tribe". The "eighth tribe" in modern times, refers to all Hungarians living in the diaspora.

       In response to the many requests for assistance, various programs were set up to ease the post-war suffering in Hungary as well as to assist the Hungarians living in camps in Europe. The Cleveland Chapter of the American Hungarian Federation made available $150,000 for this purpose. Eleven hundred care packages were prepared and sent to Hungary by the Cleveland community; they contained clothing, medicine, foodstuffs and money.58 János Jakab, president of the local chapter of the A.H.F. was a key figure in the sending of these care packages. Many were active in the relief efforts, such as Teréz Stibrán and Teréz Dudás, who solicited contributions, organized cultural programs and did much to promote John F. Montgomery's book, Hungary: the Unwilling Satellite, which documents Hungary's forced nazification during the war. The American Hungarian Federation widely promoted Montgomery's book, in a large-scale effort to extricate Hungarian Displaced Persons from the "ex-enemy" status they were given by the government after the war.


       Gaining entry to the United States was very difficult for Hungarians because of their "ex-enemy" status. Most Hungarian Displaced Persons waited in Europe for several years before coming to this country; the majority arrived in the early 1950s, when their status was finally reconsidered and changed. In order to be admitted, the newcomers were required to obtain a "Home and Job Assurance", which was a guarantee, made by a U.S. citizen, that the immigrant would have a place of residence and employment. By the mid-1950s the Cleveland community had provided thousands of these "Assurances"





for Hungarians in Europe. Some distrust existed, however, between the old-timers and the new wave of Hungarians. According to one source, one Hungarian American newspaper which was widely read in Germany and Austria among the Displaced Persons, carried an article which stated that "even the children of these Hungarians should be killed because they are already infected with Nazism."59 Although this article was extreme by any measure and not representative of the views of the majority of Hungarian Americans, it was based on some of the fears and suspicions which the old-timers felt towards the post-war wave.

       To gain entry to this country, the D.P.s underwent many different forms of screening: there were extensive medical examinations as well as investigations into the applicant's past. Anyone suspected of being involved in Nazi wrongdoings in any manner whatsoever could not even apply for emigration to the United States. The Hungarian newcomers who arrived in Cleveland were, overall, as ashamed of their country's involvement in the Nazi era as were the old-timers.

       The United States Army, in search of new recruits for the Korean War, enlisted Displaced Persons in Europe with the promise that if they served their term of duty, they would be granted immediate U.S. citizenship. Many young Hungarian men took the opportunity.60 There were several risks involved, however, as if they were captured by the North Koreans, they surrendered all rights and privileges as U.S. enlistments.

       Between 1947 and 1953, approximately six thousand Hungarian Displaced Persons arrived in Cleveland. They were generally from the middle and upper middle classes in Hungary and from urban areas. Many of them were lawyers, doctors, politicians, army officers and educators. Most were handicapped





by the fact that they were middle aged. Losing everything and having to start anew proved to be extremely difficult for most, even traumatic for some. Hundreds were too old to begin new careers. They obtained employment in factories or machine shops, hoping to work long enough to secure a minimum amount of social security for their retirement.

       Often, humor was the only way to combat the depression and hopelessness that came with the drastic change in occupation and status. At the Ford assembly plant in Cleveland there was an entire contingent of Hungarian D.P.s. One of them, who was formerly a Lieutenant General in the Hungarian Army, was quoted to have said, "Well, at least I haven't lost my rank; I'm still a general, a general cleaner that is."61 Another post-war immigrant, who was an elected official in Hungary, could read and write English well, but because he wanted to learn American English, he enrolled in the first grade in a neighborhood school. The emigré, who was over six feet in height, was quoted to have said, "The desks were small, but the instruction at this level for learning basic American pronunciation was very effective."62

       A comparison of the Displaced Persons and the old-timers reveals several major differences. The old-timers generally received few years of formal education and they were from the rural areas of Hungary. In contrast, the newcomers were generally skilled and/or educated, they came from the urban centers. The old-timers lived in one neighborhood, their sense of community was reflected in their local churches, schools and clubhouses. The D.P.s' sense of community was intellectual and not geographical; they believed that through language maintenance programs and cultural associations, their ethnic identity could be nurtured and upheld. Concerning American politics, the differences were also profound. The newcomers were conservative





and generally leaned towards the Republican Party, whereas the old-timers were affiliated with the Democrats, as a direct consequence of the Depression and the Roosevelt Presidency. Despite all these contrasts, however, the newcomers were dependent on the older immigrants for assistance and guidance The old-timers did not shirk their responsibilities towards the new wave; they helped the newcomers in many different ways.

