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The History of Social Work and Gender in Hungary, 1900-1960 By the Hungarian team: Borbála Juhász, Dorottya Szikra, Eszter Varsa
Abstract After a short methodological note the final report starts with the description of state welfare policies in Hungary between 1900 and 1960. Welfare policies and social work have been closely connected in the early years, but state organised social policy gradually developed into a system. The second chapter draws up the main changes in the structures of non-governmental organizations with a special focus on women’s associations. It points to main turning points and provides information on the connection between non-governmental organizations and governmental institutions. Our first case study, about the Kozma street settlement in the outskirts of Budapest, which started in 1935, is placed here. It is a good example of how religion- inspired volunteer work gets co-opted into the official social policy system of the capital city. Specific attention is paid to the role women played in its formation and daily work. The next part reflects on the altering forms of professionalization of social work that can be placed to the first half of the 20th century. Details concerning altering definitions of social activities, debates about the goals and methods of welfare work, as well as educational sites and material in the teaching of social work are examined. Important biographies of women active in social work follow, supplemented by the second case study, the detailed life stories of Katalin Gero and Ilona Földy. Gero was the directress of the Jewish Orphanage for Girls from 1898 until her death, Ilona Földy was the leader of the Kozma street settlement between the two world wars.
2 Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Methodology and Sources 2. The Development of State Welfare Between 1900-1960 2.1. Main themes and variables 2.2. Main periods 2.3. Most important arrangements 2.3.1. First period : 1900-1920 2.3.2. Second period: 1920-1948 2.3.3. Third period: 1945-1960 3. Social Activities of Non-Governmental Organizations 3.1. Introduction 3.2. Historical Overview 3.2.1. 1900-1920 3.2.2 1920-1945 3.2.3. 1945-1960 3.3. War-Time Activities 3.4.Target Groups and Types of Organizations 3.5. Organizations for the Poor 3.5.1. The Hungarian Red Cross 3.5.2. The Association of General Public Charity 3.5.3. The Green Cross Movement 3.5.4.. The Norm of Eger 3.6. Organizations for Child Protection: The National League for Child Protection 3.7. Workers’ Organizations 3.8. The Hungarian Settlement Movement 3.9. Women’s Organizations 3.9.1. The Charitable Women’s Association 3.9.2. The Izraelite Women’s Association of Pest 3.9.3. The Social Mission Society and the Society of Social Sisters 3.9.4. The National Stefánia Association 3.9.5. Foundation for Helping the Poor
Page 4 5 5 7 8 8 10 12 14 14 15 15 16 17 18 18 19 19 20 21 23 23 24 25 26 26 27 27 28 29
3 4. Gender, Class and Ethnicity-Based Differentiation in the Practice of Hungarian Social Work -A Case Study of the Kozma-Street Settlement, 1935-1945 4.1.Introduction 4.2.The Settlement Movement Worldwide 4.3.The Hungarian Settlement Movement 4.4. Kozma Street: A Case for Women’s Settlement 4.4.1. Accentuating Women’s Gender- and Class-Based Difference 4.4.2. The Presence of Gender-Based Difference Making in the Interaction of Social Workers 4.4.3. Differentiation along Racial Terms in the Practice of Social Work 5. The Professionalization and Institutionalization of Social Work in Hungary 5.1. Definitions of Social Work 5.1.1.The Beginnings of Social Work in the 19th Century 5.1.2.The Specialisation of Social Work in the First Decade of the 20th Century 5.1.3.“Guardians of the Public” in the Years of the First World War 5.1.4. New Terminology in Child Protection in 1919 5.1.5. “Assistants of the Poor” in the 1920s 5.1.6. Productive Social Policy 5.1.7. The Disappearance of Social Work after 1948-49 5.2. Social Work Education - The History of “Social Courses” 5.3. The Disappearance of Social Work Education after the Second World War 5.4. Practical Guidelines for Doing Social Work 6. Important biographies in the field 6.1. Introduction 6.2. Where do women appear? 6.3. Detailed biographies 6.3.1.Teréz Brunszvik 6.3.2.Johanna Bischitz 6.3.3.Edith Farkas 6.3.4.Margit Schlachta 6.3.5.Róza Bédy-Scwimmer 6.3.6. Katalin Gero 6.3.7.Ilona Földy 6.3.8. Júlia György 6.4. Short biographies 35 37 39 39 40 41 42 43 43 44 45 46 50 50 52 52 53 54 54 54 55 55 56 56 56 57 57 30 30 31 33 33 33
Borbála Juhász worked extensively on the overview chapter about “Important Biographies in the Field” and the case study on “Parallel Bio graphies: Religious Social Work in Hungary through the Lives of Katalin Gero and Ilona Földy”.Introduction 7. Dorottya Szikra authored the chapter on “The Development of Hungarian Social Policy between 1900-1960”. Eszter Varsa co-authored with Borbála Juhász the chapter on “Social Activities of Non-Governmental Organizations” and with Dorottya Szikra “The Professionalization and Institutionalization of Social Work in Hungary” and “Gender. ministerial decrees and personal memories of social workers located in the Hungarian National Archives. 1935-1945”.4 7.2. the Archives of the Political . Dorottya Szikra and Eszter Varsa. The Biographies of Katalin Gero and Ilona Földy – a Case study 7.Ilona Földy 7. the Jewish Museum and Archives of Hungary. both written and oral and secondary literature on the history of social work in Hungary. Gábor Karsai. Class and Ethnicity-Based Differentiation in the Practice of Hungarian Social Work.Katalin Gero 7. Sources contacted were available primary materials.3.1. Methodology and Sources All chapters of the research were written in cooperation among the three members of the Hungarian research team: Borbála Juhász. Written primary sources come from journals. Conclusion 58 58 58 62 64 Bibliography Appendix: Appendix A: Translation of documents Appendix B: Photos 66 1. A Case Study of the Kozma-Street Settlement. The translation of documents was completed by Borbála Juhász and translator and interpreter.5. publications.
Andor on Changes in Social Care in Hungary [A szociális gondoskodás változásai Magyarországon]. such as in case of the biographical studies. Budapest: MTA Állam. The interviews conducted by Dorottya Szikra and Eszter Varsa between December 2004 and April 2005 served basis to the case study about the work at the Kozma Street Settlement in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Budapest: Hilscher Rezso Szociálpolitikai Egyesület. Further sources were general historical and social history overviews about the period in concern. 2. 2001. were mostly review studies about the practice and history of social work. . and all participated in professional social work in one of the Hungarian Settlements before the Second World War.)] . 1 Talking about the 1 In this text social policy is used as a synonym of welfare policies. According to the simplest definition of social policy (the “descriptive” definition) all institutions that deal with the physical and mental welfare of people make up social policy. although scarce. In this chapter we describe state-organized social policies typical for Hungary in the given period. biographical collections and information gained from conferences and exhibitions.1 Main themes and variables Welfare policies and social work have been closely connected to each other in the early years of their formation. All interviews were transcribed by Andrea Hernádvölgyi. and an earlier but central work by Csizmadia. 1817-1990 [A szociális munka története Magyarországon (1817-1990. The Development of State Welfare Between 1900-1960 2.és Jogtudományi Intézet. It must be noted that available references were often difficult to trace down. Eta Vranovich and István Károly. the National Széchenyi Library. Secondary sources. 1977. Four oral history interviews were conducted with Zsuzsanna Göncz. and the Ervin Szabó Library of Budapest. among whom Ms Göncz was a former student of the first university-run social work education course in 1942. Central among these were Katalin Pik’s valuable and path-breaking work on The History of Social Work in Hungary.5 History Institute. In the case of poor policies carried out by civil organizations it has actually been overlapping for a long time.
e. The development of welfare institutions between 1900 and 1960 can be characterised as gradually moving to centralization in all the fields mentioned above. old age and widows. as up until 1920 Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and had common interest and policies in a number of major areas. i.g. In the case of Hungary we can say that the timing of social policy legislation closely followed the Western European – and within this the Austrian and German – trends. Although the ‘workers’ question’ and social policy were independently directed in the two countries. prevention and education Insurance companies and workers’ associations Child care Public housing Compulsory social insurance: injury. Hungary closely followed and sometimes copied the Austrian and German legislation. the characteristics of the institutions (e. . No wonder.). later unemployment Separate institutions for people with disabilities and psychiatric problems Family policies These arrangements appeared in all European countries from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century. The main variable that makes Hungary different from its Western counterparts is the number of people affected by welfare arrangements: it lagged far behind until 1948 and slowly caught up by the late 1960s. The timing of the arrangements differs from country to country just as the way these steps were taken. centralised or decentralised institutions etc. dealing with vagrants and beggars Creation of hospitals and almshouses Regulatio n of working conditions Public health: compulsory vaccination.6 history of state-run social policy the following themes must be mentioned (more or less according to their time of appearance): • • • • • • • • • • Poor relief. The third major variable that must be taken into account when analysing welfare institut ions is the number of people affected. voluntary or compulsory arrangements. sickness.
7 2.2 Main periods
We have to distinguish four periods of Hungarian welfare development between 1900-1960. The first period lasts until the First World War and is characterised by rapid industrial development and urbanisation accompanied with the rise of the working class. For social policy this meant the first generation of social insurance legislation (agains t sickness and injuries) and workers’ protection. This is the time of introducing state-run child care.
The second period lasts until the end of Second World War and had seen the second generation of social insurance legislation (old age, orphans and widows). In the late 1920s there had been an interesting initiative to make civil organisation and local governments co-operate in the field of poor relief ("Norm of Eger " - see later). In the 1930s Hungary was characterised by so-called “productive social policy” having strong links to social work practice.
The end of WWII and the change of the regime is the third period we can distinguish. As in all East-European countries Soviet invasion and the turn to one-party leadership in 1948 alongside with the collectivisation of all estates reformed social policy and welfare institutions radically. But – as the most influential social policy expert in Hungary, Zsuzsa Ferge notes – social policy as such suffered less radical reforms during state-socialism than other sectors did. Indeed, much of the inheritance of the pre WWII system can be found in state-socialist social policy.
The main reason for this is that the most essential part of social policy, that is social insurance, had been fully centralised already by the 1930s. The essence of our bismarckian-type social insurance system has been – as everywhere in Europe - centralised coercion: the obligation to save money to prevent oneself from future risks. 2 The state-socialist system can be characterised as one that extended social policy the most, taking care for all its citizens, covering all the risks of human life: injuries, sickness, old age, unemployment (with the declared aim of full employment) maternity and child care. Alongside with providing a socially secure environment – paradoxically - the state socialist system diminished social policy as such, stating that the new economical and political organisation of society is going to solve social problems in itself. This had been partly successful: the state-socialist system provided a wide range of social rights but in return it abolished basic human rights. If we accept that civil and political rights form the basis of social rights, as T. H.
Swaan, Abram de: In Care of the State. Health Care, Education, and Welfare in Europe and the USA in the Modern Era. Cambridge, 1988.
8 Marshall states 3 , and these together form the basis of welfare states, we can not claim that Hungary created a “welfare state” this time.
Most important arrangements
2.3.1 First period: 1900-1920
Hungary was one of the first countries in the world to introduce compulsory social insurance for workers. The 1891 Sickness Benefit Act closely followed the pioneering German legislation (1883, 1889) not only in time but also in content. This first piece of legislation is a mixture of the German and Austrian sickness insurance acts. The reason for the early legislation is probably German and Austrian cultural dissemination and - strongly connected to this - the rising working class movements that frightened politicians of the time. 1893 had seen the first legislation on workers' protection in dangerous industries. The Act for compulsory insurance against injuries was introduced in 1907 and affected factories employing more than 20 workers.
Although the first piece of legislation made insurance against sickness compulsory in all industrial companies (regardless of the number of workers employed) the percentage of insured persons amongst the total population was only 3,5 % at the turn of the century. 4 It gradually increased but had only reached 6% by 1920. This ratio is much higher in Western Europe this time: 9% in 1900 and almost 20% by 1920 were insured against sickness. 5
The reason for this discrepancy is the relatively low number of industrial workers and the weakness of implementation. It seems that the Ministry of Trade and Industry - being responsible for the "social question" this time - did not devote enough resources for the collection of contributions and for the disclosure of frauds by employers. Unlike in Austria, Hungarian civil servants were not eager enough to make legislation work: it seems that most small ventures avoided social security contribution. 6
Marshall, Thomas, H.: Citizenship and Social Class. Cambridge, 1950. Szikra, Dorottya: Társadalombiztosítás és modernizáció. (Social security and modernization.) In. Körkép reform után. Tanulmányok a nyugdíjrendszerrol. Szerk. Augusztinovich, Mária. Közgazdasági Szemle Kiadó, Budapest, 2000. 5 Szikra, Dorottya: ‘The Thorny Path to Implementation: Bismarckian social insurance in Hungary in the late 19 th century.’ European Journal of Social Security. Volume 6, Nr 3, September 2004. 6 Zimmermann, Susan: Geschützte und ungeschützte Arbeitsverhaltnisse von der Hochindustrialisiereung bis zur Weltwirtschaftskrise. Frankfurt-Wien, 1997.
9 The fact that the Hungarian social insurance system is Bismarckian means that it did not build on the mutual-benefit societies or unions but forced employers and employees to devote part of their income to social insurance. At the same time it strongly suppressed workers’ organisations and partly drowned, partly pacified and integrated their societies of mutual-aid.
Hungary was one of the first countries introducing family allowance too, although only for civil servants, in 1912. In all the welfare measures civil servants enjoyed a privileged position. This is the reason why some calculations show a much higher ratio of welfare spending and population coverage than others:7 These include the high level and rather expensive special schemes for civil servants - by which governments "bought" their loyalty. 8
Another important feature is that although the creation of a special, compulsory social security scheme for agricultural workers came up in discussions already at the turn of the century it has never been realised. Thus those in biggest need - the landless agricultural day-labourers - did not receive any benefits of the emerging modern social policy. A voluntary scheme against injuries and disability had been created for them at the turn of the century (1900. XVI.). By 1905 12% of agricultural workers and servants had been insured in this scheme.
The main reason for neglecting this group’s severe social problems lies in the quasi-parliamentary system of Hungary this time: The majority of MPs were landowners who strongly opposed any compulsory social policy in the agrarian sector. Also, the movement of agricultural workers was not as powerful and international as that of the industrial workers. No social arrangements followed their rebels - these were forcefully suppressed.
