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Hungarian Pen Club Splits over Refusal to Admit Baron Hatvany

The Hungarian Pen Club has split over the refusal of the members to admit to membership, Baron Ludwig Hatvany, the well-known novelist, because he is of Jewish origin.

During the recent International Congress of the Pen Club in Budapest, some of the greatest writers of the world who attended the Congress made a point of visiting Baron Hatvany at his home and met there a number of other writers who are excluded from the Hungarian Pen Club because of their Jewish origin. They also discussed the matter with the leading Hungarian writers, including Michael Babits, the great novelist and poet, who gave their word that Baron Hatvany and his friends should be admitted to the Pen Club.

When the question was put again to the members of the Club, they refused to agree to the proposal of the committee, and the committee has consequently resigned.

In 1928, Baron Hatvany, who had fled during the White Terror, returned to Hungary, and was arrested and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for having denounced the Horthy regime. Professor Einstein, John Galsworthy, the president of the International Pen Club, H. G. Wells, and many other famous people intervened on his behalf. Nevertheless, he had to serve several years of imprisonment. Count Klebelsberg, the Minister of Education, said in Parliament that he hoped the Jews of Hungary would never again produce a man so anti-national as Hatvany.

One of the judges in sentencing him ascribed his attitude to the fact that he was of Jewish blood and not a true Magyar.

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