both novelists, intellectuals and opposition figures in communism: the similarities between the Hungarian György Konrád and the Czech Václav Havel, who passed away in 2011, are multiple. As announced by his family to the press agency, the Hungarian MTI, György Konrád died Friday at the age of 86 years. He died at his home following a long illness.

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Born in 1933 into a jewish family in Debrecen, a city in the east of Hungary, György Konrád grew up in Berettyoujfalu, not far from the border of romania. In June 1944, he escaped death by jumping from a train to Budapest, on the eve of the deportation of the jews from the city to Auschwitz by the nazis. “I became an adult over the age of 11 years,” he confided later in his autobiography, Depart , published in 2001, remembering the disappearance of almost all of his classmates in the death camps.

censorship of the communist regime

In 1956, György Konrád takes part in the Budapest uprising against the communist regime. The event is being crushed in blood by the soviet troops. But unlike her sister, and hundreds of thousands of refugees, he decided to remain in Hungary. In 1969, he published his first novel, The Visitor , which is based on his experience as a social worker with the children. The book will then be translated into thirteen languages.

This mode is the autobiographical will continue to be a favorite genre throughout his work. About the writer who makes this choice, György Konrád said in the journal The Rule of the game in 2005: “maybe it would do it even if he knew that he will not remain in a line after him, he would write for himself later, or just like that, for this to be, for this remains a time, such as a monogram engraved on a tree trunk or in the brick wall of a prison.”

subsequently Working as a sociologist and urban, he wrote an essay on the social problems of the new collective housing, but conflicts with the communist authorities. Between 1973 and 1988, his works are almost always prohibited. He is forced to publish abroad, or in the form of “samizdat”, the system of clandestine publication of texts dissidents in communist countries.

opposition to Viktor Orbán

leading Figure of dissent which will lead to the end of communism, György Konrád in the 1980s one of the Hungarian writers best known abroad. He was elected president of the association for the defence of the rights of authors, the international PEN club, 1990. Winner of many prizes for literature in Hungary and in the world, it is, in 1997, the first foreign elected head of the prestigious Berlin Academy of arts.

co-Founder in 1988 of the liberal party SZDSZ (Alliance of free democrats), György Konrád becomes, decades later, an opponent of fierce to Viktor Orbán. It is “the politician, the more toxic that Hungary has experienced since the fall of communism”, was felt-it-in 2017 about the current Prime minister. An opinion that he shared with the philosopher Agnes Heller, a major figure in the intellectual scene Hungarian disappeared in July.