Summary of the East European Studies meeting with Alice Freifeld, Associate Professor of History at the University of Florida, FL.

Over the last 100 years Hungary has experienced conflict between the nationalist view of Hungary as a nation of and for Hungarians, and the reality of several hundred years of history in which non-ethnic Hungarians (including the Jews, Roma, and ethnic Germans) played a significant role in Hungarian society.

In addition to examining the historical roots of the conflict between Hungarian nationalism and ethnic minorities, Dr. Friefeld dealt with current ethnic policy in Hungary which is more focused on the assertion of rights for ethnic Hungarians living in neighboring countries than on the situation of minorities living within Hungary itself. As an example of such minority problems she cited the Roma, who officially have full rights and freedoms but in reality continue to be treated as second class citizens.