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Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:59:32 EDT by webmaster, 21603 views
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Center for Humanities
History paper by Stark, Tamás (all papers)
Hungary and the Refugee Question, 1914 – 2015
During the past century, Hungary has confronted the challenge of refugee crises four times.
During World War I, tens of thousands of Galician Jews fled to Hungary, mainly to Budapest, ahead of the advancing Russian imperial army. The Hungarian government provided social, medical, and housing assistance for these refugees. Despite the protection of the state, the Galician Jews were the target of criticism, and newspapers and politicians waged discrediting campaigns against them.
In autumn 1939, more than one hundred thousand Polish refugees arrived in Hungary. Most of them left for the Mediterranean region, but thousands remained and found shelter here during the war.
In 1989, thousands of East Germans gathered in Budapest because Hungary had given up the mines and barbed wire sealing the border with Austria. They demanded to be let through to democratic West Germany and, in an extraordinary historic moment, the government heeded their wish.
In 2015 more than three hundred thousand refugees from the Middle East and Afghanistan crossed Hungary for Germany and Sweden. The Hungarian government replied to this latest crisis with a vehement anti-migrant campaign, and built a barricade along Hungary's southern border in late summer to keep newly arriving refugees out of the country.
The proposed paper would compare government policy in these four situations. The paper would then examine the factors that affected the government behavior and public opinion in these cases.
After two of these four refugee crises, Hungarians themselves needed international support as 200 hundred thousands out-migrated with the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Issue: did Hungary treat their in-migrants with the support that so many Hungarian out-migrants sought?
Brief Professional Bio:
Tamás Stark received his PhD from the University of Budapest in 1993. From 1983 he was a researcher at the Institute of History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and in 2000 he was appointed a senior research fellow. His specialization is forced population movement in East-Central Europe in the period 1938-1956, with special regard to the history of the Holocaust, the fate of civilian internees and prisoners of war, and the postwar migrations. In 1995 he was visiting fellow at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC. In 2014 he was Fulbright professor at the Nazareth College in Rochester NY. USA. His main publications include: Hungary’s Human Losses in World War II. (Uppsala, 1995), Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust and after the Second World War (Boulder, CO, 2000), Magyarok szovjet fogságban (Budapest, 2006).