THE ALMOST totally Hungarian-speaking village of Nyárad is situated in the Žitný Ostrov (Rye Island) region, right on the Slovak-Hungarian border. In the former Hungarian Empire as many as eight communities were of the same name (derived from the word “poplar”) and this particular village was known as Csiliznyárad.
Chronicles contain many interesting stories linked with Nyárad. In 1646, for example, the village was admonished by the head of Rábska Župa (Ráb County) for not having had a mayor for 50 years. Another historical document, from 1842, states that 106 of the village’s residents were members of the nobility. Probably the most interesting public figure from Nyárad is Lieutenant Colonel Színi, who gained immortal fame when he killed Austrian Colonel Hermann Riedesel in a duel during the Battle of Tápióbicske on April 4, 1849 thus helping to win independence for his homeland. The hero is buried at the local cemetery and an annual remembrance ceremony is held at his tomb.
This photograph from 1939 shows the locals in their ‘Sunday bests’ at the consecration of the Nyárad church. The men in uniforms were Hungarian soldiers and policemen because during the Second World War the village was in the hands of the Hungarian authorities.