The above described social insurance arrangements for industrial workers had been the first pieces of modern social legislation also regarding gender. The Act of 1891 declared that every single industrial worker - regardless of age, gender and religion - must be insured. Hungary was pioneering also in providing medical treatment and access to medicines for the families of insured employees. This included free access to midwife-assistance at the birth of an insured person’s child. Infant and child care was the task of charitable associations until the turn of the century. The child protection act of 1901 declared that looking after foundlings is the task of the central state which made the creation of state-run homes possible. There had been 16 such homes in Hungary by this
See for example: Tomka, Béla : Szociálpolitika Magyarországon európai perspektívában . (Social policy in Hungary in a European perspective.) Századvég, Budapest, 2003. 8 This again is a typical feature of Bismarckian social policy. Building up different schemes for different social groups is called "status-related" and "status-conserving" welfare policy in the terminology of historical social policy.
after-war periods always give ground to widespread social solidarity. Not only agricultural workers but also domestic servants had been left out from compulsory schemes.10 time and the state-protection reached altogether 50. The coverage remained low: 10. equal pay for men and women were introduced. Hungary has only seen this latter.3. Gábor: A szociálpolitika múltja Magyarországon . Care for war veterans and widows became a central issue. From the late 1910s these organisations (especially "Stefánia Szövetség" and "Zöldkeresztes Mozgalom ") received state. Maybe that is the reason why social policy exceeded workers' insurance and expanded both regarding social classes and the risks to be insured all over Europe. A new political system and a new wave of social policy took over. salaries became centrally regulated.many of them begging in the streets. 9 Gyáni. Working time was also regulated (maximum of 8 hours a day). a compulsory old-age insurance was created for farmers (1936. Under the short period (133 days) of the "Soviet Republic" when the revolutionary workers committees (councils) ruled the country.000 children . . First. Although the Old Age Pension Act of 1928 introduced this latter’s insurance the implementation did not come about.funding.much less than the estimated number of needy children. alongside with orphans . At the same time prevention remained the task of non.2 Second period: 1920-1948 The First World War had an important effect on social policy everywhere in Europe. Paid leave and unemployment benefit was introduced too. 2. 9 From 1898 (the creation of National Fund for the Sick Poor) the state took up part of the costs of the fight against contagious diseases. Because of the short period these measure could only partly be implemented. (The past of social policy in Hungary. At the end of 1930s several measures were taken to insure the agricultural population. It introduced compulsory old age and widows insurance in 1928 but agricultural workers still remained excluded. and also the care for the sick poor. 1994. MTA.6 % old age insurance by 1940.2 % had sickness insurance and 7. Measures of child-protection were planned and new institutions were set up.also of social policy became discredited for a long time. After the suppression of the "Soviet Republic" left-wing ideas .governmental organisations. The gap between Hungary and Western Europe widened in this period (30.) Budapest.8% and 42% respectively). Still. p17. Also. The social insurance system became completely centralised by this Act.
having only one child became very common. (Changes in social care in Hungary) MTA Állam és Jogtudományi Intézet. then a voluntary scheme for agricultural workers was introduced (1938. Instead of free lunch or money it provided seeds to plant vegetables and loans to start up own ventures. Its main aim was to prevent begging in the streets of Eger (a North-Eastern city in Hungary).11 XXXVI. From the second half of the 1920's the "state tried to show its 'social face' more and more".as it was called by the time . Still.fund in 1940 called Országos Nép. XII. The term for this was "egykék " which means "little ones". 1977. Andor: A szociális gondoskodás változásai Magyrországon. Zoltán: Cifra nyomorúság.). This was the second act of this type in Europe (after France) and it did make the life of workers with families easier. By the mid 1930s the "social state" .).). 11 For the experience of productive social policy in Heves county see: Szabó. (Edorned misery.és Családvédelmi Alap = ONCSA ( Fund for the Protection of the Nation and the Families ). Another important measure of this nature was to expand family allowance to all industrial workers working in factories of more than 20 employees in 1938. mainly in the countryside. To solve both the social problems of agricultural workers and to increase fertility rates productive social policy was found out. a sociographical work .about 12 thousand small houses altogether. p145. where a dramatic drop in birth rates took place. 11 The peak of this experience was the creation of a state. The essence of productive social policy was to make people able "to stand on their own feet" on the one hand (males’ role) and to have more Hungarian children (females’ role). but this latter excluded those with less than one acre of land. Because lands were very small and they would have been divided between the children as an inheritance. the local authority and citizens in order to create organised and documented relief for the old and disabled. The Fund provided small lands and houses and loans plus benefits in nature for Christian families with children .created the so called "productive social policy". 10 Csizmadia. Budapest. It is also remarkable that families with only one child received this benefit too. The experience was so successful that it was introduced in most of the towns of Hungary in 1936. It succeeded to co-ordinate work among charitable organisations. the amount of this family allowance was so small that it could only provide real help for the poorest workers’ and their families. The idea came from Lajos Esztergál from the South of Hungary. 10 One of the first innovations in the field of poor relief was the "Norm of Eger" (Egri Norma). At the same time the allowance for civil servants was a considerable amount – thus the division between classes remained remarkable.as Andor Csizmadia put it.
those paying contributions today finance provisions of today's pensioners). private clerks and public employees lost their privileges in the centrally. Zsuzsa: Fejezetek a magyar szegénypolitika történetébol . In 1949 a new political streamline became evident which stated that "every act of the people's democracy is social policy". . It is very important that official social policy. The previous capital-accumulated system collapsed under the war. poor policy and social work were abolished at a time when the majority of the population was poor.so the argumentation went. free health care for the poor was stopped when two thirds of the population was not eligible for health insurance. (or.g. Stefánia Szövetség (Stefánia Association) for the care for pregnant mothers and infants and public health care in the cities.12 Public health was organised by the above mentioned non-governmental organisations. and a "pay-as-you-go" system was introduced (i. 2. a complex system of welfare policies was developed with liberal and social-democratic elements. One of the major changes was that only state-employees (e. 1986. and Zöldkeresztes Szolgálat for hygiene and public health in villages created a national network by the mid 1930s mainly financed by the state. These two were finally integrated into the National Sanitary Service in 1940. Changes in the social security system affected certain social groups negatively: owners having private insurance lost their past contributions.) Magveto Kiadó. p157. Budapest. Major industries and services were collectivised . 13 Hungary changed its old-age insurance system after WWII (just like most European countries).e. those working in state-run factories) were eligible for full social insurance provision. The two biggest charitable associations. 12 One of the main ideas of the so called "hidden turn" was that with the creation of socialism.3 Third period: 1945-1960 There had been hopes between 1945 -1948 that a democratic political system would be created in Hungary.3. as it was also called: ‘people’s democracy’) the major claims of the working class had been fulfilled.run social insurance system. This way those who paid contributions in the previous system could receive pensions in the new one. (Chapters from the History of Hungarian Poorpolicy. The above described Hungarian (and Bismarckian) tradition to have separate systems for 12 Ferge. In these circumstances there was no need for social policy and social work any more . although with extensive state-support. Alongside this.the opposition between owners and employees ‘diminished’. Also.
"corporative" traditions. and also. Notes. . With much delay. (Hungarian social policy after 1945.) Szalai. 1989. if it wished. The level of social provisions was relatively high. with the 13 14 Ferge. Historical Sketch of the Changing Functions of Hungarian Social Insurance. On the other hand. unlike social policy . sociologist. which made access to health services and sick pay equal for all social groups. bread. As a summary it can be said that on the one hand. children’s clothes. It became a sub-chapter of state-treasury. There was no real link between contributions and provision. kept its name.among others . These two factors contributed to the well-being of people at least as much as did social insurance and other direct cash-transfers. Social insurance . Júlia: ‘A társadalombiztosítás érdekviszonyairól. Történeti vázlat a hazai társadalombiztosítás funkcióinak változásairól. when these reached 20% of the income of an average Hungarian family. On the other hand it actually did develop. 85 % of the population being insured against sickness and old-age by 1960. Thus it had a major role in the forceful collectivisation of agriculture between 1958 -1962.was used to make people work in the statesector. and full employment. to give the administrative power to unions (later only one union) over social insurance and to invite them to take part in the preparation of new pieces of legislation could make unions loyal to the Party. The differences described above had political intentions. social policy and social work did not exist in this period. Financing social insurance became state-controlled. This year has seen the introduction of a universal health-care system too. interestingly. loosen or tighten the burdens of people. to leave the agricultural sector and join the heavy industrial sector.’ (Stakes in social insurance. as using social security for political purposes. for instance. that the two most important features of state socialist’ welfare policies were the high level of state-subsidy for basic goods.14 Because agricultural workers and the self-employed did not have equal rights to social insurance it was one of the incentives to force people to join cooperatives. According to Julia Szalai. with. At the same time this had been a "controlled" part of the income: the state could. like milk. It must be considered here. People’s standard of living clearly increased.became the terrain of political "games". these decisions were made centrally and were influenced by political intentions.13 industrial and agricultural workers and to provide less for the latter was continued under state socialism. books.which. Jegyzetek . social insurance . or. This can also be interpreted as a continuation of Bismarckian. in 1975 was the old-age pension system made equal for these two social groups. It actually formed a "hidden salary" especially by the end of 1960s. culture etc. Zsuzsa: Magyar szociálpolitika 1945 után.) Medvetánc.
it can be shown that Bismarckian elements represent a conservative type of welfare policy. like universal family allowance. (Changes in Social Care in Hungary. ill. p. 16 Data from 1915 mention 176 existing associations just in the capital and data from a year later refers to 80 socially committed organizations. p. the elements that remained with us from the 1960ies. 3. old and other marginalized and disadvantaged social groups from much earlier on than the beginnings of state welfare.és Jogtudományi Intézet. trying to organize structured help for the poor.) Budapest: MTA Állam. Following the terminology of Gosta Esping-Andersen15 . there were 117 associations in Hungary working in the field of child protection. At the same time. With the formation of a middle class.) Budapest: Hilscher Rezso Szociálpolitikai Egyesület. Budapest.1 Introduction Besides changes in the structures of state formed social legislation the social activities of associations and foundations. (The History of Social Work in Hungary. working especially in the capital. 1817-1990. It was the 1980s when the image of full employment and continuous economical growth could not be kept up any more that the germs of sociological research. Andor: A szociális gondoskodás változásai Magyarországon. are important areas of analysis. Katalin: A szociális munka története Magyarországon (1817-1990). In today’s (2005) Hungary we can see the inheritance of the traditions described above. . there was no democratic control over the institutions and no public and professional debate at all. social policy-discussion and various forms of social work could start to come to the light.14 majority having reasonable housing conditions and income by the end of the 1960s. Gosta: The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. 1990. Katalin: A szociális munka története Magyarországon (1817-1990) . associations and religious charitable groups were founded in Hungary as early as the 16th century and round the turn of the 19th to the 20th century the se were already numerous. are social democratic elements and liberal tradition are very strong in the local social assistance system. p.134 and Pik. In 1914 for example. 17 While between the 16th and 18th centuries traces of planned charity work can be found in these associations it was only in the 19th century that moving beyond charity work into complex social service structures was attempted. 17 Csizmadia. 1977.155. Cambridge. Pik. Decisions were more or less ad hoc and politically driven. 2001.156. Social Activities of Non-Governmental Organizations 3. 15 16 Esping-Andersen.
Ibid.2. the poor. p. p.170. children.134. A szociális gondoskodás változásai Magyarországon . places the beginnings of social work in Hungary to the first half of the 19th century with the foundation of the Charitable Women’s Association (Jóltévo Asszonyi Egyesület) in 1816. some of the most typical and in some cases specifically Hungarian variations of social work in civil organizations will be presented. While trying to refer to data covering both the countryside and the capital it must be taken into account that most data focuses on the capital and basic research concerning the countryside is often missing. 177. workers and women. pp.18 Looking at the social activities of organizations between 1900 and 1960 the three main periods established discussing the development of state social policy making can be followed. in the 1920s financial reasons made the existence and long-term sustainability of foundations impossible. Andor. Katalin: A szociális munka története Magyarországon (1817-1990). Andor. a short historical summary will point out the main turning points in changes of organizational structures within the discussed time period.. usually established and supported by wealthy members of the upper classes. The decades before the First World War are characterized by a growing number of associations involved in social work. not even ten years after the end of the First World War was there a law regulating the form of financial support given to organizations by local or national authorities. 20 Csizmadia. . 3. Ibid. These authorities oversaw the legal existence and monitored the annual income and spending of organizations. This development is broken by the war and the following international financial crisis in the 1920s.governmental organizations doing social work in Hungary between 1900 and 1960. 21 During and around the years of the First World War 18 19 Pik. then along four target group s. 20 In 1916 obligatory registration for organizations at the Mayor’s Office in Budapest and at the Department of Social Policy was introduced. 21 Csizmadia.19.1 1900-1920 Katalin Pik. While in the beginning of the 20th century most organizations operated as foundations. 19 Although more and more government involvement and support became necessary.15 The following overview aims to account for the efforts and results of no n.. The first borderline in the development of social activities organized by associations following 1900 can be drawn around 1920.2 Historical Overview 3. sociologist. First.134. p.
2 1920-1945 The second period that can be distinguished is the inter-war period that brought about more and more centralization in the running of non-governmental organizations. a strong and structured social organization until the 1920s could not agree to the terms of support by the National League for Child Protection (Országos Gyermekvédo Liga). After the fall of the Republic organizations.) In 1919 the life of organizations involved in social work was interrupted by a short but until then unknown centralized social system. a then fully state supported organization that offered to buy some of their facilities. 1996. As a result.15. Budapest: A Fovárosi Szabó Ervin Könyvtár Budapest Gyujteményének kiállítása (Exhibition by the Budapest Collection of the National Ervin Szabó Library). This was especially relevant in an increasingly nationalist political context carrying racist and antisemitic undertones. for example. was carried out by two nongovernmental organizations. Trying to maintain their Jewish character the Izraelite Women’s Association of Pest finally decided to merge 22 Zimmermann. . 3. The Social Mission Society. Susan and Gerhard Melinz.2. the state overtook organizations that were to execute state responsibility nationally. as mentioned earlier. a Catholic organization.16 many civil organizations were involved in emergency social work. like the Izraelite Women’s Association of Pest (Pesti Izraelita Noegylet ). Public health care for example. managed to receive increasing support from the state in the interwar period while the Israelite Women’s Association of Pest . National Stefánia Association (Országos Stefánia Szövetség) and Green Cross (Zöldkeresztes Mozgalom) that became state run and formed the National Sanitary Service from 1940 on. in: Gyermeksorsok és gyermekvédelem Budapesten a Monarchia idején (The Fate of Children and Childprotection in Budapest under the Monarchy) . by the 1930s. The financial involvement of the state in the running of organizations carrying out social work also brought about more support to organizations that fitted into the political ideology of the state. (About specific activities in this time period see paragraph later. had to deal with facilities they were given back in ruins. In the capital civil organizations received support from the municipality to carry out practical tasks connected to newly established laws as early as the first years of the 1900s 22 but from the 1920s on most significant national civil organizations were partly state sponsored and carried out state defined tasks. p. During the Soviet Republic the state took over social facilities established and formerly run by civil organizations. “Gyermek és ifjúságvédelem Budapesten és Bécsben a dualizmus korában” (Child and youth care in Budapest and Wiena during the Dualist Period).
trying to reestablish social work as a profession.17 into the National Alliance of Hungarian Jews in the 1920s.vjrktf. 2001 (1). With the socialist state declaring to take over all social tasks. Andor. “A fóti Suum cuique-telep története” (History of the Suum Cuique Settlement at Fót). wife of the Governor 26 . 3. Alongside with other basic civil and political rights the right to form associations was banned in 1948. Katalin: Ibid. Honismeret. p. 28 Hámori. 24 The organizations that were left to work on. 3. the only women’s organization allowed to exist.130. an issue difficult to find research about. 27 Csizmadia. Katalin: Ibid. or for the families of war victims.3 1945-1960 1948 and 1949 brought about another change for the non-governmental sector. 25 Between the two world wars there were still so-called ’’help actions’’. there were two initiatives. 27 Besides organizing public charity. Pik. as it happened with the workers’ union and the Democratic Association of Hungarian Women. possessing wider rights than a Prime Minister and contributing to a more centralized leadership of the country. Péter.2. p.htm. had to embed the political ideological direction of the state or became Partydirected puppet organizations.318-324 and 338-352.. It was not until the 1970s that the first socially committed civil organizations managed to appear again. usually in times of famine. was always distinguished from regular social support given to the poor and marginalized. initiated by private donators. however.170-171 and 216. .143. Relief work and the distribution of support in kind became one of their central tasks. Horthy. the injured and widows.3 War-Time Activities Both world wars escalated social problems resulting in crisis situations where the role of social organizations as crisis managers was important. pp. War time social support of the families of soldiers. organizations that managed to survive the Second World War were forced to stop working as their role was declared to be redundant. http://www. 23 The position and role of organizations in relation to nationalist socialist ideology is. 26 Between 1920 and 1944 Hungary was led by a Governor Horthy. Katalin: Ibid. 28 The case of Fót is a good example of how such initiatives were aimed to offer help to a 23 24 Pik. war veterans. such as Mrs. Ibid .hu/carus/honisme/Ho000000. that went hand in hand with the contribution of an established association as well as local authorities. like the Hungarian Red Cross. 25 Pik. however. pp. where entire settlements were planned to be built to support those injured in the war and families of war victims. in the cities of Kalocsa and Fót.
organizations for the protection of children. The case of the Fót settlement illustrates well the character of social work in the 1930s and 1940s. a moral life style and neediness (having at least three young children to support) had to be proved too. social work directed at the poor and children. in the early 1940s almost 100. those injured in the war. such as a primary school extended in the 1920s by an employment centre and in the 1930s by a health and a cultural centre.governmental social care as basis for analysis four different sorts of organizations will be presented: organizations for the poor. in order of preference. war veterans and lastly “others in need”. Workers’ and women’s organizations were among the most powerful initiators of social change in the 20th century. While being within the borders of the town the settlement had its own facilities. workers’ organizations and women’s organizations. It was in 1921 that Countess Károlyi initiated the idea of the Fót settlement. Readiness to find employment.18 selected section of society and how that was received by the general public. Built on a strongly selective system of acceptance clients had to demonstrate their worthiness for support. As a result of her financial support and the Károlyi family’s land donation a year later Governor Horthy could open the settlement with 18 houses.free loan within 25 years and having passed a three year probation time. grown up war orpha ns. They could become house owners only after having paid the interest. While there could be many more target groups established. Some organizations exemplify typical forms of . Nationalist ideology behind social initiatives at the times could be suffused by covert racism. war widows. Inhabitants could only be. 3. While placing facilities such as the health centre within the borders of the settlement meant daily contact between the population of Fót and that of the settlement. were among the most important areas of social activity in the discussed period and thus will be discussed in detail. loyalty to the nation. At both Kalocsa and Fót strong rules regulated the lives of inhabitants.4 Target Groups and Types of Organizations Taking the target groups of non. Being among the most significant organizations doing social work in the field of poor relief and child protection the social activities of the workers’ socialist movements and those of women will be mentioned separately. placing German and Hungarian soldiers’ residence in an unusually high proportion to settlement lodgings in 1944 and wanting to convert it into a work camp as a solution to the Roma question in 1942 are some of the cases in point. Lack of financial support coming from local authorities. In 1939 the settlement possessed already 81 houses. antagonism expressed towards the “crippled” remained strong.
