OSA / Highlights

Documents Relating to the MSZMP Budapest Reform Circle and the reform circle movement

English / Hungarian

What do the Reform Circles want? A 20-minute long documentary from 1989. Excerpt. Interview with János Vajda and Zoltán Szabó. [OSA HU 344-0-1-6]

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The Budapest Reform Circle [HU OSA 400] was established by young intellectuals – KISZ (Communist Youth Association) members and Party officials - at the beginning of 1989, originally with a reform communist orientation. During the spring, by accepting its platform, the Circle grew more radical as well as becoming an opposition faction against the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party's reform communist center, which was headed by Grosz. One of the main objectives of the Circle was to create a pro-reform wing within the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party and, with its help, to become the majority within the Party. They rejected proposals for a 5-6 year transition period which would have ensured the Party's hold on power. Instead, they wanted free elections and a multiparty parliamentary democracy. In order to ensure a peaceful transition they urged for negotiations with the opposition; they wanted fair meetings where they would agree on a temporary constitution that would later be replaced by a Constitution accepted by a Constituent National Assembly. During the summer of 1989 the Platform did not adhere to the principle of democratic socialism: they believed in seeking a solution to the crisis in the country in the option of social market capitalism based on private property and parliamentary democracy. At the beginning of October, in the new situation that emerged right after the Congress of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, the objectives previously defined by the Reform Circle became part of the new political process, and as a result the reform circles lost their original importance and stopped working.

The Budapest Reform Circle was one of the most significant communities of the reform movement. This collection of papers documents the most important strands of the activities of the Budapest Reform Circle. These are the following: confronting the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party's leadership headed by Grosz; discussion between the various platforms within the party; arguments between the four members of the leadership of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, confrontation and cooperation with the Government; discussions within the Budapest Reform Circle as well as discussions with the various trends within the reform movement, in addition to relations with opposition parties and organizations.

The book of Zoltán Novák on the Reform Circle Movement: http://mek.oszk.hu/01900/01961/


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