Press Room

Content from the 1989 Website
Posted: 29/October/2020
We are happy and proud to announce that our thematic website, 1989: lesz-e? (Will There Be A 1989?) has been seriously upgraded in the past few months. We have uploaded the meticulously rearranged and humungous Hungarian Press Survey from Radio Free Europe, which contains more than 15.000 pages of Hungarian press clippings from the year 1989. Hypers: The website: New Content:
RFE collection 1964
Posted: 27/October/2020
We are happy to announce the second call for the Visegrad Scholarships at OSA in the fall of 2020/21! Submission deadline: November 15, 2020 We invite applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Scholars and artists are invited to analyze the documentary practices of different agencies and persons on both sides of the Iron Curtain and assess the truth value of related documents/ artifacts. Visegrad Scholarship at OSA For a better and deeper understanding of the interdependent recent history of (the center of) Europe, the International Visegrad Fund offers 15 research fellowship grants annually in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest on a competitive basis to support scholars who wish to conduct research in the holdings of OSA, and whose current research projects are relevant to the holdings and the given research priorities of the Fund and OSA. For detailed information of the call, please check the official OSA Visegrad Scholarship website.
Robolove -Verzio Film Festival 2020
Posted: 26/October/2020
Closer to Each Other’s Reality The 17th VERZIÓ Documentary Film Festival announces this year’s films   The 17th VERZIÓ Human Rights Documentary Film Festival showcases 50 films from 39 different countries, online, 10–22 November. These films bring us closer to topics such as climate change and its consequences, freedom of the press today, political abuse of national resources, and the ongoing struggles of refugees.
UN Report
Posted: 21/October/2020
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabián Salvioli has recently presented his report to the Human Rights Council on “Memorialization processes in the context of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as the fifth pillar of transitional justice”. The report contains several recommendations on the role and importance of archives in post-conflict memory work that Blinken OSA has continually promoted through its human rights archiving and archival activism. The report establishes that since “memorialization is linked to the ability to obtain access to the archives”, the safeguarding and unrestricted availability of records related to gross human rights abuses is a matter of paramount importance in enabling societies to learn the truth about, regain ownership of and engage with their past(s). It further formulates the following recommendation: “113. In order for memorialization processes to be effective, it is essential to protect the archives of State agencies and civil society organizations, especially those that work in the area of human rights. Archives should be accessible in accordance with established standards, and Governments should remove obstacles to such access.”
Dobi Book Launch
Posted: 19/October/2020

Sándor Révész – István Dobi – The Forgotten Head of State

Online book launch

András Mink, the historian talks with the author.

Who was István Dobi? It is not easy to decide who this seemingly familiar head of state really was, who at the end sank into obscurity. Perhaps ‘the youngest son of the poor man’, who struggled with poverty and nominally won half of the kingdom but could not even be a real king on his throne. Perhaps the politician, who understood Hungarian land and peasants the most, who by representing cooperatives though, has worsened the situation of those living from the land. Perhaps the puppet of Rákosi and Kádár, who struggled with alcoholism, and who clearly saw many signs of the system’s inability to function, yet his role consisted of handling the negligible cases eagerly. Perhaps one of our most popular head of state, since before ‘Uncle Árpi’, he was ‘Uncle Pista’ for the rural peasantry, and was even called ‘My Beloved Leader’ at times.
Behind the scenes of his life – his ascension and his quiet downfall –are all the peculiarities, compulsories, and compromises of the system. All such contradictions, the understanding of which brings the reader closer to the understanding of the history of Hungary.
Sándor Révész is a Pulitzer Memorial Prize-winning journalist and historian. Editor of Beszélő, then Népszabadság, currently a colleague of HVG, and the columnist of Mozgó Világ. Thousands of his articles and studies have been published in various Hungarian newspapers, as well as in newspapers in Esperanto.





Photo: Hungarian National Museum
Posted: 19/October/2020

From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919
Blinken OSA, Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021

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.

Curated by András Mink
Co-curator: Mihály Dobrovits
Design by Virág Bogyó

Research Room
Posted: 16/October/2020
This Saturday, Blinken OSA starts its accredited education program for teachers in its original format for the last time. A new course is being prepared, we will report about it soon. Titled “Scopes and Constraints in 20th-Century Hungarian History,” the 30-hour long, free-of-charge, accredited teacher education program for history teachers will start on this Saturday. The two lecturers of the course are historians András Mink and Krisztián Ungváry, the course will run between October 17, 2020 and February 20, 2021.
Photo: Hungarian National Museum – Historical Photo Department
Posted: 12/October/2020

From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary 1918–1919
Blinken OSA – Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Online Opening Event

October 15, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

opening remarks by
MINK András
curator of the exhibition

opening remarks by
CSUNDERLIK Péter, historian

The event closes with two rarely seen/heard contemporary pieces.

