Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

An Interview with Gabor Drexler

Drexler, Gabor
Thomas, Virginia
An Interview with Gabor Drexler
Gabor Drexler is the director of the Budapest campus of McDaniel College, which he was instrumental in establishing in 1994. (McDaniel was formerly called Western Maryland College.) He has had a long career in education, most of which took place during the Communist regime. Although, as the son of an engineer, he belonged to the middle class, he was able to enter the university because of his high entrance examination scores, and graduated in English and Russian literature and language. After briefly teaching, he worked in the Institute for Cultural Relations and was involved in educational and cultural exchanges with foreign nations and traveled extensively abroad. After 1981 he worked in the Hungarian Ministry of Culture and taught 20th-century English literature part-time at the university. He was a member of the Communist Party, which he discusses in the interview. He presents a history of Hungary under the Communist government, especially during the Kadar period, and comments extensively on the situation since 1989. He completely rewrote the interview in the interest of improved organization because he felt his oral presentation was confusing. His rewriting has not been altered in any way. Discursive Table of Contents: Family, education under Communism—Life under Communism before 1956—Importance of 1956 and of Kadar—Entrance into university—Information restrictions under Communism—Prague Spring, including Kadar’s role—Work for the Institute for Cultural Relations, later the Ministry—Founding of McDaniel College—Evaluation of the changes in 1989—Analysis of current political situation in Hungary—Family, education in technical secondary school and university—Revolution and post-’56
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
Community and Identity - Individual Interviews
Oskicat record:
Drexler, Gabor. "An Interview with Gabor Drexler." Interview by Virginia Thomas in 2005. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2006.