19. Imre. a well-known doctor of the times. Veres.20. Ibid .19.000 voluntary nurses. 33 The Ministry of Welfare and 29 Pásztor. It is also the most solid one since it has always belonged to an international network of Red Cross organizations. p.5 Organizations for the Poor All the four following organizations.19 social work execution in Hungary while others show exceptionality in their structure and target group choice. . Honnan indult.. developments as well as backlashes in the history of non-governmental organizations doing social work in Hungary. dates back to the earliest among these four organizations. In 1927 there were 151 nurses working at district authorities in Budapest. 1979. 30 As it is the one that survived historical and political changes throughout all the decades in discussion its history provides a cross section of the alterations. The organization.5. p. and since 1921 the League of Red Cross Societies. chosen from the numerous ones active in the period of 19001960 in the field of poor relief. Ibid . fighter for women’s rights in education or Professor Korányi. merre tart a Vöröskereszt? (Where did the Red Cross start from and where does it head to?) Budapest: A Magyar Vöröskereszt Országos Végrehajtó Bizottságának Szervezési és Ifjúsági Osztálya. Ibid . 31 Pásztor.. Imre.. 3. Aiming to work out a structured poor relief system with the involvement of both civil organizations and state bodies it took up social work in the field of poor relief in coordination with local authorities of the capital. were related to wartime care for the injured and their families. Imre. 32 Pásztor. Hermina Beniczky. p. 32 The organization established its social department in 1922. like many at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Imre. 31 The first main activities of the association. 30 Pásztor. exemplify different forms of cooperation between a nongovernmental organization and local or national authorities. in harmony with the goals of the international Red Cross. 3.400 professional and 10.19. Ibid. started to operate as a foundation with wealthy and professional members and supporters such as Mrs. Some data show the strength of the organization under the First World War: it operated 1922 temporary hospitals with 1. officially registered as the Hungarian Saint Crown’s Counties’ Association of Red Cross (Magyar Szent Korona Országai Vöröskereszt Egylete) in 1882 29 . Andor. 33 Csizmadia.1 The Hungarian Red Cross The Hungarian Red Cross (Magyar Vöröskereszt). p. p.135.
37 3. 39 Csizmadia. named Hungarian General Charity Women’s Association (Magyar Általános Segélyezo Noegylet). Ibid. Ibid p.135. Interestingly. p. after having received authorization to establish an official Hungarian branch. 38 The facilities of the House were financed jointly by the capital and the organization and thus could be used by the poor of the entire capital. Imre. it operated as a women’s organization. manifest in the fact that the director of the district council was the director of the association at the same time. 37 Pásztor. however. Andor. Emperor Francis Joseph asked Count Gyula Károlyi to start a male Hungarian Red Cross association.5. Pásztor. and had to narrow its international professional contact to Red Cross organizations from mainly Soviet-type states. wife to Mihály Károlyi.28..2 The Association of General Public Charity The Association of General Public Charity (Általános Közjótékonysági Egyesület) established as early as 1904 was also specifically targeted towards organized help for the poor.37. such as 34 35 Csizmadia. Katalin: Ibid. head of the Republic.103 and105-109. While in the beginning it operated branches in each district of the capital its main activity focused on the operation of the 5th District Public House (Népház) opened in 1908. was taken over by the capital in 1930.20 Employment sponsored the organization to collect national data on “deserving” and “undeserving” poor in 1927. Count Gyula Károlyi was member of the Upper House of the Hungarian Parliament. Because of the existence of a Red Cross member association in the Monarchy established by Austrians in 1867 the Hungarian organization was not registered for three years as Red Cross.. Imre. In the 1950s the Hungarian Red Cross was made to take part in state-run public health programs. that female leadership was given to the organization under the Soviet Republic in 1919 with Countess Károlyi. (About the Past of the Hungarian and the International Red Cross). p. Andor. Budapest: A Magyar Vöröskereszt Országos Központ Külügyi Osztálya. A magyar és a nemzetközi Vöröskereszt múltjából. Meanwhile. 34 During the Soviet Republic and from 1949 on the organization was taken over by the socialist state. Ibid. 1969. instead of the Women’s Association. pp. 36 Pásztor. 35 The history of the Hungarian Red Cross also sheds light on how the leadership of women’s initiatives and work could be taken over by men.. The association not only tried to harmonize its work with district authorities. Ibid. 38 Pik.136. the so-called “cataster of the poor”. and their registry system. p.20-21. but it also tried to network with other civil organizations. 39 It provided employment for the unemployed old and alcoholics as well as those temporarily away from the labour market. Imre. pp. especially in the countryside. . 36 Also worth noticing is the fact.
134. This system aimed to build a network of health centres in the countryside based on the English model43 . The nurses had a home. The first director of the organization was a woman. (The healing of the Hungarian countryside) Magyar Királyi Országos Közegészségügyi Intézet. Two years later. Béla Johan. (Healing Hungarian Villages). 40 41 Pik. Doctors and nurses were employed by the state.made journal.. 1939. Part of their task was social work. 44 Johan. written by themselves. 41 The Green Cross was established in 1925 with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation to introduce the American system of public health demonstration districts 42 in Hungary. it also employed district nurses (300 by the end of the 1930s) 44 .21 pregnant women or young mothers.3 The Green Cross Movement The Green Cross Movement (Zöldkeresztes Mozgalom) provides a typical example of how a civil initiative was taken over by the government and their facilities nationally implemented. 43 Health centres aimed to introduce public health care in the countryside. the Zöld kereszt [Green Cross]. They not only dealt with clients’ health problems but collected information on their social circumstances as well and offered both medical and social assistance. The Ministry ordered by decree the introduction of health centres nation-wide in 1933. Countess Csáky. Béla Dr. In 1934 there were 57 operating districts. The first Hungarian health centres were set up in 1928 and 1929 in Mogyoród and Gödöllo. to take up cases.66.Budapest: Magyar Királyi Országos Közegészségügyi Intézet. The state initiated the foundation of a Village Social Fund to support the work of health centres that financed homes for district doctors. 1939. p. 42 Public health demonstration districts provided local health care in the United States. a district nurse and a so-called health guard who was responsible for contagious diseases.5. Katalin: Ibid. director of the Institution was authorised by the Ministry of Interior Affairs to organize public health nationally. Although it was not a non. The centres were supplied by a doctor. The employment of these women was further supported by child day-care and a shelter for mothers. to investigate claims towards the authorities. Soon after the education of qualified district nurses started the National Public Health Institution (Országos Közegészségügyi Intézet) was set up in 1927. Data in this passage is taken from Johan. . The House also had a public shelter. Béla Dr: Gyógyul a magyar falu. 40 3. Gyógyul a magyar falu. day-care centres and village dentistries. Positions in its general assembly that functioned as the highest forum of the organization and in the directorate were divided by men and women in a strictly equal manner with 60 men and 60 women in the assembly and 10 men and 10 women in the directorate.governmental organisation but a nationwide state program. Budapest. kitchen and a library. An interesting fact about the organization is its highly democratic leadership structure. p.
Ibid.(Green Cross and Society. 47 providing directions for the operation of district health protection offices.11. 56. Guide for the Branch Offices of the National Association for Health Protection). nurses were to pay special attention not to lose villagers’ trust by causing rumours about their lifestyle. helped by a legal aid office as well. Guidelines concerning the treatment of women at these latter facilities had a strong focus on the so-called “legalization” of the newly born. Gyógyul a magyar falu. 47 Molnár. 46 Johan. This work. 1942. A publication by the National Association for Health Protection from 1942. even by arranging official exceptions from the ten.. 45 Béla Johan. Zöldkereszt és a társadalom.69-70. Ákos (ed). writing about the work and history of the National Public Health Institution in 1939 devotes a passage to the discussion of the proper lifestyle for district nurses. however. Muködési útmutató az országos egészségvédelmi szövetség fiókszövetségei részére. since the Association was “not to be involved in the marriage cases between Jews and non-Jews”. meant different ways of finding parents for the child. preferably together with their mother. The legal aid office and the mothers’ shelter were to find out about unmarried couples and do everything to avoid children to be born out of wedlock. References to women and ‘race’ in these descriptions give an impression of the intersections and implications of gender and ‘race’ in wartime Hungary. describes the purpose of each facility at the Association. a civil organization also operated by the Green Cross and focused on social work. 48 Molnár. They were allowed to get married but could retain their job only in case the couple was not able to live on the husband’s salary.month waiting period between two marriages. According to Johan. Béla Dr. Finally.. single nurses were to live in simply decorated. 46 The pieces of advice given are revealing about the gender norms weighing on professional women in the countryside. either by adoption or by pressuring unmarried women to find the father of the child and get married. Ákos (ed). Besides a kindergarten and day-care the Association had two facilities for pregnant women: a home to give birth and a mother’s shelter for homeless women with babies and unwanted babies.22 By 1939 when the entire health care system came under state control there were 246 operating districts. Budapest: Országos Egészségvédelmi Szövetség. in 1941 the health care work of the state-run National Public Health Institution was by state decree further supplemented by the work of the National Association for Health Protection. p. . whitewashed houses. Zöldkereszt és a társadalom. To achieve this. p. did not apply in case of Jewish women. These rules. p. 48 45 Molnár. Ákos (ed).
Oswald Oslay. The strongest among them was the National League for Child Protection (Országos Gyermekvédo Liga). p. whose director was the mayor and its members were the following: The head of the local Welfare Office. who wanted to go beyond charity and find a structured solution to the problem of increasing number of beggars in the streets of Eger. A Committee for the Assistance of the Poor was set up at the local council. the head of the local police station. criminality.. Katalin:. Through the collective work of the city and non-governmental organizations an old people’s home. a shelter.5.6 Organizations for Child Protection : The National League for Child Protection In the 20th century child protection became one of the major and first professional branches of social work in Hungary. Further support came from the Franciscan Sisters’ Association for the Assistance of the Poor (Szent Ferenc –rendi Szegénygondozó Novérek Társulata) founded by six sisters in 1930. 216-222.23 3. 3. historian. director of the White Cross Association. 51 The aim of the new organization was to gain strength by establishing ties with the state and start a national fund for the support of child protection run by non-governmental organizations. points out that the League “soon became a strong supporter of the 49 50 Pik. They were also helped by lay members. Kecskemét. Pik. Esztergom. Újpest and Pécs. It was founded by Sándor Karsai. Within a few years this system was introduced in almost all major Hungarian cities. such as child work. a civil servant of public welfare and of associations and Count Lipót Edelstein-Gyulai. pp. Susan Zimmermann.123. 50 There were numerous organizations working in this field specialized on various issues.4 The Norm of Eger Finally. . offering free medical care for poor pregnant women. As the Norm of Eger was thus extended. representatives of the local religious and non-religious charity organizations. Katalin: Ibid. doctors. Among their most common services was placing children into foster homes instead of giving financial support to families. and donors of bigger sums. five representatives of the local council. established in 1927 in the provincial town of Eger. 49 Its initiator was a Franciscan priest. and a women’s hospital were set up. The city set up a complex system of social work bodies focused on the poor and old. health or education. provides a specific Hungarian example of cooperation between a non-governmental organization and the state. established in 1906 with the support of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. Ibid. the Norm of Eger (Egri Norma). the so-called Ladies for the Treatment of the Poor and Ladies for Charity Collection. its name became the “Hungarian Norm”. like Szombathely. Szolnok.
this could not be carried out because of war preparations in the country. Katalin: Ibid.és ifjúságvédelem Budapesten és Bécsben a dualizmus korában”. 53 Pik. They could also get police support for such actions whereby the League soon gained a dubious name among the poor. pp. the League operated five nurseries.237. While not a workers’ initiative the Settlement movement in Hungary provides the case of a specific local adaptation of an international workers’ rights and welfare support movement. the Netherlands. 53 Always in cooperation with ministries. p. four correction institutes for children. During these vacation trips 120 female voluntary workers were employed to take care of the children. Unfortunately. Belgium and England. In 1913 together with other organizations they received a piece of land to create a Child Protection Centre offering differentiated help to children of all ages.22. by when the League operated 50 institutions in the country. Katalin:Ibid. 54 Between 1920 and 1930 they organized holidays for more than 60 thousand children to Switzerland. 51 52 Pik. 56 Pik.165-167. In 1924 it was the League that organised the 4th International Child Protection Conference in Budapest. 55 Pik. the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Justice. Katalin: Ibid. Susan and Gerhard Melinz. During the First World War. the Ministry of Trade. Zimmermann.7 Workers’ Organizations Workers’ organizations and self. . Katalin:.194-196.help movements formed a steadily growing presence among associations at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. 194-196. 54 Pik. four foster homes. it tried to further expand its facilities. pp. “Gyermek. 56 3.115. Katalin: Ibid. a day-care.24 authorities’ fight against child criminality”. 55 In the 1920s finding financial support for foundations became impossible for even such strong organizations as the League. p. Ibid. such as the Ministry of Welfare. 52 The League was authorized to take young offenders into so-called “correction institutes”. two vocational schools and three medical centres. In 1934 the organization was thus integrated into the staterun child protection services. pp. p.
By 1935 there were further Settlements opened at different districts of Budapest inhabited by poor people.199-203. built on the English Settlement pattern of Samuel Barnett and started by lawyers and social scientists in Transylvania. 58 This meant a close observance and support of usually three worker families by a social worker of the organization. The initiative. 60 Pik.25 3. The third service was that of the Socia l and Health Department that ran a free medical center and worked in close contact with the National Stefánia Association as well as the National League for Child Protection. and 3. Pik. social security and education. in Southern Hungary. pp. There was a shelter for unemployed workers as well as daycare and a legal aid and employment office.. 2. for example. Katalin: Ibid. pp. The speciality of the Hungarian settlement movement was that it aimed to support both industrial and agrarian workers and thus developed two different branches. Andor.204-205 and Csizmadia. aiming to support workers’ employment. Transylvania. in the patronage groups and operated a public library. The central administration from Cluj was moved to the Hungarian capital in 1909 and a settlement project for industrial workers was launched at the Újpest slum area in 1912. Besides the social education of university youth the goals of the settlement project in Hungary were threefold: 1.132-133. 59 For a detailed description of the work and goals of the Kozma Street settlement see case study.) to influence positively the general public opinion about workers. 60 The aim of György Budai61 and the university students of Szeged was to provide legal. interested in people living on the Great Plain (Alföld) in South-East Hungary. such as the Settlement at Kozma street 59 and the Városszél (Suburban) Settlement.111-115. 61 György Budai was a student of humanities and an author.) to carry out practical social work among workers in their own settlement areas. pp. Ibid. provided the foundations for the Social Policy Institute at the University of Economics in Budapest that was formed in autumn 1920. social and basic 57 58 Ibid. Katalin: Ibid. The Újpest Settlement had three main service bodies: The General Community Protection Department observed the effects of social laws and organized family patronage. This also meant a special focus on the involvement of university youth in active social work..8 The Hungarian Settlement Movement The first Settlement program in Hungary57 . The Public Education Department organized educational programs and seminars for both workers and those supporting workers. was created in 1905 in Cluj (Kolozsvár). The Settlement project for agrarian workers was started in the 1920s on farms around Szeged.) to gather experience through this work and influence the formation of social laws as well as social work practice. . legal rights. pp.
but aimed at men as well. 3. to provide work for those who could work (mainly in embroidery and handicraft workshops and boutiques) in so called “wage institutes” following the German institution of the Erwerbhaus62 . they took up the fight against begging by combining administrative measures (first setting up a cataster of the beggars.help principle. 3.1 The Charitable Women’s Association The earlier mentioned Charitable Women’s Association (Jóltevo Asszonyok ) was founded in 1816 by Archduchess Hermina. The Association had two branches in the two.26 health care services to the agrarian poor. but both followed the same self. . In 1930. who imported the constitution of a Viennese association. Later they moved into other territories as well. social work was initiated by noble and bourgeois women. but it is necessary to incorporate them into our overview as they represent a crucial phase of development of social work. They. they organized around 210 visits to farms. however. Their initial aim was to help the impoverished wives and daughters of the local bourgois society.9 Women’s Organizations The history of charitable women’s organizations originates from earlier than the starting time frame of our research. the Kleine Gesellschaft adeliger Frauen.9. then still separate cities. for example. Buda and Pest. The foundation of the oldest Hungarian social institution still functioning up to this date. consequently the target group and the circle of carers was from the same social class. faced much antagonism from society concerning the situation of agrarian workers they made public. then imprisoning or banning them from a city) with social prevention (workhouses and aids). This work was not constricted any more to women as a target group. In the early 19th century Hungary. At the same time they had to go on inventing a unique form of the Settlement program while practicing it. The small group therefore was unable to carry on its pioneering work and was dissolved in 1933. For the helpless little ones and the elderly the Associations managed kindergartens (the first one was opened in Buda by countess Teréz Brunszvik on a Swiss example in 1828) and nursing homes. the Institute of the Blind is also connected to their name.
