Board of ECAC in Slovakia on the movie “Bathory”

The board of ECAC in Slovakia made a statement based on the complaints of fellow church members who had the chance to watch the movie “Bathory”from Juraj Jakubisko over the Easter. The board detests the way certain characters (of historical importance to the evangelic church) were portrayed; in the first place palatine Juraj Thurzo.

Graf Thurzo was an important figure for the whole Slovak society of 17th century. He was the initiator and organizer of the First Synod of Žilina in 1610. This was the first evangelical synod of Northern-Hungarian region and became known as the founding synod of ECAC in Slovakia. Likewise, this was the very first time a certain part of the Kingdom of Hungary was officially admitted to be Slovak.

The Slovak National Television aired the premier of this movie by coincidence during Easter. This was the time when we paid our respects to the Graf Thurzo and in the memory of 400th anniversary of the Žilina Synod. Jakubisko’s movie portrayed Juraj Thurzo in an inaccurate and untruthful way that did not correspond with the historical facts and thus aroused negative reactions of Slovak Lutherans to the movie.

According to the available resources Palatine Thurzo was a friend of Franz Nadasdy- who was married to Elizabeth Bathory. Nadasdy entrusted Thurzo with the protection of his family the day before his demise on 3rd of January 1604. When the crimes of Elizabeth Bathory came to light it was Thurzo who helped the family. According to the law of those times, in case a capital punishment would be carried out on Bathory, one third of Bathory’s possessions would be taken by the king and two thirds would be given to Graf Thurzo. Nevertheless, Thurzo managed to persuade the authorities to keep Elizabeth Bathory in the confinement of her castle in Čachtice as the punishment. Thanks to this action were the possessions of Bathory passed onto her son and her two sons-in-law.

We do not consider the movie presented as a historical drama to be historically accurate but as a creation and imagination of the screenwriter and the director.

Bratislava 12. 4. 2010

Miloš Klátik, General Bishop
Pavel Delinga, General Supervisor

-eš- | 30.5.2010

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Grafické spracovanie:Ladislav Menyhart