Hollosi Information eXchange /HIX/
Copyright (C) HIX
Új cikk beküldése (a cikk tartalma az író felelőssége)
Megrendelés Lemondás
1 Szabadka (Subotica) - take a virtual tour! (mind)  28 sor     (cikkei)
2 Shock therapy (mind)  26 sor     (cikkei)
3 Re: October 23 celebrations in Budapest (mind)  18 sor     (cikkei)
4 Re: Collective Rights (mind)  19 sor     (cikkei)
5 Jackson in Budapest (mind)  21 sor     (cikkei)
6 subscribe (mind)  1 sor     (cikkei)
7 A review of Horn's autobiography. Part I. (mind)  165 sor     (cikkei)

+ - Szabadka (Subotica) - take a virtual tour! (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)


This is an open invitation to all who are interested in visiting Szabadka /
Subotica, my native town.
Point your WWW-capable browsers to:


and you can enjoy a complete interactive cyber-tour with pictures and links to
take you around town.

\dvvzlvm mindnnyajukat,

Minden szmves irdeklvdvt szeretettel meghmvok Szabadka varost bemutats
virtualis kvrztra. A World
Wide Web cmm:


A kvrzt soran be lehet barangolni Szabadkat, bekukkantani a varoshazara is
katedralisokba. A tzra
Palics |d|lvhelyen vigzvdik.

Js szsrakozast!

+ - Shock therapy (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Unfortunately I don't have Joe's article in front of me due to my
confused state of being between addresses but he seemed to be terribly upset
that I misquoted him in our discussion of Jeffrey Sachs's shock therapy. In
fact, he said something to the effect that I was trying to make a fool of
him. Honest, I don't want to make fools of people and I certainly didn't
want to make a fool of him. However, I still believe that Joe fundamentally
misunderstood my reference to shock therapy.

        Let me repeat again. Shock therapy simply means a quick switch over
from a command economy and state ownership to market economy and
privatization. Not a dragged out, slow process which the Hungarians opted
for, but the Polish model of fast change over. As a result of this radical
move, several formerly subsidized state factories will simply die or will
move into private hands. Most likely a lot of people will be out of jobs.
Not just the poorest segments of society but a very large slice of the
population, including engineers, accounts, factory managers, and so on and
so forth. However, because of the quick change over to market economy new
opportunities will arise in time and the temporary hardship will perhaps,
even everything goes well, will be eliminated. In Poland it worked, there is
a healthy seven-percent economic growth/per year. In Hungary, on the other
hand, there is no growth and the possibility of quick change in this respect
is illusionary. Hungary still has the same number of unemployed and a large
segment of the populatiaon live below poverty-level without any hope of
change. And here the emphasis is ln "without any hope of change."

        Eva Balogh
+ - Re: October 23 celebrations in Budapest (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

At 07:29 PM 9/7/96 GMT, Kalman wrote:
>I have been trying to find out what, if any, celebrations will take place
>in Budapest on October 23, 1996.  I did do a rather extensive search on
>the web and usenet without much success.  Does anyone know of a good source
>of information?
>Thank you in advance.

        This is a good question. Who knows? I read something that there are
plans to celebrate "together" this time, but whether they will go through
with it without killing each other, I don't know. Considering the round
number (it is really very sad how fast time flies) I would think that a
proper celebration would be in order. But I think Hungarian society is so
split on this issue that it is hard to imagine that they can celebrate
peacefully together.

        But as soon as I hear something I will post it here.

        Eva Balogh
+ - Re: Collective Rights (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

At 01:52 PM 9/8/96 -0700, Norma wrote:

>For those of us without the Fletcher Forum journal, is there any chance
>of reposting the article here?

        I second this.

>First off, define collective?  And what can it mean in, e.g. a village on
>the Danube that has say 51% Magyars or SLovaks and 40% of the other?  I
>chose on the Danube as a location with an international aspect too, as a
>waterway across Europe, an ecologically important area, etc

        I think this is a very good question and I'm not sure whether my
answer is satisfactory, but off the bat, I think that when we mention the
concept "collective rights," we think in terms of territorial autonomy.

        But perhaps Roman could come up with something more specific.

        Eva Balogh
+ - Jackson in Budapest (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

This item from the Associated Press is in todays local paper, The Record.
Jackson retreats from mob of fans

Michael Jackson's HIStory tour is turning into hysteria.

A crowd of about 500 fans rushed a record store in Budapest after word
spread that Jackson had gone shopping.  His bodyguards linked arms to keep
people at bay, and the King of Pop appeared to wave the crowd back.

That gave the crowd a burst of energy and people surged forward, smashing
through the store's windows.

"Jacko likes to come to Hungary because people here love him," said 18-year
old Ferenc Kis.

