Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012, 19:07:45

I was born because my father could speak english.

This is a rather bizarre statement to make, but it is a true story.

And who was my father ? Well, let me just say that he spoke seven languages fluently including classic latin and had two educations, pharmacist and PHD biochemist. After the Hungarian revolution in 1956 we ended up in Denmark where he was employed by Novo, where his research produced Novo´s world wide Chlorpromazin ( Neuroleptikum ) and Enzyme business.

He was a very talented scientist , but no businessman. When he died, I had to bring money for his funeral from Tokyo. Once he told me, that when he started to learn English end 1937 in Budapest, everybody thought that he was crazy since in those days in Europe most people studied German, French or Russian.

By 1943 he was drafted into the Hungarian army, becoming in charge of the army hospital pharmacy. When the Germans were taking a final beating the Hungarian army was withdrawing with the Wehrmacht all the way to Bavaria where they ran in to Pattons boys and tanks. The Hungarian General told my father to go and talk to the Americans about surrender since he knew that my father could speak english. White flag in hand and red cross armband, he approached the US lines, when suddenly two GI´s appeared (they where drunk) one of them aiming at my father, getting ready to to fire, while the other asked, "why do you want to kill him". "Because he still has his pistol." Just a second before being shot, my father said : "If you want my pistol you can have it." The GI got his hand of the trigger and said. " Hey, you can speak english ? ?"

They took my father to their commanding officer and later made him US army interpreter, so he could return to Hungary and make me.

English and a few seconds saved his life.

By the way, after the incident the trigger-happy GI told my father:
"Just call me Billy"

By Gabor Fabricius


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