Gulyás with his two older daughters (about 1946).

Gulyás’s letter to his wife from prison (written on cigarette paper, about 1957)

Gulyás’s letter to his wife from prison (written on cigarette paper, about 1957)

Lajos Gulyás
(1918 1957)

Lajos Gulyás (4 February 1918, Kisújfalu (Nová Vieska) –31 December 1957, Győr) He was a Calvinist pastor at Balatonszepezd when he joined the armed resistance in 1944, during Hungary’s German occupation. He rescued persecuted Jews, and was eventually arrested by the Arrow Cross authorities. The Communist power that emerged after the war also initiated legal proceedings against him on several occasions. He was nominated by the Smallholders’ Party as a candidate during the general elections of 1947. From 1947 on, he served at Levél, a village near the country’s western border. As nobody was called to account after a volley was fired at a demonstrating crowd and killed a large number of the protesters on 26 October 1956, some people subsequently decided to take the law into their own hands. Officers were beaten up in the courtyard of the border-guard barracks, but Gulyás tried to pacify the angry crowd, cautioning them to seek justice by legal means. Eventually he pushed his way up to one of the groups and managed, with the help of others, to rescue one of the officers. In the days to follow, he took part in the work of the new revolutionary authorities that replaced the system of local councils. In early January 1957, after the appearance of a libellous news article attacking his person, several fellow ministers as well as his wife urged him to flee. Convinced of his innocence, he decided to stay, nevertheless. “A Hungarian will not leave his country! Even to the gallows will I walk in freshly pressed trousers,” he told his wife. The avenging powers of the Kádár regime did not have mercy on the Reformed Church pastor who had saved the life of the border-guard officer. Sentenced to death in a show trial, Gulyás was executed. He left three orphaned teenage daughters behind.