||Re: Comments - (mind)
|| 30 sor
||The Hungarian minorities of Romania (mind)
|| 46 sor
||Burning the Files (mind)
|| 44 sor
|+ - ||Re: Comments - (mind)
Gabor Fencsik in response to Amos:
>The situation in the U.S. is not all that different. Clinton and Quayle
>were both draft-dodgers in the sixties, but being a draft-dodger hurt
>Quayle much more than it hurt Clinton, because Quayle is the one who was
>trying to appeal to the super-patriotic crowd.
My problem with one of the above gents was that while having been a draft
dodger, he was very active in becoming a "commander in chief".
I also think that in general, and to date, the situation in the US is quite
It is very easy to have access to past activities by anyone and not only a
In regard to lustration and other similar activity, in my opinion, there
would have been two correct choices, either release all information to
everyone or burn all of the files. Having the information available only to
a select few, will always permit the release of unverifiable innuendoes and
one never will know what informnation was changed or deleted during the
years of "safe storage".
That people, and even later to become famous potiticians, change their minds
is not a solely Hungarian phenomenon. At one time, Churchill thought and
spoke of Mussolini
highly, the erstwhile Canadian prime minister was very impressed by Hitler,
how many called Castro an agrarian reformer and so on. I have more problem
with those who maintain their opinion even after there are clear indications
that they are wrong.
|+ - ||The Hungarian minorities of Romania (mind)
Please use the opportunity presented by todays editorial in the New York
Times to educate the American public about the Hungarians in Romania. Please
DO NOT COPY my attached letter, but feel free to read it.
Best regards: Bela Liptak
The New York Times
229 W 43rd St.
New York, NY 10043
To The Editor,
In today's (8/18/97) editorial you praise the new leaders of Romania, for,
among other things, having "included the party of the Hungarian minority in
the Government." You are correct. Constantinescu and Ciorbea do deserve our
Yet, it is also a fact, that bi-lingual signs been painted over
in Tirgu Mures, the Hungarian flag been "stolen" (by the nationalist mayor of
Cluj) from the newly opened Hungarian embassy, that neither the 500 years old
Bolyai University, nor the thousands of properties of the Hungarian churches
been returned, that cultural autonomy has not been reestablished and that the
only Catholics east of the Carpathians, the csango's, are not even allowed to
attend native-language masses. In short, there is a long road ahead, before
we can say that the problem of Europe's largest minorities been solved.
History teaches us, that the Balkans became unstable whenever a power
vacuum evolved in the Carpathian Basin. Outsiders can not fill that power
vacuum, because only the people who live there, have a self-interest in that
region and its progress. The permanent solution for Central Europe must
therefore include not only autonomy for the minorities, but also the
unification of the present ministates into a strong Danubian Federation, one
that can be crystallized around the nucleus of Hungary, Slovakia, Ruthenia,
Slovenia and Croatia, and later expanded to include Romania, Yugoslavia or
even Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria.
History does not solve problems accidentally. Those who want a better
future must first have a plan, a concept of that future. For the stability
and prosperity of Central Europe, that plan must start with autonomy for all
the minorities and should end with the voluntary Federation of Central
Bela Liptak, Stamford, CT
August 18, 1997
The writer is an adjunct professor at Yale University
|+ - ||Burning the Files (mind)
> In regard to lustration and other similar activity, in my opinion, there
> would have been two correct choices, either release all information to
> everyone or burn all of the files. Having the information available only
> to a select few, will always permit the release of unverifiable innuendoes
> and one never will know what informnation was changed or deleted during
> the years of "safe storage".
While I agree with Jeliko that the world would be a better place if these
files did not exist, I see serious problems with both of the remedies
proposed. "Releasing all information to everyone" would be a gross
invasion of privacy. The files contain data -- some true, some
fabricated -- about people's finances, health, extramarital affairs,
sexual habits, and Lord knows what else. Hungary is now a nation with
strong privacy legislation on the books, and publishing this kind of
stuff about people without their permission is against the law.
"Burning all the files" does not sound like a viable option either.
The files are part of the nation's history now, and simply doing away
with them would be the coverup to end all coverups. The files are
a legitimate object of study for historians. There are many things in
Hungarian history that would forever remain hidden if the files would
disappear. Many aspects of the present political constellation in Hungary,
the emergence of the leaders of current parliamentary parties, and the
roots of many long-standing political conflicts that are still with us
can be traced back to the secret police operations in the Kadar years.
Much of the Kadar era and its aftermath is inexplicable without an
understanding of the machinations of the secret police. Loss of the
archives would contribute to the general amnesia that seems to have
taken hold in Hungary about the Kadar regime.
I have just finished a two volume compendium of extracts from the secret
police files published last year under the title Little State Security
Reader (Kis allambiztonsagi olvasokonyv). In the preface, the editor
observes that writing the history of the Communist era in Hungary based
on these files is like writing a restaurant review based on stool samples
of the customers. After reading the book cover to cover, I agree.
History is a profession that requires a strong stomach. But I still
think these files are a vital part of Hungary's national history,
and must be preserved for the edification of future generations.