Title: First Aid For Hungary,
Date (inclusive): 1956-1958
Collection number: 57014
Collection Size: 3 manuscript boxes (1.3 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Correspondence, reports, contribution lists, clippings, and printed matter, relating to
relief and resettlement of Hungarian refugees.
Collection is open for research.
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[Identification of item], First Aid For Hungary, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1957.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
Alternative Form Available
Also available on microfilm (3 reels).
Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
I was again called into service at the time of the Hungarian uprisings in the last months
of 1956. I accepted the honorary chairmanship of an organization called "First Aid for
Hungary, Inc.," which had been formed as the result of a meeting of several prominent
Americans of Hungarian descent called by Dr. Tibor Eckhardt on October 29, 1956; it was
organized to render vital services in a sudden emergency. Our immediate objective was to
bring aid to the hundreds of Hungarian Freedom Fighters who had been forced to seek
refuge in neighboring Austria and had thus cast an enormous burden upon that country. We
were one of only two foreign charities actually operating at the Hungarian border during
those first frenzied weeks. Immediate aid was rendered through seventeen first-aid
stations, four field kitchens,and three mobile pharmacies set up in the border zone to
distribute clothing and medical supplies. We were also able to send food and medical
supplies into Hungary itself -at first by direct shipment, then through the International
Red Cross, and finally by direct shipment again. During the latter part of this
organization's life, as Russian tanks halted the flow of Hungarians across the border, we
turned our attention to aiding the refugees in camps in Austria and for several months
provided a number of them with supplies, especially for children, and also with care for
the sick, wounded, and maternity cases. In February 1957, we determined upon a specific
program to deal with the emergency created by the interruptions of studies, particulary
of high-school age children. We supported programs in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and
United States by providing funds and textbooks. Later, our efforts were extended to the
problem of higher education for refugee students. Aid to the education of these young
people took some of our work out of the temporary and gave it an added significance of
future and permanent value. My personal feelings on the matter were conveyed in a message
of mine which was read at the Protest Meeting for the Hungarians in Madison Square Garden
on November 8, 1956:
Every people striving for freedom has over our whole
national life appealed to the American heart. But seldom in these hundred and sixty years
has any people shown such magnificent courage and sacrifice as we have seen in these past
few weeks in Hungary. Whatever we can do to alleviate their suffering and to protest this
wickedness must lie on the American conscience.
Among the officers of the organization, in addition to myself as Honorary Chairman, were
Dr. Tibor Eckhardt, President, and Mr. Tibor Jahoda, Treasurer. Through October 31, 1957,
the funds raised amounted to $1,143,055.43.
(from Herbert Hoover,
An American Epic, Volume IV)