The legendary photographer passed away 83 years ago today. His ambition was not to commemorate the political elite, the aristocracy, or the world of finance of his time, but rather the contemporary intellectual giants of Hungarian society, the progressive Hungarian intelligentsia, and the luminaries of culture. Thanks to his professional expertise and empathy, his photographs captured the essence of the personalities of his subjects.
Count István Tisza is still blamed by liberal and left-wing historiographers for Hungary entering WWI, despite clear evidence of his anti-war stance. It is rather anachronistic to hold Tisza to democratic standards that did not exist at the time and with the wisdom of hindsight: the knowledge of how the war ended.
‘One might conclude that only rogue states wage war without declaring it, yet the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the prolonged military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq were not preceded by a declaration of war issued by the United States Congress either.’
With culture and identity often taking centre stage in politics nowadays, economic issues are also increasingly looked at from a cultural point of view. In order to gain a better understanding of present-day social clashes, it is important to examine social changes in the past and their cultural fingerprint, including how literature later reflected on the painful transition to capitalism.
On 28 June 1914, 109 years ago today, at around 11 o’clock in the morning, a 20-year-old anarchist assassin, Gavrilo Princip, fired several shots at the Archduke of the Austro–Hungarian Empire and his wife. The Sarajevo assassination became the casus belli for the ‘Great War’, as it was called back then, i.e., the First World War.