Apprentice certificate of Karoly Altman

Apprentice certificate of Karoly Altman
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    Goldfaden nyomda, Budapest, Dohany u. 37.
This is a certificate and corporate diploma issued to Karoly Altman, the third husband of my maternal aunt Giza Altman. It states that Karoly was a mechanic apprentince and had completed the apprentice school, served his apprenticeship and became a mechanic assistant. He became a car mechanic in 1921. So, at that time there were already cars but it was not a widespread thing. Karoly was auntie Giza's first cousin. My grandfather Ignac Altman had a sister called Fani, and she had a son, Karoly, on the wrong side of the blanket. That's why he was called Altman, as we didn't know anything of his father. Fani was supposedly a dissolute woman, I think she lived in Pest. Karoly was Auntie Giza's first cousin, but while grandmother lived she didn't allow them to marry because the belief was, and still is today, that cousins marrying is unhealthy. When my grandmother died they married immediately, in 1937, I think. There were only civil marriages then, and I was there. It was in Aszod, as Karoly Altman was a car mechanic and had a workshop there with a partner. I have many memories of Karoly. He was a dark-haired, tall, good-looking man with an old Citroen car. In the 1930s this was a big thing for us, children, as we could go on trips in the car. During the year before the war, so in 1939, he worked in Pest as well. He was immediately called up, as they needed car mechanics who knew how to drive; whether he was a Jew or not wasn't an issue; to the extent that even in 1941 he went to Ukraine as a soldier, not as a forced laborer. When he came back in 1941-42 we heard from him how the Hungarian military had behaved during the invasion. About how holding babies by the legs they had thrashed them against the walls. He wasn't called up for labor service later either, somehow he got excused, I suppose due to his car mechanic expertise.

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Interviewee: Gyula Földes
Eszter Andor
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Budapest, Hungary


Karoly Altman
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before WW II:
Self-employed craftsman in elite crafts

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