Washington, DC – This year, three Hungarian American Coalition members – Helen M. Szablya, László G. Fülöp and Charles Farkas – have published notable books that reflect on post-World War II Hungarian history through their personal experiences. Each of these authors has provided remarkable insight into the human tragedy as well as the historic significance of World War II, the unexpected outcome of the post-war years, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution that caused such cataclysmic change in their lives. These books are invaluable resources for gaining a better understanding of those turbulent years in Hungarian history.
Helen M. Szablya: My Only Choice – Hungary 1942-1956
Helen M. Szablya, Honorary Consul General of Hungary, is an award-winning author, columnist, translator, and lecturer, and has been a Board Member of the Hungarian American Coalition for 20 years. Her family saga is a personal memoir that paints a vividly detailed picture about the daily lives and struggles of Hungarian citizens in the period between WWII and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Her description of the 51-day-long siege of Budapest in 1944, its tragic aftermath, the increasingly cruel power of Soviet dictatorship, and of her family’s eventual escape after the defeat of the 1956 Revolution will amaze and touch the imagination of all readers.
“From the eyes and mind of an innocent but precocious young teen, Helen Szablya, paints a picture of how the inconceivable became reality. Hungary as the playground of tyrants in the 1940’s,,is depicted in its inability to withstand fascism or communism. A personal account, as engrossing as fiction but true, this book serves the lessons of history irresistibly on a silver tray.” Annette Lantos-Tilleman-Dick , Daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos
Available at http://www.amazon.com/My-Only-Choice-1942-1956-Hungary/dp/147921020X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361822083&sr=8-1&keywords=Helen+M+Szablya as well as on Kindle, iPad and iPhone
László G. Fülöp: Dunától a Mississippihez (From the Danube to the Mississippi)
László Fülöp, who serves as Vice President and long-standing Board Member of the Hungarian American Coalition, gave a most appropriate subtitle to his book: “Extraordinary events can sweep you far away.” This book (written in Hungarian) is filled with the extraordinary events of post-WWII Hungarian history. Fülöp pays homage to his wonderful family as well as to some of his unforgettable teachers and several classmates at the Franciscan High School of Szentendre. After his father’s arrest and imprisonment on trumped-up charges by the Communist authorities, the chapters describing Fülöp’s own compulsory service in a “labor batallion” and his subsequent participation in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution make for compelling reading. Although his dramatic escape and later life as a successful architect and city planner in Wisconsin and Minnesota have indeed “swept him far away” from his beloved Hungary, his frequent trips and continued love of his homeland speak loudly from these pages.
The book (in Hungarian) can be ordered from the website of the publisher, Fekete Sas Kiadó, Hungary at http://www.feketesas.hu/shop2/Fulop-G.-Laszlo-Dunatul-a-Mississipihez.html
Charles Farkas: Vanished by the Danube
In this poignant memoir Charles Farkas tells a story of loss and survival. Germany’s invasion of Hungary in 1944 marked the end of a culture that had prevailed in Central Europe from the 19th century to World War II. Farkas offers a testament to this vanished way of life—its society, morality, personal integrity, wealth, traditions, and chivalry—as well as an eyewitness account of its destruction, begun at the hands of the Nazis and then completed under the heel of Soviet Communism. The writer’s recollections of growing up in Budapest, a city whose grandeur embraced—indeed spanned—the Danube River; his vivid descriptions of everyday life in Hungary before, during, and after World War II; and his ultimate flight to freedom in the United States remind us that behind the larger historical events of the past century are the stories of the individual men and women who endured and, ultimately, survived them.
“In his evocative new memoir, Vanished by the Danube, Charles Farkas walks us gracefully through the Hungary of his youth. Through stories that extract beauty from everyday events, Farkas pays tribute to the simple elegance of his native country in the years preceding World War II, while never sparing us the truth about the horrors to come. In his story we are reminded that resourcefulness and optimism can prevail even in the face of great struggle.” — President Bill Clinton
“Vanished by the Danube” is published by SUNY Press and is available on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Vanished-Danube-Peace-Revolution-Flight/dp/1438447574