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  • Writer's picture Kester Eddy

Three Politicians & a Pop Star - Western 'VIPs' in Budapest - 1990s (Updated)

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

KesterTester 42 - All four pictured here are in Budapest; Who are they? IIRC, the popster was here 30 years ago this month. Bonus point: can anyone remember the colour of his jacket?

Apologies for lack of posts - been busy, and, as anyone in Bp can tell you, it's been kanikula - heat wave - time.

I think the bottom left fellah came here in the summer of 91 too. He has the reputation of being, well, not the brightest (but that could just be very mean press coverage). He still remains the pride of his hometown, as I've read. The other two ... I can't remember the year, both big shots in their home countries.

If you think know who this gal and guys are, answers please on the message system or by email. Result will be posted in the next KesterTester

I'll update this later with the results of KT41. (But you can't enter it now 'cos it's too easy after the post of June 16.)

UPDATE2: Well, since I can almost hear the brain cells grinding away trying to come up with some names here - mostly unsuccessfully - my heart has once again melted in sympathy, and I thought I'd give you some more clues to help you gain global fame and me two beers.

In the montage, we have an An American, a Brit and an Irish. I know that sounds like a joke - but it isn't. Well, the American is a joke for some of his/her detractors, that's true, and the Brit claims to be a Scot, even though he was born in and grew up in London, and, well,

The Irish, far from the stereotype in the joke, is highly regarded, both at home and round the globe for his/her stance on human rights and work achievements.

But there are four photos, I hear you cry out. I know, I know, but you can't add a German immediately to the list or it doesn't sound like a joke at all, does it?

Yes, the fourth individual is a German man or woman - certainly no joke from the varioius jobs he had - and I think will be the most difficult for the majority of readers, unless you're German, perhaps. Or you know your German ministers - I can't tell you which one or it will become just TOO easy.

So there you are, anyone who's already written in can add to his or her list if you think you've nailed someone else! Happy hunting!

UPDATE; Results of KT41 - Memorial Kiss - But Do they Remember It?

Somewhat to my surprise, this only garnered three (or four) correct answers. (I do hope I've not missed anyone - the trouble is the other committee members make no effort to assist in this matter.)

Tom Chilton, in clever cloggs mode, was disqualified for his first answer, writing:

The answer is: Yes, you are old and jealous.

'Fraid the Competition Committee ruled you are only allowed one answer, Tom!

(But I appealed on compassionate grounds on account of your age and functional disabilities - and you were finally allocated number 3 in the black woolly hat.)

Benedicte Williams also got it correctly, as number 2.

This means the lucky winner, who must now prepare to write up to 3,000 'thank you' emails and tweets daily in response to the tsunami of congratulatory messages for writing:

I am guessing that this is Heroes Square in 1989 and what we are seeing in the background is the logistics team set-up from the Nagy funeral?

is none other than Alex Faludy. Well done, Alex!

Yes - it was actually the evening before the event, around 19.00 or so on June 15.

Special mention goes to Bob Dent, who gave a very complete and reasoned answer, but this was after the post of June 16, which was my unofficial cut-off point (and, indeed, when I originally planned to announce the winner - but in the end it 'didn't fit' at the end of that post).

Bob wrote: Re. KT41 ... I reckon this photo was taken in 1989 in Heroes' Square, during the preparations underway for the ceremonial re-burial on 16 June 1989 of Imre Nagy, who became prime minister during the 1956 Uprising, and others who had also been executed after the events.

The central column in the square was covered in black drapery, as was much of the statuary and the facade of the Hall of Arts, as it was then called (today the Kunsthalle), on the steps of which the main ceremony was conducted.

Apart from the covered central column, another clue in the background is the Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle - a well-known symbol of the 1956 events, during which demonstrators cut out the Soviet-style central part with the then Hungarian coat of arms.

Interestingly, the flag with a hole did not first appear in 1956. In 1918, with the end of the First World War, the collapse of the Habsburg empire and the declaration of Hungary's independence, the flag appeared on the streets with the 'royal' coat of arms cut out.

Thank you for that, Bob - especially the last bit.

And while on the subject of the Hapsburg collapse - I'll mention here that on May 11 I happened upon a YouTube video entitled:

"How The Austro-Hungarian Empire Destroyed Itself: The Fall Of The Habsburgs - History Documentary"

This is a historical documentary drama based on the diaries of one Tamas Erdődy, who was the secret emissary for Emperor Charles in the 1917 so-called Sixtus Affair. These diaries were only discovered in 2017 (I think it was) and - at least according to the film - cast a whole new light on the then behaviour of Charles and his wife Zita.

I emailed the url for this video to several people - only to find that the very next day it had been taken down, presumably on copyright grounds.

I've tried to find if this is available since, and all I can find are what seem to be hagiographic stuff making Charles and Zita appear historical messiahs for the Empire, which comes over to me as fake, however decent they may have been by the standards of monarchs of the day.

Anyway, for anyone interested in how Austro-Hungary broke up, and the horrors of being an ordinary person in the empire from about 1917 onwards, this film, if you can see it, might be a good starting point. Incidentally, it starts with Charles and Zita being taken into exile on a British gunboat departing from Baja, in what today is southern Hungary. Presumably this is historically correct.

But if you are a fan of Zita (in particular) - be prepared for some bad news.

Meanwhile, congratulations once again to Alex, winner of KT41!

Now - we have four people to identify above - so far, only a few entries with just one of the four correctly named (and not the one I most expected).

Have a good week.

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