VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives

News

Zrínyi Publishers has just released a new book entitled A magyar hadügyi igazgatás története 1526–1990 (History of Hungarian Military Administration 1526–1990). Two of our VERITAS colleagues have participated in its publication. In addition to being editor-in-chief, Róbert Hermann has contributed a work entitled Organization of the Hungarian Ministry of Defense and Internal Affairs Administration (1848–1849) while Attila Réfi has written a work entitled Hungarian Call to Arms: Organizing and Leading the Insurrection.    

Lajos Fodor, onetime Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Hungary and Board Member of the Board of Advisors for the VERITAS Institute, has been awarded the St. László Prize by the Kőbánya local government council. According to the council’s website, the prize is awarded to “worthwhile individuals who have contributed to the development and prosperity of the district through their hard work, outstanding achievements, valued endeavors and exemplary career paths, thus raising the profile of Kőbánya itself”.

We congratulate General Fodor on receiving the esteemed award!

For his “steadfast commitment to Balatonföldvár, manifested through selfless promotional endeavors in support of the city”, the local government council of Balatonföldvár has made Dr. Sándor Szakály an honorary citizen of the city.

As of June 14th, 2021, the research room of the Oral History Archive of the VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives has been reopened to limited numbers of researchers / visitors. Preregistration is required. You may reach us at leveltar@veritas.gov.hu

In 2020, to mark the centenary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Hungary and the Kingdom of Denmark, the Hungarian Embassy in Copenhagen announced a diplomatic history competition. Eligible were students attending institutions of higher education, PhD students and researchers. The subject matter was limited to any period, event, important individual or diplomatic aspect pertaining to Hungarian-Danish relations between1920 and 1989. Submissions were assessed in May 2021.

We are pleased to inform our readers that our colleague Attila Seres has won the competition with his work entitled Hungarian Refugees in Denmark: Reports of the Hungarian Embassy in Copenhagen in 1956–1958. We congratulate him on this remarkable achievement!

On May 3rd, 2021, our onetime colleague Dr. András Gergely passed away at the age of 74. He had been a historian, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, professor emeritus at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Subject Team Leader of the Era of the Dual Monarchy Research Team and Member of the Board of Advisors at the VERITAS Research Institute for History and Archives. May he rest in peace.

Our colleague Gábor Hollósi has obtained habilitation from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary. His habilitation thesis was entitled The Bratislava Bridgehead: The Negotiations of the Border Committee. We congratulate Gábor on his remarkable achievement!

 

Our colleague Izabella Drócsa has received a summa cum laude grade for her doctoral dissertation. She is currently attending the Doctoral School of Law and Political Sciences at Pázmány Péter Catholic University. We congratulate her on her exceptional achievement!

Our colleague Ádám Schwarczwölder has completed his dissertation for the Interdisciplinary Doctoral School at the University of Pécs. On February 26th, 2021, his pre-defense debate took place in the conference hall of the VERITAS Institute and was also streamed live online. His public dissertation defense has been scheduled for September. We wish him continued good luck!

On the occasion of Hungary’s National Day (March 15th), President of Hungary János Áder has honored Sándor Szakály with the Széchenyi Award for his lifetime contribution to Hungarian historical research, specifically for his work related to the history of the Interwar Era in Hungary.

Last November, on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Association for the Preservation of Military History, VERITAS Director Sándor Szakály, in recognition of his outstanding contributions and service, had been awarded the association’s Jubilee Memorial Plaque. However, because of the dangers posed by the pandemic, the award ceremony had been postponed. A few days ago, Dr. Szakály finally received his award. We congratulate him!

The Board of Advisors of the Bezerédj Foundation has chosen VERITAS Senior Research Fellow Dávid Ligeti as the recipient of the Bezerédj Prize for 2020. Dr. Zoltán Bezerédj established the award in 1993 as a means of honoring the memory of his distinguished forbears and to recognize brilliant contemporary achievement in the fields of art and science. 

