Erzsebet Radvaner´s uncle Artur Klein

Erzsebet Radvaner´s uncle Artur Klein
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This is one of my uncles Artur. This photo was taken in his home in Hamburg in 1960. It is interesting on this photo that he had furnitures from Hungary. His flat was full of Hungarian souvenirs and things Artur did not like studying, he wanted to be an actor. My grandfather did not like that and so he had to study to be a locksmith, though later he was a traveller. He wandered all through Europe from Moscow to Madrid. In the end he lived in Hamburg. He rented a room at the house of a Christian dancer, who was fourteen years his senior and had two grown daughters. He married her. If there was ever a good marriage, then it was that one. When my grandmother died he came home for the burial with his wife and a common-law son of theirs, who was the same age as I was. One more son, Ferenc, was born to them in Pest in 1914. They were living in the house where my grandmother's siblings lived. When the child was born, the neighbours went and registered him as Ferenc Jozsef Klein, religion Jewish. Grandfather took him into the stove trade. He needed a locksmith for work with cookers. My grandfather had a workshop in a cellar, in fact it was a storeroom, as they did not work there. They went to houses and were told everywhere that only uncle Klein would do. Only he was called to work at the Lukacs Cafe. Artur was a soldier in WWI. When Feri was born, he was not at home. Grandfather gave his wife money and the money my grandfather gave was always just too little. When her husband came home she complained to him. In '19 my uncle started saying that his wife was better than his sister was and they had an argument with Grandfather. Without so much as a goodbye, he left his father and everybody else and they went back to Hamburg. He became a projectionist at a Jewish cinema and his wages were not too bad. His elder son joined the SS and did not speak to his father. In 1939 my aunt came to Pest to certify that their younger son was a Christian. She had a birth certificate that the child was Jewish, but from the Evangelical minister she got a certificate that the child had been christened. Later in the court she swore that her husband was not the father of the child. The elder son died as an SS soldier in 1940, the younger became a Wehrmacht soldier at an anti-aircraft unit and died in a bomb attack. My uncle survived the war; while he was at work, in the projection room in the cinema, a child was killed in the neighbourhood and he was arrested as the killer. Everybody at the cinema testified for him. He was released, but there were no apologies. Instead he was taken to an internment camp, which he survived. In '58 he came home for the first time since '19 and I think he died in 1964.

Interview details

Interviewee: Erzsebet Radvaner
Dora Sardi
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Budapest, Hungary


Artur Klein
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after WW II
before WW II:
Self-employed craftsman in non-elite crafts

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