The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

Description: In Hungary, the efforts of what was to become the 1956 Institute go back as far as the early 1980s, when participants of the Revolution began to reconstruct and historicize the events of 1956. The history of the Revolution had been and to some extent still is obscured by the distortions, falsifications and obfuscations of the K d r regime. With the help of interviews, memoirs, discussions, and with what documents could be collected, these scholars have attempted to establish a genuine account of the events in Hungary in and around 1956. The Committee for Historical Justice was founded partly with the same purpose in the spring of 1988. The Oral History Archives was established in 1986 with the primary goal of recording as many interviews with figures of the Revolution as possible.


Editor:[Director] Directorate: János Rainer M.; [Website editor] M. Topits Judit

The Institute for Contemporary History, Prague

Description: The subject of Czech contemporary history is that period during which Czech society was both the subject and object of the totalitarian ideologies and regimes that so tragically influenced the twentieth century, namely Nazism and Communism. The ongoing task of the institute is to diversify the perspectives from which we comprehend the past. After all, it is necessary to observe and study society in its totality and diversity, not merely the establishment and existence of undemocratic, totalitarian regimes. The fifty year era prior to 1989 was not simply a discontinuity with everything that occurred before, nor does there exist a discontinuity with later events. Here it is necessary to identify and research themes like minority relations, xenophobia, nationalism, the changing role of women in society, the role of culture, changes in lifestyle, globalization trends, etc. Such perspectives require interdisciplinary approaches other than the traditional archival research normally relied upon by historians. Particularly important is comparative history, which cannot be limited merely to Eastern Europe. In the context of time and space, Czech history after 1948 was neither a complete discontinuity with previous events, nor an isolated process. The time has also come to begin a systematic and well thought-out expansion into the period after 1989.


Editor: [Director] Oldrich Tuma

The Institute for Contemporary History, Ljubljana

Description: The Institute of Contemporary History is the main scientific institution in Slovenia for the study of the recent and contemporary history of the Slovenes, from the middle of the 19th century onwards. It was established by the Slovene government in 1959 as an institute of the history of the workers’ movement, and it received its current title in 1989. At the beginning the working agenda of the institution was circumscribed by the historical period in which it found itself: essentially it was intended to research the history of the workers’ movement, of the incumbent Communist Party and of the building of Socialism, but already within the first decade since its foundation the research had extended beyond this narrow thematic field to embrace contemporary history in its entirety. To begin with the Institute comprised, along with the research department and library, the Museum of the National Liberation of Slovenia and the archive department with its comprehensive records from the last century of Slovene history. However, by 1962 the museum had already become independent (today it has been renamed the Museum of Contemporary History of Ljubljana), and in 1992 the archive department was combined with the archive of the Slovene republic.


Editor: [Director] Jasna Fischer

The Romanian Institute for Recent History (Institutul Român de Istorie Recenta - IRIR)

Description: IRIR was created to respond to the need for a dynamic history institute able to tackle sensitive and controversial issues in Romania’s recent history, which is understood as the period from the year 1938 to the present. One can easily grasp that IRIR’s research and scholarship concentrate on a difficult period that was marked by the two radical ideologies of the 20th century-fascism and communism, as well as by the tortuous post-1989 transition to democracy.


Editor: [Director] Dragos Petrescu