Dr. Ligeti graduated from Piarista Secondary School in Budapest before majoring in History and Latin at Eötvös Loránd University. He earned his PhD in History in 2014. He worked at the Ministry of Human Capacities before joining the Era of the Dual Monarchy Research Team as a Research Fellow at the VERITAS Research Institute and Archives. He was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2019. He is a member of several academic associations including the National High School Academic Competition. As a university student, Dr. Ligeti earned the Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic, and with the assistance of the Austro-Hungarian Action Foundation, spent several months in Austria, where he conducted research at the Austrian State Archives and its associated institutions. He speaks German and English at an advanced level, and since he had originally planned to study classical philology, his Latin is excellent as well.

One of his generation’s most talented historians, Dávid Ligeti focuses his energies on researching the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the military and political history of World War I, writing his studies with strict adherence to the rules required by the discipline. Thanks to his education and enthusiasm for continued learning, he is well versed not only in his main research subject matters, but also other historical eras. In the past few years, he has also written extensively on the Hungarian Soviet Republic and the Treaty of Trianon. For his young age, Dr. Ligeti has written a prodigious number of studies and reviews, while also taking a role in editing several volumes of other works. Recently, he has published as a free-standing volume a more comprehensive version of his doctoral dissertation in which he recounts the life and career of Colonel General Arthur Arz von Straussenburg, the last Chief of the General Staff of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

  

Bezeredj Ligetis

On November 24th, 2020, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Gábor Ujváry’s friends, colleagues and admirers have honored him with the publication of “Culture will preserve the Hungarian homeland and make it great again.”, an encomium published by Ráció Publishers. Many of our VERITAS colleagues have contributed works to the book, including László L. Lajtai, Róbert Hermann, Dávid Ligeti, Ádám Schwarczwölder, Zoltán Dévavári, László Orosz, Kálmán Árpád Kovács, Gábor Hollósi, Judit Antónia Farkas, Attila Seres, András Joó, Sándor Szakály, Dávid Kiss, Róbert Géczi, Péter Bertalan and János Rácz.

The editorial staff of ГУМАНИТАРНЫЕ И ЮРИДИЧЕСКИЕ ИССЛЕДОВАНИЯ (HUMANITIES AND LAW STUDIES), a quarterly periodical published by North-Caucasus Federal University in Stavropol, Russia, has launched a 3-part series of studies in Russian on the history of the ethnic Hungarian minorities of Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia.

  • Attila Simon’s study From Refusal to Acceptance: The First Years of the Hungarian Minority in Czechoslovakia (1919–1925) can be found in Issue No. 2/2020.
  • Nándor Bárdi and Gábor Egris study A Policy on the Ruins of an Empire? Political Activity and Social Organization of the Hungarian National Minority in Greater Romania can be found in Issue No. 3/2020.
  • Árpád Hornyák writes about the Hungarian minority in Yugoslavia in Issue No. 4/2020 (not yet available).

For the first time since the System Changeover in 1990, Hungarian historical analysis on the Treaty of Trianon and its consequences is accessible in the Russian language. Our college Attila Seres was the initiator of the project and also chief editor of the translated studies.      

György  Schamschula, former government minister and current member of the Board of Advisers of the VERITAS Institute, and Mónika Kovács-Veres, HR Generalist at the VERITAS Institute, have been awarded the Hungarian Order of Merit Middle Cross and Bronze Cross, respectively. We congratulate them both!

V Kov Monika kitunt 1200

 

On October 14th, 2020, VERITAS Director Sándor Szakály stopped by Facultas Humán Gimnázium (High School), which had signed a collaborative agreement with the VERITAS Institute in November 2017, to speak to a class of seniors about Hungary’s role in World War II.

On October 14th, 2020, the Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture hosts a historical / heritage preservation conference entitled The Military History of Komárom and the Surrounding Region from the Roman Conquest to the Treaty of Trianon. Our colleague Róbert Hermann has been invited to speak. His lecture is entitled The Military Significance of Komárom in 1848-1849.

