Beauty Pageant Certificate

Relationship: Im/migrant
The certificate in its original frame
The certificate in its original frame

My parents were both Holocaust survivors and unfortunately, both of their parents, grandparents, and siblings perished, mostly in Auschwitz. They met after liberation and started from scratch, literally nothing, save a few photographs survived. Many years later, a second cousin found this framed certificate and gave it to my father. It roughly translates that a newspaper awarded my paternal grandmother 2,000 Koronas as a prize for winning a beauty contest in Budapest, in April, 1917. Koronas were used in the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918, when the Forint became the official currency. The amount of the prize must have been huge, perhaps as much as the equivalent today of over $5,000! When I was a little girl, my parents and I escaped from Hungary during the Revolution, December 31, 1956, with nothing but what we could carry across a frozen field, walking 4 kilometers to freedom to Austria, just a few hundred yards from the Russian border guards. Somehow, my parents managed to bring this memento with them and though they are both gone now, and the Nazis took away my grandparents before I was born, just seeing Springer Rozsika's name in this lovely, original frame, makes me grateful for the moments of joy and normalcy they must have experienced in their youth.

Place(s): Hungary
Year: 1958

– Adrienne Yelsky

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant