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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:44:53 EDT by admin, 77449 views
Cultural Studies paper by Mak, Viktor (all papers)
The History of Jászberény in 1944: How Hungarian History Molded My Hungarian-American Identity
The seeds of this presentation was planted years ago by my grandmother. Every summer she would tell me stories about her childhood during World War Two, the 1956 Hungarian revolution, socialism, the fall of it in 1989, neoliberal economic reforms, and Hungary joining the EU. The goal of my presentation is to interpret in light of international research how a small provincial town, Jászberény and a young Hungarian girl experienced the events between March and November of 1944, and the horrors that Hitler and Stalin’s armies inflicted. Based on interviews from Margit Hegedűs - my grandmother - and secondary sources, including an interview with a military historian at the Hungarian Military Museum, I have pieced together the events of 1944 in Jászberény. I found that the experience of my grandmother and the local events in Jászberény closely fit into both Deák’s description of Hungary under Nazi occupation and Snyder's characterization of the Soviet Union's occupat!
ion. My study proposes that only when examining the Holocaust and the Soviet occupation on the micro level can we understand the truly horrific nature of it.
The real significance of this study for me was the exploration and transformation of my Hungarian –American identity as the historical events in conjunction with my family stories of 1944 unfolded. This presentation will discuss how the examination of history contributed to identity formation.
Brief Professional Bio:
Viktor Mak is a senior at Colgate University, Hamilton NY. In May, he is graduating with a degree in Global Studies and Philosophy. As a Benton Scholar at Colgate, he participated in extended trips to Uganda, Guatemala, Peru and Bangladesh to conduct research in history, economics and cultural studies. He completed two summer research internships at the Central European University in Budapest. He has just published an article in the Foldgomb, the journal of Hungarian Geographic Scientific Association. His research interest is current Eastern European history.