Photo: Csaba Szilágyi
Posted: 11/October/2020
Besides institutional donations, private people turn to the library of Blinken OSA with offers of book donations. This time Elissa Helms and Michael Szporluk donated important books and periodicals enriching the Yugoslav collection of the Archives. Sociological studies of interethnic relations, publications from the Serbian antiwar movement, Bosnian-language magazines, or the history of Bosnia will be an excellent additional source for social historians of the former Yugoslavia.
MOME course at Blinken OSA
Posted: 09/October/2020
Blinken OSA offers postgraduate academic courses and specializations to the students of its mother institution, the Central European University (CEU). The courses are organized in cooperation with the departments of Legal Studies and History, and also for CEU's annual Summer University (SUN). Recently, a new cooperation was formed with the Media Design program at the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design (MOME). The first such course was held in 2019. For the second time, students from MOME will come to Blinken OSA in the Fall Term of the 2020/21 Academic Year, to participate in a course specifically designed for them. The title of the course is MA Project Development, and instructors include Miklós Erhardt, Krisztina Erdei, János Szirtes, lecturers from MOME, and Kálmán Tarr and Zsuzsa Zádori from Blinken OSA.
Two presentations at the 1st PoSoCoMes Conference
Posted: 07/October/2020
Two presentations at the 1st PoSoCoMes Conference At the 1st PoSoCoMes – Memory Studies Association Working Group conference Post-Socialist Memory in Global Perspective: Postcolonialism, Post-transition, Post-trauma (21 September – 1 October 2020) - organized online due to the COVID-19 pandemic -  two colleagues from Blinken OSA gave presentations: Oksana Sarkisova and Anastasia Felcher.
Photo: Dániel Végel
Posted: 02/October/2020
Internship Program | Rival Communist Parties Call for Interns | Part-time Intern Position at the Blinken OSA! The largest collection of the Blinken OSA consists of nearly 3,000 meters of research materials accumulated by the Research Institute of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This collection provides a unique insight into the social and political history of the Cold War era. One of the most important duties of the Archives is to make these documents available to researchers while providing an opportunity for young professionals to gain practice in archival work. The Rival Communist Parties Internship Program aims to make available an archival series that cover the history of communist parties in countries outside the Socialist Bloc. These documents have been compiled by Kevin Devlin, an internationally known and acknowledged expert at RFE, during his decades of work of research. In the program, the trainees' task is to process this collection.
Nurses collapse from exhaustion in a hospital hallway in Wuhan -76 Days
Posted: 01/October/2020
The 17th Verzió Moves Online This year, the complete VERZIÓ Film Festival is moving online! By doing so, Hungary’s only human rights documentary film festival will be available nationwide, 10–22 November. Fifty of the most enthralling and hottest international and Hungarian human rights documentary films will be available directly in your home, starting with the opening film, 76 Days, which provides an account of the early days of the COVID pandemic in Wuhan, China. The films are going to be available for almost two weeks.
OSA Research Room photo by Edit Blaumann
Posted: 30/September/2020
New Visegrad Grantees begin their research at Blinken OSA We are happy to announce that four new grantees of the Visegrad Scholarship at Blinken OSA, Zsuzsi Flohr, Ádám Farkas, Lucia Szemetová, and Péter Csunderlik have begun their research on-site, in the Research Room of Blinken OSA this September.
Posted: 27/September/2020
September 28 is the International Day for Universal Access to Information. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that not only information has to be accessible (with favorable conditions to institutional transparency, journalistic work, and information requests), but it is the responsibility of governments, to proactively contribute to guaranteeing accessibility, by sharing information. “
How to Do Research in Blinken OSA
Posted: 21/September/2020
Blinken OSA published a richly illustrated video guide to introduce its facilities to visitors who plan to do research in the Archives. The guide covers the building and the Research Room, and offers a journey through the website, including the online catalog and integrated search, the Digital Repository and Curated Collections, as well as the Audiovisual Collections and the Library. Text: Robert Parnica Sound: Liz Hardiman Visuals: József Gábor Bóné
Photo: Lenke Szilágyi
Posted: 20/September/2020
The exhibition POST-SOVIET – The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002 at Galeria Centralis closed on September 20. However, we are happy to announce that those who did not have a chance to come and visit the gallery space can access the online version of the exhibition. As a result of the pandemic situation, long before the show opened at Blinken OSA, our dedicated colleagues had prepared an online version of the exhibition for the 2020 Night of the Museums. Thanks to the online format, you can freely (re)visit Lenke Szilágyi’s journey and read her witty and genuine diary excerpts. About the exhibition: POST-SOVIET – Photos by Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002
Budapest 100 - Blinken OSA
Posted: 17/September/2020

