EARLY JANUARY 1990: AFTERGLOW
On January 1, as though to illustrate how much the world had changed, three journalists announced their visit to us. They were from Die Welt, Libération and Quotidien de Paris. Only ten days earlier, we would have rather hidden ‘in a mouse-hole than openly receive western journalists in our homes. But they were at my home from morning to evening and did a lot of interviews, not only with me, but with Károly Király, with the poet Béla Markó, who later became a senator representing our newly founded movement, the Democratic Association of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), the physician Dr. Pál Kikeli, who became a Vice-President of the Mureş County branch of the RMDSZ, and others.
It was fortunate that the stuffed cabbage had survived New Year’s Eve, so that the Paris and Bonn journalists and TV people could successfully gobble it up, frequently praising Transylvanian food and hospitality.
I remember how surprised Boris Kalnoky was, the reporter of Die Welt, when in answer to his question I said I had confidence in Ion Iliescu, and considered him an intelligent man who favoured democracy, and that I thought he would keep the promises he had made to the minorities about protecting their rights immediately after coming to power. My illusions concerning Ion Iliescu were also shared by Károly Király and by Dr. Kikeli, who at the end of the Sixties, as the president of the Students’ Association of Târgu Mureş, was a close collaborator of Iliescu, the-then First Secretary of the Young Communists’ Association and Minister for Youth.