I didn‘t want to break away from my family, I didn‘t have the slightest intention of it
Jenő Ivánfi was born as Jenő Ivancsics in 1929 in Eger. His father was railway engineer, and so as a civil servant he had to choose a Hungarian family name when he was appointed chief counsellor at Hungarian National Railways. Jenő Ivánfi graduated at György Fráter Secondary School of the Minorites in Miskolc. In 1947, he began his university studies at the Science Faculty of Szeged University. Despite his excellent grades, he was expelled the university for having backed Cardinal József Mindszenty in public, becoming one of the first political victims. In 1949, thanks to his professors‘ support he could continue his studies at Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest. He received his degree in 1952 and became a chemist. However, Jenő he could get a job working where others didn‘t want to go. So, he went to work to Borsod Chemical Trust, and was trained in energetics and coal chemics at the different firms of the Trust. Jenő 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 new-borned daughter, Andrea, followed him to Veszprém. His second daughter, Mónika, was born in 1956. During the Hungarian Revolution, Jenő saved the wounded from the line the fire in Budapest and he distributed leaflets. After the Soviet invasion of November the 4th, he crossed the Austrian border with some of his friends at Bucsu. Beginning in December of 1956, Jenő was employed at EBV Hauptlaboratorium in Alsdorf (Germany, before Bundesrepublic of Deutschland) as an analytical engineer until 1961. After his family had been denied to get a passport and leave the Hungarian People‘s Republic several times (even though they had had a settlement permission in Germany since 1959), he decided to rejoin his family in Hungary. Returned home, he lived in Debrecen. He earned his living as ordure cleaner, an unskilled worker. The political police watched him and contacted him several times. In 1961, Jenő finally got a job at the Stain Factory in Tiszaszederkény of the Tisza Chemical Plants where he, again, became research engineer. He regularly published papers in professional periodicals and he was sent to international conferences due to his language knowledge. Jenő was soon appointed the head of the research department. However the political police continued to control him, and they tried to recruit him to be an intelligent agent by promising that he could leave the country together with his family. His third child, András, was born in 1964. In 1972, he asked to be placed in Borsod Chemical Trust in Kazincbarcika. Here, he was product manager since 1982, and he organized the production of PVC windows on national scale. He retired from this position 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. Jenő Ivánfi lives in Sajógalgóc with his wife in a beautifully restored old house built in the 18th century. Founder of the Sajógalgóc Circle for Local Monuments‘ Protection, his hobby is the history of the so-called cul-de-sac villages.