___REPORT ON THE ACTIVITY OF THE 1956 INSTITUTE IN 2006 [BESZÁMOLÓ AZ 1956-OS INTÉZET 2007. ÉVI TEVÉKENYSÉGÉRŐL]___Back
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1. Financial support for the Institute in 2007 declined somewhat, due to economy measures in state spending: budget support fell from HUF 167 million in 2006 to HUF 160 million, which was received out of the allocation to the Ministry of Education and Culture. Support from the Budapest Capital City remained the same at HUF 17 million. The Institute's competitive funding application work was far less varied than before and much less funding was received than in the previous year (about HUF 3 million, to which funding that continued from the previous year was added). This cannot all be explained by Institute-related aspects of the measures to balance the state's finances. In addition, a great many costly projects drew to a close in the 2006 jubilee year and the exceptional operating situation in that year ceased in 2007. Far fewer publications appeared in the latter year and less could be spent on research and infrastructural investment. As in previous years, certain reserves were available initially. Sales of the Institute's books and films yielded income of over HUF 1 million. The economic operation of the Institute under the conditions described proceeded in a balanced way.
 The Hungarian Academy of Sciences/National Széchényi Library 1956 Research Group ceased operation on January 1, 2007. The three full-time staff members joined the staff of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Political Science and under an agreement between the two institutes, they were seconded to the Public Foundation of the 1956 Institute. The strength and composition of the staff was otherwise unchanged during the year. One member of staff was absent on child-care leave throughout the year.
 The research and publication activity in 2007 proceeded successfully, in the Institute's estimation. One important line, in the year after the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, was summarization and processing of the scholarly and commemorative fruits of the anniversary. The other was to devise and initiate an Institute-wide research programme for the coming years. This was successfully achieved. All the individual researches and programmes suspended or curtailed due to the exceptional requirements in 2006 were resumed. Half a dozen new independent publications of the Institute appeared and the staff continued to publish widely and extensively elsewhere. Naturally, the scale of participation in domestic and international conferences fell short of 2006, but the Institute's presence at the forums of contemporary history at home and abroad remained significant and secure. The IT infrastructure of the Institute remained at a high standard. The administration of the Institute continued to be smooth, proceeding with the accustomed precision and reliability. We were able again, over the year, to rely fully on the expertise and devotion of Pál Germuska, the Institute secretary, Mrs Ágnes Pintér Fenyvesi, the accountant, and Mrs Katalin Szánthó Molnár, the head of the secretariat.
 It has to be noted self-critically that the overall performance fell short of the Institute plans in some respects, partly, perhaps, as knock-on effect of the exceptional burdens of the previous year. Several manuscripts earmarked for publication in 2007 were only completed at the very end of the year or were held over into the next. That would not have posed a problem in itself (on the contrary), but the same cannot be said for the way disputes occasionally exceeded the bounds acceptable among colleagues.


2. Most Institute publications in 2007 were connected to the anniversary in the previous year. Proceedings of the Institute's jubilee international conference were published in Hungarian and in English. Two volumes of studies and two Internet content provisions also appeared. The Institute's documentary-film production side was suspended in 2007, as the colleague dealing with it was on child-care leave.

3. Individual researches on the history of the 1956 Revolution were pursued in 2007 by László Eörsi (Budapest uprising and insurgents), Attila Szakolczai (history of workers' councils and 1956 in general), Éva Standeisky (civil organizations in the 1956 Revolution) and András Lénárt (1956 emigration). Márkus Keller was engaged on a research subject to do with the inter-war period (for part of the year in Germany). Csaba Békés conducted researches into Cold-War history. Pál Germuska worked on a monograph covering the history of the Hungarian arms industry, Krisztián Ungváry on a history of the state-security organization in the Kádár period, and János M. Rainer on a volume discussing the state-security surveillance of József Antall. All the Institute staff took part in reviewing historical works published in the fifty years since the 1956 Revolution and in the initial research to do with the Kádár system.
 The last formed one of the main tasks in 2007. The many working discussions and Institute debates in various circles produced an outline of the subject-matter of the project, the methods to be employed and the phases of the work. The plan of personal assignments under the first phase (up to the beginning of March 2008) will yield 8 + 7 historiographic essays, covering recent accounts of the post-Stalin history of the individual Soviet-system countries, and concepts for analysing the Kádár system (soft dictatorship, ideological pragmatism and censorship [self-censorship], the second economy, living-standard bargaining, market socialism, and embourgeoisement [resurrection of the petty bourgeoisie])

4. The Oral History Archive (OHA) continued its "Other Hungary" programme of interviewing and interview-processing, also involving archive research and collection of photographs. The "Repatriates" programme of interview recording was completed. Altogether 22  internally produced interviews were added to the OHA (including 15 "Other Hungary" and 2 "Repatriates"). At the end of the year there were 19 interviews in progress. Several name indexes and abstracts of earlier interviews were made and texts of 61 earlier interviews were digitalized (with another 23 in progress). Digitalization of 6 the sound materials of 6 interviews of exceptional interest were made (with another 2 in progress). Work began on the "follow-up" programme for the interviews with leading economic figures of the early 1980s, of which 2 were completed. Research work in the OHA was done by 31 outside researchers during the year, as well as by Institute staff.
 
