The Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation: A retrospective on our journey so far

Ever since its inception, the Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation has been working with unceasing commitment to uphold and promote the achievements of our historical constitution by embracing the message of the Holy Crown as the embodiment of Hungary’s continuous statehood and the national unity of its people. Through its work, the Foundation has contributed to the contract uniting the efforts of past, present, and future generations of Hungarians – the contract that, even as we speak, continues to be an important pillar of the Hungarian nation, Hungary, and the Fundamental Law of the country. While the Foundation’s value-creating and value-preserving activities are exemplary in the academic arena both at home and abroad, they also reach the general public. During its more than fourteen years of operation so far, the Foundation has implemented the following programmes:

–     In the summer of 2010, in cooperation with the Military History Institute and Museum of Budapest, the Foundation published a book about its namesake Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. entitled Az európai utas – Ifjabb gróf Andrássy Gyula emlékezete (“Travelling the European Path: In Memory of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.”). Fourteen years ago, the authors of the volume endeavoured to reintroduce the Andrássy family, and particularly Count Gyula Andrássy Jr., a wholehearted enthusiast for the Hungarian cause, into the public consciousness.

–     The launch of the highly successful book took place on 10 November 2010 in the Marble Hall of the Military History Institute and Museum before an audience of over 80 participants with an academic interest in the subject. The book, which also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr., pays tribute to the achievements of Andrássy as a multifaceted talent involved in such varied domains as domestic policy, legal and constitutional history, foreign policy, European integration, military history, economics, heraldry, intellectual history, and the philosophy of art while also being a great patron of the artists of his era. In addition to comprehensive studies written by eminent historians, representatives of Hungary’s officially recognized historic religions and denominations (the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformed Church, the Lutheran Church, the Baptist Church, and the Israelite religion) also add nuance to the picture of the statesman. In his closing remarks, the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, constitutional lawyer Dr. Attila Horváth praised the achievements of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. in enhancing the rule of law in Hungary, the statesman’s  concept of constitutional history, and his role in laying the scientific foundations of the doctrine of the Holy Crown of Hungary. The eminent legal historian highlighted the invaluable help of Founder-Trustee Dr. Erika Szeiler in researching archival materials, liaising with the contributing historians and church scholars and representatives, overseeing the editing and production of the volume, and organizing the book launch.

–     On occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr., the Hungarian Post – in cooperation with the Foundation – released a special edition postcard featuring a commemorative rubber stamp to acknowledge and honour the intellectual and architectural legacy left by Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. for the Hungarian nation.

–     On 09 December 2010, the book Travelling the European Path: In Memory of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. was also presented at the County Hall of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County. “When Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. was born one hundred and fifty years ago, a wonderful career was set in motion. He became a politician who dealt with society and its problems, the economy, history, as well as military issues. He was not only a politician in foreign and domestic as well as economic and social policy, but also a historian, a military historian, an expert on heraldry, a philosopher of law, and a patron of the arts; he was, in modern terms, travelling ‘the European path’, an intelligent manager, and much more. His life is an example to young and old alike. He was a role model whose work should be taught to current and future generations alike” – Retired Lieutenant General József Holló emphasized. President of the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Assembly Oszkár Seszták highlighted that the day of the book launch coincided with the signing of the contract for the renovation of the Andrássy castle and park in Tiszadob, a project financed through a successful grant application submitted to the European Union. He emphasised that Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. had selflessly served his country with his life and work. Dr. Erika Szeiler emphasized that perhaps the most significant achievement of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.’s tenure as Minister of the Interior was that he advanced the rule of law in Hungary. Andrássy pointed out that, as a constituent member of the Holy Crown, the King of Hungary enjoyed unlimited sovereignty, wherefore the Kingdom of Hungary had in fact never been subordinated to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and that the supreme legislative power rested with the King of Hungary and the Holy Crown as the embodiment of the entire Hungarian nation. Dr. Erika Szeiler also underlined that the achievements of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. in the field of constitutional law continue to inform any 21st century concept on amending the country’s constitution.

