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East European Perspectives: August 18, 2004

18 August 2004, Volume 6, Number 17

The next issue of "RFE/RL East European Perspectives" will appear on 29 September.


By Attila Pok

This might sound like a strange question with regard to a country where numerous public debates have addressed historical issues during the last 15 years. This was especially the case during the immediate postcommunist years discussed in this study, i.e. under the premiership (1990-93) of a historian -- Jozsef Antall. A "Historikerstreit" (Historians' dispute) is, however, very different from a series of debates on historical issues; it is, as it emerged in its most powerful form in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1986, a political-historical discourse on two most crucial questions: the uniqueness of the National Socialist persecution and the German society's responsibility for the tragedy of the liquidation of Jews.

The problem I would like to focus on is why the Hungarian "political-historical" discourse during these years did not address the Hungarian aspects of these problems, i.e. the connections between "traditional" anti-Semitism and the Holocaust on the one hand, and Hungarian society's responsibility for the Holocaust on the other. In other words, this study seeks to examine what place these aspects had among the historical issues that were put onto the agenda of parliamentary and nonparliamentary debates during the years of the first postcommunist government. My aim is to discuss why attempts at a sincere and courageous confrontation with this legacy could not develop into a nationwide debate on the responsibility of Hungarian society and its political elite for the destruction of two-thirds of the Hungarian Jewry, despite the fact that Hungarian society is to a large extent past-oriented.

History And Historians In The Transition Process

In the political program of the "democratic opposition" published in June 1987, the last chapter was dedicated to "1956 in contemporary Hungarian politics." It was argued there that a reevaluation of the 1956 uprising was a basic precondition of a new "social contract," of a way out of the crisis faced by Janos Kadar's regime at its dawn. In parallel, the party leadership also realized the significance of the reevaluation of the recent past. The party conference of May 1988 appointed a small team of experts to evaluate the last four decades of Hungarian history.

The respective chapter in the document prepared by that team blamed the Stalinist party leadership under Matyas Rakosi, and not alleged internal and external hostile forces, for creating a crisis situation in October 1956. Significantly, the document employed the term "popular uprising," rather than "counterrevolution," which had long been in official usage to describe the events of 23 October-4 November 1956. This terminology was cited in an interview with Politburo member Imre Pozsgay broadcast on 28 January 1989, and its political impact was huge. The 11-12 February Central Committee session that adopted this document also resolved to introduce a multiparty system in Hungary. The reevaluation of 1956 thus served as a "historical basis" of the ensuing talks between various groups of the opposition and the party.

1956 In The New Parliament

The next major steps with significant historical implications along the road of the political transition included 16 June 1989 -- the day of the reburial of the leader of the 1956 revolution, Imre Nagy -- and the proclamation of the republic on 23 October. The statement of the interim head of state, Matyas Szuros, on this latter, more festive occasion referred to the liberal, national revolution of 1848, to the proclamation of the republic in November 1918, the years of pluralistic democracy between 1945 and 1948, and the 1956 revolution as the antecedents of the new republic.

Following successful roundtable negotiations, for the first time in 40 years a Hungarian parliament was elected in a free ballot in March-April 1990. The 386 elected deputies represented six parties, with the center-right Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) as the strongest force. Twenty-seven of these lawmakers were historians, among them the prime minister, the speaker of parliament (Professor Gyorgy Szabad), two ministers (Geza Jeszenszky and Lajos Fur), and several secretaries of state. The average age of deputies representing the parties in the governing coalition (the MDF, the Independent Smallholders Party, and the Christian Democratic Party) was well beyond 50, so for most of them 1956 was a personal experience, a living memory. In the opposition, the majority of the liberals (representatives of the Alliance of Free Democrats, SZDSZ) were generally younger (most of them born in the late 1940s, early 1950s), while most members of the Alliance of Young Democrats (FIDESZ) were born in the first half of the 1960s; the Socialists included all generations, but all of them, without reservation, cherished the memory of the 1956 revolution.

Thus at its opening ceremony, the new parliament, in the presence of the head of the Habsburg family, descendant of the last king of Hungary, and of Bela Varga, the speaker of the last democratic parliament after World War II, enacted the memory of the 1956 revolution into law. Parliamentary speaker Szabad, an expert in 19th-century Hungarian history, defined 1956 as the most important link between the new democracy and the Hungarian past.

