Search this site:

A chapter has ended

Last Friday, a long chapter ended in my family’s history: The last person of the immigrant generation, my great-aunt Tere, passed away, 99 years old. My family is fully made from immigrants. From my mother’s side, Polish. From my father’s, Austro-hungarian. Tere, sister of my grandfather was born in December 1906 in Felszoviso, Máramaros, Transilvania (then Hungary, today Romania). Most of her family had spread over different countries by 1925 (I know my grandfather chose to become a Czechoslowak to continue his studies in Stakcin, while she and her parents moved to Budapest) left Europe by 1930 - My grandfather lived for some years in Monterrey, northern Mexico, where he met my grandmother. My great-aunt’s husband had a good, stable job as a lawyer in Hungary, so she stayed in Budapest, even during the war, under Horthy’s regime. She worked carrying false documents and information to help partisans and other resistence people communicate and move in the Nazi-occupied territory. She always downplayed her work during those years, but we all know she often put her life at risk for this. Her husband was detained and later killed in a concentration camp, but she was able to hide her parents. In 1947 she was approved to get a Mexican visa, and -after 18 years of having little contact, and almost 10 years of having no contact at all- she came to Mexico, together with her parents and her second husband (who died shortly later, because of the wounds he got at another German detention center). Anyway… My great-aunt never had any children (we all refered to her as “la tía”, the aunt), but she was up to now the thread that kept together a small but very disperse family. She lived in Mexico City, as an independent woman until she was 82 years old. She moved to Cuernavaca, first as my father’s neighbour, and then to the Eishel old-age home, where her brother and sister lived - and lived in Eishel for over 15 years. She didn’t die of any specific illness, but as we know, living too much is bad for your health. She was a talkative woman until very recently, always very lucid. In mid April, however, she got an infection which had to be treated by strong antibiotics - the antibiotics didn’t help much, and keeping them on for too long would only make it more painful. In early May, my father and his cousins decided the antibiotics should be stopped - and to let nature work. Four months later, she went away, closing a very long chapter in the family.