Volume 6 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Digital Trauma Processing in Social Media Groups: Transgenerational Holocaust Trauma on Facebook

Anna Menyhért

University of Amsterdam

In recent years, more and more social media (Facebook) groups have been created dealing with memories of the Holocaust in Hungary. In this article, I analyze and compare two groups, “The Holocaust and My Family” and “The Descendants of the Victims and Survivors of the Holocaust” in the framework of my research project on the concept of digital trauma processing, entitled “Trauma Studies in the Digital Age: The Impact of Social Media on Trauma Processing in Life Narratives and Trauma Literature: the Case of Hungary.” I show how the concept of trauma and trauma processing itself are changing in the digital age as a consequence of the element of sharing (in posts and comments in digital media) gains more importance and thus counteracts the element of silence, which was considered the most important element of trauma on several levels. How does digital sharing of memories of traumas help unblock previously blocked avenues to the past, and how does it contribute to the processing of collective historical traumas and consequently to the mobilization of memories, modernization, and the transformation of identities? I examine how the given characteristics of the different types of Facebook groups, public or closed, influence the ways in which people communicate about a collective historical trauma. I touch upon the issue of research ethics in connection with the handling of sensitive data in social media research. I examine the book The Holocaust and My Family, a collection of posts from the group, and analyze as a case study a post and the related comments, in which a descendant of a perpetrator comes out in the group.

Keywords: collective historical trauma, Holocaust, digital trauma studies, social media, Facebook groups, social media research ethics

Volume 6 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Erasing, Rewriting, and Propaganda in the Hungarian Sports Films of the 1950s*

Péter Fodor

University of Debrecen

In the years following World War II, the radical structural transformation of Hungarian society and the establishment of the communist dictatorship affected the functioning of sports as a social subsystem. At the time, the Hungarian public still remembered the sporting successes of the Horthy era (the Berlin Olympics, the 1938 FIFA World Cup) from the previous decade. Thus, the Sovietization of sports as a social subsystem had two intertwining goals in Hungary: in addition to creating a new institutional framework for sports, the regime also had to ensure good results, which were regarded as a matter of prestige. Like the daily press, the schematic film productions of the era were also characterized by the ideological utilization of sports. A typical example of the schematic style was Civil a pályán [Try and Win, 1951] by Márton Keleti, which used classical comedy elements to bring together the world of the factory and the world of the soccer field. Keleti’s film was intended to popularize a centralized mass sports movement of Soviet origins called “Ready to work and fight” and to communicate the party’s message to professional sportsmen who were considering emigration. The two versions of Csodacsatár [The Football Star, 1956 and 1957], also by Keleti, reveal a lot about the changes that the role of sports in state propaganda and political image construction underwent after the loss to West Germany in the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final and then after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. My paper seeks to interpret these films within the context of the era’s political and sports history.

Keywords: films and Communism, sports and Communism, football, soccer, Ferenc Puskás, the Golden Team

Volume 6 Issue 2 CONTENTS

The Legacy of World War II and Belated Justice in the Hungarian Films of the Early Kádár Era

Tamás Bezsenyi and András Lénárt

National University of Public Service and National Széchényi Library – 1956 Institute

In this article, we analyze the role of Hungarian films made in the 1960s in representing the traumatic legacy of World War II. With the solidification of the official narrative of the Holocaust in the mid-1960s, the Hungarian film industry also started to reflect on the tragedy of the Jews at the same time (which was not a terribly conspicuous part of the official narrative). The article focuses on six films as illustrations of the extent to which it was possible to reflect on the traumatic past in the early Kádár era, with particular emphasis on the legacy of the Holocaust. The films selected revolve around the question of individual responsibility, but they also depict psychological conflicts and portray the character’s attempts to prompt collective remembering. We argue that despite the communists’ claims of moral superiority, peace and reconciliation remains unattainable for the characters in the films because of the inability of the new social milieu to facilitate the process of coming to terms with past traumas.

Keywords: representations of the Holocaust, film and historical trauma, Hungarian films in the 1960s, Antal Páger, Holocaust and memory on film

Volume 6 Issue 2 CONTENTS

Discursive (De)Constructions of the Depoliticized Private Sphere in The Resolution and Balaton Retro

Zsolt Győri

University of Debrecen

In this article I examine Gyula Gazdag and Judit Ember’s documentary The Resolution [A határozat, 1972] and Gábor Zsigmond Papp’s Balaton Retro [Balaton retró, 2007] as examples of the discursive production of paradoxes permeating the consolidated Kádár regime. I present the first film, portraying the character assassination of József Ferenczi (the executive manager of the Felcsút cooperative farm in the early 1970s) as a case study of state socialist technologies of power and strategies of constructing the narrative of the immoral and profiteering leader type, the corrupted servant of the community. This fabricated narrative is actually contested by members of the cooperative farm for whom Ferenczi is a symbol of the reform spirit and the promise of prosperity. I argue that the critical power of the film resides both in its meticulous dissection of the discursive and administrative methods used to create enemy images and its reluctance to present a local example of vilification as a general feature of the state socialist episteme. The Resolution presents the consolidated Kádár regime as an establishment torn between rigid ideological foundations and society’s desire for a depoliticised market economy, suffering from the political pressure to remain true to the spirit of communism and the social pressure to allow a greater degree of economic liberalism.

