Ghosts from the past

What you can learn when you interview your own family

Two generations, one story

Although they have never lived even one day under the communist regime, still the twenty-something generation in Eastern Europe is influenced by the past.

By Emmie Kollau, Catrien Spijkerman

Hungarian students Anna Kiss and Balázs Ficzere, both born in 1992, participated in our 1question interview workshop. We challenged them to interview their grandparents on film, and reflect on it. “If I don’t ask them, I will never get a clear view of the past”.


Anna Kiss is doing her masters in International Studies at the Budapest University. She interviewed her grandmother Éva Vermes-Kiss and her grandmother’s brother Boldizsár Nagy. She was interested what they were doing on the 23th of October 1956, the day of the Hungarian revolution. Thousands of Hungarians took the streets against the communist regime and demanded more freedom. Anna wanted to know if they were one of the heroic people who risked their lives. “It's easy to think of yourself as a real revolutionary. But I don’t know what I would have done.”



Student business and economics Balázs Ficzere returned to his hometown village and met with his grandmother. She can’t forget a seemingly small incident from decades ago. Even now she finds it difficult to talk about, since 'you never know how the village might react to it'.  


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