This paper is about the thirty-one years between 1940 and 1971 that Attila T. Szabó spent teaching at the university of Kolozsvár. The title mentions 'the university of Kolozsvár' although, during the twentieth century, Kolozsvár now had a Hungarian university and now it had none, and the opportunities of higher education in Hungarian were also quite variable in that city. This situation has not come to a satisfactory solution even today. The institution that Attila T. Szabó was a professor of cannot simply be referred to as 'the university of Kolozsvár'. For him and some of his fellow professors, this was like the situation of certain Hungarian communities in the Carpathian Basin, the members of which successively turned into citizens of a number of different countries without ever leaving the village in which they had been born. Szabó, too, was professor of at least three different universities while teaching at 'the university of Kolozsvár'. The locality and the sometimes unforeseeable turns that history was taking determined his teacher's and scholar's career, a rather unusual career to be sure.