Anita Herczegh
Country: Hungary

Anita Herczegh


A mother of four and a devoted spouse of her husband more than 35 years. She obtained a degree in law in 1987. She served as a judge dealing with business law cases, later she worked at the Budapest Tribunal of Registration until the voluntary suspension of her career. Her mother Melinda Petneházy and her father, the internationally renowned law scholar, the late Géza Herczegh gave her spiritual and intellectual upbringing that accompany her for life. Even during one-party times, this family of intellectuals living in modest circumstances continued to follow the traditions of civic values. Their adherence to firm values is shown by the story from the times when she began her law studies. She took home the letter that the school prepared about her to accompany the university application and, with a serene move, her father crossed out the line about the commitment to socialism and wrote in the place of the first sentence about the family: “brought up in a family of democrats”. The example her parents gave her about honesty, sense of duty, fidelity and a love of life have been defining for both Anita Herczegh and her brother, Károly. She was attracted to the Law Faculty of Eötvös Loránd University – where she continued her studies after high school in Pécs – by her interest in humanities, history and culture. She was a first year law student when, on a university ski excursion, she met János Áder who was already graduating. She was not even 20 years old when they married in 1984. During her university years she supplemented the income of her young family by cultivating a piece of leased land near Csorna together with her husband who by then was a fellow at the Institute for Sociology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her first child was born after graduation. In 1993, when she received her appointment as a judge, she was already expecting her third child. After spending 16 years in her profession, when János Áder was elected a Member of the European Parliament, she suspended her work at the Budapest Tribunal of Registration in the interest of her family and moved to Brussels together with her husband. She joined the life of the local community in the capital of the EU with interest, which – beyond her cultural openness – was also supported by her love of bridge. In adapting to the new life style she could greatly rely on her skill in German and English, as well as the French that she picked up here.

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She respects the charitable activities of spouses of former Presidents and all that they have been doing and are doing to foster traditions. Besides carrying forward the activity they started, she also considers it important to have more attention directed in public life towards talented children and youth, as well as the organizations that support them. She considers the judge’s profession to be one for a lifetime; one of her most important objectives is to go back to the bench one day. However, nothing is more important for her then the calm and the safety of the family. Besides raising her children, the love of cooking, handicrafts and regular sports are all a natural part of her life. Regular winter ski and summer boating trips have been a necessary family program for decades. While those around her respect her righteousness, openness, intelligence and empathy, being a mother is what is most important for her. From among her children, Borbála the oldest daughter also became a lawyer, her son András is a college graduate in economics, her daughter Orsolya is interested in arts, whereas the smallest daughter Júlia is a highschool student. Anita Herczegh: I consider all Covid orphans to be my own he country has opened up, and so have we. Our lightweight, conversational podcast, the Sunday Brunch, was filmed on an outdoor venue this time. On Mother's Day we visited the Sándor Palace, our interlocutor was Anita Herczegh.

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Herczegh guides Anita Kitzinger Szon, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Index at the Sándor Palace Photo: Patnícia Bodnár / Index János Áder's wife rarely gives an interview. The fact that he does a lot of charity is known for his private life less. This time he gave insight into both. During the conversation, we touch her mom with four children and now her grandmother ⦁ the theme of Mother's Day; ⦁ talk about why Anita Herczegh cooks a cake in pairs; ⦁ reveals some hitherto unknown behind the scenes about the acquaintance of the President of the Republic and his wife: it will be a time travel, on the wing of the imagination we will fly to a Polish ski camp by the early eighties; ⦁ we find out why Kisoroszi is the center of the world for the family; ⦁ who dresses the president's wife; ⦁ or talk about why his father’s novel is our subject’s favorite book.