       Through community efforts, housing was made available for the immigrants. Each newly-arrived family was given a room in the house, all were allowed to reside there for an interim period, until employment was found by the breadwinner and relocation could be arranged. One Hungarian couple was remembered in particular by D.P. families for their generous assistance and kindness. Imre Olexo and his wife, Piroska, residents of lower Buckeye Road, obtained jobs and small loans and provided much needed guidance for many newcomers. One Hungarian D.P. recalled, "Mrs. Olexo took a group of us down Buckeye Road and explained the names of the more important streets, translating many of them into Hungarian so that we would remember them better. We were also provided with a tour of downtown, during which she pointed out the major landmarks in the city and familiarized us with the various sections of Cleveland. Piroska Olexo invited the group to lunch and somehow we were under the impression that this was all being paid for by a Hungarian organization or civic group. It was only later that I realized what a tremendous sacrifice this work was on the part of Imre Olexo and his wife in time, energy and funds expended."63


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       The Displaced Persons left their homeland because of changes in the political system—not because of economic reasons; they intended to return to Hungary when the Soviet occupation of their homeland ended-and in these





respects they were emigrés. They were the most politically conscious wave. Their emigré status was reflected in their organizations, publications and the strong emphasis they placed on transmitting the knowledge of the Hungarian language and culture to their offspring. Many post-war Hungarians initially settled in the Buckeye Road Hungarian neighborhood. The majority did not stay there, however, their attachment to the homeland was expressed through cultural organizations and institutions rather than by living in close proximity to fellow countrymen.

       The D.P.s formed new organizations and institutions. Newspapers such as the Szabadság no longer catered to the needs of the entire community; the post-war wave established new periodicals. Despite the fact that there were always functions sponsored and supported by the old-timers as well as the Displaced Persons, the two have comprised very different segments of the community. Interestingly, the first D.P. association was organized by an old-timer, Imre Olexo, who aided the newcomers in resettlement. The Hungarian Aid and Cultural Society was founded as a mutual aid society for Displaced Persons. Its aim was to assist others in immigration and to support Hungarians in Europe who, because of old age or prolonged illness, were left stranded without any means of support.

       Organizations such as the Committee for Hungarian Liberation were formed to protest the Soviet occupation of Hungary. Other political committees were established to represent the rights of approximately three million Hungarians living as minorities in territories partitioned from Hungary after World War I: in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia (USSR) and Transylvania (Rumania).





The Cleveland Hungarian Ladies Charity Committee Preparing packages of food for the needy duribng the Depression.


The founding meeting of The Old Settlers Association 1931 (Courtesy of the Cleveland Press)





       Several organizations were founded which sought to retain the traditions of the homeland, among them were the Hungarian Veterans' Association and the Family Society of Hungarian Veteran Gendarmes. The tradition of the Debutante Ball was initiated within the community by the Hungarian Veterans.

       Among the many cultural organizations established by the post-war wave was the Hungarian Association, which, since 1952, has promoted cultural activities through lecture series, Hungarian Congresses, the Árpád Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Árpád Society. The Hungarian Congress has been sponsored annually since 1961. At this forum, Hungarians from many parts of North America gather to discuss vital issues concerning their homeland and their communities in the diaspora. Several professional organizations hold their annual general meetings during the three day congress. Various topics have been presented during the lecture series. Lecturers are invited from as far away as Australia; over ninety lectures have been held since the series began in 1968. The Árpád Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Árpád Society were established as professional organizations recognizing those who write, sculpt or paint original and creative works. The founder of the Association was Dr. János Nádas, who has also directed the work of the organization for nearly twenty years.


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       The post-war Hungarians were successful in instilling a strong sense of cultural identity in their children. This was accomplished mainly through Hungarian Language Schools and the Hungarian Scouting movement.

       The West Side Hungarian School of Cleveland was founded in 1958 by Dr. Gabor Papp, who, since its founding, has served as Director of the





school. While tutoring his own children, Papp began teaching others as well. The first classes were held in a private home in April 1958 with thirty-six pupils. Since then, the School has been an integral part of the education of Hungarian-American youth in Cleveland.

