IN MEMORIAM DR. BULCSÚ VERESS
July 26, 1941 – November 20, 2012
Bulcsú Veress, Hungarian-American political scientist and long-time Coalition supporter, died after a long illness at the age of 71. He is survived by his nieces Ajna and Dóra and their beloved children nephew Ádám and brother-in-law Ákos, of Budapest, and numerous friends.
He was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. After the 1956 Revolution, still a high school student, he joined an underground anti-Communist student group at the Petőfi High School. The group was betrayed and its members arrested in 1958. Bulcsú was sentenced to 8 months in prison.
Keeping his prison past hidden, he was admitted to the School of Law of the Eötvös Lóránd University earning a degree in law. In 1965, the Secret Police discovered him there and pressured the school to dismiss him, which was flatly opposed by the law faculty.
He was sent for post-graduate studies in comparative and international law to the University of Strasbourg, and in 1970, he decided not to return to Hungary. He emigrated to the United States in 1971. The same year, he was admitted to the Graduate School of Columbia University in New York , where he received his third diploma in political science/international relations in 1976.
Bulcsú threw his energies into the work of the New York-based Committee for Human Rights in Romania (later Hungarian Human Rights Foundation). With HHRF, he regularly traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress on behalf of the Hungarian minority in Romania. In 1980, he joined the campaign to elect Christopher Dodd of Connecticut to the U.S. Senate. After Dodd’s election, Bulcsú worked for many years as Senator Dodd’s Legislative Assistant, who also served on the Foreign Relations Committee. On Capital Hill, he earned the respect of U.S. lawmakers as a scholar of minority rights issues and a credible political analyst of Communist societies and their leadership. With his thorough understanding of U.S. politics and the inner workings of Congress, Bulcsu was an invaluable resource for HHRF and other Hungarian-American efforts to influence U.S. government policy on East Central Europe. Bulcsú was the originator of HHRF’s ultimately successful strategy of using the Jackson-Vanik amendment to pressure Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on human and minority rights in Romania. He was also an accomplished interpreter and translator. At the end of 1991, Bulcsú returned to Hungary and served as an advisor in the newly democratic Parliament of Hungary. Later he worked as an advisor to Hungary’s foreign minister and as an editor and professional advisor at Duna Television.
Bulcsú at the time of imprisonment, 1958.
In 1992, during the Antall government, Bulcsú Veress was awarded the “1956 Memorial Medal”. Bulcsú was extremely proud of receiving this award together with his father Zoltán, who was awarded posthumously.
Throughout his turbulent life, Bulcsú demonstrated an unstinting commitment to his beloved nation. His many friends recognized the uncompromising integrity, generosity and humor which underlay his rough, outspoken demeanor. With no children of his own, he was unfailingly devoted and gentle to those of his nieces and his friends. The Hungarian-American community has lost an extraordinarily intelligent and accomplished man.
You can read an interview in Hungarian by clicking the following link:http://www.hacusa.org/en/2012-