Rab, Gusztáv

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Rab, Gusztáv (Gustavus) (József Rohoska) (Sárospatak, 14 May 1901 - Dreux, France, 4 January 1963) – Writer and newspaper reporter. He completed his legal studies at the Law School of the University of Budapest. He became a newspaper reporter, and worked at the newspapers World (Világ) and Evening (Est) in Budapest. In 1939 he became the writer of Editorials, as well as the political columns of the state paper, Pest. He wrote novels, short stories and reports. Between 1923 and 1944 he published nine books. Due to his anti-Nazi attitude, members of the Arrow Cross Party arrested him. After World War II, because of accusations regarding his earlier attitude, he was prohibited from writing for the papers. Between 1949 and 1956 he was a surveyor at the construction of the Eastern Main Channel (Keleti főcsatorna). In 1958 Rab did not return from his trip to France. He became a cultural associate of the Voice of America (America Hangja) radio station. His novels, written in Hungarian, also appeared in French translation. He published in the Literary Journal (Irodalmi Újság). He did not participate in the Hungarian literary groups in the West. His works belong to the love-psychology cycle. They include Society of Diana (Diana társadalma) novel (Budapest) (1939); Belvedere, novel (1940); Night Butterfly (Éjjeli lepke) novel (1944); Voyage dans le bleu, written in Paris in 1959; in German: Keiner Kehrt, zurück (Einsiedeln-Zürich-Köln) (1960), and in English: Journey into the Blue (New York 1960, London 1960); in Dutch: Niemand keert terug (Amsterdam-Antwerp 196l); Un jour a Budapest, written in Paris in 1960; in English: A Room in Budapest (London) (1962), and Sabaria, written in London in 1963. – B: 1672, 0883, T: 7684.

Rab, Zsuzsa (Susanna) (Pápa, 3 July 1926 - Budapest, 5 March 1998) – Poet and translator of literary works. She studied at the Reformed Girls’ College of Pápa, where her father was the headmaster. It was in this College that her first poems were published in the local Pápa News (Pápai Hírlap), as well as in the College Papers. She was still in high school when her first volume of poems saw the light of day, entitled Toward Light (Fény felé) (1943). The atmosphere of a country town, the mentality of a town of learning, combined later with her experience in translating literary works, left their mark on her art. In the Faculty of Arts at the University of Budapest, she majored in Russian, receiving her Arts Degree in 1949. From then onward, she became an interpreter of Russian literature and folk-poetry, leaving behind two hundred literary translations. Apart from Russian literature, she translated from the folk-poetry of Russian ethnic groups, like Bashkir, Georgian, Estonian and, similarly, on the basis of the Russian translations, she rendered Andersen’s fairy-tales into Hungarian. Between 1971 and 1978 she worked as a contributor to the literary journal Life and Literature (Élet és Irodalom). Her ten volumes of work include Adorned White Swan (Ékes fehér hattyú) Russian folk poetry (1962); Stone and Bird (Kő és madár) (1980), and Our Watchtowers (Őrtornyaink) (1996). She received a number of distinctions, such as: the Attila József Prize twice (1963, 1973), the Pro Urbe Prize (1981), and the Friendship Medal from Russia (1996). – B: 0878, 1031, 1257, T: 7456.

