Country name at time of photo:HungaryCountry name today:Hungary
This is my brother, at that time he was a soldier already. This is a military service picture. [Editor's note: It's almost certain that the picture was taken of Istvan Merenyi as a forced laborer, because he is obviously wearing civil clothes, only the military cap alludes to the fact that this is a 'service picture.' The War Department issued an order in March 1944 regarding that the Jewish forced laborers had to wear their own civil clothes and sew a yellow armband on it, but at many formations they took the uniform from the Jews already from the end of 1941. Until the sping of 1942 the wearing of the yellow armband wasn't common, but depending on the commander they introduced it at many formations. (R. L. Braham: A nepirtas politikaja. A holokauszt Magyarorszagon. Budapest, Uj Mandatum Publishing House, 2003, page 31.] My brother didn't speak even a word in Hungarian, so he needed a teacher, and he had to learn everything in Hungarian for the high school graduation exam in a year. He didn't know Hungarian at all, and he had a lot of trouble for a year. He had no talent for languages. He was very talented in arts, he made awe-inspiring paintings. I have just found them the other day. My brother was very talented in drawing, painting, and he made stage sets, scene plans. But he was killed at a very young age, I don't even know where he disappeared.