|Stephen Borsody: The Hungarians: A Divided Nation|
Communist Hungary and the Hungarian Minorities
Following the Communist takeover, the Hungarians have found themselves in a unique position among the nations of the Soviet bloc. During the Stalinist years, the people of Hungary were not only forbidden to concern themselves with the fate of the Hungarian minorities, they were virtually forbidden even to recognize their existence. This curtailment, in national terms, was somewhat similar to East Germany's position vis-a-vis West Germany. However, in Germany's case, although the nation was split in two, both parts were in national terms "majorities," and only the smaller eastern part was under Stalinist rule.
In Hungary's case, four factors emerged after World War II to create a position uniquely detrimental to national interests: (1) Hungary's military defeat as an ally of Nazi Germany, aggravated by the moral burden of Hungary's complicity in the holocaust of Hungary's Jews following the country's Nazi occupation in March 1944; (2) Hungarians are not Slavs; (3) a residue of the prewar anti-Hungarian so-called "Little Entente" attitude of Hungary's neighbors still existed; and (4) the Soviet Union's interest in the status quo that was established after World War II in Central and Eastern Europe.
Let us look at these four factors one by one.
Hungary emerged from the war on the losers' side. It was also saddled by the victors with the opprobrium of a "guilty nation." This circumstance would probably bestow a status of inferiority on any
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country - as exemplified by West Germany - even if it was in possession of its full sovereignty.l In comparison with the Germans, in the case of the Hungarians an additional aggravating factor has been the total Soviet overlordship. In Hungary, every official statement regarding the country's stance as a nation had to bear the heavy hand of Soviet censorship already during the transitional phase of the coalition regime between 1945 and 1947.
In the past, a country defeated in war could at least complain about the aftermath of defeat. There has hardly been any precedent in history of a defeated nation having been deprived of even the jus murmurandi. The Soviet rulers forbade precisely this right to the Hungarian people. On the other hand, the Soviet occupying power, and its stooge, the Hungarian Communist party, had never demanded a moral self-examination from the defeated people. Communist ideology as such--especially the variant made in Moscow--is conceptually incapable of such an exercise. The Soviet occupiers demanded only a verbal condemnation of the "criminal past," and even this consisted of rather formalistic repetitions of slogans. Soul-searching of a true kind could have only been possible in an atmosphere dominated by Christian, or humanistic, ethics. The postwar regimes, however, did everything to ward off such an ethical approach.2
The effects of the Hungarians not being of Slavic nationality are not too difficult to assess. It is true that some of the Slavic countries themselves suffered territorial losses whenever their geography came into conflict with the expansionist Soviet power (see, for example, the annexation of the eastern provinces of Poland and of Carpatho-Ruthenia from Czechoslovakia). Slavic losses, however, were compensated by Slavic gains: annexations of territories, or expulsion of populations, or both. All the boundary changes and population expulsions were at the expense of non-Slavic peoples, mainly Germans and Hungarians, or, on a minor scale, Romanians (in Bessarabia and Dobrudja).
The Little Entente complex is manifested in Hungary's neighbors' exaggerated censure of Hungarians. The Czechs and Slovaks maintained that Hungary played a decisive role in the dismemberment of their republic in 1938-39. The Yugoslavs, with more justification, have not forgotten that, in 1941, the Hungarians attacked them, jointly with the Germans, only weeks after the signing of a treaty of
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"eternal friendship." The Romanians cultivate the fear that Hungarian troops may one day again march into Transylvania as they did following the Second Vienna Award in 1940.
In the face of such emotional reactions on the part of Hungary's neighbors, it is difficult indeed to probe the situation of Hungarian minorities in Hungary's neighboring countries calmly. A mere expression of interest by Hungarians in the fate of their compatriots in these countries is identified with territorial revisionism of the interwar Horthy era. Conversely, Hungarian suspicion toward the neighboring countries lingers on. Thus, planted in a thicket of emotions, a sort of Little Entente complex exists on both sides.3
The Soviet interest in maintaining the territorial status quo is the most decisive of all adverse factors affecting the Hungarians. Also, in this context, the Hungarians are involved in the territorial conflict between Romania and the Soviet Union. For years the Romanian and the Soviet governments have been playing a rather curious and somewhat comical game of doubletalk concerning Transylvania and Bessarabia. Should the Romanians bring up the loss of Bessarabia, the Soviets would allude to the Romanian annexation of Transylvania; should the Soviets hint at "violations of Marxist-Leninist principles of nationality policies" in Transylvania, the Romanians would bring up the case of Bessarabia as the same violation of that sacred Marxist-Leninist principle. Thus, any Hungarian initiative on behalf of the Hungarian minority in Transylvania would be inevitably intertwined with Soviet-Romanian relations.
