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Wed, 04 Sep 2013 03:52:59 EDT by admin, 53903 views
History paper by Cornelius, Deborah (all papers)
The Many Lives of a Hungarian Jewish Scout Troop: 311. Vörösmarty cs.cs.
The Vörösmarty scout troop, founded in 1924, was officially banned from the Hungarian Scouting Association in 1941 along with all Jewish troops. Despite the ban the troop continued its activities - weekly meetings, Sunday hikes, a winter camp and summer camp, under the auspices of the Buda Jewish Community. Its leaders, mainly young Jewish intellectuals, strove to 'toughen' their charges. Scouts learned not only such skills as first aid and orientation but also literature and philosophy. On March 19, 1944, as the scouts were returning from their usual Sunday hike, they were quickly dispersed. The Germans had arrived.
Ten months later, in January 1945, the Vörösmarty came back to life. Several leaders, returning from forced labor, revived the troop which gained new vigor under the auspices of the Trade Unions. The troop now included girls - the first and only co-ed scout troop in Hungary. In 1948, the Vörösmarty was again dissolved, this time by the communists.
Fifty-two years later in 2000, former Vörösmarty members reached out to still surviving fellow scouts. The troop was revived and carries on activities in Budapest, including an annual meeting in April, when former members arrive from far-flung sites. This April the members celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Vörösmarty troop. The first of its many lives.
Brief Professional Bio:
Deborah S. Cornelius received her PhD degree at Rutgers University in 1994. (MAT at Yale University, 1958 and BA from Connecticut College for Women, 1956.) Her scholarly interests include social and economic reform in Hungary, 1920-1945, Hungary's involvement in World War II, and the postwar democratic experiment, 1945-1948. She published two books on these subjects, Hungary in World War II: Caught in the Cauldron. Fordham U. Press, 2011 and In Search of the Nation: The New Generation of Hungarian Youth in Czechoslovakia 1925-1934. Columbia U. Press, 1999.