Aparate radio vechi, colectie personala Francisc Visky
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2008-01-15
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Francisc Visky

My Story

      The first time I got into contact with a radio set was in October 1956, at the age of eight. Back then we used to live in a village called Cheţ in the Bihor department. My father listened to a lamp radio that came with a set of headphones. I was totally fascinated by that apparatus, so I loved watching my father change the batteries or try to fine tune the reception. Every evening I would stay beside my father who was listening with great interest the information offered by that amazing box.

       One of those evenings it was announced that the Hungarian Revolution had been ended through a bloodbath following the intervention of the Russian comrades. I remember that in that moment my father started to cry, so I began to hate that little black box, because I had never seen my father cry before. He was always a serene and jovial man, except for the times when he prepared his sermons and he was extremely serious. To come to think of it, that crying was the only time that he acted that way against the political system, even though, for no real reason, some time later my father was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment.

       Also following a court sentence, my mother was deported together with her seven children to the Danube Delta. All that we found there was a pillar that represented a clue towards the location where we would live from there on. In that time, I was the oldest of the children, at the age of ten. My youngest brother was only nine months old.

       Two years after the deportation, with a little help, I managed to build my first set for the reception of radio waves. As components for my new radio, I used a magneto bobbin stolen from a tractor, an antenna improvised from the bobbin wire, a helmet received from a prisoner and a variable condenser obtained from a convict. Getting the detector was the hardest thing for me, but eventually, after several attempts, I managed to correctly reproduce the crystal made from a mixture of sulphur and lead. I made the radio carcase from a carton box, and once I managed to do this, my apparatus was ready to speak. “Gavarit Moskva” were the first words that I heard on my new radio. Although I was very excited to finally have some sort of connection with the outside world, I was well aware of the fact that I still had a lot of work to do, especially since at first I did not understand either the Romanian, or the Russian language.

       My ambition to further develop this apparatus eventually brought better results in the sense that I managed to tune in to a Romanian station. This helped us realize where we actually were. We still did not know how long we would continue to stay there for and we also did not receive any news from our father. After five years spent in Bărăgan, we arrived home and one year later my father also returned following an amnesty, although he was not rehabilitated. 

       At home, I further nurtured my passion for the radio, and later I tried for five times to get in at the Telecommunications University, but I was rejected every single time, as my presence at that university was not approved by the system. I eventually managed to get to a university that was not politically influenced, receiving upon graduation an electrician engineer diploma. However, from that moment on, I interrupted any connection to the telecommunications field.
Approximately three years ago, Dr. Andras Visky, my youngest brother, who is a writer, a director, and a university lecturer, asked me to write about our memories from the Danube Delta, inserting in one of his books the period I described earlier. In order to more accurately reproduce the atmosphere of that time, my brother suggested that I should rebuild that primitive apparatus that we used to listen to in the deportation camp of Lăteşti, Bărăgan. This brought back to my memory with nostalgia the moments we spent there.

 

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Moneasa. Menyhaza. House of Haven
 
Familia. A csalad. Family
 
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