Maria Kollar is the granddaughter of eminent Hungarian banker Leo Lanczy, whose name is inscribed on the Chain Bridge in Budapest. Her father, Dr. Andor von Wodianer, was a lawyer. Because they were “bourgeois,” the family was “resettled”—deported—by the Communists from Budapest to a village on the Hortobagy ( Great Plains), where they were quartered with a peasant family. After two years, Maria and her sister were allowed to return to Budapest to live with their grandmother. Her mother also secretly lived with them.
Her social background also prevented Maria from entering the university. She had several administrative jobs with different Commerce, Industry, and Labores, finally working for Hungarian Lightmetal in Szekesfehervar, which was bought by Alcoa. She describes especially the social and economic changes as well as the political ones that have occurred in Hungary after the fall of Communism in 1989.
Discursive Table of Contents: Family, deportation to Hortobagy, early schooling, return to Budapest—Political exclusion from university, work—Marriage, move to/work in Szekesfehervar, changes in workplace—Memories of Rakosi and Kadar eras—Current work and living situations—Current politics and press freedom—TV and computers—E.U.