Sándor Bernáth(y) was a painter, graphic designer, musician, founding member of the Bizottság (Committee) band, and member of the Vajda Lajos Studio. From 1975, he was an active participant of the avant-garde art scene. While he started his career as an autodidact painter, he was also tied to the underground music life from its very beginning: he designed street posters and book and record covers. For example, he was the one who designed the covers for ős-Bikini (ancient Bikini). From 1977, he was a member of the Leninvárosi Kísérleti Műhely (Leninváros Experimental Workshop), and in 1978, he joined Fölöspéldány csoport (Excess group). His first exhibition took place in 1981, at the Studio of the Young Artists’ Association. His paintings feature photographs published in various newspapers, enlarged, reinterpreted, and full of political and social criticism.
In 1980, András Wahorn, István ef Zámbó, and László feLugossy formed the band A.E. Bizottság (Committee), with Bernáth(y) as guitarist. During the initial period he was the one who organized many of the concerts, since he was the one with a telephone and an apartment in Pest, and they often built the equipment that was hard or impossible to acquire. While Bizottság became legendary over time, Bernáth(y) does not like to dwell on the past. As he put it in a 1997 interview: “I like to pay attention to the time I live in, I am interested in what I am doing right now. I do not even understand from where young people hear about Bizottság, and why they are interested in it.” At the time he was against re-releasing the two records as well. As he sees it, there were too many compromises: only a small portion of their repertoire was released, and even that was heavily censored. Meanwhile, Bizottság was more of a “a joke-dadaist artist band,” so their lyrics were not essentially political. Nonetheless, the process meant additional police reports, summons, and hearings. Due to their disagreement over the upcoming albums, after a concert where Bernáth(y) was deliberately playing on a untuned guitar and nobody mentioned a thing, he left the band.
Bernáth(y) was planning to give up his career as a musician altogether, but fate had other plans: shortly after he left Bizottság, he played in the bands Dr. Újhalnal, Matuska Silver Sound, and Szkárosi & Konnektor RT. While Matuska, launched in the middle of the ’80s, was not a particularly popular band, it was very important for Bernáth(y): with two of his friends, they started to make “machine music.” He was always interested in technology, and when he was a kid, he wanted to be mechanic, repairing and making radios. However, neither the public nor the authorities appreciated the music made with computers: for instance, one of the newspapers, Esti Hírlap (Evening Paper), wrote about it as an inhuman and antisocial phenomenon better avoided.After the transition, Bernáth(y) had an important role in the development of Hungarian electronic music, and as such, he is one of the founding fathers of techno in Hungary. In the ’90s, he was the one who organized a “techno-tent,” Love Barricade, at the Sziget Festival. In 1994, he started a techno live act formation with his son, Zsiga, under the name Bernathy & Son, which is regarded as the first electronic live act in Hungary. They were active up until Bernáth(y)’s death in 2012, and performed at a number of Hungarian and foreign events. He also established the music club Supersonic, and later Vörös Yuk & Kék Yuk (Red Hole and Blue Hole). Around that time, he was the editor and art director of the art magazine Új Hölgyfutár (New Women’s Courier), and in the ’90s, he and his son were producing the art magazine Gépszava (The Machine’s Voice), focusing on techno culture. He also regularly appeared in documentaries about the topic, such as “Az egyén diadala” (The triumph of the individual) by Zsolt Füstös and “Patrik népe” (Patrick’s people) by Gábor Zsigmond Papp. In 2011, he has awarded the Mihály Munkácsy Prize.
In 1938, he became a notary at the Budapest Court of Justice. It was at this time that he came into contact with the Márciusi Front (“March Front”), a left-wing association of so-called népi (populist) writers and university students. He became a member of the Philosophical Society, giving his inaugural lecture on “Ethics and Criminal Law,” and in 1940 he began giving lectures at the University of Szeged. From 1942 to 1944 he wrote a lengthy essay “On European Balance and Peace.” It was later influential, but initially unpublished. In this essay, he analyzed post-World War I social development in Europe. In 1944, following the German occupation of Hungary, he drew up “Plans for a Peace Proposal,” which was intended to serve as a framework for postwar domestic arrangements and for the redress of social disharmony. In 1944 and 1945, he handed out exemption papers to hundreds of Jews and other persecuted individuals, and for this he was arrested and forcibly suspended from his post. When he was released, he had to go into hiding.
In 1945, Ferenc Erdei, the Minister of the Interior in the interim national government (himself a sociologist and a peasant-populist [népi] writer), appointed Bibó as head of the ministry’s administration department. In this role, Bibó helped draft the new electoral law, and he wrote a memoir criticizing the expulsion of members of the German-speaking minority from Hungary. In 1946, he was appointed professor of political science at the University of Szeged, and a year later he became an administrator for the Institute for Eastern European Studies. Meanwhile, he published a series of incisive essays on the problems faced in Hungarian and East Central European societies. His essays “A magyar demokrácia válsága” ( “The Crisis of Hungarian Democracy”; 1945) and “Zsidókérdés Magyarországon 1944 után” ( “The Jewish Question in Hungary since 1944”; 1948) and his treatise A kelet-európai kisállamok nyomorúsága ( “The Misery of Small Eastern European States”; 1946) were recognized as cornerstones of modern Hungarian political thinking by the dissident intellectual movements of the 1980s. The communist regime, however, disapproved of Bibó’s ideas and activities, and in 1950, he was asked to retire. In 1951, he took up an independent position as librarian at the Eötvös Loránd University Library in Budapest.
