The Association of Hungarian Culture in Transcarpathia and Vidnyánszky Attila Won a Prestigious Award

Last Saturday in Budapest, for the 96th time in its history, the Hungarian Heritage Award was given to seven outstanding personalities and institutions for their activity. Laureates include the Association of Hungarian Culture in Transcarpathia and Vidnyánszky Attila.

It is well-known that the Hungarian Heritage Award is given quarterly to those Hungarian personalities, groups and institutions whose activity contributed to the intellectual development of the Hungarian culture, science, economy, sport, that is the Hungarian society.

The solemn award ceremony was held in the assembly hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Association of Hungarian Culture in Transcarpathia was awarded for its continual struggle and the mission it undertook to preserve and support the Hungarians. The award was taken over by dr. Brenzovics László, its chairman. The organization that functions as a protecting net for the Transcarpathian Hungarian community was established with joint efforts on 26 February 1989 in Uzhhorod. Fodó Sándor is well-known and respected for his oppositional past. Under his leadership the Association was quickly developing right after its formation and “brought to life the Transcarpathian Hungarian community’s plans made during their almost seventy-year-long dream”. The founders’ major merit was the fact that they recognized the opportunity in the political situation and had no fear to do the proper steps. It was recognized that the community needed everything they lacked before: free press, Hungarian-language books, radio, TV, theatre, vocational training, university, gymnasium, kindergarten, and for the villages to get back their dignity via their old Hungarian names – said dr. Orosz Ildikó, chairperson of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Pedagogical Association, rector of Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College of Higher Education. Talented representatives of the younger generation with training in political science came on the scene and started a new phase in the life of the organization. Together with the founders they placed further development of the organization on a professional level. One outstanding personality in this process is Milován Sándor, who participated in the 1956 events, and now younger followers joined him: Gulácsy Géza, Kovács Miklós, and Brenzovics László. Owing to the consistent standing up for the community’s dreams, they gradually came true. “There were numerous attempts from different directions to disorganize the Association of Hungarian Culture in Transcarpathia, the organization safeguarding the interests of the Transcarpathian Hungarians, however, it remained and cleared away the ruins left by false prophets with dignity. The grandeur of the organization, its leader, as well as its maturity can be proved by the fact that the Transcarpathian Hungarians, one of the smallest community in Ukraine, can be heard in Brussels and New York for its leaders pursue not their personal interests, but represent the interests of the Transcarpathian Hungarians who suffered a lot in the course of XX century and that is the reason why the Association of Hungarian Culture in Transcarpathia has long before become part of the Hungarian heritage. The Hungarian Heritage Award markedly emphasizes and certifies it all, thus making it cognizable” – emphasized Orosz Ildikó.

Vidnyánszky Attila, managing director of the National Theatre was awarded for his outstanding theatrical activity. Balog Zoltán, a Ministerial Commissioner and Reformed Church pastor described Vidnyánszky Attila’s theatrical art as follows: “To be a Hungarian, a Hungarian artist is less of a state, it is rather a vocation. […] Since Vidnyánszky Attila’s heart and the root of his creative vision are in Transcarpathia, in Berehove.” He characterized the artist himself as follows, “He serves and governs the nation’s universal theatre. Nevertheless, Vidnyánszky Attila still manages to remain a local patriot. He reveals Transcarpathian Hungarians’ current tragic situation. At the time of outlawry causing tragedies of destiny he undertakes the role of continuous local and national “beacon” addressing the public. He fights for the Hungarians’ linguistic and cultural freedom: as a public figure, creator, patriot, and Transcarpathian Hungarian.”

The Hungarian Heritage Award was also given to Snétberger Ferenc for his guitar art and musical talent management activity, Veres Pálné Gymnasium for its 150 year-old efficient work in education and the first place in female education, Féja Géza for his authorship and sociographic activity (the award was taken over by his grandson Féja András), Kerepesi Cemetery, as well as posthumously to baron Eötvös Loránd, the world-famous physicist and geophysicist, whose exemplary oeuvre on Hungarian science and education was summarized by dr. Gazda István, researcher of history of science. The award was taken over by the rector of Eötvös Loránd University, academician, dr. Borhy László.

The laureates received high-level acknowledgement on 21 September since the Hungarian Heritage Award is also called the Hungarians’ intellectual legion of honour.