Lecture Jaap Scholten at Deutsches Haus, Columbia University

Deutsches Haus
420 West 116th Street, New York, NY, United States

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On Thursday April 24, 7pm Dutch writer Jaap Scholten will give a lecture about 'Comrade Baron: From the Vanished World of the Eastern European Aristocracy to Contemporary Eastern Europe' at Deutsches Haus, Columbia University. 

'Comrade Baron - A journey through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy'

Comrade Baron

Jaap Scholten (b. 1963, Enschede) has lived in Hungary with his family for several years, where he writes columns and letters for Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and other publications. With Russia taking control of Crimea, tensions in the East Block have once again come to recent actuality. During his lecture at Columbia University, Scholten will focus on Hungary and its past relationship to former East Block countries. 'Comrade Baron: A Journey Through the Vanishing World of the Transylvanian Aristocracy' (2010) records an unknown episode of recent history when practically all of the Transylvanian aristocracy were arrested and loaded into lorries as Communism demanded the destruction of these ultimate ‘class enemies’. Scholten has traveled extensively throughout Romania and Hungary seeking out for the few remaining aristocrats who experienced that night. He spoke to survivors of the Romanian Gulag and met the youngest generation of the once so distinguished aristocracy to talk about restitution of assets and about the future. This book was selected for the shortlist of the Bob den Uyl Prize for the best travel book of 2011 and awarded with the Libris History Prize 2011.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

For more information and RSVP please contact Wijnie de Groot at

This event is sponsored by the Department of Germanic Languages and the Department of History at Columbia University, with the support of the Dutch Language Union in connection with the Queen Wilhelmina Professorship and the program in studies of the Dutch‐speaking World at Columbia. This event is free and open to the public.



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