The Epstein family was one of the oldest and most respected Jewish families in Prague. Their economic - and at the same time social - rise had begun at the turn from the 18th to the 19th century. External signs of their ascent were that they moved to Vienna, the capital of the Monarchy, Gustav Epstein’s ennoblement, and the construction of their magnificent palace on Ringstrasse. After the Stock Exchange crash of 1873, the family’s standing declined and they returned to a middle-class existence.

Even while the family had lived in Prague, their language and culture had been that of the German-speaking population. While Gustav Ritter von Epstein was a proponent of “Reform Judaism”, his two daughters and, shortly before her death, also his widow converted to Christianity. After Vienna, the family found their home in Budapest.