Volume 2 Issue 4

Bethlen: The Prince of Transylvania

Teréz Oborni Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Table of Contents

Articles

Ágnes R. Várkonyi

Gábor Bethlen and His European Presence

Abstract

Abstract

This paper studies the European presence of the most important ruler of the Principality of Transylvania, Gábor Bethlen (1580–1629) in the light of predominant developments of the Early Modern Age such as the general crisis of the seventeenth century, the Thirty Years’ War, the international networks of alliances, the absolutist governments, the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, the nation states, the modern expectations towards governments, the new science of political cultures, the explosion of information networks and the law of concluding peace. The study gives an overview on the extreme views on Gábor Bethlen in the early modern era as well as in posterity. This ruler of the Transylvanian state—a tributary of the Ottoman Empire, but also belonging to the power sphere of the Habsburgs—was on the one hand regarded as a creature of the Turks, on the other as a monarch who had profound influence upon the fate of Europe. The paper shows how Bethlen created tranquility, security and economic stability in the country which had been ruined, destroyed by Ottoman and imperial military interventions and on the verge of civil war. Having a wide range of political experience and a good knowledge of contemporary political theories, the prince managed to accommodate absolutist government and mercantilist economic policies to Transylvanian circumstances. He was nevertheless unable to compete with the propaganda campaign against him.
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Géza Pálffy

Crisis in the Habsburg Monarchy and Hungary, 1619–1622: The Hungarian Estates and Gábor Bethlen

Abstract

Abstract

The essay examines the network of relations between the estates of the Kingdom of Hungary and Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania (1613–1629) and elected King of Hungary (1620–1621), between 1619 and 1622. Because these years in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) represented a genuine crisis period for the Central European Habsburg Monarchy, the topic demands particular attention from an international perspective as well. Despite this, hitherto neither Hungarian nor international scholarship have examined this question. The study attempts to fill this gap on the basis of research conducted in archives in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. First, it will demonstrate how many of the political elite in the Kingdom of Hungary supported the Transylvanian prince in 1619–1621 and in what way. Second, it will draw attention to an almost completely forgotten compromise between Emperor Ferdinand II (1619–1637) and the Hungarian estates reached at the Hungarian diet at Sopron (Ödenburg) in the summer of 1622. Finally, it will present the winners and losers of this new compromise, as well as how Emperor Ferdinand and the monarchy’s political leadership were able to cooperate with the Hungarian estates.
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Teréz Oborni

Gábor Bethlen and the Treaty of Nagyszombat (1615)

Abstract

Abstract

Gábor Bethlen made efforts at establishing a diplomatic relationship with the king of Hungary immediately after his accession, for he was as aware as his predecessors that, alongside the support of the Sultan, he should also gain recognition from the ruler of the other empire, the head of the Habsburg Monarchy. It was at the end of a difficult and conflict-ridden series of negotiations that the treaty of Nagyszombat was signed on May 6, 1615. This put an end to the military and political hostilities which had thus far torn the regions along the frontier and thereby averted the outbreak of a major armed conflict. On the other hand, it determined the legal relationship between Transylvania and the Kingdom of Hungary until the anti-Habsburg campaign of Bethlen in 1619. In the secret agreement attached to the treaty Bethlen accepted the legal arrangement, first set out in the Treaty of Speyer in 1570 and subsequently confirmed several times by Bethlen’s princely predecessors, according to which Transylvania was a member (membrum) of the Hungarian Crown, and her prince exerted his authority there with the approval of the Hungarian king.
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Gábor Kármán

Gábor Bethlen’s Diplomats at the Protestant Courts of Europe

Abstract

Abstract

This paper addresses the phenomenon that the contacts of Prince Gábor Bethlen with non-neighboring rulers were almost exclusively maintained through diplomats who came originally from a foreign country and had very little to do with the Principality of Transylvania. Through a reconstruction of ten diplomats’ biographies, I identify several categories. The Czech/Palatinate group consists of three people (Ehrenfried von Berbisdorf, Jan Adam Čejkovský z Víckova and Matthias Quadt), the Silesian group of two (Weikhard Schulitz and Heinrich Dreiling), and three of Bethlen’s envoys could be identified as “wandering diplomats,” displaying certain facets of an adventurer’s character (Jacques Roussel, Charles de Talleyrand and Lorenzo Agazza). The remaining two (Zygmunt Zaklika and Hermann Beckmann) seem to be a category unto themselves, one having a Polish background, the other coming with Catherine, the prince’s consort, from Berlin. The biographies of the diplomats show certain similarities, especially those within the Czech/Palatinate group, who had to leave their original country due to the collapse of the rule of Frederick of the Palatinate after the Battle of the White Mountain, and served several rulers in the years to come. Their loyalties lay primarily with the Protestant or the Palatinate cause and they served the rulers who seemed to be able to support this – sometimes even assuming tasks from several of them during one and the same journey. The custom to employ foreigners for the Transylvanian diplomacy with non-neighboring lands must have been motivated by the fact that they were expected not so much to negotiate specific issues as to map out possibilities for cooperation and give general information concerning the prince’s intentions. Although the system changed in the later decades of the seventeenth century, this may be the result of the fact that in this period far fewer politically engaged emigrants came to Transylvania than in the 1620s.
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Ildikó Horn

The Princely Council in the Age of Gábor Bethlen

Abstract

Abstract

The princely council of Transylvania was an advisory body of twelve members with no authority to decide. After the accession of Gábor Bethlen (1613–1629) with Ottoman support, the Transylvanian estates tried to limit his authority by enlarging the powers enjoyed by the council: in matters of great political and diplomatic importance, of appointment to the chief offices, and the granting of major estates the prince could only decide in cooperation with the council. The first part of the present study analyzes the methods by which the prince gradually altered the council in accordance with his own interests, mainly by increasing and changing its personnel. The second part examines the characteristics of the council in terms of the origins, social position, religion, age, qualifications and functions of its members. The Transylvanian political elite was fairly open throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and especially so during the reign of Bethlen, mainly because of the loss in human lives caused by the wars and internal conflicts between 1598 and 1612. Thanks to the princely religious policies pursued in the past forty years, the council was confessionally mixed, with a Catholic dominance and a strong Unitarian presence.
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Péter Erdősi

The Theme of Youth and Court Life in Historical Literature Regarding Gábor Bethlen and Zsigmond Báthory

Abstract

Abstract

This study explores the causes of the sharp disparity that emerged in assessments of two rulers of the early modern Transylvanian state, Zsigmond Báthory and Gábor Bethlen, in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Hungarian historiography. The author compares two aspects of the images of the princes—their childhood and youth and their courts. Bethlen, born in 1580, grew up in Báthory’s princely court and stood in his service between the years 1593 and 1602. The life paths of the princes of Transylvania were thus interconnected, though biographical constructions originating over subsequent generations symbolically separated them. These constructions highlighted the malleable character and weakness of the disdained Báthory in connection with his youth and court. The fiction-laced development history of the venerated Bethlen, contrarily, depicts the antecedents of exemplary rule, while illustrations of his princely court also serve to emphasize the prince’s virtues. The examined contrasts in the established images of Báthory and Bethlen are a product of a polarizing approach to history by which the tarnishing of Báthory has enhanced the brilliance of Bethlen.
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András Kovács

Gábor Bethlen and the Construction of the New Seat of the Transylvanian Princedom

Abstract

Abstract

The development of the town of Gyulafehérvár into a town of central importance in the middle of the sixteenth century took place at the same time as the formation of the Transylvanian principality. The town became increasingly important as the princes of Transylvania consolidated power, first in the time of the rule of the Báthory family and then under the rule of the Bethlen and Rákóczi families. This essay presents the measures that were implemented by Gábor Bethlen, his predecessors, and his successors in the interests of developing and fortifying the town and transforming it into a fitting site for the court of the prince.
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Zsuzsanna Cziráki

