Shattered aristocracy – active aristocrats the disappearance of Hungarian aristocracy between the legal reforms of 1885 and 1947
The leading community of social life in Carpathian Basin for nearly a thousand years, Hungarian aristocracy ceased to be a legal entity by the middle of the twentieth century. It was the result of a long process, which started in the middle of the 19th century, and ended in 1947. One of the important characteristics of the Hungarian aristocracy was that they were part of the legislation on an individual basis. The progressive loss of power of the higher nobility started with the Reform Bill of 1885, nearly 70 per cent of the higher nobility lost its individual right to be a member of the Upper House. Another significant change, which affected the Hungarian aristocracy, was due to the decision of the King, in 1867, who started to lift several new families – often of Jewish origin – to the ranks of the aristocracy. Defeated in the First World War, Hungary lost two thirds of its territory, which dealt a severe blow on the land-owning aristocrats. Furthermore, under the pressure of the victorious powers, the King of Hungary was dethroned in 1921, and although the state continued to be a monarchy, it did not have a proper king ever again. Thus, the high nobility lost the source of its title and political power. Therefore, after the year 1921, Hungarian aristocracy cannot be understood as an existing community, although several aristocrats did, indeed, play an important role in the economic, politic and social life of the country until 1944. The new government destroyed the remains of the community by introducing Act 4 of 1947, which forbade the use of the titles of nobility.
Hungarian cultural office in interwar Czechoslovakia 1922-1938
The paper aims at presenting the operation of the Hungarian Cultural Office founded and financed by the Hungarian minority parties of inter-war Czechoslovakia. The head of the Cultural Office was Ferenc Sziklay, a Hungarian intellectual and writer from Košice (today Slovakia), whose correspondence provides a first-hand testimony concerning the creation, the aims and the activity of the Office, as well as its contact and institutional network.
The open-air of festivals Szeged in the Horthy era
The opening play of the Szeged Open-Air Festival was staged in 1931. After failing to organize the Festival in 1932, it was held annually until the Second World War broke out. From among all open-air festivals held in the 1930s in Hungary (i.e. in Budapest, Pécs, Sopron and Szombathely), the Szeged Open-Air Festival became the most popular. It was due to the fact that by then Szeged was a center of knowledge and the seat of a university, and after being rebuilt from its ruins following the great flood of 1879, Dome Square and the Votive Church were inaugurated in 1930. While the cultural politics of Minister Kuno Klebelsberg helped creating a demand for important cultural programs, the new stylish square became the ideal location for mass open-air events. From the very beginning, the Festival of Szeged acquired great importance for Hungarian national propaganda, which later broadened to an international scale. Visa waivers, different types of travel and accommodation discounts were also applied to attract visitors to Szeged. Organizers kept diversifying the selection of plays and other programs from year to year. Financial difficulties raised doubts about the festival during the last few seasons, and after 1939 the series was cancelled to be re-opened in 1959 only. The first period of the open-air festivals brought both domestic and international recognition and success to Szeged strengthening its position as one of the most outstanding cultural centers of Hungary.
„… Have the mercy … to provide a suitable job for me” arguments used in letters of application in the time of the Hungarian military administration in Northern Transylvania
The present study aims at analyzing the application letters sent to the military administration’s office in Szatmár County in the fall of 1940, soon after Hungary regained large territories from Roumania. Since the military administration was set up within a few days following the entry of the Hungarian army, employment was not preceded by a lengthy procedure. In fact, it was enough to send a well-written letter in order to apply for a job. The analysis is based on a total of 183 letters, which – since only a few responses are known – serve mainly as sources for the study of mentality, demonstrating the arguments that the applicants considered important for obtaining a job. Applicants were divided into two groups, Transylvanians and Hungarians from Hungary. The research also focuses on how each of these groups conceived the other territory.