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than previous waves. Some new organizations were founded by the post 1956 Hungarians, two of them were: the Freedom Fighters Circle and the Cleveland Magyar Athletic Club (C.M.A.C.). The Freedom Fighters Circle founded a Hungarian language school, the Sándor Reményik Hungarian School on the east side in 1962. The school operated effectively until 1967. Annual enrollment was, on the average, between sixty and seventy students.

The Cleveland Magyar Athletic Club was founded in 1957 by Dr. Oscar Bakó. The Club has offered facilities and training for more than 200 athletes in the divisions of soccer, fencing, boxing and riflery. The Club purchased a two storey building on Lorain Avenue, which was officially opened, following major renovations, in 1970. The clubhouse represents the only real estate acquired by the community in Cleveland since the Second World War which was not church affiliated.

D. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

       The Buckeye Road Hungarian Neighborhood has experienced decline since the 1960s. This decline was brought about through several factors. The old-timers who built the neighborhood community had grown old and the neighborhood failed to attract younger generation Hungarian Americans. Following the Second World War, returning veterans who had grown up on Buckeye preferred buying modern homes in the suburbs rather than moving into the old homes on Buckeye Road. The expectation that the D.P. immigrants or 1956 refugees would rejuvenate the neighborhood never materialized. No other middle class ethnic elements pushed into Buckeye from the inner core of the city. As the residents began moving out, Blacks moved in. What followed was a story of white flight, fear, hostility and instability in one of Cleveland's oldest ethnic neighborhoods.

 


 

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       In the 1970s it was assessed that many of the ethnic people who live in the neighborhood were past fifty-they were too old, too poor or too Hungarian oriented to move away. Twenty-eight percent of the residents on Buckeye were over the age of fifty-five.69 This fact alone made the area an easy target for crime. Buckeye experienced a spiralling rate of crime in the late 1960s and early '70s; between 1966 and 1970 alone, the number of homocides, robberies, assaults and breaking and enterings doubled.70 The number of cars stolen during these years more than tripled. In 1974, it was determined that fifty-one percent of the residents had been victims of crime.

       The sharp increase in crime frightened many individual store operators into closing their businesses. Stores on lower Buckeye and Woodhill ceased to exist. Only upper Buckeye Road, between East 116th Street and East 130th Street still retains its Hungarian character. Even in this area, quality merchandisers such as jewelers and furniture stores have disappeared. From 1925 until 1960, 311 Hungarian owned or supported businesses thrived on Buckeye. Today fewer than fifty exist.

       Community activities have dwindled in number. There were once twelve grape harvest festivals -- by the end of the 1970s there were two. New Year's Eve Dances on Buckeye numbered eleven in 1940, at present there is one. In 1940, there were an estimated fourteen picnics, twenty banquets and one hundred Hungarian weddings; now there is one of each. Plays and concerts are rarities. All the theatres on Buckeye have been closed and/or demolished. Of the nine clubhouses once abound with activities, two are still in use today. Only the numerous churches, church halls and schools

 


 

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remain in silent testimony to a once dynamic Hungarian neighborhood.

       Despite all this, the old Hungarian residents of Buckeye refuse to leave. These lifelong residents cling to their neighborhood, determinedly supporting the remaining institutions, organizations and businesses. Many of them have sons and daughters living in the suburbs who would gladly take them in. However, most share the sentiments of one lifelong resident, Mrs. Elizabeth Mudri, who states: "I've lived here fourty years in the same house. It's hard for me to make a decision to leave now-I live alone... but my roots are here, my church is here, my friends are here."71

       The struggle on the part of the residents to provide stability in a volatile neighborhood has brought attention to the Buckeye area. Local and national government agencies realized that the loss of old ethnic neighborhoods is tantamount to the death of American cities in the northeast. Programs to rejuvenate and stabilize Buckeye have been instituted on the grass-roots level as well as through government assistance. In recent years, there have been signs that the efforts to save Buckeye are bearing fruit.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *

 

       Since 1970, there have been several significant institutional attempts at solving the problems of the Buckeye area, such as the Community Relations Board, the East End Neighborhood House, the Buckeye Area Development Corporation, the East End Community Development Foundation and the Buckeye Woodland Community Congress. Of these the Buckeye Area Development Corporation and the Buckeye Woodland Community Congress have been the most successful at stabilizing the neighborhood through various programs encouraging middle class and ethnic residents to stay.

