Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics

By Edward Teller; Judith L. Shoolery | Go to book overview
Save to active project


BECAUSE RIDING IN trains was my favorite occupation, I was disappointed that our vacation in 1915 included no travel. After a year full of the uncertainties of war, my parents took us to the mountains across the river; we were so close to home that we could look back and make out our apartment building. The only memorable aspect of that holiday was that Magda Hesz was with us.

Magda was a Hungarian girl who was born in a German region of southern Hungary (now Croatia) and raised in Chicago. Her parents died when she was in her teens, and she was sent back to Hungary to live with relatives. Shortly after the war began, my mother hired her to supervise Emmi and me and teach us English. She lived with us much as an au pair for seven years.

Magda, little more than ten years older than I, seemed more of a friend than a part of the management. She was a big strong girl, with long, thick blond hair, but she was in no way formidable. Missy, as we called her, never was angry, nor disliked anyone. She did the mending for the family; at her instigation, another wonderful device, a treadle sewing machine, came into our house. She had many other talents: She knew all the omens of good and bad luck and could tell the past and future by looking at the palm of your hand. And she told wonderful stories, most of them about Chicago.

My mother was very fond of Magda, in part because of her aptitude and willingness to work, but also because of her disposition. Magda's room could hardly have been ten feet square; its only window overlooked the back area of the building. Yet Magda lacked neither space to set up an easel nor light to


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 628

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?