Prince Gábor Bethlen’s Visits to Brassó as Reflected in the Town Account Books

Abstract

Abstract

This study deals with one of the most remarkable periods in the history of the Principality of Transylvania, the reign of Gábor Bethlen. At the center of the study is an occurrence during Bethlen’s reign that might be described as ordinary: the reception of the Transylvanian prince in Brassó, one of the most important towns of his land and of the territorially autonomous Saxon Universitas (Saxon Land). As an organic part of the princely services encumbering the Saxon towns, hosting the prince was a basic component of the relationship between the Saxon communities and the prince. Accordingly, a more thorough understanding of these events also sheds light on the prevailing relationship between princely power and the Saxon communities. The basis for the analysis is provided by a distinctive group of sources, the account books of the chief economic official of Brassó, the Stadthann (also villicus, quaestor). The entries and comments contained in the account books help to familiarize us with the ceremonial framework for the distinguished guest’s stay in Brassó, the organizational tasks performed by the town as well as the mechanisms of town administration behind them. At the same time, they also offer a glimpse into the eating habits of contemporary Brassó and the lifestyle of the locals, thereby bringing into proximity the everyday life of a seventeenth-century East Central European urban community.
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Book Reviews

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Erdélyi külpolitika a vesztfáliai béke után [Transylvania’s Foreign Policy Following the Peace of Westphalia].
By Gábor Kármán. Reviewed by András Péter Szabó

A rohonci kód [The Rohonc Code].
By Benedek Láng. Reviewed by Dóra Bobory

Határok, vándorok, kémek. A magyarokról és a románokról alkotott kép Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli írásaiban [Frontiers, Wayfarers, Spies. The Image
of Hungarians and Romanians in the Writings of Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli].
By Levente Nagy. Reviewed by Mónika F. Molnár

Studies in the History of Early Modern Transylvania.
Edited by Gyöngy Kovács Kiss. Reviewed by Angelika T. Orgona

A városi élet keretei a feudális kori Magyarországon. Kassa társadalma a 16. század derekán [The Settings of Urban Life in Feudal Hungary. Kassa (Košice) Society in the Mid-Sixteenth Century].
By György Granasztói. Reviewed by András Vadas
Note on Nomenclature

Notes on Contributors

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Volume 2 Issue 3Ethnicity

Sándor Horváth Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Table of Contents

Articles

László Szarka

Hungarian National Minority Organizations and the Role of Elites between the Two World Wars

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines the history of the Hungarian minorities formed in three multiethnic nation states between the two world wars: the Czechoslovak Republic, the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and the Kingdom of Romania. The analysis focuses on options for political organization and the role of ethnic parties and political elites, highlighting the example of János Esterházy and his work as chairman of the Czechoslovakian Hungarian ethnic party. It specifically discusses Hungary’s “kin-state” relations with the minorities and its revisionist foreign policy. It also shows the key role of assimilation policy in the ethno-political model of the three nation states. In these twenty short years, the separate interests of the three Hungarian minority groups, as distinct from the kin state and the domicile states, emerged only at the conceptual level. The minority Hungarian ideologies which forged a program out of micro-community and multiethnic ideas—Romanian Transylvanism, “Upper Hungarian autochthonism” and “couleur locale” in (former) Southern Hungary—found no support from either Budapest or the governments of the three nation states.
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Gábor Egry    

Navigating the Straits. Changing Borders, Changing Rules and Practices of Ethnicity and Loyalty in Romania after 1918

Abstract

Abstract

This study investigates the emergence of Greater Romania from below, paying attention to certain aspects of ethnicity and nationalizing. The establishment of the new state, with its rules and practices, was a slow process that left considerable room for local groups and individuals to negotiate their positions vis-à-vis the nationalizing efforts. The analysis of how citizenship options were used to individual advantage, the conflicts that arose regarding the nationalizing of border zones and their inhabitants, and the local differences of symbolic conquests reveal the importance of local contexts and their social elements. From the perspective of these events the realities of Greater Romania are best described as an overarching legal fiction that disguised a series of local settlements and compromises regarding the nationalizing attempts. Encounters usually interpreted as expressions of national indifference were also driven by ethnicity, only the meaning and content of ethnicity remained permanently contested. One can detect two types of “nationally indifferent” behavior. One was prevalent primarily among the middle class, a claim for the right to define one’s ethnicity, and another was characteristic of the lower urban social strata and the peasantry, where it could have meant real indifference not only to the norms of proper behavior, but also to the categories used by the state, but not negligence of differences.
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Stefano Bottoni

National Projects, Regional Identities, Everyday Compromises. Szeklerland in Greater Romania (1919–1940)

Abstract

Abstract

This article analyzes the social and cultural impact of the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy on the overwhelmingly Hungarian-inhabited Szekler region. Although the half-million strong Szekler community found itself in the geographical center of Greater Romania, most people considered the Versailles peace settlement temporary. This created a paradoxical situation, for as the Szekler minority began to develop separately from the culture of post-Trianon Hungary, Hungarian intellectuals and former civil servants living within the borders of post-1918 Romania started to promote a cult of a supposedly “pure” and untouched Szeklerness. The first part of the article places the question of Szekler identity-building in a general theoretical framework and briefly sketches the political, social and demographic background of the community. The second part will analyze specific strategies of identity building that were pursued from outside the Szeklerland (e.g. the Szekler renaissance under the Horthy regime in Hungary) and from above (e.g. the constructions of “Szeklerness” by the intelligentsias in both Hungary and the Szeklerland). Finally, I will assess the influence of early Transylvanism on the building of Szekler identities in the interwar period.
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Klaus-Jürgen Hermanik

Arts and Artists as Intermediaries in Identity Management and Ethnomanagement in Transylvania

Abstract

Abstract

My research on arts and artists in connection with minority issues centers around the fact that both serve as crucial instruments in the creation of the collective identity of a particular ethnic group. Moreover, my results should demonstrate that arts and artists passively are used and actively act as intermediaries in the identity management and ethnomanagement of minorities. Further issues of this broad heading will be: the visible effects, if an artist belongs to a minority, if an artist feels he or she belongs to a minority, and the influence of this on his or her work. What are the reasons for an organizational commitment to the identity management and ethnomanagement of his/her ‘own ethnic group’ and vice versa? Answers to these questions are based on research on the German minority in Hungary (Ungarndeutsche) and the Hungarians (erdélyi magyarok) and Germans (Siebenbürger Sachsen, Banater Schwaben) in Transylvania. The examples will be divided on the basis of the different genres of literature and the fine arts: concerning minority literature the focus will be on the interaction of literature and the intentional use of the minority language as an ethnic marker. Furthermore, the reciprocity of minority literature and ethno-political careers will be reflected in some biographical examples. Fine arts have the advantage, unlike literature, that they are a priori a universally understandable medium, and the paper will elaborate on the following topics: the question of which artistic works (e.g. statues, emblems on buildings, monuments) are directly linked to the culture of remembrance of the abovementioned ethnic groups and to what extent is fine arts important as a means of representing the German and Hungarian minorities in public space as a form of the “visual materialization” of ethnic identity and ethnic politics?
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Leslie M. Waters

Learning and Unlearning Nationality: Hungarian National Education in Reannexed Felvidék, 1938–1944

