Ferenc Fejtö (1908-2008)


Cheeky acquaintance of the twentieth century though he may have been, he still did not become a full-time, paid-up contemporary. Nor did he become a professional émigré leader or a Franco-Hungarian Nestor, claiming the respect due to someone of his advanced years. His adopted homeland can be proud in taking leave of him; with the death of Ferenc Fejtö, we Hungarians have lost one of the better parts of ourselves.

Fejtö was a self-confessed autobiographical author, both as a writer and a historian. In his earliest works he explored the “primeval forest” of his patrimony, that rapidly bourgeoisifying, ethnically and culturally diverse community within a Danubian monarchy that had meanwhile disintegrated. Later too he remained a sage scholar of this history-freighted region – by now from a distance, though never passing up frequent contacts.

more from Eurozine here.