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3rd October, 2019

Arad martyr’s farewell letter published

A previously unknown farewell letter written by Gen. Ernő Kiss, one of the 13 Arad martyrs was presented to the media at the National Archives in Budapest on Wednesday.

The 13 Hungarian top military officers were executed on October 6, 1849 following the end of the war for independence from Habsburg rule.

The German-language letter was purchased by the Archives with support from the Human Resources Ministry at an auction staged by the Központi Antikvárium.

The document had earlier been in private ownership, closed to research. Two other farewell letters by Kiss were already known.

The one presented on Wednesday, dated October 5, 1849, is addressed to Kiss’s half-sister, Baroness Juliana von Leeuwen, who according to the document tried to help Kiss through her imperial contacts.

Kiss vowed loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty, attempted to mediate for peace, and in vain asked to be dismissed by the Hungarian government.

Kásler said Kiss asked his half-sister not to be angry at anybody and to pardon her enemies.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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