VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

“Legislation, Law and Truth" – The Life Work of Kálmán Széll

28 October 2015

At 7 PM on October 28th, 2015, the Hungarian Historical Institute of Vienna will organize a book premier in Vienna, in the Balatoni Hall of the Collegium Hungaricum (Hollandstraße 4, 1020 Vienna, Austria). The Kálmán Széll Foundation and the Mathias Corvinus Collegium have mutually published “Legislation, Law and Truth" – The Life Work of Kálmán Széll at the beginning of October. Dr. Iván Bertényi, editor, author and the Director of the Hungarian Historical Institute in Vienna; Ádám Schwarczwölder, Research Assistant at the VERITAS Research Institute for History, and the author of one of the works found in the book; and Zoltán Szalai, the Director of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium, will introduce the book to the public.

The Kálmán Széll Plan. The Kálmán Széll Square. After many long decades in a state of historical disregard, we have witnessed the return of Kálmán Széll to the public’s eye in the past few years. Since he had been a relatively unknown entity for most Hungarians, the question arose if he was simply an average politician of his era. In reality the man had been one of the most important political leaders at the turn of the last century, and his career diverged in many ways from that of a typical Hungarian politician of the Era of the Dual Monarchy.
True, the derogatory historical appraisals of him were in some way understandable, for the last biographical work to appear about him was in 1943, and that work did not rise to the standards of modern historical study or methodology.
With the academic rigor expected of historians, the authors cover every aspect of Szell’s long and multi-faceted public career in the volume, examining not only those aspects of Szell’s life that are already relatively well known. In addition to getting to know the minister of finance who stabilized the national budget and the prime minister who went out of his way to work together with the opposition, we also get to meet the banker, the farming landowner and the veteran politician steeped in gravitas. For those who are interested in finding out who Széll truly was, they can now do so via this modern and thorough work.    


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