The tension between the Communist state and the Hungarian people today is only to a small extent affected by realistic considerations of what could be done for the Hungarian minorities. Officially, the Communist party behaves in a passive manner, while the people at large believe that, whatever the circumstances, something could be done and ought to be done.
In order to analyze the development of this dichotomy between party and people, one has to distinguish three main phases in the postwar political scene in Hungary. The first period is that of coalition governments, 1945-47 (or 1948, depending on one's interpretation of when the full control of the Communist party had been established). It was followed by a long period of slavish imitation of Soviet ideology and phraseology. This second period started under Matyas Rakosi
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and, apart from the short break culminating in the revolution of 1956, it continued under the Kadar regime into the early 1960s. The current third period of ideological "loosening-up" and the post-revolutionary consolidation of the Kadar regime, began in the mid-sixties. But, as far as the reassertion of national interests goes, a real "opening" can be dated only from the seventies.
The coalition period sharply differed from the other two, insofar as Soviet-oriented official internationalism was not yet government policy. Therefore, certain national claims and grievances were freely voiced on the stage of higher politics. Politicians belonging mainly to the Independent Smallholders Party-but others also-were spokesmen of national causes. In that period even the Communist party, no matter for what kind of tactical reasons, had occasionally showed interest in certain questions of Hungarian national concern.
The center of national concern in this phase was the position the Hungarian government should take at the Paris Peace Conference. Also, an issue of great urgency was the threat of expulsion of Hungarians from Czechoslovakia. Public opinion viewed the peace negotiations with the most profound pessimism. Branded as "Hitler's last satellite," Hungary could hardly propound all the claims she would have liked to. Even the most justified territorial claims had to be tempered. The restitution of the pre-Munich 1938 frontiers had been settled for the most part in the armistice protocols and at the Potsdam Conference, thereby the Hungarians could only hope to be able to make a few modest propositions at the Peace Conference in 1946.
It had to be taken for granted that the new Soviet-Hungarian frontier would be sacrosanct. Also, any rectification of the frontier with Tito's Yugoslavia was out of the question. The Hungarian-Czechoslovak frontier may have looked less inviolable in view of Slovakia's pro-Nazi record, but President Benes and Czech Communist party chief, Klement Gottwald, had done their best (or worst) before the Peace Conference to ensure that any territorial modifications would only be to Hungary's detriment. All that was still left open was the boundary issue with Romania concerning northern Transylvania. In fact, this was the only issue in which the Hungarians could hope for some success. After all, Romania was Hungary's only rival who had stolen a march only by a short head, by switching sides from Hitler to the victorious Grand Alliance.4
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The non-Communist elements in the coalition government-above all, the Smallholders, supported by the pro-Allied wing in the wartime foreign service-urged determined action in the Romanian matter.5 The Communists were reserved, probably due to a lack of clear instructions from Moscow. At the Peace Conference, however, it turned out that the Soviet Union rigidly refused even the smallest change of the prewar frontiers that might have been justifiable on the basis of a contiguous Hungarian population spilling over from Hungary into Romania.
Sensing, even before the Peace Conference, an unfavorable decision, the Hungarian Communists adopted a rather skillful rhetorical stance. Hungary, they said, could expect favorable or unfavorable treatment, depending on the country's internal development in the "right" or "wrong" direction.6 So, the unfavorable outcome, they said after the Peace Conference, was the result of "reactionary forces," hinting at the Smallholders Party, the primary target of their strategy to wreck the coalition government.
