18 October 2021 – 2.00pm
Dr Agnes Kaposi is a Hungarian-born British engineer, educator and author. In 2020, Dr Kaposi published her autobiography 'Yellow Star-Red Star'. The narrative is underscored by the historian Dr László Csősz and illustrated by maps, documents, archival images and family photographs. This memoir is a candid account of life in Hungary before, during and after the Second World War, and her escape to Britain.
Dr Kaposi was born in 1932 to Hungarian-Jewish and socialist parents. Her family suffered from political and racial oppression, but only in the final year of the war did the Holocaust reach Hungary. Over the course of only two months, aided by the Hungarian gendarmerie, the Nazis murdered almost half a million Hungarian Jews. Agnes was there, witnessing the events. As a young girl she survived the Debrecen ghetto, worked as a child labourer in the camps of Austria and lost half her family.
Liberated from the camps by the Soviet army, Agnes returned to Hungary where a Stalinist regime followed. In 1951, she graduated from the Technical University of Budapest with a degree in electrical /electronic engineering, contributing to the development of the Hungarian TV broadcasting infrastructure. After the 1956 Uprising against Communist rule, she escaped from her native Hungary and obtained a labour permit to work in England as an industrial researcher in the Telecommunication and Computer industries.
In 1971, Dr Kaposi obtained her PhD in Computer Aided Design. She is a Churchill Fellow and was the third woman to have been elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She worked in research, education and as consultant to industrial organisations and universities in the UK and overseas. She is a role model for women in Science and Engineering. Dr Kaposi is an advocate for social justice, anti-prejudice and equality. She continues to be active in numerous Jewish and secular human rights organizations. Dr Kaposi gives illustrated talks and seminars at various organisations, including universities and schools, addressing scholarly and public audiences—a testament to her passion for knowledge-sharing and education.