Recently in the spotlight

Magyari-Köpe at the pulpit

Good luck, Rev. Gábor Magyari-Köpe!

I was surprised to learn that after 15 years of service Rev. Gábor Magyari-Köpe has left the Free Magyar Reformed Church of San Francisco and Vicinity. I don’t know the reason for his departure but want to wish him good luck. Magyari-Köpe grew up in an ethnic Hungarian family in Brasov (Brassó in Hungarian), Romania. According to his bio, he […]

by · April 12, 2019 · Diaspora
Scene from the all-white cast Porgy and Bess

Hungarian opera singers claim African American identity

Fifteen Caucasian opera singers from the Hungarian State Opera signed a document claiming that they identify, in part, as being African American. Szilvester Ókovács, the Opera House’s director, asked those with roles in George Gershwin’s piece Porgy and Bess to identify as African-American in writing, in order to get around the fact that Ira Gershwin insisted that these roles only be filled […]

by · April 10, 2019 · Culture
Mozsgó's public institution for the disabled.

Widespread abuse of disabled residents at Hungarian institution

A public institution for the disabled in the southwestern Hungarian village of Mozsgó (population 1,000) is under scrutiny after a complaint detailed widespread abuse of the intellectually disabled residents by staff. Hungary’s Népszava daily reported on a detailed complaint and video evidence documenting the physical abuse and the overall inhumane treatment of residents. In one of the videos, produced with […]

by · April 8, 2019 · Focus
Another selfie

Who’s Meshuga? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Viktor Orbán – best buddies

Last December in the Polish city of Katowice, Arnold Schwarzenegger gave a brief speech about climate change. In his speech Arnold called President Trump meshuga. The Yiddish word means crazy and the audience responded with applause. Arnold grew up in Graz, Austria as a son of a one-time Nazi party-member policeman. I don’t think that he heard much Yiddish at […]

by · April 5, 2019 · Politics
Polgár Zsuzsa

Susan Polgar (Polgár Zsuzsa) was inducted into U.S. Chess Hall of Fame

On March 18 Susan Polgar was inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in a special event in St. Louis. She gave an inspiring speech to chess players and supporters of the chess community. Polgar is the youngest woman ever to be inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. She joins Bobby Fischer, Edward Lasker and founding father […]

by · April 2, 2019 · Culture
Jehovah’s witnesses in German concentration camp during WWII.

Jehovah’s Witnesses – persecuted by Horthy, many perished in the Holocaust

It is rarely mentioned in Hungary that many Christians perished in labor and concentration camps during the Hungarian Holocaust. One Christian group, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, was viciously victimized. Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to join armies, participate in political life or take a national oath. The origin of their faith goes back to the Bible Student movement of the 1870s founded by […]

by · March 28, 2019 · Culture
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (left) and Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics.

Minister László Palkovics shouldn’t get an opportunity to speak at UC Berkeley

László Palkovics, Hungary’s Minister of Innovation and Technology, will speak at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 4. The title of his presentation is “Hungary as a European Hub for Autonomous Vehicle Design and Validation” Mr. Palkovics has been invited by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is hosted by Professor Francesco Borrelli. Mr. Palkovics is a […]

by · March 25, 2019 · Politics
Hungarian books in Montreal ready for transport to Hungary.

An effort to save Hungarian books in Montreal

In early February, we reported on how 2,000 Hungarian books were thrown out by the Foyer Hongrois retirement home and we shared an image showing a garbage container full of books. We can now report on a more positive development: earlier this month 60 boxes containing some 2,500 Hungarian-language books remaining at the Foyer were packed up and prepared for […]

by · March 23, 2019 · Diaspora
Eternal Winter is a film about the Gulag.

Hungarian film Eternal Winter blames President Roosevelt for the Gulag

Attila Szász is an exceptionally talented Hungarian film director. A couple of years ago I saw his film Demimonde (Félvilág) at the Tiburon Fim Festival and I found it intriguing. His latest film Eternal Winter (Örök tél) takes place at the end of World War II when many ethnic Germans were rounded up in Hungary and sent to labor camps […]

by · March 23, 2019 · Culture
Fr. Deák (1925-2019). I took this photo at Our Lady of Hungary Parish, circa 2006.

Rest in peace, Father Deák!

Father Ferenc Deák (or Deák atya, in Hungarian) died yesterday. He served Our Lady of Hungary Parish in Montreal from 1975 to 2007 and played a truly formative role in the lives of those of us who grew up in the eighties and nineties. He baptised me in 1981, I had my first communion with him in 1988 and then […]

by · March 21, 2019 · Diaspora