|Regional Diaspora Conference and Independence Day Celebration|
3/15/2019 - 3/16/2019- Regional Diaspora Conference- Washington, D.C. Members of the AHF leadership participated in the 4th Washington DC Annual Regional Diaspora Conference on March 16, 2019 held at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. There were about 100 participants and the purpose of the conference was to exchange ideas and for members of the Hungarian organizations to get to know one and other on a personal level. The organizations were East Coast entities from Florida to Pennsylvania. After a welcome by Hon. Pete Gyombolai, Embassy Counselor, Diaspora Liaison, the meeting started with Dr. Katalin Szili, the Prime Minister's Commissioner for Autonomy, discussing the problems encountered by Hungarians living outside Hungary in the Carpathian Basin who are institutionally discriminated against by the governments of the successor countries, Transylvania in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, and Ukraine. and the lack of response to their plight by the EU.
Her presentation was similar to the one she gave the evening before at the Embassy as the guest speaker of Hungarian Club. In a series of slides, she demonstrated how the ethnic Hungarian population in those areas are declining. She encouraged the audience to help promote Hungarian minority rights and not let them deteriorate by educating American policy makers and friends and making them aware of the situation that has endured since the 1920 Treaty of Trianon which drastically changed Hungary's boundaries. AHF has been in the forefront of this educational effort.
There were also presentations by embassy staff on (1) Hungary's programs to support family formations and financial support for children, (2) embassy's efforts to expand business relations with US companies including an new business incubator being built on the embassy grounds, (3) Dr. Monika Varga, Embassy Consul, explained the various ways in which dual citizens in the U.S. can participate in the upcoming elections in May 2019, encouraging all eligible to vote, (4) role of diaspora in encouraging U.S. Hungarian business contacts, (5) the economic situation in Hungary, and (6) the migrant question and Hungary's objective to solve labor requirements in Hungary by providing jobs for Hungarians versus importing foreign workers. Several members of the "Carolinas Hungarian Group" (from South and North Carolina) as well as Florida reported on their efforts to create a Hungarian Hub website where Hungarian American organizations and individuals can connect with each other. They are also preparing a Website to help Hungarian weekend schools to share books and other best practices (firstname.lastname@example.org) and for students to learn the language and Hungarian culture. AHF representatives distributed its 6- page color brochure [Download the PDF brochure] and explained the work of the AHF in general at the introductory segment but most importantly one on one with the participants. Attendees expressed their gratitude to AHF for their important work.
The AHF gave two interviews to the Hungarian press, which were filmed. AHF President, Akos L. Nagy, explained the role of the AHF and activities. Emeritus Chair Frank Koszorus was interviewed about the AHF's work to set the record straight against the purposeful misrepresentations of Hungary's efforts during the German occupation of Hungary in 1944 to stop the extermination of the Jews in Budapest.[Read more] AHF also participates in the World Diaspora Conference held each fall in Budapest, where representatives attend from Hungarian organizations in the United States and other countries. [Read about the 2016 event].
1848 Independence Day Celebration-March 16, 2019 Following the Diaspora meeting, AHF leaders and members participated in the Independence Day Celebration Saturday afternoon at the Embassy as they have done over the years. The ceremony opened up with the singing of the national anthems of Hungary and the United States followed by remarks by Ambassador Lazslo Szabo and other speakers, including AHF's Frank Koszorus. Mr. Koszorus noted the history of Louis Kossuth's 1848 call for freedom and democracy for Hungary and his subsequent trip to the United States to spread that message and seek support for Hungary's independence and democracy. Hungarian songs related to the event and honoring Kossuth were sung by the Hungarian Scouts of Washington, D.C. area. Following the ceremony was a reception where AHF was able to interact with other guests and Embassy staff, while promoting the valuable work of AHF.
March 15 is Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1848 War of Independence and fight for Liberation and Democracy. Kossuth Lajos (Louis) (b. 1802, d. 1894, pronounced co-shoot luh-yôsh) was Governor of Hungary and leader during fight for independence which was eventually defeated by the union of the royalist Austrian Habsburg and Russian Czarist Armies (1848 - 1849). Kossuth envisioned a federation in the Kingdom of Hungary in which all nationalties participated in a vibrant democratic system based on fundamental democratic principles such as equality and parliamentary representation. The bloody conflict eventually led to a great compromise known as the "Austro-Hungarian Empire," in which Hungary gained some autonomy, although Kossuth would have no part in it and demanded full indepependence until his death. It also inadvertantly set the seeds for Hungary's dismemberment after WWI at Trianon
"the house of Habsburg-Lorraine, perjured in the sight of
God and man, had forfeited the Hungarian throne."
"All for the people and all by the people. Nothing about
the people without the people. That is Democracy, and that is the ruling
tendency of the spirit of our age."
Louis Kossuth Speak! [Click Here] - This is the speech of Louis Kossuth which he gave for the dedication of the statue for the 13 Hungarian generals, who were executed at Arad, Hungary, on October 6, 1849 (Arad is in Rumania today after annexation due to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 ).
Louis Kossuth was exiled after the fall of the Hungarian Liberation Fight of 1848 and made his permanent home in Torino (Turin), Italy. He could not attend the dedication of the monument at Arad, without risking arrest, so he recorded his speech inTurin, and sent it to Arad using the new technology of sound recording, called the phonograph.
The original recording on two wax cylinders for the Edison phonograph survives to this day, although barely audible due to excess playback and unsuccessful early restoration attempts. Lajos Kossuth is the earliest born person in the world who has his voice preserved. Since the audio is of such poor quality, here is it is transcribed in Hungarian and translated to English (special thanks to Louis Kossuth in North America)