Cover Osteuropa 3-5/2018

In Osteuropa 3-5/2018

The deformed Hungarian character
Hungarian history on the wrong path

István Bibó

Deutsche Fassung


In Hungary, a lament was struck up many years ago that can still be heard today: the true nature of the Hungarian. He used to be a noble and courageous figure, but now, the national character has been spoiled. Non-Hungarian influences are to blame, namely foreign dominance and the impact of foreigners within the country. This attitude leads nowhere. To answer the question as to why in decisive moments in its history, Hungary failed to grasp the nature of its own position and the resulting challenges, the country needs to evaluate its own responsibility, rather than blaming adverse conditions and pointing its finger at others. 70 years later, István Bibó’s structural historical essay directed against historical determinism, written in 1948, is of striking relevance to the present-day situation.

(Osteuropa 3-5/2018, pp. 303–322)