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Madarassy-Beck, Nándor

(1840–1909), economist and banker. A nephew of Hungarian-born German poet Karl Beck, Nándor Beck was born in (Bács-) Madaras to poor parents; his father was a grocer. Beck (Madarassy-Beck from 1906) studied banking in Vienna and upon his return to Hungary in 1862 was employed at the Pest branch of the Credit-Anstalt für Gewerbe und Handel. From 1867, he was a senior clerk at the Anglo-Hungarian Bank.

In 1871, Beck was invited to be the general director of the Hungarian Mortgage and Credit Bank, founded in 1869. During his years in this position, he made mortgage loans available throughout the country, enabling the bank to grow into an institution of primary economic importance in Hungary. Because of Beck’s work on behalf of commercial, financial, and economic progress, Emperor Franz Joseph I awarded him in 1893 the title of Knight of the Third Class of the Order of the Iron Crown. On 28 December 1895, Beck was ennobled.

Beck was a representative of the Pest Israelite community and the executor of the estate of banker and communal leader Mór Wahrmann (1831–1892). In 1899, Beck was appointed general director of the Hungarian Mortgage Credit Bank after his predecessor in that position, Kálmán Széll, became prime minister. Beck held this position until 1907, though at the same time he was also president of the Hungarian Agrarian and Allowance Bank Company and the Hungarian Settling and Parceling Bank Company, as well as a member of the board of directors of the Hungarian Electric Company, the Budapest Giro and Bank Union, and the Croatian–Slavonian National Mortgage Bank. In 1907 he retired, restoring Széll to his previous position, and becoming that bank’s honorary director. As an acknowledgment of his public activities, he was appointed to the Hungarian Royal Council and on 7 April 1906 was given the title of baron with the double name Madarassy-Beck.

Although several members of Beck’s family, including his brothers and his son, converted to Catholicism, Beck remained a member of the Jewish community, and is buried in the Jewish cemetery on Kerepesi Street. One brother, Baron Miksa Madarassy-Beck (1839–1924), was an economist and general manager of the Hungarian Discount and Exchange Bank; the other, Hugó Beck (1843–1926), became a justice of the Supreme Court.

Suggested Reading

Magyar Pénzügy, obituary (18 February 1909; Herman Zichy and Gy. M. Derestye: “Madarasi Beck Nándor,” in Magyar zsidók a Millenniumon, pp. 129–130 (Budapest, 1896).



Translated from Hungarian by Veronika Szabó