Lajos Ordass Hungarian Lutheran Bishop and the One-Party State - 11.03.2022. (Zoltán Szőts)

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  • 2022. March 11.
Ordass-napló / könyvbemutató

The Hungarian Lutheran Bishop, Lajos Ordass’s 1948 and 1956–1957 diaries were published at the end of 2021 by the Committee of National Remembrance in Hungary, the Luther Publishing House and the Ordass Lajos Foundation. Its launch was on 9 March 2022 in the headquarters of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary on Üllői road Budapest. The members of the panel discussion were Tamás Fabiny the presiding bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary; Gergely Isó a research fellow at the Committee of National Remembrance, the editor of the book; Katalin Mirák, the chair of the Fact Finding Committee of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary, the reviser and the author of the study in the book; and Viktor Attila Soós, the member of the Committee of National Remembrance, the other reviser of the volume. The discussion was moderated by Pál Zászkaliczky jr., president of the Ordass Lajos Foundation.

In his introduction Pál Zászkaliczky jr. told that Lajos Ordass wrote a diary until the end of his life. Its volumes were transferred to Gyula Dedinszky and Zsuzsanna Ordass i. e. the late bishop’s son-in-law and daughter, who hid the manuscript at the attick of the church in Nagybörzsöny, under the debris. When its existence did not have to be kept as a secret any more they gave it to the Ordass Lajos Foundation.

Gergely Isó told that the majority of the 544 pages consists of the annotated diaries (about 340 pages). According to the editor the presently published diaries are only a little part of the whole manuscript, however it is the most important part from a church and political historian point of view. The historian also told that Ordass’s engaging, straightforward diaries seized him when he first met them in 2013. The volume is supplemented by Katalin Mirák’s study which is based on state security sources. As it turned out, Ordass was watched by the one-party state in all his life, yet no files can be found on him therefore collecting records from different places needed a lot of research. The volume is supplemented by an annotated index of about 800 names and a significant photo appendix, too.

Viktor Attila Soós called it the manifestation of God’s grace that testing times the historical churches in Hungary were headed by leaders of such caliber like Lajos Ordass, József Mindszenty or László Ravasz. Although the different denominations had to face different challenges, we can still find joint factors. He also told that the diaries contain such details about the negotiations with the one-party state and the State Office for Church Affairs that are almost impossible to find in archives. This means that the diary is an important and inevitable source from political historical point of view, too.

Source: Ordass Lajos evangélikus püspök és a pártállam - ú (2022.03.11.)



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