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of individual immigrants evolved in America.

       Several women were noteworthy for their contributions to Hungarian American poetry, they include: Mária Tóth Kurucz, Stella Magyary and Eszter Zilahi Farnos. Judith Petres, journalist and author, edited the Világhiradó (Illustrated World Review) for over five years. Fréda Kovács, author of over a half dozen novels, taught Hungarian language and history courses in the adult education division of the Cleveland public school system.

C. THE REFUGEES OF 1956

       The Revolution in Hungary in October 1956 brought a new wave of immigrants to the United States: approximately 41,000 refugees were admitted to this country. The refugees of 1956 were different from previous waves in many ways. They were the youngest group of Hungarian immigrants and many possessed a technical trade and/or several years of university study. They evoked great public sympathy in the United States because of their fight against Communism and numerous opportunities, such as scholarship programs, job placement and financial assistance were made available to them.

       The Revolution was unexpected, the community only recently absorbed some 6,000 Displaced Persons. Hungarians in Cleveland reacted quickly and determinedly; however, within the first days of the crisis mass rallies were organized and community organizations initiated relief programs. According to one major Cleveland daily newspaper, as many as 5,000 were present at each of the rallies held to protest the invasion of Soviet forces and plead for assistance for Hungary. College students held silent

 


 

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Rally organized by Cleveland Community during crisis in 1956. (Courtesy of the Clevaland Press).

 

The transport of humanitarian cardgo to refugees - donated by citizens of Clevaland.

 


 

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marches through downtown Cleveland to demonstrate their solidarity with the Hungarian students killed during the Revolution. Hundreds of young men volunteered to fight for Hungary; many of the Hungarian volunteers were D.P. immigrants who had already served in the armed forces of the United States.65 A delegation was sent to Washington to request government authorization of this special military force.

       Numerous Hungarian women, old-timers and D.P.s alike, lent their assistance during the crisis by collecting relief funds for the refugees. They accomplished this by working in shifts, standing on the street corners of downtown Cleveland during the cold and damp days of November and December. They made and distributed paper flowers as a small token of gratitude to all who donated.

       Several relief programs were established by the community following the tragic end of the Revolution, the largest of these was the Hungarian Freedom Fund, formed under the auspices of the United Hungarian Societies. Through the fund, citizens of Greater Cleveland contributed $47,796 in humanitarian cargo which was sent to Hungary and $67,000 which enabled the resettlement of 6,511 Hungarian refugees in the Cleveland area.66 The fund provided financial aid, housing, furnishings, clothing in addition to securing employment and covering medical bills. Included in the figure of 6,511 were fifty-four American citizens, born in Cleveland of refugee parents.

       Other relief efforts organized by the Cleveland community included: the Hungarian Central Committee for Books and Education, established to provide educational programs for children in western Europe whose parents had been killed by the Revolution. In addition to sending Hungarian books

 


 

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to the schools housing the orphans, the committee campaigned for their financial support and for the publication of educational materials.

       Problems developed when refugees in different areas of the United States drifted to Cleveland after losing their first jobs.67 This city, with its large Hungarian neighborhood, was the obvious choice for the disoriented, unemployed new arrivals. There were many cases of refugees arriving in Cleveland with no job prospects or money.

       In response to the problem, a care kitchen was organized in December 1958 to feed the unemployed or laid off newcomers, many of whom were sleeping in bus stations and eating very little. Mrs. Betty Galgany purchased the foodstuffs and Mrs. John Kocsany headed the women's committee which prepared the meals. Mrs. John Sutula taught English to the group on a volunteer basis; classes were held three times a week in the Verhovay Hall on Buckeye Road. An estimated fifty refugees benefited from the daily meals and English classes.

       Despite the fact that the newcomers adjusted with greater ease than previous waves due to their youth and the many opportunities they were offered, there were problems created by the fact that the changes in their lives were so sudden and drastic. One resident of Buckeye Road, Andrew Dono, who played a major role in their resettlement, said of the newcomers: "I admired these kids. They were going to live their lives and do things which they couldn't do in Hungary. When they came out here and saw all the things you could do, they didn't hold back. I once asked a group of them, 'When are you going to start going to church, and take part in Hungarian life?' They answered, 'We're too young for that yet, wait until we get to be around forty or forty-five years old.'"68

 


 

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       It is difficult to determine the exact number of Hungarian refugees who settled in Cleveland after 1956. United States Census data of 1950 and 1960 demonstrate a significant increase in the Hungarian foreign-born population of Cleveland, however, a percentage of the post-war immigrants, many of whom came in 1952, were also included in these census figures.

       The geographic settlement patterns of the newcomers may be determined on the basis of census tract statistics for the City of Cleveland. Between 1950 and 1960, there was a marked increase in the population of the Hungarian neighborhood: over 4,000 Hungarians of foreign birth settled in the Buckeye Road neighborhood. Furthermore, the Hungarian foreign-born population of the following cities bordering Cleveland were each augmented by approximately 1,000: Lakewood, Euclid, Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights; the increase in the City of Parma was by over 2,000.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *

 

       In 1962, five years after the refugees had resettled in Cleveland, a survey was completed by Gábor Brachna Jr. based on a sample of two hundred Hungarian refugees. The results were the following. By 1962, twenty percent attained university degrees and the majority had attended some sort of schooling since their arrival. Fifty percent were homeowners; ten percent owned some sort of business, Forty-three percent were United States citizens, thirty-nine percent had applied for citizenship and only eighteen percent remained non-committed. Less than nine percent returned to Hungary. By 1962, over thirty percent moved from the City of Cleveland to the suburbs.

       As a direct result of their relatively rapid adjustment, the newcomers exhibited less attachment to community organizations and institutions

 


 

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Soccer Team Cleveland Magyar Athletic Club - 1972

 

Boxing class at C. M. A. C. - 1972.

 


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