Jackson, on his first world concert tour since 1993, retreated to his hotel
and tossed autographed pillows out a window.

Joe Szalai
+ - subscribe (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

please subscribe me to your newsgroup.
+ - A review of Horn's autobiography. Part I. (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

As I mentioned earlier I managed to get a copy of Horn's
autobiography, published in 1991 and by now out of print. However, a friend
in Hungary who had a copy didn't think that her library would be marred for
ever if she parted with her copy. Thus, I received it thanks to her
generosity about a week ago.

        I read the whole thing pretty quickly, partly because it is rather
short and partly because it is interesting reading. Yet, overall, I wouldn't
call it a real autobiography or a serious political analysis by a man who
was "at the creation," to borrow a phrase from Dean Acheson. Horn's main aim
seemed to have been to prove the following (1) since 1970 he had known that
"existing socialism" was dead and only a multi-party system could solve the
economic and political problems; (2) that the MSZMP under Janos Kadar (whom
he consistently calls "az O:reg" [The Old Man] was not a servile puppet of
the Soviet Communist party; (3) that he himself was a very important man who
influenced world history.

        Here is an example how infuriating Gyula Horn can be when he refuses
to devulge details. On page 39 of his book (entitled *Co:lo:po:k*
[Stakes/piles]) he describes a meeting with Enrico Berlinguer, head of the
Italian Communist party in 1982. He tells us that the meeting lasted longer
than two hours and that Berlinguer was complaining about Soviet attitudes.
Then he writes--and now I am going to quote verbatim--"And then he [meaning
Berlinguer] listened carefully to my analysis of the details of the Polish
crisis which had been unknown to him." Then Horn drops the whole subject. Of
course, the reader would be most interested in the details of the Polish
crisis which Horn knew about and Berlinguer didn't. However, in vain we can
find important details of this sort. Equally infuriating his habit of not
naming names. His superiors are always nameless, whether it is simply one of
the Hungarian ambassadors to Sofia at the beginning of his diplomatic career
or his boss, the foreign minister, at the time when he is undersecretary at
the ministry. I assume with a little research one can come up with the names
of even lowly ambassadors but this habit is infuriating, bringing up
memories of lack of openness of an earlier era.

        The structure of the book is a bit odd as well. His first 40-odd
pages are spent at describing several intraparty conferences all through the
1970s and 1980s. Then suddenly he goes back to his own family history,
starting with his father's participation in the Hungarian Red Army in 1919
and the description of his childhood and ending with his student days in the
Soviet Union. After his return he works for the Ministry of Finance,
involved, on the wrong side, in the Hungarian revolution of 1956, and
continues with his ministerial and party career after 1956. The first
section, dealing with intraparty affairs of the bloc, is full of
descriptions of different conferences among the socialist bloc's communist
parties. The whole section has an aura of unreality about it--after all,
this is all gone, all the parties are finished, the Soviet Union is no
longer. Yet, Horn discusses these matters with the utmost seriousness. Here
is one sentence to prove the point. Describing one of these deadly
conferences and the diplomatic work which preceded it, Horn says the
following: "I believe that the new openness of Zagladin and his friends
ensured that such a document was born, which in my opinion, was a real
breakthrough not only in the history of the communist parties and the
working-class movement, but also in the relationship among socialist
countries." I guess, if you spend good twenty years of your life as a
foreign-policy expert of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist
party you cannot belittle your achievements by admitting that in the long
run the relationship between these communist parties was of little significance

        Horn came from a dirt-poor family. His background was more than
humble. His father became involved with the communist party during the
Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919 and was enrolled in the Red Army. After
the fall of the Soviet regime, he was arrested and sentenced to four years
in jail. According to Horn his father didn't keep in touch with the illegal
communist party, but he was in and out of jail, with or without reason. He
was totally uneducated and worked, when he worked, as a moving man--tro'ger
in Hungary. Tro'ger is so low on the totempole of professions that it also
means "lout, boor." And every two years or so, his mother produced another
son, twelve in all, but only seven lived. Gyula was the third.

        With the arrival of the Germans in March 1919 his father was taken
for good: he was forced to dig his own grave and then shot in the forests
around the city of Sopron on the Austrian border. The family's communist
past was helpful, of course, in the new regime. Mother spent weeks at party
school, brother Geza became affiliated with the Actor's Academy, and Gyula
who had only a five-grade education, finished the three remaining grades in
elementary school in one year and subsequently was taken into a program
where in one year the students managed to finish four years of high school.
When asked whether he wanted to study in the Soviet Union, he answered yes
and a year later he was on his way to Rostov, a town closed to foreigners,
in the Soviet Union.

