Does a civil-war mentality exist in Hungary?


The rioting in Budapest in October 2006 following Ferenc Gyurscány’s “lying speech” woke up the outside world to the existence of deep divisions in Hungarian society. At first, the international press was only to happy to see the “parallel” between the demonstrations and the 1956 revolution, a version of events put forward by the demonstrators themselves. Later, when it emerged that many belonged to the far-Right, there was a shrill cry of disapproval, then attention moved elsewhere. But a new controversy around a monument to the ’56 revolution shows that political antagonism in Hungary, played out via historical symbols, shows no sign of abating. If commentators in Hungary are talking about a “civil war mentality” in the country, then that is something Europe needs to understand better. Eurozine asks Hungarian journalists, authors, and publishers how it has come to this.

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