Category Archives: Hungary

Hungary | Hungarian community of Ukraine fights for national rights

Attempts by official Kiev to forcibly “ukrainize” the national minorities of Ukraine met with resistance from the Hungarian community of Transcarpathia. The Diaspora experienced a special anxiety due to the draft laws submitted to the Parliament of Ukraine on the restriction of the use of minority languages in the public sphere. So deputies of the Beregovo Regional Council of the VII Convocation of the Transcarpathian region appealed to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko with the demand to prevent Parliament’s adoption of the draft law restricting the rights of national minorities. “The restriction of linguistic rights is a violation of articles 10 and 53 of the Constitution of Ukraine and international commitments such as the Declaration of Principles of Cooperation between the Ukrainian SSR and Hungary,” the deputies said in their appeal.

 Thus, in the opinion of the deputies, the basis of contractual relations between Kiev and the Hungarian community would be broken. “This project in fact displaces the Hungarian language, for example, from elementary schools, which is unacceptable for the Beregovo district, where 76 percent of the inhabitants are Hungarians. Other initiatives will lead to the use of the Hungarian language being reduced to the point that it will only remain on paper,” said Beregovo Regional Council Deputy Fedor Dulu.

Dulu’s opinion was supported by Deputy of the Zakarpattia Oblast Council and leader of the Party of Hungarians of Ukraine (KMKS) Joseph Side, who said: “We believe that the Hungarians on the territory of Ukraine already have autonomy, we just don’t call it that. We have our own schools, kindergartens and higher educational institutions. We can use our native language, and the current law of Ukraine allows us these rights that we want to have. But there are some political forces that violate the Constitution and the Treaty which Ukraine signed and, disregarding the interests of national minorities of Ukraine, want to restrict the rights that we have today.”
Poroshenko announced that the decentralization reform was in reality not effective. “Now the local governments are poor as church mice, so they can’t fully develop. We in the regional council have to allocate funds from the development fund to the local authorities of Beregovo, because there is no money even for wages. Because the funds continue to be concentrated in the center, they make the local government financially insolvent,” said the head of the Beregovo District Council Joseph Shin. Otto Vash, deputy of the Beregovo District Council of the IV Convocation, supported his colleague and cited the experience of his native Hungary: “In this situation specific villages and districts lose, because they simply do not have the means to finance their spending. In Hungary, for example, minorities can create their own institutions. In Komlo, for example, there is a Ukrainian community. And thus they can solve their problems: cultural, economic and the like. And they get help from the state, so they can develop their capabilities that way.”
It is worth noting that in the places where the Hungarian community resides, the Hungarian language is the main language of communication today. In Beregovo, street names, signs and ads printed are in the Hungarian language. In addition, the Hungarian flag flies over the administration buildings and schools. And recently, at the boundaries of the districts densely populated by ethnic Hungarians, commemorative stella appeared, on which residents and guests are welcomed in the Hungarian language. Thus “informally,” the local community supported the words of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the fact that foreign Hungarians have the right to dual citizenship and autonomy.
The head of the Democratic Union of Hungarians of Ukraine, Mykhailo Tovt, supports such efforts to defend the rights of national minorities and believes that the situation of ensuring the rights of national minorities in Ukraine has worsened in recent years. “Therefore we must assert our right to our language, our monuments and our national-cultural autonomy,” said the leader of the Hungarian community in Ukraine.

Hungary | Lukács Statue has been removed and the Lukács Archives closed in Budapest

On 28 March, the statue of renowned Marxist philosopher George Lukács (1890-1971) was removed from Saint Stephen’s park in the 13th district of Budapest. The sculpture, commissioned by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and made by sculptor Imre Varga in 1985, was erected to praise Lukács for his contributions to philosophy.

Hungary | The Never-Ending Lukács Debate

By G. M. Tamás

Before 1914, Lukács’s early works were received with great antipathy by the literary establishment in Hungary; they were found to be too “German” — that is to say, too philosophical, not impressionistic and positivistic enough. That was only the beginning, of course; from then on, Lukács would be attacked from the right incessantly, all his life. Lukács didn’t fare much better in leftist circles, either. When his most important book, History and Class Consciousness (1923), came out, it was savaged by both the Second and the Third International. It wasn’t to be republished until the 1960s. Lukács was given an ultimatum: if he wanted to stay in the Party, he had to repudiate the book and subject himself to self-criticism, which is what he eventually did.

Hungary | Hungary is removing statue of philosopher György (Georg) Lukács – He was Marxist and Jewish

by György Lázár

Removing a statue of a philosopher? You may expect something like this to happen in Nazi Germany in the 1930s but not in Budapest in 2017.

A couple of weeks ago the Budapest City Council decided that the statue of György Lukács will be removed from a Budapest park in the 13th district. The renowned philosopher’s statue is currently in Szent István Park, a peaceful urban park in an area that once served as the International Ghetto where many Jews survived World War II in “protected houses.” It will be replaced by a statue of Saint Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state.

Hungary | “The Solution Must Hurt Capital”: an Interview with Tamás Krausz

Eastern Europe’s left is in a lamentable condition, according to Hungarian historian Tamás Krausz; however, critical thinking isn’t.

Q: In an interview with nd in autumn 1997, you gave a critical analysis of the situation of the left in Hungary and Eastern Europe. How do you perceive the situation today, more than 25 years after the political changes in Eastern Europe.