Miksa Domonkos doing fencing exercises at the front

This is my father, Miksa Domonkos, in the 2nd or 3rd year of World War I at the Italian front. They were somewhere around Trento.

My father already played sports before the war. He learned with a fencing master called Lovas, and he became an excellent fencer. He played at smaller competitions, and he dueled several times. Once when we were going somewhere with my father he showed me a man on the street who held his left arm in a funny way. He told me that he had cut it. He learned the elbow cut from Master Lovas. During the war he wanted to remain in training, so he exercised fencing steps and fencing there, too.

When World War I broke out they called him up immediately with the stock of cars and other means of transportation that he had been responsible for, i.e. with the unsold caterpillars and motor-cars he had. The authorities collected the available means of transportation and gave them to the body of troops he belonged to. The Caterpillar company couldn't do anything, it was wartime. It didn't matter that the USA wasn't at war yet. They entrusted to him a supplier mechanized troop. He joined the forces as an officer, but he soon became an ensign, and he demobilized as first lieutenant at the end of the war.

He was at the Italian battlefront, too, and his troops mainly dealt with transportation on the battlefront. Since they had to work on a very difficult mountain ground and they were shot at, many got killed. My father was injured several times, and he demobilized at the end of the war with a lot of decorations.

Photos from this interviewee