Szombathely
Szombathely, Hungary
  • Příběh
  • Místo

The hotel was packed

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Zoltán Gúth met some young guys in the pub of the railway station in Pusztaszabolcs in the winter of 1957. They were a bit tipsy. They spoke loudly about how they would cross the border. Zoltán Gúth joined them for the spirit of adventure. He offered himself to be their guide: "Listen to me! I know the border zone quite well, I do speak Russian, anything happens to us, I’ll see to it, – I had may identity card with me and there was a stamp in it, a Soviet stamp – I work for the Russians, you know!” They arrived to Szombathely by train in the very same day, in the afternoon. They didn't want to leave for Austria in the night. They went to a hotel. It was packed. They were sent to a room where already two Hungarian officers had gotten accommodation. Two men could sleep in one bed, there were supplementary beds, as a stopgap arrangement. They went down to the restaurant. It was busy, too. There they were told that "there was a train twice a day” to the border, others with children waited for a truck by midnight: "It would have cost a lot of money, one thousand forints per head. It was a big sum, some people had a monthly wage of two-three hundred forints. A lot of people were brought across the border by a truck, there wasn't any severe control there.” They spent the night drinking wine, and then they went to sleep: "When I got up, I noticed that the officers had left, but under the pillow, I saw, there was something. I lifted the pillow and I saw a pistol he had hidden there. He had forgotten about it. They had left by a truck during the night. ’Let’s take it!’ – suggested one of the guys. Gúth persuaded him explaining that if he was nabbed at the border, he would be escorted back, but if he was nabbed with a pistol, he was lost, he would be arrested immediately. Everybody brought some alcohol with him, and they [the Soviets] drank like a fish. Well, this was the situation on the border.” They went to the station and they bought their tickets to Kőszeg.

Zoltán Gúth

Zoltán Gúth

Zoltán Gúth was born on November 1, 1929 in Maglód. His father made commercial studies, was a tradesman, his mother was secretary. His mother died early and his father remarried. After the elementary and the secondary school, he attended a commercial school but he never finished it. At the end of WWII he was mobilized, he served in the anti-aircraft defense. In 1948 after having crossed the Soviet border illegally, he was brought to Siberia, to different penal camps. He spent two years in the gulag, then four and a half year in exile. In Siberia he married a Russian woman, they had two children. His family followed him to Hungary after he had returned to his homeland. He was condemned for four month imprisonment for having agitated against the Communist regime in his working place. He worked as a painter in different constructions, then he was employed as a painter at the Soviet military barracks in Hajmáskér. During the 1956 Hungarian revolution he took part in the fights against the Communist forces. After 1956 his family decided to return to the Soviet Union. His brother left Hungary illegally towards Yugoslavia after the revolution. At the beginning of 1957 he met young guys who wanted to emigrate. He offered himself to them as voluntary guide, who speaks Russian and who could help them. They traveled to the border by train, having jumped off it they went on foot together with other refugees and they crossed the border near Bozsok. Zoltán Gúth got to Austria but he returned immediately back to Hungary because he wanted to follow his family to the Soviet Union. He attempted to cross the border to the Soviet Union, and was kept both times and condemned. Having been released he was ordered to settle down in Borsod county. He lived in Tiszaszederkény, (later Leninváros, Tiszaújváros). He divorced his Russian wife, remarried and had three children. He worked as painter in the town and all over in the country. He retired in 1989. After the change of the political regime he got amends for the political persecution he had suffered.

Szombathely

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Szombathely, which is the 10th biggest city of Hungary, is only few kilometers away of the frontier between Hungary and Austria. It is considered to be the oldest town in Hungary since it was built on the ruins of Roman Savaria. It has been an important railway junction since the end of the 19th century. Despite its rapid development at the beginning of the 20th century when the number of its inhabitants became four times larger and the most significant public buildings of the city center were built, Szombathely lost its importance in Western Hungary after the territorial losses decided by the Treaty of Trianon after WWI. Szombathely was pushed to the periphery of the country the borderline lying merely at a distance of 10 kilometers. Between the two world wars mostly the cultural life of the city progressed, new schools were founded, and the most modern hospital of Western Hungary was built here. In the summer of 1944 the Jewish community of some thousands inhabitants was deported to Auschwitz. Szombathely due to its geographical position and to its rich infrastructure, (railways, airport, barracks), became as important place from a military viewpoint at the end of WWI. It was one of the main centres of logistics for the Nazi and Hungarian forces in retreat. Thus it was the aim of heavy attacks by the part of the American and British air forces. After WWII the city grew further, it absorbed the nearby villages. New industries settled in the region during the campaign of industrialization of the seventies. The city life was modernized, among others the old synagogue was transformed to be a concert hall. The main square of the city was rebuilt at the very beginning of the 21th century with the help of European funds.

Szombathely

Na tomto místě

Tea in time of martial law

Tea in time of martial law

Jenő Ivánfi
The hotel was packed

The hotel was packed

Zoltán Gúth
Paměť národa pro váš chytrý telefon
Stáhněte si zdarma! Aplikace Místa Paměti národa vzniká na základě vzpomínek pamětníků na události minulého století v rámci projektů Paměť národa a Příběhy 20. století.