FORCED RELOCATION / József Saád
The camp: Tiszagyenda-Kormópuszta. Relocation: 23 June 1950. Number of people: 273, namely 72 families from 19 villages of the border area in Bács-Kiskun County. Reason for the resettlement: creating a border zone on the Yugoslavian border.
Our family: 6 people, 3 generations: grandparents, parents, and 2 children, 5 and 10 years old at the time of the relocation.
Camp closed: 31 October 1953.
Residents released: continuously in August-October 1953. We were released on 6 October 1953.
The pictures show the remnants of buildings, locks and canals, the traces of unpaved roads, depressions suggesting rice fields, and ridges that may have been the bunds separating the plots. This is what remains after 70 years of the forced labour camps of the “settlers” inhabiting the grasslands of Hortobágy and Nagykunság in 1950-1953. In the case of the Kormópuszta camp, established near Tiszagyenda, even less survives: Nagykormó and Kiskormó vanished in the grassland without a trace. The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the former “settlers” now visit with map in hand, searching hesitantly for the sites of their memories or fragments of memories. The past is evoked with greater certainty by the relics of the camps that survive in the documents, objects, drawings, diary fragments, and songs left behind by the camp dwellers, and, last but not least, the surviving official records.
(Kormó 01, 02, 03, kp04, Kormó Tábor Gyerekrajz, Kormó ReményiT)
Nagykormó. A row of buildings on a child’s drawing, made at the camp. A former stable that used to serve as accommodation, pictured in the photo of camp dwellers who revisited the site in the sixties. A view of the camp on a painting by Tibor Reményi, an adolescent “settler” at Kormópuszta, painted forty years later in Bremen and sent home.
(Libasor 1990, Kormo04)
Farmsteads along the unpaved road leading to the Nagykormó manor, which was designated as a forced labour camp. The remains of the little thatched houses could still be recognized in 1989-1990. One of the camp dwellers painted a watercolour of the farmsteads in the weeks after their release.
Bread Rationing in 1953 in the Camp of Relocated Families in Kormó
Once a week, the “provisioner” – in the Kormó camp this was György Mojzes, a former member of parliament – got on the wagon accompanied by a policeman, and went to buy supplies to the market and shops of nearby Kunhegyes with the orders of the heads of the families living in the camp. He mostly bought bread, lard and sugar – if they were available. As the list shows, in May 1953 there was no longer a shortage of bread.
The camp dwellers occasionally escaped to the farmsteads outside the enclosed area. The captive “settlers” bartered with the “free people” of the farmsteads, and engaged in other forbidden activities: they sent letters, received packages, and had visitors.
Camp poetry. Fragments from the songs recorded at Kormópuszta. The song Lenn a Tisza partján [Down at the Banks of the Tisza] originated in World War I, sung by homesick prisoners of war, this version may have been an adaptation of that song. There were several soldiers in the resettled families who had fought in the two world wars.
The camp at Kormó had its own doctor, Ferenc Égi, a medical student. He was spending his summer holidays at her mother’s place in Vaskút when the authorities came for them. He was included in the transport, and he became the beloved “doc” of the camp. Sometimes he accompanied the “provisioner”, and visited pharmacies, doctors’ offices and older colleagues to obtain medicine, instruments, and professional advice. He was released before his companions, and found work at the hospital of Karcag, close to the camp. There he completed his studies and helped the residents of Kormó for as long as he could.
Köszönet a tárgykölcsönzőknek és történetmesélőknek:
FISCHER ÁGOTA ÉVA
FÜLÖPNÉ WELTZ MÁRIA
HÁTSZEGI GÁBORNÉ, JULIKA
HELLER MÁRIA (RÓZSA PÁL)
HELLER SÁNDORNÉ, MÜLLER ANIKÓ
KÁNAI GYULÁNÉ PEREDY GIZELLA
LEÁNYFALVINÉ GORDÁN ILDIKÓ
TERÉNYI ISTVÁNNÉ SULLAI VINCENCIA
TÓTHNÉ RUDI MARGIT
Köszönet a kiállítás létrejöttéhez nyújtott segítségért
TÓTH GERGELY MÁTÉ
ELEVEN EMLÉKMŰ CSOPORT
HERITAGE CONTACT ZONE
HUMÁN PLATFORM EGYESÜLET
OPEN SOCIETY ARCHIVES
Castrum Peregrini, Amszterdam
Asociatia Timişoara Capitala Cultural Europeana, Temesvár
Eleven Emlékmű / Humán Platform, Budapest
Etz Hayyim, Hanía, Kréta
European University Institute, Firenze
Culture Action Europe, Brüsszel