They founded homes for destitute children and young girls. however. After collecting donations they handed out financial aid to the needy (mainly widows and young girls). a nursing ho me and helped the talented young with grants. the demands outgrew the scope of this initial stage of social work. of course. who envisaged a double structure to her society: missionary sisters who belonged to the Church and lay women as external members. The Society was a strictly Catholic organisation that grew to become one of the most important civil force in social work that consciously called itself a collective of professional social workers. the Bulletin (Értesíto) and organised literary evenings and social meetings. the association we have to devote ample space to. had been an important element of diaspora communal life much earlier than this date. including one for Jewish midwives. Farkas’ spiritual leader was bishop Ottokár Prohászka.9. 41. Its founder in 1908 was Edith Farkas. After a while.3 The Social Mission Society and the Society of Social Sisters There were exceptions to this rule: one important organization and a main theme in social work that runs through time is child protection. a soup kitchen. Their activities were planned and based on professional principles. a leading figure in the Catholic Hungary of the day. At this point. operated soup kitchens. Both associations shared similar qualities: their members were volunteer women (although secretaries and patrons were influential men) independent of the state. the Jewish community also formed its own women’s organization after the emancipation of the Jews in 1867. their financia l means were based on donations. The Izraelite Women’s Association of Pest (Pesti Izraelita Noegylet ) was founded by Mrs. spread their ideas by publishing a journal. is the Social Mission Society (Szociális Missziótársulat ) and its twin institution. the focus of power shifted and official men became the leaders and theorists of social work. Johanna Bischnitz. Charity. and the level of institutionalisation (for example dividing the field to districts) and documentation grew with them.9. founded orphanages. the Association for the Care of the Poor (Szegénygondozó Egyesület ).27 3.2 The Izraelite Women’s Association of Pest While the Charitable Women’s Association’s clientele was Christian. During the First World War they helped widows and soldier wives in the Office for the Protection of Women 62 Pik. . They at the same time took care of the future volunteers as well and organised trainings in the first school for social work. Ibid. and the state began to take over its functions. the Social School (Szociális Iskola) in Budapest and in their House for noviciate sisters in the countryside. 3. To start with. p.
The Stefánia was formed in 1915 as an ngo for the protection of expectant and nursing mothers and their infants.4 The National Stefánia Association Identifying social work with child protection is an evident tendency in the history of Hungarian social work. who opposed her second run for office. In the conservative interwar period they became very influential and got ample support from government circles as well. Although the founding fathers and main administrators were men. and a rewarding practice. whose heir still functions in Hungary with very good results (under the name: Védonoi Szolgálat – District Nurse Care). Even a museum was opened and propaganda materials were distributed. Following a split with her supervisor. The Association trained infant care nurses. During her period in parliament Slachta proposed the setting up of the institution of school nurses (that later became the institution of school doctors) among other measures protecting women. set up centres nationwide (several of them were financed by the American Red Cross). the heart of the system. Many of them set up kindergartens and day care for children of working women (as the Frobel Women’s Association. who became the first woman MP in the Hungarian parliament in 1920. the Society of Social Sisters (Szociális Testvérek Társasága). 1997. [Frobel Noegylet] or the Hungarian Association of Feminists. The second half of the 19th century saw the proliferation of ngos that were formed to deal with social questions. the organisation and the implentation of the task was trusted to the Stefánia Association. Budapest: Corvinus. The number of nurses grew from the initial 117 63 64 Mona. While mother and infant welfare became a state responsibility in 1917 by a Ministry of Interior decree. A famous member of the Society was sister Margit Sclachta. Stephanie Belgian royal princess . [Magyar Feministák Egyesülete] ). to promote prevention and up-to-date infant care. and opened a College for Social Work in Budapest in 1926. The Society also had missionary houses. the founder Edith Farkas. Ilona: Slachta Margit. It got its name from its patroness. as who would not agree that children are innocent and cannot be blamed for their poverty (as opposed to the practice of selecting the „true” poor from the „fake” ones).9. orphanages or formed trainings for women. she founded her own religious organization. Health and social care intermingled in their routine and this forecasts a much later episode in the history of social work under socialism.28 (Novédelmi Hivatal). the district nurses were and still are women. Out of all these formations we must emphasize the role of the National Stefánia64 Association [Országos Stefánia Szövetség] in Budapest. 63 3.
alcoholic or abusive family surroundings).47 % in a few years. we have to leap several decades to the time of state socialism. The nurses had a complex view of family protection. organised art 65 Pik. but the infant age group in kindergartens and elementary school skipped the official eye. it was also this set. and provincial towns and settlements with up to 10. legal advice.9.197. detailed above under “Organizations for the Poor”.governmental organization. and the disciplines of sociology and social psychology were deemed undesirable under socialism. breast milk and formula supply. However. home for mothers. SZETA (Szegényeket Támogató Alap. day care centres and birth centres. At the same time.. crèches. financial aid.000 inhabitants and a few villages. The pronatalist policy of the age (and of all coming ages) helped the Association get both state and other support. p. Social work. Ottilia Solt. As it was pointed out earlier the communist take over in 1948 resulted in both banning all non-governmental organizations in Hungary and eliminating social work. The main initiator was a woman. to finish our line of thought about the overlapping of health care and social work.5 Foundation for Helping the Poor Finally. 3. Educational guidance centres were opened which used the methodology of social work and in 1972 these employed so called family care specialists to work with „problem” children (often meaning poor. family and society.54 % infant mortality in villages to 13. This background of experts gave birth to the first (still illegal and thus persecuted) social work non. as by visiting the clients it was impossible to divide child. and the prevalence of childcare in social work. . Their greatest result was reducing the 19. SZETA was part of the democratic political dissident movement. they set up milk kitchens. The countryside equivalent of the Stefánia Association was the Green Cross Movement (Zöldkeresztes Mozgalom).29 to 564 in 1930 65 . Katalin: Ibid. Health care and social work were related already at the set up of the district nurse system. mother. some of its members played a part in the political changes after 1989. employment and other cases. The institutions of social work became part of the health care or educatio nal system. and provided their clientele with free medical services.up which opened a niche for the rebirth of social work in the 1970s. layette loan. Their scope of work was Budapest. thus we include this organisation into our part on women organizations. They also served as a link to the authorities in legal. [Foundation for Helping the Poor] ) in 1980. childcare. but in the 1950s social work was simply merged into the former one. This small but influential Foundation collected donations.
The Yearly Report of the Social Policy Department of Budapest from 1940 [A székesfováros társadalompolitikai ügyosztályának 1940. or provided them with free legal and medical help. settlement workers called the people they helped their “friends” and “neighbours” since they thought that it was due to social disadvantages and lack of education that these people happened to occupy an inferior position in society. This case study aims to give an insight into the Hungarian settlement movement before the Second World War with specific attention to the role women played in its formation and daily work. So as to provide a characterisation of the Kozma-Street Settlement Project this study addresses two interconnected levels of social work practice: 1) the institutional and 2) the personal. Education and social care were seen to be the means towards breaking down the walls between upper and working classes and towards “lifting up” the latter group from their miserable position. To find out how social work was defined on these two levels the investigation builds on two types of data: document analysis and oral history interviews. working class residential areas.). an educational material about the settlement work Novágh. Budapest: Hollóssy János Könyvnyomtató. goes much beyond the time limits of our research. évi jelentése]. set up in the industrial outskirts of Budapest in 1935. In fact. who after the changes organised a practical social work department at the Wesley János College. however. To see the place and character of the Hungarian movement between 1935 and 1945 we first give an overview of the beginnings of the international settlement movement and then turn to the Hungarian case. Gender.Gyula (ed.30 auctions to hand out aid. 1941. clothes and food to the needy. In particular. the Kozma-Street Settlement. 66 66 Document analysis includes reference to the work of the Kozma-Street Settlement and general descriptions about the goals and strategies of settlement work. Class and Ethnicity-Based Differentiation in the Practice of Hungarian Social Work A Case Study of the Kozma-Street Settlement. It was also Solt . [A Settlement: A Fovárosi Népmuvelés Vezetoképzo Tanfolyamának eloadásai]. Is it Worth It? [Érdemes?]. The Settlement: Training Material by the Public Education Committee of the Capital. 4. Budapest: Budapest Székesfováros Házinyomdája.1 The main idea behind the settlement movement was to help the working classes in a so-called democratic way by “settling down” social workers and volunteers in poor. and a publication by the Kozma -Street Settlement describing their work to potential volunteers: The Social Working Community of Kozma-Street [A Kozma-utcai Szociális Munkaközösség Tagjai] (ed.). That. . 194244(?). 1935-1945 Introduction 4. 1937.
. the American settlement movement. According to Rezso Hilscher.2 The Settlement Movement Worldwide The idea of settlement work dates back to the end of the 19th-century in Britain. The second goal of the settlement was to provide education and social help for the given community. were the first ones who took part in the everyday lives of industrial workers and tried to understand and help them from within. First. Their sensitivity to social problems would grow for the benefit of the whole society in the future. The Austrian movement was founded by Else Federn in 1901 and took on child protection as its major task. Many settlements focused on so-called “motherly” tasks: organizing child-care for working mothers or courses in cooking and housekeeping for young women. Based on this practice a special form of settlement. became the major type of settlement in the British movement.3 The Hungarian Settlement Movement “The settlement. 32 were “purely women’s settlements” in 1937.”68 The words of Rezso Hilscher demonstrate well the ideological foundations of the settle ment 67 Novágh. 67 4. The first settlement was set up by Samuel Barnett in 1884 in Whitechapel. Jane Addams initiated. out of the 42 settlements in Britain. It. “Social idealists”. p. and was named ‘Toynbee Hall’ after Arnold Toynbee.and upper classes.31 4. John Ruskin and Arnold Toynbee together with their students. Soon after the offset of the first settlements many others were formed in England and throughout the world. a London suburb. was created. in fact. and especially university students were to get to know the living conditions of working class people by settling down in their neighbourhood. middle. founder of the first Hungarian settlement in 1912.10. the “women’s settlement”. like Thomas Carlyle. Women took on a major role in this work. and set up ‘Hull House’ in Chicago based on her impressions in Toynbee Hall in 1888.movement is a logical consequence of the critique of the social conscience which follows the endeavour of liberal economics only serving individual interest and trampling under foot the interest of the society. The settlement movement had from the very beginning two parallel aims. for example.
These facilities were supplied by a nurse and a kindergarten teacher. The first initiative to unite these sectors was the "Norm of Eger" [Egri Norma]. 71 68 69 Novágh. This and the following translations are done by the authors. 71 The roots of such an arrangement in the field of welfare between the state and the civil sector go back to the 1920s.. “Home for the Care and Education of the People” [Népgondozó és Népmuvelo Otthon] was amended by the name of the capital. twelve workers received a salary from the Public Education Committee of the Capital [Budapest Székesfováros Népmuvelési Bizottsága] and there were fifteen additional voluntary workers. Three of them were continuously financed by the Welfare Department of the City Council of Budapest (the so called “9th Department”) while the other five received occasional financial support from the capital. a legal aid and employment office. . 69 It is especially true for the Hungarian settlement movement and can be grasped in the social work practice of the Kozma-Street Settlement. The Kozma-Street Settlement was established in 1935 on the initiative of some members of the female youth section of the Social Mission Society [Szociális Misszió Társulat]. by Rezso Hilscher and his students from the University of Economics. See Novágh. By the end of 1930s in Budapest there were altogether eight settlements. Besides providing medical care and legal advice for poor agrarian workers they also carried out ethnographic research. p. p. One of them. the Kozma-Street Settlement received state funding to operate a kindergarten.149. The Hungarian settlement movement had a special agrarian branch as well. the leading ideology of the settlement movement was Christian socialism. The first Hungarian settlement was founded in 1912 in one of the heavy-industrial areas of Budapest [Újpest]. was actually founded by the City Council. p. This operational structure was a very important feature of social work in the 1930s in Hungary. By 1939 the settlement was part of the state scheme of welfare. Although our Hungarian source names a “Jewish” settlement in London.32 movement. The Újpest Settlement later became the centre of all the Hungarian settlement projects. 70 A székesfováros. and its original name. Altogether. there were five full-time state employees. 70 These data show that in case of the Hungarian settlements there was a close cooperation between civil and religious organisations. the Cegléd-Street Settlement. This can be witnessed already at Toynbee Hall in England and later in the American and continental movements. Their group consisted of mainly male social workers and they worked with male workers and their families. According to the yearbook of the capital on its welfare activities. Besides aiming at the betterment of capitalist society. six people received state funding for their travelling costs. the settlement movement had strong links to Christianity. and a health care centre for mothers and small children. the City Council (the state) and the public. 7.10. founded by György Budai in 1926 in the area of detached farms near the Southern Hungarian town of Szeged.
4.1 Accentuating Women’s Gender. Its main argument goes as follows: 72 73 Tanay. They argued that a well. differed radically from other Hungarian settlements in that its leader and most of its workers were women. unique in the Hungarian scene of settlement work 4. the following analysis tries to answer in specific what status and position female social workers had in this context. in line with the leading ideology of the mid 1930s.4 Kozma Street: A Case for Women’s Settlement Since the Kozma-Street Settlement was led by a group of female social workers. Magda. Like all settlements. Women stressed their difference as wives and mothers in order to acquire an accepted position in society as public figures and wage workers. A Settlement. “Noi népmuvelési fe ladatok a settlementben”. and they put a special stress on working with female clients. The latter typically involved a class issue as well.functioning society needed the specific qualities of women.). idealistic goal was to engage people in the building of a Christian Hungary based on the principle of humane understanding. Novágh. . By stressing women’s difference theories around the practice of settlement work also outline a set of activities specific to women. Gyula (ed. Also. Social work was among the fields women could refer to as areas of work where feminine and motherly care. 4. like in the home. however. The theoretical foundations of the settlement movement seem to reflect a similar line of argumentation. its long term. since the entrance of large numbers of women to the work force was a fact for the working-class population since the beginnings of industrialisation.33 The Kozma-Street Settlement was thus in many ways very similar to other Hungarian settlements. was necessary. A study on “The female tasks in the education of the public within the settlement”72 by Magda Tanay73 from 1936 typifies this approach. it aimed to break down cultural walls between the proletariat and the upper classes. The Kozma-Street Settlement. Magda Tanay was a leading member of and lecturer for the Public Education Committee of the capital.and Class-Based Difference Feminist research has drawn attention to the fact that from the beginnings women’s movements relied on gender difference as an argument to fight their way into fields of public activity previously closed to them.
First. 76. Ibid. housework economy. 74 This claim embeds a double-sided self. daycares and nurseries that male settlements could only carry out with great difficulties or not at all”. 74. These are “healthcare. such as child healthcare centres. .”77 Magda Tanay goes into great details in listing the main forms of “female tasks in the education of the public”. p. the proper use of free time. female career paths. while at the same time. her capacity to integrate into foreign environments easier and her more instinctive drive to help others are united in a perfect framework by the settlement where women have to work on translating the ‘modern knowledge’ of the settlement idea into a form appropriate for women in her neighbourhood. the main rules of social interaction. that extend to areas identified as specific to women’s difference. her fast reactions. it also outlines the worth of female work as well as its role and place”. 76 Ibid.justification that makes use of both a gender and a class component.”. legal and citizenship issues. p. It is also only natural that. the ‘neighbourhood’ definitely raises specifically female problems. qualities women were seen to have a so-called natural inclination to. 78 74 75 Ibid. 75. 75 Bringing examples from the past to support this claim the author says: “Female settlements were pioneers in initiating areas of activities.34 “The settlement is a real university of our democracy in the most elevated meaning of the word. though proportionate to its diverse composition. 78 Tanay. 76 She stresses women’s difference in their essential femininity and accentuates its usefulness for the success of the settlement: “It is natural that the female soul and female eyes identify different problem areas than the male brain. education of children. the author states that settlement work fulfils specific female needs that cannot be met by the work of male social workers: “In the fields of care and education as well as in tasks of organisation the settlement provides assignments that serve and satisfy specifically female needs. p. The intuitive force of the female soul. playgrounds for children. and female role models from the past”. in its goal to provide a framework for developing better forms of community life. that is. 77 Ibid.
