Tanner, Ilona

BORN 10 Dec 1895, Budapest - DIED 28 Jan 1955, Budapest
BIRTH NAME Tanner, Ilona Irén Lujza Kamilla
GRAVE LOCATION Budapest: Kerepesi cemetery (34-1-30)

Ilona Tanner was the daughter of former priest who worked as an accountant. Her mother Anthony Weiszbrunner was the daughter of a colonel. She worked for a law firm and for the ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was forced to sleep with her boss to keep her job. When she ran into a friend she decided to have sex with him first so that her boss wouldn't be the first man she would sleep with. But she became pregnant and was forced to undergo an abortion.

She was involved with a man named Lorinc Szabó when she met Mihály Babits, who lived in the same building as Szabó. After three months, Babits suddenly asked for her hand and she accepted him. They were married on 15 January 1921. Sadly, she wasn't able to have children with him because of her abortion. In 1928 they adopted a girl, Ildikó, and pretended it was their daughter, but Ilona's relationship with Ildikó was difficult and she disinherited her before she died.

Her poems were published in Nyugat and other magazines. She used the pseudonym Sophie Török for her writings that were always in the shadow of those of her husband. He died in 1941 of cancer and in 1948 she published her last volume of poetry, "Sirató".

• Husband: Babits, Mihály (1921-1941)


The grave of Mihály Babits at the Kerepesi cemetery in Budapest.
Picture by Androom (20 Aug 2006)


Tappert, Horst

Published: 17 Mar 2019
Last update: 25 Jan 2022