History of 1956 Hungarian Revolution Monument in New Brunswick, NJ

Forty years ago, two thousand local Hungarians commemorated the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in the auditorium at Camp Kilmer, where the Hungarian escapees had arrived after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. At that time in 1966, a memorial tablet was placed on a rock in the Camp. Fifteen years later, funds were raised to commemorate the 1956 Revolution in the center of New Brunswick at the corner of Somerset and Plum Streets. The rock was brought from Camp Kilmer and a new bronze plaque was fixed to it.

Last year, the Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations of New Brunswick decided that the 1956 monument should be “upgraded” by putting it on a stronger base and elevating it to a higher position than it was. Furthermore, the monument would be enhanced by a seven foot high wall behind it. The wall would also serve as a memorial honoring the heroes of 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

A portion of the funds, raised 25 years ago in 1981 was not sufficient to cover the expenses of the new monument. Therefore, we have asked our friends and organizations to support the project of this new memorial wall by helping our effort to create and place a permanent remembrance for the future.

 

Gyuri Hollósy, The Artist

Gyuri Hollosy’s artistic career, with an emphasis on sculpture, spans a period of 46 years. Currently, and for the last 30 years, he has been on an endlessly fascinating path of exploration and development of the human figure. In this time his sculpture has emerged and evolved into a strongly delicate, unique, and personal style. His aim is to interpret the nuances of the human condition, both emotional and physical, through his vision and singular style of work.

Gyuri’s Hungarian parents emigrated to Germany in 1945, where he was born in Bad-Aibling in 1946. In the mid 1950’s his family left Germany to settle in Cleveland, Ohio. When he was 12, he witnessed a Franciscan monk, standing inside a chapel filled with smoke from a blazing forge, draw images of saints into massive oak pillars with a hot poker. His passion for art was ignited, and his commitment to being an artist has never wavered. He is descended from two well known turn-of-the-century Hungarian painters, Simon Hollósy and Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, that helped his parents and him understand that his calling was to be an artist. During the summers of his high school years in the early ‘60s, he began his education and the practice of sculpture by apprenticing to Hungarian sculptor Frank Varga from Detroit, Michigan.

After completing his education and five and half years of military service with the U.S. Coast Guard, he continued his career as a teacher and has taught at a number of schools and institutions, among them Tulane University in New Orleans, Washington University in St. Louis, Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas and the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in New Jersey, all the while pursuing his artistic voice, especially in sculpture. He has been awarded five major commissions and six minor commissions. He has received several awards at shows, and has been awarded three grants—from the Helen and George Segal Foundation, the Ludwig Voglestein Foundation, and a Herk van Tongeron Sculpture Award.

Gyuri Hollosy web site

gimagine photo reports:

Gyuri Hollosy: Kathy B, New Outdoor Addition at the Grounds for Sculpture

Hollósy Gyuri műtermében: Harkó Gyöngyvér és Sohár István fotóriportja

 

Gyuri Hollosy sculptor: Bronze Relief: Symbolic Depiction of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

To commemorate the Hungarian revolution in this composition, the plaque has been presented into three main elements: the family, the revolution and the city where it began. The family is symbolically presented as the body of the nation, and the city its history. The man is the defender of the nation; the woman is the soul, and the new born infant represents hope. The male form is torn apart by his struggle against injustice, and at the verge of collapse, still finds the strength to hold up the symbol of his cause for freedom and change, the Hungarian flag. The flag is proudly waived around the figures with a symbolic hole in it, which identifies it specifically as the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

The man looks up at the woman with compassion: she represents his love and his country. She is the nation kneeling before the heavens, in humility, stripped of all her possessions but one, her new born infant that is her hope for the future. The infant raised by the woman over her head becomes the highest point in the relief symbolizing the hope that can not be crushed. This new-born is held above the struggle, which endures the suppression that has afflicted the nation. The child is offered to God to show the nation’s faith in the Creator, and as a symbol of perseverance over these hardships.

Around the symbolic sculpture are the cities Buda and Pest with the Danube (Duna) River dividing them. On the left of the relief is the Fisherman’s Bastion symbolic of its ancient history. On its right below is Széchenyi Chain Bridge the first bridge to join the two cities together to make what we know today as Budapest. Finally, in the center right, by the figures, is the Parliament Building, the seat of government and power. It is here the demonstrations started their quest for freedom and the revolution, that took seed and shook the world.

