Vera Faludi (nee Gero)

OBJECT:

Vera and her husband George took few belongings when they escaped from communist Hungary. This dessert plate is one of six, which Vera took to remind her husband of the smells of his mother’s baking and the desserts they enjoyed.

Sydney Jewish Museum Collection M2007/081

Story:

“In Sofia I attended an Italian pre-school, a Hungarian school, and then a German school with my brother Teddy. By the end of 1939, Jewish children were no longer allowed at German schools, and I moved to a French school run by nuns. Languages were important to my father. He thought they could open doors, give you advantages, and you never knew when they could come in handy. This was a partial reason for our family’s survival.

In 1942 a friend of my father at the Hungarian Embassy offered to move, via diplomatic courier, our most valuable belongings from Sofia to Budapest – Persian carpets, paintings, porcelain. Our belongings never arrived, most likely stolen by the diplomat. We had certificates of Baptism from the Evangelical church for use in emergencies.

Teddy and my father were sent for forced labour; my mother and I had to move into the ghetto. One day Arrow Cross soldiers came and took all of the women aged 16 to 60; my mother, grandmother, and I hid in the attic. It was so small that we had to lie down or be half-seated. We stayed for a week. We got papers to move into a protected house of the Swedish consulate.

One day, after the war, a dirty, skinny man approached me and I started to run away. I heard a voice, ‘Vera, don’t you recognize me?’ It was my brother!

Shortly after liberation, I met again an old friend, George Faludi. I was 16 years old. We were married in early 1946. We left Hungary in 1947 for Brussels, where we stayed for eight months waiting for visas. We went to Paris, and by 1948, with false visas for Paraguay, left for Uruguay. We had to be resourceful to get where we wanted to go.”