U.S. scholarships and grants in Hungarian Studies for 2020

The American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA) has three scholarships and grants available this year and we are pleased to share information on these with readers of the Hungarian Free Press. The deadline for each grant is February 15, 2020 and we recommend that you contact AHEA directly with any questions on these funding opportunities. Please … Continue reading “U.S. scholarships and grants in Hungarian Studies for 2020”

U.S. scholarships and grants in Hungarian Studies for 2020

The American Hungarian Educators Association (AHEA) has three scholarships and grants available this year and we are pleased to share information on these with readers of the Hungarian Free Press. The deadline for each grant is February 15, 2020 and we recommend that you contact AHEA directly with any questions on these funding opportunities. Please … Continue reading “U.S. scholarships and grants in Hungarian Studies for 2020”

The sad story of Martin Luther King’s bust in Debrecen, Hungary

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a US federal holiday marking the birthday of MLK. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, this year on January 20th.  King’s actual birthday is January 15th. In order to understand Hungary’s deep-rooted and institutionalized racism here is the story of MLK’s bust in my … Continue reading “The sad story of Martin Luther King’s bust in Debrecen, Hungary”

Israeli success of Hungarian-born skier

Israel is not exactly an Alpine country with hundreds of ski slopes or thousands of world class skiers.  Hungary has had some good competitive skiers in the past but has never produced a world class skier.  It seems that all this has changed now; Hungary has a new ski star – in Israeli colors. Here … Continue reading “Israeli success of Hungarian-born skier”

Hungarian Reformed Church in America calls for the purchase of Zacarpathia from Ukraine

On November 14, 2019 leaders of the Hungarian Reformed Church in America, among them Bishop Zoltán Lizik, attended the Diaspora Council Conference in Budapest where Prime Minister Viktor Orbán delivered the keynote.  Attendees of the meeting expressed their loyalty to the Orbán Government, they were ready to defend “Hungary’s reputation” and signed a declaration to … Continue reading “Hungarian Reformed Church in America calls for the purchase of Zacarpathia from Ukraine”

Happy New Year with Rigó Jansci !

  À Côté is a small restaurant in Oakland, California in the charming Rockridge district. There are individual and communal tables, a sunny patio, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, friendly and knowledgeable staff and a great selection of wines. The restaurant is a “neighborhood gem.”  Even The New York Times reviewed them. This week À Côté celebrated … Continue reading “Happy New Year with Rigó Jansci !”

Trump sanctions Orbán’s TurkStream gas pipeline dream

Zsolt Németh, Fidesz chairman of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs claims that there is a “spectacular breakthrough” in US-Hungary relations.  The State Department does not back his statements, in fact, relations seem to have hit another low.   For the first time in fifty years Hungarian companies might be sanctioned by the US law.  One … Continue reading “Trump sanctions Orbán’s TurkStream gas pipeline dream”

Attack on Pastor Debreczeni in Phoenix, AZ is orchestrated from Budapest

On September 1, 2019 Zsolt Demeter, Presbiter of the Hungarian Reformed Church in America  published a three-page letter attacking Pastor András Debreczeni of the First Hungarian Reformed Church in Phoenix, AZ.  Demeter called Debreczeni a liar and cheater who illegally taped conversations and demanded  his removal.  Demeter has threatened with lawsuits and made it clear … Continue reading “Attack on Pastor Debreczeni in Phoenix, AZ is orchestrated from Budapest”

Sunset Grill on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles with a Hungarian twist

I’m old enough to remember Don Henley’s popular song, The Sunset Grill about his favorite hamburger joint on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.   The song is about a small restaurant where Henley could mix with everyday people; apparently that is not always easy for California celebrities. The song was part of his 1985 album entitled … Continue reading “Sunset Grill on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles with a Hungarian twist”

Trump basher, racist Sir Roger Scruton is awarded by Viktor Orbán

Sir Roger Scruton does not mince words. In a 2017 Hungary Today interview Scruton attacked President Trump’s intelligence: “He doesn’t have any thoughts that are longer than 140 characters.” (Read here) In another interview he talked disparagingly about the Chinese people and declared that they were “robots” and “each Chinese person is a replica of … Continue reading “Trump basher, racist Sir Roger Scruton is awarded by Viktor Orbán”