In the matter of the expulsion of Hungarians from Czechoslovakia, the Communists were occasionally active. They probably were so because the initiative for expulsion originated in Prague rather than in Moscow. In any case, this was the only occasion when the Hungarian Communist party gave postwar support to an issue which has stirred up national indignation.7 Also, this was the only issue involving the Hungarian minorities which was reported fully by the Hungarian media. Only occasional rumors circulated about the massacres of Hungarians by Romanians in reoccupied northern Transylvania, or about the vengeance wrought upon the Hungarian population in the Vojvodina by Tito's partisans. Even today, the Hungarian public is largely ignorant about these dreadful events.
During that baleful first postwar period, all the elements leading to popular frustration on account of national humiliation were already at hand: the sufferings of the occupation, the embargo on uttering justifiable national grievances, the barriers to expressing national sentiments, the settlement of frontiers by dictates, and an almost complete severance of all contacts between Hungary and the Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries.
While the Communist party was not yet in total control, it did at least show some sensitivity toward the "new Trianon" inflicted on the
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Hungarian people. Once the party consolidated its power on the Soviet model, it lost interest in popular national causes altogether. After 1948, the country was forced to take actions in the anti-Western Soviet "peace" campaign, in the condemnation of Tito's "treason." In general, the Soviet model has prevailed in Hungary as in the other countries of the Soviet bloc. The only hope in that Communist era of socalled "new patriotism" was the promise that, once the socialist transformation was completed, the problems of the national minorities in the Danube region would be automatically solved under the sign of socialist equality and Communist fraternity. No details had been spelled out as to how this happy outcome would be achieved.
The Communist policy of "new patriotism" aimed at inculcating the Hungarians with Soviet-centered loyalty to replace Hungarian national consciousness. In the spirit of Soviet ideology, this was considered socialist patriotism in the service of "proletarian internationalism." The essence of this "internationalism" was unconditional loyalty to Moscow, constant glorification of Soviet policies, endless quotations from the catechisms of Lenin and Stalin concerning past, present, and future, and, last but not least, forcible Russification, which included rewriting Hungary's history: even the intervention by Emperor Nicholas I as Austria's ally against the Hungarian revolution of 1848/49 was sugar-coated by the contention that the tsarist officer corps actually sympathized with the Hungarian cause and secretly helped the Hungarians.8
The "patriotism" of the Communist party in Hungary had nothing to do with the real interests of the nation. In this respect, the Hungarian Communist leadership had certainly been unique in postwar Eastern Europe. Only the East German leadership was similarly engaged in extinguishing national feelings of its own people. But, unlike in Hungary, that did not affect the nation as a whole.
Among Hungary's Communist leaders of that time the only exception was Imre Nagy-not only as the prime minister of the 1956 revolution but also as the head of the government between 1953 and 1955. His government program of 1953, as well as his personal style (he was of Hungarian peasant origin), created a link with the true feelings of the Hungarian people. He let the people know that he too realized the crippling effects of Stalinism, not only in the material sphere but also in the spiritual self-esteem of the nation. It came as no surprise that in 1956 the people in revolt against the hated regime
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followed Nagy as their leader. Although he too, on account of his years in exile in the Soviet Union, was a so-called "Muscovite" Communist, Imre Nagy was regarded by the people as a fellow Hungarian.
By 1948, the Stalinist regime, headed by Matyas Rakosi, established total Communist control in Hungary. This regime was opposed to anything that had to do with the sentiments of the nation. The struggle for personal survival throttled discussions of the fate of the nation even inside the harrassed and frightened families. Contact with relatives or friends beyond the frontiers was completely cut off during the period. National dismemberment became complete. The fate of Hungarians in Transylvania, Slovakia, Yugoslavia, and in the Soviet Ukraine was not known. The Hungarian fatherland had neither personal nor cultural contacts with the Hungarian minorities. The socialism of Lenin and Stalin, far from abolishing frontiers between nations, created, in fact, unscaleable barriers. A whole generation of Hungarians grew up on both sides of Hungary's borders in complete igorance of one another.
Only after Stalin's death, with the Soviet-Yugoslav thaw and Khrushchev's de-Stalinization, did this hermetic isolation begin to loosen up among the Soviet satellites. And, of course, the 1956 Revolution in Hungary has been another powerful factor in restoring the sense of unity among Hungarians deprived of national sovereignty.
