The Manheim family in Budapest, 1906: Ernő, Hermine, Margit and József

Ernő Manheim's conscription order to the Austro-Hungarian army.
Budapest, January 21, 1918.

Proclamation of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in Budapest, March 21, 1919.

Ernő Manheim (since 1920 Ernst, since 1934 - officially in 1943 - Ernest Manheim) was born on January 27, 1900, in Budapest, the son of József (Joseph) Manheim (*Ada, Hungary [Yugoslavia] 1863, †Budapest 1925), owner of a tailoring business, and his wife Hermine, born Wengraf (*Nikolsburg, Moravia [Mikulov, Czech Republic] 1870, †Budapest 1953; later married Déri). His sister Margit, married Ivan (*Budapest 1899, †Budapest 1974), was born a year earlier.

From 1909 until 1917, Ernő Manheim attended the Oberrealgymnasium in Budapest IV., where he passed his Matura (final exams) in July of 1917. Afterwards, he joined the military academy for Honvéd in Budapest ("Ludoviceum"), and at the same time, in autumn 1917, took up his studies in chemistry at the kir. József-műegyetem (Royal Technical Joseph-University) in Budapest. In January 1918 he was assigned to the Italian front with the rank of Corporal in the Austro-Hungarian army.

At the end of World War I, Manheim returned to Budapest and during the winter and summer terms of 1918/19, resumed his studies in chemistry and mathematics (including sasheys into musicology and literary studies) at Budapest University. At the same time, he also attended lectures in philosophy, mainly with Bernát Alexander (1850-1927). In 1919 he joined the army of Béla Kun's (1886-1939) Hungarian Soviet Republic (from March until July, 1919). He first fought on the Hungarian-Czechoslovakian border, and then in Romania, where he witnessed the end of the Soviet Republic and was taken prisoner of war.

After barely escaping from the camp near Arad, Romania, in October 1919, he defected to Budapest. As a defender of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, he had to fear his renewed arrest by the Romanain occupiers. Therefore, he took refuge in the north-eastern portion of Hungary, where he worked as a tutor for a short time. Early in 1920 he finally left for Austria.