Imre Lendvai-Lintner

Interview by

Imre Lendvai-Lintner
DP Generation

Imre Lendvai-Lintner was born on October 14, 1949 in Feldkirch, Austria, just months after his parents fled Hungary in the aftermath of WWII. His father, Béla Lendvai-Lintner (born 1899) served in WWI on the Italian front and in WWII as a reserve officer (artillery captain) on the Russian front. After being wounded on the Don River, he was posted as an officer in charge of a forced labor unit in Transylvania, he was sentenced to death in 1948 (although he was morally exonerated by letters from the Jewish inmates of the labor camp). He managed to escape captivity and fled Hungary shortly thereafter. In 1949, he was reunited in Feldkirch with his wife, who was expecting Imre. Imre was born in Austria, but his birth certificate reads “stateless,” as both his parents were stripped of their Hungarian citizenship. The family remained in Austria until June of 1956, when they emigrated to the United States.

In the United States they were immediately ensconced in the heavily immigrant - and heavily Hungarian-American - community of Passaic, New Jersey. Many of their family’s friends lived similar lives - working in the factories during the week but taking part in Hungarian clubs and organizations on the weekends. Imre’s father was the treasurer of many of these organizations and the family was very active in the religious, political, and cultural life of the emigré community. Imre was one of the founding members of the Gabor Aron Hungarian Scout Troop #6 in Passaic. Since then, his community has always centered around the Hungarian Scout Association in Exile (scouting in Hungary had been banned by the Communist government in 1948). Imre served as a scout leader at all levels and leadership positions. In 1993, he became the President of the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris (changed from Exile after 1989), which has 75 troops in 14 countries. He is also the president of the Hungarian Scout Forum, which now encompasses the newly-formed Hungarian Scout Association (MCSSZ, as of 1990) as well as the Hungarian Scout Associations of Romania, Slovakia and Serbia, Croatia and Ukraine.

Imre received his BA and MA in metallurgical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey and worked as a corrosion engineer and manager at various oil companies, including ExxonMobil. During the span of his 32-year career, Imre worked in Texas, the U.K., Virginia and New Jersey. He has three children and 9 grandchildren (6 of whom speak Hungarian and four of whom are Hungarian scouts). He has been retired for 13 years and lives in New Jersey.

Imre’s Memory Project interview is notable for his family’s political history in Hungary (which includes both far-right and social-democratic activism ), his formative years in the Hungarian-American emigré community on the East Coast, and his service and leadership in the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris. His interview provides a compelling and concise overview of all three subject areas.

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