Anna Rákóczi

* 1957  

  • "My parents were not displaced after the war because the village they lived in was already part of Slovakia. In 1939, the border moved towards Malý Cetín. Velký Cetín was still Slovakia while Malý Cetín became part of Hungary. Before the Treaty of Trianon, Čechynce were also at the Austrian-Hungarian border. After it, the borders were the same as now. But in 1939, some parts of Slovakia were returned to Hungary. My parents, however, were not affected by this."

  • "At the time when my mother's father was imprisoned, my mum and grandma were forcibly displaced to Žitný ostrov. They put them in a shop storeroom. Just imagine. Back then, my mum had already known my father - her future husband. They got married in 1953. But my grandpa wasn't present because he was still in jail. By then, he had already agreed to do forced labor in brown coal mines. At this era, my grandparents were prohibited from entering their native region. I was born in 1957 when my grandpa was already released but he couldn't come visit me. They hadn't even made it to my christening as the police ordered them to return. My childhood was affected by not seeing my grandparents up until I was five."

  • "There was an effort to create pure nation states. To cleanse Slovakia of Hungarians. I have to mention the Beneš decrees here. President Beneš really aimed for ethnicaly pure states - Slovaks in Slovakia and Czechs in Czechia. The other nationalities were literally pushed aside after WW II. This also concerned the Hungarian minority. It hadn't applied on those who lived on territories not annexed by Hungary during WW II. So, my parents for instance hadn't lost their citizenship. But those who lived closer to the Hungarian border were implicated in the collective guilt."

  • "I was eleven years old when Hungarian soldiers arrived to our village. We were very happy for that and liked them a lot. We used to bring them food. They debated with my father and did nothing wrong. Really, there was nothing wrong going on in our area. They talked to us, brought us magazines, chocolate, cigarettes. They did no harm. Whatever happened in other cities such as Prague or Bratislava is another story... I only heard about one incident in Nitra." - "To me, their very arrival seems like an incident." - "Well, yes. It was a big incident. But it wasn't their fault. They were posted here. The concrete soldiers felt sorry for us. They were posted and that was it. Later, when my parents listened to Radio Free Europe, it was at a very different level. Their dream had collapsed. They thought that after the suppressed 1956 revolution in Hungary, this time the regime wouldn't hold anymore."

  • "After 1945, there was a strong reslovakization. In 1946, Hungarians living in Slovakia were stripped off their citizenship. They ended up stateless." - "All the Hungarians?" - "Yes. They were all convicted. Collective guilt was applied, as it was on the Germans. Both Germans and Hungarians faced deportation. Some 46 thousand Hungarians were displaced from southern Slovakia. Some of them were later able to return. They were pressured with proclaiming that their children were of Slovak nationality. There were various ways to save oneself."

  • "They came in the evening, at 9:30. Only my mum and grandma were home. Up until 1953 they had lived there, working the little piece of land they still owned. They had a house and four cows. At 9:30 a truck arrived to take them away. They were only allowed to take the bare essentials with them. It was in the winter, in February. They put them onto a tarp-less truck and then dropped them off frozen stiff at Žitný ostrov, near Čalov. There were no houses there; just a few settlement. And they put them into the storeroom of some shop."

  • Celé nahrávky
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    Praha Eye Direct, 23.10.2017

    (audio)
    délka: 02:00:59
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu We're not alone: the stories of our minorities
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

My ancestors faced persecution both because of their nationality and their anti-communist views

Anna Rákóczi, 1964
Anna Rákóczi, 1964
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Anna Rákóczi, née Šubová, was born on 1 August 1957 in Nitra into a Hungarian family as the third daughter. She grew up in the village of Čechynce where her father‘s family owned a farm. Her mother‘s family farmed in the neighboring village of Velký Cetín. After the communist takeover, both families refused to hand over their property to an agricultural collective. In the end, it was taken from them by force. Both Anna‘s grandfathers were sentenced to several years in prison. In 1953, her grandma and her mother were forced to move to Žitný ostrov to live in a shop storeroom. Her mother‘s father was imprisoned in Leopoldov and Mírov and worked at a brown coal mine in Handlová. He was released on amnesty in 1956 but even after that he and his wife were prohibited from entering the Nitra region. Not even their children were allowed to pay a visit. Anna therefore only saw her grandparents when she was five years old. Her father worked his whole life in blue-collar jobs and despite not going public, he held strong anti-communist views. In 1968, the family had met Hungarian soldiers who arrived with the Warsaw Pact armies. In spite of her family background, Anna was able to study at a Hungarian economic high school, graduating in 1977. In 1980, she married and moved with him to Ostrava. She worked as an accountant and after the Velvet Revolution in financial consultancy. Ever since 1998, she has been engaged with the Hungarian minority living in Czechia. In 2008, she got married for the second time to František Rákóczi, also an ethnic Hungarian.