Location: Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture, Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest

Date: 10 AM on (Wednesday) October 14th, 2020

Source of photograph: Várak.hu

On October 1st, 2020, H. E. Mr. Kumar Tuhin, Ambassador of India to Hungary, visited the VERITAS Institute for a meeting with Director Sándor Szakály and Deputy Director Endre Marinovich. Translator László Varjú sat in and interpreted for the three gentlemen. The discussion focused on the endeavors of the VERITAS Institute, the importance of history in the lives of nations and the role history plays in bringing otherwise disparate countries together. Although India lies more than six thousand kilometers from Hungary, there are several noteworthy figures from the past, such as Sándor Csoma de Kőrös, the great Hungarian philologist who spent two decades studying Buddhism and the Tibetan language in India, that link the two countries in history and friendship. Ambassador Tuhin’s visit was the first of its kind in the life of the VERITAS Institute.

Historian, Polonist and poet István Kovács recently celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday. To mark the occasion, his friends and colleagues have published a commemorative volume of essays and studies entitled A híd, ami összeköt (The Bridge that Connects). Several of our VERITAS colleagues worked on the book, including Róbert Hermann, who wrote the introduction and contributed a study; Zsolt Dubniczky, who put together the bibliography; László Varjú, who proofread the English language summaries; and Attila Seres, who edited the volume and contributed a study.    

Dr. Sándor Szakály, Honorary President of the Association for the Preservation of Military Traditions (APMT) and Director of the VERITAS Institute, has been recognized for his conscientious work and devotion to the APMT, which Dr. Szakály led from 2011 to 2020, by Hungarian Minister of Defense Dr. Tibor Benkő, from whom Dr. Szakály has received a commemorative plaque.  

The (Visegrád) V4 Architectural Foundation organizes an exhibition of the drawings of archeology professor Gyula László*. MP and poet László L. Simon opens the exhibition. Our colleague László Anka discusses László’s life and achievements.

Location: Klebelsberg Castle Gardens, Templom utca (Street) 12–14, Budapest

Date: 5 PM on (Thursday) July 30th, 2020

* Gyula László  (1910-1998) was best known for his theory of the Double Conquest of the Carpathian Basin, which posits that the Avars’ arrival in the Carpathian Basin preceded the Hungarians’

Following Sándor Szakály’s resignation as President of the Honvéd Hagyományőrző Egyesület (Association for the Preservation of Military Traditions), the association has awarded him the title of HONORARY PRESIDENT. Click here (in Hungarian)

The Association of Hungarian Pedagogues of Vojvodina organizes its Apáczai Summer Academy this month. Gábor Ujváry and Sándor Szakály have been invited to speak. Their lectures are entitled Cultural Consequences of the Dismemberment of Hungary and The Treaty of Trianon and the Hungarian Military: Antecedents, Possibilities and Reality 1918–1922, respectively. 

Location: Apáczai Dormitory, Újvidék (Novi Sad, SRB), Bogdan Šuput Street 16

Date: July 9th, 2020

We would like to announce that the research center of the VERITAS Oral History Archive (OHA) reopens on July 6th, 2020.

In order to keep everyone as safe as possible, the following rules must be obeyed:

  • You must cover your face with a mask, scarf or kerchief while at the research center.
  • If you wish to visit, please email or call to set up a reservation (leveltar@veritas.gov.hu, +36–1–795–4913).
  • Eating is not allowed at the research center.
  • Hand sanitizer use is mandatory.

General information on OHA research is available here (in Hungarian).

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

VERITAS Research Institute and Archives

Méry Ratio Publishers have published the English and German language editions of Marcell Jankovics’s illustrated book Trianon, which Director of the VERITAS Institute Sándor Szakály revised and edited.

Kommentár magazine organizes a roundtable discussion to introduce its latest issue entitled National Unity. Participants include our colleague Máté Gali, former Secretary of State for Culture of the Ministry of Human Resources László L. Simon and university professor Ambrus Miskolczy. Research Director of the House of Terror Museum Márton Békés is the discussion moderator.

