Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 Re: Sending money to Hungary (mind)  7 sor     (cikkei)
2 Re: Sending money to Hungary (mind)  5 sor     (cikkei)
3 Re: Khazars (mind)  1 sor     (cikkei)
4 Tad Szulc on '89 (Part I of III) (mind)  52 sor     (cikkei)
5 Tad Szulc on '89 (Part III of III) (mind)  45 sor     (cikkei)
6 Tad Szulc on '89 (Part II of III) (mind)  53 sor     (cikkei)
7 Gosztonyi and Maleter (mind)  31 sor     (cikkei)
8 Re: WOTP Re: Hobbes without Calvin (mind)  62 sor     (cikkei)
9 Red Terror, White Terror (mind)  107 sor     (cikkei)
10 Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind)  17 sor     (cikkei)
11 Re: Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind)  17 sor     (cikkei)
12 The Balkans (mind)  28 sor     (cikkei)
13 Re: Red Terror and White Terror (mind)  63 sor     (cikkei)
14 Re: WOTP Re: Hobbes without Calvin (mind)  4 sor     (cikkei)
15 Re: Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind)  6 sor     (cikkei)

+ - Re: Sending money to Hungary (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The best way to receive money in Hungary is to have it wired directly to
your back account there.  Yes all you backpacking Euro want to be's who
frequent this group you as a forigner can open a dollar account in Hungary
and have your dear parents wire you some cash.  Also if you have not
noticed American Express is in Budapest.  If you have an American Express
card you can write checks from your bank account in the states or
elsewhere and American Express will cash your personal checks.-Misi
+ - Re: Sending money to Hungary (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Try American Express - also not cheap, but more efficient than Western
Union. The only limitation is that you have to be in Budapest, at Amex.,
to pick up your money.

L. J. Elteto
+ - Re: Khazars (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The Serbian novel is _Dictionary of the Khazars_ by Milorad Pavic.
+ - Tad Szulc on '89 (Part I of III) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The book's been out for a while, I hope this is still

 From _Then and now : how the world has changed since WWII_,
      New York, Morrow, 1990

[Szulc, or his proofreader, did a lousy job putting
diacritics in proper names, don't blame my typing.]

        The "Polish Summer" led directly to the "Eastern European
Autumn," now also known as the "Autumn of the People," and it was
an incredible sequence of spectacular events that surprised the
world and changed forever the international equation.

        Hungary came right after Poland--as it had in 1956--because
their internal dynamics were the closest in Eastern Europe.  Though
Hungarians had produced nothing resembling Solidarity, nor did they
live through Polish-type confrontations in the course of the eighties,
they embarked on their own low-profile process of change with
Communist party reformers leading the way.  When I visited Budapest
on the twentieth anniversary of the 1956 uprising, Hungary was the
most relaxed society by Communist standards, and it even seemed
relatively successful under Ja1nos Kada1r's "goulash communism," as
it was then popularly called.  It was not a free country by any means
--the media were fully controlled and the Communist party was fully in
charge of daily life--but the Hungarian regime was not as harshly
repressive as, say, that of Romania, East Germany, or Czechoslovakia.
Unlike Poland, Hungary had no cohesive opposition groups (such as KOR,
which preceded Solidarity), but mild dissent was tolerated.  The
economy, much more liberalized than elsewhere in Eastern Europe as a
result of a series of quiet reforms, was performing reasonably well:
There was a small private sector in trade, farming, and small
construction, and the more affluent were building weekend homes in
the countryside.  In conversations with Hungarian friends, I found
mild contentment, the assumption that Kada1rism in some form would
survive in perpetuity, and something of a consensus that confrontations
were undesirable.  The year 1956 had not been forgotten.