Debates On The Coat Of Arms And The National Day

Unanimous as acceptance of the 1956 revolution as the immediate historical antecedent of the new republic might have been, diverging views surfaced when it came to two other historical issues on the new parliament's agenda: the choice of a new coat of arms and of the new national holidays. Although the overwhelming majority voted for the old coat of arms with the royal crown, used before the 1946 proclamation of the republic, a group of liberals argued in favor of the coat of arms without a crown, as initiated in 1849 by the leader of the 1848 revolution, Lajos Kossuth. This group warned that the crown, as a symbol of continuity with the pre-1945 regime, would be associated with pre-World War I Greater Hungary, which was likely to arouse sensitivity in neighboring countries.

Society seemed to be even more divided on this issue than the lawmakers. According to a public opinion poll of November 1989, 49 percent preferred a coat of arms with the crown, while 34 percent were endorsing the "Kossuth version" (Nyyssonen, 1997, p. 7). The younger age groups, those with higher education, residents of Budapest, and Protestants or atheists supported the "Kossuth version." Older people, Catholics, the less-educated, and those residing outside Budapest preferred the "crown."

Comparable differences in interpreting the Hungarian historical heritage also surfaced in the parliamentary debates on the choice of the main national holiday. The fact that 20 August, the day dedicated to the founder of the first Hungarian Kingdom, Stephen, was selected could be (and was) interpreted by parliamentary and nonparliamentary critics of the government as a return to the pre-1945 conservative traditions.

Horthy And Hungary's Role In World War II

Hungary's role in World War II landed on the agenda and triggered a fierce political debate when on 30 July 1990 Kalman Keri, a former high-ranking officer of regent Miklos Horthy's army, who was now a member of the MDF faction, appeared in parliament wearing that army's uniform and declared that Hungary's "crusade" against the Soviet Union had been legitimate, as was World War II, which had been fought against the communist threat.

Following the request of members of his family, on 3 September 1993, the early remains of Admiral Horthy, Hungary's head of state between 1920-44, were reburied in his home village, Kenderes. Officially, the event was described as a "private affair," but it took place in the presence of six members of the government and about 50,000 people.

The reassessment of Horthy's role became an important issue, since, according to some politicians close to Christian Democratic government circles, the Horthy regime had been by far more legitimate than the communist regime imposed on Hungary from outside. On the other hand, the day before Horthy's reburial, some liberal intellectuals staged a "counterevent" under the slogan "A Final Good-Bye to the Horthy Regime."

Restitution And Retribution

These historical controversies were far from being mere academic and symbolic political differences, as compensation for nationalized and otherwise confiscated (or stolen) assets became a historically established practical matter. In the first restitution laws of 1991 (Law XXV/1991 and Law XXXII/1991), compensation was restricted to property "lost" after 8 June 1949 -- in other words, the approved legislation left most Jews and/or their descendants whose properties had been confiscated before the communist regime without compensation. Legislation approved in 1992 (Laws XXIV/1992 and XXXII/1992), however, extended the right to claim compensation to assets confiscated in 1939 and later. For the first time during the debates on these laws, public discourse in Hungary began addressing the issue of the role played by Jews in Hungarian society.

There could be no doubt that these debates had a very "practical" facet, one which also emerged as the consideration of the legacy of communist rule advanced. Lots of pseudo- or semi-scholarly books were published about the communist crimes, with the single purpose of proving the brutality of the communist elites, without differentiating among the periods of open terror (1949-62), that of relative consolidation in the 1960s and 1970s, and the beginning of decline from the mid-1980s on.

The parliamentary "reflection" of these publications was the "Justitia" plan dealing with the possibility of retribution for crimes committed during the communist era. Among the questions debated were issues such as: Is there any way to make sure that in the wake of the communist regime's downfall "perpetrators" will not be better off than their "victims"? What about the statute of limitation? The debates eventually led to further ramifications: Which was the actual social basis on which the Hungarian Communist Party had been capable of counting? Could it be that 20 percent of the active population had been forced to join the party, while the number of "genuine" communists was no higher than 30,000, i.e. the party membership of 1945, late 1956, or late 1989? Or far beyond party membership figures, was it conceivable that a majority among Hungarians had tended to identify with the goals of the party's leadership and the means employed to achieve them -- at least between roughly 1962 and the early 1980s?

