Kati Erdos acting in an improvised play with her comrades in a leftist organization

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I am acting in a play on an excursion in Horany. We were with the Tourist Association of Nature-Lovers. At that time the English king visited the United States and all the papers were full of it that the president of the US received the king. And we made a parody of this. The king was played by the smallest and ugliest Jewish boy among us and I played the queen as the tallest girl in the company. It was terribly hot and we had to dress up in all this shit, so when we finished the acting, I jumped into the Danube and I got pneumonia. I got to this association through the leftist movement. I had a suitor, Gyorgy Balassa, who told me about socialism. I was about 20 when I joined the movement. There was a traveling choir led by a remarkable musician called Sandor Venetianer, from that famous Italian Jewish family which gave many scientists and artists to the country where they happened to live at one time or another. And this Sandor was also an ardent leftist. So we sang the works of leftist composers and I was the soloist of the choir. I was going to go and study at the Academy of Music after finishing secondary school but I could only study there as a private student because otherwise I would have upset the percentage as a Jew. And after two years I left the Academy because I realized that I wasn´t talented enough. And that´s when I got to this traveling choir and I was very very happy there until the dark times came. We were dispersed then. It was a leftist movement and there were Jews and non-Jews in it too. But antisemitism was never a subject, they were all socialists for life and death, some even went to fight in the Spanish civil war. We organized lectures together, political and cultural lecures, we sang together and we went on excursions. We met every weekend, there was an open camp and whoever had the time, got on a boat and went.

Interview details

Interviewee: Katalin Andai
Dóra Sárdi, Eszter Andor
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Budapest, Hungary


Katalin Andai
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before WW II:
giving private Latin lessons
after WW II:
music score copier
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