Laszlo Galla’s document of name change

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  • Photo taken in:
    Budapest
    Year when photo was taken:
    1948
    Country name at time of photo:
    Hungary (after 1945)
    Country name today:
    Hungary

This is proof of magyarization of my name. You can see here that in 1948, I changed my family name from Gunst to Galla. The document was issued in Budapest.

I magyarized my name in 1948. At the time I'd just moved from Szentes to Budapest, and I already had a job at VASERT, and no one understood my name on the telephone. I was thought to be Kuncz, and many similar names, but not a Gunst. That's when I decided to change it, so that everyone could easily say my name. The rule was to submit three names, which the Interior Ministry could choose from. I only submitted 'Galla.' I mused on this one and that one a bit, then decided that the only good name for me was one that was easy to pronounce everywhere. And a clerk called me in to the Interior Ministry and argued that Galla was the name of a place and at the same time it was Slavic. But I said that it had a Hungarian sound even if it was Slavic, and I wanted it. And then he went for it, and accepted it.

Interview details

Interviewee: Laszlo Galla
Interviewer:
Dora Sardi
Month of interview:
January
Year of interview:
2004
Budapest, Hungary

KEY PERSON

Laszlo Galla
Jewish name:
Eliezer
Year of birth:
1916
City of birth:
Szentes
Country name at time of birth:
Austria-Hungary pre 1918
Occupation
before WW II:
Worked in father’s hardware store
after WW II:
Economist
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Gunst
    Year of changing: 
    1948
    Reason for changing: 
    Assimilation

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