Kapuvár
Kapuvár, Hungary · Kapuvar, Hungary
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The hand of God helped me again

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

"When we reached the frontier zone the hand of God helped me again. Suddenly we caught sight of two men driving along with a cart from the direction of the frontier. They said that they were going to chop down one more tree. They had already laid one trunk across the channel to build a bridge. Unfortunately, that only made crossing possible by straddling it with your legs, so the water came up to one’s knees and people’s feet got wet. Our group set forth and pursued its way to the border but I joined these men at the same time. We went back a couple hundred meters to the edge of the forest and we cut down another tree. I was very lucky to be there because at that very moment the army started rocket launching in the area. We saw lightning, rocket ammunitions and heard gun shots. Everyone of us was frightened and the two men wanted to leave. By that time the tree had already been chopped and the branches lopped off, so I asked them to stay for a little while and take this last trunk to the channel. Seeing that there were children in our group it was of vital importance to make crossing easier for them. Don’t cut down any more trees but take this one- I asked. Luckily I was able to persuade them so we carried the second trunk to the channel. By that time the majority of people and children were on the other side. They were alarmed at the rockets so they crossed the channel, consequently their feet got wet. We got there, laid the trunk over the channel and the two men left. We said goodbye to them. Neither of them accepted any money. There was a woman with four little children on the opposite side of our group. My brother-in law went across, emptied his backpack and came back for two year old Eszter. He put the child inside of the backpack and took her over the other side, but the water came up to their knees. The woman with the children was unable to cross the canal without help. By that time there were two trunks side by side. I called Árpi back and we took all of them over. Everyone was transferred to the other side by then," Dr. László Gyarmati recalled.

Dr. László Gyarmati, refugee in 1956

Dr. László Gyarmati, refugee in 1956

Dr. László Gyarmati was born in a middle-class family in 1934. His grandfather was a lawyer, and his father was a forestry engineer. The family - parents and five children – lived in various cities; they moved to wherever his father got a job. In 1940, they moved to Budapest. They survived World War II and the siege in the capital. Gyarmati was a scout until the scouting’s dissolution in 1948. He was a pentathlon athlete. Fortunately, their frequent relocation did not affect the family. He sat for the secondary school final examination in 1953 and received good results. Nevertheless, he was not admitted into medical school because of his origin. He worked as a labourer and later as a laboratory assistant. After his second application for medicine was rejected, he was enlisted in the army in 1954. He served as a telegraph operator during the revolution of 1956 at the barrack in Budakeszi. On November 15th when the Red Army attacked the barracks, all the soldiers were sent home, including Gyarmati. He knew he would be arrested if he stayed in Hungary, so he decided to run away with his relatives. They departed on November 18th. After leaving Kapuvár they got off the train and continued on foot northwards in the direction of the frontier. There were several little children with them, so they dropped by a farm house to rest. At dusk, they started out again very carefully. Luckily, they didn’t meet any border guards and reached the Hansági Channel where they crossed by use of some trunks that had already been laid over. The Austrians welcomed the group and put them up in the municipality of Wallern. Gyarmati settled in Switzerland, where he completed medical school at last. Since then he has worked as a dentist and actively participated in the Swiss Scouting. His wife is German and they have two sons.

Kapuvár

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Kapuvár is a small town between the Rábaköz and the Hanság. The Hansági Main Canal marks the northern boundary of the town as well as the border between Austria and Hungary. Kapuvár’s territory has been inhabited since primeval times. Its name is a reference to the gate of the artificial stronghold bordering the country, so much so that up to the 18th century it had also been called Kapu ('gate'). Today it has about 11.000 inhabitants. The cityscape seen there today took shape after 1945. In the 1950s and 60s it became an important center for light and heavy industrialism. The city is also home to the Museum of the Fertő-Hanság Natural Park. In 1956 many people fleeing the country set out from Kapuvar and the neighbouring villages on foot to reach the border and start a new life in the free world outside of Hungary.

Kapuvár

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The hand of God helped me again

The hand of God helped me again

Dr. László Gyarmati, r…
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