Her courageous escape from Hungary

What a lady told me today at a senior living facility – a WWII story.

She lived through the Germans invading Hungary during WWII and then the Russians invaded Hungary.

I was a little girl living in Hungary. I have had a very hard life, living through wars and takeovers of my country. Our country was
invaded by the Russians  and they took over the government. We had to run down to the basement in our apartment building whenever  we heard the sirens. There were mines set to explode at all of the borders so that people would not try to  escape the Russian regime.

I did not like living at my home because there was so much turmoil and fear during all of my early years.  And in my house, I had to do  all of the work – wash the clothes, scrub the floors on my hands and knees, and cook for a big family and my brothers did nothing. When I was 20, I pretended like I was going to work and packed a small bag of things. I went to the edge of the next town. My friend knew what I was going to do – try to escape across the border from Hungary  to Austria.

She told me how dangerous it was but I had heard that America was like a dream and I had to get out of Hungary and eventually out of Europe. I had to be careful when  I considered how I would cross the border. Many people who tried were shot, captured or arrested.

Do you know how scary it is to try to cross the border  when you are a 20-year-old girl? I had to run for my life when I attempted to cross over the border. I had to make sure that no cars, trucks, soldiers  or  even the town people around.

Then, when I made it to Austria, Radio Free Europe helped me to contact my mother and tell her what I had done. And that I was never coming back to Hungary.

I worked hard all of my life and saved money. I told my adult children  that I had saved money for them so that when I die, they would not  have to have a hard life like me.  My children all said,  “No Mom, we will not take it. You deserve to live in a nice place, with good food and company. So, that is why I am here. I used the money I saved all my life that I planned  to give to my kids. I used all of my savings so  I could live here. ”

The residents in the room clapped when she finished telling her story about her courageous escape and her life here in

She asked me for one stuffed animal for a friend, and one for her grandchild and one for a lady who did not come down for the program AND FOUR MORE FOR HERSELF.

“I really need them all for me. They are so cute. I want to cuddle with them.”

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