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Leave everything behind ...

The Hungarian Cultural Center's current exhibition is "LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND... - The micro-history of forced migration in Central Europe after World War II" was organized  in cooperation with Skanzen – Hungarian Open Air Museum. This show is the opening program of the Humans in the Midst of Inhumanity event series.

The exhibit will be on show between January 21 and 16 February, 2012, 2-6pm Monday through Thursday. Guided tours are offered to groups based on appointment. The Center especially recommends the exhibit to university students and faculties, Hungarian schools and scout troops interested in the history of Central Europe. Upon request, Ágnes Fülemile (director of HCC-NY and Hungarian Chair Professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, 2006-2009) will be available to provide guided tours and lectures. For information and appointments please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (212)750-4450. Log on to Facebook to stay updated about all events at the Center by visiting our profile at


The Concept Behind the Exhibition LEAVE EVERYTHING BEHIND...

The harassment, depredation, displacement and forced migration of ethnic groups constitute one of the most shameful pages in the history of Europe during the 20th century. Regardless of their age or gender, millions of innocent people were displaced on the basis of a uniformly applied principle of collective guilt in the wake of the Second World War, forcibly dragged from their homes and exiled from their homelands – packing everything into a trunk no heavier than 44 lbs. and ordered to leave everything else behind. Those who lived through this trauma were among the "fortunate" ones who did not end up in the gas chambers of concentration camps or disappear with no trace in the labor camps of the Soviet Union.


Where did the railroad wagons that transported these people depart from and what was their destination? Frequently, the painful stories of the individuals touched by these events have remained in silence for several generations, and the events taking place in East-Central Europe over the last decades have not always provided acceptable answers and solutions to heal their deep wounds.


It is easier to shed light on the inhumane and contradictory process of forced migration by examining the personal fates of those who lived through it. The exhibit lent to us by the Hungarian Open Air Museum outside the town of Szentendre in Hungary is an attempt to place these stories in a more human context by relating the tale of a Donauschwäbisch (Danube Swabian) family, the former owners, and a Szekler family, forced migrants, who inhabited a peasant house in the community of Hidas in Southern Hungary. In addition to the photos, narratives, maps and documents shown here, some personal belongings have also been added to reinforce the message. This exhibit will be on display at the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York City for three weeks.

The Humans in the Midst of Inhumanity event series at the Hungarian Cultural Center will continue with independently organized and co-sponsored programs in late January and February.

We are grateful to all of our supporters: Skanzen - Hungarian Open Air Museum, National Cultural Fund of Hungary and American Hungarian Foundation.


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