Kati Erdos with two classmates in front of the Jewish gymnasium

Kati Erdos with two classmates in front of the Jewish gymnasium
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Me and my classmates in front of the old Jewish gymnasium. I wanted to go to high-school. When I finished primary school my parents told me that I was a poor child and that I had to go to the school of commerce in order to make money soon. I raged and fell into a frenzy, saying that I didn't want to go to an office, I didn't want to do typing. I loved to study. I used to go to the Jewish high school for girls, which was in Munkacsy Street at that time. [The building] was quite dilapidated, but we loved being there. I remember that there were fewer classrooms than classes. So one of the classes was always in the synagogue. We liked that a lot, because if we sat down, the desks were at eye level, and then you couldn't see us behind them, and we did what we liked because the teacher couldn't see us. I felt great at high-school. I felt that I was in the right place. Our headmaster, Jeno Zsoldos, was a great scientist, though very serious and severe. [He noticed me on the very first day] and from that time on he kept his eye on me - Hungarian, orthography, penmanship - I liked these very much. Zsoldos was our mentor, we are indebted to him for everything: for our erudition, and for the fact that we can speak and write Hungarian correctly. He taught Hungarian and Latin. He was a handsome young man when we started, and at his funeral two people from our class were present. In those times the Rakosi regime was raging, and God forbid that anybody in a good position should give away that they had attended a denominational school. So there were only two of us at his funeral. Samuel Hajdu was the teacher of religion. We read and translated Hebrew texts, and learned the grammar of biblical Hebrew. The school-fee was rather high, there were not many who could really attend this school; only the good pupils, who were exempted from school-fees; apart from them only the children of the Jewish elite went to that school. In those days it wasn't so usual to send girls to high-school. As a matter of fact, I am very proud that I attended that school.

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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