Hungarian Studies Newsletter, 1998 (15. évfolyam, 51-54. szám)

1998 / 51-52. szám

Ml /Ul AMERICAN HUNGARIAN FOUNDATION HUNGARIAN STUDIES NEWSLETTER IN MEMÓRIÁM: BELA CHARLES MADAY, FOUNDING EDITOR This issue of the Hungarian Studies Newsletter is dedicated by its editors and the directors of the American Hungarian Foundation to the memory of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Bela C. Maday, founding editor of the Newsletter. In 1973 he established the quarterly Newsletter and served as editor until 1987 of both the Newsletter and the Hungarian Reference Shelf publications of the Foundation. His association with the American Hungarian Foundation began even before he wrote these encouraging words of commitment and dedication in 1961: "1 hope though, that you will feel free to call on me for whatever modest contribution I could make to fur­ther the cause of the American Hungarian Foundation.” He dedi­cated himself for the next three decades to disseminating infor­mation in English about Hungarian studies both as an editor and a board member of the Foundation and served with equal com­mitment in securing funds for academic and publication projects of the Foundation. Dr. Maday was an eminent humanitarian, a distinguished cultural anthropologist, author, editor, teacher, administrator, but most of all he was a warm-hearted human being, who spent the great part of his 85 years helping thousands of other human beings. He died in Gaithersburg, MD, on November 21, 1997. From 1962 to 1987 he served on the Board of Directors of the Foundation and beginning in 1970 he was vice president responsible for research and publi­cations. In 1980 the Foundation honored him with the Abraham Lincoln Award. Dr. Maday was a typical offspring of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy: his father was Hungarian, his mother an Austrian, and he was born in Prague on November 3, 1912. He was educated in Pápa, Debrecen and Budapest, and he received his doctorate at Pázmány University in 1937. During his college years, he won recognition in a national compe­tition of journalism and then became a regular contributor to Hungary’s leading daily, Pesti Hírlap. He also became deeply involved in youth programs. In large part he was responsible for building a new metropolitan YMCA in Budapest. He was general secretary for four years and edited the first Hungarian YMCA handbook in 1935. Concurrently, he was general secretary of the Gyöngyösbokréta movement, his first encounter with anthropolo­gy. From 1937 to 1945 he was secretary of the Budapest Cultural Department. When Prime Minister Pál Teleki committed suicide protesting the German military moves through Hungary, Maday compiled a vol­ume of quotes from Teleki's speeches and writings. He published them under the title Merjünk magyarok lenni (Dare to be Hungarian.) This bestseller became the most important written manifestation of Hungarian resistance to German expansionism. The war did not favor academic activities, nevertheless Maday was able to lecture occasionally at the department of economics of the Technical University. At the end of the war, he was appoint-Dr. Bela C. Maday ed field director of the Red Cross and charged with the care of some one-half million Hungarian displaced persons as they returned home from Western Europe. In 1947 he received an American postdoctoral fellowship from Springfield College, MA, to study community organization and group work. Then in 1948 he was invited to join the faculty of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. This faculty appoint­ment resulted in his writing and editing ten volumes of Hungarian texts, grammars, and teaching aids. In addition, at Monterey Peninsula College he taught sociology and anthropology. After the Hungarian uprising in 1956, once again he was called upon to apply his organizational skills to coordinate refugee affairs in America on a national scale as the executive director of Coordinated Hungarian Relief in Washington, DC. With the con­clusion of that task, he returned to academe as a member of the faculty of American University. There he taught courses in inter­(■Continued on page 2) NO. 51-52, SPRING-SUMMER, 1998, HUNGARIAN STUDIES NEWSLETTER