Hungarian interviewees

Gábor Demszky

(born 1952)
is a Hungarian politician, lawyer and sociologist. From 1976 to 1981 he worked for the magazine Világosság. Demszky participated in the underground democratic opposition and in producing and propagating samizdat literature before the transition to democracy. In spring 1981, he went to Poland to study book publishing. In 1981, he founded and directed the independent publishing house AB together with László Rajk and Róza Hodosán. He was also a founding member of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) between 1988 and 2010. He was the Mayor of Budapest from 1990 to 2010, being elected 5 times. His personal documents have been acquired by the Open Society Archives.

Róza Hodosán

(born 1954)
is a teacher , politician , sociologist and she was the member of the democratic opposition and founder of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ). Hodosán participated in the production of samizdat literature and in the work of the Poverty Relief Fund (SZETA). From 1981, she was an editor and publisher of AB Independent Publishing House and also a journalist for samizdat periodicals. She was a founding member of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) and a Member of Parliament between 1990 and 1998.

Ferenc Kőszeg

(born 1939)
is an editor, teacher, politician. Kőszeg was arrested for distributing leaflets during the 1956 Revolution. He worked as an editor for publishing houses till 1980 but after signing Charter '77, he lost his job. As a member of the democratic opposition, he participated in the work of the Poverty Relief Fund (SZETA), he was a founder of Beszélő, a monthly samizdat periodıcal and participated in its dissemination, together with other types of samizdat. In 1989, he was a founder and became the first president of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. In 1988, he was a founding member of the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) and a Member of Parliament between 1990 and 1998.

László Rajk

(born 1949)
is a practicing architect, production designer, professor of film architecture at the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest. A former dissident, human rights activist. He became a member of the Hungarian avantgarde movement in the seventies. From 1975, he was a member of the democratic opposition and founded AB Independent Publishing House in 1981 with Gábor Demszky and Róza Hodosán. He also operated an illegal bookstore, called "Samizdat Boutique" in his apartment. In 1988, he was one of the founders of the liberal party, the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), and an MP for 6 years after the first free elections. Between 2004 and 2010, he was the member of the Executive Board of the Hungarian National Television Public Fund. Rajk's own artistic contribution to 1989 was the architectural installation of the final farewell ceremony of the Martyrs of the 1956 Revolution.

Péter Rácz

(born 1948)
is a poet and translator. He founded the Hungarian Villa for Translators in Balatonfüred in 1998 for the support of translating Hungarian literature into foreign languages. During the ’80s he was under observance by secret police agents due to his participation in the programmes of the democratic opposition and underground groups. He was part of the”appartement theatre” (Lakásszínház) led by Péter Halász as well as of Örley-kör, an illegal group of Hungarian poets and writers. He was a distributor of the samizdat periodical ”Beszélő” and editor of ”Lélegzet” (Respiration). He also attended the lectures of ”Monday Free University” where the members of the democratic opposition assembled.