David Edelmann and Szerena Edelmann

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  • Photo taken in:
    Kosice
    Year when photo was taken:
    1940
    Country name at time of photo:
    Hungarian-occupied Slovakia, 1938
    Country name today:
    Slovakia

These are my parents Szerena and David Edelmann. This photo was taken after my father's release from prison. My mother met my father, when he came out of jail and they were photographed for the memory. This photo was taken in Kosice in 1940.

My father was very handsome: tall and slender with big dark eyes and handsome features. He was also a decent, honest and noble man of principles. He hated lies. At the age of 18 my father went to work for a confectionery company owned by two Jews. The owners valued my father well. He got promotions and was paid well. In 1925 my father became chief editor of the communist weekly 'Mai Nap' ('Today') published in Hungarian where his writer's talent was fully realized. My father had to work a lot to support the family. Besides, the newspaper was also funded by its employees. My parents got married on 14 July 1929. He was 24 and my mother was 20 years old. They had a real Jewish wedding with a rabbi and a chuppah. My father was working for the company. He rented a two-room apartment and furnished it.

I was born on 3 June 1930. In my birth certificate my Hungarian name Judit was indicated, and my Jewish name is Sima. In April 1933 my sister was born. We had a happy and cloudless childhood before 1940. Even with our father having to go on business frequently. He even bought a small sporty car. My father spent Saturday and Sunday with the family. My sister and I always looked forward to weekends.

My father joined the Czechoslovakian communist party. He was convinced communist. My father began to work for 'Mai Nap'. Besides, my father worked for 'Munkas Ujsag' [Workers Paper] too, both of them are published in Kosice. Before 1938 these newspapers were issued legally and regularly. In 1938 when [Southern] Slovakia became Hungarian, both 'Mai Nap" and 'Munkas Ujsag' became underground newspapers, because the communist party became illegal in Hungary. In 1940 the newspapers were closed and most of their employees were arrested. My father made monthly contribution to the newspaper 'Mai Nap" from his earnings and so did other employees. The newspaper was distributed among communists for free and its editing office had no profits.

1938 brought changes into our life. The communist party had to take up the status of underground. Since the police had lists of its members, they knew that arrests were inevitable. Hungarian authorities began to gradually introduce anti-Jewish laws significantly suppressing their rights in all spheres of life. My father and other members of the communist party were arrested and take to prison in Kosice. They were charged in actions against the state. They were tortured and interrogated. The trial sentenced him to 7 months in jail.

When the war with the Soviet Union began, my father was arrested again in July 1941 and taken to the Hungarian prison in the mountains near Garany town. My father was kept in the Garany prison for a year. In late 1942 it was closed and Jews were taken to work battalions while Jewish communists were sent to penal battalions to go to the frontline. They were to wear yellow armbands with a 10 cm in diameter black circle on it. My father kept thinking about how to cross the frontline and surrender to the Red Army. He organized a group of 50 people and managed to accomplish their well-considered plan near Zhytomyr. My father and his comrades were lucky. There was a Jewish communist, who lived in Hungary and emigrated to the USSR in the end of 1930th in the Red Army troop where they happened to get. He knew about my father’s underground work in the communist organization in Kosice. He guaranteed for my father’s trustworthiness. This group formed a group of prisoners-of-war following the Red Army troops liberating Ukraine. In 1945 my father was demobilized to establish the soviet power in Subcarpathia. He became 2nd secretary of the town party committee in 1945. We reunited with my father after the war.

Interview details

Interviewee: Judita Haikis
Interviewer:
Ella Levitskaya
Month of interview:
May
Year of interview:
2004
Kiev, Ukraine

KEY PERSON

David Edelmann
Jewish name:
David
Year of birth:
1905
City of birth:
Kassa
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1975
City of death:
Uzhgorod
Country of death:
USSR
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Office clerk
after WW II:
Departmental head/manager in socialist

Other Person

Szerena Edelmann
Year of birth:
1909
City of birth:
Kassa
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
1985
City of death:
Uzhgorod
Country of death:
USSR
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Klein
    Year of changing: 
    1929
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

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