One of the first demands of the revolutionary youths was the restitution of national sovereignty. The revolution was a collective experience of the whole society, with the insignificant exception of those few who remained loyal to the Soviet Union, including members of the political police. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was a national uprising. The people found their own selves again, regaining, for however short a time, freedom of speech and action. The revolutionary government of Imre Nagy expressed the will of the people. For a few days, even Janos Kadar supported the revolution in his capacity as spokesman of a reorganized Communist party, which collaborated with the non-Communist parties in a coalition government.9
The brief and tragic episode of the 1956 Revolution allowed no time for the formation of all aspects of national aspirations. It was the frightened fantasy of neighboring Communist states to accuse the Hungarian revolution of reviving demands for frontier revisions. It is, of course, very likely that a sovereign Hungary, putting into practice
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the principles of 1956, would have handled the grievances of the Hungarian minorities differently from the Stalinist regime, or, for that matter, the subsequent Kadar regime. In fact, the Hungarian minorities were watching Hungary's struggle in 1956 with bated breath and hoping against hope for a change in the fatherland's behavior toward them.
The first decade of the Kadar regime showed no change in Communist behavior. The governing party, reconstructed for the single purpose of serving the restoration of Soviet power, fully adopted the spirit of the prerevolutionary Rakosi regime. If there was any difference between the two, it consisted in the Kadar regime taking even more absurd positions on issues of popular concern. The Kadar regime branded the 1956 Revolution as a "fascist counterrevolution"a sure way to alienate itself from the nation. The artificially recreated Communist party actually prided itself on having issued the invitation to the Soviet armed forces. They had the gall to call their suppression of the revolution a "second liberation"-showing total contempt for public opinion both inside and outside of Hungary.
The Soviet invasion and its consequences caused a national bloodletting of huge dimensions.10 Crushed in mind and body, the nation was paralyzed. The 1960s and 1970s, however, brought a radical change. It is no exaggeration to say that, particularly toward the last years of the seventies, Hungarian national consciousness erupted anew with an unforeseen force and liveliness. Following a gap of thirty years, the national will to life reasserted itself in a resumed continuity with the nation's past. Inevitably, fundamental questions affecting the state and the nation were raised once more. Not unlike in 1956, the great changes originated from below, from society itself, not from the regime. Nevertheless, there were a few supporting factors for which the regime should be given credit. With the Kadar regime's so-called consolidation, came subtle changes in the methods of exercising Communist party power.
To characterize the new situation, several factors seem to be of equal importance: the rise of a new generation, freed of the paralyzing burdens of the past; the opening of the frontiers, both toward neighboring countries and the West for individual travel as well as government-sponsored cultural exchanges; the loosening of the zeal of constant mass mobilization and of wholesale ideological compulsion
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by Communist party and state-in sum, a more objective and more professional governance. As a result, the paralyzing atmosphere of constant fear and uncertainty about life in general has greatly diminished throughout the society.11
In official foreign policy, however, hardly anything has changed with regard to world politics or in relations with Hungary's neighbors. The Hungarian government was sticking closely to the Soviet line, without any deviation. The most flagrant case of this subservience was the Hungarian participation in the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Toward Hungary's other neighbors, too, the behavior of the Communist state and party closely mirrors the relations with the Soviet Union. There has not been a single instance in which the state has demonstrated any kind of independence from the Soviet Union.
This may not mean that the Kadar regime is completely indifferent to the fate of Hungarian minorities in the neighboring states. For example, the Hungarian government has been doing its level best to satisfy the cultural requirements of Hungary's own very small Romanian, Slovak, and German minorities, evidently in support of its moral claim for reciprocation.12 And, behind the scenes, the Communist rulers of Hungary allegedly do try to communicate their interest in minority matters, particularly to their Romanian and Czechoslovak comrades. However, Kadar's meeting in 1977 with Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu had no effect on Romanian policy.