        Hungary, however, began to stir politically in the late
eighties, as Gorbachev already held power in Moscow--suggesting that
Soviet thinking about Marxism-Leninism, and therefore about controls
over Easter Europe, was evolving--and as more and more political
opposition was being tolerated by the Jaruzelski regime in Warsaw, with
a new national dialogue about to start there.  At that juncture, the
initiative for change was assumed by the younger reformists in the
leadership of the Hungarian Communist party.  In 1988, Kada1r was
ousted by his Politburo colleagues from the the chairmanship of the
Party, thirty-two years after he had welcomed Soviet tanks into Budapest.
He was replaced by Premier Karoly1 Grosz.  Kada1r was treated gently--
despite 1956, he was not detested by Hungarians--and no effort was made
to charge him with any past sins.  Kada1r died the following year, at
the age of seventy-seven, as the wave of liberalization swept the country.
+ - Tad Szulc on '89 (Part III of III) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Now internal reform dynamics in Hungary accelerated rapidly.
Imre Pozsgay and Rezso Nyers, the top Politburo progressives, published
a manifesto calling for fundamental economic changes and for a dialogue
with the emerging political opposition groups.  In June, senior Communist
leaders and spokesmen for the opposition met to discuss the creation of
a multiparty system in Hungary, a step reminiscent of Poland's 1988
"round table" negotiations.  At the end of the month, as the next step
in the transition process, the regime established a collective presidency
of Hungary led by Rezso Nyers.  The Communists were still very much in power,
but they appeared to be presiding over the liquidation of the ancien re1gime,
and they obviously commanded wide national support.  By September, the
Communists and the opposition put together the framework for the
inauguration of a multiparty system during 1990.  In October, Rezso Nyers
became chairman of the Socialist Workers' party, and this organization
formally renounced Marxism-Leninism as its ideology, to adopt instead
democratic socialism on the Scandinavian model.  It also renamed itself the
Hungarian Socialist party.  Two weeks later, on the anniversary of the 1956
uprising, the regime proclaimed Hungary a free republic, dropping the former
name, the Hungarian People's Republic, which over the decades had identified
the country as part of the Communist bloc.

        At that juncture, the reformist Communist leadership made it clear
that it would like to keep power in the context of the new Hungary, an idea
that Communists elsewhere in Eastern Europe were beginning to develop quietly
as well.  The leadership's idea was to hold presidential elections in January
1990, ostensibly to demonstrate that Hungary had become a full-fledged
democracy.  It was a very subtle maneuver based on the assumption that Nyers,
the head of the reorganized and renamed Communist party, would probably be
elected because of his personal popularity, and also, more to the point,
because the new democratic parties--such as the infant Hungarian Democratic
Forum--had no time to organize after forty years in wilderness and would be
unable to conduct effective campaigns and field candidates with a winning
potential.  To the Communists' credit, however, they readily agreed to a
referendum on the subject, and they accepted the defeat of their idea with
equanimity when the voters went to the polls on November 26--the first free
election in forty-four years.  The plan approved in the referendum provided
for the election of a new parliament in the spring of 1990, and then the
choice of the president by the legislature.  All the signs were that during
the first year of the new decade, Hungary would become a full-fledged
representative democracy, with the Communists probably becoming the opposition

+ - Tad Szulc on '89 (Part II of III) (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

The Hungarian transition toward democracy, launched in earnest
early in 1989, was the handiwork of the reformist Communist faction in
the Politburo led by Grosz, Rezso Nyers, Imre Pozsgay, and the new
prime minister, Miklos Nemeth, and foreign minister, Gyula Horn.
These men were convinced that rising trends against orthodox communism
were irreversible, that the nation demanded a basic change, and that
Hungarians wanted their sovereignty reaffirmed and respected.  Playing
the reform role within the Communist party that Dubc~ek and his
associates in Czechoslovakia had pioneered in 1968, the Hungarian
Communist progressives concluded that confrontations should be averted
as unnecessary and that they should take the country down the road to
political and economic freedom.  Inasmuch as no organized opposition
existed in Hungary, the regime was not faced with the type of
negotiations the Polish Communist leadership had to conduct with
Solidarity and the Citizens' Committee.  In fact, the Hungarian change-
over happened virtually by national consensus.  Whether or not events
in Hungary were directly inspired by the Polish experience of 1988-89,
Poland unquestionably helped to set the mood--and Gorbachev's assurances
to Grosz in March 1989 that the Soviets would not interfere with reforms
in Eastern Europe became a significant encouragement for the Hungarians.

