2012 | 2(20) | 29-52
Article title

Belle époque? Lata siedemdziesiąte XX w. na Węgrzech

Title variants
Belle époque? The seventies of the 20th century in Hungary
Languages of publication
The paper presents the years of the 1970s of the era hallmarked by the name of János Kádár. It is based on new researches, however, it incorporates previous knowledge as well. The decade of the seventies is quite controversial in Hungary. On the one hand, Hungary has passed through the bloody retributions of the Revolution of 1956, on the other hand, dictatorship was functioning effectively, making sure that there is no such thing as a soft or hard dictatorship, there is only dictatorship. However, Hungarians enjoy the Hungarian atmosphere of the sixties, the so called “goulash communism” There is full employment – even if work does not always come with it, there is general, free medical care, etc. One can travel to the West, but with large backpacks and tinned food. Moreover, one can obtain a car after years of waiting, but true enough, only from the offer of the “friendly socialist countries”. Construction of block of flats continues as well, exceeding one million. Small summer cottages are being built by the privileged or the more daring along the beeches of the largest lake of Hungary and Central Europe, Lake Balaton. Mass tourism emerges. But it is the seventies when the new wave of the global economic crisis comes. It comes to light that the Hungarian economy can only remain functional through more and more loans. Indebtedness, becoming tragic by this time starts in this period. The paper thoroughly examines, investigates the operation of the Kádár regime, mainly based on material from the archives with a demand for academic character. Thus the reader learns what it meant to live, work and make one’s way in the seventies in Hungary. It also becomes clear that the decade of the seventies is only the “golden age” of the socialist period by appearance. In fact, it is this decade when those problems occur, which lead to the downfall of the regime in the next one. These were essentially problems of an economic nature, then social, political, demographical etc. ones emerged in association with them. However, the obstinate desire of Hungarians for national independence and a democratic political system should not be underestimated. For those who are interested, the author’s monograph titled “The Cursed Decade”, which discusses in detail the years of the seventies of the Kádár era, could be an important reading.
  • Zakład Współczesnej Historii Węgier, Wydział Nauk Humanistycznych, Uniwersytet Eötvösa Loránda w Budapeszcie.
  • S. István-Szerencsés, Azok a kádári „szép” napok, Budapest 2004, F.T. Zölch, Kádár a reformerek reménysége [w:] Mr. Kádár, Budapest 1989 Az MSZMP KB 1989. évi jegyzőkönyvei, t. 1, red. S. László, Budapest 1993, Mr. Kádár, Budapeszt 1989,
Document Type
Publication order reference
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