Magyar Self-Victimization: Historical Revisionism Regarding Nationalism And Hungarian Jews In World War II

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kara Hunter Old (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Michael Behrent

Abstract: History does not flow as one single narrative due to innumerable perspectives, and within those, biases and controversies. Traditionally, it is the victors who write history, and within recent years this has been challenged by historians and educators by researching and teaching a more holistic history. This shift occurring in academia is valuable; however it is not accessible. This is not referring to the ongoing argument between academic history and popular history, but regarding history presented in museums, memorials, and the classroom. The broader population will have been in the public school classroom and encountered a public monument compared to affording to attend a university that provides login credentials to online databases and a well- stocked library. The matter of accessibility comes into question when it comes to historical revisionism. With time, historical revisionism occurs naturally; in recent years, revisionism has encouraged historians to undertake research efforts into overlooked populations such as the indigenous people in the Americas. History as it is recorded is always tinged with bias, and the same rings true for revision of history, as it reflects the time in which the past events are currently being evaluated. Changes in historical perception are slow to take in academia, and even more so in the public. Museums and memorials require careful planning due to potential revisionism as well as providing many people with information they would not have access to otherwise. Organizers of these establishments are responsible to acknowledge bias in what they present, and to be accurate in their history without leaving out or erasing vital and relevant information to push a view or agenda. The Hungarian government is guilty of historical revisionism of World War II and their treatment of Hungarian Jews, using public sites such as the Memorial to the Victims of German Occupation to conceal their true involvement, as it does not fit with the narrative of painting Hungarians as victims of the Treaty of Trianon, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. My argument is that Hungary is able to get away with their revision of history regarding their complicity with Nazi Germany prior to 1944 due to their self-victimization reflected in the memorial as well as their history with nationalism and the threats to Hungarian identity, a pattern being repeated today with Hungary’s views towards immigrants.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Old, K. (2020). Magyar Self-Victimization: Historical Revisionism Regarding Nationalism And Hungarian Jews In World War II. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Memorials, World War II, Hungary, Revisionism, Nationalism, Holocaust, Anti-Semitism

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