 


 

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       The Buckeye Woodland Community Congress was founded in 1974, as a representative body of 135 community groups: Hungarians, Blacks, Italians, Slovaks and others working together to attain integration along with stability. Kenneth Kovach served as first president of the Congress, which through positive, legal action has already tackled some of the complex problems burdening the area.

       One of the primary culprits for the white flight experienced by the area have been real estate agents, who through the use of pressure tactics and unscrupulous enticements practically forced residents to sell their homes. Other institutions responsible for the demise were banks and savings and loan companies, which redlined the neighborhood and cutback investments. The Buckeye Woodland Community Congress, through its Redlining-Disinvestment Committee brought about the toughest law ever enacted regarding redlining. It says that "banks that have city money deposited in them must give mortgages in the city equivalent to a certain percentage of the deposits they have."72

       The Buckeye Area Development Corporation, one of three such ethnic neighborhood projects in the nation is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Corporation initiated the following programs: the Buckeye Police Community Outreach Station with its auxiliary police program, the senior citizens mini-bus program, the Senior Citizens Center and the summer festivals. The B.A.D.C. is concerned with the commercial corridor of Buckeye; it developed plans for major public site improvements and sponsored among others a storefront beautification drive. The Corporation spearheaded the "I'm Stayin'" slogan campaign to convince people that leaving is not the solution.

 

*  *  *  *  *  *

 


 

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       For over 100 years a distinct and unique Hungarian community has existed in Cleveland, one which was constantly rejuvenated by new waves of immigrants, new goals and new ideals. Despite the fact that the majority of Hungarians in Cleveland no longer live together in the Buckeye Road neighborhood, the community is still a viable entity. Many predictions have been made as to when the Buckeye Road Hungarian neighborhood will cease to exist altogether; all of them have thus far proven false. According to recent estimates, there are 113,000 Greater Clevelanders of Hungarian birth or origin.73

       1980 may be deservingly commemorated as the Centennial Year of the Cleveland Hungarian community; the 1880s marked the initial stages of its development. Illustrating the youth and stamina of the community are the following indicators: the eleven Hungarian churches, representing six denominations, built on the east side and west side around the turn of the century, have been consistently supported by Hungarian congregations. One of these churches, the West Side Hungarian Reformed Church, recently completed a new church hall/community center costing $450,000. In 1977, the United Hungarian Societies reported fifty member organizations in their seventy-fifth Anniversary Booklet. Nearly ten Hungarian-language newspapers and journals were reported to be published in Cleveland in 1980, and in the same year, over thirty hours per week of Hungarian-language broadcasts were aired on the nationality radio stations in the Cleveland vicinity. The West Side Hungarian School reached a peak enrollment in the late 1970s; the estimated 200 children attending come to the school with a working knowledge of the language.

 


 

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Statue of Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, Erected: 1977.

 


 

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       In recent years, the community has experienced an upsurge of youth organizations: those initiated by and/or whose membership is composed of mainly second or third generation Hungarian Americans. The Hungarian Theatre and Dance Group and the Hungarian Scout Folk Ensemble, founded in 1970 and 1973, respectively, demonstrate an interest on the part of Hungarian youth to preserve and promote Hungarian traditions through folk dance and art. The Patria Civic Society published an English-language newspaper and sought to obtain greater civic involvement. To generate greater participation in the Hungarian language and literature courses taught at Cleveland State University, the Hungarian Students' Association was founded in 1969.

       The visit of Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty to Cleveland in May 1974 was an event which brought together many segments of the community. The momentum of the historic visit was felt for several years afterwards. The Cardinal Mindszenty Plaza, located at East 12th and Lakeside Avenue, was dedicated in 1976 and one year later, a bust of the Cardinal was erected by the community at the same site.

 

 


 

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FOOTNOTES: HUNGARIAN COMMUNITIES OF CLEVELAND NOTES

       1. Theresa and Francis Pulszky, White, Red, Black, vol. I (New York: (Redfield). , 1852), p. 276.

       2. John H. Komlos, Louis Kossuth in America 1851-1852 (Buffalo, N.Y.: (East European Institute). , 1973), p. 119.

       3. J.A. Wadovick, "Hungarian Unit to Note 80th Year," The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 23 March 1961.

