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Hungarian Revolution of 1956

Since 1956, some 38,000 Hungarian refugees came to Canada, and with them came their genealogy and social history.


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Since 1956, when the Hungarian Revolution happened, some 38,000 refugees came to Canada, and with them came their genealogy and social history.

September and October have been the months in which educational and commemorative projects have been unveiled.

Most of the projects of the Canada-Hungary Educational Foundation "attempt(s) to highlight the contributions of Hungarians to Canadian life as well as the reception accorded to them by Canada. They help to explore Hungarian cultural identity as an integral part of Canada's multicultural fabric and to make a positive contribution to cultural, educational links between Canada and Hungary."

A number of events will continue to take place, including a conference at the University of Ottawa called "1956 Revolution 50 Years Later: Canadian and International Perspectives", which was held from October 12th to 14th.

Some of the topics covered were "Canada and Hungarian Refugees: The Historical Context" and "A Piece of my Heart: The Oral Testimonies of Hungarians Who Immigrated to and settled in Canada Following the Revolution of 1956", to name a few.

Historians can go to the Montreal Hungarian Historical Society which was formed at the beginning of 2006. They are now putting on an exhibit at Montreal City Hall called "Celebrating Montreal's Hungarians - A Reflection of our Community", which will be on during the month of November.

Another project has been the publication of a book called "Bridging the Divide". This is a book based on interviews with refugees who came to Canada, and with their family members left behind.

If you want to know more about the book, please go to

The Canada-Hungary Foundation has petitioned the Canadian government for funds to begin a website on the development project aimed at introducing the Hungarian experience in Canada to Canadian audiences.

They hope to get primary records and archival material to put on the site, and will digitize many of the private materials found in the hands of the Hungarian families.

At the Munk Centre for International Studies is a 1956 memorial, and you can e-mail them with your thoughts and views at

The first immigration to Canada took place in 1848-1849, and the records of immigration can be found at

Additional records can also be found at the Federation of East European Family History Societies (FEEFHS) which attempts to provide family research in Eastern and Central Europe.

Source Information: Canadian Connections, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2006.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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