Editor’s Foreword

My name is David Greer.  I came into possession of this book through fairly circuitous route.


  • My Great Grandmother Sarah Weiss married my Great Grand Father Armin Kestenbaum sometime in the 1890s.
  • Armin and Sarah moved to Brooklyn, NY, USA in the very late 1890s or very early 1900s.
  • My Grandmother Flora (1903) and Grand Uncle Lou (1905) were born in Brooklyn.
  • Armin, Sarah, Flora and Lou moved back to Hungary shortly after Lou’s birth, to the family estate in Nyiregyhaza.
  • My Grand Aunt Rhoda (1907) and Grand Uncle Daniel (1909) were born there.
  • Armin grew worried about conditions and moved back to the US shortly before WW I, again to Brooklyn.
  • Many of my family perished in WW I, and as a result, Flora, Louis, Rhoda and Dan were the only surviving members of the family I ever knew.
  • A rabbi was fleeing Hungary during the late 1950s and gathered up several books on his way out of the country.
  • The rabbi came to my grandmother’s, synagogue sometime during the 1980s.  As he went around meeting his new congregants he would ask them where they were from, what their maiden names were, etc.  When my grandmother told the rabbi her name, he said, “I have a book here about your family.”  He then gave my grandmother the book.

I have been trying for several years, on and off, to get this book translated to learn the story it tells of my distant ancestor Marton Kaesztenbaum.  Many thanks to Agi and Steve for their tireless effort in this project.

One of the notable features of this book is the numerous names scattered throughout its pages.  I have created an index of all the family names mentioned in the book and the pages on which they appear.  Many occurrences of names in the book seem to be alternative spellings of the same name.  Toward the end of the book the author includes a list of roughly two hundred students who attended the school, their subsequent fields of endeavor and where they went after school.

I have paginated this English translation to match up with the .jpg images of the original Hungarian if anyone wishes to match up the English with the original Hungarian; that is why there are large blank spaces at the bottom of many pages.

It is my wish that this project will help someone connect with a lost family member.