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By Robert Perlman

A chronicle of the Hungarian-Jewish immigration adventure

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Example text

The infrastructure of the economy was strengthened by railroad construction and flood control projects and earnest efforts Page 22 were being made to develop industry. However, changes in laws regulating land tenure led on the one hand to the division of family farms into uneconomic "dwarf holdings" and to large debts for equipment. On the other hand, the new laws encouraged the consolidation of huge commercial farming enterprises. These changes aroused a new level of aspiration and people began moving about within the country, especially to the cities, to improve their situation.

It was more than a device for communication. It was the glue that bound people to a common set of memories, values, and loyalties. This was particularly important in what has been called ''the polyglotic monarchy" of Hungary. The languages in questionMagyar, German, Yiddish, Hebrew, Slovak, to name a fewplayed a significant part in the Hungarian Jews' relationship to their environment both in Europe and here, probably more so than with other Jewish groups who immigrated. Some preliminary observations are in order.

Hungarian-Jewish Organizations by Name, Location, and Year of Establishment 251 Page xi PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The sounds of the places, spoken in the soft, lilting Hungarian of my grandparents, have remained in my ears: Sharoshpottock . . Mishcolts . . Ooey-hey. It was many years before I saw those towns on a map as Sárospatak, Miskolc, and Újhely, whose full name is Sátoraljaújhely. None of my four grandparents said much of their youth in those strange-sounding places or their arrival in America about 1880.

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