“Fly, herald angel, fly speediest,
fly to burnt-out, bleak Budapest
where tanks of Russian occupiers
stifle the church-bells in the spires,
where Christmas night is dark and cold,
no Christmas trees, no stars of gold,
just hunger, frost as all went wrong.
Come, herald angel, sing your song.
Herald angel of Bethlehem,
sing of the wonder, sing to them.”
(Translated by Peter Zollman)
With boisterous children in a cheerfully-decorated room, seated around the Christmas tree, Otto gazes out of the picture. Although obviously indulging in the pleasures of family life, he is very interested in the events of Hungarian and world politics. During these days, he writes letters and launches appeals at international organizations in the Hungarian cause. He just gave a speech on Spanish radio describing the events of the revolution:
“We have lost the battle, but not the war. Many communists have until now believed that communism is indestructible. Nonetheless, it was overthrown from within Hungary, restored only by external military force.”
Thirty years ago, at the turn of 1989-90, we already suspected that the war could finally be won. Annus mirabilis, the year of wonders – was written by many of the year taking leave back then, although, the miracle that Márai wrote about happened much earlier.
Bearing that in mind and soul, we wish you a blessed Christmas and all the best for the New Year!