Year when photo was taken:1943Country name at time of photo:Independent State of Slovakia 1938-45Country name today:Slovakia
This is a photograph of my parents from 1943.
My mother was born in 1893 in Preselany. My father was born in Svrbice. Both of them attended the high schools there. My mother had girls' school, and my father agricultural school. Their mother tongue was Slovak, as in Svrbice people didn't speak anything else but Slovak. They also spoke German and Hungarian. Like my grandparents, they also made a living by farming.
What was funny was that two brothers, that is my father's brother Henrich and my father, married two Adler sisters. The Adlers weren't very thrilled by the fact that my father wanted to marry my mother. They said that they already had one Hecht, as his brother was already married to my mother's sister. But they couldn't do much about it. My mother had a brother in Vycapy [Vycapy Opatovce: a town in the Nitra region - Editor's note], and that's where they took her so that my father couldn't see her. But that wasn't a problem for my father. He got on a horse and went. My grandpa Hecht was also against it, because my father had the possibility of marrying a rich woman. In those days they used to arrange marriages, and they had arranged a richer woman for him than was my mother. But he didn't want her. I remember my mother telling me that my father's parents went to Topolcany to see the rabbi, to get advice as to what they should do so that my father wouldn't marry my mother. The rabbi said: "Do you know what? You can't prevent it. Those that are against it will die, and they'll get married anyways." Not even a year went by, and Grandma died [Janka Hechtova, née Weiss]. So then Grandpa Hecht was no longer against the wedding. Then my parents lived together with Grandpa in one house. My father used to go see my mother, he was this dandy. They were going by train, back then trains were slow, and he would ride on a horse beside the train and they'd talk through the window. He was the type of person that wouldn't let himself be dissuaded. Grandpa knew that he used to go see my mother, even though they tried to prevent it. Often he'd say to him: "Aladar, lend me your horse, I'm going to Nitra." And he'd lend him his horse, because my father had his own horse. Grandpa would arrive in Vycapy on Father's horse, and the horse would turn into the courtyard where my mother lived with her brother. He had to let the horse go, entered the courtyard, there he'd turn around and continue on his way.