San Francisco Freedom Fighters Remember 1956

by | Dec 5, 2016 | We Proudly Support

Hungarian organizations and churches in the San Francisco Bay Area formed a joint committee in March 2016, to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Hungarian revolution and Freedom Fight of 1956. The Hungarian Heritage Foundation of the San Francisco Bay Area, and 12 groups hosted a series of five events from October 21 through October 23, 2016 to bring together the community on this special occasion, the  program highlights were attended by HIF Executive Director Anna Smith Lacey.

East Bay Commemoration, on Friday, October 21, 2016

The San Francisco Area Chapter of the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Federation hosted a Commemoration, featuring remarks by Vörös Katalin, Ágnes Kozák Gabris and a keynote address by Dr. Zsigmond Csicsery who gave a personal account of the revolution in 1956. Noted 1956-ers Dr. István Böröcz, István Dénes and András Rékay also relayed personal rememberances of the turbulent events of the revolution.

The program also featured video excerpts from the Memory Project, Hungarian-American History Archive. The evening concluded by the screening of Walter Cronkite’s “Revolt in Hungary”, a CBS Television documentary. The speakers talked about the revolution with decorum creating an intimate atmosphere and a memorable event with about 120 people in attendance.

Commemoration at the Gloria Victis Statue in San Francisco, on Sunday, October 23

Ever since the Gloria Victis statue was erected in San Francisco 30 years ago, it has been the focus of the yearly commemorations of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight. This year was special, not only because of the 60th anniversary but also because the statue was re-erected in its newly casted splendor. The Jackovics family and The Hungary Foundation sponsored the recasting.

The 60th Anniversary Commemoration included an introductory summary of events of the Revolution; a keynote speech, Why Do We Commemorate? by Col. Zsolt Szentkirályi, Ret. US Army.

Ernő Könnyü, Former State Legislator and US Congressman, who was instrumental in the realization of the statue, talked about the creation of the Gloria Victis Statue.

Ilona Magyary, who was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, described The Revolution from the American Perspective. The commemoration concluded with a wreath laying by the Jackovics Family. The event was attended by about 150 people.

The Amerikai Magyar Hírlap (Los Angeles) printed in full Ernő Könnyü’s speech, in the October 28, 2016 issue, available at


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