35 Activities characterised along the lines of gender difference were supposed to be carried out by women in harmony with the understanding of another difference drawn along class lines. 79 Ibid. Tanay identifies the education of the working-classes by the educated upper. Both Zsuzsanna Göncz and István Károly reported that the Kozma-Street Settlement had two generations of workers. She claims that “the settlement movement has its roots in the ideology of democracy. by referring to the idea of democracy. Following a one-year break after the Second World War he resumed working at the settlement as its leader until 1948. Ta nay’s main thesis justifies the involvement of middle. older generation consisted of well-to-do upper class mentors who helped with the establishment of the settle ment. István Károly also started to attend Kozma street as a high school volunteer in 1938. He remained working there while studying at the University of Economics between 1940 and 1944. p. née Zsuzsanna Göntér and Mr. 73. István Károly. Since the status of women as social workers is also embedded in their relationship with other social workers. Göncz.[ …] The social class whose members have enjoyed the privilege of knowing more arose to their responsibilities”79 .2 The Presence of Gender-Based Difference Making in the Interaction of Social Workers The class and gender character of the practice of social work before the Second World War reflected in the documents are further confirmed by the oral history interviews. Göncz. Zsuzsanna Göntér started to work at Kozma street as a volunteer in 1942 while she was still a high school student.and upper-class women in social work. 80 Mrs.and middle-classes as the main democratic driving force behind the idea of the settlement. the following chapter will give an account of the gender differentiation built in the interaction of social workers. Oral history interviews were conducted with two of the former workers of the Kozma-Street Settlement Mrs. who otherwise were not expected to perform in the public or take on wage work. As a graduate professional she became a full-time employee at Kozma street. Because of the war she graduated after two years from a two and a half. Although placed to various other locations she remained in the field of social work as a state employee until 1952. The first.4. Mr. after which social work as a profession was soon abolished. 4. .year long Social Course offered by the University of Economics in Budapest in 1944.
we were in a sort of mother-child relationship with her”83 . for example. István Károly. The fact that this was more true for women than for young men was only hinted at by Mrs Göncz: “I was almost her child in those few years. and started doing social work. were not there any more when we were there. That was a separate world in the settlement. 81 The “Blue Sisters” were members of the Social Mission Society. 85 80 The oral history interviews were conducted by Dorottya Szikra and Eszter Varsa between December 2004 and April 2005. […] She loved me very much. December 2004. 84 Ibid. Göncz reports that the relatio nship between the so-called second generation and Aunt Ilus. 82 Iterview with Zsuzsanna Göncz. there was a group of youth from the “neighbourhood” who.”81 By the beginning of the 1940s it seems the leadership consisted of Ilona M. Besides state employees there were a number of volunteers as well of whom some remained working for Kozma street after they graduated from university. December 2004. such as teaching or giving lectures. Aunt Márta. First. The name refers to the colour of their uniform. remembered his relationship with Ilona Földy in rather different terms. us young people. . Interview with Zsuzsanna Göncz. and a group of three to four other women. […] She only scolded me once and that was really terrible. took on some responsibilities in the work of the settlement. Mrs. That was my world”. “My mother was on very good terms with Ilus. as well as the entire first. with time. it is a generational difference put in gendered terms: “I united those youth. […] These dispersed and the Blue Sisters remained. […] But in short. Further on.generation was very loving. That was a different world.”84 As opposed to Zsuzsanna Göncz.36 “Those with whom they established the Kozma-Street Settlement. “was everyone’s mother”82 . The leader of the legal aid and employment office. founder of the Kozma-Street Settlement. who with the assistance of two other university friends of his took on the leadership of young men from the “neighbourhood” staying at Kozma street. there is a difference making that is always clearly gendered. Földy. as they called her. But with young men she had from the outset a different sort of relationship. Underlying the various motives he lists to explain their difference and at times their opposition. 83 Ibid. We were a sort of second generation.
basic research. This is further supported by the fact outlined earlier. “We were her Ladyship’s. 85 86 Interview with István Károly.ofensége segíto ellenzéke”. such as a generational struggle or a disagreement about the content of work. hanem. and Ilus was the official line”. January 2005. István Károly underlines this element of the settlement idea when he states that “besides family protection. a nursery and a day-care. but her Ladyship’s helping opposition. not paid enemies. Uplifting the poor and educating them in many cases went hand in hand with processes of colonisation. 89 All these examples illustrate that there was a gender based differentiation among colleagues in social work that could take on different masks. January 2005. that settlement work was from its start built on gendered terms. The case of the settlement in the 1930s and 1940s of Hungary also appears to contain an added racial element besides that of gender and class outlined above. Interview with István Károly. . grounded in thorough research. Ibid. These are all female occupations”.4.37 Referring to the fact that Ilona Földy worked on larger organisational tasks related to the leadership of the settlement he later added a task-oriented element when saying that “we [the youth group] were the social line. We only reached the level of doing […] simple. In order to have a better understanding of these processes it is necessary to first have a brief look at the context of social work practice and social policy making in the decade preceding World War II. January 2005. or small exhibitions on how much sugar one needs a day […] only such things. 89 Interview with István Károly. January 2005. 4. 88 István Károly believed that the work needed to be placed on more scientific terms. there was a kindergarten. It demonstrates that on the personal level of social work practice the institutionally set up tasks retained their gendered nature.3 Differentiation along Racial Terms in the Practice of Social Work The idea of educating the poor and the less privileged sounds familiar from the history of the women’s movements. Here dimensions of class difference are often interwoven with that of ‘race’ too. 88 Interview with István Károly.”87 The young men were critical about the lack of scientific approach to social work. Behind this latter critique one may also sense a reference to a gendered division of tasks. 86 Other instances of separation were phrased in terms of a criticism of the content of the settlement work led by Ilona Földy. 87 „Mi voltunk az ofensége –nem fizetett ellensége.
as it was called by that time. Among the areas of activities outlined. “the fundamental cell units of the nation”. The first sentence on the opening page of the journal states the goals of the Kozma-street community: “In one word: The education of the nation. houses and loans with in kind benefits for about twelve thousand small houses altogether. A journal published by the “community of social workers” at the Kozma-Street Settlement in the beginning of the 1940s92 is a good illustration of the coming together of such class. such as seeds to plant vegetables or loans to start up own ventures. Covert racial preferences were clearly present in social work practice by 1935. Századvég. Following this identification of an ethnically selected target group. the publication also contains an element of class differentiation that has been basic to the settlement idea: the uplift of the poor working-classes. Krisztián. Working to create a more compassionate. The essence of productive social policy. better united and happier. this fact indicates that the journal must have been produced between 1942-44.38 By the mid-1930s the "social state". Thus behind the idea of greater democracy and the reallocation of resources in a “just way”. whom the editors identified as as “a student of social work”. the year when Kozma street was founded. Zsuzsanna Göntér. Based on an interview with Mrs. Besides containing a clear gender element in supporting women to give birth to more children. 92 Although the journal is without reference to its date of publication there is a passage in it by Zsuzsanna Göntér. p. Recent research showed that by the end of the 1930s productive social policy was partly financed from state income gained from extra levies put on and the closing up of Jewish enterprises 91 .and ethnicity-based difference making. the state policy favouring poor families and workers contained the seeds of nationalsocialism. (See ONCSA in our first chapter) 90 . Göncz. 93 According to the slogans of the journal this work was to be achieved by educating families. Documents about the guiding principles of settlement work need to be evaluated against the above described tendency in Hungarian social policy. 93 Érdemes. inhabited by Christian families with children. the first one states: 90 ONCSA provided small lands. 91 Újváry. and only escalated towards the beginning of World War II. “‘Árjásítás’ és ‘modernizáció’”[“‘Aryanization’ and ‘Modernization’”]. it also embedded racial prejudice by favouring Hungarian and Christian working-class families with many children. 5. 3-37. as it will be described in more details in the next chapter. created the already mentioned “active or productive social policy”. Christian Hungary”. Instead of free lunch or money the policy allocated in kind support. . 2004 (4): pp. mainly in the countryside. entailed the encouragement of both material and biological reproduction.
95 The presence of ethnic difference making in the practice of settlement work is further stressed by the fact that none of our interviewees remembered a case when they would have encountered Gypsy or Jewish families at Kozma street. in the first decade of the last century. 94 Ibid. it might be the case that only a very small number of Gypsy or Jewish families were present in the given industrial area and our interviewees have not encountered ethnic minorities in any form. its culture. One such explanation might be that the Kozma-Street Settlement was so isolated from the rest of society that these historical events did not affect them so much. they will learn to feel attached to the great community of the entire nation by getting to know the many values of Hungarian life. and guided tours”. 5. however. however. Further research could show the actual ethnic constituency of Kozma street and the surrounding industrial settlements. might be that both of them suppress their memories concerning these events.”94 This description is permeated again by the thought of creating a better nation. The Professionalization and Institutionalization of Social Work in Hungary The beginnings of the formation of social work as a profession around the turn of the century are related to the appearance of social work as a field to be taught. A more likely explanation. its people and natural treasures through excursions. Also. The first courses started not much later. “We are educating by creating group unity […] later. Here we first discuss the changing meaning and definitions of social work and then turn to analyse professional teaching of social work. Finally. depends on how social work is defined. [these groups] will learn about other groups. By the 1920s various associations offered courses in social work and in the 1930s university level education began. The interesting fact that they could not trace back memories about any of their colleagues or clients having been bothered or arrested on basis of ethnic belonging during World War II also needs an explanation. and could reveal further facts about the ethnic dimensions of Hungarian social work before and during World War II. camps. . Where the starting point of social work as a profession is to be placed.39 “We are trying to uplift the poorer layers of society to a higher standard of culture through education.
well-documented help work within institutional frameworks. as the example of workhouses show. The ‘closed’ method of social work is institutional care. such as the Israelite Women’s Association. p. it can be also be a means of social care for the able-bodied poor (British model). mostly well-to-do middle-class women was partly taken over mainly in the field of poverty alleviation by civil administrators who worked in social administration established by the capital. established a few decades later in 1867. Ibid. 5. She separates this new type of social care that consisted of a “many sided and multi. Both of these basic types of care were present in Hungary.”97 Pik thus attaches the beginnings of social work as a profession to the establishment of complex social care services organized by the above mentioned Women of Good Deeds.1 Definitions of Social Work This chapter discusses altering definitions of social work. but. mainly given to the elderly. In the latter case criminalization of the social question was dominant. In Budapest the open-care was dominating and the level of services were much more developed than in the small provincial towns and villages. children and disabled. In the mid-19th century the work of these. She places the start of organised and planned socia l care to the first half of the 19th century with the foundation of the Association of Women of Good Deeds [Jótevo Asszonyok] in Buda and Pest and other similarly women-run organizations. Katalin Pik. devotes much attention to the changing forms of social care and social work. 6. “Descriptions [about the tasks carried out by the association] outline a type of work that can be called social work since it was not limited to distributions of benefits and charity but consisted of a complex..1. p. 19.1 The Beginnings of Social Work in the 19th Century Sociologist and social worker. . Pik. Pik draws attention to the fact that when the 95 96 Érdemes.layered service”96 from earlier attempts at alleviating poverty by charity work between the 16th and the 19th centuries. The ‘open method’ means (and this was the terminology that was used by contemporary experts) that the care is provided in the home of the client or in the streets (Eberfeld or German model). although with different weight geographically.Katalin. named and renamed according to shifts in the structure. Because of the limited space we focus our attention to the ‘open’ care and only refer to the ‘closed method’ of care. especially in the case of able bodied poor.40 5. The ‘closed care’ in these cases meant imprisonment several times and no real open care was provided. content and focus of welfare work.
a pedagogical.1. Poverty administration and decisionmaking about support was assigned to Public Charity Committees working at district councils. were not women any more. While Pik does not mention whether “Guardians of the Poor” were mainly male of female. Pik. A debate that appeared in the Newsletter of the Social Museum in 1911 illustrates what the major concerns around the definition of social wo rk in the first half of the 20th century. containing daily visits to the poor as well as taking part in the work of the committees suggests that women must have had an important share of this work. The work of the Committees was extended to child protection too. . Sections of the conference demonstrate the main disciplinary fields that were involved in the shaping of not only child protection but social work as well. Different subfields and areas of focus eme rged within the profession. a medical. The Social 97 98 Ibid. There was a legal. 98 This type of social work. but men. p.41 administration of poverty became the responsibility of city councils “the social workers of those times” occupying the new administrative positions. Districts were divided into sub-districts and were led by so-called “Guardians of the Poor” [Szegénygyám]. as opposed to the rest of the country. organized.2 The Specialisation of Social Work in the First Decade of the 20th Century The beginning of the 20th century brought about the specialization of social work. a philanthropic and a charity section at the conference. a religious and ethical. At the end of a four-year preparation period for the conference a booklet about Child Protection Institutes in Hungary was published as well as an exhibition with national and international material was organized. The 1905 Decree about the Poor decentralized poverty alleviation in the capital. the description of their tasks. 5. Child protection was among the first to appear. 39. The importance of child protection as a theme in social work is signified by a conference in 1899. 24. The emergence of such specialization and professionalization in social work is further underlined by its altered structure in the capital in the first decade of the 20th century. The job of the so-called “Fathers of the Poor” [Szegényatyák ] had a much more bureaucratic character than that of the “Women of Good Deeds”. p. financed and partly carried out by local authorities was the characteristics of Budapest. The International Child Protection Congress was held in Budapest that year with the goal of discussing the methodology of child protection.
Vol. Reference taken from Pik. 101 Pik. files of the former were kept in white. Prohászka believed social work was primarily to be defined as “love put into practice”. „Budapest háborús jótékonysága” [Wartime Charity in Budapest]. instead of “Guardians of the Poor” they were termed “Guardians of the Public” [Közgyám]. professional social work were present at the same time. Sándor. pressured by the altered face of poverty. 147. find sources of and provide benefits. Deutsch argued that the main stress was to be laid on professionalization and the education of “modern” social workers. He argued that it was not professional education but mainly personal attitude and Christian devotion that mattered in charity work. p. 102 The responsibilities of Guardians extended over a wide range of activities. (1915): 1-36. The two sides of the debate about the goals and methodology of social work were represented by Ottkár Prohászka. The cases of war victims were clearly separated from other layers of the poor. (1911): 1-9. p 146. Districts were divided in subdistricts where they were supposed to identify the needy. Erno. files of the latter group in green colour folders. 101 These two groups of the needy were kept well separated by the “Guardians of the Public” who wore a badge and could be distinguished even in the streets. Reference taken from Pik. As opposed to this. p 79.3 “Guardians of the Public” in the Years of the First World War The beginning of the First World War brought about a further alteration in the name of public social workers in Budapest. 102 Ibid. In 1915 there were 1840 registered Guardians in Budapest 103 most of whom were lay workers with no professional training and salary.42 Museum [Társadalmi Múzeum]99 was an initiative aiming to popularize health care among the general public and discuss the situation of the working-classes by organizing public exhibitions on related issues. In 1914.79-84. p. and even make suggestions towards establishing associations for these purposes. Vol. The war increased the number of people in need of assistance and included “not only a more or less clearly outlined and easily labelled layer of society but many others whom previously would have been impossible to be included among the poor and needy”. Városi Szemle. 3.1. 149. They held weekly supervisions with their district president. 100 . Prohászka. pp. 103 Hanvai.. Their roles included the regular supervision of those they assisted. 100 This debate illustrates well the diversity of the social work profession of the early 20th century Hungary. Hanvai was a the district president. their position in supporting or rejecting applicants’ claims was strengthened. 1. Ottokár. 5. Catholic Archbishop of Eger. the guiding father of the Social Mission Society and Erno Deutsch. „A modernn szociális munkásról” [About the Modern Social Worker]. in: A Társadalmi Múzeum Értesítoje [Newsletter of the Social Museum]. Nr. Both the conservative charity-type of social work and the modern. 99 Reference taken from Pik. „A személyes szolgálat a jótékonyságban” [Personal Service in Charity Work] and Deutch. During the years of the war. doctor. 3-4.
Nurses could be school or nursery teachers who had a high school diploma and completed an additional training for nurses organized by the City Council of Budapest. It was separated from the notions of philanthropy and charity. Although unsuccessful in supplying the centre with sufficient number of trained social workers. Child guards were to be “male or female trained specialists in child protection”106 nominated by Child Welfare Committee [Gyermekügyi Bizottság]. p. then termed public assistance [népgondozás] towards providing employment and establishing social institutions for the needy. 104 5. pay visits to families.lived. and consult with both teachers and the school doctor. Child officers were to be nominated by Child Welfare Offices [Gyámügyi Bizottság].5 “Assistants of the Poor” in the 1920s By the 1920s the expression “social work” became widespread.1. p. 104 105 Pik. provided afternoon care in the school and also organized clothes and milk distributions. Pik gives a short overview of the types of social work done in that time period. Their task was to supervise “the physical and psychological protection of children”. 106 Pik. during the years of the Soviet Republic in 1919 Csergo was hopeful that the majority of problems will nevertheless be solved by the state. Child Officers [gyermekbiztos] and Guardians of Children [gyermekgyám]. Pik paid specific attention to the work of School Nurses [iskola novérek] who were responsible for the welfare of school children in two to three primary schools per district.4 New Terminology in Child Protection in 1919 Child protection stood among the focus areas of social policy restructuring under the Republic of 1919. 173.43 There was an interesting initiative during the First World War that aimed to step beyond charity provisions and structure social assistance.173. The latter function was supplied by unemployed primary school teachers. The initiative was. They organized daily meals for children. In 1917 Hugó Csergo hoped to open a “Centre for Public Welfare” [Népjóléit Központ] and replace untrained voluntary “Guardians of the Public” with educated and paid “Public Welfare Assistants” [Népjóléti megbízottak]. however.1. p. The age group of clients provides the main areas of the description. . Based on a structure developed by Kálmán Csorna. 105 They were to stay in close contact with the parents of children. Ibid. Besides civil associations social work concerned with the well-being of children was carried out by so-called Child Guards [gyermekor]. short. By 1928 there were about one hundred such nurses in the capital. 5. 162.
