On Remembrance Day

Nandor Fa à bord de son bateau
© ErdélyiG

Nándor Fa (Spirit of Hungary): "I think my existence in this world was decided when my mother and my father, sometime in the second half of the 1930s, looked at each other at a ball. That moment was so significant to both of them that a decade later it still lived in them. Right after the ball my father was called up by the army. They tried to keep in touch through letters, hoping that one day they would see each other again. By the time he could have gone home, WW II broke out and so he was kept in the army. He didn’t fight on the war front, he worked as a pontooner - constantly blasting and rebuilding. He was 190 cm tall, tough as a bull, survived the ice-cold Duna river, endless marches and several periods of captivity. When the Hungarian army fell apart, he started towards home on foot. The Germans caught him and treated him as a deserter. Close to Wienerneustadt he escaped from them. At Mór he was caught by the Russians and as an enemy soldier he was sent to one of the Gulags on the East. On the way he managed to escape again, and started home on foot, for the third time. This time he was much more careful not to be caught, as they would have shot him dead. He walked throughout the whole winter, only during the night, slowly metre by metre. Finally, he arrived home in 1946."

"My mother lived the life of young women at the time. Her brothers were on the front, she knew nothing about her love for a long time. The war went through Székesfehérvár - my hometown - three times, all three times in the form of bloody battles. Young girls were camouflaged to escape from the Russian soldiers. Those must have been miserable years, living the in the hopeless. Then, my mother and father were somehow blown together by the wind again. They got married and built a house from ruins with their own hands, where the four of us were born."

© Christophe Favreau"My father only bothered about his own job, worked hard every day; he didn’t care about communism. My mother stayed at home, raising her four sons. They gave life to us, gave their wisdom and morals to us. I was about ten years old when my mother was asked in by the director of my school. When she was blamed for the religious raising of her children, she said to: “You, in this school, can teach my children anything you want. And I will teach them what I want in my home.” I’m incredibly proud of my parents, they were true, hard-working people, it feels great to remember them."

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