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News Archive - 2009

Did It Happen At All?

The Possible History of the Romanian Revolution

When the human chain of supporters, gathered in Timişoara to protect reformed pastor László Tőkés, grew into a massive crowd of thousands chanting anti-Ceauşescu slogans, not even the protesters believed that one of the most obscure communist dictatorships of the twentieth century was really coming to an end. All the more so because the army and Securitate troops managed to restore order temporarily, leaving several dozen protesters dead. Yet a few days later, on December 22 1989, it really happened: Nicolae Ceauşescu and his wife Elena fled the Bucharest building of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party on board a helicopter.

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Magyar Rendőr (The Hungarian Policeman)

Press Conference

Time: 3 December 2009 at 11 a.m.

Location: OSA Archivum, Budapest 1051, Arany János u. 32.

Magyar Rendőr (The Hungarian Policeman) first appeared in January 1947. Early issues of the fortnightly magazine were published with no photos at all; the first photograph was printed on the cover six months after the periodical had been launched, then in 1949 inner pages started to be illustrated too. At the same time as Magyar Rendőr started to print photographs, full-time photographers were hired, usually 3 or 4 at a time, many of whom stayed with the paper, which meanwhile became a weekly magazine, for as long as several decades.

Read on...


Beyond Cold War Linearities: Entangled Histories and Interactive Ideas

International Conference

9-10 December 2009

OSA Archivum,
Arany János utca 32,
1051, Budapest

The twentieth anniversary of the 1989 regime change has inspired debate about Communist legacies and the impact of the Cold War on transition in Eastern Europe. Much of this debate has focused on either the agents that contributed to its demise or an analysis of the transition as a struggle for European (re)integration. In both cases the destinies of former Communist countries are subjected to linear narratives that converge towards a vision of teleological (self-)liberation. But paradoxically this keen interest in the past met with a great deal of local epistemological reticence when it came down to the question of applied research and recent history. This can be correlated to a paucity of meta-reflections on Cold War Studies paradigms and a difficulty of gaining access to archival records of Cold War propaganda. A case in point is that of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which continues to stir up sentiment but remains underexplored due to enduring trauma and the inability to access source material.

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Generation '89

generation_89_logo_140x50Were you born in 1989?

Are you a citizen of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania or the UK?

Meet people from your generation!
Join the “Generation ’89” project!

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6th Verzio

Because_We_Were_Born3-400x276Verzio6-400x255International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

Roma village turned upside down by the shooting of Borat, musical performance by the survivors of the North Korean labor camps, underground video-journalism in Burma, routines and thrills of American homeless – world-acclaimed documentaries premier in Hungary at the upcoming 6th Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film festival on Nov 3-8. Further programs: Holes in the Iron Curtain: Polish “Black Series” (1954-1959); 20 Years of Democracy, Hungarian documentary panorama, and a wealth of debates, discussions, and memorable meetings.
See. Think. Talk. It is your business!

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty

the CIA Years and Beyond

Public lecture by A. Ross Johnson, a senior executive of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from 1988 to 2002.

The author of the book of the same title, to be published in 2010, will talk about the role of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty as instruments of United States foreign and security policy during the first two decades of the Cold War and of the CIA’s role.

Time: 5.00 PM, Monday, November 2, 2009
Venue: CEU – Gellner Room; Nádor u. 9. Budapest 1051


The Great Flood in Fehérvár 2

flood-400x283“At that time I didn’t know that it would be as if it had not been at all … That’s what life was like, so humiliating and ambivalent.”

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IMPROMPTU, Berlin 1989.11.11.

Concert by Ditta Rohmann

OSA Archivum has a history of experimenting with the genre of reproduction. So far we have reproduced an exhibition (the Hungarian Pavilion in Auschwitz built in the workers’ movement vein), a radio broadcast (the program broadcast by Kossuth Radio in the early morning of November 1956) as well as the recording of a show trial (Imre Nagy and his associates). This time, on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, we will reproduce a classical music concert.

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The Hungarian Question

a-magyar-kerdes-400x349Events at OSA Archivum on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1956 revolution

October 22, 2009

OSA Archivum
1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.

