Academy and Politics. The Background of a Habilitation Process (Germany, 1938)
For the past one and a half decades, in line with the process of a critical introspection of history and historiography in Germany, more and more attention has been paid to the study and assessment of those institutions and researchers, which and who were instrumental in the development of South-East European studies in the country. At the conferences dedicated to the discovery and the reevaluation of the discipline's past, the life and works of Fritz Valjavec, the emblematic figure of German Südostforschung, are often discussed. Having roots in the Banat region, Fritz Valjavec (1909–1960), the historian studying the cultural relationship of Germans with South-East Europe, the emblematic member of the Südost-Institut in Munich and the founder of the institution's periodical, the Südost-Forschungen, maintained lively connections with scholars in Hungary in the interwar period. These connections as well as their influence on Hungarian historiography in the interwar period were rediscovered in the literature (after the intensive discourses of the 1930s and 40s) in the past decade. Through the analysis of Valjavec's habilitation process, the paper reveals those expectations a historian pursuing a career in the National Socialist atmosphere of German academic life had to meet. It covers the process in detail, starting with the screening of the candidate then describing the narrow-minded attacks against him and the intricate efforts to undermine the process as well as the measures taken by the National Socialist academic groups supporting Valjavec. The contradiction that surfaced during the examination of the vast opus submitted as the habilitation thesis (Der deutsche Kultureinfluss im nahen Südosten. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung Ungarns) is especially worthy of attention: while in his home country many criticized the work for the lack of political consciousness and power in its wording, in Hungary, it was seen as a "manifestation of cultural nationalism" and a scholarly justification for Germany's aspirations for territorial expansion.
The Bourgeois Aristocrat. Kálmán Kánya's Character from the Start to his Becoming Foreign Minister
The grand old man of Hungarian foreign policy in the interwar period, Kálmán Kánya graduated at the consular academy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and started his diplomatic career in the foreign service of the Monarchy. After the dissolution of Austria-Hungary, he played a crucial role in setting up the independent ministry of foreign affairs. As chief secretary, he was the de facto leader of the ministry. Relinquishing this title in 1925, he became Hungary's ambassador in Berlin. Kánya sought to facilitate his country's international recognition and growth as well as the realization of the fancy of territorial revision through cooperating with Germany. With the consent of his prime minister, István Bethlen, he also tried to assist the cooperation of Germany with Hungary's other potential partner in foreign policy: Italy. Even though Kánya was a very talented Hungarian diplomat, whose attitude was in complete harmony with how he imagined and represented the goals of Hungarian foreign policy, his activity in Berlin was controversial and fell short of the expectations. Germany did not regard Hungary as a partner, as it had become the standard-bearer of European revisionism, and the difficulties hindering the cooperation with Italy could not be overcome either. The problems in foreign trade that arose as a result of the global economic crisis also took a toll on Hungarian-German relations. Kánya was not an easy man to get on with, which – together with his supposed extreme right-wing connections – made him unpopular among the representatives of German foreign policy, who had aversion to him. Maybe partly because of the moderate success of his policy in Berlin, Kánya looked for new fields to realize his ambitions and in 1933 he agreed to become foreign minister in Gyula Gömbös' government. In this capacity, he could witness the emergence of an Italian-German-Hungarian cooperation, but this already came about with the participation and the leadership of another Germany. This Germany was governed by that Nazi party and its leader, which and whom Kánya strongly despised.
"And I Did Not Worry Much about the Bombings Either… At Least We Have Some Variety." Children's Diaries in the Second World War
The paper makes an attempt to show the significance of children's diaries, written during the Second World War, from a psychological point of view. Most of these children were born between 1928 and 1931 and started their diaries in different years. What is common among them is that all of them were adolescents when they decided to do so. So the inner problems common in this period of life are very strong and analyzable in the diaries. The influence of the War and the resulting stress and trauma also appear in them – and the answers the children themselves gave to these problems are interesting for us. The expression of their mental, psychical and empirical world in the diaries show that they used a kind of psychological preventive mechanism as a self-defense technique. On the whole, we can say that they primarily tried to protect their mental world and their self-confidence – with more or less success. It was typical that in their inner world they imagined something worth living for and in most cases this "something" was some kind of a profession. That was one of the most important part of their identity and they stuck to it to survive. In connection to that, they tried to take refuge in those kind of activities which diverted their attention from the outside world. For example, keeping a diary was such in some cases, just like the games played in the cellars during the siege of Budapest.
The Space of the Gypsies: An Interpretation of the Birth of the Communist Roma Policy in East-European Comparison, 1945–1961
The essay analyses the official policy towards the Roma population in Eastern Europe after 1945 in a comparative perspective. Researchers of this field have to tackle a relatively difficult problem, namely the apparent lack of sources in the immediate post-war period. The gypsies as a distinct group were omitted from almost all documents devoted to social, education or health policy. Consequently, an understanding of the post-war Gypsy policy demands the quest for those aspects of discursive and social-political practices through which the authorities could expound their attitude towards the Roma. These rhetorical figures were connected to the concepts and depictions of backwardness, savageness and social danger, whereas in practice were embodied in the field of health care and policy, the behavior of the police, education and, mostly, labor organization. This approach demonstrates how the knowledge on the Roma was generated by the demands of the exercise of power and eventually justified various political measures. The central party resolutions issued at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s concerning the Gypsies did not spring from the accumulation of the knowledge and experience of working with the Roma. Whereas classical socialism exercised power through various techniques of mass mobilization and by campaigns for political and social activity, late communist dictatorships aspired to keep the population in passivity. It led to the fact that the authorities did not require active support for their programs, but rather represented the political center as capable of identifying and solving all social problems like the integration of the backward and work-shirker Gypsies.
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