Rábai Miklós (Nicholas) (Békéscsaba 18 April 1921 - Budapest 18 August 1974) – Choreographer. He was a High School teacher of Chemistry and Natural Science in Békéscsaba. He formed his first amateur acting group with students of his school, the Balassa Group. His group won first prize at a cultural competition in 1948 in Gyula. From 1949 he worked as a teacher at the College of Physical Education, and at the Department of Folk Dances, leading the dance group of the Hungarian Student and College Organization’s Federation, the later Alliance of Working Youth (Dolgozó Ifjúság SzövetségeDISZ) Central Ensemble. He became the choreographic and artistic manager of the State Folk Ensemble (Állami Népi Együttes), formed in 1951. At the debut of the Ensemble’s Wedding Dance from Ecser (Ecseri lakodalmas), he summarized his previous experiences. The so-called trio-genre took place in this representation for the first time, as a stage experiment (Kállai-duett); it was a combination of song, music and dance within the same performance. Later, between the folk-inspired dance performances, folk song and instrumental folk music were introduced. Between 1958 and 1961, through fairy-tales and historic tales, ballads, and dance-dramas, he created a new form, the folk ballet, (T. Vujicsics’ Kádár Kata, S. Szokolay’s Jóka’s Devil, and the three-act tale, Kisbojtár (Little Herdsman) (1956). From 1960 he tried to formulate modern, revolutionary themes in the language of the folk dance, e.g. E. Pertrovics’ Dawning (Hajnalodik). His last significant choreography: Roads (Utak), approached symphonic dance-compositions in its style of structure. Rábai became Director of the State Folk Ensemble in 1971. Under his leadership, the Ensemble presented seven concert programs, the majority with his choreography. The Ensemble performed on five continents and in over 30 countries. Numerous films have been made of his choreographies (Ecseri lakodalmas; Este a fonóban; Üveges tánc; Pontozó). One episode of the film, The Girl Who Was Danced Into Life (Életbe táncoltatott lány), directed by Tamás Banovich, was also created by him. The Hungarian Television recorded the Kisbojtár, and also recorded a portrait-film, One Hour with Miklós Rábai (Egy óra Rábai Miklóssal) (1971). Several of his choreographies were published, complete with kinetograms in the Little Library of Folk Dancers (Néptáncosok Kiskönyvtára) series. He was the President of the Hungarian Dance-artist’s Union till the end of his life. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize (1952), the Merited Artist title (1967) and the SZOT Prize (1973) and was referred to as “artist emeritus” (1967). – B: 1445, 0883, T: 7679.

Rabonbán (chief) – The name was preserved in the Szekler Chronicle of Csík of dubious origin, based mostly on tradition. According to it, the Rabonbán was elected by the People’s Assembly that authorized its resolutions. On behalf of the people, he offered sacrifices, led the army in the case of war, and ruled the people in peaceful times. The name originally meant the one who can write and read runic writings (rovóbán). In the early days, when Christianity was not yet firmly established, followers of the old faith grasped every opportunity for its revival. The most significant uprising took place in 1061, at the time of the succession of King Béla I (1060-1063), when Vata’s son, Jánus’ call to arms spread to the Szeklers. King Béla I defeated the rebel forces at Székesfehérvár, then struck at the Transylvanians and, upon defeating them, abolished all offices reminiscent of the old religion, substituted it with the appointment of a Szekler Count, or High Steward. However, judging by its poor literary style and anachronisms, the Szekler Chronicle of Csík (Székely [Csíki] Krónika) is held to be of spurious origin by most historians, apparently compiled in 1533, in Latin. But most considered it to be a 1795 forgery by an obscure historian, Zsigmond (Sigismund) Sándor. – B: 0942, 1346, T: 7617.→Ancestors, Religion of; Hungarian Runic Script; Szabó, Károly; Toldy, Ferenc; Béla I, King.

Racka sheep, Hungarian variety (racka juh) (Ovis aries strepsiceros hortobágyiensis) A member of the sheep family with coarse, mixed wool hair, an especially useful scrub sheep for its milk, bred in Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania), in the Carpathian Mountains, and on the Great Hungarian Plain (Nagy Alföld). The Racka sheep was already known in 4000 B.C. in Mesopotamia. The Hungarian breed arrived in Hungary either through Asia Minor, through Southeastern Europe and the Balkans, or at the time of the Magyar Settlement, or during the Turkish occupation. It played an important role in the economic life of Hungary in the 18th century and its meat was much sought after at the markets of the western countries. There are several sub-groups of Racka sheep known beyond the Carpathian Mountains:

(1) The Moldavian, of which the female sheep weighs 40 kg, and the ram is 60-70 kg. Two color varieties exist: the white and the reddish-black – the latter can turn a deeper red when exposed to sunshine – and upon maturity turn white or iron gray.

