Trafika Europe 11 - Swiss Delights

A Wider Sea


NO MEMORY An accidental birthplace. A not entirely accidental birthplace since my mother had been born here. In Rimaszombat, which passed from Hungary to Czechoslovakia after the Treaty of Trianon and was reconquered by Admiral Horthy, only to became part of the ČSSR after the war, and then, some forty-five years later, the district capital of Gemer in the southeast of the Slovak Republic. Rimavská Sobota, population 25,000, of which a scant third belong to the Hungarian minority. Preparatory school, secondary school, museum, library, town hall, two hotels, a Catholic, a Lutheran, and a Calvinist church, a baroque central square. The synagogue (on one of the streets in the historic center) was left to ruin. Later, the socialist building boom raged: in the sixties an enormous prefabricated apartment block was built on the edge of the historic center and known locally as ‘the Chinese wall’. The canning factory founded in 1902, of which my grandfather was the director, still exists. It produces jam as well as canned fruits and vegetables. The former director’s house, in which my mother grew up and I was born, was turned into the office wing with no alterations made to the staircase or the floor plan. I find the room


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