Since the seventies, official Hungarian attitudes have noticeably changed regarding public opinion, due, it is believed, to the influence of certain members of the party leadership. Beyond the official silence one can detect a certain tolerance for protesting voices coming from broad ranges of public opinion. In any case since the mid-seventies, there has been no serious massive harassment of those who have raised their voices on behalf of the Hungarian minorities. A few literary and historical essays on the subject have, in fact, been published although in periodicals rather than in the daily newspapers. And a somewhat subdued press campaign took place, presumably with official blessings, on two occasions: in 1981, against the forcible Slovakization of Hungarian historical family names, part of the Slovak effort to erase Hungarian history from the land which is today Slovakia;13 and, in 1982, against a scurrilous Hungarian-hating book by Ion Lancranjan, published in Bucharest on Transylvania's past and present.14
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As if to counterbalance these concessions to popular frustration, in 1983 the old Communist slogan of "struggle against bourgeois nationalism" reappeared in the Hungarian party program.15 But, as a newspaperman from Budapest has privately explained the official attitude to Hungarian minority issues: "The principal newspapers are instructed to keep their mouths shut. . . . [On the other hand,] editors of not too important publications do not get any specific directives; matters are left to their survival instinct. . . . The press has no right to strike an attitude that is incompatible with the policies of the state. . . . Yet, only the country's trustworthiness in the Soviet bloc is of overriding importance: its loyalty to the Soviet alliance."16 In other words, the Little Entente syndrome surrounding Hungary still prevails. However, officially, proletarian internationalism rules.
The pressure of public opinion is an entirely new phenomenon in Communist Hungary. In contrast to the past, it does affect, willynilly, the actions of the regime, at least to the extent that officials can no longer sweep issues under the rug. It demonstrates the bankruptcy of official internationalism, the failure of efforts of four decades aimed at purging Hungarian society of patriotic interest in problems affecting the existence of the Hungarian state and the Hungarian people.
Many people believe that the present patriotic-nationalist ferment is largely due to actions by writers and poets, and above all to the efforts of the late Gyula Illyes, for years the "grand old man" of Hungarian letters. Illyes's role in awakening the national consciousness has been, no doubt, of paramount importance. In 1977, he issued a clarion call in a newspaper article on the persecution of Hungarians in Transylvania.17 Characteristically, the article did not mention by name either Transylvania or Romania. But everybody knew, both at home and abroad, what he was talking about.
The Illyes article made a profound impression on the Hungarian public. Also, it triggered angry Romanian attacks against Illyes personally and the Hungarians generally.18 Until his death in April 1983, Illyes spoke up on every possible occasion about the burning issues of Hungarian minorities in both Transylvania and Slovakia. Since his freedom of speech at home was limited, he used the freedom of the West, both in Europe and America, to raise his voice against oppression.19 With his defiant stand, Gyula Illyes became the unchallenged spokesman of the true spirit of the Hungarian people. However, it
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would be oversimplification to attribute the sea-change in public opinion to one person alone. Since the seventies, other factors, too, have contributed to the rise of a new national spirit. Among them, the most decisive has been, for the younger generations especially, the liberalization of foreign travel.
The years since the late sixties have been a veritable age of discovery. First, hundreds of thousands, then millions of Hungarians became acquainted with the forbidden world around them. Particularly significant has been the resumption of links with Hungarians in the neighboring states. An age of discovery usually begets legends. According to one of them, there were Hungarians of the younger generation who did not realize that the Szekelys (Szeklers) of Transylvania were Hungarians. True or not, up to the sixties hardly anybody in Hungary could learn anything about the conditions of the Szekelys, or indeed of any other Hungarian population across the borders. With the exception of a handful of stray visitors, or a few families living along the borders, the Hungarians of Hungary were kept in complete ignorance about the life of Hungarians in Transylvania, in Slovakia, or in Yugoslavia. Mass tourism since the late sixties radically changed the situation. There is hardly any family in Hungary without relatives or acquaintances living beyond the present state boundaries. Upsetting accounts of the fate of Hungarian minorities have quickly spread in the wake of personal experiences of Hungarians traveling in the neighboring countries-with the exception of the Soviet Carpatho-Ukraine which remains closed to Hungarian tourism.
