András Ludányi

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András Ludányi was born on February 12, 1940 in Szikszó, Hungary. His father was a well-known colonel in the Hungary army during WWII and thus his entire family was ordered to leave to Austria in 1945. He spent a number of years with his family there, not in a refugee camp but in the guest cottage of an Austrian Countess in Hohburg. Later they were moved to a refugee camp in Weghscheid. The family emigrated to the US in 1949, first to Virginia, where they lived in poverty and worked on a farm. Later, the family was able to move to New York, where the parents held menial factory jobs during the week and took part as important social-political figures in the rich Hungarian cultural life on the weekends in New York.

András Ludányi was first a Hungarian boy scout, but he later joined the Hungarian rifle association, a group of young Hungarian men and women organized by a high-ranking military officer from Hungary with strong anti-communist views. The association met and trained on a farm in rural Pennsylvania and included young refugees from the Hungarian revolution of 1956. The goal of the group was to be ready and prepared to go back to Hungary to fight against the communist government there. (This never happened).

Ludányi became an active member of the Hungarian community and a political science professor in Ada, Ohio. He was a founding member of the Hungarian Communion of Friends, an organization active in maintaining intellectual ties to Hungary and to Hungarians within the US for whom their Hungarian identity was important. He has two daughers by his first marriage, both of whom speak Hungarian and have been active in the Hungarian-American community. He now spends his time between Ohio and Budapest, Hungary with his wife Mária (who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1990s).

András brother, Pál Ludányi, is also featured in the Memory Project archive.

Interview conducted by Réka Pigniczky in Budapest, Hungary in July of 2015.

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