Location: Courtyard of the 21st Century Institute, Határőr út (Road) 36, Budapest

Date: 6 PM on (Wednesday) June 24th, 2020

In his Insighthungary.444.hu* article “When the Prime Minister Said, ‘They Really Love Interest’, Everyone in Hungary Knew Who He Meant”, Justin Spike refers to VERITAS Institute Director Sándor Szakály as one of the “virulently anti-Semitic figures [who] have been elevated to prestigious [Orbán] government-financed posts”. Mr. Spike then alludes to what Dr. Szakály said about the 1941 Kaminits-Podilskiy massacre: Sándor Szakály, a historian well-known for referring to the 1941 deportation and subsequent killing of Hungarian Jews as an “immigration procedure”.

Comment: The following can be read from Sándor Szakály’s MTI interview conducted on January 17th, 2014: “...in contrast to the general image of Hungary in WWII, it should also be noted that truly significant suffering by Hungarian Jewry occurred upon the occupation of Hungary by German troops on March 19th, 1944, from which point the sovereignty of the country was severely limited. He suggested that several historians had come to the conclusion that the first deportation from Hungary during WWII had taken place in Kaminits-Podilskiy in 1941, but that in his opinion this action could be instead referred to as an immigration procedure, for those without Hungarian citizenship were sent there. He also emphasized that when it became known that many of the deportees had been killed, Hungarian Minister of the Interior Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer allowed repatriation to Hungary on their behalf.”

 

*Insighthungary.444.hu is the English-language page of 444.hu, which is considered the leading leftwing online news portal in Hungary.

The Institute for Hungarians Studies organizes an online scientific conference entitled Recovery After Trianon. The Chief Patron of the conference is Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler. Sándor Szakály and Gábor Ujváry represent the VERITAS Institute. Their lectures are entitled Creating an Independent Hungarian Military in Order to Ensure Economic-Political Consolidation in the Beginning of the 1920's and "Cultural Policy of Careful Consideration and Systematic Structure": Kuno Klebelsberg and the Consolidation of Hungary, respectively.

Date: 10 AM on (Thursday) June 18th, 2020 

Invitation

Click here

Is getting your photograph taken with a map of Greater Hungary in the background provocative? How should we go about commemorating an event such as the anniversary of Trianon? The topic of the next episode of the Mandiner Debate Nights series is on the Treaty of Trianon, which was signed in the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles one hundred years ago on June 4th, 1920. Participants: Mária SchmidtPál Hatos and Sándor Szakály. Date: 6:30 PM on June 4th, 2020.

The roundtable discussion may be watched on both the Mandiner and Millenáris Facebook pages.

On the occasion of the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, the Albert Wass Cultural Association of Tápió organizes a commemoration. Our colleague László Anka gives the keynote address. Location: Templom Tér (Square), Tápiószecső; Date: 5 PM on (Thursday) June 4th, 2020

2020 06 04 Tápiómente

On the occasion of the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, the National University of Public Service (NUPS) organizes a memorial program and conference. László Anka, Sándor Szakály and Gábor Ujváry represent the VERITAS Institute. The scheduled 28 conference speakers may be seen on the Ludovika Webinar or the YouTube NUPS channel, while the memorial program is available through the NUPS Facebook page.

Date: 10 AM on (Thursday) June 4th, 2020. 

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, the Institute for Hungarian Studies organizes an online conference entitled The Birth of the 100-Year-Old Trianon Treaty. Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler is chief patron of the conference. The VERITAS Institute is represented by Gábor Ujváry, whose lecture is entitled Is there no Hungary without culture? The Cultural Consequences of Trianon. Additional speakers include historians Mihály Nánay, László Gulyás, Ernő Raffay, Szabolcs Nagy, László Tamás Vizi, Péter Miklósi, Lajos Olasz, Imre Tóth and Artúr Köő.

Date: 10 AM on (Thursday) May 21st, 2020

You can watch the presentations live on the official Facebook or
page of the Institute for Hungarian Studiesor on Youtube.

"Krisztián Ungváry discusses Miklós Horthy’s responsibility in the turning events of Hungarian history in his book, and he also conducted a discussion about the topic with his main professional opponent [Director of the VERITAS Institute] Sándor Szakály."

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As of March 18th, 2020, in order to minimize the risk of the spread of coronavirus, the Research Service of the Oral History Archive of the VERITAS Research Institute and Archives has been suspended for an indefinite period.