Evelyn Farkas – Hungarian speaking Russian expert is running for Congress

On November 3, 2020 presidential and congressional elections will be held in the United States.  82-year-old New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey has recently announced that she will not run for re-election.  Among others, Evelyn Farkas has thrown her hat into that race.   If elected she will be the only Hungarian-speaking member of Congress.  The 17th … Continue reading “Evelyn Farkas – Hungarian speaking Russian expert is running for Congress”

Hungary — Where a 22 year old Fidesz operative is appointed Deputy Minister of State

In most countries, it would be difficult to imagine a 22 year old who has yet to complete a university education and having no relevant professional experience being appointed Deputy Minister of State. Hungary, it would appear, is the land of such possibilities, provided one is a demonstrably faithful to Fidesz, the ruling party. This … Continue reading “Hungary — Where a 22 year old Fidesz operative is appointed Deputy Minister of State”

Questions of Colonialism and Victimhood in Hungarian History and Society

The Hungarian Studies Association of Canada invites proposals for individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, workshops, complete panels, and other innovative presentations and sessions for our annual conference to be held in conjunction with the Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Western Ontario, May 31-June 2, 2020. As in years past we … Continue reading “Questions of Colonialism and Victimhood in Hungarian History and Society”

Claire Szabó, New Zealand Labour Party’s newly elected leader is also a Hungarian citizen

A truly surprising story from New Zealand. The ruling Labour Party has elected Claire Szabó as its new president. New Zealand-born Szabó is also a Hungarian citizen, her father served as Hungary’s Honorary Consul in the past. The 41-year-old politician has an unusual life story. Her father arrived to New Zealand as a refugee after … Continue reading “Claire Szabó, New Zealand Labour Party’s newly elected leader is also a Hungarian citizen”

Ukraine declares eight Hungarian activists “persona non grata”

Eight Orbán-paid activists have been abruptly recalled from Ukraine. They are part of the so called Petőfi Sándor Program. The Hungarian Government did not release their names. As part of an über-nationalist lobbying program, Hungary sends paid activists to western Ukraine to improve the national identity of the Hungarian minority by teaching Hungarian language, folk … Continue reading “Ukraine declares eight Hungarian activists “persona non grata””

Hungarian-American team wins $1 million in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge

The MarmotE Team, a group of young Hungarian-American scientists placed second and won $1 million in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge in Los Angeles, California. It is worth to mention that the MarmotE team already won $1.5 million earlier by taking the top prize in 2017 and the second place in 2018. That brings their … Continue reading “Hungarian-American team wins $1 million in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge”

Audi Hungaria – layoff rumours

It seems that Audi Hungaria is “downsizing” and based on employee data thousands of positions will be eliminated. According to press reports Audi is not renewing the contracts of 1,200 fixed-term employees at the Győr plant. The Trade Union said: “So far, it has been about not renewing the contracts of employees…. When someone signs … Continue reading “Audi Hungaria – layoff rumours”

Budapest at a standstill, thousands march against Erdogan, Orbán, Putin

The waitress in our favorite restaurant was livid. “I had to take a cab to get to work today because public transportation was shut down” – she complained. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was visiting Budapest on November 7 with massive closures throughout the city all day. Budapest came to a standstill. Thousands marched against … Continue reading “Budapest at a standstill, thousands march against Erdogan, Orbán, Putin”

Hungary’s democratic opposition scores major election victory

After nine years in the wilderness, Hungary’s opposition parties scored major electoral victories across the country and especially in Budapest in local elections, where a centre-left alliance of parties won the mayoral race, achieved a solid majority on the municipal council and won back nine districts from Fidesz. Moreover, support for Fidesz in the traditionally … Continue reading “Hungary’s democratic opposition scores major election victory”

A Statement from Scarlett Johansson

On September 24 the Hungarian Free Press reported that Hungary’s government-controlled press widely distributed photos of Budapest Mayor István Tarlós with American filmstar Scarlett Johansson. From the misleading caption Hungarian readers might have concluded that the popular filmstar endorsed Tarlós. (Read the article here.) Now Johansson issued a statement–and it’s particularly relevant as Hungarians across … Continue reading “A Statement from Scarlett Johansson”

