I was born and lived until 1956 in Hungary. I was a Boy Scout and just before the Second World War, we had a project to try and discover and save as much heritage of the Hungarian culture as possible. We young boys were sent out to the country to find and record folk tales and folk songs. We were billeted with different families. I was very lucky to stay with an aristocratic family, where I was treated as their own. There was a similar aged son, with whom I became friendly and kept that friendship going.
In 1945 - after the lost war and the communist occupation the family - like the others - lost their castle and all their assets. That was material loss only. But that regime also killed all the suspected enemies, which mainly consisted of the previously well to do people. They were able to escape to the capital. In trying to save their lives, the main thing was to change their names. I helped my friend to falsify his birth certificate (remember at that time there were no computers and other sophisticated gadgets.) I left out the "viscount" and his multiple Christian names, leaving him with only one first and a plain family name. This way his name meant nothing special. So he was able to get a job as a bookkeeper. His workmates often teased him about his "historic and aristocratic" name and jokingly called him "viscount". My friend laughed at them, but he was frightened should they discover the truth, what would happen to him.
We have celebrated together at least 10 Christmases and New Years. After I escaped and came to New Zealand we still kept contact until two years ago, when he wrote:
"This is my last effort and I am sending you my last greetings, God bless you."