Helen M. Szablya

Internationally renowned author and lecturer – a tireless advocate for democracy and freedom.

The Szablya Family when they escaped from Hungary in 1956. Dr. John F. and Helen M. Szablya, with Helen A., John L. and Louis J. who was just 10 days old when they had left their home and three weeks old by the time they crossed the Hungarian border into Austria, after having been captured three times.

Hungary Remembered

HUNGARY REMEMBERED was the only oral history drama written about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and its preceding times in 1986. It was based on personal experiences exclusively. The play was performed first in English in Seattle WA and later translated into Hungarian and performed in that language as well. The authors described the events based on over 100 interviews conducted with persons all over the world.

The play's every word is living truth.

The play was performed first at Seattle University in October 1986 by the professional actors, director and technical personnel of Eclectic Union Theater. The entire program consisted of the performance of the play and 24 lectures with the participation of four universities.

The Freedoms Foundations at Valley Forge awarded Marcey Painter Szablya, Helen M. Szablya and Professor Robert (Bob) Harmon the 1986 Gold George Washington Honor Medal for the drama and associated lecture series. The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge is a non-partisan, independent, non-for-profit organization, which was founded in 1949 with the objective to foster the ideals surrounding the founding of the American Nation and to make it relevant to contemporary life. Its prices are given to those who forward these ideals.

The support of the Hungarian American Association of Washington was an important contributing factor. Although the Association had only 550 names on its roster, the realization of the project was possible here in Seattle. This should serve as evidence to the generosity and the hard work of the Hungarian community.

Voice of America reported in a special broadcast the events in Seattle and forwarded its report about HUNGARY REMEMBERED to all the world's news agencies in 42 languages.

HUNGARY REMEMBERED was awarded the gold medal of the Arpad Academy and the Pro Libertate Revulotio Hungariae gold medal of the Guardian of Liberty.
As a continuation of the program Helen M. Szablya lectured state wide in Washington during the years 1987 to 1989 as an Inquiring Mind Lecturer of the Washington Commission for the Humanities. Subjects were: Growing up in Hungary, The Analysis of a Revolution, Women in Marxist Countries.

The script and video recordings in both languages are available from:

Helen M. Szablya
P.O.Box 578
Kirkland WA 98083, USA
Tel: (425) 576-8997
Fax: (425) 739-6931
E-mail: szablyahj@​aol.com

HUNGARY REMEMBERED is written for ensemble playing. The atmosphere should be that of friends getting together to talk over old times, the audience being one of the friends. In general, the actors remain on stage, enacting a memory of a character ro as supportive listeners.

They play people as they remember themselves. They will be required to change the people they are portraying sometimes from line to line. They must draw the character from the content within the lines, depicting that person in that moment and move on. The actors were given names for convenience and could as easily be called 1, 2, or 3. However, as certain people have similar characteristics, those with similar personalities will be played by the same actor.


New Publication!
"Helen Szablya's story will shed light on dramatic era in European history, one which Americans hardly know and will find fascinating to discover."
--Anne Applebaum Columnist for Washington Post, Author of Gulag and Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe.”
This book describes the true stories of people who were deported. Edited and researched by Dr. Zsuzsa Hantó, launched February 3, 2013 in Hungary. Available only in Hungary, in Hungarian.
“A gripping account of the Hungarian uprising of 1956. A page-turner.”
--Kirkus Reviews
Available: Boyds Mills Press, or any bookstore can order it. In Hungary from Holnap Kiadó.
Publication compiled by the Hungarian American Coalition for the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprishing. Includes personal story of escape by Helen M Szablya (mother) and Helen A Szablya (daughter). Book also translated into Hungarian.
English translation and editing from the original Hungarian. Currently out of print but used copies can be found on amazon.com and eBay.
Oral history drama
Every word spoken on stage was said by persons who actually lived the experience.
Catholic News weekly column for over 10 years in Trinidad and Tobago. The publication was sent to other Caribbean islands as well for subscribers.