Famous Hungarians


Take it with a pinch of salt. George Mikes, Hungarian-born English writer’s bon mot to satirize Hungarians’ obsession to brag with being Hungarian sounds like this in its full context:
”Everybody is Hungarian, and if he isn’t, then his father or his grandmother was.”

Mikes – who made fame as a popular English writer by […]

By |July 8th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Albert Szent-Györgyi

 The genius behind the discovery of vitamin C
I like eating lecsó (letscho), and I love making it. It’s in season from June to September, making it the Hungarian summer staple food. The quintessence of this vegetable stew is sweet peppers in all shapes and colours mixed with onions, tomatoes, and paprika-spiced sausage.

Hungarians are crazy about […]

By |June 24th, 2016|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Kodály Zoltán

The Music Educator of a Nation
Andrássy út, the only straight avenue in Pest, is divided into three major sections by two circuses, Oktogon and Kodály körönd . The Körönd, as it was named originally when the four residential blocs surrounding the square were built in the 1890s, fell victim to the re-naming frenzy of the […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Binyamin Ze’ev Herzl

The Architect of the Jewish Nation
On my first visit to Tel Aviv back in the 1980s I went to the Knesset to see Marc Chagall’s grandiose frescoes. Once there, I peeped into the Assembly Hall where –to my surprise- the only decoration was a huge portrait of Theodore Herzl behind the Speaker’s seat. It was […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Robert Capa

A Pacifist, an Eye-witness to Five Wars
Robert Capa died holding his camera in his left hand minutes after stepping on a landmine. He was finding the right angle to make a perfect shot of retreating French soldiers in the paddy fields at Thai-Binh, North Vietnam, on May 24, 1954. He was the first American journalist killed […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ferenc Liszt

A Lover of Music and Women
Liszt spent a considerable amount of his life on the roads of Europe touring from Paris to St Petersburg, from Vienna and Pest to as far as Istanbul mainly in a luxury coach designed especially for him, and carrying a Hungarian passport. However, the great Hungarian patriot of whom we […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Katalin Karády

A Sex Symbol and a Legend
Most nations have a history, Hungarians have Fate. If you want first-hand experience of what this means, go to YouTube and listen to Katalin Karády’s melancholy chanson ‘Smouldering cigarette end’ (Hamvadó cigarettavég). A low decadent voice full of eroticism, a woman in her late twenties with a seductive appearance, who […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ferenc Puskás

Before some dimwit in the Ministry of Tourism invented the image of “goulash and the Great Plains” to advertise Hungary abroad, the person who helped foreigners put Hungary on the map was Ferenc Puskás. Even in faraway places like Mombasa, when I explained “Hungary and not hungry” to waiters, they said “ah, Puskas”.

His name became […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Béla Lugosi

The Resurrection of Count Dracula
“Ah, Dracula land.” This was how my country was amiably located on the world map at a party in New York back in 1989, after I revealed my nationality. I was bemused but the association of Dracula with Hungarians by foreigners has haunted me ever since.

Though first my ethnic pride was […]

By |March 24th, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments

Ármin Vámbéry

The Dervish in Disguise
My Turkish friend in Istanbul insists that Hungarians are just another Turkish tribe; at least, that’s what they were taught at school. No wonder the ‘madjar’ tourist gets a most favourable treatment in the bazaar. However, Hungarian textbooks still teach that, until the defeat of the Hungarians by the Suleiman the Magnificent […]

By |March 23rd, 2015|Famous Hungarians|0 Comments