Vera & Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Donald and Vera Blinken Collection
This collection contains 608 digitized items, including correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs and ephemera created by Vera and Donald Blinken relating to, and accumulated over the course of, Donald Blinken’s ambassadorship as the first United States of America’s ambassador to the Republic of Hungary after 1989. Donald Blinken, a Harvard graduate and native New Yorker, developed an interest in Hungary through his wife, Hungarian born Vera Blinken, who became a refugee when escaping the communist country in 1950. On September 14, 1993, Donald Blinken accepted Bill Clinton’s appointment as Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary, and was sworn in by Vice President Al Gore on March 29, 1994. Donald Blinken concluded his service on November 20, 1997. He was the first U.S. Ambassador to receive the Republic of Hungary’s highest civilian honor and was awarded the U.S. Department of Defense award for Distinguished Public Service. Vera Blinken’s contributions to the ambassadorial mission were numerous, focusing on human rights. Notably, she was a founding member of the International Rescue Committee and the Primavera Mobil Mammography Program which helped to raise awareness about breast cancer and provided mammograms. On December 9, 2005 at a ceremony in New York, Vera Blinken was awarded the Middle Cross of the Republic of Hungary.
The Vera and Donald Blinken Collection highlights include records relating to Hungary’s joining NATO, the country’s post-Communist economic growth and political opening. The collection also contains correspondence between the Blinkens and an array of American and European political dignitaries and figures from the international business world.
1989 - 2005