The Vanishing Soviet Utopia in Hungary in the Light of de-Stalinization – Soviet Union as the Land of Modernization in the Hungarian Press 1950–1958
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The Stalinist Soviet Union integrated Hungary – and the nations of Central Europe – by 1949 forcing the Soviet-style political dictatorship and economic system to these societies and emphasizing the importance of the Soviet example in the modernization of all spheres from automation through cotton harvesting to public libraries. Stalinized publicity was saturated with information on the Soviet Union. After March 1953, it became clear that a different, more effective Soviet Union propaganda was necessary; however the first delegation of writers and journalists could only enter the Soviet Union in late 1955. December 1955 was the exact date of the launching of the first organized Hungarian tourist groups to Kiev, Leningrad and Moscow as well – after the ‘years of delegations’. The revolution of 1956 brought another twist in this regard and efforts were made to shape a renewed friendly image of Khrushchev’s empire. Emphasis within modernization changed in this period – but the main goal of modernizing and overtaking the ‘capitalist world’ did not. The paper strives to reveal and analyse these changing attitudes and motives in depicting the Soviet Union as a modern empire. It thrives to explore the different threads in the de-Stalinization process – what changes stemmed from changing politics and policies, technical development and where we can grab the de-Stalinization of journalism and publicity.
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