Abstract

Abstract

Educational policy was a fundamental component of the integration of reannexed Felvidék (present-day southern Slovakia) into the Hungarian state between 1938 and 1944. In fact, the army of teachers and administrators deployed in Felvidék played a larger role in the reintegration process than Hungary’s occupying military force. The Hungarian administration’s aims were twofold: on the one hand, to instill loyalty and service to the Hungarian nation and participation in the further success of Hungary’s revisionist project, and on the other hand, to delegitimize the previous regime and encourage students to reject Czechoslovak identity. This process revolved heavily around language, making Hungarian the primary language of instruction in most of the region’s schools, devaluing knowledge of Slovak, and restricting Slovak-language educational institutions. For students in the region, the change in territorial administration resulted in a transformation in their language use. With these linguistic advantages, the Hungarian administration made tangible strides toward reintegrating Felvidék’s Hungarian students into the national body, but struggled to do so with minority students.
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Péter Apor

The Lost Deportations and the Lost People of Kunmadaras: A Pogrom in Hungary, 1946

Abstract

Abstract

The subject of this article is one of the scandals of postwar Hungarian politics and society: the anti-Semitic pogrom that took place on May 21, 1946 in the village of Kunmadaras. The Kunmadaras riot was part of a series of anti-Jewish atrocities that broke out in the summer of 1946 in the Hungarian countryside. These events, however, were comparable with similar violence against surviving and returning Jewish communities in East Central Europe, particularly in Poland and Slovakia. The scholarly literature so far has typically understood these events as the outcome of social discontent raised by economic hardships and mismanaged or openly abused and even generated by political ideologies, particularly Nazism and Communism. These descriptions rarely problematize the Jews as an obvious ethnic category and seldom ask questions concerning the ways peasant or local communities actually distanced their neighbors as “Jews” to be beaten. This article focuses on the everyday interaction through which ethnicity and ethnic identities were constructed in a village that, as the outcome of the events, was split between “Hungarians” and “Jews” in the summer of 1946. While taking the political implications into consideration, I argue that the pogrom was a consequence of the frames of traditional peasant culture, which were mobilized under the particular postwar social and political circumstances, and particularly of the culture of collective violence that was also present in the village of Kunmadaras. The second section of the article, however, concentrates on how politics abused the events during a subsequent trial and constructed a particular Hungarian version of the anti-Fascist myth without the Jewish victims themselves. As was the case all over Soviet-dominated East Central Europe, this myth built a certain level of legitimacy for Communist parties.
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Ferenc Laczó

“I could hardly wait to get out of this camp, even though I knew it would only get worse until liberation came.” On Hungarian Jewish Accounts of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp from 1945–46

Abstract

Abstract

Contrary to influential assertions on the early postwar silence surrounding the extermination of European Jewry, in Hungary, as in a number of other countries, extensive documentation of the Holocaust had already begun in the 1940s. In addition to postwar trials, published memoirs and early historical works, thousands of Hungarian Jewish survivors articulated their experiences in the offices of the National Relief Committee for Deportees (DEGOB) in 1945–46. However, these sources have not yet been systematically analyzed and early witness accounts in particular remain heavily underrepresented in historiography. This study is an effort to begin to redress this imbalance by examining 349 DEGOB accounts that discuss Buchenwald, a major Nazi concentration camp and a contested lieu de mémoire. It reveals that returnees defined, represented and assessed Buchenwald in varying ways, their perspectives depending not only on factors such as when and where they stayed in the camp and what they had to endure while there, but also on which other camp they arrived from and the conditions under which they traveled. My analysis of early Hungarian Jewish accounts of Buchenwald also reveals that while a number of interviewees understood their escape from the group of Jewish prisoners within the camp as the key to their eventual survival, others tended to use ethnic labels to identify the perpetrators of violence against them. Moreover, two major narratives were circulating regarding the liberation of the camp: the accidental Nazi failure to complete their program of extermination and another involving a successful uprising of the inmates against their tormentors. Last but not least, the paper argues that some of those who survived Buchenwald and subsequently entered the DEGOB offices showed clear awareness of the Nazi extermination program, but they preferred to discuss it in indirect ways.
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Book Reviews

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The Unfinished Revolution. Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central-Eastern Europe.
By James Mark. Reviewed by Máté Zombory

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The Politics of “National Character”: A Study in Interwar East European Thought (Routledge Studies in Comparative Political Thought).
By Balázs Trencsényi. Reviewed by Simon Halink

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Horvátország a 7. századtól napjainkig [Croatia from the Seventh Century up to the Present Day].
By Dénes Sokcsevits. Reviewed by Krisztián Csaplár-Degovics

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A szlovák nemzet születése: Ľudovít Štúr és a szlovák társadalom a 19. századi Magyarországon [The Birth of the Slovak Nation: Ľudovít Štúr and Slovak Society in Hungary in the Nineteenth Century].
By József Demmel. Reviewed by Bálint Varga

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Maps of Remembrance. Space, Belonging and Politics of Memory in Eastern Europe.
By Máté Zombory. Reviewed by Ildikó Bajcsi

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What Made the Kádár Era? Two Books on Hungary’s Recent Past. Népuralom ötvenhatban [People’s Rule in ’56]. By Éva Standeisky. Bevezetés a kádárizmusba [Introduction to Kádárism].
By János Rainer M. Reviewed by György Majtényi

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Iron Curtain. The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956.
By Anne Applebaum. Reviewed by Ekaterina Makhotina

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The Workers’ State: Industrial Labor and the Making of Socialist Hungary, 1944–1958.
By Mark Pittaway. Reviewed by Sándor Horváth

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Notes on Contributors

  

 

Volume 2 Issue 2Angevin History

Tamás Pálosfalvi Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Table of Contents

Articles

Attila Zsoldos
Kings and Oligarchs in Hungary at the Turn of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

Abstract

Abstract

In the decades around the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Hungarian royal authority sank into a deep crisis. While previously the king had been the exclusive supreme lord of the country, from the 1270s on some members of the nobility managed to build up powers in the possession of which they could successfully resist even the king. The present study explores the road which led to the emergence of oligarchical provinces. It presents both the common and the individual features of these provinces, defining the conceptual difference which apparently existed between the oligarchs who opposed royal power and the lords of territories who remained loyal to the ruler. Consequently, the study analyses the measures which were taken first by the last Árpáds, and then by the first member of the new, Angevin dynasty, Charles I, in order to neutralize oligarchical powers. By the end of the study it becomes apparent why it was Charles I who finally managed to break the power of the oligarchs and dismember their provinces.
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Renáta Skorka
With a Little Help from the Cousins – Charles I and the Habsburg Dukes of Austria during the Interregnum

Abstract

Abstract

With the death of King Andrew III of Hungary in January 1301 the male line of the Árpád dynasty that had ruled the Kingdom of Hungary for precisely three centuries died out. It was self-evident and natural to everyone that a ruler who was linked to the Árpáds through the female line must be elected to head the kingdom; however, opinions were divided as to who actually should wear the Hungarian crown. One of the important factors of the interregnum prevailing in Hungary in the first decade of the fourteenth century examined below is the support for royal candidates arriving from outside the country’s borders, which in many respects contributed to the coronation of the last remaining candidate in accordance with expectations and traditions in 1310.
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György Rácz
The Congress of Visegrád in 1335: Diplomacy and Representation

Abstract

Abstract

The Congress of Visegrád, held in 1335, was one of the outstanding diplomatic events in Central Europe in the fourteenth century. The present study, after outlining the general historical developments which characterized the kingdoms involved, namely Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, in the early decades of the fourteenth century, retraces the immediate preliminaries of the diplomatic summit, before all the efforts at eliminating the political and territorial conflicts which opposed Poland and Bohemia on the one hand, and Poland and the Teutonic order on the other hand, through the mediation of Charles I of Hungary, the senior ranking ruler of the region. The study examines all the chief agreements concluded during the conference, on the basis of all the available charters and the narrative sources, carefully accounting for the differences of viewpoints which characterize the narratives of chroniclers from the various countries. It comes to the conclusion that, contrary to Hungarian historiography, although the conference did have a commercial aspect, it was certainly not the main thrust of the events at Visegrád. Finally, the study makes an effort at establishing, upon the amounts of food consumed,  the number of the respective retinues of the Polish and Czech rulers, and thereby determine whether the numbers involved could be regarded as average or whether they implied a conscious show of strength on the part of the two kings.
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Boglárka Weisz
Mining Town Privileges in Angevin Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

