AHF eNews January 11th, 2004

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AHF Top Stories

1/4/2005 - Hungarians have until September 2005 to formally request return of confiscated properties in Slovakia under the Benes Decrees. The 1945 Benes Decrees claimed collective World War II responsibility of Germans and Hungarians living in Czechoslovakia, and deprived them of their rights, their property and expelled many of them from the country.

The "Szabad Ujsag" weekly has published a list of those lands, which were taken away during the Benes programs. The original owners or their descendants may recover expropriated lands and properties if they can prove their ownership and relationships to the original owner. The validated documents have to be shown to the proper authorities. One catch is that it has to be proven before September 1 of 2005. [more] [see all AHF news]

1/3/2005 - AHF attends summit in Subotica / Szabadka (Vojvodina, Serbia and Montenegro), and issues statement on recent dual-citizenship referendum held in Hungary. All major ethnic Hungarian parties from successor states are invited at the highest level to work out a joint strategy of next steps on the dual-citizenship drive. Balkans analyst Tibor Purger will represent AHF at the meeting called by Jozsef Kasza, President of the Vojvodina Hungarians, the largest Hungarian parliamentary party in the Province. [more in English and Hungarian] [see all AHF news]

1/2/2005 - AHF Launches bookstore on

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AHF in the News

Paprikás csirke a Capitoliumon
Népszabadság, Horváth Gábor, 2004. december 29

A 108. képviseloházat a magyar lobbi az Amerikai Magyar Szövetséggel közösen paprikás csirkével és hazai borokkal búcsúztatta. A fogadáson a képviseloi irodák mintegy hatvan munkatársa vett részt, akik magyar szakácskönyvet és elismero oklevelet kaptak. [more]

AHF International News

1/5/2005 - 1st Annual Hungarian Emigres' Cultural Exposition and Festival in Budapest a Success!

AHF helps sponsor first annual Hungarians Emigres' cultural festival entitled, "Split Emotions" in Budapest. Coordinated by Nationality Broadcasting Network TV- the Budapest Office of AHF member, Ohio-based American Hungarian TV - the festival, which ran from December 7 - 13th, 2004, aimed to strengthen ties between Hungarians on both sides of the Atlantic and around the world. [more]
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Other International News

RFE/RL Newsline - Vol. 9, No. 6, Part II, 11 January 2005

Culture Minister Mona Musca on 10 January banned any further showing in Romania of a Hungarian documentary film on the 1920 Trianon Treaty on the grounds that it is chauvinistic, dpa reported. The 14-part documentary was produced by Hungarian film director Gabor Koltai and is based on the works of Hungarian historian Erno Raffayi. A shorter two-hour version was shown in Cluj on 9 January under the auspices of the local Hungarian Reformed Theological Institute. Reformed Bishop Laszlo Toekes appears in the documentary. Hungarian State Television (MTV) and Duna TV, which broadcasts for Hungarian minorities abroad, refused to broadcast the documentary on grounds that it was anti-Semitic and incited revisionism, according to dpa and reports in Romanian dailies of 10 January.

RFE/RL Newsline - Vol. 9, No. 5, Part II, 10 January 2005

The Humanist Party said on 8 January it will not designate any of its members as prefects since it was not consulted by the rest of the coalition on the appointment of prefects made one day earlier, Mediafax reported. The government on 7 January announced it had appointed 14 members of the National Liberal Party (PNL), 14 Democratic Party members, and four members of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) as prefects. Prefects in six counties are yet to be appointed, and the government said five of them would be members of the Humanist Party. Meanwhile, the local leaders of the PNL and Democratic Party in Covasna County announced they will resign to protest the appointment of UDMR member Gyorgy Erven as prefect of that county. The UDMR is to have prefects also in the counties of Caras-Severin, Bistrita-Nasaud, and Maramures.

RFE/RL Newsline - Vol. 9, No. 2, Part II, 5 January 2005

A Covasna County court ruled on 4 January that a decision by the local council in the Transylvanian village of Ilieni to hold a plebiscite on autonomy for lands inhabited by ethnic Hungarian Szeklers is illegal, Mediafax reported. Covasna County official Horia Grama challenged the decision to hold the referendum and appealed a similar decision by the local council in the village of Batani.

