FEBRUARY 6, 1957
NEW YORK, Feb. 6—I was happy to have had a few words Saturday night with Tracy S. Voorhees, chairman of the president's committee for Hungarian relief, at a dinner given by the American Hungarian Medical Association for the benefit of Hungarian refugees.
The association helps in Europe as well as in this country, and I am glad it does, for the refugee burden on Austria and Yugoslavia must be great.
Mr. Voorhees told me that efforts were being made not only to move Hungarian refugees out of Camp Kilmer, N. J., quickly but to give them an opportunity to learn the language and to get them into work similar to that which they were doing in their own country.
He also mentioned that attempts were being made to bear in mind the needs of refugees in accustoming themselves to the change they face when leaving Europe and entering into the different atmosphere and culture of the United States.
This is no easy situation, and the committee is trying to do a remarkable piece of work in meeting the refugees' social and spiritual needs as well as their bread-and-butter problems.
After the dinner there was a delightful concert, of which I particularly enjoyed Leslie Chabay in his songs and Joseph Szigeti, who played so well on the violin.
Concern for the Hungarian refugees in this country has been very great. And I think that this is because we are readily moved by people who fight for freedom.
I have been interested in how our San Francisco chapter of the American Association for the United Nations has supported a tremendous campaign to raise money to help. Nine Bay Area organizations have been supplying aid to the victims of the Hungarian suppression, coming together at the invitation of the AAUN there. They already have forwarded $21,015.62 in relief funds.
Colleges in the area have helped much, too, gathering money from such places as Vancouver, British Columbia; Washington, D.C., and Flagstaff, Ariz. Some persons have pledged monthly contributions, and donations have run from 50 cents to $1000.
A refugee benefit ball, plans for which were made to coincide with the visit of Peter Casson, representative of the high commissioner for refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, was a tremendous success.
No administration costs were charged by the organization, which received many gifts from industry in the area and sent out information on the drive up and down the west coast. This is the spirit which makes us proud of our countrymen!
I had the pleasure Sunday afternoon of going with a friend, Miss Esther Lape, to hear Zlatko Balkovic at Town Hall in New York. Balkovic is a fine violinist and, while I enjoyed the whole program, I think his encore at the end was the selection that pleased me most. I would give a great deal if I could buy it as a recording.