Two extremes exist that define the outer limits of political justice in post-communist Eastern Europe. What will emerge as a more regular pattern will most likely fall between these two extremes. Hungary has already plotted a middle course in meting out political justice: there will be no blanket amnesty, but extreme sanctions will also be avoided. In this paper, the author examines the political atmosphere surrounding the debate on political justice in Hungary.
The Ion Ratiu Lecture is pleased to announce that the 2007 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Lecture and Award is Professor Anatoli Mikhailov. Professor Mikhailov is one of the leading personalities fighting for democracy in Belarus.
September 2007 - The war in the East differed dramatically from that in the West in terms of human cost, ideological fanaticism and brutality. The contrasting fates of Denmark and Poland are instructive. The former was certainly the safest zone in Nazi-occupied Europe: between 1940 and 1945 deaths at the hand of the Nazis there numbered only slightly more than the total of automobile fatalities in California in one year. On the other hand, central Poland constituted a black hole of genocidal depravity, arguably the worst place in the world in all of the twentieth century. There is also the chronological dissonance—one can find a number of locales in Lithuania where more people were killed after V-E Day than during the Second World War. It is not difficult to see that the Western (primarily British and American) perspective and imagery of World War II is largely irrelevant to the experiences of the population inhabiting the regions between Germany and Russia. The vocabulary of the "good war," the Holocaust and the Greatest Generation is meaningless to many Lithuanians. Appreciating the conflicting memories and narratives of the war is crucial in seeking to understand Lithuanian perception of the country's difficult past.
April 1998 - Prior to the revolution of December 1989, communist-controlled Romanian Radio and Television was the country's only broadcasting station. The government's incessant quest to save energy limited TV programming to two hours a day, from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Day in and day out, the program began with a newscast on the activities of Nicolae Ceausescu, the president of Romania, and his wife, Elena. Had he done something important, this would be the only news that day. The first item to be sacrificed in this case was the international news. Sometimes the entire newscast or even the entire program was dedicated to Ceausescu's "extraordinary deeds and brilliant speeches."
In this Director's Forum sponsored by the Center's East European Studies program, Prime Minister of Croatia Ivica Racan describes the current situation in Croaia, his government's recent achievements, and future goals.