Two local residents who suffered under Nazi occupation and later fled Communist oppression in Hungary will speak during the “Flee for Freedom” luncheon sponsored by the Montecito Hope Ranch Republican Women’s Club from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18 at the Montecito Country Club, 920 Summit Road in Santa Barbara.
Margaret Orhalmi was born in Hungary after World War I and experienced first-hand occupation under the Nazis followed by Russian “liberation.” After the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, Orhalmi and her fiancé decided to risk everything and flee for a chance at freedom.
George Rusznak, born in Budapest in 1938, lived through the persecution of Jews by Nazis and the Russian “liberators.” His father was murdered by the Nazis, but Rusznak escaped Hungary during the 1956 uprising against Communism. He subsequently returned to visit relatives who had stayed, and he saw the results of Communist control of government as well as personal lives.
He has a permanent exhibit at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center in Santa Barbara as part of its “Portraits of Survival: Life Journeys During the Holocaust and Beyond.”
Reservations for the luncheon, which costs $25 pre-paid and $30 at the door, may be made by calling 805.270.5760 or by e-mail at MHRRWC@gmail.com. Checks may be sent to MHRRWC, P.O. Box 2248, Santa Barbara, CA 93120.
— Rita Rink represents Montecito Hope Ranch Republican Women’s Club.