Béla Hadik

Count Béla Hadik (January 31, 1905 – February 16, 1971)[1] was an Hungarian politician who came to the United States in 1946.

Béla Hadik
Born(1905-01-31)January 31, 1905
DiedFebruary 16, 1971(1971-02-16) (aged 66)
Alma materAgricultural University of Magyarovar
Countess Alice Széchényi
(m. 1931; his death 1971)
Parent(s)Count János Hadik
Countess Alexandra Zichy
RelativesEndre Hadik-Barkóczy (uncle)
Miksa Hadik (uncle)

Early lifeEdit

Hadik was born on January 31, 1905 in Budapest, Hungary. He was the youngest of four children born to Countess Alexandra Zichy (1873–1949) and Count János Hadik (1863–1933), who was briefly the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary in October 1918 under Charles IV.[2] Among his siblings was Amalia Andrea Johanna Alexandra (who married Louis, Duke du Hohenlohe-Langenburg), Margaret Johanna Maria Gabriella Rafaella Eva Alexandra (who married Count Viktor Wengersky, Baron of Ungerschütz) and Anthony Mary Martin Max (who married Edit Gschwindt de Győr).[1]

His paternal grandparents were Count Béla Hadik, a Rear Admiral and Privy Councillor, and Countess Ilona Barkóczy, only daughter and heir of Count János Barkóczy. Among his extended family was uncles Endre Hadik-Barkóczy (Speaker of the House of Magnates) and Miksa Hadik (the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Mexico and Sweden).[3] Through his father, he was a great-great-grandson of András Hadik de Futak, famous for capturing the Prussian capital Berlin during the Seven Years' War. His uncle, Count Alexander Hadik, was rumored to have been engaged to Alice Claypoole Vanderbilt, the widow of Cornelius Vanderbilt II (his eventual wife's maternal grandparents), in 1908, but the marriage never happened.[4][5][6]

He graduated from the Agricultural University of Magyarovar.[1]


The 1821 Zichy–Hadik Palace in Seregélyes, Fejér.

He was a member of the upper chamber of the Diet of Hungary, the House of Magnates, in prewar Hungary and during World War II, served as a lieutenant of Hungarian cavalry. He was made a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece of the House of Habsburg.[1]

After his marriage, he took over management of the family estate and palace in Seregélyes.[7] During World War II, the palace was occupied by German troops, and, later, by the Soviets. During this time, most of the family's possessions were lost.[8]

In 1945, Hadik and his family left Hungary and in 1946, they moved to the United States and lived in Chester, New Hampshire, where they bought a house from her cousin Bill Vanderbilt.[9] In Chester, he founded the Futaki Kennels and bred Vizsla pointers.[1] Hadik ran dogs in national and regional field trials, and bred and trained several champions, including Futaki Darocz.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

On April 18, 1931,[11] Hadik married Countess Alice Széchényi (1911–1974).[12] She was the daughter of Count László Széchenyi, the former Hungarian Minister to the U.S., and his American born-wife, Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchenyi (daughter of Alice Claypoole Gwynne and Cornelius Vanderbilt II),[13] who visited Hungary almost every summer with their five daughters.[14] The wedding took place at St. Matthew's Church in Washington, D.C. and was officiated by the Most Rev. Pietro Fumasoni Biondi, the Apostolic Delegate to the United States (who later became a Cardinal in 1933), followed by a reception at the Hungarian Legation.[7] As a wedding gift to Alice, his mother sent a "diamond necklace with earrings to match, which had been the gift of the Empress, Queen Maria Theresa, to an ancestor of the bride and bridegroom."[7] A few weeks after their wedding, his wife was stricken with appendicitis, but recovered.[15] Alice's younger sister later married, and divorced, Christopher Finch-Hatton, 15th Earl of Winchilsea in 1935.[16] In 1946, he gave away Alice's youngest sister at her wedding to Alexander zu Eltz.[17] Together, they were the parents of:

  • Count László Hadik (1932–1973), who married Countess Vita Stachwitz in 1956.[18] He died in a plane crash in 1973.[19]
  • Count János Béla Hadik (1933–2004), who married Edith Genevieve Gaillet in 1962.[20][21] He later married Kirsten Scheuer.[22]

In New Hampshire, his wife was instrumental the founding of, the now defunct, White Pines College.[14] In 1965, she assisted with planning the fourth annual ball of the Grand Council of the Hungarian Boy Scouts Association.[23]

