Lajos Hasko at the microscope

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My father, during work. I think my brother took the picture, who got a camera for his bar mitzvah, among other things, and from then on he took a lot of pictures.

My father was born in Bekes in 1890. He was a wonderful man. He spoke German and French, and was a member of the generation, which lived at the beginning of the 20th century: incredibly erudite people, who spoke many languages and had been around a lot, and who were also excellent in their profession.

Mt father was a chemical engineer, he graduated the Polytechnic University in 1912, and took part in the 1919 revolution. He was Gyula Hevesi's class-fellow, who emigrated to the Soviet Union. [Editor's note: Gyula Hevesi (1890-1970) - chemical engineer, academician, he was the vice president of the Hungarian Scientific Academy from 1960 until 1967. During the Hungarian Soviet Republic he was the commissar of the social production, he emigrated from the White Terror.] My father also had to leave when the White Terror started. He started to work as a young engineer at the Flora Soap Factory, which was owned by a branch of the Manfred Weiss family. [Editor's note: The Flora First Hungarian Composite Candle and Soap Co. was founded in 1896] They also had a factory in Nagyvarad [today Oradea, Romania] or Kolozsvar [today Cluj-Napoca, Romania], and my father first emigrated there. He got to Germany from there as a refugee. He learned there the analysis of precious metals and became a lapidarist.

He returned from emigration in 1923, but he was excluded from the Chamber of Engineers, and he couldn't work as an engineer. Then, his brother-in-law, who was a goldsmith, employed him. There was a small room in his workshop, and my father made a chemical laboratory there, and started to work for the goldsmiths and in the meantime he took the goldsmith master exam. The goldsmiths, if the amalgam, which they use is not he right mixture, break the goods. For example if they make a bracelet or a ring, they can only get a hallmark in it, if the amalgam is exact. My father analyzed these amalgams. There were 3 or 4 individual engineers in Budapest, who divided up this particular branch among each other. So if someone wanted to go for precious metal analysis to someone who dealt with mineral oil, he sent him to my father, or if someone came to my father and asked for another kind of expertise, my father sent him to the one who dealt with that. People said that his brother-in-law was a lazy man, and so my father ran the workshop, and many excellent goldsmiths grew up under his hand, who looked him up and respected him all his life! In 1935 my father bought laboratory equipment, and in one of our rooms he made a laboratory and from then on he worked at home.

Interview details

Interviewee: Gyorgyike Hasko
Judit Rez
Month of interview:
February - April
Year of interview:
Budapest, Hungary


Lajos Hasko
Year of birth:
City of birth:
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Year of death:
City of death:
Country of death:
after WW II
before WW II:
Lapidarist, goldsmith
after WW II:
Head of department, designer

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