TBT: The Alleghany Rattler July 1953: Hannah’s Talk

Editor’s Note:  As part of our year-long celebration of our 100th Year Anniversary (1922-2022), we’ll post a Throwback Thursday edition of our Alleghany Rattler Newspaper to give you a peek into life at camp across those 100 summers!

In this piece, we have an example of how interesting camp guests could be, and what kinds of information campers may have learned in a summer, including about human difficulties. It is also a fine example of just how deep and engaging articles from the Activity known as Alleghany Rattler, could be.

Hannah’s Talk

by Adrian Tinsley

The bugle blew and we all hurried to the apple tree to hear Hannah Teleki tell us of her life in war-torn Hungary.

Hannah has lived during a most turbulent time, having experiences that seem to come straight out of an adventure novel. Before she was eight years old, she and her family were forced to flee three times from their house in Hungary. The first two times occurred during World War I when the Romanian troops turned on the Hungarians and drove them from their homes.

At the close of World War I the Communists began a revolution in Hungary. Hannah and her mother were placed in an internment camp in an old castle. It was at this time that Hannah owned the most valuable teddy bear in the whole world. Her mother realized that she had to escape across the Austrian border to join her husband, and she knew she couldn’t make it if she took Hannah. When she left she sewed all the family jewels into Hannah’s teddy bear; and to Hannah, who was then all of seven years old, fell the responsibility of safeguarding them. For six weeks Hannah lived with that teddy bear. When her mother finally joined her, she still had the teddy bear with the family jewels safe.

After this she went home to Transylvania with her family. After World War I the Treaty of Versailles had cut the size of Hungary, what had been the Eastern third of Hungary was put under Romanian rule and called Transylvania. The Romanians made things very hard for all Hungarians; but Hannah lived in Transylvania until 1936, when the Romanian police gave her the choice of leaving the country or being put in jail. She left and moved into the small central part of Hungary that was still free. While there she became engaged to the King of Albania; but the proposed marriage was stopped because of political reasons. Hannah stayed in free Hungary until 1940. Then, during World War II, Transylvania was freed, and she returned to her home.

Hannah, who now lives in Charlottesville and has a son in Camp Rimrod, has promised to tell us the rest of the story of her life soon. We are eagerly looking forward to it.