Wartime Injury

“In 1945, at the time of the bombardment of Budapest, I was hurt very badly and went to the nursery school of the Institute of Welfare, where the director at the time was Erzsébet Bélaváry-Burchard, a great follower of Montessori and the only person in Hungary to have studied with Maria Montessori herself. I worked there until 1950, when the Budapest municipal government took over the preschools and sent me away, proclaiming me ‘unfit’ for such work. For a while, I worked as a tradesperson, designing and producing toys from my home, so that I could undergo further treatment for my injured hand. This lasted ten months, and as a result, I can still use my hand well today. On April 1, 1952, I took up a new position as a classroom teacher with a limited number of hours. I would have liked to continue working in my field, but unfortunately, my nerves just couldn’t take the duties the job entailed. Now I find myself back in treatment again, and I’d like to find work that doesn’t weigh as heavily on my nerves as teaching has.” (Eszter Leveleki)