My Flag Grew Stars

My Flag Grew Stars: World War II Refugees’ Journey to America
by Kitty Gogins

Teenagers Olga and Tibor fled Hungary and a world destroyed by World War II – Olga minutes ahead of advancing Russian troops, Tibor conscripted by German forces and almost dying as an American prisoner of war. They emigrated as  indentured agricultural servants and united, embarking on a cultural journey to become Americans. With perseverance and creativity, they learned to thrive – Tibor as a world-renowned professor at the University of Minnesota and Olga counseling refugees, earning the title “area immigrants’ patron saint.”

Their experiences in a devastating conflict and constructing new lives in Canada and the United States gave them a unique perspective about war, the actions of Americans, and the daily fight of refugees to survive. Tibor Zoltai’s scientific insights
still shape the field of mineral crystallography even after his passing. As a caseworker at the International Institute of Minnesota, Olga Zoltai assisted the first Hmong family formally to resettle in Minnesota. She remains an inspiration to those
resettling refugees and assisting their successful transition to Minnesota life.

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My Flag Grew Stars, visit


Olga and Tibor Zoltai have been active members of the Minnesota Hungarians for many decades.  The following article is written by their daughter Kitty.  It captures their compelling journey from war-torn Hungary to their successful careers and contributions in Minnesota. 

 Kitty is currently releasing a book about their lives and has included excerpts from her manuscript.  Read the article here ►►►

Download the article in pdf file here
Minnesota Hungarians is not responsible for the accuracy or any opinions in the contents of this publication.

Learn more about Olga Zoltai's outstanding achievements:

Read the articles here ►►►