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Memorial Plaque to Kossuth Zsuzsanna in New York

Left: Inside First Presbyterian Church; actual grave of Kossuth Zsuzsanna; Right: Memorial plaque in church

Memorial Plaque to Kossuth Zsuzsanna in New York

EPF

During the Revolution and Hungarian Freedom Fight of 1848-49 (see the March 2016 issue of Magyar News Online), Kossuth Zsuzsanna helped the cause by providing nursing care to the wounded on both sides, treating them with compassion and finding solutions to their care and provisioning. 

In that struggle, the Hungarians held their own, and were even making gains as long as they had only Austria to contend with;  but once the Austrians appealed to Russia for help,  the combined enemy forces were too strong to resist. The  the struggle for independence was defeated.  Zsuzsanna’s brother, Kossuth Lajos managed to escape, but she was captured and imprisoned.  Released, she worked with other patriotic Hungarians for reforms.  She was again arrested (1851).  Only American intervention brought about her release, with the stipulation that she leave the country and never  return. 

Zsuzsanna eventually came to America, and lived in New York until her early death in 1854.  She was merely 37 years old.  Her burial place faded into oblivion.

Thanks to diligent research, the actual location of Kossuth Zsuzsanna’s tomb was finally poinpointed a few years ago: it is in the cemetery of the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

On March 16, 2018, in the presence of Chief Consul Kumin Ferenc and other Hungarian government officials, a memorial plaque to Kossuth Zsuzsanna was dedicated at the First Presbyterian Church. The English text of the bi-lingual plaque reads:  ”Here lies Zsuzsanna Kossuth, 1817-1854,  Chief Nurse of Camp Hospitals in the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-49, Youngest Sister of Governor Louis (Lajos) Kossuth.”

The plaque, currently in a temporary location, is intended to mark worthily the final resting place of Kossuth Zsuzsanna and to proclaim the glory of self-sacrificing patriotism. 


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