The Hungarian Association of Cleveland (Magyar Társaság) organized two exhibits reaching out to the Cleveland-area students at John Carroll University and another to participants at the Hungarian Association 2016 Congress aimed at the Hungarian community in Ohio.
The John Carroll University Grasselli Library 1956 exhibit – October 16th 2016
The opening reception of the exhibit was attended by about 70-80 people from the community including several graduates of John Carroll University. One exteneded family in particular brought all the generations since their Grandfather was a 56-er. The younger generation, who did not speak Hungarian also joined the opening in an effort to show their support and gain understanding of the historic events. The organizers honored the Grandfather by presenting him with the “Spirit of Hungary” history book written by Stephen Sisa.
The reception consisted of speeches by JCU alumni, Miklos Peller, a 1956-er and August Pust, former Director of Multicultural Affairs and International Relations, State of Ohio, followed by a reception and presentation of two films: “Play your own Game” and “Freedom Dance”, the latter was from the Hungarian Association archives that stressed the hardships of leaving one’s homeland behind.
The aim of the exhibit was to show the young participants in their fight for freedom. Today when the threat of communism is usually downplayed, the exhibit made a point of highlighting the brutality of the regime. Another focus of the exhibit was to show the response of the world to 1956 through a panel dedicated to newsclips. Another panel portrayed the Hungarian artist renditions of the events of the revolution. The panels conveyed the spontaneity with which the revolution erupted and the universal support from the people.
Exhibit at the 56th Hungarian Congress held at the Hilton Downtown Garden Inn November 25-27, 2016
The aim of the exhibit was to provide copies of original news fliers and newspapers from the Revolution thereby bringing back the atmosphere of the Revolution. The newspapers were interspersed with the exhibit and also displayed for easy reading.
During the Hungarian Congress there were two lectures on 1956, one held by Dr. Miklos Tapay titled the “Romanian Communists and the Securitate’s role in the 56 revolution” as well as a more personal presentation by Agnes Toldy, whose father, as a young theologian was imprisoned for trumped up charges in Transylvania following the 1956 revolution. The 1956 exhibit with its declarations and newspapers calling for solidarity and presenting the news of the day were viewed and read by participants of the Congress, where participation was between 70-200 people depending on the day. Hungarian Congress 56 Exhibit.