Another set of questions pried into the cause of the decline and collapse of the Kadar regime, focusing on four possible factors that might have brought about that collapse and which contributed most to it: a) the fundamental transformation of the international political and economic environment; b) the structural deficiencies of the economic and political pillars of the socialist-communist system; c) the activities of the two main groups of dissidents (national-populist and the democratic opposition); and d) the divisions in the party leadership that emerged from the reformist challenge within its ranks.

These debates were very much shaped by the political issues of the day. The Christian-nationalist side depicted the Socialists as direct successors of the former communist elite, whereas the liberal and Socialist politicians frequently referred to their conservative rivals as representatives of the worst, destructive conservative-nationalist traditions of the interwar and World War II period.

This short survey hopefully showed that the two issues (the link between "traditional" anti-Semitism and the Holocaust on the one hand, and Hungarian society's responsibility for the Holocaust on the other) that, in my opinion should have been at the center of "mainstream" historical debates, were in fact marginalized. What is even more, they seemed to have been "expropriated" by the radical right together with the reconsideration of the post-World War I revolutions and the Trianon peace treaty. Why did that happen? In order to try to answer this question, developments from May 1990 to May 1994 have to be examined by separately discussing five major issues.

Official Symbolic Commemorations: Paying Tribute To The Victims of The Holocaust

Continuing a precedent set by the last communist government headed by Miklos Nemeth, on 8 July 1990 -- just a few weeks after taking office -- Prime Minister Antall, accompanied by President Arpad Goncz, attended the unveiling of the monument dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust in the Budapest district that served as a ghetto during the war. Similarly, Interior Minister Balazs Horvath spoke on 14 October 1990 at the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the memory of Jews executed by Arrow Cross members on the banks of the River Danube, and Israeli President Haim Herzog was cordially received in Budapest in June 1991. Occasionally, however, events intended to solemnly mark one anniversary or other were used to convey the hour's political needs. For example, in a speech delivered in parliament on the occasion of marking the 19 March 1944 Nazi invasion of Hungary, Antall said:

"[In 1944, when] Hungary had been waging war for several years already, serious tribulations, violations of law occurred or rather laws infringing on human rights and humanism were in effect. But nobody should forget that until 19 March 1944, Europe's largest Jewish community was still alive...tens of thousands of foreign refugees and homeless people lived in relative security.... The political parties that are here today are heirs to the political ideas that opposed Hitler's Germany and believed in parliamentary democracy" ("Orszaggyulesi Ertesito," 1990-1994, p. 6759).

While factually accurate, one notes that Antall's speech did not include any reference whatever to who, if any, bears responsibility for the ensuing horror. At a similar commemoration three years later, parliamentary speaker Szabad was channeling responsibility to foreigners (the Germans) and to alleged fringe elements among Hungarians: "the foreign occupation," he said, "committed the worst crimes against the nation and unfortunately there were [local] accomplices to these antihuman and antinational crimes" ("Orszaggyulesi Ertesito," 1990-1994, p. 34087). Nothing was said, however, about the responsibility of the Hungarian state apparatus that was operating during the deportations.

Legal Measures, Moral And Financial Support Of Jewish Cultural And Social Institutions

In 1991 and 1992 the Hungarian parliament passed several laws on compensation and restitution for "unfairly" done damages to Hungarian citizens between 1939-1949. After a very extensive debate, on 12 May 1992 it passed a most promising legislation (Act XXXII) on compensation for individuals unlawfully deprived of their freedom and/or life for political reasons. This meant a straightforward recognition of the Hungarian state's responsibility. Significant as this law might have been (and the legislation was recognized as such by leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community), its great symbolic and practical value was substantially reduced by two factors.

