The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community. Its goals are:
- To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
- To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
- To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
- And to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Provided a grant to Madach Publishers of Bratislava, Slovakia, to support Hungarian culture in Slovakia.
- Hosted an Annual Gala Benefit on April 18 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, to honor Dr. August J. Molnár, founder and president of the American Hungarian Foundation of New Brunswick, NJ. Coalition Chairman of the Board, Dr. Balázs Somogyi, and President Maximilian N. Teleki presented Dr. Molnár with the Coalition award recognizing five decades of distinguished service to the Hungarian-American community. Proceeds of the benefit were dedicated to support the “Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Program.”
- Organized and supported the opening of a week-long exhibit, “Carl Lutz and the Legendary Glass House in Budapest,” at the Kossuth House of Washington, DC, headquarters of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America. The exhibit honors the memory of Carl Lutz, Swiss Consul in wartime Hungary whose intervention saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death camps. Co-sponsors of the exhibit where the Carl Lutz Foundation, the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America, the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, the Embassy of Hungary and the Embassy of Switzerland.
- Participated in a ceremony honoring the memory of victims of communism worldwide, hosted by theVictims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, DC and attended by government officials, including members of Congress and diplomats. The ceremony included tributes to the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who passed away on February 11, 2008. VOCMF Board member, Edith Lauer, presented Mrs. Annette Lantos, widow of Congressman Tom Lantos, the VOCMF Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom awarded posthumously to her late husband for his lifelong dedication to fight totalitarian tyranny and promote freedom and democracy.
- Donated $17,500 to support the educational and cultural programs of the American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ.
- Awarded the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship for the 2007-2008 academic year.
- Continued supporting “Torn from the Flag,” a documentary about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The film had its world premiere on November 10, 2007, at the American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival in Hollywood, California.
- Funded the 2008 Posonium Literary Awards, established in 2000 by Edith and John Lauer of Cleveland to recognize the outstanding contributions of Hungarian authors and artists to the cultural heritage of the historic Hungarian community of Slovakia.
- Funded the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Magyary Zoltán Foundation for the granting of theCharles Simonyi Research Scholarship Awards. The grant amount of 3,000,000 HUF was given to five outstanding Hungarian researchers: Dr. Éva Rajnavölgyi; Dr. Imre Romics; Dr. János Levendovszky; Dr. György Könczei and Dr. Zoltán Kövecses. The annual award was first established in 2000 by Dr. Charles Simonyi, to encourage and support scientific research by Hungarian scientists.
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Provided information on issues of interest to Coalition members to officials of the National Security Council, the State Department, and members of Congress.
- Worked with diplomatic staff in Washington and Budapest and with members of Congress to successfully include the Republic of Hungary in the recently expanded Visa Waiver Program. Attended the White House Rose Garden ceremony of the official announcement made by President Bush. On October 28, attended the press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Budapest on October 28, where the Coalition’s role was publicly acknowledged by US Ambassador April Foley and Ministry officials.
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.
- Maintained ongoing contact with Hungarian community leaders in Romania, Slovakia and Vojvodina, to be informed about events affecting the Hungarian communities of the region. Coordinated activities with member organizations and European Parliament representatives to obtain information about human right issues, particularly in Serbia and Slovakia.
- Disseminated “Noticed in the Press,” a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.
- Organized and co-coordinated the first visit to Hungary of Dr. Lee Edwards, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
- Coalition President Max Teleki, who is a member of the International Board of Advisors of the International Centre on Democratic Transition, attended their Annual conference held in Budapest on November 9th 2008.
- Organized the October visit to Hungary of former Governor of New York, George E. Pataki, who received the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit from the President of Hungary, László Sólyom. Governor Pataki spoke up forcefully on behalf of the human rights of the Hungarian minorities.
- Co-Sponsored an International Conference on “New Allies and the New U.S. Administration: Priorities for CEE-U.S. Relations” with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC with participation of many organizations of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) to examine issues of common interest.
- Participated in a White House Briefing with other members of the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) in a meeting with President George W. Bush where Croatia and Albania signed the NATO Accession Protocols.
- Hosted, participated, and provided administrative support for the three National Conferences of “Hungarian Americans Together,” organized in Washington, DC, Ligonier, PA, and New Brunswick, NJ to find ways of cooperation among Hungarian-American organizations with shared missions, including the promotion of Hungarian heritage and culture in 2009.
- Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events on December 2008, in Washington, DC. The events include a White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings.
- Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).