The present study examines the privileges obtained by the mining towns during the Angevin Era. It also looks at the extent to which these privileges diverged from those granted to other towns, and how all this led to the development of the mining town as a distinct class of towns. The question itself is interesting not only with respect to urban history, but also because it brings us closer to an understanding of why these towns acted jointly in defense of their interests, and how all this led to the formation of leagues of mining towns, which by the fifteenth century were organizing themselves on a territorial basis. After a detailed examination of the legal, ecclesiastical and economic privileges the study has come to the conclusion that in the area of both legal and economic privileges significant differences and divergences can be discerned in comparison to privileges bestowed on other towns. The reason for the differences naturally is to be sought in mining, and in the need to secure the royal revenue stemming from it. From a legal standpoint, this shows up not only in the appearance of offices linked to mining, but also in the emergence of comites or rectores appointed by the king to head the mining towns. In discussing economic privileges it may be observed that, whereas other towns were motivated primarily by a desire to obtain commercial privileges (e.g., right to hold markets, exemption from tolls), mining towns were moved by the need to secure the rights connected to mining. Thanks to their special freedoms, the mining towns differed from other towns while also forming an organic part of the urban network.
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Gábor Klaniczay
Efforts at the Canonization of Margaret of Hungary in the Angevin Period

Abstract

Abstract

St Margaret of Hungary, the daughter of King Béla IV offered to the service of God, who lived her life in the Dominican convent at the Rabbits’ Island near Buda, constructed for her, and died in 1270, followed the vocation of her aunt, St Elisabeth of Hungary, who was by then one of the most popular saints in Europe. The official investigation around Margaret’s sanctity, supported by the Dominican Order, her brother, King Stephen V, and other royal families, started in 1273, first with a local inquiry, then with a witness hearing in 1276 by papal legates. Nevertheless, this process—as many other similar ones—remained unfinished in the Middle Ages, and after repeated attempts from the Hungarian kings and the Dominicans, the canonization of Margaret only succeeded in 1943. The present study is discussing a chapter in these efforts, the ones during the period of the Angevin rulers, for whom the cult of saint ancestors has been more important than for any other Hungarian royal dynasty. New studies on the canonization processes in general, and new studies on Saint Margaret in particular allow us now to see more clearly three such Angevin attempts, one in 1306, even before their accession to the Hungarian throne, one around 1340, which has been brought by Viktória Hedvig Deák in connection with the Legenda maior of Margaret, written in Avignon by Garinus, and a third in 1379, at the beginning of the Great Schism, the documents of which have recently been discovered by Otfried Krafft.
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Vinni Lucherini
The Journey of Charles I, King of Hungary, from Visegrád to Naples (1333): Its Political Implications and Artistic Consequences

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this article is to reconstruct the journey of Charles I, King of Hungary (1310–1342), from Visegrád to Naples in the year 1333. Through an analysis of documents written in the Angevin Chancellery in Naples from 1331 to 1333 (all physically lost, but accessible through transcripts published during the 1800s both in Naples and in Budapest), papal letters of the same period, and some major medieval and modern narrative sources, I try to understand the reasons that brought Charles I to Naples and to clarify the strong political implications, even long-term ones, that the journey had for the history not only of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Sicily but of the Kingdom of Hungary as well. Looking closely at an Angevin document from 1333, never contextualized in the historical moment it was issued, I will formulate new hypotheses concerning the artistic consequences the journey had on the funerary politics of Robert of Anjou, King of Sicily (1309–1343), and on the commissioning of monumental tombs intended to solemnly guard the remains of prominent members of the Angevin dynasty in the cathedral of Naples.
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Veronika Csikós
The Bishop and his Chapel: The Hédervári Chapel in Győr and the Episcopal Chapels of Central Europe around 1400

Abstract

Abstract

Among the spectacular life stories of the prelates of Central Europe, that of János Hédervári, bishop of Győr (northern Hungary), is remarkable from several perspectives. He was one of the bishops who played an active political role in the history of his country and, as a figure of the church who founded a private chapel, also a representative of an important tradition of Central European episcopal patronage. The first part of my paper deals with János’s life, which has not yet been made the subject of detailed study. More precisely, I will emphasize János’s role as a confidant of Queen Elisabeth and someone who assisted as such in her endeavor to hinder the future king, Sigismund of Luxemburg, from seizing the Hungarian crown. János managed to become bishop just a few months before Sigismund ascended to the throne, but he was to spend the first two decades of his episcopal rule in the shadow of political neglect. During these two decades, however, János nurtured a remarkable artistic culture in his episcopal town. Between 1386 and 1403 the Gothic building of the Győr Cathedral was built, as was the delicate structure of the Holy Trinity Chapel, the chapel he himself founded. Through an architectural analysis of the chapel in the second part of the paper, I aim to demonstrate that a structurally complex and prestigious building was constructed under his auspices – and in spite of the fact that the diocese of Győr was by no means the richest among the bishoprics of the country. Furthermore, I will argue that the Holy Trinity Chapel not only integrates the latest architectural features of its era, but also mingles them with a unique structure and adaptations from non-episcopal architectural models, which lends it an individual character and makes the chapel an interesting Hungarian case of episcopal patronage in the late fourteenth century.
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Book Reviews

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A kalocsai érseki tartomány kialakulása [The Formation of the Archiepiscopal Province of Kalocsa].
By László Koszta. Reviewed by Dániel Bagi

Vásárok és lerakatok a középkori Magyar Királyságban [Markets and Staples in the Medieval Kingdom of Hungary].
By Boglárka Weisz. Reviewed by Judit Benda

A Szapolyai család Oklevéltára I. Levelek és oklevelek (1458–1526) [The Archives of the Szapolyai Family I. Letters and Diplomas (1458–1526)].
By Tibor Neumann. Reviewed by Tamás Fedeles

The Parish and Pilgrimage Church of St Elizabeth in Košice. Town, Court, and Architecture in Late Medieval Hungary.
By Tim Juckes. Reviewed by Zsombor Jékely

 

Notes on Contributors

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Volume 2 Issue 1Reformations

Gabriella Erdélyi Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Table of Contents

Articles

Zoltán Csepregi
The Evolution of the Language of the Reformation in Hungary (1522–1526)

Abstract

Abstract

The spatial framework of this study is the strip of towns lying in the region that used to be known as Upper Hungary (today Slovakia), communities that in the sixteenth century had German speaking minorities. At the time in question, there were numerous events and historical texts in which one can discern the use of a new ecclesiastical language. These sources are given voice with the help of philological methods, for instance intertextual analysis. A letter written by Bartholomeus Francfordinus Pannonius in 1522 constitutes the first example of church language reform in Hungary, though his words exemplify more the linguistic tendencies of Humanism than of the Reformation. A letter written by Mary of Habsburg in 1523 demonstrates the queen’s interest in and understanding of religious reformation, but also her desire to maintain her distance as sovereign. According to the views revealed during the inquest against alleged heretics in Sopron in 1524, traditional Franciscan criticism of the Church had intermingled with ideas deriving from Lutheran thought. At the time of the mining town revolt (1525), miners used (for instance) Saint Paul’s apostolic greeting (Romans 1:7) as a sign of difference and usually included them in the introductory section of letters to their comrades. As the sources make evident, the apostolic greeting served as a form of identification within the Evangelical Movement. These textual analyses illustrate the significant impact of the Reformation in Hungary in the period before the Battle of Mohács (1526).
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Gabriella Erdélyi
Lay Agency in Religious Change: the Role of Communities and Landlords in Reform and Reformation

