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Jaap Scholten: Comrade Baron

Wednesday 4 May 2016, 7pm
Hungarian Cultural Centre
10 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7NA

LITERARY (K)NIGHTS series in the Hungarian Cultural Centre presents

Comrade Baron: A Journey through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy
Author Jaap Scholten will be in discussion with Petroc Trelawny, BBC Radio 3 presenter 

Comrade Baron'Comrade Baron is a lyrical book in which the author unashamedly professes his love of the Transylvanian landscape and his admiration for the indomitability of the Transylvanian nobility in the communist period. It is humorous, too, with its descriptions of Eastern European nouveaux riches and their new forms of old-fashioned snobbery. But this book is more than a declaration of love. It presents an extraordinary oral history in which the last remaining members of the aristocracy tell how Ceaușescu carried out an extermination programme against the class enemy, making it an urgent testimony about an aspect of recent history as horrifying as it is unknown. After the fall of the Wall, Western and Eastern Europe are still trying to work out their relationship with each other. This fascinating book contributes to that effort... An extraordinary, passionate and important work.' Extract from the jury report of the Libris History Prize 2011.

Jaap Scholten
has lived in Hungary for several years but his latest book Comrade Baron was launched in 2011 only in Dutch. Shortly after its first publication, it was translated into English and published in Hungary as well. The reason for the belated Hungarian publication was that the author had promised one of his interviewees, an aristocratic lady, not to publish his book in Hungarian or Romanian while she was alive. He kept his word. By the time the Hungarian version was launched in 2015, the lady had unfortunatelly passed away. The book became a huge success not only in Hungary but in The Netherlands as well, where it won the Libris History Prize in 2011 for the year's best historic themed book.

'I have enjoyed this book so much - such a great tale, with brilliant original research and source material, and so many stories, tragic, humiliating, painful, yet all engrossing and highly readable.' Petroc Trelawny

You can watch a video interview with Jaap Scholten about Comrade Baron here

Attendance at the event is free but booking is required on  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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