Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

An Interview with Ella Borocz

Borocz, Ella
Thomas, Virginia
An Interview with Ella Borocz
Ella Borocz is the great-grandniece of famous Hungarian nobleman and statesman Istvan Szechenyi. As a member of the nobility, she had a privileged childhood and her family was not ill-treated by the Germans after the Nazi invasion in 1944. But she underwent the rigors of the Russian army’s siege of Budapest, and endured many difficulties under subsequent Communist rule. Her father, a nobleman, fled the country. She was not allowed to go to the university because of her noble background. She barely escaped deportation from Budapest in 1951. Her husband was arrested and imprisoned after the 1956 Revolution. And, ironically, under the Kadar Communist government she held various jobs for which she was prepared only by the language skills she had acquired during her privileged childhood from her nannies. Borocz eventually became a tour guide, at first with politically imposed limitations on her travel. After 1989, she assisted Western Commerce, Industry, and Labormen interested in investment in post-Communist Hungary. She has much to say about the political and economic changes Hungary has undergone in the second half of the twentieth century, and which she has experienced for herself. Discursive Table of Contents: Family and education—German occupation—Russian siege of Budapest—Life on country estate under Communism—Work in Budapest—Marriage and escape from deportation—Father’s escape from Hungary—Revolution of 1956 and imprisonment of husband—Life after 1956—1989—After 1989: work, travel, economics, politics
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
Community and Identity - Individual Interviews
Borocz, Ella. "An Interview with Ella Borocz." Interview by Virginia Thomas in 2003. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2006.