       4. U.S. Dept. of Interior, U.S. Census Office, A Compendium of the 12th Census, 1900, vols. 1 & 2 (Washington, D.C., 1902).

       5. Tivadar Ács, "A Clevelandi Magyarok," Szabadság, 12 July 1948.

       6. Ibid.

       7. Frederic Gonda, The History of the Cleveland Hungarians (Cleveland: (Dr. H.A. Liebowitz, n.d.). ), p. 34.

       8. Huldah F. Cook, The Magyars of Cleveland (Cleveland: (Cleveland Americanization Committee). , 1919), p. 11.

       9. Theodore Andrica, "Cheer Founder of Hungarian Church in U.S.," The Cleveland Press, 11 November 1931, p. 4.

       10. Rev. Charles Boehm, "Visszavonom," Magyarországi Szent Erzsebet Amerikai Hirnöke, 14 April 1899, p. 170.

       11. Rev. Charles Boehm, "A Vigadozo Magyarjainknak Ajánlva," Magyarországi Szent Erzsébet Amerikai Hirnöke, 14 July 1899, p. 276.

       12. "Cleveland," Szabadság, 21 December 1911, part VI, p. 4.

       13. U.S. Dept. of Interior, U.S. Census Office, A Compendium of the 12th Census, 1900, vols. 1 & 2 (Washington, D.C., 1902) U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 13th Census, 1910, vol. I.

       14. According to Geza Hoffman's data. Imre Sári Gál, Az Amerikai Debrecen (Toronto: (Patria Publishing). , 1967), p. 36.

 


 

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       15. Theodore Andrica, "Hungarian Young Men's, Ladies Society Here Has 1,020 Members," The Cleveland Press, 29 April 1935, p. 4.

       16. John Körösfoy, Hungarians in America (Cleveland: (Szabadság). , 1941), pp. 70-71.

       17. Theodore Andrica, "The Verhovay Aid Association Has Seven Branches in City," The Cleveland Press, 6 May 1935, p. 20.

       18. Tihamér Kohányi, "Visszapillantás," Szabadság, 21 December 1911, part III, p. 2.

       19. Ibid., p. 3.

       20. Rev. István Csutoros, "A Clevelandi Kossuth Szobor Tervezésének És Megvalósúlásának Rövid Története," 50th Anniversary of Its Organization and Dedication of Kossuth Memorial (Cleveland: (United Hungarian Societies). , 1952), p. 8.

       21. For brief history see: Egyesült Magyar Egyletek 1902-1937 (Cleveland: (United Hungarian Societies). , 1937), Theodore Andrica collection.

       22. "Lauds Work of Msgr. Boehm," The Cleveland Press, 14 April 1932, p. 1.

       23. "Az Amerikai Magyar Egyházak Története," Szabadság, 21 December 1911, part IV, p. 3.

       24. "Közügy," Magyarorozági Szent Erzsébet Amerikai Hirnöke, 24 May 1895, p. 208.

       25. Imre Sári Gál, op. cit. , p. 52.

       26. Huldah F. Cook, op. cit. , p. 23.

       27. Joshua A. Fishman, Hungarian Language Maintenance in the United States (Bloomington: (Indiana University). , 1966), p. 9.

       28. R.A. Loveland, "Old World Customs Live in Hungarian Settlement," The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 17 March 1927, p. 6.

       29. Emlékkönyve 25 Éves Jubileuma Alkalmábol (Cleveland: (Szent István Mukedvelo es Dalkor). , 1929), Theodore Andrica collection.

 


 

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       30. M.-A.-C. Emlék Napok - 25 Éves Jubileum 1908-1933 (Cleveland: (Magyar Athletic Club). , 1933), Theodore Andrica collection.

       31. "A Clevelandi Egyházak és Egyletek Útmutatója," Szabadság, 23 November 1938, p. 8.

       32. Interview with Mrs. Helen Fedás, 14 February 1978.

       33. Egy Öreg Amerikás, Kohányi Tihamér Élete (Cleveland: (Szabadság). , 1913), p. 51.

       34. J.A. Wadovick, "Honor Dr. Joseph Reményi for Leadership in Literature," The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10 December 1949, p. 2.