44 The Norm of Eger. however. 5. the Church. It was developed by the Mayor of Pécs. The main invention of the Norm of Eger was the professional and systematic organization of open social care. Lajos Esztergár. p. They dealt mostly with the poor and old population. 253. in the end of the 1930s. and professional. Also. the public and the local government worked closely together to eliminate poverty. . The main idea of productive social work as defined by Esztergár and amended by the economist. We described the case of Hungarian settlements in detail in the previous chapter. It is important to note at this point.1. Zoltán Magyary. 254. ‘imported’ from Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries. Another important initiative of the 1920s was the Settlement-movement. how the focus of what was considered to be social work was modified by the introduction of the notion of productive social work. supplied assistance. Their work was partly successful.6 Productive Social Policy The last turn in the history of the profession of social work before the Second World War to be mentioned is the introduction of productive social policy shortly described in the previous chapter. and not only carried out an assessment of their social and financial background. Among the institutions set up was a Committee for the Assistance of the Poor [Szegénygondozó Hivatal] whose work was supported by so-called “Assistants of the Poor” who came from both a religious and a non-religious association of lay women. Ibid. It must be noted here that in the settlement movement too. mainly Christian charity. in certain cases social democratic ways of social work. the economic crisis in the 1930s created a demand for social services (especially unemployment insurance) that went beyond the possibilities of organized charity. however the work done by Public Welfare Assistants was still needed. both types of social work were present: conservative. 108 He also advocated that the main idea behind conducting social work must be clear to all social workers. 107 108 Ibid. but also supervised the use of the assistance given. Charitable orga nizations. p. As the Norm of Eger spread all over Hungary so did the position of Assistants. established in 1927 and its new structure of welfare assistance was described in detail in the previous chapter. In Guidelines to Social Work [A szociális munka vázlatáról]107 Esztergár established the importance of satisfying the “primary needs” of people: If “the satisfaction of the existential needs of individuals are strengthened” they will be able to find further means of improving their own situation.
112 While it was the earliest example of social work education 109 110 Ibid.. p. 5.functioning machine” where keeping all the fitted “elements in progress” equalled “the efforts of state power to improve social conditions”. Andor. . 112 Csizmadia.2 Social Work Education -The History of “Social Courses” Courses for social workers and social policy makers (including those working in public social administration on the central and on the local government level as well as those working in nongovernmental organizations like the Settlement movement or the Red Cross) were together called “social courses” [szociális tanfolyamok] in Hungary before the Second World War. Pik points out that at the end of the 1940s social work was slowly merged into the practice of health care.1. Social work. 319. in other words. First independent case-work was hindered with new directors placed above the social workers than they were simply placed to another department of the city council. It was not before the end of the 1960s that first attempts at the revival of sociology were made while social work officially was only restored at the end of the 1980s. social administration. defined to be superfluo us in the People’s Democracy. The first social courses were organized as early as 1907 by the National Alliance of Women’s Associations [Noegyesületek Országos Szövetsége] . 5. Research had to aim for uncovering these needs while social workers were to specialise and focus on a specific area of welfare work. based on actual social needs and problems. Interviews conducted by the authors show how social work as a profession gradually diminished. 111 Ibid. defined social work as “individualized social policy” must be related to the underlying idea about the purpose of social work as defined within the framework of productive social policy. 111 Social work discourse itself became more and more medicalized. the independence of social workers as actors on behalf of their clients was curbed. The fact that on a course for civil servants in 1939 Sarolta Lukács.7 The Disappearance of Social Work after 1948-49 The era following the end of the Second World War from 1948-49 onwards brought about the disappearance of social work as a profession. representing the Hungarian Red Cross. 254. p.. 109 He argued for the development of “an overarching structure for professional social work”110 . Ibid. Pik.45 Esztergár compared social work to a “well.
later on of three-month length. Courses ranged from hospital mission to patronage. . that later separated itself from the Social Mission Society.46 the initiative was not continued in the following years. Vol. courses for probation officers or youth leaders. 119 Pik. 118 According to Szokolay they offered three-day social courses at Catholic Colleges for Female Primary School Teachers [Katolikus Tanítónoképzo].123. 114 The first systematic and permanent courses were organized from 1911 on by the Social Mission Society (Szociális Missziótársulat). 119 The National Stefánia Association started a training for professional district nurses [védono] in 1916 for six. 118 Csizmadia. 115 Csizmadia. During the First World War social courses were focused on supporting war victims. the Society opened its Social College with a two-year course in 1926. moral pedagogy and psychology 2. 116 Pik. short ones of three classes a day lasting over a few days and longer ones. Sociology. 215. p. They lasted for four months with three classes a week mainly for the students of the National Association of Women’s Education but were not closed to others interested. Vice-President of the Budapest Orphan Guardianship Authority [Székesfovárosi Árvaszék] in an overview about the history of social courses in Hungary at the Conference on Hungarian Social Education in 1937 registered 50-80 students in these courses ran in Budapest and 100-600 students in the country-side.116 Leo Szokolay. 10. The ethics of work at an association.Ibid. like war orphans or female family visitors in 1916 and 1917. p. The Society also offered leadership trainings for women workers. 115 Receiving significant state support between the two World Wars. After the war.11. 898. lasting over several months with classes on two afternoons a week. 114 Ibid. 183. p. 113 The courses were held in the building of the National Association of Women’s Education [Országos Noképzo Egyesület]. they ran two schools educating thousands of students for social work in this period. Together with the Society of Social Sisters (Szociális Testvérek Társasága).. p. Andor .151. 307. Nr. “A hazai szociális képzés vázlatos áttekintése” [A Rough Overview of Social Courses in Hungary].és Csecsemovédelem [The Protection of Mothers and Infants] .898. p. 117 The schools of the Society of Social Sisters were located in Budapest and Cluj (Kolozsvár in today’s Romania). p. Katalin Pik also describes subjects taught: 1. Religion and ethics. the training for district nurses was developed into one of the most significant 113 Szokolay. p.week. Leo. 117 Szokolay. national economics and law 3. There were various sorts of courses organized. and organized presentations on social work for the general public. (1937): 897-905. Anya.
Szokolay. p. led by Lipót Nemes.47 social courses in the country. primary school teacher.. 899. 122 Theoretical education was provided not in the traditional form of lectures but seminars. p. offered by different civil organizations proliferated. 121 During the Republic of 1919 Child Protection Centres were formed. In the 1920s and 1930s social courses of various length and depth. p. Upon his initiative School Guardians [Iskolagyámok]. Among these. Theoretical and practical education lasted two and a half years and was designed to provide a double diploma of nursing and district nursing for the school’s own students as well as for students of the National Stefánia Association’s district nurse training. 120 In 1921 a one-year theoretical training was launched. 123 The Non-School Educational Committee [Iskolánkívüli Népmuvelési Bizottság] of the City Council of Budapest organized educational settlements for women in the 1930s where among others women were introduced to practical social work. were to be trained. 122 Ibid. one 120 121 Szokolay. Re-training courses were held in Miskolc (a city in the Northeast of Hunga ry) for unemployed intellectuals to do relief work in the social sphere. They organised 10-month courses for women who wanted to be professional social care providers [hivatásos szociális gondozóno] from 1926 to 1929 and provided follow-upcourses for their students later on. 29 altogether. According to the 1930 and later in 1933 modified decree by the Ministry of Welfare. Boarding school attendance was compulsory. The Committee supported the introduction of a new. 902. . who were employees of the Center. They educated public employees of district authorities’ social departments in Budapest as well as to voluntary social workers of Catholic Caritas and other Catholic civil organizations all over Hungary. students were to be between 18 and 30 and have a minimum of eight years of secondary school education. They offered courses for the public as well. 903. 123 Szokolay stated that the closed system of compulsory boarding school attendance had the purpose of preparing students entirely for social care as a profession and a career. The National Institute for Public Health [Országos Közegészségügyi Intézet ] started its national nurse and district nurse education in 1930. extended by a three to four year practical training. Although a decree about the compulsory training was formed it could not be carried out since the Republic fell the same year. courses organised by the Hungarian Red Cross were of crucial importance. By 1937 there were 115 Green Cross and 20 Red Cross nurses who graduated with the double diploma.
Among the 84 different classes offered there were some that clearly represented the new. Besides the strengthening of the ideology of fascism this course was the first. Budapest. University-level courses started in 1935 at the Faculty of Law at the University of Pécs (Southern Hungary) and in 1937 at the so-called “Social Academy”124 of the National Institute of Social Policy at József Nádor University. 129 Decree 4150/1942. 128 Ibid. according to Csizmadia. Reference taken from Pik. Budapest: Országos Szociápolitikai Intézet. The Social Academy in Budapest was designed and led by Béla Erodi-Harrach. 1946 – the order goes. economist. Classes such as ‘Social Policy in the Army’. Within the education of civil servants on public administration a special course was devoted to social administration in 1939. national-socialist type of social thinking. 198. All appointments to these teaching 124 A description of the course structure. The courses became compulsory for public servants working in social administration. as well as at the Faculty of Law at the universities of Pécs. and Debrecen. This 8. 1937.48 and a half year long social course in 1933 for ‘factory care workers’. 127 Csizmadia. 266. Budapest125 . 130 According to the decree these courses were to be taught by university professors who were either members of the above mentioned faculties or invited professors. p. This. p. one at József Nádor University. ‘The Social Policy of Fascism’ or ‘The New Portuguese Social Policy’ are cases in point. p. of course could not become reality because of the war. . ME 130 No public official in the social sphere could be appointed without the completion of one of these courses from January 1st . Szeged. The structure of these courses formed bases for developing further university courses from 1942 on at several universities in Hungary126 (see later). Budapest and another at the University of Cluj. 125 In today’s Corvinus University of Economics.month course was made compulsory by the Ministry of Interior for civil servants as “the success of social care was up to them”127 . The Act on the Protection of People and Families (ONCSA) in 1940 authorized the government to organize social courses at Hungarian universities and make the completion of these courses compulsory for certain groups of civil servants. leading figure of the Hungarian settlement movement. 183. methodology and goals was published in A Szociális Akadémia [Social Academy] . 126 Csizmadia. that demonstrated the fact that “Hungarian social policy got beyond charity”128 .129 These were organized at two faculties of economics. Courses lasted for two semesters. The decree establishing these courses came out in 1942. Courses were led by Mária Baloghy.
there were 190 students enrolled altogether. ethics. Courses could be taken by university students and also by those graduated in high schools. Students had 17 classes a week and had to pass examination in each of the courses at the end of each semester. 133 Interview with Zsuzsanna Göncz. ethnography. Still. 81 were ‘normal’ university students. 132 The university course was planned to last for four semesters but the last semester in 1943 was cancelled because of the developments of the Second World War. Katalin. the Act on the Protection of People and Families had an aim to protect people and families of Hungarian origin as opposed to people of other races in the country. Árpád Göncz. economics. In the latter case they became ‘special’ students of the university. statistics and agriculture. Andor Csizmadia. Katalin Pik provides a detailed account of the field trips and their report this student prepared. 131 132 One of these special students was Mrs. Pik. December. The fact that the Minister of Interior had control over these courses shows the political sensibility of social courses in the 1940s. 1942. in A szociális munka története Magyarországon. N. poor-policy etc. 133 These courses provided both theoretical and practical knowledge. As described earlier. 131 Some of the civil servants working in the social field were also enrolled. It seems that one of the purposes of the university-level social courses was to strengthen social administration and social workers in protecting the Hungarian ‘nation’. included psychology. Major subjects. 391-396. Theoretical education (accompanied by short visits to social institutions and a longer summer research in Hungarian villages) was organised in the first three semesters. among others. an aim that had a clear eugenic dimension. It is published in ‘Nép és Családvédelem’ (The Protection of People and Families). village-policy. pp. social and societal policy (within this protection of mothers and children. In case of ‘special’ students – coming from outside of the university – the ratio was just the reverse: out of 109 students 79 were women. 269284.M. “Szociális gyakorlatok munkanaplója 1941-bol”[Social Practice Report from 1941]. protection of workers. protection of health. 1817-1990 [The History of Social Work in Hungary. She had to visit all major welfare institution types. 2004. Based on an interview with a former student from 1941.49 positions had to be made with the agreement of the Ministry of Interior. author of a major study on social care in Hungary. 309. social psychology. p. 1817-1990] . a monthly series of the National Fund for the Protection of People and Families (ONCSA). adult education. social ethics. 134 The description of the courses together with the names of the teachers and other details is described in the order of the Ministry of Welfare. . conducted by Eszter Varsa and Dorottya Szikra. in Budapest. state and non-state run. students who completed the first three semesters gained their university diploma. social insurance. wife of the fo rmer President of Hungary.). 800/1942. education. Csizmadia. out of whom only 22 were women. Zsuzsanna Göncz. 134 The last – never realized – semester would have been field practice. history of economics. care for the elderly. In 1942 for example.
5. p.50 himself was one of the teachers at Cluj. . 85-88. pp. 309. [Guidelines for the Members of the District Public Charity and Child Protection Committees] . Without trying to provide a full picture of all available publications this section aims to describe two very different material social workers at the beginning of the 20th century and three. Arthur Károly. Budapest: Löbl Dávid és Fia: 1908. I must say that most of the students were hard working and that the outcome was satisfactory. Published in 1908 by lawyer Károly Arthur Szilágyi the Guidelines for the Members of the District Public Charity and Child Protection Committees [Vezérfonal a Kerületi Közjótékonysági és Gyermekvédelmi Bizottságok tagjai részére] 136 were among the first publications that contained the 135 136 Csizmadia. The increasing medicalization of social assistance described shortly above was also reflected by the fact that a new training for district nurses was established in the Institute for Health Care District Nurses in 1946. He made a personal note about this at the very end of his book: “The writer of this book conducted the exams of his students in Kolozsvár [Cluj] at the beginning of the year 1944. Reference taken from Katalin Pik. Vezérfonal a Kerületi Közjótékonysági és Gyermekvédelmi Bizottságok tagjai részére.four decades later made use of.”135 5.4 Practical Guidelines for Doing Social Work Parallel to the beginning of social work education the first publications about the structure of social provisions. […] It is a pity that we do not have data on the number of students completing these courses. Thinking about the exams. the end of a short lived democracy in 194849 brought about the disappearance of social work until its revival after the systemic changes in 1989. The sights of former social work practice became part of either medical or educational institutions.3 The Disappearance of Social Work Education after the Second World War As referred to earlier. poverty alleviation and welfare provisions as well as the tasks and resources of social workers appeared. a few days before the invasion of the German troops. Szilágyi. The training of social sisters. following the Second World War. Only the training of nurses with a background in health care education was continued. The first was for the use of social workers in public administration while the second mainly addressed members of catholic civil organizations. social district nurses was stopped.
