Ilona Nyilas Marton

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Ilona Nyilas Marton (Neumann)

Birthplace: Miskolc, Miskolci, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Hungary
Death: September 04, 2004 (92)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Adolf Neumann and Anna Neumann
Wife of Endre Márton
Ex-wife of Sandor Brody
Ex-partner of DNA Father
Mother of Private; Private and Kati Marton
Sister of Magda Pless

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Ilona Nyilas Marton

Ilona Marton, an award-winning journalist who was imprisoned for her coverage of events leading up to the Hungarian uprising of 1956, died Saturday at her home in Silver Spring, Md. She was 92.

Ilona Marton was born March 14, 1912, in the Hungarian town of Miskolc. Her parents were Jewish - the family's original name was Neumann - and at 19 she adopted the surname Nyilas to pass as Catholic. In 1944, her parents were deported to Auschwitz, where both died.

Dr. Marton earned a master's degree in history and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Debrecen. After an early marriage that ended in divorce, she married Mr. Marton in 1943. He survives her, along with a sister, Magda, of Budapest; three children, Kati, of Manhattan, a journalist; Andrew, of Fort Worth; and Julia Marton-Lefevre of London; and four grandchildren.

With her husband, Dr. Marton received a George Polk Award in 1957. The award is presented annually for reporting, often at great personal risk, in the public interest.

Writing for United Press, the precursor of United Press International, Dr. Marton covered the Communist takeover of Hungary, often in competition with her husband, Endre Marton, a reporter for The Associated Press.

"She became a journalist, although that was an almost recklessly brave thing to do in the chilliest days of the cold war, because she wanted to be with my father," Kati Marton said in a telephone interview.

In 1955, the Martons were arrested on manufactured charges of spying for the United States. They were tried and convicted by a secret Hungarian military court but freed the following year, in time to cover the anti-Communist uprising and its suppression by Soviet forces.

After the uprising, Dr. Marton helped organize a general strike, an activity that placed her in renewed danger of arrest. Alerted that the secret police were closing in, the Martons and their children were smuggled out of Hungary, first to Vienna and later to the United States. There Dr. Marton worked as a French teacher in Maryland high schools.

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Ilona Nyilas Marton's Timeline

March 14, 1912
Miskolc, Miskolci, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Hungary
April 3, 1949
September 4, 2004
Age 92