PC CREDIT: For a short time, Sándor Palace became the podcast studio of the Index. The guest: Herczegh Anita, Photo: Patnícia Bodnár / Index, Covid doesn't pick

For a short time, Sándor Palace became the podcast studio of the Index. The guest: Herczegh Anita Photo: Patnícia Bodnár / Index Covid doesn't pick In addition, we can get to know the István Regőczi Foundation, set up to help Covid orphans, the start-up of which was supported by Anita Herczegh and her family with HUF 5 million. The account number is not yet known, the foundation is currently being registered. Anyone who knows about such a case can inform the Office of the President of the Republic, as the assistance is continuous until the registration of the foundation. Exclusive interview with Anita Herczegh, wife of János Áder - the presidential couple mourns acquaintances who have died of a coronavirus Budapest - At least 600 children were left orphaned by the coronavirus epidemic, President János Áder's wife Anita Herczegh would help their lives with a foundation. The First Lady told the Blikk that they were personally involved in the tragedy caused by the coronavirus. Under what circumstances, how was the idea of ​​the foundation born? Herczegh Anita:"Already in the first wave of the epidemic, I felt something had to be done, I couldn't sit on my lap." That's when I started sewing masks. Even during the epidemic, whenever possible, I attended a blood donation to help with that as well. I have supported countless charitable initiatives that have helped those in need, patients, doctors in some way in this top-of-the-world world. During the first and second waves, we haven’t heard much of the news we have now, during the third wave. There have been family tragedies that have particularly touched me as a mother of four. Young people, parents raising small children, died and children were orphaned. Surely many people have read about children in Szentistván, Besenyszög or Pécs,who have lost one or both of their parents - but unfortunately we are hearing more and more tragedies day by day. We know of more than 400 affected families and 600 children to date.

PC CREDIT: Anita Herczegh spoke about privacy issues in addition to the foundation's affairs / Photo: MTI Zih Zsolt

How will the foundation support covid orphans?

Herczegh:- The name of the foundation is István Regőczi, who was a Catholic priest, he lost his two brothers a hundred years ago due to the Spanish flu. He devoted his whole life to helping orphaned children: he gave cover over their heads, helped them with their studies, or just organized a vacation for them. The foundation similarly intends to support orphaned or semi-orphaned children in need, with the aim of supplementing public orphan care. We want to provide personalized support, in cooperation with local governments, mayors, clerks, as they know families, they can tell you what is needed: housing, scholarships, social benefits, transport support and help to solve many other problems from the Regőczi Foundation. Parental love, care, care cannot be replaced by a foundation,but it can contribute to the ‘covid orphans’ receiving in the material sense the care they could have received from their parents. In Pécs, Besenyszög or Szentistván, local communities immediately came together to help orphaned children, but this is a short-term help, the foundation aims to provide long-term support for children. After all, for example, a newborn from Szentistván who lost his mother with his six brothers still has to hold his hand for a very long time. The mission of the foundation is to hold the hands of these children and not let them go until they have achieved a secure future.In Besenyszög or Szentistván, local communities immediately came together to help orphaned children, but this is a short-term help, the foundation aims to provide long-term support for children. After all, for example, a newborn from Szentistván who lost his mother with his six brothers still has to hold his hand for a very long time. The mission of the foundation is to hold the hands of these children and not let them go until they have achieved a secure future.In Besenyszög or Szentistván, local communities immediately came together to help orphaned children, but this is a short-term help, the foundation aims to provide long-term support for children. After all, for example, a newborn from Szentistván who lost his mother with his six brothers still has to hold his hand for a very long time. The mission of the foundation is to hold the hands of these children and not let them go until they have achieved a secure future.until a secure future is achieved.until a secure future is achieved.

Who does the foundation support?

Herczegh: - My husband's announcement of the foundation was made on Sunday: since then, dozens of offers have been received from individuals and companies, from here and beyond on the border, even the Hungarian Catholic community in Brussels has applied. In recent years, since I have been doing charitable work, I have met countless selfless donors, and I am experiencing this even now. The foundation is grateful for all the offerings, come from anywhere and be any size.

With the support of 600 covid orphans, how much donation is the foundation planned to handle?

