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Boldog Anyák Napját kivánunk minden Édesanyának!

Happy Mother's Day!

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World War I, the Beginning of the End

Bells waiting to be melted down into cannons
World War I, the Beginning of the End

To say that for Hungary, the time of World War I and its aftermath were turbulent, is a gross understatement. Not only was the country weakened by the enormous number of war casualties (as compared to the number of enlisted men), but it was further demoralized by invasions into its sovereign territory by various national minorities that had declared themselves independent states, and whose rampaging and looting were encouraged by the Entente powers. Combined with the breakdown of the political system, the ravages of the Spanish flu, the social and political unrest, the scene was set for the establishment of a Communist interregnum.

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Erika Papp Faber

Károlyi Mihály at the Helm
Károlyi Mihály at the Helm

He was born into one of the wealthiest Hungarian aristocratic families, and became a member of Parliament in  1910.  In the turbulent time at the end of World War I, he was named Prime Minister on October 31st, 1918. Probably his biggest mistake was naming Linder Béla to be Minister of Defense.  Because it was Linder who dissolved the still intact Hungarian army.   

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EPF

Deposing the Habsburgs – Four Times

Lest anyone think Hungarians meekly allowed themselves to be ruled by the Habsburgs for 400 years – 1526-1921 – here are four examples – one in every century – when they attempted to get rid of their foreign overlords. In addition, they also revolted against the Habsburgs, twice – 1703-1711 and 1848-49.

But some people just can’t see when they’re not wanted!

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viola vonfi

Magyar Treasures: The Royal Palace of Gödöllő

Ornate façade of Gödöllő royal palace
Magyar Treasures: The Royal Palace of Gödöllő
Hungary had many castles and palaces, but none surpassed the magnificence of the royal palace of Gödöllő.                                         See the full story...
Judit Vasmatics Paolini

American-Hungarian Community

Message: HCC Film Club goes Virtual

Dear Members and Friends -

As you know, the club has had to suspend all activities due to COVID-19.  Our intern, Adam, returned to Hungary several weeks ago.  But he still has us in mind and asked that we share this email with you.

We hope that all are well and safe. 

HCC Board of Directors

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Magyar News Classics

The Sons of Gog and Magog
The original article was published in the May 1996 issue of Magyar News See the full story...

Arts and Culture

Our Sponsors
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Semmelweis, Father of Infection Control
Semmelweis, Father of Infection Control

In the civilized modern world, everyone’s mother has been constantly reminding her offspring: “Wash Your Hands”.  Yet most people have no idea where the currently ubiquitous household slogan, used daily in these COVID-19 times, originated.  The more informed might have heard the story of the 19th century physician Semmelweis who spent his short and miserable life saving lives of young mothers by preaching and teaching hygiene in the delivery room.  But precious few ever knew that this life-saving obstetrician was – yes, you guessed it – Hungarian!

 

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

Mennék eléd
Every year, we can hardly wait for spring to come.  Áprily Lajos expresses this primeval yearning in this lovely poem.  See the full story...
Áprily Lajos

Tejfölös gombapörkölt   (Mushrooms with paprika and sour cream)

Full grown wine cap mushroom
Tejfölös gombapörkölt (Mushrooms with paprika and sour cream)

A wonderful spring dish, which includes – among other things – three indispensable Hungarian ingredients: onions, paprika and sour cream.  How can you go wrong?   

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Hungary Past and Present

The “Spanish” Flu in Hungary
The “Spanish” Flu in Hungary

At long last, something that was not invented by a Hungarian… Even the Spaniards were associated with it totally unfairly.

Although there are a few different versions, the “Spanish” flu most likely originated at a military camp in Fort Riley, Kansas, in the spring of 1918, where American soldiers gathered before their transfer to Europe.  In that last semester of World War I, in an effort to boost morale and avoid panic among both the military and the civil population, newspapers of both sides involved in the war euphemized the situation, trying to diminish both the medical seriousness and the death toll of the disease.

Spain was one of the few countries that did not partake in the war, thus her press was not restricted by censorship.  Therefore, their news could be printed freely, including some gruesome details about the new disease. Hence the name “Spanish Flu”, even though it did not originate in Spain.

The Hungarian press, including the most respected papers, was no exception.  They euphemized, even falsified the data.  We will deal with it in more detail below. 

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Olga Vállay Szokolay

A Short History of Polish-Hungarian Friendship

Pendant attributed to Princess Kinga
A Short History of Polish-Hungarian Friendship

There is a connection between Poland and Hungary that dates back to the late Middle Ages.  On April 9th, 1241 the Mongols invaded Poland and defeated a combined Polish and Moravian army at the Battle of Legnica.  Two days later the beginning of a much more overwhelming defeat took place in Hungary at the Battle of Mohi (Muhi Csata), where the Hungarians were aided mostly by the Croatians, since Hungarian King Béla IV was also the king of Croatia.  Most of the Hungarian army was killed and in the aftermath of the battle the rest of the population was devastated, with estimated losses ranging from 15% to almost 50% of the population.

I believe that as a result of the shared suffering due to these defeats, the few times that these countries were united by a single ruler, and for various cultural similarities as well, Poland and Hungary came to aid each other numerous times over the coming centuries.  Here then are just a few of the many connections between these two countries:

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Charles Bálintitt Jr.

Hungarian Jacobins of the 18th Century

Graves of the Jacobins
Hungarian Jacobins of the 18th Century

Absolutist rule, by its very nature, usually engenders opposition and revolt.  People want to have a say in the way they are governed.  Even if the goal is unattainable, they dream of bringing about change.  Such was the case of the Hungarian Jacobins.  The execution of most of them in May 1795 is our excuse for running this article at this time.  

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Karolina Tima Szabo

It's a Small World/Kicsi a Világ

It’s a Small World!

Csíksomlyó church
It’s a Small World!

This year, Pentecost Sunday occurs on May 31st.  That’s why we are running this piece on another “meeting” in a surprising place in this particular issue.  Scene: the Csíksomlyó shrine in Transylvania.  Date: 2006.

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EPF