___REPORT ON THE ACTIVITY OF THE 1956 INSTITUTE PUBLIC FOUNDATION IN 2009 [BESZÁMOLÓ AZ 1956-OS INTÉZET KÖZALAPÍTVÁNY 2009. ÉVI TEVÉKENYSÉGÉRŐL]___Back

1. Financial support in 2009 for the direct founders of the 1956 Institute fell from the previous year due to the state budget economy measures. Most of the Institute's income-Ft. 138.5 mn-came from the main budget allocation of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC). The 2008 allocation of Ft. 160 mn was cut in 2009 to Ft. 143 mn, of which a further Ft. 4.5 mn was withheld at year end, to leave a net sum of Ft. 138.5 mn. The City of Budapest subsidy was Ft. 17 mn, unchanged since 2006. Another Ft. 17.5 mn was gained from competitive funding (PM's Office/
MEC: Republic 20 Years Old program, Ft. 15 mn; Open Society Institute: Hungarian Opposition in the Kádár Period-Oral History, Ft. 2.5 mn). Sales receipts of the Institute's books and films were Ft 4.5 mn over the year. Thus our total income and subsidies were only slightly smaller than the previous year's. The number of publications was somewhat fewer than in the previous year, and a smaller sum was spent on research and infrastructural investment. Strict economy measures were taken. Among others, non-salary payments ceased and remuneration restricted. The 13th month salary payment and bonus were replaced by strictly performance-related remuneration, which was awarded to only about half the staff. Thus staff income from the Institute fell for the first time since 2001. However, it was possible to avoid redundancies. Since a sum of reserves was available at the beginning of 2009 (as in previous years), the management of the Institute over the year went smoothly despite the difficulties.
 The staffing of the Institute was unchanged in 2009. The three staff members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Political Sciences continued to work for the Foundation on a secondment basis. One member of staff moved from part-time to full-time work in September.
 The main line of research at the Institute was determined by the research programme for the whole Institute that began in 2007 and was finalized in the spring of 2008: Kádárism-a version of East European post-Stalinism. Individual researches and projects continued. Two members of staff received PhDs. Three new books and two new Internet contents appeared, and staff continued to publish broadly and on a large scale. The Institute continued to be prominent at contemporary history forums at home and abroad through conference attendances and contributions. The high standard of the Institute's information infrastructure was maintained. The Institute's financial administration was conducted accurately and reliably thanks to the efforts of Pál Germuska, Institute secretary, Ágnes Pintér Fenyvesiné, accountant, and Katalin Szánthó Molnárné, head of the Secretariat. The publication plans for 2009 could not be fully completed. This could be explained partly by the economy measures. But some of the manuscripts planned for publication in 2009 were not completed until the very end of the year (or not even then). Tardiness and slackening of pace could be experienced in the case of a few colleagues.

2. Some Institute publications concerned aspects of the history of the Kádár period. The Yearbook carries results of the second phase of the Kádárism project: various micro-historical "deep probes" into the natural history of Kádárism. Two Internet contents were made for the 20th anniversary of the change of system. The portal entitled 16.06.89-Anatomy of a Day and the related 16.06.89-Anatomy of the Documents elicited major public reactions. (Unfortunately interest was directed less at the whole work than at a tiny part of it: the agents reporting on June 16, 1989 to the security services.) Adrienne Molnár's book The Role of Memories of 1956 in the Change of System also appeared for the anniversary.

3. Individual research focusing closely on the history of the 1956 Revolution was pursued in 2009 by László Eörsi (the uprising in Budapest's 8th District and its participants), Attila Szakolczai (the events in Baross tér and Köztársaság tér; reprisals and the general history of 1956), and Éva Standeisky (social self-organization in the 1956 Revolution). Éva Standeisky completed by the end of the year a very significant manuscript in terms of volume and of scholarly innovation. Also finished by the year's end were András Lénárt's manuscript on 1956 emigration and Márkus Keller's on social history at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Csaba Békés did researches for his monograph on Cold War history. Pál Germuska worked on his monograph on the history of Hungary's arms industry and completed his manuscript on arms-industry collaboration under COMECON. Krisztián Ungváry continued to work on his history of the state security organization in the Kádár period. János M. Rainer worked on researches into the history of the change of system.
 All Institute research staff took part in the Kádárism project, treating Kádárism as post-Stalinist version of a Soviet-type system within a regional comparative framework of regional comparison. The second phase of this was completed in the summer of 2009. Twelve extensive studies were completed and debated at a two-day workshop in September, in the light of which nine studies appeared in the 2009 Yearbook. (The Yearbook is enclosed with the report.)
 