(2) The Hungarian Gyimes (Djimesh) and the Alpine (curkan, tsoorkan); however, it may or may not have elongated spiraling horns. The Racka sheep of Gyimes (in Transylvania, now in Romania) is different from the Hungarian type of sheep. The Gyimes sheep is more acclimatized to the harsh weather conditions, and is the largest among the species of sheep.

(3) The Racka of Hortobágy (part of the Great Hungarian Plain) is a long, isolated sub-group, indigenous to Hungary. Each gender has long horns, extending upwards in a V-shaped spiral. The sheep’s movement is light and harmonious. Its hair is long and tufted, consisting of a rough top layer and a featherweight undercoat. The peasant’s long frieze cape, the szűr mantle, and felted blankets are made of its wool; the shepherds wear jackets made of its skin inside out. Its milk production is 50-80 liters per year and the meat is lean. It is extremely hardy, can withstand rain and snow and does well in the outdoors without overhead protection. Around the 18th century, during a Hortobágy market day, 50,000 - 60,000 sheep exchanged owners. Their current stock is approximately 4,000. – B: 1020, 1031, T: 7684.→Livestock keeping; Szűr Mantle.

Rácz, Aladár (Jászapáti, 28 February 1886 - Budapest, 28 March 1958) – Cimbalom virtuoso. The cimbalom is a hammered dulcimer, composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. The cimbalom is played by striking two beaters against the strings.

By the age of eight, he was already playing in Gypsy bands from Jászberény and Budapest; he was also a member of the 36th Laci Rácz Band. He developed his technical skills into virtuosity in Gypsy bands, playing in Budapest’s coffee houses. From 1910 he played in the Hungarian Gypsy bands of Paris; and from 1914 in Switzerland. His dazzling improvisational ability and sense of rhythm caught the attention of Ernst Ansermet and Igor Stravinsky, both of whom encouraged him to perfect his art and direct his attention to serious music. Stravinsky learned cimbalom playing from him and also wrote compositions for that instrument. Leaving light music orchestras behind, he remedied the shortcomings of his theoretical knowledge with unparalleled diligence. In 1926 he successfully performed his first solo cimbalom concert in Lausanne, Switzerland, and traveled all over Europe on his concert tour. He lived in France between 1927 and 1935, and then returned to Hungary. In 1937 he was a professor at the National Music School (Nemzeti Zenede) and, from 1938 until his death he was a professor at the Ferenc (Franz) Liszt of Music, Budapest, where he educated numerous outstanding students.


