‘The speed and eagerness with which Hungarian clubs sought to return to their old identities, with all the loyalties and connections they represented, demonstrated the power of these emotional and social meanings. And it was just as clearly a mark of the utter failure of the Party to co-opt and utilise the power of football for its own purposes. The Party abandoned the micro-management of football, paralleling its wider realisation after 1956 that, while its authority was still non- negotiable, it could and would not protect and justify it through the politicisation of society or the ideological mobilisation of the people.’
Nagy was a highly controversial figure in Hungarian history, whose assessment is still a source of intense debates…He did stand up for the Hungarian Revolution in 1956—for debatable reasons—; but to portray him as a convinced democrat, or a hero of Hungarian popular representation and individual freedom would be a serious distortion. His legacy must be treated in its proper place: his merits must not be denied, but his sins must not be forgotten.
In March 1945, the chief notary of the Simontornya district in Tolna County reported that 60 per cent of the female population of the village of Nagyszékely was infected with venereal disease, and that girls aged 12–13 were among the victims of rape.
Hungary is not the only country in East-Central Europe that sees unwanted commentary and meddling by Russia with regard to interpretations of its history. The periods the evaluation of which is the most frequently contested by Russia are the Cold War era and World War II. While Russia glorifies the USSR’s effort to defeat Nazi Germany, CEE countries, including Hungary, highlight the 45 years the Red Army spent in Central Europe as an occupying force after the end of World War II.
The Germans had demanded the deportation of the Hungarian Jewry long before the German occupation. A note in October 1942, in which German Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Luther summarised his negotiations with Sztójay, the Hungarian ambassador in Berlin at the time, openly mentions the German demand and the fact that it had come directly from Adolf Hitler. According to the text, the ‘handling’ of Jews in Hungary is ‘urgent’.
Many of those deported did not even make it alive to their destination, but died on the way to the Soviet Union. These people were not even registered, so there is no information about how many they were. The purpose of their abduction was to rebuild the Soviet infrastructure that had been practically destroyed in the war, so to use them for free slave labour.