First, it did not offer compensation to the Jewish inmates of enforced labor camps, to the members of labor battalions, and to those who were killed in the course of deportation. Second, the originally suggested sum of 1 million Hungarian forints (about $13,500 at the then exchange rate) to be paid for the loss of one life was, after six years of debates, finally reduced to the ridiculous amount of 30,000 forints (some $400). The huge moral advantage for Hungary of initiating compensation at a time "when the issue had not been put in the glare of the spotlight even in the advanced democracies" ("Magyar Hirlap," 5 January 1992) thus vanished into insignificance. Similarly, the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty had obliged Hungary to return within 12 months the assets of Hungarian Jews who perished without known heirs "to Hungarian organizations of those affected by the discriminatory laws." On 11 March 1993, the Constitutional Court drew the authorities' attention to the fact that Hungary's communist governments had not fulfilled the obligation and that the situation created required that parliament remedy the wrong by the end of 1993. This did not happen, however. Instead of a sincere, collective facing up to this terrible chapter of Hungarian history, the noble intention of taking legal measures of symbolic compensation thus would trigger confrontation between proponents and opponents and between Jews and non-Jews and open up old wounds. Not a favorable political and social environment for a "Historikerstreit."

Following the dynamic upheaval in 1989 and early 1990 (the reopening of the Budapest Office of the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds on 15 June 1989; the inauguration on 10 July 1989 of the first office in a communist country of the World Jewish Congress in the presence of that organization's president, Edgar Bronfman; the setting up of the Hungarian-Israeli Friendship Association on 19 December 1989; as well as the launching or the resumption of publication of Jewish cultural reviews) the drive towards a revival of Jewish cultural and social life in Hungary continued at full speed. In September 1990 two new schools (the American Foundation School and the Lauder Javne school) were opened, a Jewish Community Center was built, the Rabbinical Seminary opened a teachers' training section, the state contributed to the reconstruction of numerous synagogues, etc. An unfortunate statement on behalf of the chief rabbi of Budapest, Gyorgy Landeszmann ("Heti Magyarorszag," 26 February 1993) about the missing values in the Hungarian national cultural heritage and the ensuing debates, however, revealed a great social sensitivity over the issue of the Jewish contribution to Hungarian culture.

Latent Anti-Semitism

Fortunately, we can rely on the results of excellent sociologists, above all Andras Kovacs (Kovacs, 1994) when trying to find out the dominant attitudes on Jews in post-1989-90 Hungarian society. Keeping in mind the methodological difficulty that most people are unwilling to tell the truth about their prejudices and hatreds, on the basis of extended empirical investigations the number of anti-Semites in the Hungarian society of the 1990s can be estimated at 25 to 33 percent. This attitude is, of course, far from reflecting support for the physical liquidation of Jews; rather, it reflects backing of opinions such as: "Jews cannot find their places in present day Hungarian society," or "the interests of non-Jews are different from those of Jews," or "Jews were responsible for communist rule in Hungary," or "the emigration of Jews must be encouraged."

These feelings are part of a larger trend of rising xenophobia and violence directed against foreigners (Csepeli-Orkeny, 2002). There are, of course, huge differences in the intensity of sharing such views in terms of regional residence, social category, and age stratification but from our perspective the existence of such views in relatively widespread measure can be considered as being an additional obstacle to an open and sincere "Historikerstreit."

Openly Anti-Semitic Publications And Statements

Full freedom of speech and the proliferation of poor-quality publications (frequently by nonprofessional publishers) gave way to numerous openly anti-Semitic statements in the early 1990s. In a radio broadcast on 14 January 1990, Istvan Csurka, one of the most successful writers of the Kadar era, identified the representatives of communist dictatorship with Jews in general. The ensuing debate turned into a scandal rather than triggering any serious debate on the social basis of communism in Hungary, just as Csurka's other frequent displays of antiminorities prejudice would do little else than stir up passionate hatred. Csurka and the followers of his "national radicalism" raised important, critical issues (who supported communism in Hungary? who controls economic, cultural and political power in postcommunist Hungary? what will be the future of national cultural heritage in a globalizing world? etc.) but as they approached everything with offensive anti-Semitic fury, the issues themselves would end up being pushed out of the scope of honest, respectable, serious debates.

Csurka's views fed what is sometimes described as "mob anti-Semitism" (Hoffmann, 1992, pp. 104-106). These anti-Jewish stereotypes, deeply embedded in popular culture, had been suppressed and/or swept under the carpet in socialist Hungary, but the fact that they could now be openly aired did not necessarily mean that they had become more powerful. A prime example of another type of more sophisticated, intellectual anti-Semitism is to be found the views of the populist poet Sandor Csoori, who, in an article published in fall 1990 (Csoori, 1990) argued that alleged Jewish attempts to assimilate Hungarians into their own world outlook, rather then assimilate themselves into Hungarian values, pose a major threat to Hungarian national culture.

