CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

UNITED HUNGARIAN SOCIETIES

UNITED HUNGARIAN SOCIETIES

The UNITED HUNGARIAN SOCIETIES was formed in 1902, bringing together 12 Hungarian organizations to "coordinate the cultural, charitable and welfare activities of the member societies" and the local Hungarian community. The organization grew out of the Kossuth Statue Committee, formed in 1901 to erect a statue in the patriot's honor (1902). Under the UHS, the Hungarian-American community undertook projects to commemorate its heritage and to help needy HUNGARIANS and others in both Europe and the U.S. The organization began holding annual ceremonies recalling the 1848 war for independence and sponsored Magyar Day Festivals in July; in 1924 it established the Baracs Library at the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART to honor Dr. Henrik Baracs; in 1930 it presented a bust of Hungarian poet Alexander Petofi to the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY; and in 1933 took charge of the Hungarian Cultural Gardens. The United Hungarian Societies also provided financial assistance to the people of Hungary, sending aid to famine victims in 1923, to those expelled from Yugoslavia in 1935, to flood victims in 1936, and to hospitals, orphanages, and veterans' homes. In the U.S. the organization helped striking Pennsylvania miners in 1928, established a job-placement service in Cleveland during the Depression, and donated to AMERICAN RED CROSS relief efforts in 1936. The UHS also coordinated relief and resettlement efforts for refugees after the 1956 revolution in Hungary. At its 35th anniversary, the United Hungarian Societies had 61 affiliated organizations; by its 93rd anniversary in 1995, the number of member organizations had declined to 32.


Papp, Susan M. Hungarian Americans and Their Communities of Cleveland (1981).