Important biographies in the field 6. Karitász Évkönyv. 85. Pik draws attention to the smooth language used in the Yearbook that provides an image of the Hungarian pre-Second World War welfare system as available for most of the needy. pp.1 Introduction The history of social work is filled with an enlarged form of the same contradiction as written history itself. Referring to the model of Mary Richmond. . a miniature part of it is about them. A Yearbook of Social and Charity Activities] . 137 Guidelines declared that state provided child protection must collaborate with civil organizations. There were no signs given about acute social problems. Reference taken from Katalin Pik. that is social workers doing professional child protection work. instead of fulfilling administrative tasks only. and the general gender blindness of Hungarian scholarship. Szilágyi. 137 138 Pik. Szociális és karitatív évkönyv [Yearbook of Charitas. The Yearbook of Caritas [Karitász Évkönyv] 138 was a publication of the Catholic Church founded in the second half of the 1930s. He also drew on the example of the American probation officers to state the necessity of trained specialists. there are hardly any sources about them.and social workers in a time period when the Norm of Eger became widespread in Hungary and was already called the Hungarian Norm. The missing knowledge about the history of social work.51 expression “social worker”. A double silence veils our subject. and they had a considerable role in its establishment. Molnár Frigyes (ed. 6. 1936. one of the lawyers committed to the improvement of child protection and supported the initiative of the Child Protection Committee of the Chamber of Lawyers of Budapest that suggested the introduction of such committees at the District Public Charity offices. Although most of social work has been done by women. Pik notes that available publications were to be found up till 1942. Charity workers and nurses of Caritas were presented as able to provide sufficiently for the poor and the old. Although half of its subjects are women. 306-309. The name of the publication was changed in 1937 to Almanach of Charitas. It served as guideline for catholic charity. Budapest: Katolikus Karitász. Szilágyi claimed the importance of structured support instead of “charity by chance”. Also productive social policy was developed only a few years after the foundation of the publication. In the case of social work it is even more so.).
schools etc. counsellors (see Országos Stefánia Szövetség or Zöldkeresztes Mozgalom). which need further investigation. its practice was revived. district nurses. The names of women who played an important role in the history of Hungarian social work are only known when they were active in other spheres as well (such as the feminist movement – see Roza Bédy-Schwimmer or politics – see Margit Schlachta).( For example Princess Zsófia Hohenberg .ies. however. The list is not all. has not inspired a biography yet. 6. If one comes across the name of someone associated with social work. One is the noble patronesses of associations. but its history. usually wives of famous men or holders of important titles. Now we will concentrate on those women who played an important role in the history of social work. which were also undesirable disciplines in the darker years of communism. Through the professional development of social work we find two different types of women whose names are often preserved in documents. many left Hungary or retrained themselves. it is usually a man: Dezso Hilscher or Lajos Esztergár (both active between the two world wars).52 There are many reasons for the former one. institutional structures. Its protagonists were replaced. when the slow comeback of social work started in the 1980.. Even his life. social work could not.2 Where do women appear? If we look at the different clusters where we can find women the ngo-s and women only groups come to mind at first. This includes the wiping out of social work after 1947. Hilscher’s name was chosen for example to name the oldest contemporary professional association ( Hilscher Rezso Szociálpolitikai Egyesület – Rezso Hilscher Social Policy Association). Whereas sociology and psychology returned to its previous high prestige place. residential homes. or the history of movements are still easier to reconstruct than the lives of important figures. Contrary to psychology or sociology. In religion we find nuns and lay sisters who did social work (see Szociális Missziótársulat for example).inclusive. among lay professionals we find kindergarten teachers. Most of these organizations were mentioned previous ly. and the memory of its important personalities did not. which was founded in 1989 by the teachers and students of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. patroness of the Országos Gyermekszanatórium . some of which were tackled in our previous chapters. which was equivalent with wiping out its memory as well. names without references often occurred during our study. It is highly evident in the case of biographies: laws. who usually played only a symbolic role in the everyday life of their protégées. where written sources are scarce and scattered and a thorough research is needed.
140 Dr. Budapest: Anthos. Brunszvik was born as a noble woman in Martonvásárhely.3.1 Teréz Brunszvik (1775-1861) Although her lifespan lies out of the timeframe of our research. 139 In the same year came out Katalin Gero’s professional memoir about the history of the Pesti Izraelita Noegylet – Pest Israelite Women’s Association and its girls’ foster home.53 Egyesület . Before 1945 three important books shed light on the structure of Hungarian social life. history of education. Hers is the only name in the history of social work that is mentioned today in the training of district nurses. A szeretet munkása (The worker of love).3 Detailed biographies 6. Her full and diverse life can be reflected in many mirrors (national awakening. which was later followed by a training school for girls. she cannot be left out of a biographical chapter on this topic. 1937 141 Dr Ilona Imre. memoirs or studies on social work. and the care of expectant mothers and children. but unfortunately give very little information on the authors themselves: Rózsa Szentkereszty (Nyegre ) published a trilingual handbook of the system of the Hungarian social network in 1937.National Stefánia Association in the 1930ies) The other is the names of women who reached a higher rank in the established social work hierarchy. where the young Beethoven was employed to teach the girls (she is also believed to be Beethoven’s „ eternal love”. Finally female names occur when they are authors of textbooks. but Hungarians still know her mostly as „the mother of kindergartens”. Übersicht der Socialen Institutionen in Ungarn Budapest: Cserépfalvi. or her Majesty Queen Zita.National Children’s Sanatorium Association in the 1910s. 1937 Katalin Gero. where she was directress. patroness of Országos Stefánia Szövetség. were heads of department at the social offices of Budapest or elsewhere (see Ilona Imre). music history. Ilona Imre published her book on the official social work of Budapest in 1944. Budapest székesfováros szociális munkája és intézményei (Social work and instituions of Budapest) Budapest: Actio Chatolica. the „Angyalkert” (Garden of Angels) in Buda in 1828. 1944 . 6. to whom many letters are addressed). as she is still the best known woman associated with what today we would call social work. 141 She worked in the 9th department of Budapest Local Government responsible for social work. women’s history). queen to the by then dethroned last Habsburg-Hungarian king. Károly IV. During her travels to Switzerland Brunszvik discovered Pestalozzi’s methodological work and inspired by this opened the first kindergarten in Hungary. 139 140 Rose Szentkereszthy. (Rózsa Nyegre).
already a noble woman. cultural and social life of Hungary. who later played an important role in the 1848 revolution. bishop of Székesfehérvár. Its foundation was strongly influenced by the views of Ottokár Prohászka. her coffin was drawn across Budapest as that of a national hero in a grandiose funeral march. In 1879 Emperor Franz Joseph gave her a golden cross of distinction and ennobled her and her family to acknowledge her caring for wounded soldiers during the occupation of Bosnia. social work she took an active part in the rehabilitation work of the Prisoners’ Aid 142 Teréz Brunszvik. This organization soon became one of the biggest charity in Budapest that reached non-Jews as well. which was started in 1866 by Pest chief rabbi Alajos Bischitz Meisel Wolf and eleven ladies. She was also one of the founders of Pesti and Budai Noegylet (First Pest and Buda Women’s Association). when emancipated Jews contributed a great deal to the economic. Budapest: Magyar Zsidó Múzeum. God is with You! Diary of 1848-1849) Budapest: Argumentum.” (We must not forget that at the time she was writing about this Hungary was not independent). professional social workers. 1999 143 Julia Richers. and worked for the Katolikus Novédo Egyesület (Catholic Woman’s Protective Association). By 1944 they ran 450 missions and 20 missionary houses (regional centres). Mrs Dávid. Magyarország. beside its youth movement and a college to train social workers. 143 6.2 Johanna Bischitz. the first Hungarian female monastic congregation based on Benedictine teachings. Ed. When she died. née Fischer (1866-1943) Her life stands for a golden era. Farkas came from the upper class.3. she studied to become a teacher. „Jótékony rablás csupán? A Pesti Izraelita Noegylet tevékenységi körei (1866-1943)” in A zsidó no (The Jewish woman) A catalogue to the exhibition under the same title in 2002. 2002 . part of the Catholic women’s movement from an early age. (In this case they also formed a religious sisterhood). She was the founder and president of the Pesti Izraelita Noegylet (Pest Istraelite Women’s Association).3. For her cause she won members of the Hungarian reform and national awakening movement. trained.3 Edith Farkas (1877-1942) She was the founder of the Szociális Missziótársulat in 1908. 6. 142 In her view girls’ education is important because they are the future mothers who are responsible for the „future of the nation. Veled az Isten! Naplófeljegyzések 1848-1849 (Hungary.54 In less than a decade fourteen lay kindergartens were set up in the country. Zsuzsanna Toronyi. still voluntary. Farkas’s pioneering idea was to replace the lay volunteers in social work with full time. In her first. a „religious community of professional social workers”.
A hivatalos pártfogó (The probation officer). It had an instrumental role in opening up a debate about vote for women. but considered a clerical. 145 6. Weltkrieg. and Mrs Oszkár Szirma i also played an important role in the overlapping spheres of the feminist movement and social work (especially child protection).. Planted by Running Water. where she died. A no és a társadalom (Woman and Society) and later A no (Woman). trafficking in women and girls’ 144 145 Edith Farkas. and while a student in a Catholic teacher trainer girls’ college. This inspired her to write her first book on the role of the probation officer. 1997. 1999. . and entered the Szociális Missziótársulat . She emigrated to the USA. readings at a conference under the same title. Die bessere Halfte – Frauenbewegungen und Frauenbestrebungen in Ungarn der Habsburgermonarchie 1848 bus 1918 . században . later president.legitimist threat by the communists. and women’s rights. when in 1908 she founded the radical feminist Femisták Egyesülete (Feminists’ Association). Social work. and had very good international relations. The Story of Charism(unpubkished dissertation. Konstantin Zimmer. In the short after war democratic period she was again MP. of Notisztviselok Országos Egyesülete (Women Administrative Workers’s National Association).55 Society. Jean Marie Renfro SSS. Margit Balogh.3. This association fought for equality for women in all forms. Budapest: 1912. Schlachta Margit Budapest: Corvinus.4 Margit Schlachta (1884-1974) Her name is preserved as the first Hungarian woman MP in 1920-1922. the Szociális Testvérek Társasága (1923-1949) and the Katolikus Noi Szociális Képzo. a „keresztény feminsita” in Asszonysorsok a 20.3. Sozialarbeit katholischer Christen in Ungarn vor dem II. She also worked as chief editor for journals: Keresztény No (Christian Woman) and Magyar No (Hungarian Woman). In 1944 she rescued Jews from the Holocaust in the buildings of her institution. Vilma Glüklich. Budapest. but her institutional role in social work is also very important. Irma Kopasz S:M: The Social Mission SOciety (A FAculty of the National Catholic School of Social Service of the Catholic University of America . „Schlachta Margit. Susan Zimmermann. Bédy edited two journals. Fraiburg im Bresgau: 1993. Two other members of the Association. prostitution. Los Angeles 1985) 146 Ilona Mona.5 Róza Bédy-Scwimmer (1877-1948) She was a pioneer of Hungarian feminists. Later she founded its separate branch. She worked as an accountant and member. protection of mothers and children. she discovered her calling: Christian social work for women. its managing director. 2000. MA dissertation. 144 By the end of her life Farkas received several decorations from state authorities and from Pope Pius X. but their lives have not been researched. and she is remembered by many as the „Christian feminist”. 146 6. 1949).in 1908. She was born of a Polish noble father in Hungary. Budapest: Napvilág. (Catholic Women’s Social School).
but got the World Piece Prize in 1937. who started a national movement for the preservation of mental health in 1936.8 Júlia György (1896 – 1977) She was a psychologist and paediatrician. She published several books on the psychological aspects of the antisocial character. 147 6. 1929. 148 Her detailed biography can be also be read in our second case study. Between 1945 and 1950 she continued her mental health program and organised homes for abandoned children. Galilei Circle. Életem (My life). a very interesting settlement which was her idea. A year later she. and probably as a Jew. See also: Pik. specialised in delinquent youth and problem children. when her work was again diverted by the authorities. 6. Due to her good contacts. an ambulatory clinic for children and a career guidance service. author of two memoirs. under the auspices of the Országos Izrealita Patronázs Egyesület (National Israelite Patronage Association) she started a kindergarten for children with special needs. 6.3. Földy’s career is about the history of the Kozma utcai Telep (Kozma street settlement). Ibid. she became suspicious and lost her job in 1939.56 education were all important topics. and active in her profession in the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.7 Ilona Földy (1907-1981) Just as Edith Farkas’ or Margit Schlachta’s biographies are intertwined with the history of the Social Mission Society. she worked hard to save children. (1853-1944) She was the director of the Jewish Girls’ Orphange run by the Pesti Izraelita Noegylet. As a member of the left-wing intellectual circle. Same author. Die Bessere Halfte… Katalin Gero. and went to the USA. She was one of the first practising criminal psychologists in Hungary. .3. During the Holocaust. 147 148 Suzan Zimmermann. In the 19100920ies.3. She did not get citizenship because of her pacifism. She left Hungary in 1921 because of growing anti-Semitism. Her detailed biography can be read in our second case study. she later worked in London.6 Katalin Gero. Since 1953 she again became an established figure of child psychology and opened the Budapest Child Psychology Clinic. In 1913 she organized an international women’s congress in Budapest. and became a pacifist during the first world war. A szeretet munkása….
149 Both require luck to find them. The documents were researched by Teréz Pálovics. Her husband was deputy mayor of Budapest. thoughts.57 6. One possible source might be oral history interviews or personal papers left in archives. protector of BRISZ (Budapesti Ranolder-intézeti Iskolatársak SzövetségeAlliance of the School Friends of the Ranolder Institute). As it was shown. 7. Mrs Schuler Dezso. an important training ground for Catholic social work in the 1930ies. health visitors etc ? We know hardly anything about their lives. High ranking social worker in the 9th department of Budapest Local Government in the 1940ies. Szidónia Ghiczy . See Biatorbágyi . lay sisters. Ilma Imre . volunteers.1 Introduction Katalin Gero (1853-1944) and Ilona Földy (1907-1981) were only partly contemporaries. What about the mass of nameless women who worked as district nurses. who retired to work for the poor of a derelict area called Kurucdomb in the town. even important.. a girls’ orphanage in downtown Budapest and a settlement for workers in the outskirts of the city. author of an important source about the structure of state social policy in the interwar years. In our sketchy list we tried to collect morsels of biographic information about women in the history of Hungarian social work. cases and accumulated knowledge. they directed two different types of social institutions. They were connected organisationally to different 149 Local history might be another source. whose main field of interest was poverty and homelessness in Budapest. Biatorbágyi Krónika in the 1990ies. In the case of Biatorbágy. a series of documents about the history of the local kindergarten were published in the village newspaper. Dr.4 Short biographies In the following part we mention the names of other important women in the history of Hungarian social work. leading figures are difficult to trace down by facts due to factors mentioned in our introduction. a teacher in Sopron. an ethnic German-Hungarian village about 20 kms out of Budapest. members of associations. teachers. by organizing a home laundry service in the 1930ies. social workers. Little biographical facts are available about them without further detailed research. The Biographies of Katalin Gero and Ilona Földy A Case study 7.
1997 May. 1997 July. Budapest. a novel Hungarian Christian order focused on social work for girls. being the origin of all stories. 150 József Kiss. the grand scale social frame of the woman’s caring tasks within a family. the revolution of 1848. It was the mother in the family who discreetly ran the estate with her accumulated agricultural management knowledge. one of which is the transforming of aspirations. bonds and feelings of natural motherhood to their professional lives. 1884. True or only a speculation. and published in Leipzig in 1884 as Das Lied von der Nähmaschine. It was translated by László Neugebauer into German. Within one year of the wife’s death. the life of the Gero family takes a tragic turn. her life can only be traced by investigative methods leaving considerable foggy patches. Katalin. none of the institutions survived the post-war communist takeover. their biographies share some similarities. Her father was the descendant of a Polish freedom fighter refugee.58 beliefs: the Pest Israelite Women’s Association.2 Katalin Gero (1853 Hévízgyörk . Mese a varrógéprol (The Tale of the Sewing Machine) is by József Kiss (1843-1921). (Katalin. 1997 June. is the mortar of the family structure. conservative or not. Budapest. and the Social Mission Society. which might be interpreted as a basically conservative world view. bringing a disagreeable stepmother with her own children to the household. 1995 April. Elek Benedek. 1997 March. As Ilona Földy did not write books. children’s book writer and translator of the Grimm brothers Krónika in the following issues: 1995 May. With her sudden death when Katalin was only a teena ger. who admires her charitable deeds. 150 Both of these works are fiction based on a true story. A Novel for Young Girls). This leads automatically to the often quoted question. because of her autobiography published in 1929. whether social work is quintessentially feminine. where their father fought. 7. a Jewish charity. whereas “Katalin” is by the most famous Hungarian folk tale collector. The names of both protagonists disappeared from national memory. 1997 September. only that of Gero’s is to be found in library catalogues. 1896 . From that time on Katalin’s life becomes a Hungarian version of Jane Eyre’s trials so much that her life story inspires two famous writers. Let us recover now as much from their biographies as possible. 1997 April. 1997 February. however.1944 Budapest) She was born in the Hungarian countryside as the daughter of a mother who came from an old Jewish family who had been leaseholders to the same landlords for two hundred years. a Jewish poet and editor. The mother. It is thanks to these two literary works popular in their times that her memory was preserved. The family had six children who were raised in a patriotic atmosphere. whereas the father was more interested in studying and leading the life of an intellectual. Regény fiatal lányok számára. Katalin’s father remarries. Zsófia Benko. 1997 October. her figure is very important to the young Katalin. Nevertheless. Mese a varrógéprol (The tale of the sewing machine).
