Sep 2, 2012

The Hunkies of Bethlehem


According to my mother, a Gypsy king was buried in Allentown in around 1960, she knew about such things. She was born in Galgo, Hungary, an area of Transylvania, now part of Romania, near present day Gilgau. In Galgo, the Jews and Gypsies lived on the edge of town. In the early 20's, my grandparents, along with their Gypsy neighbors, came to Bethlehem to work at the Steel. On weekends, to make extra money, my grandparents would open their house and show Hungarian movies. None of their relatives, Jew or Gypsy, save one cousin, survived the nazi's; even the cemeteries were desecrated. As you can see from the document above, my grandfather earned his citizenship the hard way.

The post above is a reprint from September of 2009, then titled, King of the Gypsies.  This weekend a plaque was unveiled in Bethlehem, commemorating a strike and the death of a Hungarian steel worker in 1910.  Apparently, Bethlehem Steel had a long tradition of encouraging Hungarians to immigrate to Bethlehem to work at the plant.  Both The Morning Call and Bernie O'Hare covered the story.

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