I met Janos in 1998 within the Phare LIEN Basic Adult Education as a Path Back Into Society project. Later, we occasionally met within projects and on occasion, when he cooperated with the SIAE. I considered him to be a complex person, who perceives current problems and responds to them, and on the other hand, as a person with whom one can have an interesting conversation and exchange different views. But even though the debates with him were sometimes very heated, he was able to shake hands and had a drink with everyone. In this respect, I assent the thought that someone posted on his obituary on Facebook – Janos loved democracy. I think he identified himself with the value of democracy most deeply. He believed in political and any kind of dialogue and was committed to inclusive society through activities within adult education.He was a highly ambitious and hard-working person. He had high expectations of his colleagues, mostly of Martha, who was his right hand, and I believe that he was deeply grateful and devoted to her for that until his last breath.  He was a born leader and a good organizer; he knew intuitively to whom to assign the task, who should be won over and with whom links should be established. He always found time for fun after a long, hard working day. That is why we liked to work with him although it was demanding and hard. We were always looking forward to new gatherings. Adult education should be carried out in a relaxed environment; adults should be intellectually engaged, but above all, they should be interconnected and intrigued.  It seemed that Janos was well aware of and committed to this goal.

He was a multi-tasker, who devoted time to his work. He knew exactly what was going on, who was involved in what and how. He had an overview of developments in connection with adult education policy in his country, Europe, and worldwide. This ultimately enabled him to become two-time President of the EAEA and Vice-President of the ICAE. He was a Hungarian, but he liked to joke that Toth really meant Slav. In general, he liked to make jokes about the differences between Hungarians and other nations, but with a sense of warmth, belonging and joy. In this respect, he was a true Hungarian, European and cosmopolitan.  I once jokingly told him that his name has become a synonym of Hungarian adult education in the world. Of course, he smiled from his heart happily and then modestly added that this was not at all true, as he only played a part in it. I believe that deep down he truly meant it, because despite all the ambitions, as well as the accolades he received for his work, he was a humble man. I knew him as such, yet at the same time I know that Janos was certainly more than what meets the eye.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Natalija Žalec, MAEd (UK) (natalija.zalec@acs.si), SIAE

© 2017-2024 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

​The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Education.

ISSN 2630-2926

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education
Ministry of Education

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: zvonka.pangerc@acs.si) | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: ana.peklenik@acs.si) | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc and dr Tanja Rupnik Vec | Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: franci.lajovic@acs.si) | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: https://enovicke.acs.si/en/home/