József * and Katalin Értavy *

Joseph Mihaly Ertavy was born on September 2, 1930 in Budapest. As a young teen, he experienced the terror and deprivation of WWII and the death of his beloved father. He loved learning and going to school and became a high school teacher of Hungarian literature and history. My mother came into his life at a Scout jamboree and they married in 1950. In October of 1956, he was involved in the printing and distributing of pamphlets proclaiming demands for basic freedoms and rights. For this, he was slated for execution and had no choice but to leave his mother and flee with his family to freedom, eventually settling in Atlanta, GA. Here, he established the Hungarian Cultural Foundation and published several translations of Hungarian poetry.

Katalin Ertavy-Barath was born on September 24, 1922 in Gyula, on the Great Plains of Southeast Hungary. She always loved reading and writing stories. Her first storybook, ‘Princess Pearl’ was published when she was 18. As a young teen, she wrote stories for a popular girl’s magazine, hoping one day to become it’s editor. The government started censoring her writings, causing her to give up her dream and become a medical doctor instead, where she felt she would have more autonomy. She was active in Scout leadership and met my father at a scouting jamboree in 1948. They married in 1950. During the revolution of 1956, she volunteered as an ambulance driver to tend to the wounded, some of them very young fighters. After being forced to leave her family and fleeing to America with my father and 4 year old brother, she eventually settled to start a psychiatric practice in Atlanta. In 1958, she wrote about the experience of the fall of 1956 from a youth’s perspective in her book, ‘A Teaspoonful of Freedom’, winning an Arpad medal for literature. She went on to write several other novels related to Hungarian history.