Bucsu
Bucsu, Hungary
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Uncle János directed us with a tomahawk

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

"If my tomahawk is up, stop. If we hear shooting, barking, or buzzing, or we see a light, lie down on the earth. We go one after the other keeping one meter distance in single file. Don’t smoke, don’t stop, don’t eat, just go or lie down.’’ – said uncle János, the trafficker, as the three young men, Jenő Ivánfi among them, left the gypsy barracks and continued their way to the border. They walked in a wood, the fallen leaves smoothed their steps: "While we were walking we heard dogs barking, tommy-guns crying, ’downs!’ It was raining, it was a sleet, but we couldn’t do other but lie down if it was needed on the wet soil. We pushed us to the soil and we waited until it turned to be silent again, then we stood up and we went on in single file.” Then they heard the buzzing of a car. A serpentine road led to the hill above their heads and a Soviet armoured car was approaching: "It crawled along and its headlights lit the trees above our heads as it was proceeding. We waited for it to pass. They didn’t notice us because they probably was looking up and ahead. Then we stood up and we went on.” The most dangerous section was the "nobody’s land” which was checked by guards from the watch towers hidden at the edge of the forest. You couldn’t see these towers from either side but from the direction of the shootings where the branches were cut. Furthermore there was an invisible wire in the middle of the border zone. If it was pulled, the defence system would activate lighting rockets in order that the guards could target at the refugees. "We arrived to the edge of the wood. The clouds disappeared, the Moon was up, the trees had sharp shadow, and we saw in front of us clearly the 'nobody’s land.' Everything was cleared there. The grass was cut, the bushes and the tree were rooted. God, help us," Jenő Ivánfi recalled. They went on. They noticed the wire in time, they took it firmly while they were getting over: "Neither a shooting, neither a rocket, nothing –, and in the moonlight they entered the forest on the other side of the field.” They still had to cross the small river Pinka, but the water only reached to their knees so it wasn't a problem. They stopped and uncle János gave the last instructions: ’Sir, you should go in this way straight ahead and there you will find the border. God bless you!’ He didn’t ask any money from them, but he received as much as the young men had with them.

Jenő Ivánfi

Jenő Ivánfi

Jenő Ivánfi was born as Jenő Ivancsics in 1929 in Eger. His father was railway engineer, he had to choose a Hungarian family name as a civil servant when he was appointed chief counsellor at Hungarian National Railways. Jenő Ivánfi graduated at György Fráter Secondary School of the Minorities in Miskolc. In 1947 he began his university studies at the Science Faculty of Szeged University. Despite his excellent grades he was expelled among the first political victims from the university for having backed Cardinal József Mindszenty in public. In 1949 thanks to his professors’ support he could continue his studies at Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest. He became chemist, he got his degree in 1952, but he could get a job but a working place where others didn’t want to go. So he went to work to Borsod Chemical Trust, and was trained in energetics and coal chemicals at the different firms of the Trust, he supervised the construction of the Coke Plant in Kazincbarcika. He married Éva Joszt in 1953. In 1954 he managed to move to the new Research Institute for Heavy Chemistry where he worked as research engineer. His family, his wife and his newborn daughter, Andrea, followed him to Veszprém. His second daughter Mónika was born in 1956. During the Hungarian revolution he saved the wounded from the line the fire in Budapest and he distributed leaflets. After the Soviet invasion of November 4th, some members of his family succeeded to fly to Austria. He decided with two friends of his to follow their example. They left for Szombathely by train. On the train he met a colleague whom he gave the keys of his flat. He met a stranger, too, "Uncle János,” who offered himself to help them to cross the green border. He said he was a former border officer. By his help they managed to cross the Austrian frontier. They got an accommodation in the refugee camp at the fortress of Stadtschlaiding. Jenő Ivánfi and one of his friends, who wanted to go on to West Germany, was housed in Wien by an Austrian acquaintance of him. They applied for jobs immediately at the embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Thanks also to his German knowledge, since December 1956 he was employed at EBV Hauptlaboratorium in Alsdorf, (Germany, before Bundesrepublic of Deutschland), as an analytical engineer until 1961. After he had had accommodations and a job he asked for the reunion of his family. He got the German entrance permit for them in a very brief time, but the Hungarian authorities hindered his wife and his children to leave the Hungarian People’s Republic. So finally in 1961 he decided to rejoin his family and return to Hungary. After arriving back in his homeland, he lived in Debrecen where he earned his living as an ordure cleaner. The political police watched him and contacted him several times. In 1961 he finally got a job at the Stain Factory in Tiszaszederkény of the Tisza Chemical Plants, he became again there research engineer. He regularly published papers in professional periodicals and he was sent to international conferences due to his language knowledge. He soon was appointed the head of the research department. However the political police continued to control him and tried to recruit him to be an intelligence agent by promising that he could leave the country with his family. His third child András was born in 1964. In 1972 he asked his placement to Borsod Chemical Trust in Kazincbarcika. Here he became the product manager in 1982, organizing the production of PVC windows on national scale. He retired in 1989. He joined the Christian Democratic People’s Party and led the local organization of it. In 1990 he became vice-major of the city of Kazincbarcika. In 1994 he was honoured the Gold Cross of the Hungarian Republic. He lives in Sajógalgóc with his wife in a beautifully restored old house built in the 18th century. Founder of the Local Circle for Monuments’ Protection, his hobby is exploring the history of the so-called cul-de-sac villages.

Bucsu

Dostupné v: English | Magyar

Bucsu is a small Hungarian municipality, west of Szombathely, on the Austrian border. The small Arany (Golden) brook cuts across it. Parallel to the river there is the main street, (former Main street, now Rohonczi road) ,of this tiny one-street village. Along the main road the center part of the village are broader. You can find here in the middle of the street the most important curiosity of the place, the Saint Michael Catholic Church. The railroad linking Szombathely with Pinkafő, south of Bucsu, was built in 1888 and it connected the place to the circulation of the country. However on March 1, 1953 the border in the direction of Rohonc was closed definitely and this line lost its importance. Nevertheless trains continued to pass on the Hungarian side of the border until 1960 when the rails were undone. So after WWII Bucsu lost its communication both with the Austrian district Rechnitz, and the Hungarian village Bozsok. The road to Rechnitz hasn’t yet been rebuilt since then. In 1976 a new check point was set up south-west of Bucsu in the direction of Schachendorf. It was closed in 2007 when Hungary joined the Schengen Agreement.

Bucsu

Na tomto místě

From the granary to the tussocky

From the granary to the tussocky

Jenő Ivánfi
Uncle János directed us with a tomahawk

Uncle János directed us with a tomahawk

Jenő Ivánfi
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