Bozsok
Bozsok, Hungary
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The voluntary guide

Available in: English | Magyar

The former Gulag-prisoner Zoltán Gúth, who had rambled all over Siberia, and some young guys of sixteen and eighteen whom he decided to join as a voluntary guide, got on a train in Szombathely at the beginning of 1957. They didn’t have enough money for a smuggler and for a truck. It was widely known that the trains which went from Szombathely to Kőszeg regularly slowed down at a certain point of the railroad, by the fields outside of the villages, because the latter were controlled by forces of the Soviet army and of the Hungarian political police. When the train reached a walking pace near Bozsok, people began to jump off it. There were children, parents with babies, and couples, although the majority of them were young people. There were people who came with luggage, but Zoltan Gúth and his companions had nothing with them. Those who didn’t drag bags could run. "They flocked the field like locusts. There were at least twenty, even more. Some fell, others didn’t. Everybody was in a hurry and then we crossed a small river. There were remains of an old bridge there, we could cross it there,” he recalled. It was about a half an hour walk from Austria. The wire fencing had been destroyed by then during the previous months, it was trodden to the earth by the emigrants: "We could see the plowed up land, and others, but by then everything had been destroyed. People who had passed before, destroyed it. People flied across that territory to Austria for months. In November, December, in January, they went across there all the winter.” On the other side of the border, the refugees were expected. Zoltán Gúth said goodbye to his friends. Although he managed to get to Austria with them, he turned and walked back to Hungary in the same way he had left the country. "My wife and my children had returned to the Soviet Union by then. I wanted to follow them and I wanted to go to the Soviet Union. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be allowed to do so. I hoped I would get the permission,” Gúth recalled.

Zoltán Gúth

Zoltán Gúth

Zoltán Gúth was born on November 1, 1929 in Maglód. His father was a tradesman and 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 and served in the anti-aircraft defense. In 1948 after having crossed the Soviet border illegally, he was brought to Siberia and imprisoned in several penal camps. He spent two years in the Gulag, followed by 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 returned to his homeland. There, he was condemned for four month imprisonment for having agitated 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 a group of young men who wanted to emigrate. He offered to be their guide, being that he spoke Russian and would be a considerable help to them. They travelled to the border by train, jumped off and went on foot together with other refugees. 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, was kept both times and condemned to imprisonment. After being released he was ordered to settle down in Borsod county. He lived in Tiszaszederkény, (later Leninváros, Tiszaújváros), remarried after divorcing his Russian wife, and had three children. He worked as painter in the town and all over the country, retiring in 1989. After the change of the political regime he received amends for the political persecution he had suffered.

Bozsok

Available in: English | Magyar

Bozsok is a small Hungarian municipality at the foot of the Alps on the southern slope of the Kőszeg mountains, located about two kilometers away from the Austrian border. This village used to be part of the estate of the Batthyány family. The ruins of the centre of the estate lie to the south of Bozsok. The Sibrik castle is on the northern edge of the village facing toward the woods. Between the state border and the village there is only a narrow mountainside with a forest. Refugees had to pass through the village in order to arrive in the neighbouring country, Austria. It was difficult to reach this remote village from the direction of Hungary; both Kőszeg and the nearest railroad are about ten kilometers away, and from the railroad you had to cross a gently sloping territory with bushes to arrive to the woods. On the other side of the frontier, Rechnitz is the nearest Austrian village.

Bozsok

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The voluntary guide

The voluntary guide

Zoltán Gúth
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