In Balaton Retro the popular tourist destination, Lake Balaton, is constructed as a spatial metaphor of both the crisis of the authoritarian system and of Goulash Communism (the name given to the system in Hungary, which constituted a quiet deviation from orthodox doctrines of Marxism-Leninism). The popular notion of the lake as the Hungarian Riviera came into being at the intersection of eastern and western understandings of welfare: on the one hand, the welfare state providing workers cheap holiday opportunities through a network of state-run holiday apartments and camps for children, and on the other, individual welfare, the possessors of which (usually citizens of Western Europe) sought leisure in modern luxury hotels. The emergence of private houses available for well-salaried Hungarian customers was another sign of the many dualities and hybrid meanings uncovered by Papp’s film as symptoms of the general state of the nation during the Kádár era. My analysis of the agency of the voiceover narration will reveal that Balaton Retro is not a manifestation of Ostalgie, but a critical meta-commentary on nostalgic memory. To conclude, I will describe retro as the commodification of a material past and nostalgia as a somewhat sinister legacy of state socialist identity politics.

Keywords: Kádár era, Goulash Communism, cinema, representations of communism, retro, post-communist nostalgia, documentaries

Volume 6 Issue 3 CONTENTS

Return Migration to Austria-Hungary from the United States in Homeland Economic and Ethnic Politics and International Diplomacy

Kristina E. Poznan

College of William & Mary in Virginia

While Austro-Hungarian officials initially opposed emigration and considered it disloyal to leave the homeland, the massive growth of transatlantic labor migration, its economic benefits, and its potentially temporary duration prompted a change in governmental attitudes and policy at the turn of the twentieth century. Even as it continued to discourage and police the exit of emigrants, the Hungarian government, in particular, also became an active promoter of return migration. Using files from the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, and the joint Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry, this article examines the Hungarian government’s attempts to encourage return migration to further its economic and nationalist goals. These initiatives emphasized the homecoming of desirable “patriotic” subjects, of Hungarian-speakers, and of farmers and skilled industrial workers to address the state’s perceived labor needs. Officials debated the risks of welcoming back migrants with undesirable social and political orientations and speakers of minority languages, as well as the risks of potential conflicts with the United States government.

Keywords: Austria-Hungary, emigration, loyalty, nationalism, pan-Slavism, return migration

Volume 6 Issue 3 CONTENTS

Croatian Political Refugees Living in Emigration in the Interwar Period: The Case of the Croatian Political Refugees in Hungary

Petra Hamerli

PhD student, University of Pécs – “Sapienza” University of Rome

After the disintegraton of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the successor states also had to face the old problem of the “nationality question”. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which in 1929 became the first incarnation of Yugoslavia) was the most multi-ethnic or multinational state in the region, and this led to conflicts, in particular between Serbs and Croats. When Alexander I introduced the dictatorship (January 6, 1929), many Croats decided to leave Yugoslavia. Most of them emigrated to Latin America, but Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy, as neighboring states, were also popular directions.

Many of the refugees left Yugoslavia for political reasons. Most of them emigrated to states that were interested in or actively sought the disintegration or at least weakening of Yugoslavia, such as Hungary and Italy, but many of them chose Austria, Belgium, and Germany.

In this essay I focus primarily on the Croatian political refugees living in Hungary. The most important sources on these refugees are found in the Sate Archives of Italy (Archivio Centrale di Stato di Roma, ACS) in the material entitled “Carte Conti,” which includes the list of Croats for whom warrants had been issued and who were followed continuously by the Zagreb police and the Yugoslav authorities for political reasons. I also use primary sources to assess the role that the Croatian camp Jankapuszta, and the house in Nagykanizsa bought by the Ustaše leader Gustav Perčec played in the lives of migrants and in diplomatic calamities. In addition to the sources in the Sate Archives, I also draw on the documents of the Archives of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, ASMAE) and the National Archives of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára, MNL OL).

Keywords: Croatian refugees in Hungary, Jankapuszta, Ustaše

Volume 6 Issue 3 CONTENTS

A Foreign Labor Force in Early Republican Turkey: The Case of Hungarian Migrant Workers1

Emre Saral

Atatürk Institute, Hacettepe University, Ankara

Beginning in the 1920s, Hungarian workers began to migrate to foreign countries for economic and political reasons. Among them, a group of Hungarians including workers, engineers, and trained experts arrived in Turkey. The laborers from Hungary entered the Turkish market before the Residence Convention signed in 1926, which mutually allowed the citizens of both signatories to reside and work in the two countries. As neither government initially implemented the necessary measures, there had been an uncontrolled flow of workers to Turkey. Enduring poor living conditions and facing several problems, including low wages and lack of social insurance, they were employed in jobs such as house building and railroad construction, and they made a serious contribution to the development of the country in the 1920s and 1930s. This essay presents the situation of the Hungarian migrant workers in Turkey in the interwar period on the basis of official documents held in Hungarian, Turkish, and British archives. I examine the socio-economic situation of Hungarians in Anatolia, the obstacles they faced, the stance of and measures adopted by the Turkish government, and the attempts that were made by the Hungarian diplomatic mission on behalf of the Hungarian citizens living in Turkey.

Keywords: Foreign labor force, Hungarians in Turkey, workers, Turkish–Hungarian relations in the interwar period

SEARCH

Partners

HHR logo