Remembering and Forgetting Communism in Hungary
Studies on Collective Memory and Memory Politics in Context
This volume deals with a number of case studies in continuities and discontinuities, global, regional and local approaches to memory and memorialization in 20th century Hungary. The point of reference is the emergence, power control and decay of communism as the longest chronological period of this country during the most turbulent century of world history, the "age of extremes". The book would like to generate public discourse on what connects and separates Europeans and how "European" factors (values and burdens alike), rooted in the deepest layers of our history, shape our present and future. Keeping the significance of history teaching in mind and, of course, keeping it on our agenda, we should not forget that we also have to reach those segments of the European population who have not yet had the privilege of experiencing any element of the European spirit. For many of them communism as an experience or a decisive element of collective memory is still essential, this book would like to modestly contribute to shifting the point of reference from communism to Europe.
About the Author (Attila Pók, Historian - professor of ELTE, Fellow of IASK)
"Historical scholarship, collective memories and political conflicts interact. The legacy of 20th century dictatorships, the quest for national self-assertion between old traditions and new requirements, the consequences of communism and the problems of post-communism in Eastern and Central Europe - Attila Pók offers a rich mosaic of penetrating and highly original analyses of these problems and of the ways historians have been dealing with them over decades. While developments in Hungary are central, the scope of the book is comparative and international, based on broad reading and extended observations in different parts of the world: a major contribution to the intellectual and political history of the present time with high relevance for the challenges and re-orientations taking place in Europe today."
(Recommendation of Jürgen Kocka, Berlin)