On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the 1956 uprising and freedom fight the Hungarian House of New York presented an exhibit titled “Milestones – American-Hungarian Immigrants in the aftermath of 1956: Portraits and Life Stories” depicting the stories of the freedom fighters and immigrants, displaying their personal artifacts and portraits from 1956.
We believe in the importance of remembering the 1956 immigrants as well as learning about the social history of the Hungarian diaspora, since there is no systematic knowledge transfer and material related to the history of the diaspora. – Ildiko Nagy
The 1956 uprising and freedom fight was 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 about 60,000 found a new home in North America. 1956 therefore remains an important Milestone for Hungary and the international scene as well.
As part of the project, after installing the exhibit, historian Csaba Békés, Visiting Professor from Columbia University and a well-known expert on 1956 and the cold-war period, was invited to give a lecture to the students of Arany János Hungarian School about the importance of 1956.
„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.” – historian Csaba Békés.
The media partner of the project was: Mandiner providing extensive coverage of the immigrant stories in Hungarian. Translators were Margit Arnóczy, Zsuzsanna Cselényi, Katarina Duzdevich, Viktor Fischer, Veronika Székely. The installation and room preparation was made by István Tordai, Zsolt Tordai.
Complete texts were published on the Facebook page of the Hungarian House.
The exhibit materials and portraits are available on the website of the project: http://www.hungarianhousenyc.com/merfoldkovek/