HUNGARY AFTER 1989: INSCRIBING A NEW PAST ON PLACE*

Authors


  • *

    The authors wish to thank: éva Tarjányi; Huba Brückner and the staff of the Hungarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange; Gábor Mezösi and the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Physical Geography at the University of Szeged, including in particular Timea Kiss, László Mucsi, and János Rakonszai; László Regéczy-Nagy, Noel Harrison, Sanford Levinson, Edward Linenthal, Patrick McGreevy, Michael Steiner, Robert Stevenson, Mrs. József Lovászi, Géza Boros, Tibor Wehner, László Erdös, Péter Pál Kocsis, and the University Research Institute of the University of Texas at Austin.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. Since the fall of the Communist government in 1989, Hungary's political monuments and historical shrines have undergone great change. Although popular attention focused on the removal of overtly political monuments, new shrines were also created, and forgotten memorials were restored. In a departure from earlier political eras, decisions about contested places are issuing from local authorities and private citizens, rather than from the central government. The result is a sometimes subtle rearrangement of public memorials and shrines that interprets the national past by drawing symbolic and spatial parallels between some historical events while rejecting connections among others. The meanings of events and places, particularly those linked to twentieth-century wartime and civil upheavals, remain contested.

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