The Club of Budapest
IVAN VITANYI 1925 - 2021 In memoriam
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
A great and wonderful human being left his earthly attachments today: Ivan Vitanyi— my longest-term and closest partner and friend in this life. The co-founder (with Elemer Hankiss and Peter Zwack) of the Club of Budapest and the constantly active friend and supporter of the Club; Vitanyi authored several dozen books and hundreds of articles. A person who was always clear and always honest, never accepting a compromise in what he believed. Words cannot do justice to his memory. One had to be a friend of Ivan Vitanyi to know who he was — how true and great a human being could be, across vicissitudes and trials, and challenges to integrity and good faith -- never wavering from the path that was granted to him and in what he believed. A simple man — without the need for exaggerations and embellishments when it came to pointing out what is good in one’s own self, and what is right in our relations to each other. We can remember his passing by recalling and reliving the moments we have been privileged to share with him, and by bringing to new life his words and his deeds.
Caught between the polar opposites of left and right in the political arena, between good and bad, far-sighted and myopic in the moral field, Vitanyi remained true to himself. A true man ready to fight for a true cause whenever this was asked of him, regardless of the price in regard to his personal comfort and wellbeing. Ivan Vitanyi’s accomplishments have been, and remain, more than personal trophies — they are lasting resources for individual humans and for societies of humans, in his native country and on throughout the six continents.
Nourished by his spirit and empowered by his vision, we stand fast to live up to the memory of one whom some of us, this writer for one, has known in the flesh and was fortunate to count as his friend. His place can never be filled, but his achievements stand tall and light the way ahead: the way of an outstanding intellect who is a true, brave and honest human being.
Ervin Laszlo, The 6th of September, 2021