Hedervary collection

A series of events will address the afterlife of the revolution by focusing on the documents of the UN Special Committee on the Hungarian Problem. These documents were saved from the shredder by UN employee Claire de Hedervary

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The Hungarian Question

OSA Archivum invites experts on the history of the recent past, as well as the public at large to an unconventional program on October 22, 2009. During the day, the work and archival legacy of the UN Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary investigating the 1956 revolution will be presented from a variety of aspects. The tragic fate of Danish diplomat Povl Bang Jensen, just like Claire de Hedervary’s struggle to save and preserve the UN documents are closely linked to the history of the Committee. In the past few years, OSA has participated in the processing and digitization of the UN's most important collection of documents on 1956. The Hedervary Collection, currently held in the Manuscript Collection of the National Széchenyi Library, was donated by Ms. Hedervary to the institution in 1999. The OSA Archivum holds a digital copy of the whole collection, including the audio material. More information


Cultural Heritage Days

2009 19-20 September, 14:00-20:00 p.m.
Location: OSA Archívum at CEU, Arany János utca 32. Budapest 1051

The OSA Archivum: exhibition hall and archives in a listed building. The basement of the Goldberger House, an industrial monument, is the repository of the background materials of Radio Free Europe programs as well as of cold war and human rights collections.

Guided tours in the Goldberger House including the basement archival repository and Galeria Centralis will start on the hour.

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Budapest Pride Press Release

Whoopi Goldberg’s Video Message in Support of Budapest Pride. American actress Whoopi Goldberg talks about her concerns and support for the gay pride march in Budapest.

When:  Monday August 31, 2009, 10:30 AM
Where: OSA Archivum, Arany János utca 32. 2nd floor.  H-1051 Budapest, Hungary


The Personal Papers of István György Tóth are open for research

ferencesrendi-kolostorOSA Archivum opens the personal papers of István György Tóth (1956-2005), a former professor of history at the Central European University. The records contain manuscripts, correspondence, copies of primary archival sources, teaching material, reprints, periodicals and books, as well as photographs, a few videocassettes, microfilms, and electronic records documenting his manifold career as historian, researcher, educator, author and editor.

Known by many only as TIGY, Tóth was an expert in the history of civilization and society of early modern Hungary. His main topics of research included the missionary activity of the Vatican in Hungary, the literacy of peasantry and nobility, libraries of the nobility, 17th-18th century schools, as well as estate and urban history.

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Pride Film Nights at OSA Archivum-July, 2009

The Rainbow Mission Foundation organizing Budapest Pride, 2009, cooperates with OSA Archivum on a film series that examines the lives of gays and lesbians in the world today. The weekly July screenings precede the LGBT Pride staring the week of August 30 – September 5 in Budapest and are meant to originate dialogue and promote tolerance.

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General Béla Király Dies

kiraly-belaBéla K. Király (1912-2009) was born in Kaposvár, Hungary. He graduated from the Ludovika Military Academy in 1942. During WWII, he served as an officer in various units of the Hungarian Army. After 1945, he participated in the reorganization of the new Hungarian army, and soon became one of its highest ranking commanders. He was arrested and imprisoned on fabricated charges in 1951. In 1956, he was released, joined the revolutionary government of Imre Nagy, and became the commander of the National Guard. Following the Soviet intervention, he emigrated to the United States.

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The documentary heritage of Pál Schiffer

schifferis available for research at the Opens Society Archives (OSA Archivum)

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his birth, the archive of the Balázs Béla prize winning film maker Pál Shiffer (1939-2001) has been made available for the public.

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Night of Museums

89 reloaded - in other words:
"It is the least demanding that are worried” (Political Committee, 1989)

2009 20 June, 18:00-24:00 p.m.

Location: OSA Archívum at CEU, Arany János utca 32. Budapest 1051

Tours: We will introduce one of the largest collections of Cold War documents and take you round the Goldberger building. Tours start at 6pm and continue until midnight, on the hour and half-hour – in English according to request.

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Selling Democracy - The Lost Films of the Marshall Plan 1948–1953

SellingDemocracyFriday 26 June, 17:00-18:30
Open Society Archives, Arany Janos 32 u.
Me and Mr. Marshall | The Story of Koula | The Shoemaker and The Hatter | Let's Be Childish!

Saturday 27 June, 15:45 - 17:15
CEU Auditorium, Nador 9 u.
Houen Zo! | Whitsun Holiday | Aquila | Do Not Disturb! | Without Fear

Guest: Sandra Schulberg

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Invitation to a Book Launch

The OSA Archivum at Central European University and Bestsellers Bookstore in Budapest cordiallty invite you to the presentation of

by Vera and Donald Blinken

Ambassador Andras Simonyi, former Hungarian ambassador to the United States, will introduce the book.