–     On 14 May 2011, a conference in memory of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. took place at the Royal Palace of Gödöllő – the venue of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union – with special focus on Hungary’s historical Constitution and the Holy Crown. The main patron of the conference was Prof. Dr. Szilveszter E. Vizi, former President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

       Presenters and contributions:

  • Dr. T. Mihály Révész: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. the Polymath
  • Dr. András Gergely: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. on the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
  • Dr. Attila Horváth: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and the Historical Constitution of Hungary
  • Dr. Gábor Máthé: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and the Doctrine of the Holy Crown
  • Dr. Géza Jeszenszky: The Diplomacy of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. during World War I

       In her introduction, Dr. Erika Szeiler stressed that the aim of the Foundation was not merely to commemorate a great Hungarian personality, but also to promote the ideas of a thinker who is still relevant today, and to actively contribute to the incorporation of these ideas into public thinking. Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. was both a politician and an academic with an overarching legacy of great achievements, which are particularly valuable as he never faltered even in the most difficult historical periods. Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. never abandoned his principles. ‘We are grateful both to Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and his parents, who had helped him become what had he became: a proponent of Hungary’s European journey,’ Dr. Szeiler emphasized.

–     On 8 June 2012, an international charity conference took place in the Hall of Mirrors of the Stefánia Palace and Cultural Centre under the title Krásna Hôrka Castle: Our Common Heritage and Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. The main patron of the conference was Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Dr. János Martonyi.

       Presenters and contributions:

  • Retired Lieutenant Colonel Dr. József Holló: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.: A Thinker Travelling the European Path
  • Associate Professor Dr. Attila Pandula: Museological and Fine Art Treasures in Krásna Hôrka Castle
  • Art Historian Dr. Beatrix Basics: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and Krásna Hôrka Castle
  • Professor Dr. Péter Kónya: Krásna Hôrka Castle in the 17th and 18th centuries: The Castle as the Centre of the Prešov Region in Slovakia
  • Associate Professor Dr. Attila Horváth: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and the Historical Constitution of Hungary
  • Professor Dr. András Gergely: Krásna Hôrka Castle: Its Mythology and Its Future

       Dr. Erika Szeiler emphasized that the history of the Andrássy family was deeply intertwined with Krásna Hôrka Castle. The Foundation was saddened to learn that the roof of the castle had been destroyed by fire. By organising the charity conference, the Foundation wished to contribute to the reconstruction of the castle by collecting donations. The Foundation advocated that once reconstructed, the castle should be much more than a museum rich in treasures of the fine arts: an international meeting place for academic discussions and art events and a venue for international diplomacy. As Dr. Erika Szeiler explained, the purpose of the conference was to pay tribute to a family with a great historical past – a family that, beyond giving two common foreign ministers to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, did not only accumulate fine art treasures but also opened Krásna Hôrka Castle to the public at the beginning of the 20th century as a museum. The conference is also an homage to the Slovak state as the maintainer of the museum, acknowledging the country’s commitment to undertaking all necessary efforts to reconstruct and further develop the museum. The Foundation intends to contribute to the reconstruction of the castle through its modest means, by collecting donations from Hungary and by approaching sponsors during the conference.

–     On 11 December 2014, the Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation and the National University of Public Service organised a joint event in the Chapel of the latter entitled Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and World War I. The main patron of the conference was President of the Republic of Hungary Dr. János Áder. The patrons of the conference were Rector of Eötvös Loránd University and Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Prof. Dr. Barna Mezey, Rector of the National University of Public Service Prof. Dr. András Patyi, and Rector of Corvinus University of Budapest and Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Prof. Dr. Zsolt Rostoványi.

       Presenters and contributions:

  • Prof. Dr. Barna Mezey: The Law of Extraordinary Executive Powers in Hungary
  • Dr. Gergely Patyi: Public Law Issues during World War I
  • Prof. Emeritus Dr. József Kardos: Matters of War and Peace in the Thinking of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.
  • Vince Paál, PhD: Press Policy and Press Supervision during World War I
  • Prof. Dr. András Gergely: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.: A Politician in Opposition during World War I
  • Prof. Dr. András Gerő: The National Delirium of 1914: Pro-War Enthusiasm in the Theatre
  • Museologist Dr. Lajos Pallós: The Leading Figures of Hungarian Politics in Images from the Period of World War I
  • Dr. László Nagy: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and the Fine Arts
  • Prof. Dr. Géza Jeszenszky: Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and the Reasons Leading to the Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy

       Guests included state secretaries, former ministers, diplomats, church dignitaries, rectors, and professors. As Dr. Erika Szeiler emphasized, “For us, it is important to be worthy of the Foundation’s namesake Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. and to stand behind the Foundation’s main objective: to put forward the initiative of establishing an independent international postgraduate academy for the training of diplomats and politicians in Budapest – an institution of international prestige serving not only its students and faculty but also the improvement of Hungary’s international image”. In his presentation, Dr. László Nagy stressed the following: “On the eve of the World War, in an article run by the Almanac of the National Salon, as a politician engaged in art and cultural policy, [Andrássy] drew attention to the fact that ‘only through its achievements in the fields of culture and art can the Hungarian nation gain the respect of the West’.” According to the unanimous opinion of the 110-strong audience, the conference achieved its objectives. On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, the excellent presentations delivered during the morning and afternoon sessions conveyed a worthy message on the vital importance of the intelligence, role, and diplomatic mission of the politician if we want to avoid future wars.

