Fulbright Hungary Commemorates 1956 Revolution at Chicago Event
About 60 people, incuding 20 Fulbright alumni from the US and several current Hungarian Fulbright grantees gathered in Chicago on October 21 at a commemoration co-organized by Hungary’s Consulate General.
Mr. Zsolt Németh, chair, of the Hungarian Parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee opened the conference. László Borhi, Fulbright alum ’12 and Professor at Indiana University, gave an eye-opening lecture on 1956 and the Cold War, outlining the results of his recent research on the limited options that faced US foreign policy at the time. Peter Ujvagi, a Hungarian-American political activist from Toledo, Ohio, talked about Hungary and the presidential electoral politics of Autumn, 1956, and gave insights as to how various segments of Toledo Hungarians reacted to 1956. Elvis Presley’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, singing “Peace in the Valley, and a recording of EE Cummings epic poem, “Thanksgiving, 1956″ emphasized the impact of the Hungarian Revolution on American high and popular culture.
Fulbright alumni members were well-represented among the speakers. Steven Fischer, a Fulbright Specialist to Hungary, and documentary filmmaker showed “Freedom Dance“, about a Hungarian cartoonist’s escape in late 1956. Fulbright friend Hungarian-American filmmaker Réka Pigniczky’s co-producer Andrea Rice introduced and showed a version of their 1956 Memory Project, capturing interviews with 1956ers from around the world. Finaly three recent US Fulbrighters to Hungary, Danielle Riebe (’13 Hungarian National Museum), James Oberly (’12 Károli Gáspár University) and Bettina Fabos (’12 Open Society Archives at Central European University) gave their testimonials on their work in Hungary and projects that have continued that collaboration.
Thank you all for taking part!