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Fri, 30 Sep 2016 08:57:42 EDT by webmaster, 16362 views
New York Hungarian House
History/Political Science paper by Nagy, Ildikó (all papers)
Hungarian Freedom Fighters in America -- An Oral History
On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the 1956 uprising and freedom fight the Hungarian House of New York organized an oral history research that was followed by an exhibit depicting the stories of the freedom fighters and immigrants, displaying their personal artifacts and portraits from 1956. Our goal was to contribute in this way to deepening awareness the stories of Hungarians living as immigrants. The 1956 uprising and freedom fight is a pivotal point not only in the history of Hungary but in the history of American-Hungarian immigration as well. Of the 200,000 people who left Hungary then, 60,000 found a new home in North America. 1956 remains ever a keystone of respect accorded Hungary on the international plane. During the time of the Hungarian uprising the public in the West observed with helpless amazement as the people in a country behind the Iron Curtain rose up against the far stronger Soviet super power, putting their lives, their families and their livelihoods at risk in a heroic, tragic, according to the prevailing political logic irrational, struggle for freedom. Fighting for the same ideal which in the West is "the most abstract, but at the same time, the most indispensable" (Csaba Békés). The West received the refugees coming from Hungary with open arms. And in turn, the refugees became rapidly and successfully integrated into American society while, at the same time, they played and continue to play an active role in creating institutions, which preserve the social life of their local American-Hungarian communities.
This presentation describes how this project was accomplished and analyzes the results, comparing the lives and perspectives of Hungarians from the New York area who participated.
Brief Professional Bio:
Ildikó Nagy has a degree in sociology from ELTE. She is curretly the managing director of the New York Hungarian House.