The articulation of the "discovery" of the Hungarian minorities has been the work of men of letters. Ethnologists and folklorists, in particular, have been active during the course of this explosion of national interest. A whole generation of young Hungarians has made pilgrimages, especially to Transylvania, in search of roots and traditions. An interesting element in this movement of "discoveries" has been the fact that, as a result of industrialization and the modernization of agriculture, traditional village life has almost completely disappeared in Hungary proper, while many villages in the Szekely land of Transylvania still offer a picture of the Hungarian village of the past.
This cultural immersion in the Hungarian past has merged with
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the campaign for the defense of Hungarian minorities. An additional factor buttressing the trend has been the constantly worsening situation of the Hungarian minority. Also, no less important, has been the simultaneous appearance of a loosely organized democratic opposition in Hungary and the greater opportunities for publicity. The Hungarian diaspora in the West, too, has played a part in this fermentation at home. It has been an encouraging development since the seventies that Hungarians at home have been able to maintain a lively contact with Hungarian intellectual circles and literary groups in the West.
The distress signals of the Hungarian minorities, mainly from Romania and Slovakia, have been taken up by two oppositional groups in Hungary. One is the group of writers who are following in the footsteps of the erstwhile populist movement of the thirties, whose outstanding spokesman is the writer Sandor Csoori.20 The other one is the democratic reformist opposition with its prolific samizdat publications. The cause of the Hungarian minorities unites the two groups in a loose coalition. Their ranks have been reinforced mainly by historians. A number of young philosophers who have emigrated from Transylvania have also made their influence felt. The pacifist character of these movements must be strongly stressed. There are no Hungarian secret societies or terrorist groups, Armenian or Palestinian style, although much anger has been building up in Hungarian society on account of the fate of their compatriots across the borders.
The reawakening of the Hungarian national conscience is by no means concentrated solely on the issue of the minorities. A further, and no less significant, characteristic of this movement has been the liberation of historiography from the grips of ideology. Poland and Hungary are unique in this respect among the countries of the Soviet bloc. In Hungary, the historians, with few exceptions, have en bloc turned their backs on the role in which the propaganda machine of the party had previously cast them. They have resumed the scholarly task of detached investigation of facts. The public, in turn, has expressed its craving for the truth.
The history of World War II, memoirs and a host of other types of reminiscences, as well as works about the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy have become the popular vogue of the reading public. The new generation, in particular, wants to know what really happened to their country. They demand to know the facts-and their causes-deliberately
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denied to them by Marxist pseudo-history. The demand is the greater since in school textbooks Marxist pseudo-history is still the rule.
The confluence of truth in historiography and of public interest in uncensored truth in general is the most significant aspect of the reawakened national consciousness. The movement is a peaceful one, but not without tension. It is marked by clashes with officialdom and censorship. Many stormy scenes have occurred at various meetings with young intellectuals, supported by the public, demanding accurate information and the truth about the nation's past and present. There has been improvement in the regime's attitude, but the thirst for public information is still largely being satisfied by nongovernmental sources: in private conversations, in "free universities" organized by opposition groups, and by books and periodicals brought in from the West.
The younger generations maintain a healthy attitude of disbelief and suspicion toward anything official. One speaker, at a particularly passionate encounter, burst out: "Since 1948 a deliberate policy of ruthless destruction has been carried out in order to eliminate our sense of history."21 This "ruthless destruction" was mainly the work of official historiography. Up until the Revolution of 1956, it followed Soviet-style Marxism. In the decade following the Soviet suppression of the revolution, official historiography adopted a kind of apolitical economist trend. This may have been a shade better in terms of a more scientific approach, but it still lacked any relevance to national problems. However, in the seventies, this apolitical economist trend in historiography opened the road toward more courageous expressions of truth in general.22
It would be a mistake to be overoptimistic about the present situation. The straitjacket on Hungary's foreign policy and the arbitrary self-legitimation of Communist party rule has maintained barriers against the wave of popular frustration. Only a few safety valves are being kept open to lessen the pressure of dissatisfaction. Yet, for the government to yield at all to the pressure of public opinion is certainly a new phenomenon.