        But first, the ghost of 1956 had to be exorcised.  The
Communist-dominated Hungarian parliament declared that the great uprising
had *not* been a "counterrevolution," as originally charged, and that
Premier Imre Nagy, who had been secretly executed at the time, was not
a traitor.  In June 1989, Nagy and four of his murdered colleagues were
reburied in a formal ceremony attended by a quarter-million Hungarians.

        In the political realm, parliament had already voted in January
to legalize freedom of assembly and freedom of association; it did so at
the initiative of the Politburo reformers, and it marked for all practical
purposes the end of the Communist dictatorship.  In February, the Socialist
Workers' party, which was the Communist party's official name, announced
that it approved the creation of independent political parties, opening
the way for a democratic multiparty system.  In this sense, the Hungarian
evolution was smoother than Poland's, as no negotiations with anybody were
required.  Meanwhile, Gorbachev, as part of his broader foreign-policy
offensive, began withdrawing Soviet troops from Eastern Europe, even in
the absence of a conventional forces agreement with NATO, choosing Hungary
to be the first country  in the removal (with the exception of Romania,
Soviet troops were permanently stationed in all the Warsaw Pact countries,
with nearly a half million in East Germany alone).

        Early in May, the Hungarian regime ordered the dismantling of
barbedwire fences along the Austrian frontier, becoming the first Communist
nation with an open border to the West.  In the most literal sense, the
iron curtain was torn down at that moment, four decades after, in Winston
Churchill's words, it had descended from the Baltic to the Adriatic.  When
President Bush visited Budapest in July as part of his trip to Poland and
Hungary, he was presented with a strand of that barbed wire, proudly
displaying it to the crowds as the symbol of the end of the iron curtain
era.  But the opening of the Hungarian frontier would soon have much more
palpable and politically significant effects.
+ - Gosztonyi and Maleter (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Joe Pannon wrote in connection with Gosztonyi's role in the October

>Gosztonyi was in the Kilian Barracks during
>the fighting at the end of October.  However, his account of that fight
>contradicts of that given by the commander of the Corvin Place (Koz),
>across the Barracks.  G. Pongratz, the commander maintains that Maleter
>was really not on the side of the revolutionaries and only switched when
>it looked like the uprising won.  The Corvin Place fighters actually had
>to fight both the Russians and Malater's troops.

In the light of the above I reread Gosztonyi's article in the 1993 Yearbook,
published by the 1956 Institute. From this I learned the following. Gosztonyi
arrived in the Kilian Barracks around noon, October 24. There was a political
officer in the barracks called Szabo who recruited a group of diehards to
fight the "counterrevolutionaries." As a result, there were casualties. The
revolutionaries began to attack the barracks and the situation became
critical. A lieutenant colonel called Lajos Csiba was in charge and he asked
for reinforcement. Colonel Male1ter headed the reinforcement troops.
Maleter's soldiers opened fire on the revolutionaries of the Corvin Movie
Theater. However, once Maleter got inside the building, says Gosztonyi, he
talked to a captured "revolutionary," a young boy who told him their
grievances and Maleter offered neutrality. "If you don't fight, we won't

>From October 25 to October 29 Gosztonyi was not in the barracks--he went home
because his parents had to move from their apartment due to damage to the
structure, and he had difficulty getting through the city, hence the delay.
By October 29 Male1ter followed the instructions of the Imre Nagy government,
says Gosztonyi. So, Gosztonyi doesn't deny that Male1ter's troops were
engaged in combat with Pongracz's men from the Corvin Theater. Eva Balogh
+ - Re: WOTP Re: Hobbes without Calvin (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

