Cymbalist, Susie: Susie’s Story

Cymbalist, Susie: Susie’s Story

by  Susie Cymbalist

Susie’s childhood in Budapest was very comfortable, though solitary. As she writes, ‘My mother didn’t have much time for me.’ Long walks in the local park with her devoted nanny, outings to fun parks and swimming pools and trips to the dressmaker were no preparation for war. After her father and only brother were murdered, Susie and her mother survived in hiding, occasionally separately, until they were reunited in their wrecked, formerly elegant apartment.

Determined to find a better life outside Hungary, Susie became a domestic servant in London and found similar work for her mother who was now her responsibility. She migrated alone to Australia, her mother following a year later. An indomitable spirit and keen intelligence made her a valuable employee until her marriage to Heini, which brought her great joy, two children and then three grandchildren.

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