Rácz perfected cimbalom playing to an artistic level, and through his efforts the cimbalom became a concert instrument. Zoltán Kodály used it in his Singspiel, Háry János. Its popularity was partly due to his new style of playing: loosely moving the arm and wrist, and partly due to a new style of cimbalom hammers he had developed. It was mainly music composed for harpsichord by the Baroque and pre-classical masters, which he performed with the accompaniment of his wife, Yvonne Barblau. He built up the classical repertory of the instrument, introducing music with piano accompaniment. His works include transcripts to cimbalom with piano accompaniment of Bach, Bonporti, Couperin, Daquin, Lully, Rameau, Scarlatti, and others. He also included Hungarian, Romanian and Serbian dances, rhapsodies and fantasies. His works are still to be published. – B: 1197, 0883, 0886, T: 7684.→Kodály, Zoltán.
Rácz, István (Stephen) (Tőketerebes, now Trebišov, Slovakia, 10 July 1908 - Budapest, 13 December 1998) – Photographer, teacher and translator of literary works. He attended High School in Sárospatak, then was a student at the Eötvös College, University of Budapest and received his teacher’s certificate from there. He taught Italian at the Markó Street High School, Budapest. Because he participated in the organization of Communist youth groups, he was sentenced to 14 months in prison, a sentence, which was extended to 2 years. Later, he emigrated to Czechoslovakia and worked as journalist and translator. Before Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia, he emigrated to Finland and worked as photo reporter for journals, where his reputation grew steadily. After World War II he returned to Hungary and became involved in the “People’s High School Movement”, and taught at the school of Vis, then at the Music School of Tarhos (Békéstarhos). After that he worked at the Publishing Chief Management (Kiadói Főigazgatóság), Budapest. At the end of 1956 he returned to Finland with his wife and resumed photography. His main theme was famous pieces of the history of art. He traveled extensively worldwide and took photographs of museums’ treasures and private collections. His works include The Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós (Nagyszetmiklósi kincs) (1977); Finno-Ugric Folk Art (Finnugor népművészet) (1978) and In the Court of Henry VIII (VIII Henrik udvarában) (1984). He wrote and illustrated the “Dreiklang Books” series. In them appeared the works of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and other famous artists. In the “Unbekannte Gott” (The Unknown God), he published photographs of the “gods” of five continents. He was also involved in taking photographs of the art of Peru, Tibet and Africa. In his book Seven Brothers (Hét testvér), he translated and illustrated the Finn folk epic, Kalevala. His memoires appeared in the book Beside Still Waters (Csendes vizek mellett) (1998). He gained worldwide recognition. He was buried in Sárospatak. – B: 0920, 1257, T: 7103.→Nagyszentmiklós Gold Treasure.

Rácz, János (John) (Hosszúszeg, 31 March 1907 - Banga, The Philippines, 5 February 1977) – Roman-Catholic priest and missionary. He graduated in Theology in Mödling, Austria, and was ordained into priesthood in 1930. In the year of 1944, under German occupation, he was Chaplain in Törökbálint and also for the nuns of Zsámbék, hiding refugees, disguised as priests or nuns, saving many. He became a legendary personage. He left the country in 1947 and attended 600 disabled children for thirty years in Banga, The Philippines. – B: 0883, 1160, T: 7679.

Rácz Lajos (1) (Louis) (Endrőd, 7 October 1900 - Gyoma, 8 February 1983) – Farmer and politician for the Smallholders’ Party. His parents, former servants who emigrated to America, later returned to Hungary, and farmed on the seven acres of land that they had purchased. He was a soldier in World War I. Afterwards he farmed his parents’ property. In 1935, in a unique action, he and his fellow farmers occupied István Huszár’s 1704 English-acre property in Póhalom, which was divided and purchased by sixty-three people in 1938 with the help of state loans. The 1920s witnessed Rácz’s involvement in local leftist politics, and his connections to the Social Democratic and Kossuth parties. In 1934 he joined Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky’s Radical National party, and in 1936 the Small Shareholders’ Party. By 1941 Rácz was a part of the national leadership for the latter party. On 20 March 1944 he was arrested by the gendarmerie and interned in Nagykanizsa. He was freed at the end of August. From 21 December 1944 Rácz was a member of the Provisional Governing Parliament, and he occupied a place on the Governing Committee of the Independent Smallholders’ Party from 20 August 1945. By 4 November 1946 he was a representative for Parliament, and was named to the National Property Allocation Committee on 16 May 1946. Rácz earned a position on the Smallholders’ Cabinet on 7 September 1946, belonging to its left wing. By February 1947 he was one of four potential replacements for the Head Secretary of the Party, Béla Kovács. From 17 April 1948 he was the Party’s second leader. On 1 February 1949 he relinquished his seat and positions in the Party and moved home to engage in agriculture. In 1951 he offered his lands to the State. From 1953 he was an employee of the Soil Improvement Firm, and it was from there that he retired in 1968. Although he did not take part in the events of 1956, Rácz was imprisoned for several weeks. From 1968 to 1972 he was a member of the Patriotic People’s Front Committee (Népfront). His chief work was Fate of the Peasant, 1945-1947 (Parasztsors, 1945-1947) (in Történelmi Szemle – Historical Review, 1982. No.2). – B: 0883, 1160, T: 7688.→Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, Endre; Kovács, Béla; Patriotic People’s Front.

