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Writer and journalist Péter Halász passes away at 90

Writer and journalist Péter Halász, husband of Vali Rácz has passed away on January 7, 2013, he was 90.

Halász left Hungary after the failed 1956 Uprising and lived in New York from 1957, London from 1970 and in Munich from 1975 until his death. He wrote novels, reports, and short stories, and was persona non grata in Hungary during the communist era as a member of Radio Free Europe. In February 2010 he was honoured with the Order of Merit medium cross for his work in journalism. (source:

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Monica Porter tells Vali Rácz's story
|04 November 2012|

Monica Porter, the daughter of Vali Rácz tells the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust the story of how her mother hid many Jews from the authorities in WW2. Visit the HMDT website and read or listen to the interview!


Vali Rácz exhibition in Kaposvár, Hungary
|16 January 2012|

Directorate of Somogy County Museums will be organizing an exhibition about Vali Rácz who was born 100 years ago on 25 December, 1911. The place of the opening will be on the first floor of the Museum (Directorate of Somogy County Museums, Kaposvár, Fő str. 10), the exhibition opens on 20th of January (Friday), 2012 at 4pm. György Nemlaha, the retired senior editor at the Hungarian Television is going to welcome the guests and deliver the opening speech.


Website re-designed and exhibition
|06 May 2011|

This year, 2011, marks the centenary of Vali Rácz's birth, and so her website has been re-designed!

Furthermore, exhibitions dedicated to her life and career are being organised at various venues around Hungary for this year - details will follow soon!

New book with Vali Rácz's story: The Other Schindlers
|19 June 2010|

The Other Schindlers: Why Some People Chose to Save Jews in the Holocaust. Book by Agnes Grunwald-Spier, with a foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert. Published by The History Press, 2010. Pages 45-49 are about Vali Racz's story.

[...] 'Saving of just one man involved exceptional devotion, undescribable courage of many people, and they were risking not only their lives, but also those of their children.' Irena Veisaite

Link: Buy the book at

Paper Bridge: A Return to Budapest
|20 September 2009|

Monica Porter's book, The Paper Bridge: A Return to Budapest, first published in 1981, is being re-issued by Quartet Books in a new and updated edition on 7 October 2009. A highly personal and colourful account of her rediscovery of her Hungarian roots in the final decade of the Cold War, the new edition contains a foreword by Sir Bryan Cartledge, historian and former British Ambassador to Hungary.

Paper Bridge at

Film treatment of Deadly Carousel
|20 September 2009|

British author and scriptwriter Simon Rose (creator of the 2006 Scottish BAFTA-nominated film The Flying Scotsman) has written a thrilling film treatment of Deadly Carousel.

[...] As they near the Majestic, the road is littered with bodies of civilians. The doors of the Majestic are open. it has been abandoned. Vali jumps down, recognising someone she was imprisoned with. Jozsef feels their pulse. Nothing. "Let's go home," says Paul, realising there's no point in going on. Vali is near tears, but refuses to cry.

The drive back takes them along the Danube. Among the ice floes there are dozens of bodies floating in the water.

At home, the men are reluctant to leave her but she gets out a Russian dictionary. I've work to do, she says, and settles down to learn some of the language. At the gate, Paul and Jozsef shake hands and part.

Vali, her aunt and uncle sit in the cellar having a meagre meal. Explosions and gunfire are heard. Happy Christmas says Lajos sardonically, pushing a First World War pistol across the table. He tells the women they had better keep it near them. Everybody knows about the reputation of Russian soldiers.

Night. Gunfire and explosions near the house. Vali watches from an upstairs window as German soldiers retreat down the road, stopping occasionally to fire. A Russian soldier appears and sits on the garden wall, followed by another, then some more. Aunt Karolin appears at her side. Vali tells her Lajos should wait in the cellar. Goodness knows what trouble his tactlessness could get them into.

Downstairs, Vali puts out photographs of her and film memorabilia as prominently as possible. She puts the pistol in her pocket and throws open the front door as the Russian soldiers, led by their officer, approach the front door. "Tovarich!" she cries out.

Vali sits at the piano singing a Hungarian Christmas song. The soldiers, exhausted, lie on the floor or lean against the furniture, listening, rapt. Karolin hands round food and drink. A shot sounds quite close but the soldiers don't react. A bullet comes through the window, hitting a soldier in the shoulder. There's a brief commotion and two of them take him out. Vali closes the lid of the piano but the other soldiers don't move. Clearly they want her to keep singing. She lifts the lid again. [...]

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