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Helen Rodak-Izso

The Last Chance to Remember



Chapter 27. GARAI MAGDA

Back at the Red Cross we tried to think of somebody else who might help, searching our memories to find somebody with more understanding. Magda was a distant relative whose address we only vaguely remembered but we tried, and after a short time we found her listed. The first experience gave us a good lesson, not to be too optimistic. As we made our way to an old, huge neglected apartment house we had time to think about our whole existence. There the post-war situation showed in the halls. Nothing was repaired or replaced yet. We had to climb the stairs from floor to floor in darkness. Somehow we found her door and waited a little while to gather some courage before knocking on the door. She almost fainted when she opened her door to find the two of us because of the rumours she had heard about me, that I was shot to death!

She was a very lovely person and to us was very helpful and good, humane and caring. In her teen years she fell in love with her family doctor who was married at the time, unfortunately. He was twice her age and his wife was not willing to give him his freedom. Despite many opportunities of men her own age, she cared only for him. She spent her young years in false hope and in clouds. The war changed all this.

She decided to wait for him, so she went to Budapest and lived in hiding. She was the youngest child at home, and always a lovable personality, she was spoiled by her family and good friends. As a young girl she was working in a bank, but had lived at home; the air had not been full of danger or uncertainty yet. But now her situation was very serious, she was totally on her own in a huge city, in war time, but she made it. Her nature is very determined and she worked hard to achieve her goal. She worked with another girl who knew how to sew, so together, helping each other they made a very modest living for themselves.

It is life's and fate's gambling way or play, for the couple, man and his wife were both deported and that they both returned. The miracle happened and while we were her guests, the telephone rang and there was a call from the Red Cross, the expected, yet unexpected good news found its way to her, Dr. Adler is alive and is on his way home!

After this announcement she doubled her ambitions to care for us, and ran for vegetables so we should have some vitamins. Vegetables were very rare at this time and expensive. She really cared for us and we were and are very grateful. She helped us with a heavenly bath. After Dr. Adler came back to Magda, his wife finally gave in. She could see that there was no use to make difficulties. They got married and lived "happily ever after" for many more years.

Before we left Magda's home she helped us to look and feel a bit human. At least it was a start, for which we are forever grateful to her.Satoralja-Ujhely - After Budapest this was the next stop. This is already very near to the border and to our home. Here we didn't stay long, just for a short stay, we received again new papers, some food and left towards our home, where we arrived back on 11 June, 1945.

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