which was so succesful that two further reprints followed in 1942 and 1953 in Zürich. Soon he becomes one of the main playwrights for a legendary actress. Sámuel Kohn and Lajos Venetianer. her younger brother. (It is through such a client that József Kiss learns her story and writes it). This work leaves out alltogether Gero’s Jewish origin. Budapest. new and orphaned in a big city. pp. „decent” ones for poor Jewish girls. stood for the idea of „Jewish continuity in Hungary”. Turi Borcsa (Borcsa Turi).” Der Pester Israelitische Frauenverein von 1866 bis 1914”. A szeretet munkásai. Six Lifepictures). Just as in the case of József Kiss.59 and adapter of the Arabian Nights. the noted American Holocaust researcher writes in her book “Where She Came From”. Berlin. 152 The modernist „neologue” branch of Judaism in Hungary strongly supported the emancipation and cultural assimilation. An anonymous German translation came out in 1933 in Leipzig under the title Erfülltes Leben (A fulfilled life). A Pesti Izraelita Noegylet története. Budapest. Playwright (1856-1904). Soon she becomes an independent dressmaker working at houses of middle class Pest clients.. Just like in a fairy tale (no wonder she inspired the above mentioned works) she goes to Budapest and works as a seamstress in a workshop. where her mother’s memory was purposefully erased. Where She Came From. which can be helped by the fact that Katalin Gero did not mention her Jewishness at all in her autobiographies. Lizentiatsarbeit. only Jewish Hungarians. One should not forget that despite the eloquent language of Hungarian patriotism abundant in Gero’s autobiography it is only a few years after the legal emancipation of Hungarian Jews (1867). and the family was evicted from the ancient manor house she felt a responsibility to raise her three younger brothers and sisters. 1976. (Workers of Love. Az eladó leány (The eligible girl). 153 Helen Epstein. was in contact with the Women’s Association and its well-known president. Johanna Bischitz. 2001. his works include: Vadgalamb (Wild Dove). being a Jewess narrowed these possibilities. . 151 The biographies tell us how Katalin suffered in her father’s new marriage. Lujza Blaha. Basel. that this profession was one of the few. Helen Epstein. 152 The job opportunities of girls or women. an investigative feminist history of her Czech Jewish dressmaker mother. Sechs Lebensbilder (Fulfilled Lives. Károly. Katalin Gero wrote her autobiography as well that became a Hungarian and German success and wrote a book on the Women’s Association. This newly forming Jewish Hungarian identity can be traced in Gero’s autobiography as well. 1929. 225-243. stating that Jews had been living in the Carpathian basin since Roman times well before the Hungarian tribes arrived. Tunikás lányok (Girls in tunic). Elek Benedek (1859-1929). Erfüllte Leben. 154 Károly Gero’s young wife. Katalin Gero. Unpublished thesis. The history of the Pest Izraelite Women’s Association). Emmy Schermann. whose orphanage she directed. Jews in Hungary did not exist for them. Budapest: Osiris. were very scarce. finishes his law studies and becomes intertwined with theatre. 153 The hard working Gero children slowly make their life decent. The historiography of the German translation was investigated by Julia Richers in her thesis. Plume Book. Életem (My life). 1937. A Daughter’s Search for her Mother’s History. 1998 154 Károly Gero. Their theorists and historians. An interesting afterlife of the German version of her autobiography is a protestant collection by Marianne Fleischhack. A zsidókérdés Magyarországon (The Jewish question in Hungary). 2001. When her father went bankrupt overnight. Próbaházasság (Trial Marriage). On this see: János Gyurgyák. Katalin works as a popular dressmaker. someone tells her the 151 Katalin Gero. if not in factories.
The maintainer of the institution. When as a teenager she comes to Budapest to find a job and support her family. and later her orphans. and the successful kosher Soup Kitchen. Életem. who sent the engagement ring in an envelope from his deathbed) and several grave illnesses. but she chose the orphanage. Gero. she has become a grandmother: grandmother of the orphan’s’ children. a typical example of a pro-assimilation association that soon became one of the most important nongovernmental social institution regardless of faith in Budapest. 155 This interpretation of her life by this male writer is rooted in her own self image. she is offered the position of directress in the girls’ home run by the Association.1. a mother instead of their mother. she gets free permission to reorganize the institution pedagogically. The nickname „Mother Katalin” sticks to her until the end of her life. Her life is full of losses and tragedies.”156 Later when she accepts Johanna Bischtiz’s job offer she writes in her autobiography: „Marriage or the orphanage”157 . She is 45 years when she takes on the job in 1898. which inspires interest in the listener. as she was educated at home by private teachers as a noble young lady. Ibid. and only wears black..60 heartbreaking story of Katalin. because she is more then a mother now. writes Elek Benedek in his foreword to Életem (My Life).”. so as to be accepted as mother. We do not know if this was a hint to a refused proposal or only a theoretical choice. 8. which 155 156 Gero. p. Even having never attended any school. p. When Katalin Gero writes to Mrs. the Pest Israelite Women’s Association was founded by Johanna Bischitz in 1866. the death of her fiancé. then she becomes the mother of hundreds of orphaned girls. her „sacrifice” (of not getting married but working): her younger sisters. she changes her hairstyle in the manner of her mother. „Mother Katalin… What this woman has done can only be done by a woman. „I was young. It was one of the most important Jewish charity organizations in Hungary. so I had to dress in an old style. She sacrificed her own happiness for the happiness of her younger sisters. (a childhood love. These young girls prayed right indeed: between the walls of the orphanage they found a warm home. but the death of four out of five brothers and sisters. her brothers. All along her long life she keeps up herself with the belief that someone needs her work. Thousands and thousands of mothers and their children pray for the life and health of Mother Katalin. not only the death of her mother and the „betrayal” of her father. The two pillars of the association were the joint Girls’ Orphanage and Girls’ Home. . Bischitz in hope of a job. She transforms herself into a mother figure.
sees the reason for the founding of this institution in the fact that poor Jewish girls if orphaned faced a more tragic fate then their brothers. She belonged to a circle of upper class people with a vision of charity for the needy and 157 158 Gero. „Ibid. pp. It is well documented in Gero’s autobiography that the orphans came from all social classes and different parts of Hungary. Index of names . Department in the capital’s local government which was the maintainer of the Kozma street settlement and provided Földy’s salary. Ilona studied Hungarian and German at the University of Szeged. When Katalin Gero died in 1944 after a long. she seemed like a legendary figure. p. and the „nationalisation” of charity work by the communist system. See IV. and left with a teacher’s degree. During our work on the Kozma Street Settlement case study Ilona Földy’s name kept coming back. that Ilona Mária Földy was born in Budapest in 1907. Besides being a home it gave the girls education and training while preserving religious values as well. It is known however. „fulfilled” life. Ibid. Julia Richers. The Archive of City Council of Budapest holds the documentation of the IX. 158 a historian researching the association. were still ahead. 7. 159 In the oral history interviews about the Kozma street settlement Földy was mentiones several times. 159 Ilona Földy was the leader of the Kozma street settlement. and IV-1409C. a Social Mission sister standing behind her. Jewish schools for boys . Her life and work can be investigated with oral history methods and archival work. 65-75. whose cross emblem decorated the entrance to the settlement. She had a younger brother.1981 Chestnut Hill. A photo was preserved of her. Unfortunately legendary figures seldom come with facts. 297. The orphanage was opened in 1867 and fulfilled a great need. -1420M. whereas girls were often the victim of white slavery and prostitution in cities. including the Association. the Holocaust of the Hungarian Jewry and the closing down of all civil organizations.3 Ilona Földy (1907 Budapest . who could study in heders. In 1901 they moved into a bigger building which was supported by a modern teacher trainer institute and was joined by the Girls’ Home for poor motherless or fatherless children. Most probably she became involved with the Social Mission Society. ’Ilona Földy”. is more difficult to put together as she left no written sources behind. whom later had an interesting career as a communist army officer. that of Ilona Földy. List of Budapest employees. According to the subtitle on the photo they are on a mission journey. as Jewish girls could not get into Christian orphanages.61 served the poor of the whole city.Pennsylvania) The second biography.. where she is looking out of the driver’s seat. Julia Richers.
Soon Pálffy followed suit. where she often held team sessions with her colleagues. Probably his Jewishness was enough evidence of his „reliability”. with a special interest in young offenders. Her decision to emigrate was strongly influenced by the rumours that her brother.to-do. independent woman. he was called up to the Ministry of Defence. See Oral History interview with Mrs Göncz 1. Social Policy Department of the City Council of Budapest. Based on her brother’s fate her colleagues suspected that the family was of Jewish origin 160 . The leave was lengthened regularly. Part??) . György Pálffy. was executed. with good management and organizational skills and international contacts.62 working class youth. her brother is included in the Hungarian Biographical Encyclopaedia. working as an interpreter and publishing self. This circle included. nicknamed „Pubi”). He joined the Communist Party in 1945 and made a quick career in the political section of the Ministry of Defence tracking down war criminals. and Földy managed to get a US scholarship in 1947 to study social work. She was the engine behind the Kozma street settlement. and state official. the young students of social work admired her and called her „Aunty Ilus”. who had a two bedroom flat in a modern villa near Budapest’s city park. She was very active.financed Marxist brochures. but during the German occupation from March 1944 he was already saving the lives of Jews and communists with fake documents. Fülöp Rottenbiller (1867-1942.2. was never married. (Volume??. with whom she was in a very good relationship. and was executed in the most important 160 Mrs Göncz speculates that all officers employed in the Horthy system were inspected by the communist regime. Contrary to Ilona’s biography. Földy was an employee of Budapest City Council and in 1943 she made an oath as „chief social district nurse”. Although we do not have information about Földy’s family background. although she was only in her early thirties then. She dressed with style. however. In 1947 she asked for a three month unpaid leave to go to Sweden and Denmark. and one of the leaders of the patronage movement. which hint was supported by the fact that the phrase „regarded as non-Jewish” (as second to „pure Christian origin”) was stamped on her personal card kept at the IX. His superior. then had him arrested in 1948 in a fake trial. our oral history sources) she seemed a well. Lajos Földi (Földy 1909-0987) was a military officer. the head of the Counterintelligence Department in the ministry first promoted him. among others. and very few could make a new carreer. In 1941. but according to our sources she had a rich male friend. who resigned in 1937 to lead a more adventurous life travelling in France. a criminal jurist. to her younger colleagues (like Mrs Göncz or István Károly. and organize the transport of prefabricated wooden homes to Hungary.
shaken in its economic foundations.. dec. in Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr. then the system. one became a communist officer. as her sister was wrongly informed for some time. In Leányifjúság a settlementben (Girl Youth in the Settlement) she defines settlement work as follows: The goal of settlement work … is family social work: the uplifting of a working class strata declined in health and morals. and only rehabilitated in 1964. Ibid. Pál Kornis: Tanúként jelentkezem (I come forward as a witness) (Budapest. 1988). but never returned to live there. All along she supported financially her brother. consequently backward in culture and social sensitivity. 11.p. In the 1960s she visited Hungary. 108. the other a social worker with a Christian background. a short article about the care of young girls. and having a strong social work track). These and the following quotations are translated by the authors if not marked differently. Lajos Földi was imprisoned for years. „From the point of results the greatest problem of a settlement is the question of the personality of 161 György Markó: Pálffy György és utódai ( György Pálffy and his descendants). Lajosné Földi: Buncselekmény hiányában (Acquited for lack of crime) (Élet és Irodalom. shared a view of a better world. 22. sheds light on her socially sensitive but conservative world view. Later she worked as a social worker at the Traveller’s Aid Society of Philadelphia. 162 Ilona Földy. In one of the scarce writings remaining from Ilona Földy. in: Élet és Irodalom. however. Györgyné Pálffy: Pálffy és utódai?. in: Élet és Irodalom. This work can be a fight for justice and a total social change or a more peaceful systematic labour to adjust social problems.”163 This is more critical of the family of the girls.63 trial in Hungary. jan. sz. 107.. but he did not die. The aim of the first one is to prepare girls of 13-15 for „professional and reliable factory work in the spirit of a social sense of responsibility and taking responsibility. 1987. 1988. supposedly not so „professional„ or „reliable” in their work. 20. „Leányifjúság a settlementben” [Girl Youth in the Settlement] in: Novágh.).. 1989. already out of prison and two working class families in the since then closed down Kozma street settlement. nov. Both. 161 Ilona went to the United States in 1949 and was in connection with two women’s colleges (both of Quaker origin. 163 Földy. for which one can work for. 2. uncertain in job opportunities. . Apám a katpolos (My father at the political section). in: Mozgó Világ. 162 The young girls of this „declined” working class can take part in the following activities offered by the Settlement: „work school”. Péter Kováry E. „club” and „people’s education course”. It is an intriguing thought how the two Földy children went into different directions. Pennylvania. which made the families like this.. Gyula (Ed) Ibid. 1987. the Rajk–Trial.
and finally a very kind woman. who can create a home (…) She was in friendly terms with all her colleagues there (Kozma street). although started as a religious charity.64 the leader. and should be a devoted soul. rather in a mother-child relationship.4 Conclusion We sketched up the lives of two women. 23. The most important for these women. as directress of an institution or as a simple social worker in a foreign country. the author closes her essay. Interview 2 with Mrs Göncz. Ibid. the sort. Religion played a part in their professional lives through the institutions they served. both as a writer and as a muse. For those who were their clients or colleagues their professional knowledge and personal qualities were unquestionable. . 109. was their professional calling to help people in whatever set-up it was made possible: in the family. The leader should have a solid world view. Was Ilona Földy an ideal leader by her own standards? Mrs Göncz describes her using the mother comparison: Ilus was on the one hand a great organizer. 164 165 Földy. however. Ilona Földy’s name was only preserved in the memory of her studentcolleagues. The detailed investigation of their lives is made difficult by the fact that their institutions were closed down without a successor. Katalin Gero was once known because of her presence in literature. was incorporated into the state system through Budapest administration. whom we found important in the history of Hungarian social work. resourceful. has practical professional skills and good humour”164 .”165 7. which paid the employees. One of them. the other. on the other a great teacher. who is mentally flexible. but they represented two different types of approach to social work: one was a traditional Jewish charity financed by a civil organization. not really in a friendly.
1998 Esping-Andersen..hu/carus/honisme/Ho000000.] Magveto Kiadó. Hanvai. Andor. [Hungarian social policy after 1945. Ferge. Elek. Ilona. 22 Földy. jan. Margit. Katalin. http://www. 1937. the Christian Feminist] in Asszonysorsok a 20. A szociális gondoskodás változásai Magyaroszágon [Changing Forms of Social Care in Hungary]. Zsuzsa: Magyar szociálpolitika 1945 után. in: Élet és Irodalom. 1994. Városi Szemle. 1977. Benedek. Gyula (ed. (1915): 1-36.vjrktf. Életem [My life]. Gyógyul a magyar falu. God is with You! Diary of 1848-1849] Budapest: Argumentum. Ilona„ Leányifjúság a settlementben”.). Béla Dr. A szeretet munkásai. Gosta. Lajosné. 1896 Brunszvik. 1944 Johan. Budapest székesfováros szociális munkája és intézményei [Social work and instituions of Budapest] Budapest: Actio Chatolica. Regény fiatal lányok számára. Gyurgyák. Katalin. 3-4. Honismeret . Budapest: MTA Állam. . Özv.Budapest: Magyar Királyi Országos Közegészségügyi Intézet. Gábor: A szociálpolitika múltja Magyarországon. „Budapest háborús jótékonysága” [Wartime Charity in Budapest]. János. 1986. Budapest. The history of the Pest Israelite Women’s Association. Veled az Isten! Naplófeljegyzések 1848-1849 [Hungary. Katalin. 2001 Hámori. Jegyzetek. 1939. Ibid. [Workers of Love.] Földi. Notes.M. Helen. 1988. [Women’s Fates in the 20th c. Cambridge.és Jogtudományi Intézet. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism . A zsidókérdés Magyarországon [The Jewish question in Hungary]. Where She Came From (A Daughter’s Search for her Mother’s History) A Plume Book. 1929 Gero.] Budapest. “A fóti Suum cuique-telep története” (History of the Suum Cuique Settlement at Fót).65 Bibliography Balogh. [Healing Hungarian Villages]. Gero. „Schlachta Margit. Budapest: Osiris. Ferge.htm. [Chapters from the History of Hungarian Poor-policy. Epstein.] readings at a conference under the same title. in: Novágh. „Buncselekmény hiányában” [Acquited for lack of crime]. MTA. században. Vol. [The past of social policy in Hungary] Budapest. Teréz Magyarország. 2001 (1). Péter. Budapest. Budapest. A Pesti Izraelita Noegylet története. 2000. A Novel for Young Girls) Budapest. a „keresztény feminista” [S. Zsuzsa: Fejezetek a magyar szegénypolitika történetébol. 1990. Imre. Gyáni. Sándor. 1999 Csizmadia. (Katalin.
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