Kurt Volker’s McCain Institute received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Orbán Government

As the Hungarian Free Press reported earlier Ambassador Kurt Volker, US State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, abruptly resigned after the release of the declassified version of the whistleblower complaint. It is suspected that Volker worked with Rudy Giuliani and met with Ukrainian leaders to help “navigate” Trump’s demands for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. As … Continue reading “Kurt Volker’s McCain Institute received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Orbán Government”

Kurt Volker’s departure a blow to Hungarian autocracy

Hungary’s party state has lost a key American ally and an enthusiastic promoter of Hungarian autocracy with the departure of Kurt Volker, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine. Mr. Volker is at the centre of the current impeachment turmoil in Washington DC, after telephone call transcripts released by the White House suggest that the … Continue reading “Kurt Volker’s departure a blow to Hungarian autocracy”

Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary

Eight U.S. senators, all democrats, have sent a letter to US Ambassador David Cornstein, calling on him to uphold American democratic values and security interests when dealing with the autocratic regime of Viktor Orbán. Among the prominent signatories is Bernie Sanders, currently running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president. We are sharing this strongly … Continue reading “Eight U.S. Senators are concerned by pro-Putin Hungary”

Scarlett Johansson is shamelessly exploited by right-wing Budapest mayor, István Tarlós

Scarlett Johansson is a 34 year old popular American filmstar, one of the highest paid in the business and now she is part of the Budapest municipal election campaign. She is shooting a film in Hungary and a clever political operative asked her to meet with right-wing Mayor István Tarlós. Why not?  The American filmstar, … Continue reading “Scarlett Johansson is shamelessly exploited by right-wing Budapest mayor, István Tarlós”

Some thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy and saying sorry

By Hungary’s exceedingly low standards when it comes to accountability and political civility, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be commended for what did seem like a heartfelt and unequivocal apology for having appeared in brownface in 2001, when he was a teacher at Westpoint Point Grey Academy in Vancouver. It is nearly inconceivable to … Continue reading “Some thoughts on Justin Trudeau’s brownface controversy and saying sorry”

Budapest Mayor István Tarlós shamed America with the removal of Roosevelt’s name

In 2011 the Budapest City Council led by Mayor István Tarlós renamed one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. After 64 years Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s name was stripped from the oblong square in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Removal of the signs This decision was a slap in the face of the … Continue reading “Budapest Mayor István Tarlós shamed America with the removal of Roosevelt’s name”

Rest in Peace, László Rajk Jr. (1949-2019)

Hungarian democratic activist, architect and designer László Rajk Jr. died on September 11, 2019 at 71 years of age. Mr. Rajk, whose father served as Interior Minister until 1949 when he was sentenced to death in a Stalinist show trial, was one of the key figures of opposition to communist rule in Hungary during the … Continue reading “Rest in Peace, László Rajk Jr. (1949-2019)”

Rep. Andy Harris takes discreet trip to Budapest to attend far-right Demographic Summit

On September 5 as Hurricane Dorian was approaching the US East Coast, Congressman Harris’s office sent out a message: “Update on the planned flood insurance workshop scheduled in Crisfield this evening: due to pending weather, the event is postponed to a later date. My office will gladly provide updates on rescheduling when they become available.” … Continue reading “Rep. Andy Harris takes discreet trip to Budapest to attend far-right Demographic Summit”

The Hungarian United Church of Montreal bids farewell to its minister

After sixteen years of pastoral service, Reverend Attila György has left his position at the helm of the Hungarian United Church of Montreal at 50 Graham Boulevard, in the Town of Mount Royal. The community bid farewell to its outgoing minister during a celebration known in Hungarian as Új Kenyér (or New Bread), which is … Continue reading “The Hungarian United Church of Montreal bids farewell to its minister”

Gábor Demszky, iconic anti-Communist leader of the democratic opposition receives award

A couple of days ago 67-year-old Gábor Demszky received the prestigious award of the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland. Ms. Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk and Mr. Basil Kerski, director of the European Solidarity Centre introduced and honored three prominent European thinkers and politicians in a televised ceremony. The honorees were: · Mr. Myroslav … Continue reading “Gábor Demszky, iconic anti-Communist leader of the democratic opposition receives award”