Abstract

Abstract

In this essay I seek to illuminate “from below” the process of growing lay agency in matters of religion within the frame of a case study. Although the expansion of lay control over church affairs is usually considered an urban phenomenon, I focus on the Hungarian countryside, on how peasants living in villages and towns under feudal authority participated in late medieval reform and sixteenth-century reformations. I contend that the late medieval observant reform of the mendicant friary of the market-town of Körmend was initiated by laymen, and the process of reform itself took place primarily in the interplay of the social and religious needs of the community and landlord. In order to assess on a more general level the role of lay participation in church affairs, I test my findings against village parish religion.  I investigate negotiations between peasant communities and landlords over issues related to the election of the local parish incumbent, as well his livelihood and the maintenance of the parish church. I conclude that the high level of lay participation and investments in matters of local religion made it possible for Luther to speak about communal rights and transform locally diverse practices into a universal Christian norm.
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Pál Ács
Holbein’s “Dead Christ” in Basel and the Radical Reformation

Abstract

Abstract

My intention in this essay is to examine Hans Holbein’s painting Dead Christ (1521–1522) from a new point of view. Earlier interpretations of the painting which approached it from various perspectives, ranging from late medieval piety and the Renaissance to the Reformation and early modern “modernism,” have proven unsatisfying. I suggest, as an immediate context for the interpretation of the message of the painting, the so-called “Radical Reformation,” the views of which were closely linked to the notions of Erasmus advocating the spiritual reformation of humankind. I argue that both Erasmus and his portrait painter Holbein belonged to the same intellectual group and the painter sought to emphasize the real death and true Resurrection of Christ as a human being. By doing so with great artistic force, he got close to the central message of the radical Reformation, namely the denial of the divinity of Christ and the recognition of his human nature. Consequently, Dead Christ also captures the central tenets of the spiritualism of the Radical Reformation.
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Mihály Balázs
Tolerant Country – Misunderstood Laws. Interpreting Sixteenth-Century Transylvanian Legislation Concerning Religion

Abstract

Abstract

In this essay, I offer a new interpretation of the religious laws that were passed in Transylvania between 1568 and 1571. I conclude that the interpretations that have been ventured so far in the secondary literature have failed to provide a concrete analysis of the relationships between different confessions, either because of national prejudice or because of general ignorance of prevailing conditions at the time. As a consequence, a view has gained acceptance in several comprehensive works according to which, by recognizing the four confessions in Transylvania, lawmakers sought to ensure the survival of the newly emerged principality. I offer a thorough study of the texts of the laws in support of my contention that this is not the case. The laws include no specific list of the four confessions. The first such list dates from 1595, the year after which the laws make mention of the Orthodox religion of the Romanian speaking population as a tolerated religion. As my analysis clearly demonstrates, up until the end of the century the most important goal of the laws was the continuous assertion of the Protestant identity of the Principality, and paradoxically this did not even change in 1571, when the Roman Catholic István Báthory came to the Transylvanian throne. Until the middle of the 1570s this Protestant identity was essentially undivided due to the unparalleled slowness (in comparison with the rest of Europe) of the spread of confessionalism. It is worth noting that until the early 1570s the prince and those closest to him saw the restoration of Protestant unity in Europe as the mission of Transylvanian Protestantism, and this meant attempting to spread Protestantism among the Orthodox communities of the country. At the same time, the estates in Transylvania, a principality that saw itself as fundamentally Protestant, sought to ensure the preservation of conditions necessary for the survival of the religious lives of the dwindling number of Catholics.
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Réka Kiss
“The women do not want to go to church.” Church Discipline and the Control of the Public Practice of Religion in the Calvinist Diocese of Küküllő in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Abstract

Abstract

The Calvinist model of Church discipline introduced a considerably more intensive and elaborate system of enforcing moral rules and controlling social behavior than the one that had formerly prevailed. Its religious, cultural, and social role and the regional variants have remained subjects of debate to this day. In this essay, I examine a form of this institutional system that is unique from many perspectives, using as my sources the seventeenth and eighteenth-century visitation records and diocesan court documents from the Hungarian Reform Diocese of Küküllő (the name of which is taken from Küküllő River, in Romanian the Târnava River). In the first half of the essay I offer an overview of the peculiarities of the Transylvanian church organisation and the institutional system of church discipline, addressing in particular the question of the extent to which these institutions differed from or resembled Western European models. In the second half of the essay I survey the guiding role of the Church and the relationship between norms and actual practice as seen through the study of efforts to supervise and enforce religious conformity. By analyzing seventeenth and eighteenth- century documents pertaining to the control and sanction of participation in public Church rituals, I seek to provide a nuanced image of the religious practices of the era and further an understanding of how Church surveillance was asserted in the everyday lives of members of local communities.
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Gábor Tüskés
Narrative Literature and the Reformation: Focal Points of an Interdisciplinary Discussion of the Scholarship

Abstract

Abstract

The roots of the current discussion of the scholarship on narrative literature and the Reformation stretch back into the last third of the twentieth century. This discussion has been ongoing in several disciplines, often working independently of one another and to some extent on different levels of inquiry, and sometimes with only minimal exchange of findings and conclusions. These studies are significant first and foremost because the operative terms themselves denote a field of inquiry in which one can trace processes of the history of science that are not sufficiently understood, processes the further mapping of which can lead to a better understanding of events in literary history and the history of ideas in the early modern era. The goal of my survey here is to examine the conceptual formation of the relevant terms and shed light on their development within the history of science. I also identify some lacunae in the scholarship and formulate several hypotheses. I have concentrated in my inquiry on German speaking areas, with some consideration of the situation in Hungary.
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Book Reviews

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A zászlós bárány nyomában. A magyar kálvinizmus 17. századi világa [Following the Flag-bearing Lamb. Hungarian Calvinism in the Seventeenth Century]. Speculum Historiae Debreceniense 6.
By Dávid Csorba. Reviewed by Zsombor Tóth

Magánélet a régi Magyarországon  [Private Life in Old Hungary]. Magyar történelmi emlékek: Értekezések 2. By Katalin Péter.  Reviewed by Gábor Kármán

Identitás és kultúra a török hódoltság korában [Identity and Culture in the Age of Ottoman Rule in Hungary].
Edited by Pál Ács and Júlia Székely. Reviewed by Gábor Kiss Farkas

A művelt arisztokrata: A magyarországi főnemesség olvasmányai a XVI–XVII. században [The Erudite Aristocrat: The Reading Materials of the Hungarian Aristocracy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries].
By István Monok. Reviewed by András Koltai

Egyház és közösség a kora újkorban: A küküllői református egyházmegye 17–18. századi iratainak tükrében. [Church and Community in the Early Modern Era: the Calvinist Diocese of Küküllő as Reflected in its Records from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries] Néprajzi Tanulmányok.
By Réka Kiss. Reviewed by Dávid Csorba

 

Notes on Contributors

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Volume 1 Issue 3-4Migration History

Table of Contents

Articles

 

Gábor Gyáni

Migration as a Cultural Phenomenon

Abstract

Abstract

For a long time conceptual explanations of mass migrations rested on economic and social premises. The notion of chain-migration, for instance, was given considerable reinforcement with the adoption of the economic “cost-benefit” terminology, as was the phenomenon of transplanted networks. In time, however, scholars began to consider structural mechanisms less and aspects of individual selection more. The latter included giving greater attention to cultural factors. However, mass physical relocation, explained with reference to series of individual decisions either accepted or encouraged by the community, goes against the attachment to place necessary for the strengthening of the nation state, which finds form in the institutionalization of citizenship. Growing internal (national) integration and the social disintegration that accompanies mass migrations makes it necessary to devise compulsions that encourage and hasten assimilation. Under its influence, the significance of foreignness and the phenomenon of otherness as a fact of everyday life intensifies. In the case of Hungary, this is illustrated the most clearly by the metaphorical conflation of Budapest’s alleged “foreignness” with its alleged “Jewishness.”
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Heléna Tóth

