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“The Amount of Educated People is the True Power of a Nation” – The VII Friends of Hungary Conference

Hungary Today 2021.09.20.

Those committed with a desire and the ability to do something for Hungary met at the VII annual conference of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Over 200 people from more than 20 countries around the world came to Budapest to meet with each other, as well as with President János Áder and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. 

“The time of miracles is over, but there is enough miraculous power within man; what has reason and a firm will not already accomplished?,” quoted Ferenc Deák, “The Wise Man of the Nation” and Minister of Justice during the 1848 revolution, János Áder, who with his wife, Anita Herczegh, received the members of the Friends of Hungary Foundation at their seventh annual conference at the Sándor Palace on Friday, after their visit to the American, British, German, and Austrian embassies.

President János Áder

President János Áder

Hungary’s President praised the foundation, stressing that its members prove through their actions that they are friends of Hungary and that each and every one of them contributes to the creation of a credible, fair, and faithful image of our country to the world. When the commitment, sense of responsibility, and deeds of each individual add up, when they think together and make their voices heard together, the greatest achievements are the result,” the Head of State stressed.


The Friends of Hungary Foundation was established in 2011 with the aim of providing the general public with impartial, value-oriented information on events and achievements related to Hungary and Hungarians around the world. In addition to contributing to the world’s recognition of Hungary and Hungarians for their achievements, the foundation is also committed to strengthening national cohesion and serving as a bridge between the academic world and local and foreign public representatives.

The community is made up of people originating from Hungary and living abroad or those sympathetic to Hungary, such successful people who are opinion leaders in their own countries and communities. Friends of Hungary include Nobel Prize-winning chemical engineers, successful bankers, former ambassadors, foreign journalists, academics, and opera singers. The foundation publishes Hungary Today and its German-language sister-site, Ungarn Heute, and has organized an annual international press conference since 2017.

“The amount of educated people is the true power of a nation,” the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, E. Sylvester Vizi quoted István Széchenyi, “the Greatest Hungarian,” drawing attention to the opinion-forming power of the members and the weight of their statements, as they are among those who speak out when the country is “unfairly spoken ill of in the world.” He added that the foundation, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is an icon for the 2.5 million Hungarians living in the diaspora outside the Carpathian Basin, and the work of its members is incredibly important.

He thanked the Head of State for welcoming them again at his residence, and the members present for the hundreds of people who braved the cold to travel to Hungary. E. Sylvester Vizi stressed that the World Eucharistic Congress in early September, at which President János Áder also professed his faith, was proof that Hungary has a cultural tradition dating back two thousand years.

After the Chair of the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Zsuzsanna Dreisziger Stricz, Vice President of the Americans for Hungarians Foundation and Co-Chair of the American Hungarian Federation, thanked the Head of State for establishing the István Regőczy Foundation with his wife to help COVID orphans, and called on all present to support the cause.

After the visit to the Head of State, the members of the foundation went to the newly renovated Riding Stables, where the captain of Buda Castle, Gergely Fodor, spoke to the audience about its renovation, after which they listened to the appreciation of President E. Sylvester Vizi and the speech of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, which was not open to the press. The evening ended with a presentation of creations by Hungarian fashion designer, Katalin Hampel.

On the second day of the conference, two Fidesz MEPs, Kinga Gál and László Trócsányi among others, gave presentations on current European political issues. They presented the Friend of Hungary Awards to Anikó Gáal-Schott, who has been promoting Hungary and Hungarian interests in the United States and other international forums for decades as a “bridge between Hungary and the Washington region;” and Zsuzsánna Haynalné Kesserű, a journalist who helps Hungarians in Argentina to preserve their Hungarian identity; as well as the Europa Club in Vienna, founded by young people who emigrated after the 1956 revolution.

Lives Committed to Working for Hungary - Recipients of the 2021 Friend of Hungary Award
Lives Committed to Working for Hungary - Recipients of the 2021 Friend of Hungary Award

They have invested significant effort into improving Hungary’s international image, and strengthening Hungarian diaspora communities.Continue reading

E. Sylvester Vizi (Chair of the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s Board of Trustees), Fidesz MEP László Trócsányi, and Anikó Gáal-Schott.

E. Sylvester Vizi (Chair of the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s Board of Trustees), Fidesz MEP László Trócsányi, and Zsuzsánna Haynalné Kesserű.

E. Sylvester Vizi (Chair of the Friends of Hungary Foundation’s Board of Trustees), Fidesz MEP László Trócsányi, and András Smuk.

In the featured photo: E. Sylvester Vizi. Photos by Tamás Lénárd/MTI