True enough, for Hobbes especially his was a pre-scientific deductive
world like that of the Greek political philosophers, such as Plato who
was not much concerned whether the apparent world was properly and accurately
described by his absolute images.
        Hobbes was driven, I feel, to a non-theological view of the world
as inhabited by completely egoistic, atomistic beings whose only interest was
a narrow self interest.  He was horrified by the English Civil War and moti-
vated by avoiding a repetition.  To do so he wanted a ruthless sovereign who
could maintain order, someone he called "The Leviathan".  He felt much as
Machiavelli did who wrote "The Prince" in order to unify Italy under somelike
like the Borgias.
        But both men erred in *not* using inductive reasoning, in not using
the scientific method, i.e., of testing their theories against obdurate
reality.  For the fact is that "man is a social animal" as Aristotel
notes in "The Politics," and is *not* in fact totally egoistic. People
often show great capacity for self-sacrifice even though others behave like
the Serbs in Bosnia ("ethnic cleansing") or the Nazis in Poland or Hungary.
        It is, however, in international relations that Hobbes and Machia-
velli's grim vision of "the struggle for power, ceasing only in death" be-
comes most realistic.  And that is because--I feel--that the international
community is still embryonic, its constraints still woefully underdeveloped.
Most people still live bound by nationalistic chains, especially in the
Balkans, their ultimate "we-they" distinction is national in nature.  Only
thus can one explain why Serbian farm boys could carry out the horrors of
"ethnic cleansing" or German farm boys the "ultimate solution"  of the
holocaust or we Americans could carry out the massacre of "Wounded Knee".
        The solution then is to build a sense of international community
which is internally binding upon enough citizens in enough states to stop
such cases of mindless slaughter.  And this the Europeans have miserably
failed to do in the heart of Europe.  A Berlin sign read, "Europa stirbt
in Sarajevo" ("Europe is dying in Sarajevo")
        But where are the Europeans?

Glen D. Camp
Professor of Political Science
Bryant College

On Fri, 28 Oct 1994  wrote:

> Joe writes:
> > what does this thread have to do with Hungary specifically?
> Not to worry, we're almost done.
> Be1la writes:
> > But the virtue of Hobbes and the other social contract theorists, it seems
> > me, lies not in the facticity of their models, but in the challenge to
> > that their models provide.
> Yes, absolutely.
> --Greg
+ - Red Terror, White Terror (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Dear Eva Balogh,

You complain:

>Tibor Benke says:
>>Eva Bokor writes, quoting me:

>First of all, my name is not Bokor but Balogh.

Sorry,  I confused you with  ibokor, who, I gather, is called Imre and is a
man..  My only excuse is that I am cognitively challenged. (BTW, this is
not a joke, and it is considerably more difficult to bear because of the
thoughtless and arrogant way the cognitively able treat people like me.
But that is another issue.)

You wrote:

>Second, I am afraid your
>explanation of pogroms and serfdom in "Eastern Europe" as the cause for the
>Red Terror of 1919 in Hungary didn't sway me. The pogroms and serfdom in
>nineteenth-century Russia had nothing to do with the establishment of the
>Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. NOTHING! (I am somewhat of an expert on
>the Hungarian Soviet Republic; so believe me.) I am not going to go into the
>details of how Bela Kun and the Communists managed to form a government, how
>they lost popularity and why Tibor Szamuelly and the Lenin Boys committed
>their atrocities, riding the trains in the countryside, stopping here and
>there to put down rebellions. Szamuelly was a newspaperman, came from a
>middle-class family; the Lenin Boys were mostly sailors from the lowest
>echelons of society. They wouldn't have even known what the word pogrom
>meant. The real question is why so many young Jews of middle-class background
>were attracted to such extreme political group. Their parents were at least
>middle-class--sometime upper-class (for example, Gyorgy Lukacs (Gyorgy von
>Lukacs, as he used to call himself before 1919 because his family was
>ennobled.) That is the real question. And there is no good answer, although
>several people tried to answer it. So, forget about pogroms. Not applicable
>to the Hungarian case.
>Tibor Benke also mentioned the following:
>>Also if my older brother had been a draftee
>>noncombatant (munkaszolgalatos) taken to the Russian front and killed or
>>crippled there, I might even feel vengeful.
>At least let's keep the chronology straight. Labor batallions didn't exist
>before the late 1930s. We were talking about 1919.
>Further Tibor Benke says:
>>Further, I spoke of a number
>>of generations, pointing to the possibility that those young men may have
>>had ancestors further east
>You really think that Jews from the Pale came to Hungary and therefore
>Hungarian Jews had scores of cousins in Russia. Well, that's wrong too. Most
>Hungarian Jews came from Bohemia during the 1850-60s. After 1867 they came
>from Galicia, which was then part of Austria-Hungary.

