Cover Osteuropa 12/2011

In Osteuropa 12/2011

“The Well of the Past Is Deep”
Hungary’s Failed Transitions

Rudolf Ungváry

Deutsche Fassung


The current political atmosphere in Hungary is not to be understood without having a look at the past. Here lie the roots of the authoritarian, nationalistic, and clerical thinking of the ruling elite. It picks up on the right-wing traditions, values, and practices of the interwar period, which were never dealt with. Socialism prevented this through a lack of public discussion. Instead, it intensified political thinking in categories of friend or foe. Hungary is now paying the price for the risks of freedom without the experience of freedom. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party are mobilising the tendency to political hysteria and resentment present in large parts of the population to build an illiberal system.

(Osteuropa 12/2011, pp. 119–134)