Imagine leaving everything behind… Follow along as Helen Szablya tells the tale of life after her harrowing escape to freedom from Communist Hungary with her young family in 1956 to establish a new life as a refugee in Canada, then the US. As she builds her family and her business acumen, she eventually helps establish the Hungarian Honorary Consulate in the Northwest US and becomes the first woman Honorary Consul General of Hungary to the USA and the first on the West Coast supporting the new Hungary as it emerges from communism. A deeply personal memoir and a true American adventure with global reach, this book continues where her book My Only Choice: Hungary 1946 - 1956 leaves off and takes the reader on an epic journey to the end of 2020.
Staff writer(retired) Washington Post
Columnist, US News and World Report
Author of several books in English and Hungarian, including When the World Was Whole: Three Centuries of Memories and When Angels Fooled the World: Rescuers of Jews in Wartime Hungary
Chapter submission, The story of our marriage - a way to avoid internal exile (deportation by the Communists), page 240.
Both the English and the Hungarian versions were exhibited at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in 1999, when Hungary was the Honored Guest. Helen also participated in a panel discussion about the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 at the Fair.
The Fall of the Red Star, is told through fourteen-year-old Stephen Kõváry and his family’s story about an illegal Boy Scout troop during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Scouting was illegal under the Communist regime in Hungary 1948-1990. The stories in the book are all true, only the characters have been changed in order to protect the innocent. Some parts are based on the true-life accounts of Helen’s own family's dramatic struggle for freedom.
“A ‘must’ read for anyone who cares about hope, courage, and love of freedom.”
1987 international awards, including the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and the gold Árpád Medal from the Árpád Academy in Cleveland.
Project director for the entire project that was awarded a major grant by the Washington Commission for the Humanities, co-author, interviewer (100 interviews), researcher, and co-producer of the only oral history drama written and produced for the 30th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution in Hungary. Role in the entire project included writing the grant and persuading the Hungarian American Association of Washington to take part with a major grant. Though there is an old saying that three Hungarians represent four political parties, everyone only praised the program. The entire project involved four universities and 24 lectures given in the course of three months. Delivered 12 of the lectures personally, in several cities. Gave many interviews and wrote all the press releases. Wrote articles about the project in particular and Hungary in general. Organized extremely successful local, national and world-wide media coverage. Interviews included one with the Voice of America, transmitted over all the world's wire services in 42 languages. Also in charge of the budget and the final report (450 pages). The budget consisted of $10,000 in cash and $179,000 worth of donations and volunteer work. Solicited and coordinated volunteers.
1986 Translated "Hungary Remembered", the above mentioned oral history drama, into Hungarian from English “Emlékezünk”. The Hungarian version was performed for the 39th anniversary of the Revolution by the Vancouver B.C. Canada Hungarian Theater in Vancouver BC and in Seattle,WA.
1986 Translated interviews for "Hungary Remembered" into English from Hungarian. Play published in English and Hungarian; amateur video of the performance was made available.
1987 As a result of the "Hungary Remembered" project (1985-1987),
held one-day and half-day workshops on how to write this genre of oral history drama and manage the entire project, including fundraising and publicity at: Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, Christian Writers Conference at Seattle Pacific University, Washington Press Association at The Seattle Times, National Conference of the American Translators' Association in Washington D.C.