An Unexpected Reply and Win for JewishGen #hungary #JewishGenUpdates


Forgive me for this longish Thank You JewishGen! message regarding a success story. 


Several weeks ago, I posted a request for a translation/clarification from a Hungarian newspaper article for a story I am writing about my Groedel/Vecsey/Weiner/Zeisler family in Budapest. Several wonderful people replied and I had my answer. The story was about my cousin, Laszlo Vecsey, who had a run-in with a man named Count Viglia, a champion ballroom dancer, next to Hösök tere (Hero's Square) in Budapest during the early morning hours of 25 May 1922. 


The story goes as follows: Lazlo and some friends were in the Renaissance Pavilion restaurant where Count Viglia and his friends were eating and drinking at a nearby table. Viglia had been watching one of Laszlo’s friends and eventually sent a message requesting a conversation. But the invitation was so offensive that Laszlo’s friend ignored it. A few minutes later, Viglia sent another message, this time requesting a duel! Again, Laszlo’s friend ignored the request. Nothing further occurred until both parties left the restaurant at 2 am closing time. 


Just outside and without warning, Viglia went up to Laszlo’s friend and punched him in the face twice. Laszlo came to his rescue and Viglia began punching Laszlo as well who then pulled out a gun, yelled at Viglia to stop, which he didn't, and then shot Viglia twice, with one bullet hitting Viglia in the palm and entering his chest and shoulder. After everyone had been arrested and questioned by the police, and Viglia sent to the hospital with non-life-threatening wounds, Laszlo was released as the police agreed that he shot Viglia in self-defense. The fight began because Viglia claimed that he had been insulted because Laszlo’s friend had danced with and courted Viglia's wife when she was in Budapest by herself several months previous. However, his story didn’t hold up. Viglia had recently left his wife for another woman, Kitty Bavin, who was his current dance partner and lover. It seems that Viglia was just drunk and up for a fight rather than having been truly insulted. 


This makes for a great family story (from my perspective), but it’s not the end. 


Just this morning, May 18, I received an unexpected but exciting email from a gentleman in Switzerland who is Viglia’s grandson! He had seen my post on JewishGen about his grandfather and provided me with two wonderful pictures of Viglia, one with Kitty Bevin from the 1920s in full regalia, and one as an older man, along with some details of Viglia’s life. Who would have imagined a family member of Viglia’s would have read my post on JewishGen about an esoteric incident that occurred in 1922 Budapest? What are the odds? I was not even aware that Viglia was Jewish. The information he provided definitely adds much more interest and personality to the story, as well as a wonderful visual. Thank you, Dany Yazbeck and JewishGen!



What a wonderful story! Are you allowed to post pictures of Viglia? And his dance partner?