Friday, 7 November 2014


The man behind the street

Yesterday Conductive World mentioned the address, Stollár Béla utca 4, where András Pető's lived for most of his years in Budapest after the Second War, leaving only to take a taxi to his Institute on the day that he died in his office..

He lived at number 4. The street took its name from what had happened at number 22 on Christmas Day, 1944.

Béla Stollár was a young Hungarian sports journalist, and an champion stenographer. In 1943 he joined the Hungarian Army where his champion shorthand skills won him a job at the Ministry of Defense. When the Arrow Cross (Hungarian Fascists) came to power in 1944 he used official Ministry forms and office equipment to forge papers to save Jews and others likely to be persecuted.

He organised an armed resistance group that based itself at Klotild utca 22, a few hundred yards from the Parliament Building in Pest. On Christmas Day 1945 the premises were attacked by a lorry-load of Arrow Cross militia. Most of the group escaped across the roofs but Béla Stollár and a few others stayed on to destroy papers and to hold off the Fascists. In the end, all who stayed were killed.

After the War's end Klotild utca was renamed Stollár Béla utca. It retains that name today.

On 5 March 2003, Yad Vashem recognized Béla Stollár as Righteous Among the Nations.

All his is of course nothing directly to do with András Pető who did not live there till after the War was over. It is just another reminder that the conductive pedagogy that sprang from András Pető's personality, and from his particular experiences and circumstances, took root in a world very different  from that which most of us can visualise today.


– (2014) Béla Stollár, Hungary, The game of their lives: the stories of Righteous Among the Nations who devoted their lives to sport, Vad Vashem

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