Despite controversies over the contents of political reform, a commitment to reform served as a binding force for both Eastern Europe and China right until the spring of 1989. Paradoxically, the same reform processes—which on both sides initially ran parallel, serving as a point of reference and contributing to the renormalization of relations—had, by 1989, led to diametrically opposite political solutions and turned into a source for difference and separation.
Up until 1989, vitally no one had expected that the developments in Eastern Europe could lead to the total collapse of communism in the foreseeable future. Using new material from Hungarian archives, authors Csaba Békés, Béla Révész, and Barnabás Vajda assess the impact of the Bush-Gorbachev meeting at Malta in light of the political climate of 1989.
In CWIHP e-Dossier No. 50, Péter Vámos addresses the controversy over the Chinese role in the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Using documents from the Chinese Foreign Ministry Archive in Beijing, Vámos argues that the official Chinese position was a distortion of actual events.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #109, 1980. PDF 40 pages.
Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Kennan Institute Occasional Paper Series #45, 1978. PDF 57 pages.
In CWIHP Working Paper No. 66, “The ‘Club of Politically Engaged Conformists’? The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Popular Opinion and the Crisis of Communism, 1956,” Kevin McDermott and Vítězslav Sommer argue that 1956 represented a ‘crisis of communism’ of monumental proportions in Eastern Europe, but that Czechoslovakia remained a haven of political stability, ideological orthodoxy and social cohesion despite the upheavals occurring in neighboring Poland and Hungary.
The Cold War in the Third World and the Collapse of Detente in the 1970s
This conference aimed at exploring the experiences and the political goals of women elected to parliament in the postcommunist countries of East Central Europe and Russia. Since 1989, the political scene in Eastern Europe and Russia has changed swiftly. In many countries, women participated in the drive to transform the communist system through demonstrations, civil activism and roundtables.Yet, in the immediate transition period, civic participation of the population in general has declined and the social and political participation of women seems to have declined more than that of men. This difference is attributed in part to the fact that women have been more burdened by the complex adjustments to the social and economic transformations of their societies. In the last few years, however, women with good qualifications and professional experience are slowly gaining political power and influence in several countries.
The history of the Jews and anti-Semitism in Hungary has been a source of puzzlement for scholars of East European history. The reason for this is a feature of Hungarian history rarely found elsewhere in the region: an unusually large oscillation in the attitudes of the Hungarian political community between the extremes of resolute philosemitism on the one hand and obsessive anti-Semitism on the other. This paper examines why it is only now, at the end of the twentieth century, that the Jews have become free to "erect a parliamentary springboard" from which they can conspire to assimilate Hungarians in this breathtakingly paranoid vision?
September 2001- The tragedy of the Jews of Banat and Southern Transylvania was different from that of the Jews of the Old Kingdom of Romania. The dictatorial regimes of King Carol II and Marshall Ion Antonescu did not recognize the civil rights granted by the 1923 Constitution. The Jews were discriminated against on the basis of the historical regions in which they lived. The pretexts of the authorities were that: the Jews of Transylvania did not participate in the Romanian War of Independence (deliberately ignoring the fact that in 1877 they were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire); did not fight in the Balkan Wars of 1912- 1913; did not take part in the unionist propaganda; did not integrate into Romanian culture; and, many of them used Hungarian as a language of communication and culture.