Hantos: A Father of the Idea of Europe, An article published in the Journal de Geneve, in 1992.
A memoire of the famous Hungarian written by his son.
Fifty years ago, Dr. Elemer Hantos died in his hometown of Budapest, Hungary. The professor of public finance, previously Secretary of State for Commerce and, for a short time, president of the precurser to the Hungarian Central Bank, was well know in Geneva.
Founder of the Institute for Central Europe in Vienna, Budapest, and Brno, and of the “Centre d’Étude de l’Europe Centrale” at the University of Geneva in 1930, Dr. Hantos was the author of 50 important books and innumerable articles on the global financial and economic themes, and above all on the problems confronting the countries of Central Europe. He had considerable influence on public opinion mainly in encouraging the creation of a pan-Danubian confederation of nations. In this way, the Danubian plan of President André Tardieu (1932) was heavily influenced by the ideas of Dr. Hantos.
Between 1923 and 1938, Elemér Hantos came often to Geneva where he participated in the activities of the Economic Commission of the League of Nations. In 1924, he was given the position of “rapporteur”. In 1930, he gave brilliant courses at the Institut des Hautes Études Internationales as well as directing a conference at the University of Geneva where he was warmly received by a large and attentive crowd.
After the recent political changes in Eastern Europe, the ideas of Dr. Hantos have received renewed attention in many countries in the region, especially among organizations concerned with the resurgent question of how to define Central Europe, reflecting the reconciliatory spirit of Dr. Hantos’ ideas.