A unique legacy has been donated to our foundation, the Braille books collected by the Hungarian blind linguist Gyula Farkashalmi! The sentimental value of the approximately 3000 kilograms of books is inestimable, most of them very rare and valuable. We are proud of this legacy!
Gyula Farkashalmi was born in Szeged in 1941, he was visually impaired from birth, but initially he saw strong colours, lights and shapes. He was born into a very poor family, his father was blind, he played the violin in pubs and was a basket weaver. His mother was partially sighted but not totally blind. In 1947 he was sent to the Primary School for the Blind in Budapest. In 1954 he had an operation on both eyes, which went badly and left him completely blind, but it was here that he met a teacher who spoke several languages. He became his mentor, encouraging him to study. He first learned Esperanto, then he went to the Esperanto International Congress where he made many lifelong friendships, and as a result he started to learn other languages. In the meantime, he graduated from high school, then studied French at ELTE – BTK. Thanks to his friends, he learned Russian, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, French, English and German. For love, she also learned Polish and Ukrainian. Married three times, he was a great admirer of the female sex. He worked as a telephone operator, a typographer and then as a translator and language teacher. He was a remarkable man, endlessly kind, polite, a true old-fashioned gentleman. He wrote poems, most of which are unfortunately lost.
Gyula Farkashalmi is a role model not only for the visually impaired but for everyone. He was a living testimony to a lifetime of learning, to the will to live, and to the fact that you can and should set goals for yourself and how to achieve them.
No one can take knowledge away from us.
Thank you to the Hungarian School for the Blind Hungarians Foundation for the organisation, to BEBAK for the help, and to Melinda Instal for the careful delivery. But above all, we are grateful to Uncle Gyula’s family for bringing these precious books to us.
May God pay!