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Elizabeth Halász
The Hopes of 1956
I followed the happenings of the 1956 uprising in New Jersey with great expectations and even greater hopes.

I only found out in the summer of 1953 that my father was alive, after five years as a prisoner of war in the USSR and three years in a concentration camp in Hungary, and living in Balatonfüred.

Since he had been a carrier hussar officer, I was convinced that he was taking part in the fighting.

We, here in the US, tried to persuade our politicians, not to abandon the Hungarians again. After, November 4, I could only hope that my father was still alive and could escape to Austria.

As time went by, I began to lose hope. But then, in late November, our phone rang. It was my father. He had arrived in Vienna and was staying at my Grandmother's. As he later related to us, he had offered his services to a group of freedom fighters, but was turned down because they did not want to associate with a former officer of the Horthy era.

My husband and I picked him up in the middle of December at Camp Kilmer. He had last seen me as a girl of eleven. I was now a young woman of 22.

It was the happiest and saddest Christmas of my life.

Elizabeth Halász
Born in Sopron, she ended up in Austria at the end of WWII as a Displaced Person. She emigrated to the United States in 1952. She worked at first in a factory, then completed an accounting course and worked as a bookkeeper. She raised three children, helped in the St. Stephen Hungarian church of Passaic, NJ as well as with the scouts, and was PTA president in her daughter's and sons' school. When she requested and received her father's indictment and trial documents from the official archives in 2004, she did not know whether to laugh or cry. Her father's only crime: being a military officer and an aristocrat.