Herczegh: - The foundation is still under registration, so it doesn't have an account number, they can't transfer amounts yet, please be patient. But in the meantime, thank you for notifying us of your intention to support, we will accept applications from the Office of the President of the Republic.

Is your family or acquaintances affected by the epidemic-related tragedy?

Herczegh: - There are probably few who have not had a tragedy in their immediate or extended family, circle of friends, acquaintances. Due to the lack of dear acquaintances, our hearts also hurt.

Did you think a year ago that after a year, it is not that it is still going on, but that the epidemic is raging harder than ever in the spring of 2021?

Herczegh: - Of course, we did not expect, as perhaps no one in the world, to prepare for an epidemic with such force and for such a long time. We are living in trying times for humans, but we hope to get over it soon thanks to vaccinations. The issue of epidemics, disease control measures and vaccination divides society, and there is almost no family or other community where there is no debate about it. Were there any sharp discussions or quarrels in your family or acquaintances on these issues? I am thinking here of the magnitude of the danger associated with the virus, the wearing of masks, the effectiveness of vaccination, refusal to vaccinate, side effects, and fears about the epidemic in general. Herczegh: My husband and I were among the first to register for the vaccination. We never doubted that vaccination was the only way to overcome the coronavirus epidemic. We trust science and doctors to the fullest! All four of our children and all members of the extended family have registered for the vaccination and most of them have already received it. In addition, we follow all the rules, mask wearing, hand disinfection, keeping distance, with which we can protect ourselves and our environment.

Have you been infected? Have you been vaccinated? Which?

As an individual, what do you miss most about the everyday life before the epidemic? What bothers you most as a private person? Herczegh: - We all want to get our old lives back: quiet weekdays, family holidays, weekend gatherings of friends, theater, exhibitions, concerts. That we don’t have to be afraid to hug, to shake hands, not to be anxious when someone sits down next to us on the tram. I would like to get back the summers of the last decades: hikes, rowing tours, big bikes.

Are you planning a vacation this year? Do you think it is possible to have a holiday this year, do we know the coronavirus behind us for the summer?