The Historian’s Scales: Families in Exile in the Aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines political exile in the aftermath of the 1848 revolutions from the perspective of the history of the family on the basis of case studies from the Habsburg Empire and the German lands. I focus on two processes: first, the ways in which family members of political refugees (and political prisoners) became refugees themselves; and second, the role of family members of political refugees in obtaining amnesty for the entire family. Although officially most of the family members of political refugees were immigrants who went through the official channels to obtain passports, they treated their own migration as a political matter and, equally importantly, they were treated by bureaucrats in their home countries as political migrants. These perceptions, in turn, had consequences when the family decided to return from abroad. An understanding of the process whereby families became unwilling migrants in the aftermath of the revolutions of 1848 sheds light on how amorphous the practice of political exile was in the middle of the nineteenth century, as well as on the breadth of the collective aspects of this punishment.
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Balázs Ablonczy

Instead of America. Immigration and Governmental Influence in the Hungarian Émigré Community of France between the Two World Wars

Abstract

Abstract

Using the typology of French sociologist Stéphane Dufoix, this essay attempts to discern the moment at which an emigrant community based on political opposition begins to function according to a dynamic of center and periphery. Following this shift, influential figures of the home country take its institutions and its direction from their political opponents. A physical fight that broke out in August 1929 in Roubaix, an industrial city in northern France, between Hungarian communists and Catholic workers offers a case study that sheds light on the change of strategy of the Hungarian government in its approach to the Hungarian emigrant communities. Before 1914, the liberal politicians of the time made little effort to organize the several hundred-thousand Hungarian speaking emigrants living abroad, for the most part in North America (in part because the national minorities of Hungary were overrepresented among the emigrants). In contrast, after 1918, at a moment of history when the notion of the nation as an organic entity had risen to prominence, Hungarian speakers living outside Hungary were seen self-evidently as subjects of political policy. After 1920, the United States closed its gates to immigrants from Eastern Europe. France consequently became important, in part as a country in which there was a dire need of labor for reconstruction following the war. While the community of Hungarian emigrants was never as large numerically as the Polish, Russian, or Italian communities, by the end of the 1920s and the early 1930s there were some 50,000 Hungarians living in France. This essay is an examination of the political policies adopted with regards to them.
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Tibor Frank

Approaches to Interwar Hungarian Migrations, 1919–1945

Abstract

Abstract

The social upheavals that followed the First World War drove astonishing numbers of people in all directions. Russian and Ukrainian refugees escaped Bolshevism in Belgrade; Poles were relocated into reemerging Poland; Hungarians escaped from Romania and the newly established states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Many people went on substantial and extended study tours to Germany, much as others had done before the war. Migrations were not limited to Jews suffering from the political and educational consequences of the White Terror in Hungary. Yet Jewish migrations were a definitive pattern of the 1920s, when the “Numerus Clausus” act of XXV: 1920 excluded many of them from college. A significant, though smaller, group of non-Jews also left Hungary at the same time. Motivated by anti-liberal politics, poverty, or curiosity, gentiles of mixed convictions and confessions hit the road and tried their luck in Paris, Berlin, or Hollywood.
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Matěj Spurný

Czech and German Memories of Forced Migration

Abstract

Abstract

Individual memories are neither a simple mirror of the official narrative of memory nor are they simply its photo negative. In this essay the author examines the ways in which the Czech and (Sudeten) German master narratives of the post-war forced migration of the German speaking inhabitants penetrated into individual memories. Collective remembrance often replaced the memories of actual experiences. However, examples taken from particular interviews from recent years reveal that individual experiences and memories, which earlier were not considered acceptable in the public sphere and in some contexts had even been dangerous, can at least be integrated as exceptions into the structure of national master narratives, which in consequence lose their incontestability. The study of the memories of the post-war expulsion of Germans has been an important task for historians over the course of the past twenty years or more. But this has been a topic of interest not only for historians. These often contrasting memories have figured prominently in one of the most important post-1989 political and identity debates in Central and Eastern Europe. The article compares the development of memories and narratives of post-war flight and expulsion in Czechoslovakia and (West) Germany. The author considers how the individual memories of flight and expulsion compare with the collective memories, and he also attempts to identify the circumstances under which the individual memories offer an alternative vision of the past.
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András Lénárt

Emigration from Hungary in 1956 and the Emigrants as Tourists to Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines the history of visits made to Hungary by a group of first generation 1956 refugees. The members of the group attended middle school together in Austria. Some of the refugees, who were teenagers at the time, were put into schools by the Austrian authorities in 1957. Temporary schools were established with Hungarian as the language of instruction, and the refugees were able to complete their secondary school studies without even as much as a year’s delay while also learning German. Some of these students went on to seek livelihoods elsewhere, but many of them settled permanently in Austria. In the first section of the essay the author offers a survey of the statistical features of emigration from Hungary following the suppression of the 1956 revolution. This is followed by an examination from the perspective of the social sciences of the reception of the wave of 1956 emigrants. Then, on the basis of interviews, the essay analyzes how the identities of the emigrants changed, the social situations in which these changes were palpable, and how their images of Hungary changed in the wake of their visits to their homeland.
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Stefan Troebst

The Discourse on Forced Migration and European Culture of Remembrance

Abstract

Abstract

The project of a ‘Centre against Expulsions’ proposed in 2000 by the German Union of Expellees in order to commemorate the fate of some 12 million Germans who fled or were forced to leave Central and Eastern Europe in and after 1945 caused a fierce Polish-German media controversy. This had a fourfold result: (1) The governments in Warsaw and Berlin together with those in Bratislava and Budapest agreed in 2004 to found a ‘European Network Remembrance and Solidarity’ in order to deal with the tragic history of Europe in the twentieth century in a manner that fostered some consensus; (2) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe proposed to set up a ‘European Remembrance Centre of Victims of Forced Population Movements and Ethnic Cleansing’ in 2005; (3) in 2007, the Polish government decided to found a ‘Museum of the Second World War’ in Gdansk with the aim of putting the Polish view of recent history into a European context; and in 2008 the German government erected a federal Foundation ‘Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation’ in Berlin which was given the task of designing a permanent exhibition on the fate of the expelled Germans, again in the context of the history of twentieth-century Europe. Whereas more often than not the national memories of Germans, Poles and other Europeans clash over the Second World War and its consequences, the very fact that in Central Europe a bilateral or multilateral discourse on these sensitive topics is feasible is a remarkable post-1989 improvement.
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Attila Melegh

Net Migration and Historical Development in Southeastern Europe since 1950

Abstract

Abstract

This essay formulates some basic developmental patterns in Southeastern Europe (focusing on the area between Italy and the Caspian See) on the basis of some longer term macro statistics on net migration and other macro statistical time series. It demonstrates that in furthering an understanding of longer term developmental patterns, the world system approach is helpful in a modified form. In the case of state socialist economies the direct intervention of world capitalism had a long lasting impact on the migratory links of the countries within the region. Countries that were unable to counterbalance the collapse of local industry became sending countries and were partially re-ruralized and partially pushed into large scale emigration. The analysis lends credence to the neoclassic macro-economic theory of migration, but its validity with regard to per capita GDP differentials is strengthened if it is linked to positions in global hierarchies. The key point is that it is not simply GDP differentials that matter, but rather positions within the global economy, which themselves are in part the results of historical processes and linkages. In addition, people seem to have clear ideas of developmental scales which correspond quite accurately to actual per capita GDP figures. Thus people may well be aware of global inequalities and may even have clear ideas of complex sequences that might orientate them in their decisions regarding migration.
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Sándor Hites

