Interviewee: Piroska Hamos
Title: Rowing on the Danube
Place and Date: Shore of the Danube, Hungary - 1930
This picture was taken before I had my daughter Marika, in 1930 or 1931, when I still used to go out to the Danube. This is Jeno Oblath (from left), Pali and then Andor, these three were brothers. Then it's me, and next to me is my husband, Imre Hahn. And this is my natural mother's brother, Miska. This picture was taken somewhere on the banks of the Danube, but where exactly, I don't know. Maybe on Szentendrei Island, because we went there many times.
We often got together with my cousins. They also lived in Matyasfold, the two houses were close by, 5 minute apart. My cousins were friends with my husband - relatives and friends as well. I liked them very much, they were intelligent, well-educated, well-read people. They graduated from secondary school. Back then, it was a big thing if someone graduated from secondary school. They were not married yet, at that time. They were even angry with my husband because he was the first one in the boat group, who got married. They owned a boat together, and they rented a space for the boat at the first boathouse, next to the Ujpesti Osszekoto bridge-the owner of the boathouse was called Magashazi. As soon as the weather started to be good they went to lacquer it and put it in order. When I joined their group, then I also went along to tidy up the boat and every weekend, we went rowing on the Danube, in two boats. It wasn't the done thing at the time, to sleep in the same tent with one's fiancée, so they went to Vac or to Horany on Saturday, and I went to join them on Sunday morning and then came home in the evening. That was the program every weekend, when the weather was good. How they settled on this sport, I don't know, but Jeno was a member of the Workers' Sports Association. My husband was also a member. He liked rowing and was very good at it. When we were rowing in a cox-less double scull, if he didn't want someone to overtake us, they couldn't. Later, we gave up rowing. Andor's wife wasn't game for it, she couldn't even swim, and he wouldn't have let her do it anyway, as he was very jealous. Then Jeno died in 1936.
Jeno Oblath was my cousin of mine and also of my husband. For me, it was on my mother's side: he is the son of Uncle Naci, my mother's brother. For Imre, it was also on his mother's side: her sister, Aunty Lina, became Uncle Naci's wife. Jeno was born in 1903, and at the age of 33, he got blood poisoning, and there were no penicillin yet (at that time), so it killed him. He finished high school; he was a clerk, but he was unemployed for a long time. And in 1930 or 1931, when they were building the house in Matyasfold he managed the construction work. He was unmarried and lived at home.
Andor Oblath was uncle Naci's eldest son. He was born in 1901. He was a clerk, but I don't even know where, but he was already married. He must have gotten married around 1933 or '34; their son, Peter, was born in 1935, and lives in Australia too. They used to live in Budapest, I think in Tuzolto street, but by the time the house was built, they had moved to Matyasfold as well. There was an attic room there, the youngsters and the small boys lived up there. Andor died in 1945 of typhus, supposedly due to the typhus injection. When I arrived home, he was already dead.
Uncle Naci's youngest son, Pali still lives in Australia. Pali got married here, and his wife, Klari, had some sort of a dressmaker's shop, and also a clothes shop. Pali worked at BESZKART. And then, something happened; she didn't pay the insurance, and she was supposed to pay some penalty, and I don't know how, but, she escaped from Hungary and left for Israel. Later, Pali went after her somehow, I think he could already go officially. He was a driver in Israel. This happened before the war. Later, they left Israel for Australia. I don't know exactly when it happened, but it was already after 1957, because my sister went there, and at that time Pali and his wife were still in Israel. In Australia, Pali didn't work anymore. He'll be 95 this year (in 2003). His wife died a long time ago.