The Horthy Era can be considered the last golden age of the Hungarian aristocracy, when they could still live in huge mansions, go to balls at night, and live the life of the privileged. However, the one-sided image of an exploitative nobleman rooted in communism was much more complex in reality. Many people of noble origin used their wealth for charity.
From the Reform Era we know of many examples for certain important matters being financially supported by private individuals, and this custom lived on in the 20th century as well. During World War I and World War II, young gentlemen in many cases volunteered to the Army, and ladies for medical service. A good example is the organizer of the Hungarian Voluntary Red Cross Service, Baroness Gizella Apor, from whom the noble ladies mentioned in the video also studied.
Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai on a frontline visit
Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai during the opening ceremony of the Hospital in the Rock
Ilona Edelsheim-Gyulai once again in the Hospital in the Rock in 2010
Ilona Andrássy on the cover of Képes Krónika magazine
Ilona Andrássy in a Polish refugee camp’s kitchen
Ilona Széchényi’s Red Cross volunteer nurse certificate