My father was a young physician in Budapest during WWII when standing up for your principles was dangerous. He escaped in 1948. This is the story as he told it in his curriculum vitae soon after his arrival in Canada.
I was born on the 14th day of July, 1921, in Kispest, a city with a population of 70,000 – a suburb of the Hungarian capital Budapest. Being the only son of middle-class parents, who were merchants; I had every opportunity to pursue the career to which I felt most drawn.
At the age of six, I entered elementary school; where a four year course of studies was followed, as a preparation for middle school. In my native country, as in other Central European and most Western European countries, there prevails this middle or Intermediate school, (called “Gymnasium” ) a system assigned to give a preliminary education for University during an eight year course. I graduated from this school with the best qualifications obtainable.
I enrolled at the Medical Faculty of the University of Budapest, and in September 1939, started my studies there in medicine. This course consisted of five years of University study, and one year of compulsory rotating internship.
During my third year as student, I was rewarded with one of the six scholarships, sponsored by the City Council of the Capital, which covered all my University expenses. In October, 1944, I graduated from the University with the qualifications, “Summa cum Laude”, among the first four of a group of 120 graduates.
Soon after my graduation, I was drafted into the Army, but refused to enter. Continue reading