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Hungary Past and Present

Shoes on the Danube Promenade
Shoes on the Danube Promenade

The unusual collection of metal shoes lined up along the Danube River bank is a sad memorial to the Jewish victims who were shot there by the members of the Arrow Cross militia at the end of World War II.  A Catholic nun, Sister Salkaházy Sára, also suffered the same fate in December 1944, for having saved the lives of a hundred Jewish people.  She has been beatified by the Catholic Church. 

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Allyson Szabo

When Mikulás Came to Town

In the 1930s, Mikulás – NOT Santa Claus! – routinely came to visit the children of Zebegény on the eve of his feast day, every December 5th.  (Mikulás had nothing to do with Christmas, when the Christ Child – Jézuska – or the Angels would bring gifts to Hungarian children.)

It was arranged by Countess Károlyi Franciska, whose ingenious VirágEgylet Zebegény (Zebegény Flower Circle) provided the children of the village with a framework for games and sports, as well as nature walks and botanical knowledge, home ec. training for the girls and cultural activities.  (See this month’s Classic elsewhere in this issue.) 

The following has been excerpted from  Napraforgó emlékalbum – Gróf Károlyi Lászlóné és a VirágEgylet Zebegény” (Sunflower Memorial Album – Countess Károlyi Lászlóné and the Zebegény Flower Circle), by Paulisineczné Willem Vera.


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