For additional information please call the VERITAS Institute at:

+36-70-659-27-39 or +36-70-659-27-82

Monday to Thursday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM.

You may also reach us at leveltar@veritas.gov.hu

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

On the occasion of the Memorial Day for the Victims of Communism, the Organization of Hungarian Political Prisoners and Forced Laborers, the International Society of Gulag and Gupvi Researchers, the Malenki Robot Memorial of the Hungarian National Museum and the Braunhaxler Óbuda Germans Preservation Society jointly organize a commemoration, which is followed by a roundtable discussion and showing of the film Örök tél (Eternal Winter) starring Academy Award winner Marina Gera.

Location: Victims of the Soviet Occupation Memorial, Árpád fejedelem útja (Road) 125, (Óbuda) Budapest

Date: 4:30 PM on (Tuesday) February 25th, 2020

Invitation (in Hungarian)

On the occasion of the 522nd anniversary of the bequeathal of the coat of arms and seal of Somogy County, the Somogy County General Assembly has organized a commemoration. As part of the event, VERITAS Director Sándor Szakály has been awarded the Somogy Polgáraiért Díj (For the Citizens of Somogy Award) for his outstanding professional contributions for the betterment of the county. Below is a photograph of the medal Dr. Szakály has received.

 

Somogy polgaraiert dij

In their blog post entitled History in the (un)making: Historical revisionism in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, Meilin Scanish and Norman Eisen refer to the VERITAS Research Institute and Archives as “Orban’s partisan...institute”.

Our response: We adamantly reject the “partisan” label. The VERITAS Institute was founded by the government of Hungary when the National Assembly passed Government Regulation 373/2013 (X.25.). The Institute was created to study the past one hundred fifty years of Hungarian history focusing on three specific periods:

  1. Era of the Austro-Hungarian (Dual) Monarchy (1867-1918)
  2. The Interwar Era (1918-1945)
  3. Post-WWII Era (1945-1994)

On more than one occasion, VERITAS Director Dr. Sándor Szakály has said the following: “Not only should one never lie or falsify, but for a researcher, it is strictly forbidden.”

Our historians endeavor to live up to his words. 

Director of the VERITAS Institute Sándor Szakály has been awarded the Research on Central Europe Lifetime Achievement Award. On his behalf, VERITAS Head of Institute Gábor Ujváry accepted the award in Szeged on November 22nd, 2019.

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On October 5th, 1919, Brigadier General Harry Hill Bandholtz of the United States Army, one of the leaders of the Inter-Allied Military Mission in Budapest, singlehandedly saved the Hungarian National Museum from being ransacked by occupying Romanian troops. On the occasion of the centenary of his fearless endeavor, the Hungarian National Museum unveils a memorial plaque in his honor. US Ambassador to Hungary David B. Cornstein, Hungarian State Secretary (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) Orsolya Pacsay-Tomassich and Director of the Hungarian National Museum Benedek Varga are scheduled to speak. Location: Hungarian National Museum courtyard, Múzeum körút (Boulevard) 14-16, Budapest  Date: 2 PM on (Thursday) October 17th, 2019

Bandholz

The Hungarian National Museum hosts the book premiere for the first volume (edited by László Gulyás) of The History of the Treaty of Trianon in Seven Volumes series. From the VERITAS Institute, László Anka and Dávid Ligeti contributed works to the collection while László Orosz consulted and edited. Date: 4 PM on (Wednesday) October 2nd, 2019

On September 9th, 2019, ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University) Eötvös József Collegium ceremoniously opened its 125th school year. As part of the event, several individuals whose efforts had contributed to making the Collegium great were recognized. Director of the VERITAS Institute Sándor Szakály, who had been a member of the Collegium between 1975 and 1980, was among those acknowledged. Curator of the Collegium Professor Emeritus Iván Bertényi presented the award to Dr. Szakály’s son Zoltán Szakály, who accepted the award on behalf of his father, currently recuperating from illness.

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On July 23rd, 2019, Valerie Hopkins, correspondent of the Financial Times, contacted the VERITAS Institute with a short list of questions related to the mission of the Institute and its recent merger with the 1956 Institute. The Q&A and her article can be found here and here.