Photo taken in:NitraYear when photo was taken:19145Country name at time of photo:Austria-Hungary, pre 1918Country name today:Slovakia
These are my maternal grandparents Viliam [Vilmos] Braun and Cecilia or Cili Braunova with their children Aladar, Ludovit [Lajos] and Jeno Braun, Matilda Kleinova, nee Braunova, Serena Szilagyi, nee Braunova, and Irena [Iren] Simkova, nee Braunova, my mother. The photo was taken in 1914/15. The Braun family is from my mother's branch of the family. My grandparents were named Vilmos [in Slovak Viliam] Braun and Cecilia Braunova. My grandfather on my mother's side was born in the town of Dolna Lehota, in 1850. He owned a café in Nitra. The popular Braun Café was very well known in this city. The café was located in the center of Nitra, beside the then Theater of Andrej Bagar. Unfortunately it's been since town down. They were enlarging the town square, so they leveled it. I don't remember my grandfather, he died in Nitra in 1920. That one I never knew. My grandma, Cili [Cecilia], her I remember well. She and her husband had eleven children. I think that two of them died right after birth. What my grandmother's maiden name was, that I don't know. I only know that she was originally from Nitra. She was born in 1856 and died, in 1936, in her hometown of Nitra. All the Brauns had a high school education, with a natural intelligence and capable of surviving and knowing how to get ahead in life. In a word a typical vital family... Unfortunately not all of them managed to survive the horrors of the war. Of Cecilia and Vilmos's children, Aladar now occurs to me. He died along with this whole family in Sobibor. His wife Sarika as well as the children, basically the whole family died. Aladar was an extremely interesting person. At home he at first began to raise rabbits. Then he rented out a spa - Ganovce, near Poprad, and recruited children from Budapest, and also from all of Slovakia, advertising it as being in the Tatras [High Tatras: mountain range in northern Slovakia. The highest peak is Gerlachovsky Peak (2,644 m) - Editor's note]. Children from Budapest arrived there, having been sent to the Tatras by their parents. But they never saw the Tatras. Ganovce was three kilometers from Poprad [Poprad: the biggest town in the foothills of the High Tatras, with a population of 54,098 - Editor's note]. But Aladar was so clever, that he knew how to deal with them and keep them there. In the end everyone was satisfied. I also used to go there together with my brother every summer. Here's one interesting incident with Aladar, so you can get to know the Braun nature. There was a Mr. Pazmandy in Nitra, a well-known man. He was this 'degenerate' member of the upper class, simply put, a little loopy. Once Pazmandy arrived in Ganovce with his coach, or car, I don't exactly know any more. He arrived with a fishing rod. When Aladar saw him, he said to himself: 'Holy moly, how in the world will I get rid of him?!' and asked him: 'Pazmandy, why are you here?' 'Well, I've come to catch some fish.' 'And what's the fishing rod for?' 'I've come to fish, haven't I?' 'Mr. Pazmandy, here in Ganovce we catch fish in a completely different way.' 'And how, Mr. Braun?' 'Well, you need an alarm clock and an axe.' 'And how's that?' 'You put the alarm clock on the shore, and when a fish comes to have a look what time it is, you hit it on the head.' To this he replied: 'Sir, you have insulted me!' He turned around and offended went home. That's the Braun nature.