Historical changes of fortune in the life of a Vécsey baroness Cover Image

Egy Vécsey baronesse történelmi sorsfordulói
Historical changes of fortune in the life of a Vécsey baroness

Author(s): Ildikó Zsoldos
Subject(s): 19th Century
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the life of Magda Vécsey (1873–1960), who was born to the second most influential family in the former Szatmár county. The Vécsey family has mostly been neglected by historians despite the fact that it played a role in both local and national politics. The analysis is also an opportunity to draw some conclusions relevant to the history of mentalities. A native speaker of Hungarian who could also communicate in multiple languages, the baroness was raised in a Catholic spirit and studied at the Sacré-Coeur, an elite school for aristocrats in Budapest. After her childless marriage, she practically lived the life of an independent magnate. In her world view, the conservative values she had absorbed in the family were determinant, just as a high degree of tolerance and openness toward certain achievements of modernization. As her family, both on her father's and mother's side, belonged to the elite traditionally engaged in politics, countess Cebrian also showed keen interest in political events. First, her political views were influenced by the views of her parents, then those of her brothers. As much as she could, she utilized her network of social contacts to support members of her family and help them succeed in life, while she did not forget about her duties as a member of the Order of the Star Cross, either. Due to her education, she was characterized by the kind of patriotism that was compatible with loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty. The Vécseys of Szatmár, who had still been considered aristocrats during the period of embourgeoisement, gradually lost their financial stability after the crisis period of the dual monarchy. Losing the world war, the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the ensuing events took them by surprise. Family cohesion was shattered by the consequences of the Trianon peace treaty. The Horthy era brought about a significant loss of status for the historical aristocracy. Among the Vécsey siblings, perhaps it was Magda who could adapt the most successfully to the new circumstances. It was in the seat of the former Zemplén county that she survived the second world war and the change of regime that left no room for the aristocracy.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 116-142
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Hungarian