Eighty-two year old Hungarian-born Ernie Konnyu is considering a run for Congress

Eighty-two year-old Hungarian-born Ernie Konnyu (Könnyű) is contemplating a run for Congress in the 45th Congressional District, Orange County, California.  He is asking for help from the Hungarian American community. We wrote about Mr. Konnyu in the past. As a Republican, he represented California’s 12th congressional district from 1987 to 1988 but was not re-nominated by his … Continue reading “Eighty-two year old Hungarian-born Ernie Konnyu is considering a run for Congress”

Orbán’s new pals – Stephen Harper, Lord Ashcroft and Robert Lantos

The International Democrat Union (IDU) is an alliance of right wing political parties, headquartered in Munich, Germany and currently chaired by Stephen Harper, the former Prime Minister of Canada. Mr. Harper and his friend, Hungarian-born Canadian film producer, Robert Lantos travelled to Hungary to spend the August 20th National Holiday with far-right authoritarian Prime Minister … Continue reading “Orbán’s new pals – Stephen Harper, Lord Ashcroft and Robert Lantos”

Antal Csicsátka – developer of FM stereo standard

As part of our series on lesser known Hungarian Americans we introduce Antal Csicsátka, the General Electric Company engineer who developed the “stereophonic FM broadcasting system.” FM radio broadcast would not exist in its current form without Csicsátka. On February 25, 1964, the United States Patent Office granted General Electric a patent covering the stereophonic … Continue reading “Antal Csicsátka – developer of FM stereo standard”

Orbán’s anti-Semitism is prime-time TV news in the US

On August 15th the PBS NewsHour interviewed Danny Ayalon, former Israeli ambassador to the US, during a piece on Israel barring two U.S. congresswomen, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslims. Israel claims that Reps. Omar and Tlaib are anti-Semitic. The reporter pointed out that Israel has welcomed politicians in the … Continue reading “Orbán’s anti-Semitism is prime-time TV news in the US”

After Israel, Hungary has largest proportion of citizens with Jewish origins

A far larger proportion of Hungarian citizens have partial Jewish origins than the residents of any other country in the world, with the exception of Israel — this, according to a study conducted by statistician Daniel Sztacki, the Jewish People Policy Institute and the MyHeritage website. Based on DNA test results submitted by 4,981 residents of Hungary, fully … Continue reading “After Israel, Hungary has largest proportion of citizens with Jewish origins”

Clare Humphreys’ recent commencement address at Corvinus University, Budapest

Ms. Clare Humphreys is a recent graduate of Corvinus University, Budapest and she gave a remarkable graduation speech on July 23, 2019. We decided to publish the full text of her speech with a brief bio and the link to the video of her address. Clare Humphreys Good evening, friends, family, colleagues, professors! Presidium, your … Continue reading “Clare Humphreys’ recent commencement address at Corvinus University, Budapest”

Bizarre US Embassy Independence Day extravaganza with 800 guests in Budapest

Every year on July 4 the US Embassy in Budapest has a garden party with a couple of dozen invited Hungarian guests to celebrate Independence Day. This has become a decade-long tradition. It seems that Ambassador Cornstein likes to give big parties, I mean giant parties. On July 9 he invited 800 guests (yes, eight … Continue reading “Bizarre US Embassy Independence Day extravaganza with 800 guests in Budapest”

Republicans discover that Orbán is an unreliable US ally

According to Nancy Goodman Brinker, the former US Ambassador to Budapest, Hungary is now a “former ally.” In a recent opinion piece at the über-conservative media site Newsmax.com, Brinker, a 72-year-old Republican concludes that Hungary’s alliance with the US has turned “unsavory.” (Read Brinker’s opinion piece here.) Ex-US Ambassadors Nancy Brinker (far right) and April … Continue reading “Republicans discover that Orbán is an unreliable US ally”

New World Record in 200m butterfly from “Milák from Hungria”

The reporter was so excited that when he announced the new World Record in 200m butterfly, he said that the winner was “Milák from Hungria.” This is an almost unbelievable achievement. Hungary’s 19-year-old Kristóf Milák broke Michael Phelps’ iconic 10 year old World Record at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Kristóf … Continue reading “New World Record in 200m butterfly from “Milák from Hungria””