Rácz, Lajos (2) (Louis) (Budapest, 1 July 1952 - ) – Wrestler, Greco-Roman style. From 1972 to 1986 he was a competitor of the Honvéd Szondi Sports Association of Székesfehérvár. From 1974 to 1984 he was continuously the Hungarian champion in the 52 kg weight-category, and from 1972 to 1984 he was a member of the selected pool. He was sixth at the European Championships in Katowice in 1972; fourth at the World Championships in Katowice in 1974; fifth in Minsk in 1975; fifth at the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976; fourth at the European Championships in Leningrad; fourth also at the World Championships in Göteborg and fifth at the World Championships in Mexico. He was World Champion in San Diego in 1979 and placed second at the Moscow Summer Olympic Games of 1980. He was European Champion in Budapest in 1983. In 1978 he obtained a diploma from the Budapest School of Physical Education and, in 1983 a diploma for special Trainer. In 1985 he took over the position of his mentor, István (Stephen) Tombor at the Szondi Sports Association. Since 1987 he has been a trainer, and since 1987 a head trainer. From 1988 - 1990 he was trainer of the Junior and, later, the Adult Greco-Roman selected team. – B: 1989, T: 7456.

Rácz, Sámuel (Pest, 30 March 1744 - Pest, 24 February 1807) – Physician. He obtained his Medical Degree in Vienna in 1773, then, he worked as a court physician at Nagybánya (now Baia Mare, Romania). From 1783 to 1807 he was Professor of Biology in the Medical Faculty of Pest University. In the surgical courses he also gave lectures in Hungarian and he urged and initiated the publication of Hungarian language medical textbooks. His works include The Textbook of General Knowledge of Human Life (Az emberi élet általános ismeretét tanító könyv) (1772) and Medical Practice (Orvosi praxis) (1801). – B: 1730, T: 7456.
Rácz, Sándor (Alexander) (Hódmezővásárhely, 17 March 1933 - ) – Toolmaker and politician. He was raised by his grandmother at Izsák. From 1946 he studied at Father Gyula (Julius) Solymár’s improvised private High School for orphans in Budafok and, at the same time, he learned the trade of cabinetmaking. He was conscripted into the army (1953-1955). On 29 October 1956 he was elected to the Workers’ Council, when he worked at the Standard Machine Factory. During the 1956 Revolution, he was elected President of the Workers’ Council of the Beloiannisz Factory and, on 16 November, he became President of the Central Workers’ Council of Greater Budapest (Nagybudapesti Központi Munkástanács). The Council announced a 48-hour strike to demand the release of Imre (Emeric) Nagy, the detained Prime Minister. In November and December, he frequently negotiated with the Government and the Soviet military leaders. During the second workers’ strike (11-14 December), he demanded the release of the President of the new Workers’ Council and protested against the killing of 131 persons in Salgótartján during a protest. János (John) Kádár summoned him to the Parliament on 11 December and had him arrested. On 17 March 1957, Sándor Rácz was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was freed in 1963 by amnesty and, after that, he worked at the Telecommunication Co-operative (Hiradástechnikai Szövetkezet) until his retirement in 1987. He was under Secret Police surveillance. On 23 October 1972 he almost became the victim of a murder-attempt, under the guise of a road-accident. He suffered serious spinal injuries but survived. He was the speaker at countless underground resistance meetings, where he lectured on the 1956 Revolution and the crimes of Communism. From 1987 he was allowed to visit countries abroad. Among other dignitaries, he had an audience with President George Bush Sr. In 1990, at the time of change of the political system, he was nominated by the Alliance of October People’s Party for the Presidency of Hungary. In 1993 he joined the Independent Smallholders’ Party. In the mid 1990s, he visited Hungarian communities in the West and made a speech at the reburial of Imre Nagy and his associates. He took part in the preparations for the establishment of the Council for Historical Justice (Történelmi Igazságtétel Bizottság). In 2003 he became Honorary President of the World Federation of Hungarians. In 2005 his book appeared, entitled Burning Intention (Parázsló Szándék). – B: 0883, 1031, T: 7103.Freedom Fight of 1956; Kádár, János; Nagy, Imre.

