Historical Reconciliation: Hungarian Lessons


  • Gábor Egry Institute of Political History, Budapest




historical reconciliation, entangled history, politics of history, Hungary


The article surveys attempts of historical reconciliation between Hungary and its neighbours after 1990. As Hungary’s neighbours are also successor states of the Kingdom of Hungary dissolved in 1918, their entangled history, often marred by violence and mutual discrimination was an important and conflictual issue around the change of regime. EU integration efforts led to attempts to implement historical reconciliation following the German model of Vergangenheitsbewältigung and Aufarbeitung and the Franco-German reconciliation. I argue that the result was ambiguous at best. Political tensions abated with all neighbours but without historical reconciliation. One reason for this failure was the division within the historiographic field that made politics easy to instrumentalize or intervene. Tensions receded more because politics started to abandon a historical argumentation in bilateral relations and tha could be a model to follow for states like North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

Author(s): Gábor Egry

Title (English): Historical Reconciliation: Hungarian Lessons

Journal Reference: Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 20, No. 1-2 (2023).

Publisher: Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities - Skopje

Page Range: 8-19

Page Count: 12

Citation (English): Gábor Egry, "Historical Reconciliation: Hungarian Lessons,” Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 20, No. 1-2 (2023): 8-19.

Author Biography

Gábor Egry, Institute of Political History, Budapest

Bionote: Gábor Egry is a historian, Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, director-general of the Institute of Political History, Budapest. Author of five volumes in Hungarian and several articles. among others in European Review of History, Slavic Review, Hungarian Historical Review, Südostforschungen. Winner of the Mark Pittaway Article Prize in 2018. His monograph Etnicitás, identitás, politika. Magyar kisebbségek nacionalizmus és regionalizmus között Romániában és Csehszlovákiában 1918-1944 [Ethnicity, identity, politics. Hungarian Minorities between nationalism and regionalism in Romania and Czechoslovakia 1918-1944] received a Honorable Mention for the Felczak-Wereszyczki Prize of the Polish Historical Association. Since 2018 he is the Principal Investigator of the ERC Consolidator project Nepostrans – Negotiating post-imperial transitions: from remobilization to nation-state consolidation. A comparative study of local and regional transitions in post-Habsburg East and Central Europe.




How to Cite

Egry, G. (2023). Historical Reconciliation: Hungarian Lessons. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 20(1-2), 08-19. https://doi.org/10.51151/identities.v20i1-2.525