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“Our Party is a good Party...”

The Political Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party on the revolution and the reburial of Imre Nagy in 1989.

OSA Archivum, 16 June 2009, 7pm. to 10pm.

In the tradition that it established with the exhibitions on 4th November 2006 and on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Imre Nagy’s execution, OSA Archives commemorates 1956 by presenting unique sound documents on 16th June 2009.

Read on...


Call for papers


Beyond Cold War Linearities: Entangled Histories and Interactive Ideas

Venue: OSA Archivum, Arany Janos utca 32, 1051, Budapest

The anniversary of 1989 regime change brought about a wide range of discussions about Communist legacies and Cold War impact on the transitions in the Eastern European countries. In this respect, one can detect a tendency of approaching Communism by underlying the institutions which influenced its demise, or of analyzing transitions as a socio-political struggle for European (re)integration. In either way, the destinies of the ex-Communist countries are subjected to linear narratives, converging towards the vision of a teleological (self-)liberation. The interest in the past’s influence paradoxically cohabitates with a series of epistemological local reticences regarding applied research on recent history. This can be correlated with a general scarcity concerning meta-reflections on Cold War studies paradigms and – implicitly – with an empirical inaccessibility of the archival documents related to Cold War propaganda. One intriguing case is in this sense that of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, the importance of which is still emotionally evoked and scientifically underexplored because of the persistence of traumatic views about the past and because of unavailability of the sources.

Read on...


ESSL AWARD CEE 2009-Nominees' Night

The ESSL AWARD CEE 2009 is dedicated to the discovery and support of young creative talents in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. The ESSL AWARD CEE 2009 aims at supporting artists who are still in training. Collaboration with the art academies is a central point in this endeavour, as they are the nucleus and well-established centers for the training of future generations of artists.

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40 Films About Socialism

What have we found out about socialist Hungary in the past 20 years? Hundreds of documentaries have been made since the 1989 regime change in Hungary, and the OSA Archivum presents many outstanding works in this one week film marathon.

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The Book Cube

The OSA Archivum inherited a collection of about 100,000 books from the library of Radio Free Europe. About 20,000 of them were deemed useless by professionals as well as laymen. These dull, purposeless books became the building material for 20 Book Cubes: book blocks bound in plastic. The 50 x 50 x 60 cm works of art, all uniformly shaped but with varying content depending on the books used in them can be freely borrowed for a period of one year by any educational, cultural or civil organization. Our aim is to encourage discussions, programs, and any activities relating to the topic of books/libraries/reading.

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An alternative perspective on the jewish quarter

an exhibition by the society ÓVÁS! (PROTEST!),

The exhibition will be opened by György Konrád at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Centrális Galéria
Budapest V. kerület, Arany János utca 32.

The exhibition was designed by N&n

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The raw, the cooked and the packaged and the archive of perestroika art

by Ivor Stodolsky and Marita Muukkonen: co-organized by ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange and the OSA Archívum

Date: 14 April 2009, 6pm
Location: OSA Archívum(1051 Budapest Arany János u. 32.)

Theoretical conceptions of the eponymous archival exhibition at The Museum for Contemporary Art, KIASMA Helsinki, 2007-2008 by Ivor Stodolsky with the contribution of co-curator and Perpetuum Mobilε co-founder Marita Muukkonen

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Alternative Culture(s) and Urban Space

International Conference
2-3 April 2009

Organized by International Alternative Culture Center (Hungary) and Urban Laboratory at European Humanities University (Lithuania) in cooperation with CEU Curriculum Resource Center, OSI HESP, OSA Archivum at CEU and McMaster University (Canada)

See program attached


Politics of Memory in Conflict(ual) Areas

Inter-ReSET Workshop

27-28 March 2009
Venue: OSA Archivum, Arany Janos utca 32

The workshop “Politics of Memory in Conflict(ual) Areas”, (March 27-28, 2009, hosted by OSA Archivum (at CEU), Arany János utca 32, Budapest) was spearheaded by several HESP - ReSET projects in collaboration with the History, Gender Studies and International Relations departments of the Central European University within the framework of the Comparative History project.

