Béla Grünwald

Béla Ferenc József Grünwald de Bártfa (Hungarian: bártfai Grünwald Béla Ferenc József; 2 December 1839 – 4 May 1891) was a Hungarian nationalist politician and historian who was active in Upper Hungary (today mostly Slovakia).

Béla Grünwald
Grünwald Béla.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
for Szliács
In office
17 October 1878 – 4 May 1891
Preceded byBéla Radvánszky
Succeeded byGyörgy Radvánszky
Personal details
Born(1839-12-02)2 December 1839
Szentantal, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire
Died4 May 1891(1891-05-04) (aged 51)
Courbevoie, Paris, France
Political partyLiberal Party (until 1880)
Independent (1880)
Moderate Opposition (1880–91)
Alma materRoyal University of Pest

Life and careerEdit

Born in Szentantal to a Zipser German father, Augustin Grünwald and a noblewoman with Polish ancestry, Johanna Majovszky, Grünwald trained as a lawyer, receiving a degree from the Royal University of Pest. He attended universities in Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg, received a law degree and attended philosophy lectures. After a few months in Belgium and France, he returned to his parents' house in Besztercebánya. Serving first as administrator (alispán) of Zólyom County, in the 1878 elections he was elected a member of the Hungarian House of Representatives for Szliács (modern Sliač) in that county as a member of the Liberal Party; he subsequently left the Liberals in 1880, serving as an independent before joining the Moderate Opposition party.[1]

Grünwald was an activist for the assimilationist policies of Magyarisation in the predominantly Slovak region of Upper Hungary, founding and supporting the Upper Hungary Magyar Educational Society.[2] He viewed the construction of a centralised state as a political priority.[3] He explained his views on the policy in his 1876 book Közigazgatásunk és a szabadság ("Our Public Administration and Freedom"), in which he urged Hungarian politicians to act as effectively and inexorably as the French in France and the English in the United Kingdom.[4][page needed]

As a historian, Grünwald became a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences after the publication of his 1888 work, The Old Hungary (A régi Magyarország).[1] In his historical works, he pursued a "democratic" method of historiography.[5] He stated in The New Hungary (Az új Magyarország), the sequel to his 1888 book, "The genius, too, is born. He is born in a particular age, as a member of a particular nation, a class and a family, and the stamp these circles press onto his personality in his youth stays on him even if he later comes come into conflict with them."[6] He charged the Hungarian nobility with a lack of national sentiment, and feeling greater solidarity with nobles from other nations than with the Hungarian nation;[7] the nobles, he argued, had neglected the development of Hungary as a nation-state.[3] Nevertheless, on 22 April 1889, he accepted ennoblement from Emperor Franz Joseph I, becoming "de Bártfa" (bártfai).[5]

Grünwald committed suicide by gunshot wound to the head in unclear circumstances while visiting Paris on 4 May 1891.[8][9] Shortly before his suicide, he sent a telegram to Albert Apponyi, the leader of the Moderate Opposition, briefly notifying him of his death: "Béla Grünwald has died after a long period of suffering".[10] In his famous dramatic 1929 account, The Paris Story (A párizsi regény),[11] Dezső Szomory describes Grünwald's death and burial:

He committed suicide on the bank of the Seine, just next to the water, thinking in one final thought that the water current would take him far away. But the water current didn't hurt him; it only washed the wound on his temple ... Grünwald's burial at Montmartre Cemetery was yet more dismal. On this autumnal day, [the cemetery] was like an English landscape, with plenty of grey air, some trees, some shrubs ...

— Dezső Szomory, A párizsi regény[12]

Grünwald's epitaph reads, "Here lies Béla Grünwald, unbreakable apostle of the Hungarian theory of the state."[13]

WorksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Sturm 1888, p. 213.
  2. ^ Kirschbaum 2010, p. 300.
  3. ^ a b Pók 1982, p. 24.
  4. ^ Közigazgatásunk és a szabadság (Budapest, 1876)
  5. ^ a b Lakatos 1910, p. 416.
  6. ^ Quoted in Lakatos 1910, p. 416. "A géniusz is születik. Születik egy bizonyos korban, mint egy nemzet, egy osztály s egy család tagja, s a bélyeg, melyet e körök ifjú korában nyomnak egyéniségére, megmarad rajta még akkor is, ha később ellentétbe jutott vele."
  7. ^ Benedek 1898, p. 310.
  8. ^ Reszler 1998, p. 33.
  9. ^ Lackó 1986, p. 14.
  10. ^ Lackó 1986, p. 15. "Grünwald Béla hosszú szenvedés után meghalt."
  11. ^ Wilkinson 2009, p. 105.
  12. ^ Quoted in Cs. Szabó 1939, p. 45. "A Szajna partján lett öngyilkos, közvetlenül a víz mentén, úgy gondolván egy utolsó gondolatján, a víz sodra el fogja vinni messze. De a víz sodra nem bántotta, csak a sebét mosta el a halántékán ... Még szomorúbb volt Grünwald temetése a Montmartre-temetőben. Olyan volt ez ezen az őszi napon, mint egy angol tájkép, sok szürke levegővel, néhány fával, néhány cserjével ..."
  13. ^ Pók 1982, p. 24. "Itt nyugszik Grünwald Béla, a magyar állameszme törhetetlen apostola."

BibliographyEdit

  • Benedek, Elek (1898). A magyar nép múltja és jelene [The Past and Present of the Hungarian People] (in Hungarian). 1. Budapest: Athenaeum Literary and Printing Co.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Kirschbaum, Stanislav J. (2010). "Upper Hungarian Educational Association". The A to Z of Slovakia. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 300–1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Lackó, Mihály (1986). Halál Párizsban: Grünwald Béla történész művei és betegségei [Death in Paris: The Works and Sicknesses of the Historian Béla Grünwald] (in Hungarian). Budapest: Magvető.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Lakatos, László (1910). "Új nemesek" [New nobles] (PDF). Huszadik Század (in Hungarian). No. 2. pp. 413–6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Pók, Attila (1982). "Állameszme-álom-eszme. Grünwald Béla útja" [State theory – dream theory: The path of Béla Grünwald]. História (in Hungarian) (1982/4): 23–4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Reszler, André (1998). "La présence française en Hongrie: Béla Grünwald et Sigismund Justh" [The French presence in Hungary: Béla Grünwald and Sigismund Justh]. Études Danubiennes (in French). 14: 31–9.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Sturm, Albert, ed. (1888). "Grünwald Béla". Új Magyar Országgyűlési Almanach, 1887–1892 [New Almanac of the Hungarian National Assembly] (in Hungarian).CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Cs. Szabó, László (1939). Magyar néző. Napló az európai válságról [Hungarian Spectator: Diary on the European Crisis] (PDF) (in Hungarian). Budapest: Nyugat.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Wilkinson, Tim (2009). "Rough Crossing – Literary Canons and Translation". The Hungarian Quarterly (193): 104–12.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)