The Stuff of Legends

stuffofsm20                                   stuffofsm18

stuffofsm23                                   stuffofsm19





I will tell you a story that Hungarian lore maintains as the golden truth.

A certain Miklos Horthy was born in 1866 in Budapest and it appeared that he was either destined for greatness, or residency in a lunatic Asylum.

Hungary has always been a landlocked country, with its only connection to a body of water, a small lake called Balaton. Yet the 5-year-old Miklos declared to his parents that he was born to be an Admiral. This proved to be a mistake, as they became so concerned by his frequent reference to the Admiralty, that in desperation they consulted a psychiatrist.

This profession had not yet gained wide acceptance, but Dr. Dumkenkopf came highly recommended, as he trained directly under the promising and already known Sigmund Freud.

Young Miklos was very bright, if only you overlooked his eccentricity.

He easily and effectively converted Dr. Dumkenkopf to his point of view. He justified his reasoning so soundly, that as you will soon see, he gained along term ally. The good doctoral ready believed in reincarnation.

To him what his young patient believed made perfect sense; that we transfer experiences from one lifetime to another. Miklos said that he was a prisoner of his destiny, as many have been before him. He reminded the doctor of a recent predecessor whiz-kid by the name of Amadeus. He contended that it was not by accident that the prodigy Mozart has attained cult status by the age of five, conducting his first symphony at

Schoenbrunn Palace. He knew that those born to prominence often have hard to bear destinies, and such was his obsessive desire for a sea rank.

Dr. Dumkenkopf believed him, but was nevertheless troubled by his young patient’s aspiration. Lake Balaton was never likely to be bigger then a puddle, therefore never to be home to a flotilla of battle ships.

If no fleet no Admiral. Their doctor patient relationship continued as Miklos often despaired. Then one day everything changed when he met and fell in love with the beautiful ballerina Ludmilla von Mahler.

To everyone’s surprise she shared his love and also his  conviction about his future. She did not care how or when he will achieve his goal, and revealed her allegiance by buying for his 19th birthday the ceremonial

parade hat of a full Admiral. No one will know what part her faith played in his destiny, but Miklos ever more obstinately pursued his goals.

What now is a historical fact is that Miklos Horthy de Nagybanya be came Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary, in full power as its acting political head. When he declared himself Admiral at large wearing full sea regalia not an eyebrow was raised. His poor parents never witnessed his triumph, as by then they were confined to a sanatorium for nervous exhaustion. Miklos reigned supreme, still without a flotilla, but with his

beloved and faithful Ludmilla by his side. Dr. Dumkenkopf remained a devoted ally, achieving the prominence of Cabinet minister. He occasional also spied for the many covert causes they maneuvered together.

History remembers Admiral Horthy kindly and we must assume thankfully on his behalf, that destiny did not whisper into his ear; “call yourself Caesar”. The outcome may not have been the fruitful reign he enjoyed, instead may have had a life fraught with medical concerns.

Hungary and Miklos grew old together, and for all we know in a happy ever after.

As whispered by an unidentified meddler to

Valerie von Sobel





















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