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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 10:51:53 EDT by admin, 125312 views
National Széchényi Library, Budapest
History paper by Kovács, Ilona (all papers)
Second Generation American Hungarian Soldiers in the US Army During World War II 1942-1945
The analysis of the lecture based on a collection of letters, which were written by young second generation American Hungarians who were drafted into the Army of the United States of America during World War II. The soldiers were the sons of Hungarian immigrants of New Brunswick, NJ and the letters were sent to Andrew Kosa the minister of the Magyar Reformed Church in the city who also served as the president of the Hungarian Defense Council. Following WW II he donated the letters to the Special Collection and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, New Brunswick, NJ. The letters give an insight of the world of the immigrant Hungarians in 1940s. It is a unique opportunity to find such a group of historical sources representing the same generation from the same period. The letters have their importance because of both their content and their language conserving and presenting the past for the next generations either for researchers or for the general public. In the collection there are 350 letters in English and 36 in Hungarian giving an idea of their language skill in both languages. The letters also give information about their Hungarian identity, their loyalty toward America, their value system. They show the cohesion of the Hungarian community and the process of their adjustment to American society and their assimilation. During the war they faced new perspectives which generated a new mobility that contributed later to the breaking up and change in the immigrant Hungarian community life.
The letters edited by Ilona Kovács were published by the Ethnographic Museum, Budapest in 2012.
Brief Professional Bio:
Ilona Kovács librarian, retired department head of the National Széchényi Library, Budapest.
She gained her diplomas at the Budapest University (ELTE, 1961) and at Kent State University, Ohio (MLS, 1975), and her doctoral degree at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA 1993). Her research area is Hungarians abroad focusing on American Hungarians. As head of the Hungarica Documentation she was director of grants for collecting information and documentation and build up Hungarica databases and also conducting surveys to publish a series of publications on Hungarica material of libraries in Europe, Australia and Canada. She attended several international conferences in Europe, USA, Canada and Hungary and published over 100 articles, studies and books.