December 8, 2010 - American Hungarian Library, Hungarian House
215 East 82nd Street, NYC, btw 2nd & 3rd Aves.

American Hungarian Library and Historical Society
and Consulate General of Hungary presented:

HUNGARIAN EMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES
IN THE INTERWAR YEARS

Lecture by Dr. Tibor Frank

Distinguished researcher, lecturer and author, Deak Visiting Professor,
East Central European Center and the Department of History,
Columbia University Hungary’s Foremost Historian on American Studies

Photos: Gabriella Gyorffy


After World War I, many people left Hungary temporarily or for good. This typically young group headed first towards the German-speaking parts of Europe. As the European political situation gradually changed, these itinerant Hungarians, most of them of Jewish origin, were forced to continue migrating.

Based upon a large number of cases studied in over 50 different archives in the U.S., Germany, Austria and Hungary, the lecture follows the social history of this important and interesting group. Leo Szilard, Edward Teller, Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner, and John von Neumann came to be associated with the Manhattan Project, while Theodore von Kármán became one of the most important experts of the U.S. Air Forces. Authors helped by their pen, filmmakers contributed to anti-German propaganda, often disguised as feature films such as Casablanca. Chased away from Hungary, the contribution of these double exiled and double traumatized Hungarians to the U.S. war effort was substantial and momentous.


Born in 1948 in Budapest, Hungary, Tibor FRANK is Professor of History at the Department of American Studies and Director of the School of English and American Studies, at Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary (1994–2001, 2006–). He was one of the founding members of the Department of American Studies in ELTE in 1990 and Chair from 1992 to 1994. In spring 2000 he set up a new Ph.D. program in American Studies at Eötvös Lóránd University which he serves as program director.

Tibor FRANK was educated as a historian at ELTE and in Cambridge, England (Christ's College 1969, Darwin College 1980–81). He has been teaching at ELTE since graduating in 1971 with an M.A. in History and English, obtaining his Dr. Univ. in Modern History (1973). He received his Ph.D. in History at the Hungarian Academy of Letters and Science (1979), his Habilitation in History at ELTE in 1996, and his D.Litt. at the Hungarian Academy of Letters and Science in 1998.

Between 1987 and 1990 Tibor FRANK taught as a Fulbright Visiting Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and also at UCLA. In 1990–91 he was invited to the University of Nevada-Reno as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of History, sponsored by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Between 1988–97 he taught History courses every summer at UCSB Summer Sessions; between 1994 and 1997 he was founder and director of UCSB's The New Europe program. He is a regular Visiting Professor at the History Department and the East Central European Center of Columbia University in the City of New York (2001, 2007, and 2010).

Dr. FRANK founded Hungary's Modern Language Association in 1983; he served the Association as Secretary General between 1983 and 1996, and had been its Vice President between 1996 and 2007. He (co-)organized twenty major international multidisciplinary conferences in both Europe and the United States.

Professor Frank has been on the boards of Historical Abstracts (Santa Barbara-Oxford, 1989-93, 2000-), Nationalities Papers (New York, 1989-2009), Polanyiana (Budapest, 1994-), the European Journal of American Culture (Nottingham, England, 1998); and Appraisal (England). He was co-chair (1994-2001), and is currently honorary president (2004-), of the Hungarian Association for American Studies and was a board member of the European Association for American Studies (1994-2001). He is currently Chairman of the Board of the U.S.–Hungarian Fulbright Commission, of which he was a member between 1999 and 2002, and again from 2009. In 2007 he was elected Vice President of the Hungarian Historical Association.

Tibor FRANK received the Humboldt Forschungspreis (Research Award) from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for 2002 and, as a result, he spent the academic year 2003–04 at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, Germany. In recognition of his achievement in higher education he was awarded the Szent-Györgyi Albert Prize in 2005. He was elected Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London in 2006.

