denver colorado usa city

According to zipatlas.com there are several cities in Colorado, USA, that have a substantial Hungarian population. In 2017 there were almost 120,000 Hungarians reported in Boulder, 280,000 in Littleton, 450,000 in Colorado Springs, 320,000 in Aurora and 915,000 in Denver.

Hungarian freedom park – in Denver, connected to the Alamo Placita Park

park denver colorado
Hungarian Freedom Park – Denver, Colorado. Photo: The Cultural Landscape Foundation www.tclf.org

In 1963, a group of Hungarians, including János Benkő, formed the Hungarian Club of Colorado. The club believed that there should be a memorial to honour the people who were killed during the 1956 revolt against the Soviet oppression. Eight club members created a committee to petition the city of Denver. As a result, in 1966, Arlington Park was renamed as Hungarian Freedom Park.

The Hungarian Club of Colorado then started collecting money for a memorial statue. In 1971, with the help of sculptor Zoltán Popovits and Orr Construction Company, a statue was erected in the park’s western section that remains even today.

Statue at the Hungarian Freedom Park. Photo: tclf.org

This monument was originally erected in 1968 to commemorate the 1956 uprising in Hungary, but since then it has been updated with a plaque which reads:

“THE REVOLUTION TRIUMPHED

MARCH 25, 1990- FREE ELECTIONS

JUNE 19, 1991- SOVIET TROOPS DEPART”

The Smithsonian Inventory describes the Monument as a bronze figure of a male youth breaking through an iron curtain. His head is turned to the right, his arm is extended, and his left knee is bent. The bronze figure is affixed to the upper middle section of the front of a tall rubble cement stele. There is a stand for burning candles at the base of the monument. The excerpted poem is from the famous Hungarian poet Mihály Vörösmarty.

Túl az Óperencián by Endrődi Judit

There is even a book about the past 50 years of the Hungarian Club of Colorado. The book is based on hundreds of pages of documents and several interviews, making a hundred hour long research material. The book is published under the title: Túl az Óperencián written by Endrődi Judit. The whole book is available for free, although only in Hungarian. It contains chapters about the history of the Hungarian Club of Colorado, the Hungarian Freedom Park in Denver, celebrations that the club hosted in honour of the Hungarian revolutions in 1848 and 1956. It also writes about the first Hungarian school in Denver, about the Hungarian American communities who have been helping our nation, sending supplies back to Hungary, organising fundraisers and collecting donations especially after the red mud disaster and floods.

From the 1960s Denver had a Hungarian scouts program and a Hungarian language school on Sundays for the children. Unfortunately both of these closed because there was no one to take over the responsibility.

We can also learn about cultural programs they have organized in the past: Hungarian festivals, book and movies clubs, concerts, programs for children. They even have a soccer team, a tennis club, golf clubs and a handball team.

Looks like some of these things are in the past, but if you want to keep up with everything they are planning, visit their Facebook page: Hungarian Club of Colorado. You can see pictures of women dressed up as Hungarian Countesses for the Renaissance fair, plans for the next gathering of the book club or a potluck picnic. They organize two picnics a year, in June and August, with traditional Hungarian foods, like sausages, goulash, lángos, palacsinta and homemade cookies.

Source: Daily News Hungary

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