One of the main weaknesses of the Kadar regime is its failure to offer any kind of tangible results in support of the Hungarian minorities. The old rhetoric about the "bridge role" and the "socialist solution"
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has become threadbare and obsolete. Nobody believes in a genuine fnendship with the neighboring Communist countries. The party leadership is fully aware of that. They do not believe in it, either. But they seem to be powerless to improve Hungary's position in the Soviet bloc. More recently, some "openness" (to use Mikhail Gorbachev's slogan) has been noticeable in matters pertaining to the problems of Hungarian minonties. (See Annex V below.) A new official attitude may be in the making. If so, it remains to be seen whether it is capable of achieving tangible results
1. See on this subject, Pierre Kende, "Reflections on Hungarian History," The Review (1959).
2. In the context of the tragedy of Jewry, this problem has been dealt with by Istvan Bibo. His essay on the subject will shortly appear in English translation.
3. In 1982, a mild critical remark by Gyula Illyes, pointing at the cultural difficulties the Hungarians are having in the Vojvodina, stirred up a protest even in relatively tolerant Yugoslavia with charges of Horthy-era "revisionism" levied against Illyes. See Annex II in Chapter 9, above.
4. Cf. Chapter 4, above, for details on the Paris Peace Conference of 1946.
5. V. J. Lahav, "Szovjet politika Erdelyben, 1940-1946," Irodalmi Ujsag (January-February 1979).
7. Cf. Sandor Balogh, A nepi demokratikus Magyarorszag kulpolitikaja, 1945-1947 (Budapest, 1982), 127-28.
8. A street was named in Budapest after the tsarist Russian officer Gussev who was alleged to have conspired with the Hungarians in 1849 and to have been executed for his activities. Later on it transpired that Gussev was the fictional creation of a Hungarian writer, a Communist exile in Moscow before 1945.
9. See, in particular, Kadar's speech on the Hungarian people's "glorious uprising," November 1, 1956, in Melvin J. Lasky, ed. The Hungarian Revolution: A White Book (London, 1957), 179-80.
10. By the end of 1956, about 2 percent of the country's total population fled abroad. About one-fourth eventually returned when conditions improved, but tens of thousands were, in the meantime, imprisoned, and the exact number of those executed has never been established.
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11. Cf. Pierre Kende, Qu'esr-ce que le "Kadarisme"? (Pans, 1983).
12. See Gyorgy Aczel, "National Minonty Rights: The Law of Socialism," The New Hungarian Quarterly 25/95 (Autumn 1984): 6-10.
13. Peter Hanak, "Cimeres furcsasagok," Elet es Irodalom February 21, 1981.
14. "Situation Report on Romania," Radio Free Europe Research, vol. 8, no. 1 (Munich, 1982), 25-26.
15. Public report on the meeting of the Central Committee of the Hunganan Socialist Workers' Party, Apnl 12-14, 1983.
16. Quoted from a private letter received from a journalist friend in Budapest.
17. Gyula Illyes, "Valasz Herdernek es Adynak," Magyar Nemzet, December 25, 1977, and January 1, 1978.
18. Illyes was attacked by the President of the Romanian Academy of Political Science in a Bucharest newspaper. Illyes's reply, in spite of its very moderate language, was suppressed by the Hungarian regime. Its text was published in Magyar Fuzetek, no. 5 (1979).
19. Illyes wrote an introduction to a book by Kalman Janics, published abroad, on the postwar persecution of Hungarians in Czechoslovakia between 1945 and 1948 (Munich, 1979; English version, New York, 1982).
20. Many publications containing Csoori's articles were confiscated. He clashed with officialdom on account of his introduction to Miklos Duray's autobiography on growing up as a Hungarian in postwar Czechoslovakia, published in New York in 1983. See "The Duray Affair" in Annex I of Chapter 8, above.
21. Forras, no. 9 (1979). The complete matenal of the conference at Lakitelek appeared in the same issue of the magaine published in Kecskemet.
22. On the trends of Hunganan historiography after 1956, see Andras Kovacs, "Ket kiegyezes," Magyar Fuzetek, no. 12 (1983). Cf. Istvan Deak, "Introduction," Chapter 15, below.
|Stephen Borsody: The Hungarians: A Divided Nation|