After a long illness, Hadik died on February 16, 1971 in Camden, South Carolina.[1] He was buried at Seregélyes in Hungary. His wife died three years later in Lisbon.[14]


In 2017, Szapáry and Széchényi family descendants donated several family artifacts to the Hungarian National Museum, including a wedding photo from 1931 of Count Béla Hadik, his bride, Alice Széchényi, and her father, Count László Széchényi.[24]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Count Bela Nadik, a Dog Breeder, 66" (PDF). The New York Times. 20 February 1971. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  2. ^ "COUNT JOHN HADIK; Last Hungarian Premier to Be Appointed by Hapsburgs" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 December 1933. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  3. ^ William D. Godsey, Aristocratic Redoubt: The Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office on the Eve of the First World War, West Lafayette, Purdue University Press, 1999.
  4. ^ "COUNT HADIK ADVISES FAMILY OF BETROTHAL; Says He's to Marry Mrs. Vanderbilt -- Her Mansion Is in the Market. ENGAGEMENT DENIED HERE But Personally She Continues Silent -- Cornelius Vanderbilt Says He Doesn't Know" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 February 1908. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  5. ^ "TO SELL VANDERBILT HOUSE.; Reported Mrs. Vanderbilt Means to Leave New York and Live Abroad. COUNT HADIK ADVISES FAMILY OF BETROTHAL" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 February 1908. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  6. ^ "DENIAL BY COUNT HADIK.; Says He Has Not Met Mrs. Vanderbilt in Ten Years" (PDF). The New York Times. 10 February 1908. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "ALICE SZECHENYI IN BRILLIANT BRIDAL; 1,000 Members of Society See Countess Married to Count Bela Hadik. RITE BY PAPAL DELEGATE Most Rev. Fumasoni-Biondi Reads Blessing From the Pope--Bridal Party Large. The Bridal Costume. Gifts from Bride's Relatives" (PDF). The New York Times. 19 April 1931. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  8. ^ Koenig, Marlene Eilers (18 April 2011). "Royal Musings: Countess Alice Szecheny marries in "brilliant bridal"". Royal Musings. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  9. ^ Stephaich, Peter (2017). The Last Hussar. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 86. ISBN 9780761868699. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  10. ^ Pure-bred Dogs, American Kennel Gazette. American Kennel Club. 1965. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  11. ^ "MISS ALICE SZECHENYI TO WED MAGYAR COUNT; Her Engagement to Count Bela Hadik of Budapest Is Announced at Legation in Washington" (PDF). The New York Times. 15 February 1931. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  12. ^ "SZECHENYI'S SECOND CHILD.; Daughter Born to Him and the Countess -- Son to Viscountess Maidstone". The New York Times. 5 August 1911. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Countess Szechenyi Left Bulk Of Her Estate to Four Daughters" (PDF). The New York Times. 14 February 1965. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Countess Hadik, 63; Was a Descendant Of the Vanderbilts" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 February 1974. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  15. ^ "COUNTESS BELA HADIK ILL; Daughter of Hungarian Envoy to Washington Undergoes Operation". The New York Times. 18 June 1931. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Gladys Szechenyi Becomes Bride Of Viscount Maidstone in London: Nobility and Ambassadors of Many Countries Attend Brilliant Church Ceremony — Both Are Members of Prominent European and American Families". The New York Times. July 12, 1935. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  17. ^ "Nuptials Are Held for Miss Szechenyi; Two Engaged Girls and a Bride" (PDF). The New York Times. 24 May 1946. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Countess Vita Strachwitz Is Wed In Bavarian Town to Laszlo Hadik" (PDF). The New York Times. 12 June 1956. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  19. ^ MacDowell, Dorothy Kelly (1989). Commodore Vanderbilt and His Family: A Biographical Account Of The Descendants of Cornelius and Sophia Johnson Vanderbilt. D.K. MacDowell. pp. 197–198. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  20. ^ "John Bela Hadik Becomes Fiance Of Edith Gaillet; Harvard Graduate and Ex-Student at Hunter to Marry on Dec. 2" (PDF). The New York Times. 22 October 1961. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Father Escorts Edith G. Gaillet At Her Nuptials; She Is Bride of Count John Bela Hadik in Georgetown, Conn" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 January 1962. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths HADIK, JOHN BELA". The New York Times. 13 January 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Hungarians in Exile Will Assist Scouts" (PDF). The New York Times. 16 November 1965. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  24. ^ "Hungarian National Museum enriched with an invaluable collection". Hungarian National Museum. 19 December 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2019.

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