I stand corrected !  My knowledge of history in general and Hungarian
history in particular is, doubtless, inferior to yours and inadequate to
the task of forming a reasonable hypothesis to explain the events in
question.  Nevertheless, I continue to be puzzled.

It seems to me that there are two ways to look at the problem, either:

1.  Both the Red Terror and the White Terror can be explained in terms of
some historical process that explains the events as the actions of human
beings, who may not neccessarily act rationally, but have a reason for
their actions that at least make sense to them.

2.  The Red Terror was perpetuated by evil, perhaps sociopathic
individuals, and the White Terror was an unfortunate, but understandeable

What we can learn from history, it seems to me, depends on which hypothesis
we adopt as well as which hypothesis is true.  If we adopt hypothesis 2.,
worse yet, if hypothesis 2. is true, then there is nothing more to be
learned from these events then that we should be vigilant against such bad
people and deal with them as rapidly as possible -identify and get rid of
them or make them harmless.  On the other hand, hypothesis 1. would raise
the question of precisely what social or perhaps psychological processes
caused the Red Terror in the first place.   I prefer this later approach,
since to adopt the former entails police or millitary procedures that, I
think, will inevitably lead to some form of tyrrany.  I admit, however,
that I may be naive in my analysis.

Thank you for your kind attention, and I apologize once more for confusing
you with someone else and for confusing the issues with guesses.

Tibor Benke

P.S.  if you, by chance,  could recommend any good literature about the
history of the period between 1880 and 1930 in both Austria and Hungary, I
would be grateful.  I am especially interested in material relating to the
structure of education and the content of curricula in both countries since
I am trying to write a comparative study of the early works of Karl Popper
(an Austrian) and Karl Mannheim  (a Hungarian).  I read Hungarian and
English, but unfortunately, not German.
+ - Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

>From the Tad Szulc quote:

>   The leadership's idea was to hold presidential elections in January
> 1990, ostensibly to demonstrate that Hungary had become a full-fledged
> democracy.  It was a very subtle maneuver based on the assumption that Nyers,
> the head of the reorganized and renamed Communist party, would probably be
> elected because of his personal popularity, and also, more to the point,
> because the new democratic parties--such as the infant Hungarian Democratic
> Forum--had no time to organize after forty years in wilderness and would be
> unable to conduct effective campaigns and field candidates with a winning
> potential.

I think Szulc got it wrong here when he mentioned Rezso Nyers as the
Communist candidate for the presidency.  It was not Nyers, but Imre

Joe Pannon
+ - Re: Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Joe Pannon writes:

> > ...the assumption that Nyers,
> > the head of the reorganized and renamed Communist party, would probably be
> > elected because of his personal popularity...
> I think Szulc got it wrong here when he mentioned Rezso Nyers as the
> Communist candidate for the presidency.  It was not Nyers, but Imre
> Pozsgai.

I interpret the passage as saying that Nyers was assumed to be the
candidate in an assumed early election; this could be true even if
Pozsgai later ran.  OTOH, maybe you are saying that even at the point
where early elections where under consideration, Pozsgai was the assumed

+ - The Balkans (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Glen Camp writes:

> For the fact is that "man is a social animal" as Aristotel
> notes in "The Politics,"

Arendt claims that Aristotle wouldn't bother declaring such a
triviality, and that the phrase (...zoon politikon, if memory serves)
properly ought to be translated "man is a political animal".

