Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
A New Exhibition in Galeria Centralis
From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919
Blinken OSA, Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021
The exhibition is open to the general public, wearing a mask, and taking the necessary precautions is a must when entering the galeria.
Hungarian Calvary – Hungarian Resurrection is the title Oszkár Jászi, the Hungarian civic radical politician chose for his book on the history of the Aster Revolution and the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Jászi spent most of his life after 1919 as a political emigré; his book was published in Vienna in 1920. He concluded that for Hungarians, the Bolshevik attempt—which had “run amok,” as he put it—had for years to come discredited all democratic, liberal political ideas, movements, and any hope of a freer and more just society in Hungary.
It appears that his prediction has, in fact, come true. After more than a century, democratic “resurrection” is yet to come. At the same time, the official historical narrative of the Orbán regime, similar to the views propagated by its cherished predecessor, the Horthy regime, has identified the scapegoat responsible for the collapse and dissolution of the Hungarian Kingdom (“Historical Hungary”) in the 1918 Aster Revolution and 1919 Hungarian Soviet Republic. In their view, the two were essentially identical; the original sin was the Aster Revolution, which then paved the way for the Bolshevik takeover. Both aimed to destroy the old Hungarian Kingdom, eliminate the true historical traditions of the Hungarian nation, and displace the nation from its own country.
This exhibition endeavors to show the events that occurred in Hungary in 1918–1919 in their real domestic and international context. In doing so, it hopes to shed light on those still unsettled traumas of the age, which could never become mere history in Hungarian collective remembrance.
When entering the colorful design of the exhibition, visitors get a rare chance to peek into the raw realities of the depicted year, showcased by original posters, historical photos, genuine documents, and film excerpts of the period.
The drama of 1918–1919, the shocking twists and turns—the lost war, the dissolution of the Monarchy and the Hungarian Kingdom, the Aster Revolution, the rise and fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, the counterrevolution, and Admiral Horthy’s rise to power—all took place within a year. From harvest to harvest.
Curated by András Mink
Co-curator: Mihály Dobrovits
Design by Virág Bogyó