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Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary

Fabricating Authenticity in Soviet Hungary

The Afterlife of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic in the Age of State Socialism

By Péter Apor

This book explores the memory of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, which proved crucial for communist Hungarian political culture throughout the twentieth century. Apor takes an innovative approach to understudied aspects of European memory cultures, focusing particularly on how a dictatorship remembers and the concept of authenticity.

Paperback, 228 Pages

ISBN:9781783084197

January 2015

£25.00, $40.00

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About This Book

How do you make abstract historical interpretations authentic? This question troubled communist party leaders and propaganda historians in Hungary following the restoration of dictatorship after 1956. Accordingly, this book investigates the crooked history of the retrospective state revisions of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic between the years of its 30th and 40th anniversary, 1949 and 1959.

In recent decades the study of memory has become central to the historical discipline as a powerful conceptual tool to assess both the political-ideological implications of social constructions of the past and the writing of history itself. Yet, most of these investigations focus on postdictatorial situations, and suggest ways to understand how these societies confront their controversial and often traumatic pasts. In this volume, Péter Apor takes an in-depth look at a particular phenomenon – the First Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 – to illustrate how a dictatorship and a communist state remembers. Unlike other works analysing social memory, this book concentrates on authenticity as the crucial concept in establishing the success or failure of memory constructions, integrating the broad range of processes – political, scholarly, artistic – through which history is sought to be rendered authentic.

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Author Information

Péter Apor is a research fellow at the Institute of History in the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest.

Series

Anthem Series on Russian

East European and Eurasian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of Illustrations; List of Abbreviations; Introduction; Chapter 1: Prefiguration: The First Hungarian Soviet Republic and the Rákosi Dictatorship before 1956; Chapter 2: Resurrection: The Emergence of 1919 and the Counterrevolution after 1956; Chapter 3: Lives: 1919 in the Postwar Trials of War Criminals; Chapter 4: Funeral: The Birth of the Pantheon of the Labour Movement in Budapest; Chapter 5: Narration: History, Fiction and Proof in the Representation of the First Hungarian Soviet Republic, 1959–65; Epilogue: The Agitators and the Armoured Train; Index

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