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Szennik, György

1923 - 2007

György Szennik was a poster designer and a painter.

He studied painting in the studio of Vilmos Aba-Novák for a while. Later he attended the graphic class at the Academy of Applied Arts. Then he studied in Vienna for a while, where he joined the summer workshop of Oskar Kokoschka several times. Later he got another opportunity to study at the Collegium Hungaricum in Rome.

He came back to Hungary in the spring of 1944, during World War II. He started to design propaganda posters, mainly for anti-Bolshevik campaigns. By that time the Russian front was already in Hungary and Germany also invaded from the West. 

His designs are monumental and powerful, they show sculpture-like figures. On some propaganda posters, which supported the work for the war effort, he tried to represent the “Hungarian” characteristics on the characters. Many of his works were racist, since he preferred to depict the Russian enemy as racially inferior. Most of his designs from 1944 and 1945 were published by a paramilitary organization, which worked illegally until the German occupation. Szennik’s posters also paint an evil picture of the allied forces; they were depicted as soulless murderers.

After the war, Szennik was condemned for 15 years in prison by the next regime, however he actually spent seven years there.                                                                                                                           .