Herczegh: I trust that this summer will be a bit like the old ones, albeit carefully, but we are planning a domestic vacation. Hungary Re-elects President Ader in Display of Orban's Dominance Hungarian lawmakers comfortably re-elected ruling Fidesz party veteran Janos Ader as President for another five years on Monday, a sign of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's firm grip on power just over a year before a parliamentary election. The 57-year-old Ader, a lawyer and long-time member of Orban's Fidesz party, has been a strong ally of Orban since being elected for the largely ceremonial role in 2012. Lawmakers voted 131 in favor of extending Ader's term in a second round run-off after he failed to garner the required two-thirds majority in the first round. Leftist opposition candidate Laszlo Majtenyi, an Orban critic, received 39 votes. "In little over a year you will all face a test. The noise of political debates will amplify over the coming months," Ader told parliament before the vote, telling lawmakers to put Hungary's interests first instead of political bickering. Ader, a reserved career politician with a trademark moustache and a penchant for angling, had provided Orban with a solid backing for his political program apart from occasional road bumps at the most controversial reforms. He had vetoed bills on mandatory voter registration and a proposal to hide nearly a billion euros of central bank funds from public scrutiny, dealing a blow to Orban ally Gyorgy Matolcsy, the Governor of the National Bank. "The president's powers are rather limited and Ader is not expected to challenge the overall policy course of Fidesz," said Andrius Tursa at think tank Teneo Intelligence. "As such, re-election of the incumbent will signal continued Fidesz dominance." Orban's Fidesz enjoys a comfortable lead in opinion polls, with the Socialist party and nationalist Jobbik vying for the post of Orban's main challenger at a parliamentary election due in April 2018. But many people are undecided, and, in a sign of lurking discontent with Orban' go-it-alone style, an upstart political movement has torpedoed his effort for Budapest to host the 2024 Olympic Games. A core element of Orban's agenda to maintain support has been a tough stance on migration, and he is expected to stick to his policies. Last week Hungary passed a law to detain migrants in camps on its border, a step which the United Nations said violates European Union law. "In order to distract public attention from pressing domestic problems, such as widespread corruption and the lack of structural reforms, Fidesz will continue to focus its rhetoric on external threats," Tursa said. President Áder Sets up Charity for Coronavirus Orphans President János Áder and Anita Herczegh, the First Lady, have set up a foundation to help children orphaned by the coronavirus. The president told public pro-government broadcaster Kossuth Rádió on Sunday that the third wave had brought about the deaths of many parents raising young children. “More than 600 children and 400 families have been affected,” he said, adding that the orphans would need financial support until they enter the workforce or obtain a degree. Áder and his wife are founding members of the board of trustees, and he has invited Emőke Bagdy, a clinical psychologist, and Diána Ürge-Vorsatz, a physicist to participate in the board. Donations can be accepted once the foundation is fully legally established. Until then, the president and his wife have donated 5 million forints (EUR 13,850) of their own savings to get the foundation up and running. He said the help of local councils, mayors and clerks was indispensable for the success of the programme as they know the families involved and also exactly what financial support is needed. Anita Herczegh: Let us do everything we can to alleviate the difficult situation! Anita Herczegh, Anita Herczegh, emphasized the importance of cooperation and assistance in the coronavirus epidemic in Budapest in a statement to the public media on Thursday after she and her husband, President János Áder, donated blood to the II. Civil blood donation program. "If we're in such a difficult situation, let's do everything we can to alleviate this a bit!" said Anita Herczegh, emphasizing that blood donation has been a constant program for decades, regardless of the epidemic. He called it natural that if you feel healthy and your blood can be used, it will help those in need. He noted that in the context of the epidemic, he sees people clinging together, holding together, and he sees a lot of positive examples of people moving to help others. Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Deputy Secretary of State for Civil and Social Relations of the Prime Minister's Office, explained that the Civil Blood Donation will be organized for the second time, as last year, this year as well, at 22 locations, mainly in county seats and in the capital. This is largely possible in the offices of the National Blood Supply Service, and blood donation is coordinated nationwide by the Deputy State Secretariat. The program began on Monday and ends on Friday. The Deputy Secretary of State said that last year about 600 people donated blood during the initiative,140 of them for the first time. He is confident that in this time of crisis, perhaps even more people will donate blood than last year, as there is a need to serve civilians and all Hungarians. “We see hospitals running at full capacity and blood products are also needed to care for people, so we are grateful to everyone who sacrifices their blood on the altar of their homeland,” he said. He stressed that the coronavirus is spread by droplet infection, not by blood, so whoever has been a blood donor so far, feel free to go donate blood. He added that in every room where this program takes place, all the necessary precautions are taken, for example, fever is measured at the entrance. Vince Szalay-Bobrovniczky asked everyone to help his fellow human beings, and they expect not only regular but also the first blood donors.

Outstanding Achievements

I greatly appreciate the charitable work of my predecessors, especially what they have been doing to improve the life of those in need, to promote culture and traditions. I am honoured to be able to represent these values at the side of my husband. During the course of my days I see countless heart-warming stories, exemplary lives and everyday heroic deeds around me. Many benevolent people and organizations are setting an example by working to help the most needy, those living in large families and those living with disabilities. I would like to be a voice for these amazing people and communities, to divert more and more attention from me towards them. I consider it extremely important for our common future to assist and encourage young talent. I would like to call the attention of the public and of families to the importance of this. It is difficult to estimate how many promising young talents remain just that – a promise never fulfilled, how many talents are lost for financial reasons or for lack of adequate training, I think, though, that even a single one is one too many. As a mother I think that using kind words, paying attention and offering encouragement we can do a lot to change this. I am happy if you join me in encouraging talented children and youth in families, schools and in the community at large, and if you decide to stand together with me by a pro-talent culture that appreciates achievements that are comparable to one's abilities. Anita Herczegh

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