Rácz, Vilmos (William) (Budapest, 31 May 1889 - Christchurch, New Zealand, 18 July 1976) – Newspaper reporter and editor. He obtained a Law Degree from the Law School of the University of Budapest. He was an outstanding sportsman, as an athlete and a fencer. He did military service during World War I. After the demobilization, he became a newspaper reporter. From 1921 to 1924 he worked for the Sports News, (Sporthírlap); from 1924 to 1930 for the National Sport (Nemzeti Sport); from 1928 to 1943 he worked at the Financial News (Pénzügyi Hírlap). Between 1938 and 1944 he worked as Editor and Publisher of the periodical Theatre News (Színházi Magazine). He was considered an expert in affairs of honor and duels. His Duel Codex (Párbajkódex) appeared in 1927 and 1938. At the end of 1955, he emigrated to New Zealand. His main work was Stabbing Excluded (Szúrás kizárva), memoirs (Munich, 1975). – B: 1672, T: 7684.
Radar Astronomy – A method of scientific research, used for measuring distances between celestial bodies. The method is also suitable for their mapping, owing to the penetration of clouds by the radar radiation. This method was used for the mapping of the surface of the planet Venus. Dr. Zoltán Bay and his associates at the research laboratory of the United Incandescent Works (Egyesült Izzó Művek), Budapest, conducted the first radar astronomy experiments in 1946, when they observed radio waves rebounding from the moon. – B: 1153, 1031, T: 7674.→Bay, Zoltán Lajos.

Ráday, Count Gedeon (Ludány, 1 October 1713 - Pécel, 6 August 1792) – Writer, literary editor and landowner. Ráday was the son of Pál Ráday, a renowned Kuruc diplomat. After three years’ residence in German territories, Ráday studied at the University in Frankfurt an der Oder, beginning in 1732. He returned to Hungary after the death of his father in 1733. Apart from overseeing his estates, he dedicated his life to national cultural causes. Ráday corresponded with a large circle of writers and supported the publication of literary works and journals. He expanded the family library that his father had established and, in fact, became the second founder of the Pécel Collection, which became renowned. The Collection is now in the Ráday Library of the Reformed Church in Budapest. Ráday was the first to write poetry patterned on rhymed metered verse, following German patterns (the Ráday poetic model). Ráday reworked songs about Miklós Zrinyi’s famous siege of Szigetvár into prose, thereby drawing attention to the significance of works that had gradually been forgotten. In 1764, Ráday participated in the Hungarian Diet as a representative for the County of Pest. During a stay in Sárospatak in 1772, he became acquainted with Ferenc Kazinczy, who spent much time with him during his residence as a law student in Pest in 1782-1783. Much of Ráday’s life work was preserved in manuscript form; however, it was destroyed after his death. The manuscripts that remained were collected and published with the help of János Váczy, along with his biographical introduction. This volume was entitled The Collected Works of Count Gedeon Ráday (Gróf Ráday Gedeon összes művei) (1892). Other books dealing with Count Ráday’s life included one by Margit Vas: The Life and Works of Gedeon Ráday (Ráday Gedeon élete és munkássága) (1932), and by Endre (Andrew) Zsindely: Gedeon Ráday’s Life and Works (Ráday Gedeon élete és munkássága) (1955). – B: 0883, 0931, T: 7688.→Ráday, Pál; Zrinyi, Miklós; Kazinczy, Ferenc; Highwaymen, Times of.


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