Sander's Book (Coming in 2019)Hungarian-American politics and culture from 1920 to 1970.
Pioneering activists who changed our lives.
Kalman Marki was a designer, actor, director and political activist. He was my grandfather. Based on information I have discovered from government files recently released, he was connected to the highest levels of the Hungarian government. What did he do? What was his connection? Why were they interested in him?
Bela Lugosi will forever be known as the most famous portrayer of “Dracula” in the movies. His fans know he was an accomplished actor in Hungary before emigrating to the U.S. Readers of his biography* know about his participation in the Hungarian-American Council for Democracy (HACD) during the 1940s. My grandfather was one of Bela’s best friends and a founding board member of the HACD. My book contains new documentation which may change some people’s minds about Bela’s political affiliations. *Kaffenberger, Bill, and Gary Don Rhodes. Bela Lugosi: In Person. Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2015. Print.
Louis Weinstock was a leader in the International Painters and Paperhangers union as well as a fighter against union corruption. He was a pioneer in working for Social Security and unemployment insurance. During the McCarthy witch hunt he spent three years in jail for teaching a class. Louis was one of my grandfather’s lifelong friends and was a close friend of Bela Lugosi. He was a friend of mine during my teenage activist days in the 1960s. Photo credit: Louis with strikers 1950s. People’s Weekly World, 4-9-1994, Louis Weinstock Papers,New York University
Hugo Gellert was a great artist, illustrator and muralist. He never separated art from political activism. I met him in the 1960s and I am honored to own several of his brilliant lithographs. Hugo was also a close friend of my grandfather and they worked on several projects together.
Update January 20, 2019
Book update. As many of you know I am writing a book about my grandfather and his friends’ activism and cultural activities from the 1920s to the 1970s. This includes his close friends Bela Lugosi (actor), Louis Weinstock (labor activist) and Hugo Gellert (artist and illustrator). Yesterday at the antiques show, Amethyst-Susan found this cool little book published by the Chicago Sun in 1945 titled “Three Stepping Stones to Lasting Piece.” Then I found a pictorial magazine on WW2 news. A central portion of my book talks about the activities of the Hungarian American Council for Democracy (HACD) founded by Bela Lugosi and my grandfather along with a group of other Hungarian-Americans. The HACD’s purpose was to help Hungarians survive the Nazis. The Hungarian government was a major collaborator with Germany.
The War Illustrated, March 28, 1941.
Important News Update October, 2018
After waiting several years, the National Archives finally reviewed my grandfather’s file. The incredible news is that they released 283 out of 390 pages which cover the period from 1951 to 1973. There are still 107 pages which have been “referred to other agencies” for “national security reasons.” I was in Washington, DC and I was able to pick up the files in person.
Many pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. I hope I can get the 107 missing pages before I finish writing.
Photo from 1960 of Grandpa
Happy Sander outside National Archives in College Park, Maryland
File note attached to the CD