The Chernobyl nuclear accident happened thirty-five years ago, on April 26, 1986. The Blinken OSA commemorates the anniversary by revisiting how the disaster was reported by the Hungarian state radio, and how the public reacted.
Sixty years ago, on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin completed one orbit of Earth, and accomplished the first manned spaceflight in history. The event was a milestone in the Space Race, a Cold War front line between the US and the Soviet Union. A Radio Free Europe Background Report from December, 1961, preserved at the Blinken OSA, reveals the American stand on the developments of that year.
The Eichmann trial began sixty years ago today, on April 11, 1961, in Jerusalem, Israel. The German-Austrian Adolf Eichmann was the SS-Obersturbannführer overseeing the department at the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) responsible for “Jewish affairs.” He designed, organized, and lead the deportation of European Jews in occupied and satellite countries. The impact the Eichmann trial had on the public afterlife and the historical processing of the Holocaust can hardly be overrated.
The USSR held the first partially free nationwide legislative elections in its history between March 26 and May 21, 1989, electing the country’s new highest authority, the Congress of People's Deputies. A massive political enterprise accompanied with unprecedented, though numerically very limited, variety of candidates’ platforms, the elections mobilized citizens—and voters—across the entire country. Voter turnout exceeded 90%.
New online exhibition at the Blinken OSA! The first result of our collaboration with the Háttér Archive and Library, “a manifesto-in-documents,” is now available online:Records Uncovered: Gay and Lesbian Histories in Central and Southeastern Europe, 1945–1999
In early 2021, a new collection was added to the Blinken OSA holdings, comprising a series of interviews with László Mester on his life and political career from the years at the youth association (Magyar Kommunista Ifjúsági Szövetség, KISZ) of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, through the regime change and several terms as a mayor, to the end of the last decade. The series of interviews has been processed and made available.
Today, the process of the regime change is considered history. The year 1989 is part of the high-school curriculum; democracy’s triumph over Communism, as far as a school excercise is concerned. Going closer, it is an entire audiovisual collection at the Blinken OSA. A post by Lili Rebeka Tóth, former intern at the Archives working on the Will There Be a 1989? online collection.
Mátyás Rákosi, the most hated figure of the past hundred, or thousand years of Hungarian history, died fifty years ago today, on February 5, 1971. The history of Hungary is rich in characters who, despite the monstrous crimes they committed or were indisputably responsible for, remain unjustifiably respected or popular even today. Rákosi is a singular exception.