HUNGARY: Report from Steve Torok

Steve Torok lives in Thailand, but he returns to his native Hungary, from where he sent this report inspired by the posting about Iranian intellectuals in Los Angeles:  This is a fascinating story, and it kindles some memories of my life as a Hungarian exile in the US after 1956,especially in the Los Angeles area, where I was elected representative of the 150 or so Hungarian students to participate in a Nort American Hungarian Student Congress in 1960 in Ann Arbor , Michigan. We were also going to liberate Hungary. and the intrigues of intelligence agencies described in the posting about Iran has also plagued us.

What is interesting in present day Hungary, where I am for medical checkups till April 24, is that the list of secret agents in the Hungarian establishment is now made public, creating suspicions among friends and poisoning the political atmosphere. Hungarians have not yet digested the memories of political dictatorship, and it might take another generation....At the same time, the Budapest Festival of Arts was inaugurated on the 18th of April with the opening of the National Concert Hall and Art Center on the banks of the Danube.  It very much reminds me of the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall, National Theater complex on the banks of the Thames next to Shell Centre, where I used to go for concerts after work while in London in the seventies... The Sibelius violin concerto played by Midori with the Hungarian Festival Orchestra was excellent and the hall has at least as good accoustics as the Concert Hall in Berlin.

It is cold here, freezing every night,.However, the banks of the Danube are already flooded by melting snow, and the country is bracing for Spring floods after record snow levels this past winter. The buds are out, snowflowers too, banks of the roadside are getting green hopes to forget politics and believe in a new Spring!

RH: I assume the famous hot springs of  Budapest's open air baths have not frozen over.

Ronald Hilton 2005


last updated: April 16, 2005