Nicholas Roosevelt in A Front Row Seat: Hungary in the 1930s As Reflected in the Memoirs of an American Diplomat

As Nicholas Roosevelt put it in the foreword of his memoirs a “combination of circum­stances gave [him] the front row seat at numerous important […] events in Europe during the interwar period,” which made it possible for him to “study history in the making” both as a journalist working for acknowledged dailies of the time, such as The New York Times and The New York Herald Tribune, and as a diplomat who served at various European posts in Europe including Hungary between 1930 and 1933. Due to both of these positions Hungarians considered Roosevelt a highly influential person, who could possibly air and expose Hungary’s situation in the international community after World War I, and help further the revision of the Treaty of Trianon. Drawing on his memoirs, diplomatic exchanges, as well as a selection of his newspaper and magazine articles, the essay proposes to reflect on how Roosevelt viewed Hungary, and whether his various forms of written narratives could have any effect and exert any influence in this regard.

“Netherlandicas” – Calvinist Relics from the 17th Century Holland

In my paper I analysed what kind of images of Holland might have occurred in the heads of the Hungarian Calvinist visitors in 17th century. I established seven types of visitors to demonstrate the choices of Hungarian Calvinists as for what objects i.e. relics they brought home or what objects they recalled in their memoirs when they called back their experiences in Holland. It contains 8 types of “netherlandicas”, 8 several images of Holland which can also be demonstrated the image the Hungarian travellers had of Holland when they started out. In their memoirs also figured an experience of Holland, and these objects (i. e. a statue, a book) recalled how Holland had been seen by these Hungarian Students, Pastors and Diplomats. At the beginning of the examined period the Hungarian students usually stayed one or two weeks or months in Holland in the course of their journey through Europe. Later on they spent some terms there and in the second third of the century some students spent long years in Holland. And in that period many evidences were left behind (travel diaries, album amicorum, editions, possessor-entries, letters, memoirs on the life and sights in Holland).