I think she ranks that with "man is the measure of all things" as
one of the worst mistranslations in philosophy; supposedly the Greek
is clear that it ought to be "man is the measure of all his creations"
or some such.

However, my copy of _The Human Condition_ is probably next to _On
Totalitarianism_, which is still missing, so maybe I've got things

[Greek translations, Balkans, close enough I hope]

> A Berlin sign read, "Europa stirbt
> in Sarajevo" ("Europe is dying in Sarajevo")
>         But where are the Europeans?

Yeah, good question.  Waiting for leadership?  Smart enough to stay out?
Waiting for sanctions to take effect?

+ - Re: Red Terror and White Terror (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

On Wed, 26 Oct 1994 09:13:10 EDT Hugh Agnew said:
>Regarding the source trail on the relative death tolls of the "Red "
>and the "White",
>The source both Tokes and Kovrig in his History of the Hungarian Communist
>Party (published by the Hoover Institution) cite is a publication (I'm
>sorry, but I left all my Hungary books in Washington, and can't look it

>up myself) in Budapest in 1922 or 1923 if memory serves.  Someone with a
>decent library might double check this?  I assume if it was published there
>and then it might even have "semi-official" status, but who knows unless
>it's further verified?
--For some reason, I got intruiged with this problem.  Finally, I got a
rainy Sunday afternoon to spend in the library.

--This turns out to be a fascinating problem.  The answer depends on whom
one reads, and I suspect that the heavy hand of ideology counts for more
than anything else.

--First off, if you read Kosary, Dominic G. (1971).  *A history of Hungary*
New York:  Arno Press & New York Times, you find a quote from General
Bandholtz, an American who says "As to there being a real White Terror,
there was nothing of the kind."  This is a quote from Bandholtz's book,
*An undiplomatic diary*. New York (no publisher given), p. 120.
Kosary says that the wise intervention of Admiral Horthy prevented
any persecution of the Reds.

--On the other hand, if you read Erdei, Ferenc (Ed.). (1968).  *Information
Hungary*.  Oxford:  Pergamon Press, you will find that there was no
Red Terror either!

Janos, Andrew C. (1982) *The politics of backwardness in Hungary 1825-
1845*.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press gives the following
figures for official executions:

Red Terror = 342-578
White Terror = 626-over 2000

Janos's authority for these figures include two books by Gratz Gusztav,
(1935) *The epoch of revolutions* and (1921) *Bolshevism in Hungary*,
both published in Budapest by Franklin.  Additional citations are provided
for Dezso Sulyok (1954) *Magyar Trageda*.  Newark:  Author, and a 1920
report by the British TUC and the Labour Party.

NOW!  Tokes, Rudolph L. (1967) *Bela Kun and the Hungarian Soviet
Republic* New York:  Praeger, gives the more familiar figures of 5000
executed, 75,000 jailed, and 100,000 who fled the country as a result
of the White Terror.  Supposedly, these are the official figures whose
authority, Tokes gives as Vary, Albert (1923).  *Victims of the Red
rule in Hungary.*  Budapest:  no publisher given.  Nothing is said
about the Red Terror.

Very frankly, it appears that if you lean to the right, White Terror
figures are low and Red Terror figures are high.  If you lean to the left,
the reverse is true.  I am not persuaded that anybody's "official" figures
are correct, because the whole issue is so political that I suspect that
all figures are tainted.  None of the books leaning to the left even
mention the death trains or the Lenin Boys.  This is only found in books
leaning to the right.  There is a lot of truth in the axiom that history
is written by the winners.

Charles Atherton
+ - Re: WOTP Re: Hobbes without Calvin (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Greg and I are agreed again!  Ain't America a great country?!?

+ - Re: Tad Szulc got more things wrong than spelling (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


I don't think Nyers was ever the presidential candidate.  It was Pozsgai
all along.