Administrative / Biographical history
Géza Benes was born in Budapest on March 13, 1942, into a Calvinist (Reformed) family with Jewish origins. Benes's paternal grandfather, Imre Izidor Benes-Buchinger, was the owner of the József Főherceg Szálló (Grand Duke Joseph Hotel) at Baross tér in Budapest. A more distant relative of his, Manó Buchinger (1875-1953), was a trade union leader, politician, and member of the Hungarian parliament (MSZDP, SZDP, MDP).
After his baccalaureate, Géza Benes was refused admission to university on three consecutive occasions on the grounds of his bourgeois origins. In those years, he worked as a welder and blue-collar worker at the Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (formerly: Ganz) shipyard in Budapest. In 1963, he was finally admitted to Budapest Technical University, from where he graduated as a thermal engineer in 1968. Starting in 1977 he also attended classes at the Marxism-Leninism Evening School (Marxizmus-Leninizmus Esti Egyetem, MLEE).
In 1971, Géza Benes joined the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party. Between December 1973 and November 1974, he was a member of the Hungarian delegation to the International Commission of Control and Supervision in South Vietnam, where he worked as a peacekeeper and translator. In 1976 he was awarded the Friendship Order by the government of Vietnam.
That same year, the Hungarian Socialist Worker's Party organization at the Leninváros (today: Tiszaújváros) construction site of the Erőmű Beruházási Vállalat, where Benes was working as an engineer from 1968 onward (and until 1983), launched a disciplinary procedure against him. He was demoted from his mid-level managerial position, and while the two-year-long procedure ended with his acquittal, he was disappointed to learn that his reputation remained stained by a formal, though inconsequential, party reprimand. Soon afterwards, the Erőmű Beruházási Vállalat transferred Benes to the construction site of the Paks nuclear power station.
Sometime during the mid-1980s, Benes left the Party, which caused, once again, backlash at his workplace, the Budapesti Kőolajipari Gépgyár, where he had worked from 1984 to 1989. A few years later, set to fight against the injustice endured, but also against the Party itself, Benes found himself among the protesters against the socialist regime in 1989. He joined the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), and, in 1990, was elected member of the municipal council of the 20th District of Budapest (Pesterzsébet). He was reelected three times before retiring from local politics in 2006, long after his retirement (2000) from the last job he held with MOL Rt, the successor of, among others, the Budapesti Kőolajipari Gépgyár.
Géza Benes passed away in Budapest on October 6, 2020, at the age of 78.
The file that makes up this archival fonds was discovered by Géza Benes's (third) wife well after Benes's death, hidden at the bottom of a wardrobe in the apartment they shared in the 20th District of Budapest.
The inscription on the cover of the file reads:
"The Case. Don't throw it out; hand it over in [a few] decades to a researcher of the 1970s. [Signed:] Géza. December 7, 1999."
When Benes's widow discovered the file, she followed her late husband's will, and contacted Blinken OSA. The file was transferred from the widow's home directly to Blinken OSA in early 2022.