Miklos Kallos and his son Peter

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  • Photo taken in:
    Cluj Napoca
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania (1947–1989)
    Country name today:
    Romania (1947–1989)

This is a photo of me with my older son, Peter Kallos. He was 16 years here, so it must have been taken in 1965 or 1966. He is now 54 years old.

My elder son's name is Peter. He was born in 1950, in Cluj. He graduated from the Conservatory. He became a flutist and a flute teacher.

He worked for a while at music high schools in Cluj and Satu Mare.

At a certain point, several schools were dissolved across the country, including some music high schools. He ended up in Bucharest because his wife had to go there.

So he moved to the capital, where he worked as an editor for a national newspaper in Hungarian, 'Elore' ['Forward' in Hungarian].

He did that until 1990 or 1991, and then he moved to the Romanian Television. He still works there today.

In Transylvania, whenever a meeting was held at the beginning of the communist period, in the 1950s and the 1960s - and there were lots of meetings - they always made sure there was at least one Hungarian, one woman, one young person etc. among the presiding body.

So things were made to look as if this proportionality was observed. Then a period came when the emphasis was laid on nationalism.

After Ceausescu came to power, this nationalist line was imposed and reinforced for several reasons.

On the one hand, from a political point of view, this was an attempt to part with Moscow, which still promoted internationalism, at least in its official discourse. This national-communist line of action did serve to separate us from Moscow to a certain extent.

As years went by, more and more ethnic groups, including the Jews, were left aside.

Here's an example from my personal experience. I'm not saying that it bothered me - because I was never a social climber - but it is symptomatic.

For many years I was an assistant dean at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj and I worked with various professors. I was never more than an assistant dean.

I couldn't become a dean, although I was highly esteemed from a professional and scientific point of view. And this is how things usually went on a national scale.

If one was a Jew, the best thing one could hope to become was a deputy; never a boss.

There must have been some who didn't like it. But I had no problem with this. I usually wasn't fancy being a boss.

Interview details

Interviewee: Miklos Kallos
Interviewer:
Cosmina Paul
Month of interview:
February
Year of interview:
2004
Cluj-Napoca, Romania

KEY PERSON

Miklos Kallos
Year of birth:
1926
Decade of birth:
1920
City of birth:
Oradea
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1947–1989)
Occupation
after WW II:
Professor

Other Person

Peter Kallos
Year of birth:
1950
Decade of birth:
1950
City of birth:
Kolozsvar
Country name at time of birth:
Romania (1947–1989)
Occupation
after WW II:
Translator, editor

Additional Information

Also interviewed by:
USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
Date of interview:
2002

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