   

Dr. Istvan Sohar, Chairman of Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations in New Brunswick: Thanks to the creators and the patrons of this wall

When Lajos Kossuth embarked on a fundraising trip in Hungary, he called the people of Szeged my nation’s pride. I would like to call today the people of New Brunswick really my nation’s pride, for their dedication to provide the needed amount necessary for the building of the Memorial Wall, and for the placing on it of the beautiful Relief , the Plaque and the Hungarian Crest, all this a wonderful work of art to be dedicated here today.

First of all, our thanks to the St. Ladislaus Catholic Church for letting us use the space for the Wall.

Our special thanks to Gyuri Hollosy, the artist, who has brought here for us the magic site of Budapest seen from the Gellert Hill using the symbolism of his well appreciated 1956 monumet in Boston. Gabor Zrinyi and his team using the design of Kurt Ludwig put their heart in this work, symbolic of the Hungarian folk ballad’s Komuves Kelemen. Finally, Gyula Szilagyi and his son made it possible to admire the composition at night. We can not forget to say thanks to Maria Olbei for her enthusiastic and tireless administrative and financial work. The first financial fund came from the freedom fighters 25 years ago. In the recent years, the Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations collected a high amount. (Performances: The Duna Dance Group and Istvan, a Kiraly). Additional donations have been received from the Hungarian American Athletic Club, the Magyar Reformed Church, Verse and Sound Literary Circle, St. Ladislaus Church, and the Bolyai Lecture Series on Arts and Sciences of the American Hungarian Foundation. We have received larger donations from individuals and from all who supported the two fundraising cultural events.

We feel extremely proud today that we can add a beautiful Hungarian artwork to the many ones in New Brunswick. It is a joy for all of us that we have succeeded in finally having an appropriate monument honoring the 1956 Revolution and that this has been achieved with our collective work to speak for ever about the bravery of the Hungarians 50 years ago. Thank you for your attention.

 

Acknowledgements

Special Thanks for Construction of the Monument:
Gyuri Hollosy, Sculpture
Gabor Zrinyi, Mason
Gyula and David Szilagyi, Electricians
Kurt J. Ludwig, Architect
Maria Olbei, Administrative Manager

The Memorial Wall was built with the financial help of the Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations

1956 World Federation of Freedom Fighters in 1981
Hungarian American Athletic Club
Magyar Reformed Church
Verse and Sound Literary Circle
St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church
Bolyai Lecture Series on Arts and Sciences of American Hungarian Foundation

Private Donors:

Prof. Dr. Istvan Horvath and Dr. Brigitte Mihalyffy, Maria and Dr. Jozsef Beck, Bela Komlosi, Maria and Tamas Tamas, Andrew Major, The Major Group Inc., Erika and Geza Madarasz, Maria Olbei, Dr. Andras Peter, Dr. Istvan Sohar and Gyongyver Harko, Jozsef Vargyas,
Ferenc Novak, Dr. Endre and Anna Szemeredi, Paul Sohar, Peter Mathe, Istvan Kun-Szabo, Margaret Erdosi, Louis Karsai, Ann Kopenczy, Elsie Szabo, Rev. Stephen Skinta, Peter Pastor, Katalin, Zoltan Hajos, Janos Rosta, Gabor Ibranyi, Eva I. Kiss, Barbara Kiss, Jozsef Varga, Maria Hollosi, Marian Gaspar, Etelka Csulak, Eugene Pressing, Dr. Erdi Miklos, Pluhar Rozsa, Catherine Koreh

 

The Committee of Hungarian Churches and Organizations in New Brunswick, NJ

American Hungarian Foundation
Bolyai Lecture Series of Arts and Sciences
Bornemissza Gergely Boy Scout Troop, Nr. 5
Csűrdöngölő Dance Group
Hungarian Alumni Association
Hungarian Women Association
Hungarian American Athletic Club
Hungarian Radio Hour
Lorántffy Zsuzsanna Girl Scout Troop, Nr. 41
Magyar Reformed Church
St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church
St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church
Verse and Sound Hungarian Literary Circle