Altogether at least 700,000 Hungarians were taken to the Soviet Union by force to work in the infamous labour camps of the country. One third of these men and women never returned—and those who did, never received any compensation from Hungary’s Communist government.
Today Hungary remembers the heroes of the Revolution and Freedom Fight of 1956. The events of the revolution are a testimony to Hungary’s thirst for freedom and self-governance, but also to its vulnerability to the world order.
The war in Ukraine has renewed the controversy over Communist era statues in Poland. The country is now being purged of the remaining Soviet monuments.
Over the last couple of years the censorship of historical narratives has intensified in China. The assault on history is shared by all communist dictatorships and it goes against the conservative understanding of societies.
Secondhand Time by Noble laureate Svetlana Alexievich is a powerful account of what Russians really think about the demise of the USSR. The views on the collapse of the regime are revealed to be much more complex and varied than what the overused media catchphrases ‘nostalgia’ and ‘sentimentalism’ suggest.
The death of the last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev has been remembered worldwide. While some called him a global leader who changed the world for the better, others labelled him a remorseless criminal.
According to Tarasevich and other experts, the dramatic experience of starvation in Russia had been part and parcel of Russian existence for centuries.
Although it always comes as a shock for people from Central Eastern Europe who lived through state socialism, nowadays in the West there are increasingly more young people who identify as Marxists or even Communists.
Given the increasingly widespread appeal of Marxist beliefs in Western academia, it is important to remind ourselves of what really happened under Soviet-type planned economies.
While some disappointment with capitalism—just like with any system—is completely understandable, the virtues of capitalism must be acknowledged.