Photos from Jaap Scholten’s book tour UK and USA 2016
May 4: Book launch at the Hungarian Cultural Center in Covent Garden. Moderator for the evening BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Petroc Trelawny.
May 24: Jaap Scholten book reading at the University of California at Berkeley. Hosted by the Institute of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES) at the university. This was an evening talk open to the university community. Jeffrey Pennington, Executive Director of the Institute was the host.
May 25: Jaap Scholten at Pacific Union College, Angwin, California. He spoke to journalism, communications and history students at the college. The event was sponsored by Lynne Thew the professor of journalism at the college.
May 25: Jaap Scholten at Pacific Union College, Angwin, California.
May 26: Book Reading and dinner at the Metropolitan Club of San Francisco. Katalin Kádár Lynn was the sponsor for the event.
June 2: Book reading at Stanford University: Hosted by CREEES the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Jovana Knezevic, Assistant Director of CREEES hosted. This was an evening talk.
The New Criterion Review of Comrade Baron
"Elegy for elegance" by David Pryce-Jones
Vol. 35, No. 6 / February 2017
A review of Comrade Baron: A Journey through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy by Jaap Scholten
Comrade Baron is a highly personalized defense of aristocracy. These days, that’s the sort of thing that simply isn’t done and this singular book therefore runs the risk of being overlooked, perhaps even finding a place on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum that keeps progressives occupied. That would be a shame. Comrade Baron is thought-provoking and a pleasure to read.
Spear's Review of Comrade Baron
December 27, 2016
Book Reviews: Comrade Baron by Mark Le Fanu
As aristocracies go, the Transylvanian variety of the species must be one of the most exotic. One might even be tempted to wonder whether the institution exists, outside of fiction. But here we are with a new book on the subject, whose subtitle tells us, not that it has definitively ‘vanished’, but that it is vanishing, in the present tense. By definition, therefore, still with us — at least for the time being.
Foreword Review's Review of Comrade Baron
August 26, 2016
by Bradley A. Scott
Jaap Scholten has done an extraordinary job of recording and presenting the stories of a persecution almost forgotten.
In Comrade Baron, Jaap Scholten explores a harrowing history little known in the English-speaking world. With a mixture of personal observation, sympathetic interviews, and astute historical analysis, he exposes the Romanian government’s cruel campaign against the aristocratic families of Transylvania between 1949 and 1989, when Nicolae Ceaușescu’s brutal dictatorship finally collapsed. “I want to write down the stories of a disappearing world,” he explains to a skeptical sister-in-law in the introduction. Those stories form a gripping and tragic tale.
In the darkness of the early morning of 3 March 1949, practically all of the Transylvanian aristocracy were arrested in their beds and loaded into lorries. That same day the Romanian Workers’ Party was pleased to announce the successful deportation and dispossession of all large landowners. Communism demanded the destruction of these ultimate class enemies. Under the terror of Gheorghiu-Dej and later Ceaușescu the aristocracy led a double life: during the day they worked in quarries, steelworks and carpenters’ yards; in the evening they secretly gathered and maintained the rituals of an older world.
To record this unknown episode of recent history, Jaap Scholten travelled extensively in Romania and Hungary and sought out the few remaining aristocrats who experienced the night of 3 March 1949. He spoke to people who survived the Romanian Gulag and met the youngest generation of the once distinguished aristocracy to talk about the restitution of assets and about the future. How is it possible to rebuild anything in a country that finds itself in a moral vacuum?
“An extraordinary, passionate
and important work”
- Jury, Libris History Prize
- Shortlisted for the Bob den Uyl
Prize for best travel book 2011
- Winner of the Libris History Prize 2011
“This is a classic in the lines of Patrick Leigh Fermor”
Norman Stone, professor of modern history, Oxford
“Combining a warm heart with the tenacious pursuit of truth, Jaap Scholten restores to vivid life the world of the Transylvanian aristocracy from its glory days to its tragic finale. Scholten thereby captures a missing piece of history and provides the reader with a gripping journey through a lost world.”
Kati Marton, author and award winning former ABC News correspondent.
“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, BBC Radio 3 presenter and journalist
Jaap Scholten, (Enschede, 1963) studied Industrial Design at the Technical University in Delft, Graphic Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy of Arts in Rotterdam (BA), and Social Anthropology at the Central European University in Budapest (MA). He has published seven books: collections of short stories and three novels. His novel, De wet van Spengler (Atlas Contact, 2008), was chosen “novel of the year” in the Netherlands. His latest book, Kameraad Baron (AtlasContact, 2010) is the winner of the Libris History Prize 2011. His novels and short stories are translated into German, French, Hungarian, Croatian. In 2011 Scholten created and presented a six-part television series for the VPRO about hidden worlds in Central and Eastern Europe. He has lived in Budapest since 2003. The English edition of Comrade Baron will be released by Helena History Press on May 1, 2016 and distributed worldwide through Central European University Press.
Judith Kesserű Némethy Introduces 21st Century Hungarian Language Survival in Transylvania
July 9, 2015
Judith Kesserű Némethy introducing the volume she edited titled 21st Century Hungarian Language Survival in Transylvania at the 40th Annual American Hungarian Educators Association conference which for the first time was held in Kolozsvár, (Cluj) Romania. www.ahea.net