–     In the autumn of 2016, the Foundation released the conference proceedings in both Hungarian and English. The book, which was a resounding success, underscored that the implicit goal of the conference was to establish an example and offer a role model for future diplomats.

–     By the end of 2017, the Foundation completed the production of a series of educational films entitled The Two Counts Gyula Andrássy. On 15 November 2017, the series was screened in the Ceremonial Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences before a 500-strong audience. Ever since, the series has been a valuable resource and has been broadcast by numerous television channels both in Hungary and abroad. It has also been widely shown in cultural centres and in educational contexts.

–     On 26 October 2018, in cooperation with the Royal Palace of Gödöllő Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd., the Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation organized a scientific conference entitled Hungary 1918: The Last Year of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Historic Hungary at the Royal Palace of Gödöllő. The patrons of the conference were Archduke Michael of Habsburg-Lorraine, Pál Fodor, and György Gémesi. The conference was chaired by T. Mihály Révész and László Csorba.

–     The proceedings of the above conference were published by the Foundation at the beginning of 2020. The book was launched on 17 October 2020 in the Ceremonial Hall of the Hungarian National Museum in front of a fairly large audience, considering the difficult circumstances related to the COVID-19 epidemic.

–     Early 2021 saw the publication of the album The Two Counts Gyula Andrássy. The book launch took place on 14 June 2021 in the Ceremonial Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The event was attended by about 100 participants with an academic interest in the subject. During the book launch, which was accompanied by a mini-conference, highly acclaimed historians explored a number of issues related to the time of the two Counts Gyula Andrássy – issues that continue to affect the fate of the present generations. The album, published in Hungarian, English, and German, is a fitting tribute to the intellectual and architectural legacy left behind the two Counts Gyula Andrássy for the Hungarian nation. The foreword was written by Minister of Human Resources Prof. Dr. Miklós Kásler.

–     An international conference entitled National Service, Churches, Constitutionality, and Freedom in the Careers of the Two Counts Gyula Andrássy took place on 20 September 2021 in the Ceremonial Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The conference was attended by about 150 participants.

–     The launch of the conference proceedings took place on 9 December 2022 at the Ceremonial Hall of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Both the conference and the book proved to be a resounding success.

–     On 22 September 2023, in cooperation with the Royal Palace of Gödöllő Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd., the Foundation organised a conference entitled The Providential Statesman: A Conference Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Count Gyula Andrássy Sr. in the Riding Hall and Stables of the Royal Palace of Gödöllő. The conference was attended by around 120 participants, including prominent representatives of many academic disciplines, diplomats, and politicians. By organising the conference, the Foundation successfully demonstrated its determination to convey the message that Gyula Andrássy – the providential statesman – was one of Hungary’s greatest men and politicians of all times; someone whose personality, achievements, and memory must be preserved for all present and future generations.

       Presenters and contributions:

  • Géza Jeszenszky: Andrássy Gyula as Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary
  • Judit Pál: Transylvania and the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
  • Marianna Kaján: Gyula Andrássy in the Royal Palace of Gödöllő
  • Dr. Franz Adlgasser: Two Imperialists? Foreign Minister Count Aehrenthal on the Foreign Policy of Count Gyula Andrássy
  • László Csorba: The Handsome Hanged Man: Gyula Andrássy in Emigration
  • Róbert Hermann: Gyula Andrássy in the Hungarian Civic Revolution and War of Independence of 1848
  • Csaba Katona: The Two Counts Andrássy for Budapest
  • Tamás Melkovics: Gyula Andrássy in the Hungarian Reform Era
  • János Papházi: The Homecoming of Gyula Andrássy
  • Ádám Schwarczwölder: The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 and the Premiership of Gyula Andrássy
  • Barna Mezey: The Andrássy Government: Promoting the Modernisation of the Legal System
  • T. Mihály Révész: The Second “Media War” in Hungary after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
  • Tibor Balla: Gyula Andrássy and the Royal Hungarian Honvéd
  • Beatrix Basics: The Private Collection of Count Gyula Andrássy Jr.

The Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation will continue its exemplary work to explore and preserve the heritage of the Holy Crown, Hungarian national unity, and the values of the past, present, and future.

Budapest, 20 November 2023

The Board of Trustees of the Count Gyula Andrássy Jr. Foundation