Since the launch of Budapest 100, a successful Budapest based urban festival, the Goldberger House, where Blinken OSA operates, has opened its gates to visitors. This year too, Blinken OSA participates in the program. The Goldberger House and the festival are strongly linked: the idea of Budapest 100, i.e. to celebrate 100-year-old buildings in Budapest, came up when the Goldberger House was 100 years old.

The first Budapest 100 festival in 2011 was organized by the Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre and Blinken OSA Archives with smashing success. Since then this fantastic urban and civil festival has grown and has helped genuine urban communities to take shape. This year the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary and the Goldberger House will open its gates to visitors again.

Visegrad Scholarship Results at Blinken OSA
Posted: 31/August/2020
Visegrad Scholarship at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives   We invite applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. This reflection exposes the intellectual and professional practices (journalistic, sociological, artistic, political, archival) that both reflected and shaped the meaning and scope of the Cold War phenomenon. We are happy to announce that the evaluation of the last submitted Visegrad applications has finished and the final list of winners and reserves has been approved by the Council of Ambassadors in December. Visegrad Scholarship @ OSA – July 2020
(Photo: Dániel Végel)
Posted: 12/August/2020
We are happy to announce that the 2019 Annual Report of Blinken OSA is now available on our website. Similarly to the practice of previous years, the online publication is illustrated with photos and data, presenting a wide variety of activities performed at the Archives.
POST-SOVIET - The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002
Posted: 10/August/2020

For more than a decade, photographer Lenke Szilágyi (who has also been working as a photo-archivist in the Archives for a number of years) has regularly traveled to the (former) Soviet Union, witnessing and documenting the fall of Communism and Post-Soviet realities not only in large centers like Moscow or St. Petersburg but also in the provinces (the Black Sea coast, the Volga region, Karelia, etc.). Her photos are sensitive imprints of an era of constant change and territory of eternal immutability. She depicts in her portraits the hopes and despairs of the time, while also adding her own witty commentaries in the diary entries accompanying the photos. This exhibition is the first major presentation of this collection.

