A few weeks ago, when putting up a story about the American saberists visit to Poland, I asked for and received some excellent help in figuring out some of the newspaper captioning.
Well, here I am again. But there’s a backstory. Let me fill you in.
I recently received an email – it went first to my fencing club, West Berkeley (http://www.westberkeleyfencing.com/) to our manager, Dennis. He forwarded it to me. It was a letter from one Dr. Geza Horvath (I’ll use the English order for names, just for consistency. In Hungarian, he would be Horvath Geza.) He is (was?) a fencer, and the brother of Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion Zoltan Horvath. He’s working on a number of projects and has reached out to the West Coast Fencing Archive for some help with a couple of things.
Now, Dr. Horvath doesn’t have a great command of English, although his English is better than my Hungarian. His initial note to me was translated by Eugene (Jeno) Hamori, Hungarian Gold medal winner with the 1956 Olympic team, 2-time US National Sabre champion, and 1964 Olympian for the US. So, many thanks, Dr. Hamori! The interesting thing was to have been asked to help – from all the way in Hungary! What a treat! In exchange for my assistance – which I can only hope to provide in sufficient return – he sent me a package containing a book he has written (in Hungarian), a proposal he is working on for the FIE, a great number of photographs, and digital files of 45 hours worth of interviews with some of the greatest fencers of the 20th Century. The list of interviewees reads like a who’s-who: Aladar Gerevich, Bela Bay, Rudolf Karpati, Pal Kovacs, Laszlo Szabo, Tibor Berczelly, Laszlo Rajcsanyi, and many, many more. It’s a treasure trove of interviews, dropped in my lap – and all in Hungarian. Which I don’t speak.
Ok, before I get to “the ask”, let’s take a look at some of the photos he included in the package.
1933 Silver Medal winning Italian World Championship Sabre Team. From Left: Ugo Ughi, Silvio Turchi, Vincenzo Pinton, Giulio Gaudini, Gustavo Marzi, Emilio Salafi.
It’s always nice to start with a photo that shows just how much taller Giulio Gaudini was than everyone else. At 6’7”, he towered over just about everyone.
1936 Olympics, Hungary’s Endre Kabos on the left, and Gustavo Marzi on the right.
A young and dashing Eduardo Armentano, one of the many Italian fencing masters who made his living teaching in Hungary. (A much older) Armentano was the first fencing teacher of Daniel Magay, who has been mentioned on this site previously.
German great Erwin Casmir, who is one of the subjects interviewed in the audio recordings I have received.
An undated photo of a Hungarian duel. This is how it was done, folks. Don’t try this at home.
Italo Santelli and Horacio Santelli
The above is an interesting one, if only because I’d never heard of Horacio before. This is captioned “Italo and his son Horacio”. I knew Santelli had other children besides Giorgio, who famously taught in New York and other cities in the US so successfully and for such a long time. But I’d never heard of Horacio. Younger or older than Giorgio? The photo, with such a young Italo, makes me wonder if the caption is incorrect and Horacio was Italo’s brother, and not his son. Anyone out there know?
Gizella Tary, the first woman to be recognized as a Fencing Master in Hungary.
Hungarian fencing superstar, Pal Kovacs.
Zoltan Horvath, 1962 World Sabre Champion and brother to my generous benefactor from Hungary.
This is just a sample of the great photos I received from Dr. Horvath. Amazing stuff. More than enough for several more groups of photos, just as interesting as the above.
Now we get down to it. If I can find 45 Hungarian speakers to listen to one interview each and translate or summarize the discussion, we can learn an awful lot. But, you know, 9 people, listening to 5 each, etc. I’m open. Even if ONE person is interested in listening to one or two interviews we can get something. Any volunteers? I’d hate to spend my pension on 45 hours of translation services. Might be worth it, of course. But I’ll ask for interested parties first!
I’ll be at Nationals and can hand out thumb drives. Andy Shaw will be able to track me down…