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Katalin Mester (1944) - Biography


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There were a few miracles in our lives.

Katalin Mester was born as Katalin Nádasy on January 28, 1945 in Budapest. She was born to a family of well-to-do businessmen in her mother's line, in her father's branch there were landowners and state functionaries. Her father Gyula Nádasy served as cavalry officer. During WWII he was on the Eastern front in the Soviet Union. Her mother escaped with her newborn baby to the West before the siege of the Hungarian capital in the winter of 1945. Also her father withdrew with his soldiers to Austria where he became a prisoner of war. At the end of WWII her mother returned with her child to the family house in Kőbánya. Her father returned to Hungary, too, after having been released. He couldn't continue his life as an officer, he directed the family's Vince Benes' Chemical Factory. In 1948 the communist state security forces contacted him as an ex-officer and they tried to recruit him to be an informer. He chose to leave Hungary definitively. He managed to escape across Lake Neusiedl. At first he settled in Frankfurt am Main at his sister's, then he moved to the United States. After the nationalization both of the family factory and other family properties the family lost its means of subsistence. Her mother was forced to sell their house. They moved to the flat of the paternal granparents which was transformed to co-tenancy in the communist regime. Her mother learned to be a secretary, then she worked as a draftsman, but as an emigrant's and officer's wife she lost her jobs one after the other. Finally she was engaged at VIFOGY as a blue-collar worker. Katalin Mester spent her childhood with her paternal grandfather Dezső Nádasy and she attended a primary school in György Dózsa street where children of communist cadres learned. After his grandfather's death her mother divorced, then she married the solicitor Béla Spett. The family moved to a new flat in Buda, and Katalin Mester could continue her studies in a primary school with children of middle-class families. Her family lived the 1956 Hungarian revolution in their flat which was near to the Southern Railway Station on the road where the Soviet troops came into Budapest. A few friends of her mother emigrated after the revolution and also her mother decided to leave Hungary. Katalin Mester and her mother went to Kapuvár by train, where acquaintances of the family helped them to find a guide who led them to the border line. They crossed the frontier and arrived to Deutschkreuz. They contacted Katalin Mester's father from Wien who invited them to the United States. The Nádasy family was re-joined at Christmas 1956 in Buffalo New Jersey. Also Katalin Mester and her mother settled down there. Katalin Mester finished her schools in Buffalo. She had a daugther from her first marriage. She lives in California with her second husband, the chemist professor Zoltán Mester, son of the former state secretary Miklós Mester.

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