In this spring, a new student arrived to our department. When I met the black, curly-haired, very handsome guy, alias Luis Khun, who came from Mexico, I jokingly made a remark, – accidentally aren’t you Hungarian?- for my great surprise his answer was -Yes, I am- what is more he also knew about the fact that he was a great-grandchild of a dubious man Béla Kun. Well, Béla Kun was a dubious man? –I repeated his saying because it was clear that Béla Kun had been targeted. About the name a compulsory reading book rang a bell immediately, the book of Dezső Kosztolányi: Anna Sweet, where the writer described quite negatively the escaping of the Hungarian ex-communist leader of Béla Kun:
“Béla Kun fled the country in an aeroplane. In the afternoon – about five o’clock – he passed the so called Russian house, then took off an Aeroplan, flew across the Danube river from the castle, and daringly turned toward Vérmező-(Bloody field it is the name of a square in Budapest where famous people were executed). The plane was conducted by the commissar himself. It flew barely twenty meters height, so that his face had been seen. It was pale and unshaven as usual. Beneath he grinned of the citizens, with a mischievous face, even waved mockingly goodbye for the citizens. His pockets were stuffed with the Hungarian layer cake the Gerbaud and moreover with jewelry, gems, church chalices, among other treasures those he got as a charity from barons, gracious, benevolent ladies. His arms were loaded with thick gold chain bracelets. When he swung aloft with the Aeroplan he disappeared from the sky as he had been dropped some gold bracelet right in the middle of the Vérmező sqaure. There was an old citizen between the Krisztina district and in the Trinity Square, called something Patz – Patz Charles Joseph – he found. At least it was the rumour in the neighbourhood of Kristina district “
The second time when I met Luis, took place in our favorite Chinese restaurant in the outskirts of Munich, called Yuan, and as the Mexicans are very open to other nations culture, (probably that was the reason why he came with us to the Chinese restaurant), so was Luis, when he entered the restaurant he immediately pierced me and sat next to me. Word followed word and while we were waiting for the drinks, he shared some detailes of his life. I learned that he had attended the University first in Saarbrücken, and then he applied for a PHD position in our department of microbiology of the University of Munich LMU. -Mexican and Jewish bloods are running in my veins, “-continued Luis the story of his life after we finished a big bowl of Chinese soup and ate some sushi. -My parents are divorced. I was raised by my mother. Later on I diverted the conversation to Mexico. What can I say about Mexico?- began Luis after the third main dish, -(at Yuan’s the kitchen is so good we can not stop eating after one main course) Mexico city lies in two thousand meters above the sea level, located in a valley where the air is so rare that man are choking due to the oxygen deficiency. Owing to the smog which is produced by twenty million people in Mexico city no one is able to tan. Of course, the vicinity of Popokatepetl volcano provides more smog as well.
We were already about consuming the dessert, (a lot of ice cream, fried bananas and honey) when Luis told me that he spent his childhood in a Jewish colony of Mexico city, where people lived happily together with other smaller ethnic groups. His grandfather, whom he revealed it later was related, was the cousin of Bela Kun. He lives there and runs a coffee shop. I still had a few more questions to ask, but unfortunately we had to go back to the college, so I hailed the waiter to get the bill. The Chinese restaurant owner showed up soon, holding two small cups of plum wine, with the gift of the house. And I don’t know what happened to me, might be the Chineses put some potion into the wine but I couldn’t resist to crack a joke about Bela Kun, which is usually fired when we make a toast, but I asked Luis appology in advance, saying that I do not want to offend him, and I agree with that that the great-grandchildren are not responsible for the sins of the grandfathers, unless trying to excuse them, so here’s the joke: “Cheers!” I said in English, then I asked whether he knows the respond to this by Béla Kun. Of course he did not know, “Well go into the body! – (means join to the governing body ) hahaha and Luis laughed at the punch line which was well spoken in English.
Our third meeting was not a coincident because I did not trust to the chance, but I went ahead and invited Luis to a dinner. The party which I threw from my apartment turned out very well, because nice company energizes me very much. Around late night after midnight most of the guests had already departed, except Luis, perhaps because in Mexico they start for dinner later, or just he felt good, (I hope so), so we remained threesome, my husband, Luis and I, and of course, in the company of a nice dessert wine from Hungary, we returned to our roots again. We were just curious about the fact that how did the ancestors of Luis’s escape to Mexico. But he couldn’t track anything back at all what he had known was that his father was the offspring of Kun Bela’s ancestors.
But we started to google together and revealed the next: In the twenties, there were two large waves of emigration in 1921 and 1924, when in the United States adopted two laws on immigration, which tightened the Eastern Europeans to settle. The emigrants, who often did not have a permanent residence permit, it is related to the ethnic Hungarian migrants also, had to leave USA and fled to Mexico, Latin America or other countries. Probably the descendants of Bela Kun immigrated at the same way to Mexico.
So, do you want to visit Hungary one day? –I asked from Luis when he was about leaving. Certainly-answered he because on the one hand the roots!- added he with a great smile –but on the other hand my grandfather asked me to look around in Hungary well, because he would like to open a restaurant in Budapest. He thinks that the Hungarians live fantastically well!-Hm. it was already too late to analyze the economic situation of Hungary. However, based on Luis who said just a half an hour ago, it seemed to me that the Hungarians who are living in Mexico might be richer, because in Mexico most of the Hungarians are living in the middle class. But a small number of Hungarians, in Venezuela, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia live within the elite, they are highly trained doctors, engineers. In Brazil, Argentina, are living in the less educated Hungarians, the peasants. They are more likely had wandered through many countries before they decided what country they could establish.
PS: I recently read on the internet that there is a Spanish-language home page for Hungarians who live in Spanish spoken countries, and there they can inquire about relatives living abroad. Everyone is able to search his or her own families.