Carrying a Secret in My Heart...: Children of Political Victims of the Revolution, 1956 Hungary -- An Oral History

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9789639241558: Carrying a Secret in My Heart...: Children of Political Victims of the Revolution, 1956 Hungary -- An Oral History

The twelve-day 1956 revolution exerted a lasting effect on the fates of the families of the more than 20,000 who were imprisoned and 229 executed by the regime in the harsh reprisals that followed the crushing of the revolt. The authors present a rich selection of excerpts from the interviews conducted with the children of those Hungarians who were imprisoned for their involvement in the uprising. The intimidation, and the attendant social and economic devastation that it wrought, bore especially hard on the psyches, upbringing and education, and hence the subsequent opportunities and life courses of those children.

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From the Author:

We approached the subject of our research from a historio-sociological, socio-psychological and psychological perspective. The interviews focused on the fate of the individual in its social and historical framework and on the inner conflicts experienced by the individual. Thus we became acquainted not only with individual histories but with the characteristics of a unique social group. We thus obtained further information about the mechanism of the Kádár system since we were examining a unique group, the members of which were neither participants in the revolution nor directly involved in the retribution. In this respect they stood closer to the majority of society than to the participants in the revolution. At the same time, however, because they were indirectly involved they acted as indicators of the relationship of society to the political system and to the authorities, since by their mere existence they forced those around them to take sides and make statements. Their experiences also reveal how for forty years Hungarian society related to 1956 as a historical and political event, and to those who had participated in it.

About the Author:

Zsuzsanna Korosi and Adrienne Molnar are sociologists at the Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, based in Budapest.

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Zsuzsanna Korosi; Adrienne Molnar
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