Ing. arch. Jozef Istenes

* 1953

  • "He returned with some of his friends on foot through the entire northern part of Hungary near Györ to near Komárno, but they had to live in different haylofts and so on, because that's basically when the pogroms happened, when the Russian commanders had to comply those contingents for transportation to Siberia, so those Siberian trains had a prescribed number of people and did not choose between civilians or ex-soldiers and had to hide because of that. So, they only went on foot at night and only off the roads.'

  • "These agitators went from house to house and persuaded these people, but mostly they were sent to the southern countries, as they say. But after two or three years, there was no other option, because the farmers did not receive the same allocation quotas as the others, such as the workers. So, the conditions for farming were getting worse and worse. I know that my father could still buy a Fiat tractor and he could also buy a thresher. He had horses and cows, so he still managed to maintain the farm, but his grandfather told him that: son, you have no other choice if you want to survive, because the agricultural cooperative is growing stronger and they will definitely "strangle" you, because you will have to continue working hard and you will not have any helpers, because they work as a group. They already have the first tractors; they will already have the power to overcome your possibilities. You must get into the cooperative, you must hand over everything, all your property, and you have to work as an ordinary worker in the agricultural cooperative.''

  • "I spent the first years of my practice with great dissatisfaction with how they pushed us into such a very basic level of construction processes that the uniform panel technology rolled everything. We could not think of anything else, even though the financial, material, and professional conditions were there for it. And we didn't understand why the policy wouldn't let it run its course. At all. We didn't understand. Why is this done? Why can't it? So, the revolt with my colleagues was strong".

  • „They were given three or four days to pack their things, and on the third day, or the fourth day, when they were supposed to load, or the cars were supposed to come for them, Gottwald cancelled the eviction the day before. So it was also on the radio, everywhere, and all the authorities were ordered to suspend it. So, he escaped this displacement, but he told me that on the fifth day the curators, or the people who were in the displacement office, appeared and brought some three or four guys from Tótkomlós, and he was at home, but those guys were watching that where they could rest. Well, they asked him if he was the owner of that house. He said yes. And whether he has an eviction order. He said that he had it, but it was already invalid. So, they could not enter his property, so they moved away the next day.'

  • „The farmers only went to feed the cattle, but otherwise they were ordered to dig dugouts outside the village, especially in the west of the village, because the front was approaching from the east, and in those dugouts there were maybe twenty - thirty meters long ditches, which seemed to be covered by a wooden structure and brambles - and mainly women and children lived there, and men guarded them. Well, as soon as that front, Marshal Malinovský, as the commander, got to the village, they built a staff there, from where the command was given for the occupation of Nové Zámky. So from there they shot all the way to Nové Zámky."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Nové Zámky, 06.03.2023

    duration: 02:54:39
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Do everything to make good triumph over evil

Witness Jozef Istenes during eyd recording in 2023
Witness Jozef Istenes during eyd recording in 2023
photo: Photo by Post Bellum SK

Jozef Istenes was born on June 9, 1953 in the village of Dvory nad Žitavou near Nové Zámky in a farming family of father František (1922) and mother Anna, born Dékányová (1929). Jozef’s parents personally experienced when the Hungarian state power came to Nové Zámky after the arbitration. Jozef’s father during II. during World War II, he served in the Hungarian army as a medic. After the war, Jozef’s parents did not have state citizenship, medicare or pension insurance. They rejected reslovakization. Subsequently, Jozef’s father together with his parents received a resettlement order in 1948. Before they could resettle them, the resettlement was canceled. However, the part of the family had to leave and was resettled in the city of Dombóvár in Hungary. The parents worked on the fields until the communist coup in 1948, after which the process of collectivization began. Jozef’s father was labeled as class enemy, so-called kukak. Jozef started attending a Slovak elementary school in 1959, later his parents enrolled him in an elementary school with Hungarian as the language of instruction. Like all his classmates, Jozef was a co-called spark and later a member of a pioneering organization. At the same time, he also completed a classical Christian education and never became a member of the Communist Party. In September 1968, Jozef started attending the Secondary General Education School in Nové Zámky, and after graduating in 1972, he continued at the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Slovak University of Technology . He graduated in 1977 and subsequently joined the military service, which he completed in 1978. After his military service, he joined the Architectural Office of the Nové Zámky District, and later worked at the Office of the Chief Architect of the District. In the first free municipal elections in 1990, he was elected as a member of the Municipal Council in Nové Zámky, where he served for four electoral terms. In 1990, Jozef and his colleagues founded a projects company and started doing business. He is still in business in his profession. He and his wife Mária raised two children. He lives his whole life so that his actions help good to triumph over evil.