Variations on Mother Tongue. Language and Identity in Twentieth-Century Hungarian Literary Exile

Abstract

Abstract

This essay attempts to reveal the variety of ways in which exilic or post-exilic consciousness brings about a diversity in lingual identity and the ways in which this identity is maintained, suspended, lost, expanded, regained, rediscovered, or caught in transition. The author considers how adherence to the mother tongue becomes an ideological shelter against the menace of a metaphysical homelessness for Sándor Márai; how multilingualism turns into a defense of locality for Áron Kibédi Varga; how translation comes to serve as a substitute for an unborn offspring both in the literary and the genetic sense for Endre Karátson; how, in the case of Agota Kristof a second language never fully acquired is felt to ruin one’s mother tongue precisely through a literary achievement of the highest standard; how, in the case of Tibor Fischer, the traces of a remote lingual and cultural heritage show up in a text written in a language other than one’s mother’s tongue.
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Book Reviews

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A Social History of Twentieth Century Europe. By Béla Tomka.
Reviewed by Tibor Valuch.
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Rückkehr nach Ungarn 1946–1950. Erlebnisberichte ungarndeutscher Vertriebener [Returning Home to Hungary 1946–1950. Testimonies of Hungarian German Expellees].
By Ágnes Tóth. Reviewed by Krisztina Slachta.
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Books on Twentieth-Century Transylvania

 

Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town.
By Rogers Brubaker et al.
Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during World War II. By Holly Case.
Reviewed by Stefano Bottoni.
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A visszatért Erdély 1940–1944 [Transylvania Returned, 1940–1944].
By Balázs Ablonczy. Reviewed by András Tóth-Bartos.
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Sztálin a székelyeknél. A Magyar Autonóm Tartomány története (1952–1960) [Stalin and the Székelys: History of the Hungarian Autonomous Region].
By Stefano Bottoni. Reviewed by Zoltán Novák.
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Notes on Contributors

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Volume 1 Issue 3-4

Migration History

Table of Contents

Articles

 

Gábor Gyáni

Migration as a Cultural Phenomenon

Abstract

Abstract

For a long time conceptual explanations of mass migrations rested on economic and social premises. The notion of chain-migration, for instance, was given considerable reinforcement with the adoption of the economic “cost-benefit” terminology, as was the phenomenon of transplanted networks. In time, however, scholars began to consider structural mechanisms less and aspects of individual selection more. The latter included giving greater attention to cultural factors. However, mass physical relocation, explained with reference to series of individual decisions either accepted or encouraged by the community, goes against the attachment to place necessary for the strengthening of the nation state, which finds form in the institutionalization of citizenship. Growing internal (national) integration and the social disintegration that accompanies mass migrations makes it necessary to devise compulsions that encourage and hasten assimilation. Under its influence, the significance of foreignness and the phenomenon of otherness as a fact of everyday life intensifies. In the case of Hungary, this is illustrated the most clearly by the metaphorical conflation of Budapest’s alleged “foreignness” with its alleged “Jewishness.”
  

 

Heléna Tóth

The Historian’s Scales: Families in Exile in the Aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines political exile in the aftermath of the 1848 revolutions from the perspective of the history of the family on the basis of case studies from the Habsburg Empire and the German lands. I focus on two processes: first, the ways in which family members of political refugees (and political prisoners) became refugees themselves; and second, the role of family members of political refugees in obtaining amnesty for the entire family. Although officially most of the family members of political refugees were immigrants who went through the official channels to obtain passports, they treated their own migration as a political matter and, equally importantly, they were treated by bureaucrats in their home countries as political migrants. These perceptions, in turn, had consequences when the family decided to return from abroad. An understanding of the process whereby families became unwilling migrants in the aftermath of the revolutions of 1848 sheds light on how amorphous the practice of political exile was in the middle of the nineteenth century, as well as on the breadth of the collective aspects of this punishment.
  

 

Balázs Ablonczy

Instead of America. Immigration and Governmental Influence in the Hungarian Émigré Community of France between the Two World Wars

Abstract

Abstract

Using the typology of French sociologist Stéphane Dufoix, this essay attempts to discern the moment at which an emigrant community based on political opposition begins to function according to a dynamic of center and periphery. Following this shift, influential figures of the home country take its institutions and its direction from their political opponents. A physical fight that broke out in August 1929 in Roubaix, an industrial city in northern France, between Hungarian communists and Catholic workers offers a case study that sheds light on the change of strategy of the Hungarian government in its approach to the Hungarian emigrant communities. Before 1914, the liberal politicians of the time made little effort to organize the several hundred-thousand Hungarian speaking emigrants living abroad, for the most part in North America (in part because the national minorities of Hungary were overrepresented among the emigrants). In contrast, after 1918, at a moment of history when the notion of the nation as an organic entity had risen to prominence, Hungarian speakers living outside Hungary were seen self-evidently as subjects of political policy. After 1920, the United States closed its gates to immigrants from Eastern Europe. France consequently became important, in part as a country in which there was a dire need of labor for reconstruction following the war. While the community of Hungarian emigrants was never as large numerically as the Polish, Russian, or Italian communities, by the end of the 1920s and the early 1930s there were some 50,000 Hungarians living in France. This essay is an examination of the political policies adopted with regards to them.
  

 

Tibor Frank

Approaches to Interwar Hungarian Migrations, 1919–1945

Abstract

Abstract

The social upheavals that followed the First World War drove astonishing numbers of people in all directions. Russian and Ukrainian refugees escaped Bolshevism in Belgrade; Poles were relocated into reemerging Poland; Hungarians escaped from Romania and the newly established states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Many people went on substantial and extended study tours to Germany, much as others had done before the war. Migrations were not limited to Jews suffering from the political and educational consequences of the White Terror in Hungary. Yet Jewish migrations were a definitive pattern of the 1920s, when the “Numerus Clausus” act of XXV: 1920 excluded many of them from college. A significant, though smaller, group of non-Jews also left Hungary at the same time. Motivated by anti-liberal politics, poverty, or curiosity, gentiles of mixed convictions and confessions hit the road and tried their luck in Paris, Berlin, or Hollywood.
  

 

Matěj Spurný

Czech and German Memories of Forced Migration

Abstract

Abstract

Individual memories are neither a simple mirror of the official narrative of memory nor are they simply its photo negative. In this essay the author examines the ways in which the Czech and (Sudeten) German master narratives of the post-war forced migration of the German speaking inhabitants penetrated into individual memories. Collective remembrance often replaced the memories of actual experiences. However, examples taken from particular interviews from recent years reveal that individual experiences and memories, which earlier were not considered acceptable in the public sphere and in some contexts had even been dangerous, can at least be integrated as exceptions into the structure of national master narratives, which in consequence lose their incontestability. The study of the memories of the post-war expulsion of Germans has been an important task for historians over the course of the past twenty years or more. But this has been a topic of interest not only for historians. These often contrasting memories have figured prominently in one of the most important post-1989 political and identity debates in Central and Eastern Europe. The article compares the development of memories and narratives of post-war flight and expulsion in Czechoslovakia and (West) Germany. The author considers how the individual memories of flight and expulsion compare with the collective memories, and he also attempts to identify the circumstances under which the individual memories offer an alternative vision of the past.
  

