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Mária Tóth (neé Városy) | Memory Project

Mária Tóth (neé Városy)

Interview by Réka Pigniczky


Mária Tóth (neé Városy), 1956er

Mária Városy was born on September 10, 1945 in Debrecen, Hungary. Her father was a successful real estate lawyer before WWII and was taken to the Soviet Gulag for seven years after Hungary lost the war. While her father was gone, her mother transported their two children to Debrecen so that she would have food for them to survive on. Because of their family background and because Mária's brother took an active part in the 1956 Revolution, the entire family (by now with three children) left after the Revolution was crushed, escaping to Austria and then the United States. The family arrived to Camp Kilmer in New Jersey in late 1956 and shortly thereafter to the train to Los Angeles, California, where Mária's father had a U.S.-born cousin who sponsored the family.
Of her trip across the ocean to the U.S., Mária remembers that she sang as part of a children's choir that was formed on the journey over -- as their ship sailed passed the Statue of Liberty, the choir sang "America the Beautiful."

1956 truly changed Maria's life in that she became very active in the Hungarian-American community once the family arrived to Los Angeles. In her civilian life she became a nurse and raised four children with her husband Attila Tóth (also a 1956-er, arriving separately and also interviewed by the Memory Project). She became a Hungarian scout and attended Hungarian weekend school and attended the Hungarian Scout Ball where she met her future husband who was also a Hungarian scout leader and active member of the emigré community. Mária became the main organizer of the annual Scout Ball for over 25 years and has also been an active scout leaders with a special focus on music and teaching Hungarian folk songs.

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