Culture

The 1947 basilica fire

Hungary’s own tragic Basilica fire in 1947

On June 20, 1947 the iconic dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest burned down. The cause of the fire was worker’s negligence during the roof’s renovation. Firefighters desperately tried to save the cupola, but their equipment couldn’t reach the height of the building. In the surrounding streets thousands of citizens watched with horror the struggle of the firefighters. (Watch […]

by · April 21, 2019 · Culture
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
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
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
Bem’s statue in Budapest

Joseph Bem – the Polish, Jewish, Muslim general and hero of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution

On March 15th Hungarians commemorate the Revolution and War of Independence against Habsburg rule in 1848-49. We remember the legendary military leader, General Joseph Bem. Bem was born in Poland in 1794 probably in a Catholic family. As a trained military engineer, an expert with guns, especially with gun powder, he was one of the leaders of the Polish insurrections […]

by · March 16, 2019 · Culture
Vlasta Burian’s Hungarian (sounding) speech

Vlasta Burian’s Hungarian (sounding) speech

The Czech comedian, Vlasta Burian was born in 1891 in Reichenberg, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (today Liberec, Czech Republic) as Josef Vlastimil Burian. He was funny as a child, a born entertainer, and later became a popular comedian in the newly formed Czechoslovakia. In 1925 he opened his theatre in Prague and started to make movies. The Undertaker and The Inspector General […]

by · February 23, 2019 · Culture
Alberta’s Wirth Institute in solidarity with Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Alberta’s Wirth Institute in solidarity with Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Colleagues and friends of the Wirth Institute at the University of Alberta strongly support the Hungarian Academy of Sciences! To show their solidarity, members of the Institute in western Canada join the live chain demonstration at the Academy building in Budapest with books published by “Akadémiai Kiadó” from the University of Alberta Libraries. Students, teachers, researchers and people of all […]

by · February 12, 2019 · Culture
The story of the Hungarian vineyards in Tallapoosa, Georgia

The story of the Hungarian vineyards in Tallapoosa, Georgia

Ralph Spencer was born in 1859 in Connecticut and became a businessman with interests in retail and oil. He is known as the chief developer of a small town in the State of Georgia called Tallapoosa. Most of Spencer’s businesses failed and his creditors often questioned his honesty. Some even considered him a swindler but he was never successfully prosecuted. […]

by · February 1, 2019 · Culture
General Gusztáv Jány

General Gusztáv Jány – World War II war criminal, butcher of his own soldiers

In January 1943 the poorly equipped 2nd Hungarian Army was destroyed by the Soviet Red Army near the Don River.  In the senseless battle tens of thousands of Hungarians froze to death.  Some say that 93,500 lives were lost in less than two weeks, while others put the number at 148,000. The Horthy government covered up the disaster and falsified […]

by · January 21, 2019 · Culture