 

András Lénárt

Emigration from Hungary in 1956 and the Emigrants as Tourists to Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

This essay examines the history of visits made to Hungary by a group of first generation 1956 refugees. The members of the group attended middle school together in Austria. Some of the refugees, who were teenagers at the time, were put into schools by the Austrian authorities in 1957. Temporary schools were established with Hungarian as the language of instruction, and the refugees were able to complete their secondary school studies without even as much as a year’s delay while also learning German. Some of these students went on to seek livelihoods elsewhere, but many of them settled permanently in Austria. In the first section of the essay the author offers a survey of the statistical features of emigration from Hungary following the suppression of the 1956 revolution. This is followed by an examination from the perspective of the social sciences of the reception of the wave of 1956 emigrants. Then, on the basis of interviews, the essay analyzes how the identities of the emigrants changed, the social situations in which these changes were palpable, and how their images of Hungary changed in the wake of their visits to their homeland.
  

 

Stefan Troebst

The Discourse on Forced Migration and European Culture of Remembrance

Abstract

Abstract

The project of a ‘Centre against Expulsions’ proposed in 2000 by the German Union of Expellees in order to commemorate the fate of some 12 million Germans who fled or were forced to leave Central and Eastern Europe in and after 1945 caused a fierce Polish-German media controversy. This had a fourfold result: (1) The governments in Warsaw and Berlin together with those in Bratislava and Budapest agreed in 2004 to found a ‘European Network Remembrance and Solidarity’ in order to deal with the tragic history of Europe in the twentieth century in a manner that fostered some consensus; (2) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe proposed to set up a ‘European Remembrance Centre of Victims of Forced Population Movements and Ethnic Cleansing’ in 2005; (3) in 2007, the Polish government decided to found a ‘Museum of the Second World War’ in Gdansk with the aim of putting the Polish view of recent history into a European context; and in 2008 the German government erected a federal Foundation ‘Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation’ in Berlin which was given the task of designing a permanent exhibition on the fate of the expelled Germans, again in the context of the history of twentieth-century Europe. Whereas more often than not the national memories of Germans, Poles and other Europeans clash over the Second World War and its consequences, the very fact that in Central Europe a bilateral or multilateral discourse on these sensitive topics is feasible is a remarkable post-1989 improvement.
  

 

Attila Melegh

Net Migration and Historical Development in Southeastern Europe since 1950

Abstract

Abstract

This essay formulates some basic developmental patterns in Southeastern Europe (focusing on the area between Italy and the Caspian See) on the basis of some longer term macro statistics on net migration and other macro statistical time series. It demonstrates that in furthering an understanding of longer term developmental patterns, the world system approach is helpful in a modified form. In the case of state socialist economies the direct intervention of world capitalism had a long lasting impact on the migratory links of the countries within the region. Countries that were unable to counterbalance the collapse of local industry became sending countries and were partially re-ruralized and partially pushed into large scale emigration. The analysis lends credence to the neoclassic macro-economic theory of migration, but its validity with regard to per capita GDP differentials is strengthened if it is linked to positions in global hierarchies. The key point is that it is not simply GDP differentials that matter, but rather positions within the global economy, which themselves are in part the results of historical processes and linkages. In addition, people seem to have clear ideas of developmental scales which correspond quite accurately to actual per capita GDP figures. Thus people may well be aware of global inequalities and may even have clear ideas of complex sequences that might orientate them in their decisions regarding migration.
 

 

Sándor Hites

Variations on Mother Tongue. Language and Identity in Twentieth-Century Hungarian Literary Exile

Abstract

Abstract

This essay attempts to reveal the variety of ways in which exilic or post-exilic consciousness brings about a diversity in lingual identity and the ways in which this identity is maintained, suspended, lost, expanded, regained, rediscovered, or caught in transition. The author considers how adherence to the mother tongue becomes an ideological shelter against the menace of a metaphysical homelessness for Sándor Márai; how multilingualism turns into a defense of locality for Áron Kibédi Varga; how translation comes to serve as a substitute for an unborn offspring both in the literary and the genetic sense for Endre Karátson; how, in the case of Agota Kristof a second language never fully acquired is felt to ruin one’s mother tongue precisely through a literary achievement of the highest standard; how, in the case of Tibor Fischer, the traces of a remote lingual and cultural heritage show up in a text written in a language other than one’s mother’s tongue.
 


Book Reviews

A Social History of Twentieth Century Europe. By Béla Tomka.
Reviewed by Tibor Valuch.
Rückkehr nach Ungarn 1946–1950. Erlebnisberichte ungarndeutscher Vertriebener [Returning Home to Hungary 1946–1950. Testimonies of Hungarian German Expellees].
By Ágnes Tóth. Reviewed by Krisztina Slachta.


Books on Twentieth-Century Transylvania

Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town.
By Rogers Brubaker et al.
Between States: The Transylvanian Question and the European Idea during World War II. By Holly Case.
Reviewed by Stefano Bottoni.
A visszatért Erdély 1940–1944 [Transylvania Returned, 1940–1944].
By Balázs Ablonczy. Reviewed by András Tóth-Bartos.
Sztálin a székelyeknél. A Magyar Autonóm Tartomány története (1952–1960) [Stalin and the Székelys: History of the Hungarian Autonomous Region].
By Stefano Bottoni. Reviewed by Zoltán Novák.
Notes on Contributors

Volume 1 Issue 1-2Urban History

Table of Contents

Articles

 

Ágnes Flóra
Symbols, Virtues, Representation. The Early Modern Town Hall of Kolozsvár as a Medium of Display for Municipal Government

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Béla Vilmos Mihalik
Sacred Urban Spaces in Seventeenth-Century Upper Hungary

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István H. Németh
Venerable Senators or Municipal Bureaucrats? The Beginnings of the Transformation of the Estate of Burghers at the Turn of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 

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Árpád Tóth
Social Strategies of the Lutheran Burghers of Pressburg, 1750–1850

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Gábor Czoch
The Transformation of Urban Space in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century in Hungary and in the City of Kassa

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Roland Perényi
Urban Places, Criminal Spaces: Police and Crime in Fin de Siècle Budapest

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Erika Szívós
Bonds Tried by Hard Times: Jews and Christians on Klauzál tér, Budapest, 1938–1945

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 Ágnes Nagy
In the Web of Political Language. Verbal Warfare and the 1945 Change of Regime in a Residential Building in Budapest

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Book Reviews

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Pécs 1663. Evlia Cselebi és az első részletes városleírás. (Források Pécs történetéből 4.) [Evliya Çelebi and the First Detailed Description of the City. (Pécs Historical Sources 4)].
By Balázs Sudár. Reviewed by Szabolcs Varga.

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Irem kertje. Pécs története a hódoltság korában 1526–1686 [Garden of Irem. History of Pécs in the Ottoman era 1526–1686].
By Szabolcs Varga. Reviewed by Zoltán Bagi.

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“A városok szíverek.” Tanulmányok Kassáról és a reformkori városokról [Cities are Arteries. Studies on Kassa and Other Towns in the Age of Reforms].
By Gábor Czoch. Reviewed by Mónika Mátay.

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Hungary’s Long Nineteenth Century. Constitutional and Democratic Traditions in a European Perspective. Collected Studies.
By László Péter. Ed. Miklós Lojkó. Reviewed by András Cieger.

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A tiszaeszlári dráma. Társadalomtörténeti látószögek [The Tiszaeszlár Drama. Social History Aspects].
By György Kövér. Reviewed by Anikó Prepuk.

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Gazdasági növekedés, fogyasztás, életminőség. Magyarország nemzetközi összehasonlításban az első világháborútól napjainkig [Economic Growth, Consumption, and Quality of Life: Hungary in an International Comparative Context, from the First World War to the Present Day].
By Béla Tomka. Reviewed by Zsombor Bódy.

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Note on Nomenclature: City and Place Names

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Notes on Contributors

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