Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

An Interview with Kalman Hencsei

Hencsei, Kalman
Thomas, Virginia
An Interview with Kalman Hencsei
Kalman Hencsei’s father warned him early in life against becoming a Communist. His father was a peasant who, under Horthy’s regime, became a policeman in Budapest, but he refused to work for the Communists when they came to power and returned to farm life. Kalman grew up in the village of Bezered, where the Catholic church was very important to him and where he is now endowing a chapel. He graduated from the university in math and physics. He planned to be a scientist, but became a computer expert. He never joined a Communist Party, but he had a live-and-let-live relationship with the party and government. Later, he got a degree in economics; he worked in banking and in the Ministry of Finance as a consultant, a position he enjoyed. After an unhappy stay in the United States he became very critical of the “American mentality” and returned to Hungary. He is one of three partners in an English language school whose finances he directs. He discusses, among other subjects, the current political and economic situation in Hungary and various social issues such as the “Gypsy problem.” Discursive Table of Contents: Family background and childhood—Education—Communists in his village—View of Trianon Treaty—Career as computer expert—Work in finance— U.S.A.—Work at English language school in Budapest—Current Hungarian politics and economics—Army service in Hungary—Gypsies in Hungary
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
Community and Identity - Individual Interviews
Oskicat record:
Hencsei, Kalman. "An Interview with Kalman Hencsei." Interview by Virginia Thomas in 2004. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2006.