Country of Origin:
Citizenship, Immigration, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada
Zoltan grew up in Communist Hungary which is what eventually prompted him to leave. Being forced into military service was not something that Zoltan wanted to be a part of, and due to a bureacratic oversight he was able to get a passport to get out of Hungary.
I obtained a diploma in Chemistry, A BSc and an MSc in Montreal. I worked as a researcher, a consultant as a scientist/manager and a part-time professor mainly in Canada, in environmental engineering.
I’m Zoltan Zavorsky. I was born in Budapest, Hungary about sixty years ago, and I’ve been in Canada for forty years. I was a young man, and it was just after military service that I left the country, and I think the military service was principally responsible for me to leave because I didn’t have a very bad childhood, but it was restrictive. It was during the totalitarian years of the Communist doctrine. The problem really came when we became teenagers, and we were listening to western music, and started to be become very aware of what goes on in the world. And we realized that the life that we lived could be immensely improved, especially as far as in freedom concerns.
I was entering into university, which was interrupted by a drafting note, and I had to go to serve the military, which was even more restrictive than the everyday life. And once I came out of the military I decided this was not for me, and I took the first chance to escape.
From Budapest, I traveled to Austria. I didn’t have to climb over minefields like many of my fellow émigrés. I was lucky enough to get a passport. I got a passport because when I was a child my mother died, and I was allowed to spend some summer vacations in Austria. So consequently, once you have a Communist passport – because only Communists could have a passport - so I had a red passport, which allowed me to get a blue passport. It was just a bureaucratic oversight, because I wasn’t a Communist, but a child when I left the country the first time around at thirteen years old. I just got an automatic extension on it, so I was lucky enough to get out.
And after that, I have relatives in Austria who recommended me Canada. I was contemplating to go to the United States or to other west European countries, but I was recommended by an uncle in Canada, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a wonderful country, and the choice was right.