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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 19, 1975)
Wednesday, february 19, 1975
lincoln, nebraska vol. 98 no. 84
alone in Lincoln
By Amy Struthers
He came to Lincoln without a cent in his pocket and unable to
speak any English. It was the final stop on a journey that began
almost ten years ago in an escape attempt from his communist
' Sandor Szentes (pronounced Shandor Sentesh), a Hungarian
refugee, lias begun a new life in Lincoln that seems to push eight
years in a Hungarian prison far into the past. Jailed because of
political remarks, Szentes twice risked his life to escape from
Hungary. This time he was successful.
Born in a rural community of eastern Hungry thirty-four years
ago, Szentes received eight years of schooling before attending a
vocational school for three years. At the vocational school, he
studied mining, and after completing his studies, became a coal
But this upbringing did not indoctrinate Szentes in the
communist philosophy. He found that his Catholic faith closed
many doors in his face.
And he never learned to be silent. In 1966, after first speaking
out against the government, Szentes made his first attempt to
escape to freedom. His attempt failed when he was wounded by a
shot, tried, and imprisoned for eight years.
While in prison, Szentes was trained in leather work. He made
footballs, handballs, and a variety of special, noncommercial
leather pouches and cases.
After his release, Szentes was placed under police surveillance
and restriction. But his desire for freedom provoked another escape
attempt on Sep. 2, 1974.
Szentes was successful and escaped to Austria, where he was
placed in a refugee camp. The organization in Austria for
Hungarian refugees had been infiltrated by communists who would
send the refugees back to prison in Hungary. So Szentes was cared
for by the American Fund for Czechoslovak Refugees (AFCR) in
Ife was given travel documents, a U.S. visa, and an airplane
ticket to New York City. He traveled with a Czech refugee, but the
two could not communicate, because neither one spoke the other's
In New York City, the AFCR sent Szentes and his Czech
companion by bus to Lincoln, lincoln was chosen because of its
sizable Czech community ?nd low unemployment rate.
Two UNL professors
In lincoln, the two refugees were greeted by Evelyn Caha, who
arranged rooms for them. Caha also began a search to find
Hungarian-speaking Nebraskans who could help Szentes in his
adjustment to American life. She was successful in finding two
UNL professors, Edward and Joyce Megay, who have talked with
Szentes about his experiences.
Caha also found Szentes his present job as a dish washer in the
Cornhusker Hotel, and enrolled he and his roommate in an English
class for foreigners at UNL.
According to Mrs. Megay, "The big problem for Sandor is
language. Not knowing a word of any other language besides
Hungarian, he can't even communicate with his Czech roommate."
A second problem is finding a job for Szentes which will employ
his skill in leather working. The Megays are asking that anyone who
knows of a job opening in a leather good store, luggage or shoe
repair shop contact them at 423-4264, and they will act as
The Megays also are encouraging any person who can speak
Hungarian to visit Szentes at the YMCA, room 418. The
companionship of young people will be important in his adaptation
to the Lincoln community.
law''' '9Mf .
Four injured, two arrested
idnighf fight draws 500
By Chuck Beck and Steve Boerner
A crowd of about 500 students turned 16th
St. into a battleground late Monday night in a
snowball fight resulting in four injuries and
extensive damage to two UNL residence halls.
At about 11:30 p.m. nearly 300 students
from various fraternities, sororities and residence
halls began trading volleys of snowballs across
16th St. The number swelled to 500 within
The snowball fight apparently began after
posters pinned to bulletin boards at the
Cather-Pound-Neihardt Residence Hall complex
Monday afternoon advertised a fight that was to
begin at 1 1 :45 p.m.
At about 12:30 a.m. lincoln Police Dept.
cruisers stopped in front of Neihardt Residence
Center and immediately were pelted by
The police officers were continually
bombarded by snowballs and shouts from the
crowd. At 1 a.m. 10 officers blocked 16th St.
from Vine to R streets, police said.
Two arrests were made, they said. A few other
near-captives escaped as they were being taken to
With the area blocked by the police, the
snowball fight began again in earnest, with
opposing sides facing each other across the street.
Campus Police officers were stationed at most
of the residence hall complex doors to limit
entry to residents of the complex.
One fraternity member complained of the
"Why can't the police just let us have a
snowball fight?" he asked.
A ninth-floor Cather Hall resident complained
of a lack of support from the other residents.
"We made a few good charges," he said, "but
we didn't have anyone to follow us up. About 20
guys and a couple of girls charged with us, but
the other dorm people just watched us."
Dr. Kenneth O. Hubble, acting director of the
University Health Center, reported that one
student suffered a dislocated shoulder and was
sent to Lincoln General Hospital. Two persons
were brought in with eye injuries, he said, and
another with a cut on the scalp.
The Lincoln Police Dept. estimated $7,000
damage to Cather and Neihardt halls, mostly in
broken windows. Campus Police and Housing
Office estimates put the damage between $1,500
Two hours after the fight started, the crowd
began to break up and the snowball flinging
f ' 4 .4
Scholar: China will survive
The People's Republic of China may survive longer
than the United States, according to a leading
American scholar on China.
John Fairbank, director of the East Asian
Research Center at Harvard University, discussed
"Chinese-American Relations in the Post-Mao Era"
Tuesday in the Nebraska Union.
"China has more survival capacity, comparing its
way of life with the United States'," Fairbank said.
He said the development and continuous evolution
of China without Western intervention has
contributed to China's continuity. Fairbank said that
as a result of Maos reorganization, elementary public
health, peasant literacy and technological growth
have all aided in Chinese self-sufficiency.
He said the United States would better understand
the People's Republic of China if they would realize
that China is not going to play a trading game.
"Chinese expansionism isn't a menace to anyone,"
he said. "A major difference between the two
countries is their form of agriculturethe United
States is mechanized and China still uses muscle
power," said Fairbank, a 1972 guest of Prime
Minister Chou En-lai. He said this ancient use of
manpower exemplifies China's social order which
cannot part with the past. However, he pointed out
that China's efficient mode of agriculture yields more
crop per land than America's.
Fairbank, who is a Francis Lee Higginson Professor
of History at Harvard, said that because of the
Chinese people's nationalism, they will avoid any
domestic disorders. But he said the Chinese already
have dug air raid tunnels to be ready for any Soviet
Loyalty to Peking
He said patriotism in China means loyalty to the
Peking Regime and a tradition of unity through
literature, language, and belief in the revolution.
Fairbank called Taiwan's status vital and that
neither China nor the United States can claim
Fairbank said China is not without problems,
especially with higher education and decentralization,
but that because of the Chinese people's positive
social attitude, 4hese problems won't last long. He
said he hopes President Ford's trip to China later this
year will improve American-Chinese relations.
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