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My Revolution: Alfréd Paszternák – “Class Alien, Enemy”


I was thirteen and a half when I was deported to Auschwitz together with my family; I was not quite fifteen when I lived to be liberated, through a thousand miracles. After a few years, I again became discriminated against due to my origins; my father was a mill owner, whose assets were confiscated. I had several difficulties and was discriminated against due to my “class-alien” origins throughout the rest of my life in Hungary.


So, the year 1956 started out with hopes and proceeded to make those hopes come true. I was working at the Péterfy Sándor Street hospital in Budapest as a first-year resident doctor, when the efforts of those fighting for our freedom evolved into armed fights. In the days of active fighting, our hospital became the revolution’s hospital. The patients we provided care to were almost exclusively wounded people. We, the youngest residents, became true doctors overnight out of necessity. After a few days, word spread in the hospital that the secret filing cabinet located in the party office had been successfully opened. Everybody could get hold of their political records. The first words on mine read: “Class-alien, enemy”. Later on, when it became obvious that the revolution did not prevail, these two words confirmed my de-termination: I would hardly succeed in Hungary, I must leave my homeland at any cost. I did so on 8 December 1956.



via: Az Én Forradalmam (My Revolution)

photos: Az Én Forradalmam (My Revolution)