Recent books: From Habsburg Agent to Victorian Scholar: G. G. Zerffi 1820-1892 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); Ein Diener seiner Herren: Werdegang des Österreichischen Geheimagenten Gustav Zerffi (1820-1892) (Wien-Köln-Weimar: Bahlau Verlag, 2002); (Ed.) Discussing Hitler: Advisers of U.S. Diplomacy in Central Europe, 1934–1941 (Budapest–New York: CEU Press, 2003); (Ed.) Ever Ready to Go: The Multiple Exiles of Leo Szilard (Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 2004); Picturing Austria-Hungary: The British Perception of the Habsburg Monarchy 1865-1870 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005); Hangarii Seiou-Gensou no Wana - Senkanki no Kaneibeiha to Ryoudomondai (Tokyo: Sairyu Sha, 2008); (Hg.) Zwischen Roosevelt und Hitler. Die Geheimgesprüche eines amerikanischen Diplomaten in Budapest 1934-1941 (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2009); Double Exile: Migrations of Jewish-Hungarian Professionals through Germany to the United States 1919-1945 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009).

Since 2003 he has been a teamleader, with Frank Hadler (GWZO, Leipzig, Germany), of a major international historiographical project of the European Science Foundation that has just been published as a volume (DisputedTerritories and Shared Pasts: Overlapping National Histories in Modern Europe) in Writing the Nation, a series of Palgrave Macmillan.
His books, articles and chapters have been published in Austria, Brazil, Canada,

Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the United States.


Az I. világháború utáni forradalmak, az ellenforradalom, az Osztrák-Magyar Monarchia szétesése (1918-1920), a trianoni határok megvonása (1920), s különösen az 1920. évi XXV. tc., az ún. numerus clausus törvény következtében nagyszámú, zömmel fiatal magyar emigráns hagyta el Magyarországot, ideiglenesen vagy véglegesen. Ez az emigráns csoport első lépésként a németnyelvű országokba igyekezett, ahol tanulmányait németül folytathatta, Ausztriában, Németországban, Svájcban, de még Csehszlovákiában is. Az európai politikai helyzet mindenkori alakulása szerint lépcsőzetes, vagy láncmigráció során a Németországban letelepült magyarok Hitler hatalomra jutása után tovább vándoroltak, vagy kisebb részben hazatértek. A vándorlás további célpontjai között nyugat-európai országok éppúgy akadtak, mint a Szovjetunió, vagy az Egyesült Államok.

Az előadás Budapesttől Berlinen át New Yorkig követi az emigránsok múltját, igen nagyszámú esettanulmány adatainak felhasználásával. A szerzőnek az a benyomása alakult ki, hogy akárkinek az életútját is tárja fel, szinte ugyanazt a történetet "narratívát" építi tovább. Ekképpen ez a történet egy társadalmi csoport közös, együttes története, amely a 19-20. század fordulójának gyermekeit, a magyar liberalizmus valószínűleg legjobb hagyatékát követi végig a totalitárius rendszerek kialakulása, a II. világháború vérzivatara, az új haza kényszerű keresése felé. Központi tézise az a gondolat, hogy e generáció számos tagjának menekülése 1919 Magyarországáról megismétlődött 1933-ban Németországban, és ez a kettős kivándorlás kettős traumát jelentett, amely a magyar menekültek jelentős képviselőit a Németország ellenes amerikai hadviselés lelkes híveivé tette. Szilárd Leó, Teller Ede, Neumann János, Wigner Jenő a Manhattan Project, az amerikai atombomba kiemelkedően fontos tervezői lettek, de nagyszámú amerikai magyar bevándorló csatlakozott az amerikai hadsereghez, közkatonaként vagy alacsony rendfokozatú tisztként és küzdött Európa felszabadátásáért -- az idősebbek olykor tollal, szóval.

Az előadó új könyve, Double Exile: Migrations of Jewish-Hungarian Professionals through Germany to the United States1919-1945 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) részletesen foglalkozik az itt felvetett kérdésekkel.

Forrás: American Hungarian Library and Historical Society


Greetings and introduction by László Hámos, who also remembered

Gabriella Mauthner

Memi néni, as we all knew her, passed away December 7, 2010

Zita Bencsik, Deputy Consul General discussed plans to work together with the
American Hungarian Library and Historical Society, organizing similar events

DR. TIBOR FRANK


Related links

http://www.franktibor.hu/

http://americanhungarianlibrary.org/

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