___The Yugoslav Connection [A jugoszláv kapcsolat]___Back
The Yugoslav Connection
A documentary film (in Hungarian)


‘My mother would sit by the radio doing her needlework. And listen to the broadcast. And I’d see she was crying. And tears would trickle down her face. And I’d ask her why she was crying. And she’d say, "Marika, because they’re shooting up the radio." And then I’d snap back saying there’s just two of us in the room and what did she mean saying they were shooting up the radio? There wasn’t anything wrong with our set.’

‘We Hungarians here weren’t the only ones—the Serbs here cheered and rejoiced as well. And that was general. It was general for people to rejoice and cheer about the Hungarian Revolution succeeding.’

So it was. Hungarians, Serbs and Croatians, across the border in Yugoslavia, supported and worried about the Hungarian Revolution. Then suddenly, they found they also had a part to play—not in the battles, but in caring for refugees.

For at the beginning of 1957, the new Kádár regime sealed the Hungarian-Austrian border and cut off the main line of flight to the West, so that Hungarian refugees turned to Yugoslavia for refuge. Initially, there were 500–600 people a day crossing the border, but after two weeks, there were about 10,000 who had set off in that direction. By the last day of January, fleeing Hungarians were literally besieging the border and the Yugoslavs were unable to cope with the refugee question. At that critical juncture, help was offered by the Western countries and most of all by the UN.

A former refugee camp at Hajdújárás (Hajdukovo)

A former refugee camp at a homestead near Bács-Kossuthfalva (Ómoravica, Stara Moravica)

Eventually, 19,880 Hungarian refugees crossed the Yugoslav border, of whom 2700 later returned to Hungary and some 500 settled in Yugoslavia. The rest carried on westward to France, Belgium and Switzerland; later Sweden and Denmark also accepted some. Others went further still, to the other side of the world, settling in Canada, Australia or New Zealand. The film about them sheds light on the lives of a few of those refugees and settlers and the local people who gave them a helping hand.


Historical adviser: Attila Szakolczai
Narrator: Zsolt Madarász
Lighting: Zoltán Legény
Sound: Gergely Hornos
Musical editor: Erzsébet Darázs
Cutting: Gabriella Koncz (student)
Production assistant: Klára Siflis
Editor: Méry Zsuzsa
Director and cameraman: Flórián Góczán
Producer: Réka Sárközy
Sponsor: Hungarian Historical Film Foundation
Made in 2005 by the Public Foundation of the 1956 Institute

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Copyright © 2000 National Széchényi Library 1956 Institute and Oral History Archive
Last updated:  Monday, 18-September-2006

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