Talking About Their Generation: Elder Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor
For the second event in the Elder Wisdom series, I can’t wait for you to meet Robert Weisz. So here’s how these events come about – Robert and wife Bonnie came into the store and we began talking about citizens choosing to help–or not–when they witness a skirmish of some sort. Here is where my husband would query “how on earth were you selling a book one moment and then talking about anonymous, random involvement the next?” The answer is I have NO idea why, I’ve been trying to re-wind my mind to what on EARTH got us going but the important thing is:
Isn’t that a conversation you’d want to be a part of? I KNOW. I love my job.
Anyway – so anonymous involvement, or citizen willingness to step in. Bonnie offered that Bob was reluctant to engage because he was raised in a communist country and taught to keep his eyes down and thoughts to himself. OOH so interesting! You know the rest, I could never let that tidbit/trove go unmined, and so I curioused my way into his story and a while later invited him to take part in our Elder Wisdom series. And now I’m inviting you to hear it. Gosh, don’t miss it.
Bob was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1947 to Jewish parents. His mother survived the Holocaust in many ways, but first - by spotting a filthy ditch to throw herself into rather than continue on with the Nazi’s forced march of her Jewish neighbors. This was Fall, 1944 and by this time it was common knowledge where they were being taken and why. His father was forced to labor for the German-Hungarian army for three years, from 1942 until he finally escaped his last camp, on the Russian front - in 1945.
After the war the Weisz family remained in Hungary and Bob’s early years were spent under Russian and communist domination. He remembers Budapest as a beautiful capital city but one “gray in look and feel.” Bob really remembers his mother telling him when he came home from the regime’s elementary school, “forget everything they taught you today, except the math.” A Hungarian revolt in 1956 failed to oust the Russians but the Weisz family escaped to the United States.
Bob’s story of his life and immigrant experience will fascinate you – for one thing – he DID remember the math: he is now retired after a 31-year career as a computer programmer and executive in telecommunications.
If you happen to know a fascinating elder that might want to talk to me in front of a small audience, please contact me. Series will resume in the Fall, firstname.lastname@example.org.