Whitewash — Assessing Robert Mueller’s Testimony Before the House Committees

On Wednesday. July 24, 2019, tens of millions of Americans and others around the world were given an opportunity to hear directly from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the man in charge of the investigation into the relationship between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Thanks to his 5 hour testimony, we now know that crime pays … Continue reading “Whitewash — Assessing Robert Mueller’s Testimony Before the House Committees”

Fidesz columnist Tamás Pilhál declares hunting season on the Hungarian opposition

A small group of Hungarian democratic activists in Toronto, Canada, are trying their best to share the true nature of the Orbán regime with English speakers. Recently, they translated a truly horrendous article from Fidesz news site Pesti Srácok, written by Tamás Pilhál. Mr. Pilhál advocates that members of the Hungarian opposition are, in fact, … Continue reading “Fidesz columnist Tamás Pilhál declares hunting season on the Hungarian opposition”

Ágnes Heller, Hungarian philosopher and patriot is dead at 90

I met Heller about five years ago in Budapest. This tiny woman was probably the most effective international campaigner against Orbanism. In conversation she was sharp and domineering and to my surprise she said that she knew who I was because she had read some of my pieces at Galamus, a now defunct portal edited … Continue reading “Ágnes Heller, Hungarian philosopher and patriot is dead at 90”

Letter to the Editor on Fascist Souls and Father András Kun

I am grateful for having received a fascinating newspaper clipping from Tomas Korper, in response to a piece appearing in HFP entitled The Genocidal Priest — The Last Interview with András Kun. The letter writer’s father, trying to survive the Holocaust by posing as a military officer, was captured by Kun in Budapest and was … Continue reading “Letter to the Editor on Fascist Souls and Father András Kun”

The Kodály Center at Holy Names University

In 1868 six women of the religious order Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary arrived to California from Montreal, Canada and founded a teachers college called Holy Names University. The campus today is located high above the San Francisco Bay and has stunning views. The Catholic university provides a program for music … Continue reading “The Kodály Center at Holy Names University”

“Hungarian speakers only” summer camp in Wisconsin paid by the Orbán government

A couple of weeks ago a children’s summer camp was held at Phantom Lake, Wisconsin. The organizers invited children between 8-14 years of age with one precondition: they had to speak the Hungarian language. The Hungarian Government generously supported the week-long fun-filled event. It was advertised only in Hungarian in the US and was called … Continue reading ““Hungarian speakers only” summer camp in Wisconsin paid by the Orbán government”

Joe Eszterhas has found God and Viktor Orbán

Joe Eszterhas does not mince words. At the 2016 National Republican Convention in Cleveland, his hometown, he called Hillary Clinton a “criminal” and Trump an “a**hole.” Now he has found a new political hero – authoritarian Viktor Orbán. The 74-year-old writer poses in an Orbán T-shirt giving an enthusiastic thumbs up to the Hungarian Prime … Continue reading “Joe Eszterhas has found God and Viktor Orbán”

The use and abuse of participatory governance by populist governments

Ágnes Bátory and Sara Svensson both from the Central European University Budapest co-authored a remarkable paper about public consultations. They analyzed Viktor Orbán’s national consultations in Hungary, these are probably the most wide-scale consultative exercises in contemporary Europe. Some of our readers might not know that the Orbán government repeatedly sent questionnaires to every household … Continue reading “The use and abuse of participatory governance by populist governments”

Gloria Vanderbilt and the Széchenyi family

Gloria Vanderbilt, the American fashion icon died on June 17th in New York. She was 95. She was born wealthy; her father Reginald was an heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Gloria, a talented painter, writer and fashion designer, was related (by her aunt’s marriage) to the Széchenyi family, and also to “the greatest Hungarian,” … Continue reading “Gloria Vanderbilt and the Széchenyi family”

University students victims of violent hate crime in southern Hungary

The Pécs District Prosecutor’s Office has charged two young Hungarians with assault causing bodily harm motivated by hate. The young men physically assaulted two citizens of Yemen, one of whom was enrolled as a university student in Pécs, while the other studied in Szeged. The attack occurred in front of a commercial establishment in Pécs … Continue reading “University students victims of violent hate crime in southern Hungary”