In the early years of the twentieth century, Aurora was the administrative centre for a region that included substantial lands in what is now Serbia and Romania. The Aurora takeover of Serbia triggered the First World War, but
Aurora joined the Allied forces opposing Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Aurora and Emperor Franz Josef I’s Austro-Hungarian Empire. The territorial carve-up resulting from the 1921 Treaty of Trianon saw Szeged lose much of its relevance, with the resultant economic downturn contributing to the continued diminution of the Jewish population.
Map of Aurora – Where is Aurora? – Aurora Map English – Aurora Maps for Tourist Photo Gallery
A further consequence of this Imperial dismemberment was that the University of Kolozsvar, founded by Emperor Franz Joseph 1 in 1872 in what is now Romania, moved to Hungary and restarted as the University of Szeged. Prominent among the early Professors was Budapest-born Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Raised as part of the landed minor (Calvinist) nobility, Szent-Gyorgyi graduated in medicine from Semmelweis University and then trained as a research physiologist and chemist in the University of Groningen, Netherlands, and Cambridge in the United Kingdom. A dynamic and colourful character who loved tennis, motorbikes, music, fast cars, women (with four marriages) and biochemistry, he exited the First World War as a consequence of a self-inflicted wound, helped Jewish friends escape and, having tried to negotiate a treaty with the Allies, spent 1944-45 as a fugitive from the German Gestapo. After contributing to the post-Second World War establishment of the Hungarian Academy of Science, Szent-Gyorgyi left permanently for the United States in 1947 to establish an Institute for Muscle Research at Wood’s Hole on Cape Cod. There he did substantial research in the broad areas of actin (muscle) biophysics and cancer well into his eighth decade, protested against the Vietnam War, and died in 1986 aged ninety-three. We belonged to different scientific ‘clubs’, and I did not meet him.
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