Karol Gémesi

* 1943  

  • ”Since the foundation or almost since then I was in the Hungarian Independent Initiative, so I knew that the chairman’s position was bespoken for Miklos Duray, who was abroad at that time, he was in the USA. He returned when everything was clear, but he went to Hungary and we went to see him there. He was driven to us and got chairman’s desk. Later on he came up with the idea that the HII does not possess enough of those three colours, that’s why he will found Coexistence. We should have swapped the names, the HII and the Coexistence, because the one who found the latter did not want to coexist.“

  • “Somehow it appeared to me that the Federal Assembly does not have any committee for human rights and minorities. I got the idea and about half a year after or a couple of months after the elections I started to organize it. Finally, the committee was approved as a common parliamentary committee of the House of People and the House of Nations. I persuaded all the respective parties and was allowed to propose it and persuade the people. In the House of Nations one MP abstained, actually he voted against, and in the House of People no-one was against. So they approved the committee almost unanimously. They also – and it wasn’t my idea – proposed myself the first chairman.”

  • "But then, sometime in ´73, I was sent for a business trip to one exhibition in Paris. After my return my phone rang to invite me to the passport department. When I went there it turned out they did something else than passports. They tried to persuade me to collaborate with them, invited me to various meetings, to the office or outside. When they got fed up with it, they invited me to the passport department and took me to the cellar. Three or four people were there and were quite harsh. Either I sign it or I will have to face the consequences. I keep wondering until today I had the courage to tell them no.”

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    Bratislava, 13.12.2018

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    duration: 01:32:36
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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I could have stayed in France, but I came back home, because I knew something was going to happen

Karol Gémesi was born on 2nd October, 1943 in Šahy. He was raised in Hungarian language environment in the border region. After graduation he worked in the Dock-yard in Komarno. He helped establish the Institute for Experimental Tool Research (VUNAR) in Nove Zamky. He also worked as a manager of the Csemadok office in Nove Zamky. The Secret State Police suggested him collaboration. Before the Velvet Revolution, he worked several years in Algeria. In November 1989, he belonged to the main actors of the Velvet Revolution in Nové Zámky and in 1990 became a member of zhe Federal Parliament (Assembly) for the Hungarian Independent Initiative. He led the committee for investigation of violent events from November 1989. He left politics after the elections in 1992 and helped the economic recovery of post-revolution VUNAR management in Nove Zamky.