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Dr. László Fodor | Memory Project

Dr. László Fodor

Interview by Réka Pigniczky


(This interview was conducted in cooperation with the Collegium Hungaricum Berlin (CHB) as part of Memory Project Germany.)

Dr. László Fodor was born on March 1, 1939 in Budapest, Hungary. His father was a high-ranking military officer who became a prison warden in Sopron before WWII, and his mother died when László was just 5 years old. Because of his father's position, László was rejected from most schools once the Communist Workers' Party took over in Hungary after WWII. He was eventually allowed to study chemistry at a technical high school in Veszprém.

In October of 1956 he became an active supporter and national guardsman as a student in Veszprém. Along with his classmates, he ran a 'newsroom' in which they listened to the various international and domestic news programs and forwarded the news to the rest of the university. He also went to Budapest during the Revolution to help deliver potatoes from the countryside to the people stranded in the city without food supplies. He was issued a rifle although he did not see active fighting. After the Revolution, he was arrested along with many other classmates, but managed to climb out a bathroom window and escape. He fled Hungary on the 23rd of November, arriving to Germany via Austria.

In Germany, he attended a Hungarian high school filled with other young refugees in Kastl, run by Hungarians who left after WWII. After Kastl, he attended medical school at the University in Freiburg, all the while remaining active in Hungarian emigré politics. By 1966, he had passed all his exams and was a practicing anaesthesiologist. He became the head anaesthesiologist at a hospital near Munich in 1972, working hard to integrate into German life while maintaining his Hungarian identity. He worked with the German Maltese Charity Service, serving as the traveling physician for Pope John Paul II and also Pope Benedict. As a student refugee, he had lunch with Konrad Adenauer. He received the German cross of honor for his service in the medical field.

Dr. Fodor is the co-founder and co-President of the German-Hungarian Society. Recently, Dr. László Fodor wrote a 400 page autobiography detailing his role in the Revolution and as a Hungarian living in Germany after 1956. (As of September 2016, it has not yet been published).

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