Peter Reisz's grandmother, Regina Breiner, in front of her apartment

Peter Reisz's grandmother, Regina Breiner,  in front of her apartment
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My maternal grandmother, Regina Breiner, in front of her apartment in Obuda. The photo was taken in 1953. This is where we all lived after the war when our apartment was destroyed by a bomb. In my grandma's flat there were two rooms, my parents and I lived in one, and my grandma and aunt in the other. My grandparents owned and operated a food shop before the First World War. But my maternal grandfather, Kalman Breiner, was a prisoner of war for a long time during World War I, and my grandmother had to stay at home with the three kids, so the business went under. After the war, my grandfather worked as an agent for the Szent Istvan Feed Plant, and traveled around the villages near Budapest selling their goods. He died in 1938. After my grandfather's death the children were cared for my grandmother, who from then on, always lived with her children. My grandparents were religious people. I know that, because I had a place in the great temple here in Obuda, and not just on holidays, but on Friday evenings, too. What I learned of religious customs, and of reading Hebrew, I learned from my grandmother. My grandfather lies in a place of honor in the cemetery, because I believe he was some sort of representative of the congregation. There weren't really any kosher shops in Obuda, but my grandparents pretty well kept the faith. There was a kosher slaughterhouse, but later it closed. At first my grandmother went to a little market on the corner of Lehel road and Robert Karoly Ring-Road for kosher meat. Later, she went to Lipotvaros. My grandmother was completely kosher; she kept dairy and meat products separate. Up until the day she died, she never ate pork. Grandma knew the Swabs well. She would go to visit them when someone in their families died, or when someone was born, and she also went to congratulate them on their holidays. She brought them gifts, and they gave her gifts, too, like shlachmones. We never had a Christmas tree in our house, but grandmother always went to congratulate them on that holiday. We celebrated Hannukah, and if Hannukah didn't fall on Christmas, then the Swabs would come to congratulate us. They would bring something to give us, pears, plums, grapes. But they didn't bring any other food, because they knew that grandmother's family wouldn't eat it. Fruit, however, was okay to bring. My grandmother had six siblings. One of her sisters, Berta, was a trained candy maker. The Brull Confectionery belonged to Berta and her husband. They did really well financially, and were able to buy a two-story apartment house.

Interview details

Interviewee: Peter Reisz
Dora Sardi, Eszter Andor
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Budapest, Hungary


Regina Breiner
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after WW II
before WW II:
Businessman, Retail merchant
after WW II:
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