Lajos Fehér’s Radio and TelevisionSpeech in 1968
Collective violence and football in Hungary before and after 1956
The troops of the Hungarian People’s Army participated in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. On the one hand, the leadership of the Hungarian Socialist Worker Party supported the reforms of Alexander Dubček, the so-called process of the Prague Spring, but on the other hand, János Kádár was afraid of the Soviet political pressure, so ultimately he accepted the idea of a military invasion in August 1968. However, he did not undertake to inform the Hungarian public opinion and explain the goals of the Hungarian government and the communist party. The worst speaker of the Political Committee, Lajos Fehér, the most important agrarian politician, was charged with speaking about the invasion in the radio and on television. This role was perfectly strange for him, because he was not an expert of inter- national relations, he spoke rapidly and he often sputtered . In my study I try to analyse the importance of the electronic and print media in Hungary in the 1960’s, the content of the speech and the Czechoslovak reactions.
“A Large Part of the People’s Stadium was Covered with Burning Paper”
Collective violence and football in Hungary before and after 1956
This article examines the different forms of football violence in post-war Hungary. As the main research question, I investigated what forms of violence can be detected in my primary sources, namely the documents of the Hungarian State Security and those of the governing party. Furthermore, I wanted to explore what these violent acts tell us about micro-level political resistance against dictatorship in general. To answer these questions, the article looks into the details of two particular events: firstly, the mass demonstrations that took place right after the defeat that the Hungarian national team suffered in the world championship final in Bern in 1954, and secondly, a clash between the police and the supporters of the season’s national champion, the Ferencvárosi Torna Club (Hungary’s most popular football team at the time) in 1964. As a theoretical framework, I used the notion of collective violence as defined by Charles Tilly and others. Although none of these events targeted the communist political power directly, both showed signs of critical attitudes towards the regime.
“Comrade Gerő Wrote on the File That It Must Be Shown to Comrade Rákosi”
Greek interns in Kistarcsa
During the Greek Civil War (1946–1949), large Greek communities were formed in the communist countries of Central-Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Many of the refugees were forced to exile because of their participation in the armed fights of the Democratic Army of Greece or their political behaviour. Many groups of refugee children and further civilians arrived from the territories under the control of the “Provisional Democratic Government” of the Communist Party of Greece, especially in the final phase of the civil war. They were allowed to enter Hungary after the agreement of the Hungarian and the Greek communist parties. The Hungarian party leadership used its whole apparatus to find a solution to settling down the Greek refugees. The Hungarian press reported about the civil war as the “freedom fight of the Greek people” and the “heroic sons and daughters of the Greek people.” However, already in the early phase of the immigration, persons judged as “anti-party” were removed from the Greek community or interned upon arrival in Hungary.
Based on research in the State Security Archives, Greek immigration is exa- mined from a different perspective here: from that of the policy of intimidation and violence. The question is who the ávh kept away or removed from the Greek communities in the early phase of the settlement of civil war refugees and how they justified these acts.
Gergő Bendegúz Cseh
Auf Wiedersehen, BStU!
The legacy of a legendary institution
The Director General of the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security bids farewell to the Office of the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (BStU) or the Stasi Archives, as it is commonly called. This iconic institution will be merged into the German National Archives on the 17th of June 2021.
The BStU is symbolically and chronologically linked to the process of political regime change. The article describes the adventurous circumstances of the establishment of the institution and introduces the achievements of its prominent leaders.
The state security archives of the Central European countries owe a lot to their German “brother”, who has provided guidelines for them. It set in motion an exemplary international collaboration that will not cease with the institution itself but reinforce the work they started together.
The Polish Women’s History Research Center and the Archival Sources of the Institute of National Remembrance
The article provides a brief history of the Institute of Women’s Studies and an introduction of the documents held by the Institute of National Remembrance in the frame of its activity. The project “Women’s History Research Center” is financed by the “Dialogue” program of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Its purpose is to initiate, present and promote scientific research on the history of women in Poland. The project is implemented by the Institute of Women’s Studies in Bialystok. The President of the Management Board is Prof. Małgorzata Dajnowicz.
During the meetings organized by the Institute of Women’s Studies there were two lectures introducing the resources of the Institute of National Remembrance concerning the history of women in the Polish People’s Republic. In both lectures the authors pointed the specific characters of documents of the Institute of National Remembrance and the problems related to their analysis.
Privileged Jews, 1944
A BOOKREVIEW ON Budapest–Bergen-Belsen–Svájc: A Kasztner-vonat fővárosi utasai. / Budapest–Bergen-Belsen–Switzerland: The Budapest Passengers of the Kasztner Train. Ed. Anikó Lukács. Budapest, Budapest Főváros Levéltára, 2020. 95 p.
Rudolf Kasztner’s rescue action has been one of the popular areas of the Holocaust historiography in the past decades. For each of the approx. 1684 passengers had to pay more than a thousand dollars to the SS in order to get permission to leave Hungary. The train departed from Budapest on June 30 and arrived in Bergen-Belsen. The passengers were detained in a special camp sector of the concentration camp. The book focuses on 19 personal histories of the “privileged” passengers who had lived in Budapest until they finally reached the neutral Switzerland in August or just half a year later. The editors used ego-documents and photos of the victims from various private collections and archives (for example the Verband für Jüdischer Fürsorgen material) to analyze the microlevels of the group’s peculiar history. This previously neglected approach and the personal sources together help to understand why the Kasztner train played a specific role in the Hungarian Holocaust.