The Institute continues to base its work in 2001 on the new strategic objective adopted at the beginning of 1997 (to transform itself into an institute of contemporary history) and on the long-term research plan devised in 1998. This means continuing individual and collective research projects that embrace the period from the end of the Second World War to the change of system and reach back into the period before the Cold War. (This extends somewhat the period normally identified with contemporary history in Hungary.) Due to the financial problems mentioned in the introduction, it could not be foreseen at the beginning of 2001 how much of the work prepared during the year it would be possible for the Institute to publish. Effort during the year is therefore being concentrated primarily on completing projects in progress and the researches are being pursued as possible by relying on internal resources. If it does not prove possible otherwise, the findings will be published on the Internet and in the Institute’s Yearbook. The Institute continues to rely on its existing supporters and strives to find new sources of funding (primarily for publications). A competitive application is being made to the Assistant State Secretariat for Research and Development at the Ministry of Education, for processing of ‘The 1960s’ collection of the Oral History Archive (OHA). If the application is successful, the individual research plans will also have to be made to correspond more closely with the aims and obligations undertaken in the projects for which the application was made.

The Institute intends to continue in 2001 several research projects centring on the 1956 Revolution. The guidelines are as follows: conclusion of the ‘1956 Revolution in the Provinces’ programme, research into the Budapest uprising and insurgents, compilation of the interview and document collection with the working title ‘Civil organizations in the 1956 Revolution’ and writing of a concluding study for it.

The researches into contemporary history will continue to concentrate on the Kádár period, under the following main subjects: history of the state-security organization, Hungary’s international relations and the Cold War, and problems of social and mentality history. (The last includes examining the relations system of the economic, technical and political elite through the secondary network in the OHA interviews, hooligans and gangs as security-police targets in the 1960s, changes in agricultural society, and the phenomenon of ‘socialist’ towns, based on case studies.) In line with the plans for the previous year, the Institute begins in 2001 a comprehensive programme (conference, book publication and exhibition) on the settling-in and peak periods of the Kádár regime, similar to the ‘Turning Point’ project of 1998. The first conference of ‘The 1960s (1958–72)’ project is planned for mid-2002. Under the ‘Support for Research on Recent History’ programme of the New York Soros Foundation, research will continue on relations between Hungary and the Soviet Union, paramilitary organizations in the communist period, the economic role of the state-security organization, and if possible, other topics. Examination and computer processing of the OHA life interviews continue. A new targeted programme of interviews has begun entitled ‘Repatriated’, on those who returned from exile after 1989/90. The computer databases, which are also the bases of the Institute publications, are being developed further. The renewal of the Institute website will be completed. The Institute continues to apply for funds to expand the photo documentary database (primarily by organizing into a database the pictorial sources for the period after 1956). Preparation of the documentary films on contemporary historical subjects into application form continues. So does research into the history of the 1989 change of system, especially the subject of revival of the 1956 traditions.

The publications programme for 2001 includes the following. However, with the exception of the Institute Yearbook and the CD-ROM, all publications are contingent on obtaining the full publication costs by competitive application or other means during the year:

Yearbook 2001. Edited by Zsuzsanna Kőrösi, Éva Standeisky and János M. Rainer (State-Security Dossier, Essays and Studies, Review, Reports, Bibliography of 1956 History).

History of Hungary, 1944–1956. Multimedia CD–ROM. Edited by János M. Rainer and Zoltán Lux.

Provinces, 1956. Two-volume collection of studies, edited by Attila Szakolczai and László Á. Varga.

Corvinites, 1956. Monograph by László Eörsi.

The Social-Policy Plans of the Hungarian Extreme Right Wing and Implementation of Them. Monograph by Krisztián Ungváry.

The 1956 Revolution. Secondary-school textbook by Attila Szakolczai.

Selected Papers from the 3rd National Conference of Contemporary History. Co-publication with Debrecen University.

Pensionable Age. Documentary film on the resignation of János Kádár in 1972. Co-production.

An exhibition is planned during the year, involving a partner to be selected later, showing the portraits and biographies of those condemned to for their part in the 1956 Revolution. In October 2001, the Institute (with broad institutional cooperation, if possible) will hold a two-day conference on historical and collective memories of the 1956 Revolution, including local recollections (the latter tying in with the provincial researches).


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Copyright © 2000 National Széchényi Library 1956 Institute and Oral History Archive
Last updated:  Wednesday, 19-March-2008

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