top of page
  • Writer's pictureMargaret's Legacy

A Beneficiary of Enlightenment Before WWII

Before WWII, Arthur was the direct beneficiary of "Enlightenment". At the time, he did not truly understand the immense blessing it was. He was able to go to college and own land. It was easy to take that for granted when he never remembered anything different.

Below is an excerpt from 'Arthur's Story' in our book "From Hungary to Hamilton" coming very VERY soon to e-book... stay tuned for details!

"When I was growing up in Moson, Hungary — and this may surprise readers of these words — our Christian neighbours were as warm and friendly towards me and my well-to-do family as the ones I would encounter in Hamilton, Ontario. In the 1920s and 1930s, I was a direct beneficiary of the enlightenment that had taken place under Joseph II (the son and successor of Maria Theresa), although I was not yet aware of the good fortune that had so recently come to my people.

Jews were finally allowed to enter academies and study any subject (except theology, of course) — and Jews were finally permitted to rent farms. It was the very large farm my family owned that played an important role in our lives for nearly two centuries, including between the wars and shortly after the second one. In fact, my younger brother survived World War II without hunger or torture by living on our own family farm.

All badges and other distinctive marks Jews had long been forced to wear on their clothing were abolished during this time — until this ugly tradition was brought back again in the 1940s under Hungarian and Nazi Fascism. This liberalization may well have been the reason my grandparents decided to move the short distance from German-speaking Austria to Hungary and the new freedoms led to a rapid growth in Hungary’s Jewish population, from both natural increase and immigration from neighbouring regions."

(Bottom of page 23 - Top of page 24)

Limited first edition copies still available. Contact for buying options.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page