To Whom it May Concern:
With reference to your latest query prior to bringing final judgment concerning my petition (Reference no. 1909-1970, clerk in charge, Mrs. Szalkai), enclosed please find my Claim Form as well as a Supplementary Statement.
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(Issued in compliance with Official Decree #40, 1957 B.C.)
I. what is the nature of your request?
a.) I would like to be born in Budapest on December 9, 1909.
b.) I would like home-maker Regina Fekete to be my mother and traveling salesman Miksa Tábori to be my father.
(If for any reason my request re. the above-named individuals cannot be granted, I am open to further suggestions, provided my beloved parents will be identical with the people I will call Mother and Father.)
c.) I further request that my wife be the time-keeper Edit Kovács, and my son be the student Pál Tábori (see parenthetical remark, Section I/b, except that in this case the words 'Mother' and 'Father' should be understood to mean 'Wife' and 'Son' respectively.)
d.) In view of the date on which I request to die (See Section II), I hereby renounce the joys of grandparenthood now and for ever.
II. how long do you wish to live?
61 years, 6 months, 3 days, 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
(Please note: I have submitted similar requests to the authorities in the past (see my petitions # 80 B.C., 1241, 1514, 1526, 1711 and 1849 A.D.**). However, due to overcrowding on said dates, my petitions were rejected out of hand. This being my seventh petition in this matter, may I respectfully point out that 61 years is not such a long time to live, and if you should decide in my favor, I promise to make the most of the time allotted to me.
III. what on earth for?
a.) Because I would like to complete six years of elementary school and four years of secondary school, followed by the School for Commerce. After graduation, I wouldn't mind being a cashier at Haas & Son, then in 1939, with your kind approval, I plan to open a small notions shop in Király, later Mayakovsky utca. In 1940 I would also like to realize a cherished dream, and purchase a two-seater Topolino motor car. (When considering my request, kindly take into consideration that with said motor car I hope to surprise Mother by driving her to the market.)
Total time requested for shop, car, foodstuffs, soap, etc.: 3 years.
b.) Following the above, I have in mind a second world war including Nazism, Jewish persecution, and a yellow star on my chest. I am also planning to hand my automobile over to the Hungarian Army and my shop to the Department of de-Judaification of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. (Please note: You need not bother arranging my parents' transport by cattle car to Mauthausen, as I can probably have them stay at the Dohány utca ghetto.) As for me, I wouldn't mind joining a forced labor batallion, slaps in the face and duck walks included, after which I sincerely hope that the liberating Red Army will still find me and my family among the living (see Sections I & II). If you will kindly arrange this, I will immediately set about finding a bride for myself and fathering children, and will even join the Hungarian Communist Party.
c.) Between 1945 and 1948 I will be happy.
Total time requested for new shop, new automobile, foodstuffs, soap, etc.:
d.) In 1949 I wish to make my son's acquaintance. I would also like you to kindly deprive me once and for all of my car, my shop, and my Party membership.
e.) And while you're at it, kindly expel my wife from the Party, too.
(In view of the fact that my wife will have precious little to do with private enterprise except through me, which might give rise to certain logistical difficulties, permit me to call your attention to a certain Mrs. József Csizmadia (a.k.a. Babi) who, I believe, could be persuaded to write an anonymous letter informing the authorities that my wife had attended the Vörösmarty utca grammar school, run by a Scottish mission. Further, perhaps she could point out that my wife maintains what could be construed as close ties with the United States through a certain Rose Kun, i.e., she receives, sends, writes and reads letters, etc.)
f.) As for my son, kindly deny him admission to kindergarten.
g.) I wish to take no part in the 1956 (counter)revolution. On the contrary, my family and I will have nothing to eat as a sign of protest against the upheaval. Though I will gladly take on four-hour long guard duty in our building every night in the company of Dr. Aurél Kovács, dental clinic resident, I would nevertheless appreciate it if the above-mentioned Red Army could once again provide so-called friendly assistance to my country.
h.) From that point on, I wish to work first as an assistant buyer then a full-fledged buyer until the day I die.
Except for the above-specified events, kindly refrain from producing any further events of note.
Fully cognizant of my legal and civic responsibilities before the law, I the undersigned hereby solemnly declare that both as a retailer, truck driver, assistant acquisitions man and full-fledged acquisitions man I will be a useful member of the Kingdom of Hungary, the Hungarians Republic of Councils, Truncated post-Trianon Hungary, Greater Hungary, the Apostolic Regency, and the Hungarian People's Republic.
I promise to honor and respect the governments of Emperor Francis Joseph I, Count Mihály Károlyi, Béla Kun, Miklós Horthy, Mátyás Rákosi, János Kádár, etc., and to abide by their laws.
I shall stand at attention every time the Austrian, German, Soviet and Hungarian national anthems, as well as the Gotterhalte, Giovinezza and Internationale are played.
I shall duly respect the Austrian, German, and Soviet national flags, not to mention the red flag; I shall likewise respect the coats-of-arms of our nation, to wit: the apostolic cross, the crown of Saint Stephen; the hammer and sickle, wheat-sheaves, etc., etc., etc.
I shall further respect my superiors Ödön and Pál Haas, forced labor brigade commander Vitéz Endre Garzó, general manager Kálmán Zsérczi, co-operative chairman Kálmán Zsérczi, Jr., etc., and shall obey them at all times. I shall do my duty both at work and at home – eating, sleeping, watching over progeny; visiting basements, poling booths and hospitals -- to the best of my ability. I will help my wife with the house work, washing the dishes, cleaning, wringing out the wash rag, without having to be asked.
As long as I live I promise not to importune the authorities with special requests – space travel, starring role in a movie, freedom of speech; as for my death, I will resign myself with or without previous notice, and I shall worship no foreign gods and shall bear no false witness against my neighbor; nor will I covet my neighbor's wife, nor manservant nor his maidservant, nor his cattle, nor his ass, nor any thing else that will one day be his.
Hoping that the above petition will meet with your kind approval, I am who I will be,
Translated by Judith Sollosy
From Végre élsz! – Alive at last!, 1981
In: Nothing Makes You Free. Writings by Descendants
of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, 2002