Hedvig Endrei in front of the cake shop on Moricz Zsigmond Square

Hedvig Endrei in front of the cake shop on Moricz Zsigmond Square
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This is me wearing a cake shop robe, in front of the cake shop on Moricz Zsigmond Square. The photo was taken in 1952. This coffee-bar, which was also a cake shop, was on the corner of Moricz Zsigmond and Himfy Street. Here I was a window-dresser, too. In 1951 I started working in the catering trade. First I was a managing clerk at Bukarest restaurant, it was Borostyan restaurant at that time, on Moricz Zsigmond Square. The owner of the restaurant was the son of a soap factory owner, who went back to the factory, and they were looking for a manager at the shop. I didn't really want to become a managing clerk, but the owner really wanted to convince me to go there. There were about five to six people under my command. Feri Gundel, Karoly Gundel's son worked there with me, he was the assistant business manager. The Gundels were also Jewish. He came back from where Sztalinvaros was, he was in that region and worked there as a forced laborer. Then he came up here, but since he was an undesirable person, the son of a bourgeois, he could only be an assistant business manager. In the Borostyan there was a Romanian, very diligent, very fine looking chef, who taught me many things. Among others, he taught me how to store the raw materials in the winter, for example the potatoes, so that they don't go bad. Later I worked with this Romanian man in Szeged restaurant, too. We also had a very famous cook, he also taught at a catering school. He was a short thin man, even though he was a cook. I was here until 1952. In 1952 they opened a café and cake shop on the corner of Himfy Street and Bartok Bela Street, and I became an assistant business manager there, then a business manager. The so-called 'gebine' shops came into fashion at that time. [Editor's note: This was in fact the smuggling back of the private or retail trade into the industry, which was stopped at the time of nationalization. It meant that a company or a co-operative rented a restaurant or a shop for a certain percentage of the income.] This was as if it was private, the owner [i.e. the one who took the shop in 'gebine'] had to account for the merchandise through the company, and the company paid the income, but he worked as if it was his own. The business manager begged me to take over the shop, so that he could go to a 'gebine' shop. This man, his wife and his mother lived on Karoly Boulevard, just as I did. He had a daughter and I always liked children very much. After three weeks of him begging me I took it on. That's when I started a coffee maker course, an ice-cream maker course, a cook's course and a business manager's course. I was there for eight years.

Interview details

Interviewee: Hedvig Endrei
Szilvia Czingel
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Budapest, Hungary


Hedvig Endrei
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before WW II:
Milliner, comforter maker
after WW II:
Assistant business manager, business manager in the catering trade
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