Béla Szász, b. 1910
Born in Szombathely, Szász began to study at the Budapest University of Economics, but switched to Hungarian, French and Art History at the Péter Pázmány University. In 1930, he went to the Sorbonne on a scholarship. He joined the illegal communist movement, becoming a member of the Hungarian Communist Party and working for the papers Virradat (Daybreak) and Kortárs (Contemporary). He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment in 1932. In 1937–9, he worked in films in Paris, as Renoir’s assistant, and then as a journalist and photographer in Argentina. Szász returned to Hungary in 1946, working as an editor on Képes Hét (Pictorial Week) and Jövendő (Future). In 1948–9, he was employed in the Foreign Ministry and then in the Ministry of Agriculture as press secretary. Arrested in 1949, he did not break down even under torture, giving no evidence against himself or others in the Rajk trial. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, but released in 1954. In 1957, he emigrated to Britain. He was editor of the Irodalmi Újság until 1961 and publisher of the Brussels Szemle from 1959 to 1963. In 1965 he joined the staff of the BBC.
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