       35. Interview with Dr. István Eszterhás, 12 February 1978.

       36. Interview with Mrs. Bertha Ludescher, 16 February 1978.

       37. John Körösfoy, op. cit., p. 16.

       38. Karl B. Bonutti and George J. Prpic, Selected Ethnic Communities of Cleveland: a Socio-Economic Study (Cleveland: (The Cleveland Urban Observatory). , 1974), p. 31.

       39. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 14th Census, 1920, vol. 1 & 2 (Washington, D.C., 1922).

       40. Karl B. Bonutti and George J. Prpic, op. cit., p. 44.

       41. Lengyel, Americans from Hungary (Philadelphia/New York: (J.B. Lippincott Co.). , 1949), p. 203.

       42. Interview conducted by Theodore Andrica with Michael Veres, September 1937, Andrica collection, Cleveland State University.

       43. Lengyel, op. cit., p. 226.

       44. William Miller, "Howdy Neighbor," The Cleveland Press, 10 February 1940, p. 9.

 


 

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       45. Interview with Mrs. Elizabeth Mudri, 16 February 1978.

       46. Interview with Mrs. Margaret Kovell, 10 July 1979.

       47. Huldah F. Cook, op. cit., p. 14.

       48. Emlékkönyv A Clevelandi Magyar Kereskedok és Iparosok Körének 25 Éves Jubileuma Alkalmábol 1923-1948 (Cleveland: (Hungarian Businessmen's & Tradesmen's Club). , 1948), Theodore Andrica collection.

       49. Jozsef Kovács, A Szocialista Magyar Irodalom Dokumentumai Az Amerikai Magyar Sajtóban 1920-1945 (Budapest: (Akademiai Kiadó). , 1977), p. 20.

       50. Ibid., p. 37.

       51. According to a manuscript compiled by Dr. John Palasics et al. , this excerpt is from a book entitled, People of Cleveland, p. 113.

       52. Joseph Eszterhás, "Buckeye Road: Neighborhood of Fear," Cleveland Plain Dealer, 18 January 1971, p. 1.

       53. Interview with Dr. István Eszterhás, 12 February 1978.

       54. Interview with Mrs. Elizabeth Mudri, 16 February 1978.

       55. Interview with Jack P. Russell, 14 February 1978.

       56. Szabadság, January-July 1942.

       57. "Ujabb $20,000-Ért Vett Honvédelmi Kötvényt A Sz. István Király Biztosító Egylet," Szabadság, 28 January 1942, p. 5.

       58. Istvan Balogh, ed., Tenth Anniversary Report (Washington, D.C.: (American Hungarian Federation). , 14 November 1948), p. 19.

       59. Interview with Mrs. Margit Hokky, 11 March 1978.

       60. Interview with Ferenc Beodray, 23 April 1979.

       61. Interview with Árpád Szentkirállyi, 22 December 1978.

       62. Interview with Mrs. Margit Hokky, 11 March 1978.

 


 

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       63. Interview with Dr. Gábor Papp, 13 June 1978.

       64. Joshua Fishman, op. cit. , p. 36.

       65. Interview with István Hokky, 3 April 1978.

       66. 55th Anniversary of the United Hungarian Societies and Dedication of the Kossuth Memorial 1902-1957 (Cleveland: (United Hungarian Societies). , 6 October 1957).

       67. Theodore Andrica, "Hungarian D.P.'s Flocking to City from All Over U.S.," The Cleveland Press, 3 December 1957, p. 1.

       68. Interview with Mr. Andrew Dono, 17 July 1979.

       69. Mary Swindell, "Buckeye Road Has New Spirit but Keeps Old Tradition," The Cleveland Press, 15 February 1973, p. G4.

       70. Joe Eszterhas, "Buckeye Road: Neighborhood of Fear," Cleveland Plain Dealer, 18 January 1971, p. 1.

       71. Interview with Mrs. Elizabeth Mudri, 16 February 1978.

       72. Caren Goldman, "Buckeye: A Bicentennial Report," Sunday Plain Dealer Magazine, 5 September 1976, p. 9.

       73. Geraldine Javor, "City Second Only to Budapest in its Hungarian Population," The Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7 September 1964.

 


 

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Location Of Cleveland's Hungarian Neighborhood

 

 


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