        And here one ought to pause a little bit especially when one comes
to Horn's description of what Rostov was like in those days. Miserable,
especially after 1952! People were starving, including the students. Yet,
after spending four years in Rostov he returned to Hungary and merrily
embarked on building socialism the Soviet way. It is so hard to follow the
thinking of people like Horn. Surely, he saw everything which was bad in
Stalinist Russia and yet he didn't seem to have any doubts, or if he had any
they didn't interfere with his future career in the party and in the
government before and after 1956.

        When we get to the summer of 1954 when Horn returns from the Soviet
Union with a "Red Diploma" (summa cum laude Soviet style) the book is most
interesting not because it says but because of it doesn't. His description
of Hungarian reality from that time on to the end of the October Revolution
takes six and a half pages all told. Out of these six and a half pages more
than a page is devoted to his three-months compulsary military service in
order to reach the lowest officer rank, sub-lieutenant. About the turbulent
times before the revolution he has only one or two sentences to say. It is
worth quoting the passage in full. In his capacity as an employee of the
Ministry of Finance he had to travel a lot outside of Budapest. And let me
quote first in Hungarian because this passage is so telling: "Igazaban akkor
ismertem meg a magyar valosagot a hosszu tavollet utan. Mindenutt nagy
bajokat, feszultsegeket tapasztaltam, de akadtak videkek, ahol jobban mentek
a dolgok." [It was during this time that I really learned about Hungarian
reality after many years spent abroad. I noted huge problems and tensions
everywhere, but there were parts of the country where things were better.]
That's it!!!! The next sentence begins: "1956 oktober 24-en Szegeden . . .
voltam." [I was in Szeged on October 24, 1956] Surely, Mr. Horn simply
doesn't want to talk about Rakosi's Hungary and the antecedents of the

        Now, let's see what he has to say about the revolution itself. Not
much. His wife was pregnant and actually gave birth on October 30 in the
Szent Margit Hospital, while Horn went back in the ministry, visited his
mother, who told him that one of his brothers joined the revolutionaries.
His older brother Geza, who also finished college in the Soviet Union, was
ambivalent about the events. On the one hand he didn't like Gero, Revai and
Farkas (didn't mind Rakosi so much) but "now he was watching the affairs
with deep anxiety." Horn meanwhile received a piece of paper with the
signature of Bela Kiraly to serve in the "Nemzetorseg" as reserve officer
and as such patrolled the streets with a tricolor armband. He was one of the
few people who could actually talk to the Soviet soldiers. Then a strange
sentence appears in the text: "November 4-en elkezdodott az ujabb harc." [On
November 4 the fighting broke out again.] Well, that is an interesting way
of telling the reader that the Soviet Union decided an out-and-out attack
against Hungary. And there is another interesting sentence in the next
paragraph. He keeps going back to the ministry. "A miniszteriumban egymast
kovettek a gyulesek, s jo nehanyan elindultak Nyugatra. Kollegam, akivel egy
szobaban dolgoztunk, engem is biztatott a disszidalasra, de en nem lattam
ertelmet, s a tagabb csaladot sem akartam itthagyni." [In the ministry we
had meeting after meeting, and many began a journey to the West. My
colleague with whom I shared a room kept telling me that I should also leave
the country but I didn't see any sense in it; moreover, I didn't want to
leave my family.] "I didn't see any sense in it"? Interesting way of
handling a momentous decision like this or a political statement of this sort.

        On December 12 seven people from the Ministry of Finance were asked
to come to party headquarters. Among these seven were the ones who had been
students in the Soviet Union. At party headquarters they were asked whether
they would join the Janos Hunyadi Battalion of the Budapest Police to keep
order in town. The people who joined these battalions were later called the
"pufajkasok" after their quilted Soviet-style jackets. The new regime until
mid-December had to rely entirely on the Soviet troops; it was only around
mid-December that they dared to approach a few select and obviously
"trustworthy" men, among them former Soviet scholarship students, Horn
included. Horn said yes and made arrangements for a trip (in one of the
ministry's cars) to his wife's family in the County of Vas where he
deposited his wife and new-born baby girl. He suggested his brother Geza who
was busily reorganizing the party under a new name Magyar Szocialista
Munkaspart (MSZMP) in their districts, to go with them. He refused. A day
later he was caught by a group of revolutionaries and killed.

        I will continue with Horn's description of the Kadar regime and his
role in it sometime in the future. As far as the first half of the book is
concerned I find Horn's handling of his life between 1954 and 1956 the most
interesting part of the book: he says almost nothing of significance one way
or the other. We don't know what he thought before or during the revolution.
I am sure he has good reason to be so brief on these topics. Let's hope that
one of these days, let's say fifty years from now, we will have a fuller
picture of Gyula Horn's life in the 1950s.

        Eva Balogh