       The School provides a systematic program of education from kindergarten through the eighth grade. Since 1967, advanced high school level courses in Hungarian Studies have been offered, including topics as: the history of Hungary, Hungarian literature, geography and folklore. In recent years, Hungarian culture and heritage courses taught in English have been initiated.

       The Hungarian school has served the community for over twenty years: the ever increasing enrollment and more than 700 graduates are eloquent testimony to its success. Some sixty-five volunteer teachers, the majority of them women, have instructed and assisted through the years. It has been through their selfless help that the school has been able to maintain a high standard through the years.

       The first Hungarian Scout troop in the United States was founded in Cleveland in 1951 by Ferenc Beodray and Ede Császár. This first troop, number 22, Bessenyei Gyorgy, was located on the east side. In 1952, the first girl scout troop, number 34, Zrinyi Ilona, was organized on the west side by Melinda Dolesch, who served as troop leader for twelve years. By the mid-1950s, over 300 boys and girls joined the ranks of scouting. Membership was again boosted by the Hungarian refugees who settled in Cleveland following the Revolution of 1956.

       The movement has prided itself with being the strongest Hungarian youth organization in Cleveland-since the early 1960s, four troops have





Puplis at West Side Hungarian School. 1978.


Faculty of West Side Hungarian School. 1979.





been active. As part of a joint venture, the scouts purchased a 200-acre farm near Rome, Ohio, to be used as a site for summer camps and weekend excursions. The regular meetings of the individual troops are held at the community owned churches and halls.

       The Hungarian Scout Folk Ensemble, established in 1973 by the west side troops, has attempted to preserve not only the traditions of Hungarian Folk Dance, but of folk art and customs as well. The Ensemble has given new life to the movement, many members in their late teens and early twenties have remained in scouting as a direct result of this unique folkloric group.


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       The post-war wave of Hungarian immigrants produced more writers and published more books than any other wave of Hungarian immigrants.64 Most of their contributions to Hungarian-American literature were made after working all day in a factory. Few, if any, actually made their living by selling their poetry, prose or novels. If their writings were published, this was usually accomplished through considerable financial sacrifice on the part of the writer and/or the family of the writer. Despite these factors, many succeeded in publishing their works. New journals and newspapers were founded by this wave. The ownership and editorship of several newspapers which were founded much earlier were transferred to the post-war Hungarians, they included: the Katolikus Magyarok Vasárnapja (Catholic Hungarians Sunday) and Az Ujság (The News).

       Stephen Eszterhás, a prolific writer, became editor of the Vasárnapja in 1951, shortly after he arrived in the United States. Eszterhás served as editor for twenty-six years, during which time he often wrote about the failings of Hungarian Communism and campaigned continuously for free





elections, human rights and religious freedoms in Hungary. Dr. Eszterhás wrote extensively about the role of the emigré, and the ideology of living in exile. He authored over a dozen books, many of them are novels which are based on sociological, historical and political studies. Joe Eszterhás, son of Stephen Eszterhás, wrote a novel entitled F.I.S.T. which is a story of a Hungarian immigrant from the flats of Cleveland who became a powerful union leader. Rights to the novel were purchased by United Artists Corporation and F.I.S.T. was made into a movie in 1978.

       Rev. Zoltan Kótai founded the Kárpát Publishing Company, which published Kárpát, a monthly journal and Az Ujság, a weekly newspaper. The Cleveland community was enhanced by such poets and essayists as Márton Kerecsendi Kiss, Louis Illés, Joseph Kossányi, John Kerecseny and Julius Bedy. Charles Hokky, a former senator in Hungary, was a political and historical writer. Imre Sári Gál wrote about the history of the Hungarian community of Cleveland in his two works, Az Amerikai Debrecen and Clevelandi Magyar Museum, published in 1967 and 1978, respectively. Erno Kálnoky wrote several educational textbooks which have been incorporated into the curriculum of Hungarian language schools in North America.

       Ferenc Somogyi, historian, writer and professor of Hungarian studies made significant contributions in the areas of Hungarian history and literature. His comprehensive works, Mission: History of the Hungarian Nation and Hungarian Language and Literature, are used as textbooks as well as important reference books. Dr. Somogyi's most recent publication, Faith and Fate, written in English and co-authored with his son Lél, is a short cultural history of the Hungarian nation.

       Teréz Stibrán was the first Hungarian American woman to write a novel about the processes of immigration and assimilation. Stibrán's novel: The Streets are not Paved with Gold, published in 1961, examines how the lives