6/12/2017 - The American Hungarian Federation was proud to participate in the 10th Annual "Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony" honoring the memory of more than 100 million victims of communist regimes. On June 9th, AHF placed a wreath at the foot of the Victims of Communism Memorial statue, the "Goddess of Democracy," a replica of the statue erected by Chinese students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Embassies and ethnic and human rights organizations joined members of Congress in the 10th anniversary event. This year, the VOC honored H.E. Mart Laar, former Prime Minister of Estonia,with its Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. PM Laar has also received the Hungarian House of Terror museum’s Petőfi Prize and the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.
AHF's Paul Kamenar, General Counsel and AHF Vice President Dr. Imre Nemeth presented our wreath in memory of those brave Hungarians who fought against Soviet occupation in 1956 and other victims of communism.
AHF is a proud supporter the the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation or VOC. AHF issued a statement as part of the VOC Gala Brochure: "The American Hungarian Federation honors all Victims of Communism and those who have given the ultimate Sacrifice for Freedom.
Hungary's first experience with Communism followed the chaos at the end of World War I when a brutal but short-lived "dictatorship of the proletariat" seized power between March and August 1919. Communism would later be imposed on Hungary by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, but not before Hungarians rejected the Communist Party in the 1945 elections when the Smallholders won an absolute majority of the votes despite the presence of the Soviet army.
In 1956 the entire nation rose up and, defying impossible odds, revolted against communist and Soviet tyranny. Although harsh reprisals and suffering followed the crushing of the Revolution, the sacrifice of Hungarians in 1956 helped lay the groundwork for the eventual collapse of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe. There were other victims...
Hungarians living in successor states neighboring Hungary lived not only as an oppressed people, but also as a minority subjected to all forms of discrimination and forcible assimilation. Despite the great strides toward freedom and democracy, the region's spiritual, moral and economic decay in the wake of decades of Communism imposed by Moscow, is still evident and cannot be ignored. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation ensures that we not forget the suffering and the lessons of a terrible period in the history of mankind.
The American Hungarian Federation (AHF), founded in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio, is the oldest and largest Hungarian American national umbrella organization in the United States. AHF represents the interests of its member organizations and a broad cross-section of the Hungarian-American community. Among its purposes is to promote democratic values, monitor human and minority rights, and support strong relations between the people of Hungary and the United States."
AHF's work regarding the tragic events nearly 50 years ago, dates back to the early days of the revolution and thereafter assisting tens of thousands of refugees. In 1956 the American Hungarian Federation activated the second Hungarian Relief program for the refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, providing $512,560.00 (over $4 million in today's dollars). With the support of the American Hungarian Federation, over 65,000 refugees arrived in the USA. Get involved and help us continue our tradition of helping our community!
About the Victims of Communism Memorial
The Victims of Communism Memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007. The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of the “Goddess of Democracy,” a bronze replica of the statue erected by Chinese students in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China in the spring of 1989. Many world leaders have already visited the memorial site to pay their respects and lay commemorative wreaths. The Memorial is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, NW on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Donors and ethnic communities throughout the United States reacted favorably. Led by the Vietnamese Americans in Northern Virginia, the Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Hungarians, and other groups rallied to donate money and effort to the cause. An invitation was extended to President George W. Bush to serve as honorary chairman – and he accepted.
About the VOC
Hungarians cut the iron curtain and the Berlin Wall fell, but communism didn’t. One hundred years after the Bolshevik Revolution, one-fifth of the world’s population still lives under single-party communist regimes in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Communist regimes commit the worst and widest-scale human rights abuses on the planet.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is a Washington, DC-based educational and human rights nonprofit 501c3 foundation devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.
VOC was authorized by a unanimous act of Congress, which was signed by President Bill Clinton on December 17, 1993. VOC incorporated in 1994. Since then, its historical research, policy analysis, educational programs, and commitment to remembering every victim of communism have been praised internationally.
VOC raised private funds and built the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, DC. It is the only memorial in the world commemorating every victim of communism, and was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007.
From the famines, purges, and gulags of Soviet Russia to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge—from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre to the Castro regime’s 2012 murder of Oswaldo Payá—communists have killed more than 100 million people. Countless more suffered and suffer still.
Shamefully, the free world never demanded a moral reckoning for the crimes of communist regimes. Those witnesses with a living memory of 20th century communism are passing away. And an entire generation of Americans is open to collectivist ideas because they don’t know the truth.
VOC tells the truth about communism because our vision is for a world free from the false hope of communism.
6/11-12/2015 -The American Hungarian Federation was proud to participate in the wreath laying ceremony on June 12 at the Victims of Communism Memorial statue, the "Goddess of Democracy," a replica of statue erected by Chinese dissidents in Tiananmen Square in 1989.23 embassies, and 26 ethnic and human rights organizations joined 10 Members of Congress and over 300 participants for the annual Victims of Communism Commemoration on Capitol Hill, which this year revolved around human rights in Cuba and the legacy of communism in the post-Soviet sphere. [read more]
6/12/2007 - The Victims of Communism Memorial was dedicated by President George W. Bush in a morning ceremony on Tuesday, June 12th. Washington's newest memorial honors the 100 million people who have been killed by communist totalitarian regimes worldwide. AHF is proud to have contributed to this noble effort and congratulates Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation chairman Lee Edwards on the realization of his dream. [read more]
6/16/2009 - The Victims of Communism (VOC) Memorial Foundation awards the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom to Hungarian human rights activist Bishop Laszlo Tokes. Bishop Tokes, an ethnic Hungarian, played an important role in the Romanian Revolution of 1989 that toppled Romania's communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu. [read more]
6/12/2008 - Victims of Communism Memorial 1st Anniversary... Former California Congressman Tom Lantos was awarded the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom (posthumously) during the ceremony. The ceremony marked the first anniversary of the dedication of the memorial. AHF is proud to support the foundation. AHF's October 2007 Congressional Reception in honor of its 100th anniversary began with a wreath laying at the memorial.
11/1/2007 - Congressional Reception for AHF Centennial... AHF celebrated it's 100th Anniversary, honored the heroes of 1956 on the 51st anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, and unveiled its plans for a 1956 National Memorial in the Nation's Capital. AHF recognized Congressmen Dan Lipinski (D - IL), ThaddeusMcCotter (R- MI) and Dr. Lee Edwards (Chair of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation) for their support of AHF initiatives, human rights and democratic development in Central Europe. Each received a plaque and a copy of the book, "Daughter of the Revolution" by renowned poet and author, Prof. Peter Hargitai. The October 25 commemoration started with wreath laying at the Victims of Communism Memorial near the US Capitol. [read more].
October 23, 2012 - AHF Honors the heroes of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the first tear in the Iron Curtain. Hungarians from all walks of life rose up against insurmountable odds to fight the brutal Soviet installed Hungarian communist government. Thousands died fighting, others tortured and executed, while 200,000 were forced to flee. 2012 marked the 56th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution. [Read more] and see Photos and Videos on AHF's 1956 Portal
AHF's work regarding the tragic events nearly 50 years ago, dates back to the early days of the revolution and thereafter assisting tens of thousands of refugees. In 1956 the American Hungarian Federation activated the second Hungarian Relief program for the refugees of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, providing $512,560.00.With the support of the American Hungarian Federation, over 65,000 refugees arrived in the USA. Get involved and help us continue our tradition of helping our community! Join Us! [Read more] and see Photos and Videos on AHF's 1956 Portal