During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Bibó acted as the Minister of State for Imre Nagy’s second government. When the Soviets invaded on November 4 and then crushed the revolution, he was the last minister left at his post in the Hungarian parliament building. Rather than flee, he remained in the building for another two days and wrote his famous proclamation, “For Freedom and Truth,” as he awaited arrest. Later, he also prepared a proposal for “a compromise to solve the Hungarian question,” which he intended to pass to the Soviet leaders through the mediation services of the Indian embassy and President Nehru. When he was arrested in May 1957, he was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment, but he was released in 1963 according to an amnesty. However, hundreds of his fellow-prisoners, mostly young 1956-ers, students, and workers sentenced to life in prison were not released under the allegedly “general” amnesty under the pretext that they were simple criminals and not political prisoners. For many years, Bibó tried to help them regain their liberty by sending letters of complaint to the High Court of Hungary and Party-Secretary János Kádár himself, and even by trying to persuade, through clandestine channels, his Western contacts to launch public solidarity campaigns for the liberation of revolutionaries who were still being held in prison. He put himself at great personal risk by doing this, but not with much success: most of the people in question were released no earlier than the early 1970s.
After having spent six years in prison, Bibó took a job in the Library of the Central Office of Statistics, and he lived a quiet family life. He remained under the close watch of the communist secret police for the rest of his life, and he was not permitted to publish his works in Hungary. However, a few years before he died, he managed finally to publish a book in England “illegally,” i.e. without the approval of the Hungarian censors: The Paralysis of International Institutions and the Remedies. The book was published by Harvester Press, Hassocks in 1976. Bibó was not permitted to travel to the West, though the University of Geneva, of which Bibó as a student was a grantee, offered him a research fellowship; his request for a passport was repeatedly rejected according to the standard formula: “Your travel would offend the public interests of the Hungarian People’s Republic.”
In the last years of his life, Bibó took a certain satisfaction in seeing that his earlier political studies were becoming more and more popular among some young historians and dissident intellectuals in Hungary. His friends and followers intended to publish a book in celebration of his 70th birthday. Preparations were well underway when, in May 1979, Bibó died of a heart attack, six weeks after his wife died.
- Budapest, Hungary
Billy Graham (1918–2018) was an American evangelist and a prominent evangelical Christian figure. After graduating from Sharon High School (1936), he attended Bob Jones College. In 1937, Graham began pursuing studies at the Florida Bible Institute in Temple Terrace. In 1939, he was ordained by a group of Southern Baptist clergyman at Palatka. In 1943, Graham graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in anthropology. From 1943 to 1944, he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs. From 1948 to 1952, he was the president of Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis. He organized many revival meetings in Los Angeles in 1949, and he became an internationally known preacher. From 1947 to 2005, he led more than 400 missions in 185 countries on six continents. In 1950, Graham founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Minneapolis. He was a spiritual advisor to many US presidents. He was a close friend to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. He repudiated racial segregation, and he invited Martin Luther King Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York in 1957. He retired in 2005.
- Buncombe County, Montreat, United States of America
- Charlotte, United States of America
- New Port Richey, United States of America
- Wheaton, United States of America
Painter. Studied at the University of Fine Arts, in Géza Fónyi’s class (1959-1965). Later, taught at the Secondary School of Visual Arts (1966-1984). In the early years of his career, he painted portraits, but he later rejected these pictures.
Around the end of the 1960s, he came under the influence of existentialist philosophy. In the 1970s, he was interested in French structuralism. In his art, this led him first to paint hyperrealist pictures and later to make conceptually motivated paintings.
In the middle of the 1970, orienting himself toward the underground scene, he gave up painting and turned toward the medium of photography. He became concerned with the picture as object and role. He was interested in three subjects: the situation of the picture (its relationship to the wall, the frame and, to viewer), the relationship between image and text, and the portrait.
He performed his famous lecture at the Rabinec sttudio at the beginning of the 1980s (Who is the victim? Who is the culprit? and What is to be done?), in which he declared that “avantgarde is dead,” and “we can rethink a lot of things.”
He started to paint again and integrated into the trend of New Painting, framed by “new sensitivity” theoretized and managed by Lóránd Hegyi. He painted gesture-based landscapes at first and then large-scale ellipses, positioned on divided panels.At the end of the 1990s, he returned to realist painting. In these new pictures, he reflected on the “vital, communicative, amazingly rich, and very problematic photo-based world of images” (amateur, press, commercial, video, television, etc.).
His works are featured in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York, MUMOK, Vienna, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Neue Galerie, Linz, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Kiscelli Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery.
- Budapest, Hungary
Marianne Birthler studied Economics with a focus on International Commerce, later working in the foreign trade sector in the GDR, while also engaging with ecclesiastical working groups. In 1976, she began training as a catechist and community assistant. During the 1980s, she worked actively with children and youth. She joined the Initiative for Peace and Human Rights and was among the founding members of the Solidary Church working group. She sat as a representative of the Bündnis 90 political party in the final People’s Assembly of the GDR. In Brandenburg, she held a position as the temporary head of the Ministry for Youth, Family and Sport. From 2000 until 2011 she was the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic.
- Berlin, Germany