Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Gabor Erdelyi: An Interview with Gabor Erdelyi

Erdelyi, Gabor
Thomas, Virginia
Gabor Erdelyi: An Interview with Gabor Erdelyi
Gabor Erdelyi is the son of a lawyer, later a judge, whom the Communist government tried to involve in the show trial of Laszlo Rajk and imprisoned when they couldn’t achieve their objective. Gabor trained to be a teacher in his native city of Debrecen and taught high school there before 1956, agreeing to teach Marxism. He told his students that if they learned the Marxism they had to know—and he would check their knowledge daily—then the class could spend their time studying other more interesting and important subjects. He was teaching when the 1956 Revolution occurred, and he was one of the principal leaders of the Revolution in Debrecen. He escaped from the pursuing Russians in an ingenious way and spent the next 50 years in the United States. He and his wife returned to Hungary in 2001, thankful for the refuge in the United States but happy to return to the country they had never wanted to leave. He not only relates the exciting story of his escape from Hungary in 1956 but also has insightful comments on the Communist and post-Communist political and social situations in his native country. Discursive Table of Contents: Family, kidnapping by Russians, education in Debrecen—Teaching under the Communists—Pre-revolutionary activity in Debrecen—October 23, 1956 in Debrecen—The Revolution; head of security—November 4, 1956: hiding from the AVH—Escape from Hungary—Critique of interwar political situation in Hungary—Beginnings of democracy ’45-’46—Communist Hungary; father’s imprisonment—Imre Nagy, Janos Kadar—Politics and economics in post-Communist Hungary
Subject area(s):
Community and Identity
Community and Identity - Individual Interviews
Oskicat record:
Erdelyi, Gabor. "Gabor Erdelyi: An Interview with Gabor Erdelyi." Interview by Virginia Thomas in . Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, .