The Courage for Freedom: Texas 56ers Remember the Revolution

by | Dec 6, 2016 | We Proudly Support

Members of the Hungarian Community of Dallas – Fort Worth organized a special event to honor the heroes living amongst the community and those who have already passed. The commemoration was organized by, Éva Beluska MMCC President, Pesti Ilona MMCC Event Organizer, Váli Péter MMCC Vice President, representing the Metroplex Magyar Cultural Circle, and a number of volunteers who worked hard to make the event memorable.

At the Cistercian Abbey’s Chapel, a Hungarian Mass of Remembrance was officiated by Fr. Julius Leloczky, O. Cist. followed by a violin presentation of F. J. Schubert’s Ave by Frank Holly, one of the survivors of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

After the church service, wreaths were laid at the 1956-ers Kopjafa Monument. This monument was carved by artisans in Transylvania, brought over to Texas by four families (in suitcases on airplanes) and erected in front of the abbey for the 50th anniversary of the revolution by the late Gazda Imre, and his family and friends. A short tribute was read by Márton Béla, also a 56-er, and one of the four who brought the pieces of the memorial here. This part of the commemoration was concluded with the singing of the Hungarian National Anthem.

The commemoration of the revolution continued in the Cistercian Preparatory School’s Gymnasium, where the history of the uprising was presented in Hungarian by Péter Váli, the Vice President of the MMCC, with English translation of the presentation in form of a slide show projected by Pesti Ilona.

There was a special honorary table set for the 16 Hungarians who shared their memoirs in the bilingual book, The Courage for Freedom, 56-ers Remember from Texas, collected, compiled and edited by Éva Beluska, and published by the Metroplex Magyar Cultural Circle.

1956ers were introduced one by one, by Éva Beluska, President of MMCC to the applause of their families, and other Hungarian descendants of refugees and friends who attended this beautiful tribute. Their pictures and a brief quotation from their stories were projected, each hero toasted with fine Hungarian Plum and Apricot Brandy. At the end of the emotional presentation, all as a group together with all the refugees of 1956 were presented and applauded.

A rare coming together of Texan 1956ers.

A rare coming together of Texan 1956ers.

Heroes presented in the book are:

  1. Frank J. Holly PhD., FFAO
  2. Kázmér Mészáros
  3. Ödön Pál Takács
  4. László Hertelendy
  5. Elmér Engel
  6. Professor Emeritus Joseph Nagyvary
  7. Jenõ E. Muller
  8. Gábor Nagy
  9. Jenõ Lukácsy
  10. Béla Szovák
  11. Father Bernard Marton
  12. Csaba Gyula Finta
  13. Father Julius Leloczky
  14. Magda Sándor
  15. Béla Márton
  16. Beatrix Zsuzsánna Mányai

The program also featured classical musical selections for the dinner guests to enjoy by the trio of Gábor Simonfalvi, Antonia Paláncz, and Enikő Walter Howard.

A poem written by Lt. Zoltan Kárpáti of the Hungarian Army entitled “Hungarian October” was recited with great emotion by Edina Balogh. “Hungarian October” was written during a battle on October 30th gave all the guests a unique insight to the battles and emotions of a loyal Magyar soldier who lived the revolution at its bitter core. Then, each of the 56-ers were given a carnation by a younger fellow Hungarian as a symbol of appreciation of their deeds, and toasted with a glass of wine from Eger, distributed by

Special guests were Hon. Phillip Aronoff, the Honorary Consul of Hungary from Houston, and his wife Lynn. As Mr. Aronoff addressed the more than 200 guests, acknowledged the importance of the revolution, which in spite of the defeat, the idea, the love of freedom lived on in the tiny nation and inspired others to fight for their freedom. The commemorative part of the event concluded with the blessing of the guests by Fr. Julius Leloczky.

The Csárdás Hungarian Dancers of Austin ( took to the dance floor with folk dancing and traditional dances of Hungary. As all the pageantry drew to a close, the guests were able to purchase the bilingual book, Bátorság A Szabadságert Texasi 56-osok Emlékeznek, The Courage for Freedom, 56-ers Remember from Texas and have it dedicated by the authors of each memoir. (also available for purchase at

One of the book’s heroes, Joseph Nagyvary introduced his own biography book: Violence and Violins – The Making of a Hungarian Refugee, which is also available for purchase at:

The event was a fitting way to honor to the heroes who gave their lives in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, whose blood was spilled so that the scourge of communism would eventually be toppled and our beloved Hungary could again be free from tyranny. – Éva Beluska MMCC President

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