Leo Szilard Centenary, Budapest -- Photographs

Please note: My photographs of the Szilard Seminar and the Parliament session were damaged during developing. Most film developers today use machines to develop negatives. These machines can jam, ruining the negatives being processed. It happened to me; it can happen to you. Be warned. Some of my images were recoverable, but only as low-resolution black-and-white. I will add pictures taken by other photographers as soon as I receive them. If you have good photographs, please let me know. -- Gene Dannen

George Marx, president of the Eötvös Physical Society, addresses the Parliament session.

The Leo Szilard Centenary was celebrated in Budapest from 9 to 11 February 1998. On 9 February, an all-day seminar was held in the assembly hall of Eötvös University. On the morning of 10 February, a Centenary Session honoring Szilard was held in the Congress Hall of the Hungarian Parliament.

photo The events were organized by Prof. George Marx (shown above and again at right), president of the Eötvös Physical Society. They were sponsored by the Eötvös Physical Society and Eötvös University, in cooperation with the American Physical Society, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the Pugwash Movement.

Attendance at the events was a tribute to Szilard's lasting influence. More than 30 years after his death, friends travelled to Budapest from far and wide to remember his legacy.

Personal recollections spanned much of Szilard's life:

George Litván recalled the Szilárd family from their Budapest days. John Silard described having Szilard as an uncle. Leonard Rieser and Ruth Adams remembered his work with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. George Rathjens talked about his efforts for disarmament.

photo Nándor Balázs discussed Szilard's theory of aging. Joseph Rotblat spoke about his work with Pugwash. George Klein delivered an eloquent summation at the close of the seminar.

For the full list of speakers, see the conference announcement.

At left: John Silard (Leo Szilard's nephew) listens to Nobel Laureate Joseph Rotblat. Larger image (63 KB)

photo The Parliament provided a dramatic forum for the session on 10 February. The Parliament is one of the most beautiful buildings in Budapest. These black and white pictures cannot do justice to its lavish decorations.

At right: John Silard addresses the Parliament session.

On the afternoon of 10 February, a commemorative plaque was dedicated on the house on Bajza utca where Szilard was born. (For the text of the plaque, see the website of the Hungarian Nuclear Society.) On 11 February, Szilard's ashes were laid to rest in the Central Cemetery on Kerepesi út.

Text and photographs © 1998 Gene Dannen

Created: March 9, 1998 Last modified: March 17, 1998
URL: http://www.dannen.com/98buda-1.html
Gene Dannen / gene@dannen.com

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