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The Baumgarten Prize was founded by Ferenc Ferdinánd Baumgarten on October 17, 1923. It was awarded every year from 1929 to 1949 (except for 1945). It was one of the most prestigious literary prizes of 20th century Hungary, along with the Attila József Prize and the Kossuth Prize.
In accordance with the founder's will, it was given to "Hungarian authors with serious endeavour whether in literature or in science who are exempt of any religious, racial or social prejudices and serve only ideal aims, thus making no compromise for personal advantages, are in need of financial means." The foundation was administered by the Baumgarten Board of Trustees, whose members were lawyer Lóránt Basch and writer Mihály Babits (from 1941, after Babits' death, Aladár Schöpflin), and it was assisted by an 8-member advisory board. During its existence, the prize had a major significance in developing Hungarian literature.
It was given, among others, to the following people: Antal Szerb, Miklós Radnóti, Miklós Szentkuthy, Sándor Weöres, Győző Csorba, Áron Tamási (three times), Gyula Illyés, Albert Wass, Emil Kolozsvári Grandpierre, Attila József (posthumous), Károly Kerényi, János Pilinszky, Andor Endre Gelléri, Lőrinc Szabó (three times), Ágnes Nemes Nagy, Józsi Jenő Tersánszky (four times), Tibor Déry, Pál Szabó, Lajos Fülep, Gyula Juhász (three times), Gábor Devecseri, László Németh, Nagy Lajos (three times), Magda Szabó (repealed).