20 Dicembre 2010

Hungary – The Case of a Post-Communist Society in Crisis



Raphael Vago

In the twenty year history of post-communist societies and regimes in the east European space, Hungary stands out as a changelling and interesting case. On the one hand, it underwent a peaceful, gradual collapse and handover of power from communist to opposition forces in 1989, prompting one leading western observer to coin the process “a negociated revolution.” On the other hand, Hungary currently represents the most extreme case among its neighbors in the emergence of right-wing, xenophobic and antisemitic forces, including a strong tendency toward historical revisionism and nostalgia for the dark days of fascist movements and their symbols. At the same time, Hungary was leading the way in the area in assuming historical responsability for the Holocaust in Hungary, and in incorporating that chapter in its history in the educational system.