Rachel Berdach

This is a photo of my great-aunt Rachel and her friends. It was taken in Seesen, where we had a family house.

Rachel was my grandmother's younger sister. Rachel was a well-known writer: a novelist, journalist and poet. When Queen Elisabeth of Austria was murdered, the German Writers' Association held a memorial meeting and Rachel's poems were recited. Rachel married one of her cousins, Otto Bardach. Rachel lived in a hotel, after she had a passionate affair with a man. They agreed they would leave everything behind and get married. The man killed himself; he was unable to choose between his children and Rachel.

Our summer house in Cezn had a gigantic park. We bred racehorses. Every member of the family had a car. There were many servants: from the butler to the cook, from the chauffeur to the 'lady's companion.' We observed Shabbat, but they did not dare take me to synagogue. Anti-Semitism was increasing. In 1927, it had become so bad that my mother declared she could not stand it any longer, and she moved us back to Pest.