5. After complete renewal in 2006, the Institute website gained two new content provisions in 2007. Some refinements also became necessary during the year. Development of the chronological provision and the "photographic life's work database" began and continue. (The latter combines biographical data and extracts from life-interviews with photographers with galleries showing a cross-section of the photographic work. The first stage is largely ready and will be unveiled early in 2008.) Traffic on the site was somewhat down on 2006, but the trend is still upwards. (For data, see Appendix 1.)

6. The Institute library acquired 322 volumes and CD-ROMs and 20 document units. The number of visitors during the year was about 100. A more extensive bibliography of the history of the 1956 Revolution was placed on the Institute website. A bibliography of the reviews of jubilee-related book publications was made (and integrated into the content provision, see above.) Work began on a bibliography of the Kádár period.

7. The following Institute publications appeared in 2007:
7.1 Books
a. Gyáni, Gábor, and János M. Rainer, eds: Ezerkilencszázötvenhat az újabb történeti irodalomban. Tanulmányok (1956 in recent historical writing. Studies). Budapest, 2007, 418 pp. 1956 Institute jubilee series.
b.  Rainer, János M., and Katalin Somlai, eds: The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Soviet Bloc: Reactions and Repercussions. Budapest, 2007, 152 pp. With Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security.
c.  Rainer, János M., and Katalin Somlai, eds: Az 1956-os forradalom visszhangja a szovjet tömb országaiban (Reaction to the 1956 Revolution in the Soviet-bloc countries). Budapest, 2007, 455 pp. Yearbook XIV.
d. Békés, Csaba, ed.: Evolúció és revolúció. Magyarország és a nemzetközi politika 1956-ban (Evolution and revolution. Hungary and international politics in 1956). Budapest, 2007, 404 pp. With Gondolat.
7.2.  E-books-Internet content provisions
a.  Tischler, János, ed.: The World Press on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
http://server2001.rev.hu/msite_next/index.asp?id=2&lang=en.
b.  Rainer, János M., and Judit Topits, eds: Ötvenhat az ötvenediken. Kritikai szemle a magyar forradalom félévszázados évfordulójára megjelent művekből ('56 on its 50th. Critical review of works appearing for the half-century of the Hungarian Revolution). Budapest, 2007
http://www.rev.hu/reviews.
7.3 No documentary films were made in 2007 as producer Réka Sárközy was on child-care leave. Of the two films made in 2006, Forró ősz... (Seething Autumn) won Best Scientific Educational Film Grand Prix of 2006 at the 38th Hungarian Film Review; a prize at the FilmDok4 festival in Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc), and the Erasmus EuroMedia Medal 2007. Naplófilm (Diary Film) was invited to compete at several foreign festivals, including the IDFA in Amsterdam.

8. Turning to the publications of Institute staff, Éva Standeisky had two books published (Kassák, az ember és a közszereplő [Kassák the man and the public figure]. Budapest: Gondolat; Antiszemitizmusok [Anti-Semitisms]. Budapest: Argumentum.) László Eörsi's book co-authored with Tibor Filep ("Jogot akartam mindenkinek...". Iván Kovács László Emlékkönyv ["I wanted rights for all..." A László Iván Kovács memorial]) was published by Gold Book, with support from the 1956 Institute. János M. Rainer's study The Agent, Fragments on State Security and Middle Class Values in Kádárist Hungary was published as a separate booklet in Trondheim University's Trondheim Studies on East European Cultures and Societies series (No. 22). Márkus Keller acted as guest editor of No. 28-9 of the social-history journal Korall with Central Europe from a Comparative Perspective as its theme. Attila Szakolczai's volume of documents entitled  A győri vagongyár munkástanácsa (The workers' council at the Győr Wagon Factory) was published by Győr City Archives. (Appendix 2 contains a full 2007 publication list of the staff of the 1956 Institute.)
 
9.  In June 2007, the Institute in conjunction with the Imre Nagy Foundation held a conference on the  history of the 1956 workers' councils, several contributions to which have appeared in print. Workshop conferences exclusively of Institute staff were held twice on the subject of the conceptual problems of the Kádár period and system. These served also to devise and initiate a common project. (Appendix 3 contains a list of the 2007  conference appearances by staff of the 1956 Institute.)

10. The following staff did university teaching in 2007. Csaba Békés spent the spring term at New York University and Empire State College and the fall term at Columbia University. Tibor Valuch taught part-time throughout the year in the Social Sciences Faculty of ELTE, Budapest. Éva Standeisky remained on the full-time teaching staff at the University of Debrecen. János M. Rainer taught courses at the University of Drama and Cinema, as did Attila Szakolczai in the autumn term at the University of Szeged. Five staff continued their doctorate studies (four PhD and one DLA). In September 2007, Tibor Valuch submitted the manuscript of his monograph Hungarian daily life-some characteristics of change in daily life in Hungary in the socialist period to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences as a doctoral dissertation.

11. Two members of the Institute staff (János Kenedi and Krisztián Ungváry) were invited by the government to spend the second half of the year working on the so-called Document Discovery Commission.

 


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Last updated:  Tuesday, 22-April-2008

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