Friday, October 26, 2007

Education - ושננתם לבניך

We Stayed in an apartment that we rented on Veres Pálné utca. The street was named after the woman who established the first woman's Gimnázium (Academic High School) in Budapest. Her statue adorns the end of the street, a few doors from where we stayed.

The school established by Mrs Veres changed the life of my Grandmother who was among the first Hungarian women to attend high school. Her older sister Ella never went to a Gimnázium, but by the time her younger sister Mårta was high-school age, secondary school education for women was very common.

After settling into the apartment where we were staying, we walked around the area. Dad showed us the Presbyterian school that he attended for 2 years (he switched to the Jewish school when his younger brother Janos was denied entry to the school as they had a quota for non-Presbyterian students).

My father attended this school as it was very close to their home, and it was the school that his grandfather had attended.

We also saw the house where my father's grandparents lived. After the war the house was divided (due to the housing shortage) and my aunt Mårta lived in the other hlaf with her husband Ivan. They stayed there until their death in the 1990s. We also saw the apartment my father lived in before the war (including the window he fell out of as a toddler, he still has the scar on his neck from that almost fatal accident).

Renting a regular apartment in that part of town gave me us a small appreciation of what life may have been like - the style of building apartments with very high ceilings built around a common courtyard (with a tap, which at one time may have been the only working tap in the building).

After walking around that part of Pest for a few hours, we headed to the Jewish Quarter for dinner - but that will have to be my next post.

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