Albert Wass

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Count Albert Wass de Szentegyed et Czege (Hungarian gróf szentegyedi és czegei Wass Albert; Válaszút (now Răscruci, Romania), 1908 - Astor, 1998) was a Hungarian noble, forest engineer, writer and poet in the 20th century from Transylvania.

He attended the Reformed Church Secondary School in Kolozsvár (Romanian: Cluj-Napoca), then he graduated from the Academy of Economics in Hungary. He continued his studies of forestry and horticulture in Germany and France, then settled to run the family estate in Mezőség, Transylvania (today in Romania). He wrote poems, short stories and articles. His first books were published in 1927 and 1929 in Cluj. In 1934 his novel ’Wolfpit’ was published by the Transylvanian Guild of Arts. It was the start of a series of work and acknowledgement: He was accepted member of the Transylvanian Guild of Arts in 1935, at the same time he was the first young Transylvanian to be awarded the Baumgarten prize. In 1939 in his epic masterpiece he described how the Trianon generation found their feet again: the unity of the presentation of social reality, the seek for meting out justice in history together with ancient language, music, rhythm conquers even the heart of the readers in Hungary. In 1939 he was elected member of the Transylvanian Literary Society and the Kisfaludy Society. In 1940 among the best scientists and artists of the nation he was awarded the Baumgarten prize the second time.

His writings were ultranationalistic and exacrebated the tensions between the Romanian and Hungarian population during the occupation of Northern Transylvania as a consequence of the second Vienna award. In his report to the joint german-italian commission investigating the problems of Northern Transylvania (the Roggeri-Altenburg commission, of May 25, 1944, colonel Bichiceanu, the romanian delegate to the commission made the following comments: "Count Wass's book is monument of hatred never yet encountered in any of the world's litteratures, as sick, sadistic, revolting hatred". Albert Wass directly encouraged crimes against the romanian population. In 1942 he got the Klebensberg prize and in the same year on a memorable round tour in Hungary he represented Transylvanian literature together with three of his peers. As a reward for his military front work, first he got a second class then a first class iron cross. He was even elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as appreciation for his knowledge in forestry. At the end of 1944 he left Hungary as a political refugee when a Romanian, later Soviet arrest warrant against him came to his knowledge. The accusations against Albert Wass were extremely specific: he had ordered the hungarian military to shoot two romanians and two jews in the village of Sucutard. Later, on September 22, 1944, he ordered a military patrol to kill the romanian priest Andrei Bujor and 11 other persons, among which a 4 year old child, in the village of Mureşenii de Câmpie. For these crimes he was sentenced to death by the People's Tribunal in Cluj on March 13, 1946.<ref>http://www.cdep.ro/pls/steno/steno.stenograma?ids=5946&idm=1,2&idl=1</ref> For his fascist activities he was also sentenced to death in Hungary. Neither of these judgements have beeb abolished and he could never return to his home land.

He made his first stop in Germany. After the Bavarian forest he moved to Hamburg in 1947, where the family of his first wife had been living. He found a job as a night-watchman at a construction site.

In 1952 he emigrated to the United States and settled in Florida. He became professor of German, French, European literature and history at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He founded the American Hungarian Guild of Arts, managing its academic work and publishing activities, and editing its newsletter. He launched his own publishing house, the Danubian Press, which published not only books but English language magazines of the American Hungarian Guild of Arts, too. The Transylvanian Quarterly dealing with Transylvania and related issues, then the Hungarian Quarterly undertaking the general problems of the Hungarian nation became the most important anti-Bolshevik forum of Hungarian exiles. However Albert Wass' publishing activity continued to propate the hate against the romanians and attemted to revive the antagonism between the two countries.

Even in the 70s several attempts were made on his life by the agents of the Securitate, the bullet marks of whose guns Albert Wass could show in the film shot about him in 1996. Although the two perpetrators of that attempt had been captured by the American police, they were released on account of their Romanian diplomatic passport.{fact}. Albert Wass' application for naturalisation in Hungary was first refused by the left-wing liberal government between 1994 and 1998, as his death sentence in Hungary had not been revoked, then impeded by a humiliating reply to the effect that the naturalisation certificate of the 90-year-old author would have been valid for a year from the date of issue. His life, which had seen, undertaken and investigated the tragedies as well as the instances of re commencement of the 20th century, ended at his age of 90 on 17th February, 1998, in Florida, by his own hand according to the majority, or peacefully according to others. His racist background has recently again been mentioned on October 4, 2005 in the Parliament of Romania where his statute of war criminal and his involvement in the killing of jews was upheld<ref>Proceduri Parlamentare, Dezbateri, Şedinţa Camerei Deputaţilor din 4 Octombrie 2005</ref>.

His works appeared in Hungary after the overturn of the Communist regime in 1989.

[edit] Novels

[edit] Poems, fables, narrations

  • 1927 Virágtemetés (Flower burial) (poem)
  • 1943 Tavak könyve (Book of the lakes) (fable)
  • 1947 Erdők könyve (Book of the woods) (fable)
  • 1947 A láthatatlan lobogó (The invisble flag) (poem)
  • 1970 Valaki tévedett (Somebody is mistaken) (narrations)
  • 1972 Válogatott magyar mondák és népmesék (Assorted Hungarian legends and folk fables)
  • 1978 A költő és a macska (The poet and the cat) (narration)
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