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Identity Between Worlds

Hungarian-Jewish Cultural Achievement Before and After the Holocaust

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Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
In person & online
General: Free
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Please note that this event will be held in person at the Center for Jewish History. As of this time, vaccination is required to enter the CJH. More information on the CJH's COVID-19 policies are available here. We invite you to join us after the program for a light reception.

For those who cannot come in person, the program will also be streamed on Zoom, as well as our Facebook and YouTube pages. If you would like to receive the streaming links the day of the event, please select "Digital Admission" when you register on Eventbrite.

In the early 20th century, Budapest was the second-largest Jewish city in Europe, and Jewish artists and intellectuals played a major role in the city’s cosmopolitan cultural life. Highly acculturated and often comfortable in multiple languages including Hungarian and German, these cultural luminaries constructed personal and professional identities that transcended borders in a culturally fluid Mitteleuropa. Journalist Kati Marton and social historian András Koerner will discuss the complex role of national identity in the lives and work of Hungarian Jews, and how it was transformed by the political upheavals of the early twentieth century as well as the Holocaust. They will also explore the legacies of some of the most exceptional survivors. Rafael Pastor, son of the Hungarian-Jewish theater and cinema director and impresario and journalist, Béla Pásztor, will participate and moderate.

About the Speakers

András Koerner was born in in Budapest, where he studied architecture. In 1967, he continued his career as an architect in the United States.  Since his retirement, he dedicates his time to writing richly illustrated social histories and organizing exhibitions related to Jewish life in Hungary. His recent publications include: Jewish Cuisine in Hungary–A Cultural History with 83 Authentic Recipes (2019, Central European University Press) and How they Lived–The Everyday Lives of Hungarian Jews, published in two volumes covering the period between 1867–1940 (CEU Press, 2015 and 2016). 

Kati Marton is the New York Times-bestselling author of nine books, including The Chancellor–The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel (2021), and Enemies of the People–My Family's Journey to America (2010). Her 2007 book, The Great Escape, tells the stories of nine extraordinary men who grew up during Budapest's brief Golden Age and fled antisemitism to the West, where they changed the world. An award-winning former NPR correspondent and ABC News bureau chief in Germany, Kati Marton was born in Hungary and lives in New York City.

Rafael Pastor (moderator) is a former business executive and currently a member of various Boards who was born in Israel to Holocaust-surviving Hungarian parents and emigrated to the United States when he was nine years old. In 2018, a book —Entertaining between Worlds: Bela Pasztor (1895-1966) and his Era — was published about the life and times of Rafael’s father, a prominent Jewish-Hungarian theater and film director and journalist who worked in Hungary, Israel, and Germany. Rafael's own career has spanned the media, education, and financial services sectors. He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Vistage International, the world’s largest for-profit CEO membership company. Previously, he held CEO/President and other senior executive positions at Hoyts Cinemas Corporation, USA Networks, News Corporation, Fox Television, and CBS/Fox Video.