AHF is pursuing resolutions commemorating the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in US Congress and State Legislatures! In honor of the Revolution's 50th Anniverary, AHF's 1956 Commemoration Committee announced a nationwide effort urging state houses and governors to adopt resolutions honoring the heroes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Texas became the first state to adopt the resolution and congratulated the American Hungarian Federation on its 100th anniversary. Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, and Virginia followed with other states. AHF continues efforts to ensure our heroes are not forgotten. Join us and help!
10/19/2011 - AHF Remembers the 55th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) honors heroes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Fight for Freedom and refers to The American Hungarian Federation's commemorative statement in the Congressional Record. The statement reflects on the heroism and sacrifices made for freedom, but also acknowledges some if its consequences which still linger today such as the solidly Stalinist Romanian government's virtual liquidation of the Hungarian-language Bolyai University in Romania [read more]
10/23/2009 - The White House Issues Statement Commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the Hungarian uprising of 1956... " We commemorate today the 53rd anniversary of the Hungarian uprising of 1956. On October 23, 1956, the Hungarian people stood up against tyranny in the name of freedom, bravely rising up to oppose the Communist regime which had been imposed upon them by the Soviet Union. During this uprising, many Hungarians died to defend and advance their country’s freedom and independence..." [read more]
10/22/2009 - Vice President Joe Biden recalls sacrifices of 1956 during presentation while visiting Central University Library, Bucharest, Romania. "Those of us who know about the bloodshed and the freedom fighters in Hungary in 1956; those who felt the chilling end to the warm Prague spring of 1968 in Wenceslas Square; those who shut down the shipyards in Gdansk in 1980; those here in Romania who endured the most ruthless totalitarian dictatorship in the latter half of the 21st [sic] century in Europe. Each and every one was struggling not only against something, but for something -- for government, a government that responds to the needs of its people; for a more tolerant society, built on respect and dignity; for the freedom to think, to believe, and to pursue your dreams. [read more]
1/30/2007 - Congressional Record - Congressman Christopher Smith (R - NJ) honors the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... "Madam Speaker, this past October, Hungary celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising. As President Bush said in his October 18 Presidential Proclamation, ``the story of Hungarian democracy represents the triumph of liberty over tyranny.'' Like the President, I honor the men and women who struggled--not only in 1956 but for many years thereafter--for democracy in Hungary." He also recalled the powerful words of Istvan Gereben [read more]
10/18/2006 - President Bush issues a proclamation honoring the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... "The story of Hungarian democracy represents the triumph of liberty over tyranny. In the fall of 1956, the Hungarian people demanded change, and tens of thousands of students, workers, and other citizens bravely marched through the streets to call for freedom. Though Soviet tanks brutally crushed the Hungarian uprising, the thirst for freedom lived on, and in 1989 Hungary became the first communist nation in Europe to make the transition to democracy." [download the resolution]
6/27/2006 - Congressional Record - Congressman Christopher Smith (R - NJ) pays Tribute to Hungarian Victims of Communist Terror... honors the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... "On October 23, 1956, these two powerful forces--tyrannica1 communism and the principles of democracy--met and clashed in the middle of Europe. Within the Soviet Empire, the 1956 Hungarian Revolution presented an alternative to a deceptively dangerous idea, the idea that the best solution to a war-ravaged world is to eliminate political, cultural, religious, economic and national differences by imposing a single, universal “truth.” This idea represented the incontestable dogma of communism." [read more]
6/12/2006 - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger honors the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... "...your nation's efforts tearing down the Iron Curtain helped many oother countries enjoy the blessings of self-governance. [download the letter]
6/12/2006 - Congressional Record - Senator Mike DeWine honors the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution... "Mr. President, today I honor the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. In 1956, the people of Hungary stood in the face of adversity and expressed their passion for democracy and independence. They had a vision of what a free and democratic Hungary would look like--a vision that finally came to fruition after nearly 35 years. Only 10 years prior the revolution, Hungarians participated in free elections. Through those elections, the people felt the hope and promise of democracy. The perseverance of these strong people can be seen in their remarkable journey toward freedom. [Download the Congressional Record]
12/7/2005 - Congressional Record - House unanimously passes resolution recognizing 50th anniverary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. By a unanimous and recorded vote, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 479 on December 6, 2005. The resolution, which had been introduced by Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), recognizes the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and enjoyed the support of the American Hungarian community and its various organizations. The American Hungarian Federation applauds Congressman Lantos for taking the initiative to introduce and secure passage of H. Res. 479. As stated earlier by the Federation, "With this resolution, the Congress has eloquently recognized the extraordinary sacrifices made by Hungarians 50 years ago, reaffirmed the historic ties and close friendship between the United States and Hungary and acknowledged the tremendous contribution made by Hungarians forced to flee tyranny and start a new life in the United States." [Download H. Res. 479]
States that have passed the 1956 Revolution 50th Anniversary Resolution:
4/28/2006 - Texas became the first state to adopt the AHF 1956 resolution (House Resolution 75). AHF extends sincere thanks to Texas Senator Janek and Representative Woolley for introducing the measure and to AHF's Texas Chapter President Chris Cutrone in Austin and Honorary Consul for Hungary Phillip Aronoff in Houston for their efforts in securing the introuduction of the resolution. The resolution's title: "Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution and recognizing the sacrifices of Hungarian Freedom Fighters, the contributions of Hungarian Americans, and the friendship between the people and governments of the United States and Hungary." Full text of the Texas resolution can be found on the Texas House Website.
