Former AHF board member, Rev. Imre A. Bertalan, 67, of Ligonier, died Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. He was born Oct. 4, 1949, in New Brunswick, N.J., son of the late Rev. Imre G. and Margaret Kosa Bertalan. [read more]
12/10/2015 - Geza Cseri, Father, Grandfather, Husband, Engineer, US Army Veteran, former science and technology advisor to NATO, AHF member, patriot, was born to Joseph and Mary Cseri on June 3, 1936 in Cegled, Hungary. He lived in the town of Abony along with his older brother, Zoli. They enjoyed a comfortable home with orchards and vineyards until they had to flee in September of 1944 due to advancing Russian forces. His family relocated to the most western part of Hungary, near Pozsony - Bratislava, and from there to Germany and eventually France where they became refugees. Geza was 9 years old. [read more]
10/21/2009 - AHF mourns the loss of another great Hungarian, sculptor, humanitarian. Csaba emigrated to the United States during the Hungarian revolution against Soviet occupation in 1956. His sculptures and monuments can be seen the worldwide. To celebrate and commemorate the friendship and shared values between the people of the United States and those of Hungarian descent, AHF commissioned a bronze bust of Lajos Kossuth and offered it to U.S. Congress. The dedication ceremony took place on March 15, 1990, Hungarian National Day, under the magnificent dome of the Capitol Rotunda. The bust is one of only two honoring non-Americans in the Capitol. The base reads, "Louis Kossuth, Father of Hungarian Democracy." He was an AHF Board member and was the beloved husband of the late Marta (nee Ruzicska); dear father of Martha (James) Brooks of GA; grandfather of Noah and Adam Brooks; and brother of the late Zsuzsana.
7/10/2008 - AHF Mourns the Loss of the Rev. Dr. Imre Bertalan, minister to our community, voice of unity, former President and Chairman of the American Hungarian Federation, President of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America (HRFA), and representative of the American Section of the World Alliance of Hungarians. Rev. Bertalan passed away on July 10, 2008 at his sister's home in upstate New York. He was 90 years old. [read more]
3/17/2007 - Great Painter, Sculptor and Hungarian, Gabriella Koszorus-Varsa passes away in her home in Washington, DC. Heralded as a master of portraits, figure compositions, as well as sculptures, Ms. Koszorus-Varsa's depiction of the charge of the cavalry during the battle of Charleston in ``Fidelissimus ad Mortem'' is a magnificent master work and hung in the US Capitol and was displayed at the AHF Congressional Reception in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. In 2007, she was honored with AHF's highest award, the Col. Commandant Michael Kovats Medal of Freedom for "her lifetime accomplishments and dedication to the preservation of our Hungarian heritage." A supporter of AHF for many decades and responsible for the design of some AHF stamps during its 1956 relief efforts and beyond. [read more]
11/6/2007 - AHF mourns the loss of Mózsi Ferenc, author of thirteen volumes of poetry. He was born in Budapest. He left Hungary in 1970 and lived for a time in Belgium pursuing literary studies at the Catholic University of Louvain. In 1974 he moved to the United States and founded and edited the Hungarian critical and artistic review Szivárvány. At the 1984 World Congress of Poetry in Marrakech, Morocco, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Poetry. Ferenc Mózsi lived in Chicago and owned Sebok Travel Services.
8/31/2007 - Imre Gazda, President of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Magyar Cultural Circle passed away on Friday August 31st, 2007 at the age of 64 after a brief but courageous battle with laryngeal cancer..
Imre was born February 1, 1943, in Hungary and spent his childhood in Mezokovesd and Eger, Hungary. He went to university in Russia and received a master's of engineering degree from the I.M. Gubkin Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas Industry in 1965. [read more]
8/6/2007 - Dr. Jean Dobos, Ph.D., passed away on August 6, 2007. Jean was born on November 21, 1939 and is survived by her loving husband, AHF Board Member Frank Dobos. She graduated from Holy Name Elementary and High School and received her B.S. from Notre Dame College, Master's Degree from Cleveland State University, and Ph.D. from Ohio State. She was a retired Assistant Professor at Cleveland State and Kent State where she loved her research and advising her thesis and dissertation students. An avid gardener, Jean looked forward to the Hudson Garden Club's annual flower sale where she volunteered. She enjoyed playing the saxophone and clarinet in the Bonita Springs Village Band in Florida and with the Two Generations Band in Brimfield. Mass of Christian Burial and reception were held on Saturday, August 11, at St. Emeric Catholic Church in Cleveland.
