Panni Koltai and Rozsi Schwarz

Panni Koltai and Rozsi Schwarz
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  • Photo taken in:
    Eger
    Year when photo was taken:
    1934
    Country name at time of photo:
    Hungary

This is me (on the left) with my sister Rozsi Schwarz, nee Friedmann, in the garden of our parents' house in Eger in 1934.

Rozsi was at home after finishing middle school and helped Mom. She made beautiful children's clothes, I have no idea where she learnt this, she just picked it up somewhere. She never learnt it professionally.

When I finished middle school in 1929, I also wanted to continue studying like my sister Piri, but I couldn't. My parents had more money for the education of my older sisters; by the time it was my turn, the money was gone. Sewing was almost the only trade that one could always do for a living for sure. So, they decided that the girls should learn sewing. Girls didn't really have the possibility to learn any other trade at that time, especially if they were Jewish. My parents apprenticed me to a man, also a tailor, who was an acquaintance of my father, but I didn't like it there at all. He was a Jewish tailor from abroad, not from Hungary. He was a women's tailor. I was there for only a very short time because I kicked up no end of a racket at home about not liking to be there. But I still learned how to sew, since we all knew this trade kind of instinctively because Dad was a tailor.

The Greiners, my husband's family, lived in the same street as us. I went to work for Dora Greiner. Three or four of us worked in her workshop. Dora was our boss. She was very strict; she used to upbraid me all the time before she became my sister-in-law. After her brother married me, I used to tell her, 'You were such a nasty boss, it was horrible'. I worked there as an apprentice for a couple of years and I didn't get a salary; we were happy that they took me on in the first place. After I finished my apprenticeship, I got a salary for my work. But we didn't have set working hours. We were told at what time we had to start in the morning. I can't remember what it was any more. I guess it must have been 7 or 8 in the morning. And in the evening we had to stay until we finished the fancy work on a piece or whatever we were doing. As long as the Greiner girls lived in Eger, I worked in their workshop.

Interview details

Interviewee: Panni Koltai
Interviewer:
Eszter Andor
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2003
Budapest, Hungary

KEY PERSON

Panni Koltai
Year of birth:
1915
City of birth:
Eger
Country name at time of birth:
Hungary
Occupation
before WW II:
Self-employed craftsman in non-elite crafts
after WW II:
Party official
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Friedmann Anna
    Year of changing: 
    1937
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
  • Previous family name: 
    Greiner
    Year of changing: 
    1946
    Reason for changing: 
    Magyarosítás

Other Person

Rozsi Schwarz
Year of birth:
1908
City of birth:
Eger
Country name at time of birth:
Hungary
Year of death:
1968
City of death:
Eger
Country of death:
Hungary
Died:
after WW II
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
after WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Friedmann
    Year of changing: 
    1928
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
  • Previous family name: 
    Schwarz
    Reason for changing: 
    Remarriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940s
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