Interviews about the Regime Change
Posted: 24/July/2020
Interviews about the Regime Change: András Bozóki’s research materials at Blinken OSA. Blinken OSA acquired a new collection of almost 200 audio interviews made by András Bozóki and his team in 1997. The interviewees were all participants of the Hungarian regime change, many of them remain active politicians today. The interviews give a comprehensive overview of the history of the regime change, with a special emphasis on the National Round Table negotiations. Some of the audio materials were used in publications analyzing the events of the transition, such as the book titled Gördülő rendszerváltás [Rolling regime change], published in 2019. The digitization of the audio cassettes has started, copies of the recordings will be available for research in our Research Room.
(Photo: Dániel Végel)
Posted: 22/July/2020
The Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives (Blinken OSA) documents the forced relocation of CEU from its home in Budapest to Vienna. The accumulated material—photo and video—will be archived and made available for future research and reference. As the official archives of CEU, Blinken OSA regards its duty to do this service for the entire community.
The Research Room at Blinken OSA
Posted: 14/July/2020
We are glad to announce that the Research Room will reopen on July 16, with no summer break this August. For safety reasons, researchers are asked to book a time slot using the online sign-up sheet. The Research Room accepts a maximum of 5 researchers at a time. Although the Archives was closed to the public, archival work did not stop. Numerous collections and series processed or digitized since March will become available for the first time on July 16.
Visegrad Scholarship at the Open Society Archives
Posted: 10/July/2020
NEW CALL - VISEGRAD SCHOLARSHIPS! We are happy to announce the next call for the Visegrad Scholarships at OSA in 2020/21! Submission deadline: July 25, 2020 We invite applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Scholars and artists are invited to analyze the documentary practices of different agencies and persons on both sides of the Iron Curtain and assess the truth value of related documents/ artifacts. Visegrad Scholarship at OSA For a better and deeper understanding of the interdependent recent history of (the center of) Europe, the International Visegrad Fund offers 15 research fellowship grants annually in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest on a competitive basis to support scholars who wish to conduct research in the holdings of OSA, and whose current research projects are relevant to the holdings and the given research priorities of the Fund and OSA. For detailed information of the call, please check the official OSA website:…/fellowship/visegrad-scholarship
László Najmányi performing at the Galeria Centralis
Posted: 10/July/2020
Blinken OSA is honoring the legendary avant-garde artist and theremin musician László Najmányi. The exhibition titled Generation Z – Russian Pioneers of Sound Art and Musical Technology in 1910–1930 opened at the Archives on June 9, 2011. Two weeks later, on the Night of the Museums, László Najmányi gave a full-house theremin concert in the gallery space. A video recording of the performance is available at the Archives.
The last OSF books transferred to Oradea
Posted: 09/July/2020
When in 2018 the Open Society Foundations decided to move its Budapest offices and operations to Berlin, they left behind some 7.5 tons of publications that were sorted out and inventoried by the Archives. We managed to donate two-thirds of these books, journals, DVDs to institutions, libraries, and individuals. CEU students, visitors of our public programs and trainings, the audience of the Verzio Film Festival as well as the participants of other public and cultural events had the chance to get the valuable sources. The last transport comprising the reference collection of the Education Support Program took place on July 7 (belatedly due to the pandemic) to enrich the newly established library of the National Hungarian Educational Center (Országos Magyar Továbbképző Központ) in Oradea. As for the remaining 2.5 tons of publications not wanted by any institution: last year they were transported to Martinová, a small village in Slovakia, and recycled into heating briquettes by the villagers.
Anniversary - The Note
Posted: 06/July/2020


July 6, 1999. The young exhibition space of the Archives, the Galeria Centralis welcomed the media and visitors to a mysterious event. The minimalist invitation previously sent out stirred up the imagination of the public that began to speculate whether what the Archives had come up with this time.


“Through the coincidental coming together of historic events, those listening to the arguments in the legal protest in Parliament passed a slip of paper from hand to hand with news of János Kádár’s death.” MTV 1. News. July 6, 1989.

On July 6, 1999, at 9:16 a.m., the occasion of the tenth anniversary of a historic coincidence, Centralis Galeria would like to invite you to a recollection of the chance event (Nádor u. 11., Budapest).

The event lived up to the expectations of the invitees, as those present could be part of a historical reconstruction of the “coincidence” of the death of János Kádár, a significant political figure of the 20th century, and a court decision serving historical justice.

For further details, see our virtual exhibition recalling the event.

Blinken OSA – Night of the Museums, June 27, 2020 – Online
Posted: 16/June/2020

Blinken OSA – Night of the Museums, June 27, 2020 – Online

This unprecedented Night of the Museums will be online, Blinken OSA offers a rich variety of cultural and artistic programs. There will be an interesting report about Hungarian museums, archives, and libraries titled The Laborers of Culture. Data on the Situation of Public Collections. It will be available online all through the night. What follows will be an interesting house tour by Iván Székely around the Goldberger House. After the tour, our colleague Örs Lehel Tari will give an interesting presentation on 1989 regime change.

One of the highlights of the program will be the online discussion between art historian József Mélyi and editor-reporter Júlia Ránki. The special edition of this conversation will focus, among other things, on the Night of the Museums, on the museum development project Liget, on new decrees and laws, and, above all, on COVID-19 and the museums. The discussion will be followed by an online public lecture by András Mink, historian, titled Where Did the Democratic Opposition Disappear?. There are no Nighs of the Museums without exhibition at Blinken OSA, so this year the exhibition titled POST-SOVIET – The Photos of Lenke Szilágyi 1990–2002 Virtual exhibition will be opened by Endre Kukorelly.

The exhibition opening will be followed by a film screening, and the online mode will give the chance to "repeat" some program elements for those who cannot speak Hungarian.

Roma Media School
Posted: 15/June/2020
Despite the lockdown, our lives as archivists went on at Blinken OSA. Colleagues at the Audio-Visual Department have completed the processing of the Roma Media School (Roma Média Iskola) video collection. Another unique collection has become available for researchers!