4. The work of the Oral History Archive (OHA) in 2009 was grouped around several continuing projects. The longstanding programme of interview processing and publication entitled The late Kádár period, '56 and the change of system (which partly tied in with the Institute research into Kádárism) was completed, as was the Repatriated project. The former led to a volume, while the latter is undergoing treatment. (Zsuzsanna Kőrösi's study appeared in the Yearbook.) The continuing interview programme Economic Leaders is about the careers of managers hired in the early 1980s. The EU funding application for the We Lived in Socialisms interview programme failed to win first-round backing, but a revised application was made at the invitation of the selection committee-the OHA is one of a consortium involved in the programme, which was initiated from Prague. A start was made to an interview programme could Democratic Opposition (jointly with the Open Society Archive). It ties in with the Other Hungary interview and processing programme which has been going on for some years.
 The OHA increased by 36 self-conducted interviews in 2009 (3 for Economic Leaders, 9 for Democratic Opposition). By the year's end, 16 interviews were in progress (3 for Economic Leaders and 10 for Democratic Opposition). Numerous name indexes and abstracts were made for earlier interviews; the texts of four others were digitalized. The recordings of 3 old interviews of special value were digitalized. (Altogether 128 interview recordings are held in digital form. Only digital recordings have been made since 2008.) To the database were added 126 interview-connected and other documents. Apart from the Institute staff, 35 outside researchers spend about 100 days in the OHA during the year.

5. The Institute website gained two new contents: a photo gallery of the 1989 sequence of events, entitled Hungarian Change of System, Hungarian Democracy, built up steadily between January and October. The content entitled 16.06.89-Anatomy of a Day became accessible on June 11, and the number of users rose further in 2009. (See Appendix 1 for the details.) This content received the 2009 Erasmus Euromedia Medal for the best media product in Hungary.

6.  The Library acquired 293 volumes and CD-ROMs during 1989, as well as 6 manuscript units. The number of researcher visitors in 2009 was 42.

7. The following Institute publications appeared in 2009.
7.1. Books
a. Valuch, Tibor and Ildikó Simonovics, eds: Öltöztessük fel az országot! Divat és öltözködés a szocializmusban (Dress the country! Fashion and dress under socialism). With Argumentum and the Budapest History Museum. 293 pp.
b.  Molnár, Adrienne: 89:56. Ötvenhatosok a rendszerváltásról (Fifty-sixers in the change of system). 288 pp.
c.  Tischler, János, ed. Kádárizmus-élyfúrások (Kádárism-deep probes). Évkönyv, 2009 (Yearbook 2009).  502 pp.
7.2. "E-publications"-internet contents
a.  Topits, Judit, ed.: Már húsz éve...?! Magyar rendszerváltás, magyar demokrácia. Események és szereplők Nagy Piroska fotóin (Twenty years? Hungarian change of system, Hungarian democracy. Events and participants in the photos of Piroska Nagy). www.rev.hu/honapkepei. January-October.
b. Rainer M. János - Topits Judit (szerk.): 890616 - Egy nap anatómiája. [Multimédia internetes tartalomfejlesztés,] Bp., 2009, 1956-os Intézet, www.rev.hu/89

8. Publications by Institute staff included the book Rainer, János M.: Imre Nagy. A Biography. London/New York: I. B. Tauris. Gabriele Schaefer Verlag of Germany published at the year's end a volume entitled "Die Sechziger Jahre" in Ungarn, edited by János M. Rainer, including eight studies from the Sixties project completed in 2004. Staff contributed articles, studies, reviews etc. to over 100 periodicals and volumes. (Appendix 2 contains a full publication list for Institute Staff in 2009.)

9. On January 30, 2009, the Institute and the Open Society Archive held a joint one-day conference on the Historical Subcommittee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party Central Committee. The Institute co-organized an international conference on September 30-October 2 in Bratislava on Persecution of Churches in the Communist Countries in Central and Eastern Europe (with the Prague Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, and the Polish and Slovak National Memorial Institutes). A two-day internal workshop on the first studies in the second phase of the Kádárism project was held on September 2-3. A similar event was held in December on Pál Germuska's COMECON manuscript. (Conference participation and contributions of Institute staff in 2009 are listed in Appendix 3.)

10. Several staff members undertook university teaching in 2009: Tibor Valuch in the Social Sciences Faculty of Budapest's ELTE and at Debrecen University (in each case as part-time employment); Standeisky Éva at Debrecen University (as full-time employment); János M.Rainer at the University of Drama and Cinema and from the autumn at the Károly Eszterházy College in Eger (as an outside lecturer and as part-time employment respectively), Csaba Békés in the International Studies Institute of Corvina University (as part-time employment); and Pál Germuska on the Social and Economic History Doctoral Programme of ELTE (as an outside lecturer). Four staff pursued doctoral studies (3 for a PhD, of which two sat the university examination and one began the regular course; 1 for a DLA (completing the regular course). Tibor Valuch successfully defended his dissertation and obtained the Hungarian Academy of Sciences doctorate. Two staff-Márkus Keller and András Lénárt defended their dissertations during the year and obtained PhD degrees.

11. Turning to international cooperation, Institute staff were invited to numerous international conferences (Appendix 3). Regular cooperation with the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague continued in 2009, for instance with preparations for the Platform on European Remembrance and Conscience. (Pál Germuska is the main liaison.) The Institute's joint European competitive funding applications (for the We Lived in Socialisms consortium and a Hungarian-Romanian programme of memory preservation) have not yet been successful. Nor was an EU application for a section of the Kádárism Project mainly to do with researching the history and aspects of consumption, headed by Professor György Péteri of Trondheim, Norway, successful, as the funding parameters were changed in the meantime.


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Last updated:  Wednesday, 12-May-2010

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