Gábor Zászlós

* 1951

  • “And now imagine that totalitarian power is in the office, clearly structured, they know its position, they know the state administration mechanism and suddenly a group of amateurs appears with high hopes in change and wide support of the people to change the totalitarian system into a free democratic, legally consistent state and a pluralist society where more parties would exist.”

  • “The Independent Hungarian Initiative was actually established in the apartment of its former leader Károly Tóth in Šaľa. Several minority politicians took part in it: László Szigeti, Oszkár Világi, László Barak, an editor, a writer, and once they visited me to propose my nomination for a member of parliament. I was thinking logically – they mean a member of local committee or a city council but it appeared to be the parliament. Finally, they said I would be the deputy chairman of the National Assembly. I was wondering what was going on and took some time to think it over. Eventually I agreed and then I became a co-opted member of the parliament. Later on when Rudolf Schuster was a parliamentary speaker I became his deputy until the elections in 1990.”

  • "In Hungary, similarly to Eastern Germany, the private property was not abolished completely. In Hungary there were small stalls with vegetable or press and tobacco shops, they were private. The same applied to the GDR, for example there were private dentists even in socialism. So in fact, it is true that the normalization in Czechoslovakia was so consistently applied - in very Husak style. In the surrounding countries - I can’t judge Romania nor Poland, but from Hungary we had first hand information and we knew certainly what it wss like there and there were huge differences between Czechoslovakia and Hungary back then.”

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    Bratislava, 10.01.2019

    duration: 01:19:03
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th century
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We cannot forget the ethos of November 1989

Portrait 2
Portrait 2
photo: pri ED natáčaní

Gábor Záslós was born on 7th April 1951 in Bratislava. He grew up near Dunajska Streda, finished the Secondary Vocational School of Forestry in Modra and graduated at Grammar School while working. Afterwards he completed a law degree in Prague. In the 80s he was a lawyer in an agricultural cooperative and lived in Dunajska Streda. Through his friends he was in regular connection with Hungarian people and perceived different character of the totalitarian system in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. In the summer of 1989 he took part in so-called Paneuropean picnic in Sopron. After the Velvet Revolution he was a co-opted to the Federal Parliament for the Independent Hungarian Iniciative and was also a deputy prime minister for legislation in the first Mečiar‘s government. He left politics in 1992. He was one of the founding members of Klub 1989.