One might have thought that at a time when freedom of expression was no longer constrained, a debate on the works of Gyorgy Szaraz a few years earlier would garner momentum. This, however, is precisely what did NOT happen. Back in 1975-76, at a time when the pro-Arab official Hungarian position caused some compunction among some Jewish Hungarian communist officials, Szaraz had published an essay and a book under the title "In the Footsteps of a Prejudice" (Szaraz, 1975). The lack of an open and sincere reexamination of Hungarian society's attitude towards the Holocaust, the shocking ignorance of many young people concerning the facts of this most tragic chapter of Hungarian history, together with the emerging strong collective identity among young Jewish intellectuals pushed Szaraz's work into the foreground of public interest. Szaraz pointed out how at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the religious type of anti-Semitism was transformed into a socially motivated anti-Semitism in Hungary. He also described the emergence of legends about the alleged conspiracy of "cosmopolitan Jews" against the territorial integrity of post-World War I Hungary.

The impressive scholarly output produced in the second half of the 1970s and addressing the cultural, social, and economic history of Hungarian Jews, as well as the issue of Hungarian anti-Semitism (one remembers, among other authors, the works produced at that time by people such as Gyorgy Borsanyi, Maria Ember, Tibor Erenyi, Ferenc Glatz, Peter Hanak, Gyula Juhasz, Elek Karsai, Miklos Lacko, Gyorgy Ranki, Miklos Szinai, Szabolcs Szita, and Karoly Voros), was hardly reflected in the post-1989-90 political discourse. Ancient stereotypes resurfaced, as if no substantial research on them had ever been undertaken. On the other hand, some may argue that considering Hungary's literary, artistic, and above all scholarly output on the Holocaust being unrivaled elsewhere in the Soviet bloc, there seemed to be no need to discuss this issue, since other historical-political questions were more essential for the new, open, democratic debate.

I cannot share this view and argue that in spite of serious political and even financial efforts at addressing the past and present of Hungarian Jewry, the situation was unfavorable for a serious, sincere debate for a number of other reasons. Let me try to enumerate them.

The Search For Antithesis And For Continuity

A critical assessment of the 1867-1944 performance of the Christian upper middle class, perceived by the country's new political elites as forming the backbone of the hoped-for democratic resurrection in Hungary, might have had a negative impact, reinforcing the hypercritical dogmatic Marxist evaluation of the "reactionary" Horthy regime.

In the eyes of these new elites, the current task called for seeking, reviving, and entrenching the historical roots of moderately conservative nationalism. The new establishment needed to find both an antithetical counter-self, i.e. a "cursed anti-period," as well as some "glorious" continuity to rely on. The task was difficult enough, but would have become quite impossible if one were to engage in presenting complexities and fine shades. To make things even more complicated, calling for a balanced evaluation of the Horthy regime, arguing that it had not been either a fascist or a half-fascist regime, but an authoritarian one that had tried to curb the radical right, would have made an argument long ago produced by the liberals, in their criticism of dogmatic Marxist historiography. In the postcommunist political-ideological environment to produce the same argument might have been counterproductive.

Lack Of Adaptive Mourning

The 1920 Trianon treaty that dismembered Greater Hungary, with its revolutionary antecedents and tragic aftermath, was (and still is) an unhealed wound on the national body. The dimensions of national disaster were far beyond imagination. If an individual or a small group is struck to a comparable extent, the first step towards recovery is the ritual of mourning. This "adaptive mourning" frees the individual or the larger group, the community, from obsession with the past and opens up the possibility of contemplating a vision of the future. This adaptive mourning was not a feasible alternative for Hungarian society after World War I - no nation in the world would have acknowledged the loss of two-thirds of its homeland and more than one-third of its national community. Still, the causes of the tragedy, the culprits, had to be determined.

To blame the victorious Entente powers or the new neighbors, thus exclusively external factors (as was the case with the Bulgarians), was not a realistic alternative as they were still in a position to impose further losses on the country. One was left with only one option: the community should find some part of itself that it can cut off or remove, and then project the guilt onto the amputated part, onto the abjection (Murer, 1999). The part of the Hungarian self on whom this role was projected was the "familiar foreigner" -- the Hungarian Jewry. Hungarian Jewry was sufficiently familiar to be seen as part of the self, and yet sufficiently foreign for exclusion from the new self-representation of Hungarians.