Meanwhile, an official in Harghita County on 4 January appealed a decision by the municipal council in Gheorgheni to hold a similar referendum on 30 January. The Hungarian Civic Union (UCM) in December called on local councils in areas inhabited by Szeklers to hold plebiscites on autonomy. The Szeklers are a group within the Hungarian minority, and the region historically known as the Szekler Lands has a centuries-long tradition of autonomous rule. That tradition was quashed first by the Habsburgs monarchy and later by the Romanian state.

Hungarian archives may not keep secrets for long
New York Times News Service via Philadelphia Inquirer,
January 2nd, 2005

Last month, Hungarians learned that a well-known television-show host and theater critic had been exposed as a former spy for the country's communist-era secret police.

According to documents in the national archives, Peter Molnar Gal was recruited in 1963 and continued working as an informant until the collapse of communism in 1989. His targets included friends, fellow journalists, and the actors whose plays he reviewed. [more]

New Book hits the shelves:
Edward Teller: the real Dr. Strangelove
Peter Goodchild, Harvard University press, January 2nd, 2005

Edward Teller (1908-2003) had one of the longest and most noteworthy careers in the history of science. He made important contributions to nuclear physics in the 1930s and was a leading figure in the inception of the World War II Manhattan Project. He is most famous, though, as "the father of the hydrogen bomb" [buy on AHF Bookstore on Amazon]

Hungarian Parliament expected to pass a new innovation law
Jane Burgermeister, Vienna, Austria - December 30, 2004

Hungary aims to promote the commercialization of publicly funded research and to boost private investment into its nascent biotech sector.

The Hungarian government is introducing a new piece of legislation to promote the creation and commercialization of university research in hopes of boosting its biotech industry. But members of the biotech community fear that the measures will not be enough to attract much needed capital to the country's fledging biotech industry. [more]

Kertesz Novel 'Fateless' Adapted for Film
Associated Press / Miami Herald - December 29, 2004

"Fateless," the film adaptation of 2002 Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertesz's novel of a young boy's experience of the Holocaust, will premiere at the Budapest Film Festival in early February. [more]

U.S. Finally Settles ‘Gold Train’ Case:
But local Hungarian leader says preliminary deal tinged with sadness.

Stewart Ain, The Jewish Week - Staff Writer - December 24, 2004

Facing up to a dark moment in its history, the United States in a landmark decision this week agreed for the first time to pay restitution to a group of Holocaust survivors. [more]

Are Tokay and Tocai really a threat to Hungary’s Tokaji wine?
Kim Hunter, Beveridge Daily - December 21, 2004

EU Advocate General Francis Jacobs has said that the ban on the use of the name 'Tocai' for Italian wine should be upheld. The announcement reignites arguments surrounding Geographical Indications (GIs) and the right to label wine by grape variety, writes Gordon. [more]

Hungary's secret files mired in bickering
Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 16, 2004 (UPI)

The Hungarian government's decision to open Soviet-era secret police files has created a storm of debate, the International Herald Tribune said. [more]

Eszterhas Heads To The Olympics
...To make a film about water polo

Empire Online - 15 December 2004

It's a dangerous sport, water polo. Why, last time Empire played we had two ponies drowned under us!* But no water polo match was ever more dangerous than the Olympic semi-final in 1956, when the game reached the depths of savagery that Prince Charles can only dream about and the pool ran red with blood. And now thriller scribe Joe Eszterhas is making the story of the contest into a film. Hollywood scriptwriter Joe Eszterhas and producer Andrew Vajna, both Hungarian-born, are collaborating on the film known as “Blood in the Water” [more]

Inotek Pharmaceuticals' Chief Scientific Officer Receives Major Innovation Award
BEVERLY, Mass. (BUSINESS WIRE) -Dec. 9, 2004

Dr. Csaba Szabo has received the 2004 Dennis Gabor Award in Budapest, Hungary. This award, named after Nobel Laureate Hungarian Physicist Dennis Gabor, the inventor of the holography, is given annually to a handful of scientists of Hungarian origin for discovery and innovation achievements. The awardees' expertise range between physics, chemistry, economics and engineering and, in rare instances, biology and medicine. According to the awarding committee, Dr. Szabo was given the award for his groundbreaking research into the pathomechanisms of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases and for his contributions to the development of novel therapeutics related to these mechanisms. Previous Dennis Gabor awardees include Erno Rubik, the inventor of Rubik's cube. [more]

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