her studies. By coincidence, our mother was visiting her at the time. When she was returning home, at Kuty, to the great surprise of the train passengers, there was a customs check. My sister returned, and made use of her music and English studies to give lessons. One of her pupils was the son of a highly placed Guardist, so he looked the other way and she didn’t need any documents.

Photos from this interviewee