The Houston Chronicle also published an Op-Ed calling attention to the resolution by Hungarian Honorary Consul Phillip Aronoff in Houston and Bryan Dawson-Szilagyi, AHF Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Ohio. Special thanks to the Hon. Péter Ujvági, Ohio State Representative (D) who successfully pushed the resolution (#212) through both state houses. [download the resolution] Ohio Governor Taft also issues a proclamation [download]
Go to [ALL 1956 News]
- AHF President Emeritus, Entrepreneur, Freedom Activist,
and 1959 US "Citizen of the Year," George K. Haydu, passed away
after long illness. The death of this great humanitarian and
leader is a major loss for the Hungarian-American community and to all
his many friends. Despite many death threats and being shot in the leg
during "Loyalty Day" parade in New York City, George was undeterred
in his efforts to bring freedom to Hungary and comfort to refugees.
5/19/2005 - Gergely "Bajusz" Pongratz, a leader and hero of Hungary's anti-communist revolution of 1956, has died at age 73.
Pongratz suffered a heart attack on Wednesday in the southern
Hungarian town of Kiskunmajsa where he lived, said Dezso Abraham, secretary
general of the World Council of Hungarian 56ers revolutionary veterans
group. During the revolution, Pongratz was commander of one of the key
resistance groups fighting the Soviet army. [read
12/10/2004 - JENO SZEREDAS, 90, Hungarian Freedom Fighter Federation Founder, AHF Member, and Noted Artist Dies...
Jeno Andras Szeredas, Hungarian political activist and Senator, 1956 Freedom Fighter, Founder of the Freedom Fighters Federation in the United States, poet and artist of rare talent died quietly in his sleep at his daughter's home in Connecticut on November 30. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday.
Born in Iglo, Hungary (now Slovakia) in 1914, Mr. Szeredas was both witness to and active participant in the turmoil sweeping over Europe for the balance of the 20th century. [more]
Memorials Dedicated to 1956
"October 23, 1956, is a day that will live forever
in the annals of free men and nations. It was a day of courage, conscience
and triumph. No other day since history began has shown more clearly the
eternal unquenchability of man's desire to be free, whatever the odds
against success, whatever the sacrifice required."-
President John F. Kennedy,
Albert Camus' Stirring Letter to the World:
"The Blood of the Hungarians"
I am not one of those who wish to see the people of Hungary take up arms again in a rising certain to be crushed, under the eyes of the nations of the world, who would spare them neither applause nor pious tears, but who would go back at one to their slippers by the fireside like a football crowd on a Sunday evening after a cup final.
There are already too many dead on the field, and we cannot be generous with any but our own blood. The blood of Hungary has re-emerged too precious to Europe and to freedom for us not to be jealous of it to the last drop.
But I am not one of those who think that there can be a compromise, even one made with resignation, even provisional, with a regime of terror which has as much right to call itself socialist as the executioners of the Inquisition had to call themselves Christians.
And on this anniversary of liberty, I hope with all my heart that the silent resistance of the people of Hungary will endure, will grow stronger, and, reinforced by all the voices which we can raise on their behalf, will induce unanimous international opinion to boycott their oppressors.
And if world opinion is too feeble or egoistical to do justice to a martyred people, and if our voices also are too weak, I hope that Hungary’s resistance will endure until the counter-revolutionary State collapses everywhere in the East under the weight of its lies and contradictions.
Hungary conquered and in chains has done more for freedom and justice than any people for twenty years. But for this lesson to get through and convince those in the West who shut their eyes and ears, it was necessary, and it can be no comfort to us, for the people of Hungary to shed so much blood which is already drying in our memories.
In Europe’s isolation today, we have only one way of being true to Hungary, and that is never to betray, among ourselves and everywhere, what the Hungarian heroes died for, never to condone, among ourselves and everywhere, even indirectly, those who killed them.
It would indeed be difficult for us to be worthy of such sacrifices. But we can try to be so, in uniting Europe at last, in forgetting our quarrels, in correcting our own errors, in increasing our creativeness, and our solidarity. We have faith that there is on the march in the world, parallel with the forces of oppression and death which are darkening our history, a force of conviction and life, an immense movement of emancipation which is culture and which is born of freedom to create and of freedom to work.
Those Hungarian workers and intellectuals, beside whom we stand today with such impotent sorrow, understood this and have made us the better understand it. That is why, if their distress is ours, their hope is ours also. In spite of their misery, their chains, their exile, they have left us a glorious heritage which we must deserve: freedom, which they did not win, but which in one single day they gave back to us. (October 23, 1957)
AHF dedicates this work
- Read this in German, Hungarian, French, and Spanish on this AHF member site, the [American Hungarian Museum]