Miklós Radnóti

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Miklós Radnóti
Miklós Radnóti
Miklós Radnóti
BornMiklós Glatter
(1909-05-05)5 May 1909
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
DiedNovember 1944 (aged 35)
near Abda, Hungary

Miklós Radnóti (born Miklós Glatter; 5 May 1909 – November 1944) was a Hungarian poet and teacher. He was murdered in the Holocaust.


Miklós Glatter was the son of a vendor of the textile business company Brück & Grosz in Budapest. He was born in the 13th district quarter Újlipótváros of the Royal Hungarian capital city of Austria-Hungary. At birth, his twin brother was born dead and his mother died soon after childbirth. He spent most of his childhood years with his aunt's family whose husband Dezső Grosz was one of the owners of the textile company in which his father worked until his death in 1921.

Radnóti attended primary and secondary school in his place of birth and continued his education at the high school for textile industry in Liberec from 1927–28 on his uncle's advice. Then he worked as commercial correspondent in the familiar textile business company until 1930. Ultimately, Radnóti was able to prevail with desire for another education and began studying philosophy, Hungarian and French language at the University of Szeged.

In 1934, he finished his studies with the philosophical doctoral thesis The artistic development of Margit Kaffka. After graduation, he changed his name to Radnóti, after the birthplace Radnovce (Hungarian: Radnót) of his paternal grandfather. In August 1935, he married his long-standing love Fanny (1912-2014), daughter of the owner of the respected Gyarmati printing house. The very happy marriage was unfortunately childless until his deportation. In the school year of 1935-36 he gained first professional experiences as high school teacher at the Zsigmond Kemény Gymnasium in Budapest.

In September 1940, he was conscripted to a Jewish labor battalion of the Hungarian Army until December of that year, then from July 1942 to April 1943 for the second time. On 2 May 1943, he converted together with his wife from Judaism to Roman Catholic faith. In May 1944, Radnóti's third military service started and his battalion was deported to Bor in Serbia. After 1943, Hungarian-Jewish forced laborers were imprisoned nearby Bor's copper mines which covered 50 percent of the copper requirement of the German war industry.

On 17 September 1944, Radnóti was forced to leave the camp in a column of about 3,600 prisoners because of the military offensive by Allied armies. He sustained the inhuman forced march from Bor to Szentkirályszabadja, where he wrote his last poem on 31 October. In November 1944, he and twenty other prisoners were shot and killed by members of the Hungarian Guards because of their total physical and mental exhaustion. Different dates of his murder have been given. Some publications specify a day in the period from 6 to 10 November. In the detailed and scientific exhibition of 2009 by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 4 November was said to be the date of death. Today it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive the 110 kilometers by car from Szentkirályszabadja to Abda. Radnóti is buried in the Kerepesi Cemetery with his wife. In 2013, his statue in Abda was damaged, but the reason for the damage has still not been clarified.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Bibliography (selection)[edit]

  • Pogány köszöntő (Pagan Greeting), Kortárs, Budapest 1930.
  • Újmódi pásztorok éneke (Songs of Modern Shepherds), Fiatal Magyarország, Budapest 1931.
  • Lábadozó szél (Convalescent Wind), Fiatalok Müvészeti Kollégiumának kiadása, Szeged 1933.
  • Újhold (New Moon), Fiatalok Müvészeti Kollégiumának kiadása, Szeged 1935.
  • Járkálj csak, halálraítélt! (Just Walk Around, Condemned!), Nyugat Kiadása, Budapest 1936.
  • Meredek út (Steep Road), Cserépfalvi, Budapest 1938.
  • Naptár (Calendar), Hungária, Budapest 1942.
  • Orpheus nyomában : műfordítások kétezer év költőiből (In the Footsteps of Orpheus: Translations of Poetry of Two Thousand Year Old Poets), Pharos, Budapest 1943.
  • Tajtékos ég (Foamy Sky), Révai, Budapest 1946.
  • Radnóti Miklós művei (Works of Miklos Radnoti), Szepirodalmi Konyvkiado, Budapest 1978, ISBN 963-15-1182-0, biography by Pál Réz [hu]
  • Miklós Radnóti, The Complete Poetry in Hungarian and English, McFarland & Company, Jefferson 2014, ISBN 978-0-78646953-6[9]

Miklós Radnóti was Hungarian translator of works by Jean de La Fontaine and Guillaume Apollinaire. His works were translated into English by Edward G. Emery and Frederick Turner, into Serbo-Croatian by Danilo Kiš, into German by Franz Fühmann and into French by Jean-Luc Moreau [fr].[10]


Image Gallery[edit]



  1. ^ Online catalogue of the Exhibition, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; retrieved 17 January 2018.
  2. ^ Zsuzsanna Ozsváth Archived 21 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine, In the footsteps of Orpheus: the life and times of Miklós RadnótiIndiana University Press, Bloomington 2000; ISBN 0-253-33801-8.
  3. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century, Taylor & Francis, New York 2015; ISBN 978-0-7656-1027-0, Miklos Radnóti on Google Books, retrieved on 2018-01-17.
  4. ^ Death Blows Overhead: The Last Transports from Hungary, November 1944, European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI); retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ Article on Miklos Radnóti on the Website by the Poetry Foundation; retrieved 17 January 2018.
  6. ^ Final Poem,Translation 1 on the Website The HyperTexts,Translation 2 on the Website by Hungarian Academy of Sciences; retrieved 17 January 2018.
  7. ^ Grave Archived 1 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine of the spouses; retrieved 17 January 2018.
  8. ^ The fate of the Radnóti statue in Abda, report on the Website Hungarian Spectrum, retrieved on 2018-01-19.
  9. ^ Online edition on Google Books.
  10. ^ WorldCat by OCLC, retrieved on 2018-01-18.