I have mentioned Vali Balint in these pages before.
She was born a generation ahead of mine, in Hungary. I met her in exile, in Oakland, California, the mother of my Caltech classmate Peter Balint. This old newspaper shows him as editor of the sports page, page three, where I am listed as a member of the cross-country team.
I remember her telling me, with the greatest vivacity,
“And do you know what we were supposed to be why, just carried away with delight about? We got Munkasc. I swear to you, where is Munkasc? No one had ever heard of Munkasc, I wish Munkasc would sink into the ocean, may it rest in peace.”
Munkasc was a little sliver of the Carpathian Mountains that was accorded to Admiral Horthy‘s Hungary by the invading Germans in March of 1939. Hungary got its share of the corpse of Czechoslovakia. The district, the capital city of which is called Mukacevo, is now part of the Ukraine — you remember, the state whose borders Vice-President Joe Biden says are inviolate — that is, inviolate from being partitioned from the East. It’s the little blue circle in the middle of the map. We can add pieces onto Ukraine from the West, that’s okay, don’t you know.
Hungary got Mukacevo a couple of years before Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.