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Boy Scouts

Like my brother David, I belonged to the Boy Scout movement. It was practically mandatory to be a Cub and wear the uniform on certain days to school, to show that you were a good little Hungarian. As boy scouts, we read stories about our great ancestors; we sang the Hungarian anthem “God Bless the Hungarian” while saluting the flag; we exercised; and we camped out, lighting campfires and singing patriotic songs about the poor oppressed Hungarians who we would one day liberate.

One of the things the Boy Scout movement did was collect scrap metal which was later melted down and used to make tanks and weapons. I was one of the enthusiastic little boys who scoured the neighbourhood for scrap metal and proudly dragged it back for the cause: for the cause of the German victory. Although I was Jewish, I very much identified with Hungarian culture and bought into Hungarian propaganda.

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