This amputation, unfortunately, turned out to be very concrete, as not long after the Red Terror of the 133-day 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic (which also made victims among Jews), hundreds of Jews were killed by the White Terror; for Hungary, this was a completely new phenomenon, as politically motivated pogroms resulting in a high death toll among Jews were foreign to the tradition of Jewish-gentile relations in Hungary.

Let me make the point stronger: it was not the frequently mentioned Numerus Clausus law of 1920 -- the first introduced in Europe -- that marked the beginning of the amputation. Although that legislation required that the proportion of Jews admitted to higher education did not exceed the proportion of Jews in the population, it was still formulated in the prudent style reminiscent of the remnants of Hungarian liberalism; indeed, the word "Jew" or "Israelite" to the ambiguous makeup of the country's population structure in general. It was rather the anti-Jewish brutality of the White Terror that introduced a qualitative turn in the history of anti-Semitism in Hungary -- a turn that should be defined as a major step on the road to the Holocaust. The Holocaust is thus more connected to radical nationalism than to traditions of anti-Judaism.

If one examines the anti-Jewish arguments of the period of World War II, one must conclude that their roots are by far more entrenched in the social, political, and economic realities of World War I and post-World War I Hungary than in an anti-Judaic intellectual heritage of the Hungarian nation. In the aftermath of another -- though different -- traumatic transformation -- the transition from communism -- similar mechanisms of scapegoating would surface and infiltrate the political discourse. Herein one encounters an additional factor contributing to the creation of an unfavorable environment for a sober, sincere debate.

The Toll Of Party Politics

Party politics in the newly rediscovered pluralism was also conducive to divisions, to allocating responsibility rather than trying to collectively face the legacy of national tragedies. No doubt, Jews were quite visible in the leadership of the two main opposition parties, the SZDSZ and FIDESZ, and were also connected to the Socialists, whereas the ruling coalition practically lacked any Jewish presence. Political confrontations between government and opposition (quite natural in every functioning democracy) were thus at times interpreted as a Jewish-Christian conflict. This was further complicated by debates about the definitions of HUNGARIANESS in connection with the preparations of a new bill on the rights of national and ethnic minorities, which was passed in 1993 (Brunner,1996). Subject to certain conditions, this law granted special privileges to registered minority groups that were requesting them, but the leaders of the Jewish community refused the status of a national or ethnic minority. Hungarian society, however, did not recognize the great significance of a gesture intended to signal to the majority that the assimilation process had come to an end.

Let me conclude by referring to a historical issue that was prominently present in Hungarian political debates in early 2004, on the eve of events marking the 60th anniversary of the start of the Hungarian Holocaust. Following the recommendations of the Pal Teleki Memorial Commission, the Cultural Commission of the Municipal Self-Government of Budapest decided to erect a monument in the memory of Teleki, a geographer of international renown, who was Hungary's prime minister in 1920-21 and 1939-41. A man of great contrasts, Teleki made tremendous efforts to try to keep Hungary out of World War II, opened up Hungary's borders for Polish refugees, but, as a most consistent anti-Semite, he also proudly took responsibility for passing the first major piece of anti-Semitic legislation in Europe, the Numerus Clausus law of 1920. It was also during his second premiership in 1939 that the Hungarian parliament passed the so-called Second Anti-Jewish Law, which introduced racial criteria for defining who would be considered Jewish. All political parties represented in the Hungarian capital's cultural commission agreed that the Teleki statue be unveiled on 3 April 2004, the anniversary of Teleki's tragic suicide in 1941. That happened to be very close to the day of the introduction of the mandatory use of the yellow star by Jews 60 years before. It was a truly civic movement initiated by a few intellectuals that made the politicians halt the ceremony and "temporarily suspend" the implementation of the decision on unveiling the statue. Perhaps for the first time after 1989-90, the "front lines" of a public discourse on a crucial historical issue were not defined by party affiliation, but a wide-ranging debate on the complexity of Teleki's personality and politics.

Are we witnessing the beginning of a Hungarian "Historikerstreit?"

Dr. Attila Pok is deputy director of the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

This is a revised version of a paper presented at the 16-18 March 2004 symposium "The Holocaust in Hungary: Sixty Years Later," U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., and is reproduced here with the museum's permission.


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