Dr. Paul Szilagyi, passed away suddenly, June 9th, of a heart attack at the age of 71. We will miss his unique humor, wisdom, and precious, colorful life. His extreme humility left much of his past hidden, even from me. I do know Paul was a "Pesti Srac" (Kid from Pest), young Freedom Fighters during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The communist regime declared the family "enemies of the state," because of their name, so he was not allowed to enter the Technical University for chemistry despite his high marks on the entry examinations... [he] would become the only Hungarian American to complete his Ph.D. under the tutelage of Dr. George Olah, Nobel Prize Winner and fellow Hungarian with whom he would go on to publish a number of scientific papers. "Dr. Szilagyi" would become an expert in organic chemistry, but few know that he also has numerous patents for his biomedical inventions. One of his first patents was a groudnbreaking vascular prosthesis, marketed as the "Szilagyi Woven Graft." He also invented a process to biocarbon coatings to improve prosthetic implants and aid in the ingrowth of bone. [read more]
11/15/2005 - 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.
With the Soviet crackdown on the ill-fated Hungarian Revolution, George Haydu was commissioned by the Governor of New Jersey in October 1956 as the civilian Commander of the Hungarian Refugee installation at Camp Kilmer, NJ. George Haydu and Ambassador Bang Jensen, a diplomat accredited to the United Nations from Belgium, received death treats from the Hungarian Secret Police if they went ahead with testimonies about the atrocities of the Soviets and Hungarian Stalinist Communists in Hungary. Both refused to comply. Ambassador Jensen was shot to death in New York's Central Park, but Haydu continued to lead anti-Kadar demonstrations in New York City in response to the execution of Prime Minister Imre Nagy, General Paul Maleter and others. Haydu was eventually shot in the leg at the October 1957 "Loyalty Parade" in New York City. [read more]
5/18/2005 - Gergely "Bajusz" Pongratz... One of the youthful rebel leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was Gergely Pongratz (Bajusz or "Moustache" was his nickname). He and his four his brothers were heavily involved in the organization of the revolt and fighting and their names were known to the Soviets. Under his command, the Corvin Passage fighters destroyed at least a dozen Soviet tanks, and resisted several waves of assault. Following the conflict, the Pongrátz brothers escaped capture and by 1957 had moved to the United States along with their two sisters. Gergely returned to Hungary in 1990. With his own money, he established the '56 Museum near Szeged. The museum is filled with memorabilia of the revolt--- a Russian tank, flags, maps, newspaper articles, photos of the Freedom Fighters (both survivors and those killed in battle or later hanged), maps, and a large assortment of the weapons used in the 1956 revolution. Chairman of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters' Association [read more]
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. [read more]
New Video posted to the AHF 1956 Portal! "News Magazine of the Screen" presented "Flight from Hungary" in early 1957 featuring video taken after the brutal Soviet re-occupation. "This is battered Budapest under the brutal Russian boot, Soviet tanks roam the streets under the ruins they laid as communist secret police hunt down heroic Freedom Fighters. 25,000 Hungarians are dead." A fascinating video, it also includes news about the Suez Crisis and more glimpes into life during this time. [See all our Videos]
On October 22, 1956, a group of Hungarian students compiled a list of sixteen points containing key national policy demands. They were read at the foot of the General Bem statue, a Polish hero of the 1848 War of Liberation, in solidarity with the anti-communist demonstrations in Poznan, Poland. Following an anti-Soviet protest march through the Hungarian capital of Budapest, the students attempted to enter the city's main broadcasting station to read their demands on the air. The students were detained, and when people gathered outside the broadcasting station to call for their release, the state security police fired on the unarmed crowd, setting off the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Click the picture to read the 16 points!
AHF's work regarding the tragic events nearly 50 years ago, dates back to the early days of the revolution and thereafter assisting tens of thousands of refugees. In 1956 the American Hungarian Federation activated the second Hungarian Relief program for the refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, providing $512,560.00. With the support of the American Hungarian Federation, over 65,000 refugees arrived in the USA. Get involved and help us continue our tradition of helping our community! Join Us!
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]
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]