Tracing an Ohio Family’s Incredible 78-Year Connection to HIAS

By Gabe Cahn,

By 1945, Bela, the Hungarian agriculture specialist, was now Al, the American combat engineer.

Having grown up in rural western Hungary, he earned his ticket to freedom in 1940, at the age of 27, in the form of a rare agricultural visa. Following initial assistance from HIAS in his first few months, Al started anew through various newspaper jobs in Pittsburgh and then Cleveland.

However, as the situation for Hungary’s Jewish population deteriorated, he soon decided to join his new country’s fight to liberate Europe.

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