Hungarian culture is rich and varied, and their history is filled with heroic legends and warriors. Linguistically, the nearest neighbor to the Hungarian tongue is Finnish, then Estonian. Hungary has produced music, art, literature, dance, and architecture that the world envies. So, a creative, proud, productive people. Not too shabby for a nation with a population slightly larger than that of New Jersey. During the years of Communist rule, the proudly independent Hungarians bristled at the bridle of Soviet influence to the point that they rebelled against the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Although this uprising was quelled with Russian tanks, the Hungarians were one of the first Warsaw Pact countries that celebrated their independence from Russian rule in 1989.
Erno was one of those celebrants. He was a designer and professor by profession, and he was born at a time when Hungary was under the influence of Nazi Germany–1944–in Budapest. His father had a good reputation as an airplane designer, and his dad’s skills were put to use by the communists after the war. Erno’s dad was his hero, so it made sense that he would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a designer, too.
Between his father’s influence and his own personal skills, Erno was granted admission to the national design school in Budapest. From there, he entered the school of architecture. Geometry, shapes, the sculpturing of objects–these things enthralled Erno. He graduated with honors and was granted a teaching position in the design academy he had attended.
One thing that set Erno apart from other teachers in the design academy right from the start was his teaching method. He used his designing creativity to produce geometric shapes that he incorporated into this lessons. These tangible objects that his students could use and study helped them understand geometry and algebra and how those sciences and principles could be applied to designing art and architecture. As a result of these ground-breaking teaching methods, Erno proved to be one of the most popular professors on campus.
So, when the communists were thrown out of power, Erno indeed celebrated. He was now free to enjoy the fruits of his designs an creations. He was eager to do this because one of his teaching tools had been produced by the Hungarian communist government and sold. Sold world-wide, in fact. Sold almost 400,000,000 units, in fact. Oh, the communists had allowed Erno to keep some of the profits from his little teaching tool, but, now that the communists were gone, Erno was excited to see what he could do with his little geometric shapes in the free market.
You know the most famous of these as Rubik’s Cube.