These pictures are of my great-grandfather, Imre Major. In Hungarian, names are given last name first, so his name is more correctly Major Imre. Major Imre saw duty in the Great War on the eastern front with Russia. He was wounded while marching back front the front at the end of the war. Someone had fired his weapon into the air in celebration and the spent bullet severed a portion of the small finger on Imre's left hand.
Prior to the war, Imre was a member of the House Guard for the House of Hapsburg in Vienna. The Hapsburg's ruled Hungary from 1427 until the the of the Great War in 1918.
Our Distinguished Family History
During the war years when my grandfather Kalman was away, my father, his sister and his mother lived with his grandparents in Szentgal. My father came to know and deeply respect his grandfather and grandmother during those years. During long walks through the nearby woods searching for mushrooms, Imre and Arpad shared many conversations.
My father also remembers shining these tall riding boots, customary wear for Hungarian men in those years.
My grandfather, Karika Kalman saw duty during the Great War on the Italian front. After the war, Kalman became a member of the Hungarian federal constabulary, the Csendorseg. He served in many locations around Hungary.
In 1933, he wed my grandmother Major Vilma. They make a striking couple in their wedding picture. I will include a more detailed history of the family here, once I find the e-mail containing it.
The family remained together until the war came to Transylvania (Erdely). Vilma, Erzsebet and Arpad were evacuated back to Szentgal by train. The train stopped in the town of Ploesti, Romania for breakfast. Unfortunately, that was the morning the Allies staged the first attack on the nearby oil refineries. My father can remember seeking shelter in a stairwell waiting for the bombers to pass.
Kalman and Vilma had two children, Erzsike and Arpad. The family moved several times as Kalman was posted around the country. This photograph was probably taken around 1942, while the war was already raging in Europe.
This was the last photograph of the family, taken in early 1956. The Hungarian Revolution would break out in October and my father left the country soon afterward. My father remembers resisting the effort to get a family photo taken, but appreciates it greatly now.
Nagymama, Nagypapa and Dedpapa in Szentgal, 1960.