On the occasion of the 222nd anniversary of István Széchenyi (1791-1860), the great Hungarian Reform Politician of the 19th century, the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and the Green Party (DIE GRÜNEN) of the 19th Viennese district Döbling held a commemoration ceremony on September 21st, 2013.
Count István Széchenyi, a progressive nobleman of the so-called “Hungarian Reform Era” of 1825-1848, published several ground-breaking studies and essays and was active in the economic development of his country. In the Hungarian Revolutionary Government of 1848, he was minister for traffic and communication. However, when it turned out that the revolution might end in a war, he broke down mentally and went to a sanatorium in Döbling near Vienna – today Vienna’s 19th district. The building, where he lived over 11 years until his death, is now housing the District Court (Obersteinergasse 20). After his recovery, Széchenyi criticized Austrian neo-absolutism in a pamphlet called “Blick” that was published in London in 1859. As a consequence, he was harrassed and threatened and his only way out was to commit suicide on April 8th, 1860.
Politicians from SPÖ and GREENS of Döbling and a delegation from Budapest’s 19th district, Kispest – including district mayor Péter Gajda – started their commemoration at 3 p.m. with a with a wreath laying ceremony in front of the Széchenyi bust at Obersteinergasse 20. A delegation of LMP (the Green party “Politics can be different”) from Sopron and Szombathely was present, too.
Afterwards, a commemoration with speeches, historical presentations, music and information, moderated by actress Mercedes Echerer, took place at Haus der Begegnung Döbling, Gatterburggasse 2A.
This event on September 21st has been the “starting point” of several projects of a “district partnership from below” between Kispest and Döbling .
VIDEO FILM made by Peter Horn
Invitation (in German): Szechenyi Commemoration September 21st 2013 Invitation German
Presentation on aspects of the history of Austro-Hungarian relations (in German): Unbekannte Seiten der Oesterreichisch-Ungarischen Beziehungen
Presentation about the life of István Széchenyi (in German): Brueckenbauer Szechenyi – eine Reise Von Wien Nach Wien
Stations in Széchenyi’s life: Szechenyi Bilder zu Leben und Werk
Artist Mercedes Echerer in front of the bust of Count István Széchenyi in Döbling (Vienna), Obersteinergasse 20.
Wreath Laying Ceremony at Széchenyi bust: Anton Mandl (Deputy Mayor of Döbling, SPÖ), Stefan Schennach (Member of the Austrian Federal Council, SPÖ), Heinz Hieber (District Counicllor in Döbling, GREENS) and Monika Vana (Member of the City Assembly of Vienna, GREENS).
Commemoration event in “Haus der Begegnung Döbling”.
Commemoration event in Döbling: Péter Gajda (Socialist Party MSZP), Mayor of Kispest district, speaking. Sitting: Historian Zoltán Zarándy (LMP Budapest).
Photos: Gerhard Jordan, Peter Horn.