VERITAS Research Institute and Archives

News

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.

SzaSa KKE dij 800

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.

EC Oklevel

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.

On June 29th, 2019, on the occasion of the 125th and 75th anniversaries of the birth and death of Henryk Slawik, respectively, the 45th anniversary of the death of József Antall, Sr. and the return of national sovereignty to Hungary under the leadership of his son József Antall, the Association of Friends of József Antall held a commemorative event in Doba. Doba Mayor Zoltán Horváth gave welcoming remarks, which were followed by a ceremonial speech by György Lövey, childhood friend of József Antall. The VERITAS Institute was represented by Péter Bertalan, who laid a wreath at the base of the Antall memorial.

Over the course of eight years, János Kristóf Murádin, a Hungarian historian who lives in Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca, RO) and teaches at Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania (a partner institution of the VERITAS Institute), combed through countless libraries and archives in order to paint a comprehensive and authentic picture of the history of the Transylvanian Party (HTP).* The book that has resulted from Murádin’s meticulous work is entitled All for Transylvania! History of theTransylvanian Party from 1940 and 1944, the book premiere for which was held in Kolozsvár on May 23rd, 2019.

* After the Second Vienna Award, when the northern half of Transylvania was returned to Hungary, the HTP represented the political interests of the Transylvanian Hungarians in the Hungarian Parliament.

Congratulations to Gábor Hollósi, whose work Symbol or Concept? An Overview of the Doctrine of the Holy Crown of Hungary has been published in the latest edition (Spring–Fall 2018) of the Hungarian Studies Review, the biannual academic journal of the Hungarian Studies Association, based in Canada.

In his New York Times piece entitled A Friend to Israel, and to Bigots: Viktor Orban’s ‘Double Game’ on Anti-Semitism, Patrick Kingsley references the VERITAS Institute and Director Sándor Szakály on Miklós Horthy:

“[Director of the VERITAS Research Institute and Archives] Sandor Szakaly has said that the Horthy regime was legally justified in deporting 18,000 Hungarian Jews in 1941 who were later massacred in Ukraine.”

This is not the first time Mr. Kingsley has taken Dr. Szakály’s statement out of historical context.

In March 2018, a few weeks before publication of his article How Viktor Orban Bends Hungarian Society to His Will, Mr. Kingsley emailed Dr. Szakály a number of questions, to which Dr. Szakály provided detailed answers in English. In his article, however, Mr. Kingsley ignored Dr. Szakály’s feedback, and instead rendered a portrayal that distorted reality. In the interests of accuracy, the reader may find the questions and Dr. Szakály’s answers in the PDF linked here.

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.”

    

On January 17th, 2019, Joanna Kakissis of NPR (National Public Radio) conducted an extensive interview with VERITAS Director Sándor Szakály. In her article “Hungary's New Holocaust Museum Isn't Open Yet, But It's Already Causing Concern”, Ms. Kakissis quotes Dr. Szakály as follows: "When [Regent Miklós] Horthy found out what was happening, he stopped the deportations [of the Jews] and wrote a letter to Hitler saying this is unacceptable." The full article is available here

Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler has announced that Sándor Szakály and Endre Marinovich have received 5-year extensions at the helm of the VERITAS Research Institute for History. We congratulate both men!

On the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Tibor Zinner’s friends, colleagues and pupils have honored him with the publication of Zinner 70. Egy élet az (i)gazságszolgáltatás kutatásának szolgálatában (Zinner at 70: A Life Dedicated to Researching Justice [and Villainy]), an encomium jointly edited by Veronika Fodor, Patrícia Gecsényi, Gábor Hollósi, Dávid Kiss, Krisztina Baán-Rácz and János Rácz. The book has been jointly published by the Írott Szó Foundation and Magyar Napló. Historian Lajos Izsák and Theologian of the Order of St. Benedict Ádám Somorja have made laudatory speeches.

The Curia of Hungary organizes a conference titled 65 éves a Bírósági Határozatok (65 Years of Court Decisions). Tibor Zinner represents the VERITAS Research Institute for History at the event. The title of his presentation is Staying on the Stalinist Road Following Stalin’s Death: Apropos of a Withheld Theoretical Supreme Court Decision.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad (October 6th, 1849), the National Petőfi Sándor Association and the Petőfi Birth Place and Memorial Museum jointly organize a commemoration. As part of the ceremonies, an exhibition dedicated to the Poles who fought in the 1848 Hungarian Revolution is unveiled; Róbert Hermann moderates a roundtable discussion; and István Pelyach, a historian from Szeged, gives the keynote address. Location: Petőfi Birth Place and Memorial Museum, Petőfi ter (Square), Kiskőrös. Date: 4:30 PM on (Saturday) October 6th, 2018

On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, the Hungarian government extended birthday greetings to Péter Boross at the Hungarian Parliament. Prime Minister in 1993–94, Péter Boross is the current Chairman of the Board of Advisers for the VERITAS Research Institute for History. He turned ninety years old on August 27th, 2018.

On the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of the culmination of WWI, the mayor’s office in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc, RO) has released The Szekler Land and the Great War: An Academic Volume on the Occasion of the Centenary of World War I. (Editor: Zsolt Orbán, Csíkszereda Publishing, Csíkszereda, 2018) Gábor Ujváry’s work The Role of Transylvania in Hungarian Cultural Policy during the First Half of the 20th Century appears in the new book.  

VERITAS Director Sándor Szakály has been recognized for his outstanding professional contributions by the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI).

Attached below is a photograph of the certificate Dr. Szakály has received from EMMI Minister Miklós Kásler.

 

Oklevel 2018 06 15 EMMI 666

Róbert Hermann, Deputy Head Academic of the Institute and Museum of Military History and Subject Team Leader at the VERITAS Research Institute for History, has been awarded díszpolgárság (honorary citizenship) of the XII District of Budapest. Dr. Hermann receives his honor at a ceremony hosted by the city council of the XII District at the MOM Cultural Center (Csörsz utca [Street] 18, Budapest) at 6 PM on (Thursday) May 31st, 2018.

 

Dr. Sándor Szakály will be at the Magyar Napló booth at the 25th International Book Festival signing copies of Múltunkról és jelenünkről (On our Past and Present), a new book of assorted interviews with him dating from 2002 to 2017.

Location: MILLENÁRIS, Kis Rókus u. (Street) 16–20, Budapest

Date: 5 PM on (Thursday) April 19th, 2018

Bookfest

 

Per index.hu: "The New York Times has provided an all-encompassing look at the Orbán regime, which is in itself interesting, for it reveals how one of the most influential and prestigious newspapers in the world views Hungary".

In his article How Viktor Orban Bends Hungarian Society to His Will, Patrick Kingsley refers to the VERITAS Institute and Director Sándor Szakály. A few weeks before publication of his article, Mr. Kingsley emailed Dr. Szakály a number of questions, to which Dr. Szakály provided detailed answers in English. In his article, however, Mr. Kingsley ignored Dr. Szakály’s feedback, and instead rendered a portrayal that distorted reality. In the interests of accuracy, the reader may find the questions and Dr. Szakály’s answers in the PDF linked here.

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.”