Andras ‘Beaš’ Lakatos was born in 1905 at Máriakálnok and grew up at Papa, West Hungaria. He and his young family survived the persecution by the National Socialists by flight. In 1956 after the collapse of the Hungarian struggle for freedom Beaš, his wife and children (the famous singer Ruzsa Nikolić-Lakatos, born in 1945, was among them) fled to Austria.

In Vienna Beaš’s family were offered a flat by the organization for refugees, but they preferred to live in a caravan on the Ringelsee square in the 21st district of Vienna because they did not want to miss the community of Roma there. In 1963 the settlement had to be pulled down because of the construction of public baths and the Lakatos family moved into a house in the 22nd district of Vienna. Beaš lived there until his death in 1969.

Andras ‘Beaš’ Lakatos spoke the dialect of the Hungarian Lovara. Many Lovara still traded in horses also after World War II. Between 1945 and 1956 Andras Lakatos worked as a carrier of goods and coal with a horse-drawn vehicle at Pápa. Story-telling, singing and dancing in the evening were customary in village life in this Roma community, above all in winter. Andras Lakatos was one of the most popular narrators.

(Translation by Petra Cech)


Interview with R.N. In Stippinger, Christa / Witz, Christa: Frauen zwischen den Kulturen [Typoskript], Wien 1992, 112-119. Reprint in: Hemetek, Ursula (Hg.), Amare gila – Unsere Lieder. Ruža Nikolić-Lakatos. Eine Dokumentation der Liedkultur von Lovara in Österreich am Beispiel der Familie Nikolić-Lakatos (= Tondokumente zur Volksmusik in Österreich 4), Wien 1994, Booklet, 6-13.