Budapest, Aug 20 (IANS): Hungarian President Janos Ader presented Nobel laureate author Imre Kertesz and inventor Erno Rubik with the Order of Saint Stephen, Hungary's highest award, Wednesday.
The award marks the country's most important national holiday, Saint Stephen's Day. Saint Stephen or Stephen I was the founder king of Hungary and reigned from 1000 to 1038 A.D.
Kertesz won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2002 "for writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history", the Nobel Committee wrote. Kertesz, a Jew, was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp at age 14. His writing reflects that experience.
Ader said Kertesz deserved this award for his complete oeuvre, which fully describes what dictatorships do to the human soul, Xinhua reported. He particularly thanked Kertesz for his daring and honesty as a writer.
Rubik is an inventor, architect and professor of architecture, best known internationally for inventing mechanical puzzles including Rubik's Cube, which was originally designed as a teaching aid. His recent work has been focused on promoting science in education.
Presenting the award, Ader called the cube an ingenious invention, so quirky and enchanting that a Hungarian mindset was needed to come up with it.
The Order of Saint Stephen is granted in recognition of exceptionally outstanding contributions in supporting Hungary, extraordinary oeuvres and significant international achievement.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Speaker of Parliament Laszlo Kover were also present at the awards ceremony.