We are happy to announce the next presentations of the Visegrad Scholarship at OSA. Join the event in the Archivum, or online by following the link below!
When: 3:00 p.m., Thursday, May 11, 2023
Venue: Blinken OSA Archivum, Meeting Room (Arany János u. 32, Budapest)
Liberation – Occupation: Navigating the Continuum of Soviet Military Presence in Hungary
by Christine Varga-Harris, Associate Professor, Department of History, Illinois State University
After World War II, Soviet settlements were established in dozens of Hungarian villages and cities and grafted onto existing army bases. These sites are at the center of the project Christine Varga-Harris is currently researching: Soviet military presence in Hungary from 1944, when Soviet troops entered the country to (actually) liberate it from Fascism, through June 1991, when they ended what in the intervening years had become an occupation. Based on her first foray into primary sources on the subject, this presentation will focus on the initial decade or so of this period and will draw on materials housed at the Blinken OSA Archivum, including Information Items produced by the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute, and media sources brought to light in its surveys of the Hungarian press. Specifically, the presentation will provide a bird’s-eye view of the continuum “liberation–occupation” through two facets of the topic, which surfaced during her research as a Visegrad Fellow: 1) official commemorations of, and narratives about, the Soviet Army; and 2) ways in which Soviet soldiers, officers, and their families were becoming embedded in Hungarian daily life and how they were perceived by ordinary Hungarians.
International Congress Rush-Hour and Historic Monument Conservation in Socialist Hungary
by Helka Dzsacsovszki, Doctoral Candidate, Professorship of Recent Building Heritage Conservation, Technical University of Munich
From the late-1950s onward, Budapest was the location of an increasing number of international scientific conferences. These meetings enabled knowledge exchange between professionals while also promoted Hungary to foreign visitors. In June 1972, the Hungarian National Committee hosted the III. ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) General Assembly and Symposium in Budapest, welcoming around five hundred participants from all around the world. The central scientific topic of the event was modern architecture in historic monuments and ensembles, and prominent ministers and leaders composed its list of patrons. This presentation will delineate how mutual knowledge sharing at international congresses, not exclusively between people within the Eastern Bloc, and conservation of historic architectural monuments were presented in the Hungarian popular media to contextualize the 1972 ICOMOS conference, and offer a nuanced reading of the state-Socialist government’s cultural politics.