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San Francisco Examiner, October 25, 1998.

Intel's Grove Backs Group That Aids the Displaced

by Matt Beer

A small paper tag. It's an unlikely prized possession for Andy Grove, chairman of Intel Corp., the behemoth Santa Clara-based microchip maker that manufactures the vast majority of the digital brains for the world's computers.

Unlike, until Grove explains its significance. The tag, affixed to his lapel by an International Rescue Committee caseworker 42 years ago, was his ticket to America. ON Thursday, he will make a payment on that ticket.

Grove, a longtime financial benefactor of IRC, will take to the stage at a find-raiser for the organization at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame to recount his refuge days and promote the IRC's mission of helping refugees from across the globe, including the former Yugoslavia, Africa and Latin America. "It's an expression of gratitude," said Grove. "One I make gladly for myself and for others like me who were helped."

Grove's IRC saga began in November 1956 when, as a 20-year-old chemistry student, he had just completed a harrowing 12-mile cross-country escape from his native Hungary. His homeland was being overrun by columns of Red Army tanks, the aftermath of the brutal crushing of that October's student-led uprising against the Soviet Union.

"There were minefields and stuff like that," Grove says matter of factly, recalling his cross-border journey.

Dangerous? Yes.

It was the second regime Grove had eluded: During World War II, Grove and his mother lived under forged identities while Nazi-led fascist brownshirts roamed Budapest.

Grove's father, George, a Hungarian dairyman, had already been snatched away in the middle of the night to spend much of the war on a cruel work brigade.

"He was a lucky one," Grove recalled. "He eventually returned to us, but he was in terrible shape. He had lost almost half his weight- typhoid fever and such."

In Vienna, Grove then going by his birth name of Andras Grof, joined a legion of Middle European refugees fleeing the communist state.

"You have to picture the scene there," Grove said, shifting his slim frame in a chair at Intel's corporate demo room in the company's Santa Clara headquarters. "At any given time, there were about 100,000 Hungarians, mostly my age, milling around, looking for food, looking for places to stay," Grove said. "We overran Vienna almost overnight."

Grove eventually found a bed in a crowded inner-city hostel. "It was OK, relative to the alternatives," Grove said. "Some people were stuck in tents in camps on the outskirts of the city or even living out in the open."

While trying to survive on the refugee-crowded streets of Vienna, Grove heard about the IRC. The brain child of Albert Einstain, the IRC was then an ad hoc group of U.S. artists and intellectuals banded together to rescue their European colleagues endangered by the rise of Hitler's fascism.

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"He (Fry) had to learn quickly about forging passports and visas and how to smuggle people over the Pyrenees Mountains to freedom," said current IRC Chairman Reynold Levy, a former AT&T executive. "But he learned, and that's why we're here today."

In Austria, Grove was interviewed at his hostel by IRC volunteers, mostly U.S. students studying overseas.

"I don't really know why," Grove said, "but I was accepted."

A train ride to the coast followed. At the dock, Grove was handed his tag, a small, stiff piece of paper dangling from a string.

"I was told to attach it to the button on my overcoat," said Grove. "And that's all there was. No passport. No other papers. Just that tag."

Grove and hundreds of his fellow refugees were then loaded onto an aging Liberty troop transport ship for a gut-wrenching, 15-day journey across a stormy winter Atlantic.

Grove recalled: "These ships were designed to carry troops in high density. You ate standing up. Almost everyone was sick.

"But," Grove said, his face crinklin