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Register of the First Aid For Hungary, 1956-1958
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Point
  • Historical Note

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: First Aid For Hungary,
    Date (inclusive): 1956-1958
    Collection number: 57014
    Collection Size: 3 manuscript boxes (1.3 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Correspondence, reports, contribution lists, clippings, and printed matter, relating to relief and resettlement of Hungarian refugees.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], First Aid For Hungary, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    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 http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . 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).

    Access Point

    International relief
    Hungary-History-Revolution, 1956
    Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964

    Historical Note

    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)