Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

An Interview with Lajos Veraszto

Veraszto, Lajos
Thomas, Virginia
An Interview with Lajos Veraszto
Lajos Veraszto grew up in Kardoskut, one of seven children of a poor farmer whose ingenuity in acquiring a threshing machine led to Communist condemnation of him as a kulak. The family experienced government pressure to join a cooperative and heavy Communist taxation of farmers in the early fifties. His experience of the 1956 Revolution was that of a country boy who knew nothing of Budapest and little of Communist politics. To avoid military conscription, he went first to drama school and then to the university in Budapest. There he acquired language skills, and after graduation he taught English at a workers’ club in a factory in Csesed. This morphed into a language department at the factory, and after his return from three years’ work in the United States, he developed it into a privately owned English language school, one of the largest in Budapest. He critiques capitalism as experienced in Hungary after 1989 as well as life under Communism. Discursive Table of Contents: Family, home and farm, collectivization of farms, elementary education, gymnasium—Stalin’s death, taxation, 1956 in village, life after 1956, education—Land surveying, Budapest drama school, university—England, teaching English at Csesed workers’ club, U.S. visit—Return to Hungary, private language school, political views
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Interview date(s):
Community and Identity - Individual Interviews
Veraszto, Lajos. "An Interview with Lajos Veraszto." Interview by Virginia Thomas in 2003. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2006.