Panni Koltai with her mother

Panni Koltai with her mother
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  • Photo taken in:
    Eger
    Year when photo was taken:
    1936
    Country name at time of photo:
    Hungary
This is me (on the left) with my Mom, Aranka Friedmann, nee Pollak, in the open-air swimming pool in Eger in 1936. There was a swimming pool in Eger. It was unthinkable that someone couldn't swim; we all knew how to swim. I learnt to swim at the age of 3; I was taught by a swimming instructor. Mom was standing next to me and was having kittens that I would be thrown off from the spring-board and would drown. And the instructor took me up the spring-board, threw me off and that's how I learnt to swim. We loved the swimming pool, we used to go there the whole summer. We went there in the morning and waited in the courtyard of the swimming pool until it was opened. When it was opened, we ran in like a bunch of puppies and we got into the water and out and in again - it went on like this the whole day. We didn't have any food because we didn't take lunch with us, but we had fruit because Mom always bought a whole basket of fruit and distributed it among the children in the morning. They didn't have to worry about us, we had a great time and Mom was free, too. We, children, simply loved the swimming pool. My parents also went to the swimming pool occasionally, my mother swam very well. Dad didn't go swimming, he worked. But Mom used to go regularly. We used to go to the swimming pool with Jewish girls. At that time men and women bathed separately. The Catholic Church didn't allow a common swimming pool - we children knew about this, too, it was no secret. It was a 'sin' for men and women to swim or bathe together. This is especially interesting because the canons - these were priests with purple belts - refrained from going to such public places [in Eger]. At the same time many people saw them in Pest going to swimming pools and the lido. Well, this was really not reconcilable [with their position] and even we children reprimanded them for this, although it was none of our business. When the [common] open-air swimming pool was finally allowed, Eger started to prosper because it gave a boost to the town. Eger became a busy town; cheap trains started to come from Pest. People could take cheap trains to come to the open-air swimming pool in Eger.

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

Aranka Friedmann
Year of birth:
1887
City of birth:
Eger
Country name at time of birth:
Hungary
Year of death:
1944
City of death:
Auschwitz
Country of death:
Poland
Died where:
Auschwitz
Occupation
before WW II:
Housewife
  • Previous family name: 
    Pollak
    Year of changing: 
    190405
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
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