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Concert by alternative music band NAGUAL, Belarus

A lot of cultures live inside us and, as a matter of fact, each of us is a migrant. We do not stay long in one place. We are in constant motion, covering either large or small distances. It is this motion, this changeability and relativity of our knowledge that the band NAGUAL seeks to reflect in its creative work.

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Public lecture by Margaret Paxson

Memory and Landscape: Russia

What is the place and power of social memory in rural Russia? The speaker, Margaret Paxson, takes us to a small village in the Russian North where a cluster of farmers has lived for centuries in the time of tsars and feudal landlords; Bolsheviks and civil wars; collectivization and socialism; perestroika and open markets. The study of memory there has lessons to offer about how we approach the problem of social change more generally: what are the dynamics of large-scale social experiments when they meet deeply wrought local practice?

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"Copyright vs Community in the age of network Computing"

Presentation by Richard Stallman in Hungary

Floss Farm’s guest in March is Richard M. Stallman, the free software activist of international renown, initiator of the GNU project, and founder and president of the Free Software Foundation. The evangelist of free software will give his presentation on Friday, 13th March 2009 in Millenáris.

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RE:VERZIO Documentary Film Series

re-verzio-jppApril-May 2009

OSA Archivum, Galeria Centralis

OSA Archivum and VERZIO Film Festival present 7 outstanding documentaries in the 2009 spring film series. Four of the selected documentaries have been the favorites of Verzio 5 International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival audiences in 2008, while three outstanding creative documentaries will be submission premiers.

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The House of the Freedom of Speech – A forum for information rights

Public Discussion

March 13, 2009 - 10 am.
OSA Archivum - 1051, Arany J. u. 32. 

After six decades the Hungarian state will soon retake possession of the Táncsics Prison from the US government, the building that used to be the prison of the hero of the 1848 Hungarian revolution. The House would assume its proper place and function in Hungarian history if it were devoted to one of the basic values of democratic states and a fundamental demand of the 1848 revolution: the freedom of speech and the rights and liberties that are closely related to it. OSA Archivum is proposing a public space that will serve as a museum, a memorial site, a venue for cultural and artistic events, an educational center and a forum for debating current issues related to the theory and practice of free speech and its relatives. With this proposal OSA Archivum would like to initiate public debate and invoke additional suggestions, alternative ideas and critical comments that might contribute to our plan.

The event is in Hungarian



chachipelogoAward ceremony and exhibition opening

Galeria Centralis, OSA Archivum
Budapest, V. ker. Arany János u. 32.

5:00 p.m., March 17, 2009

Kinga Göncz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, and Valeriu Nicolae, chair of the Chachipe Youth jury, will present the awards and open the exhibition.

Music: Ferenc “Caramel” Molnár

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Permeable Archives - Free information

OSA Archivum and NAVA (National Audiovisual Archives)
are holding a press-event where István Rév, (Director of OSA Archivum) and Dávid Kitzinger (Managing Director of NAVA)
discuss OSA's recenly launched 1989 web site

March 5, 2009 - 10 am.
OSA Archívum - 1051, Arany J. u. 32.

Read on...


Invitation to a free book event

Books2007AugustThe OSA Archivum invites you to a free book event

We are offering about 2000 discarded library books to be taken away gratis. Topics include fiction, history and social sciences. The books were published between 1960 and 1990, mainly in Russian, Ukrainian and Belorussian, but there are also some in Lithuanian and Kazakh.

Read on...


Free Libre Open Source Software Farm

Lecture series

New-style / parallel archives

Science and computer sciences in the 21st Century

New Types of digital libraries, archives, content management, e-science and a digital library based on Grid technology and available all over Europe

Read on...


20 Years After

Their Road to the Past - View of History of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party from 1989

Read on...


Paranoia Archive - Project closing presentation and celebration

paranoiaMade between 1961 and 1973 by the Military and Sport Film Studio for the Civil Defense Alliance, these educational films on ABC (atomic, biological, chemical) warfare featured prominently in a campaign to educate the public in ways of protecting itself against weapons of mass destruction.

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The Book Cube

cubeOSA inherited approximately 100,000 books from the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Library. The collection consisted of books from the Cold War period mostly on politics and the history of economics. The books which were considered to be important either from professional or historical point of view have been cataloged by the libraries of the Central European University and OSA Archivum. In summer 2007 significant part of the collection was made available to/for the public and anyone who was interested could take them. The rest of the collection, approx. 20,000 books which visitors found completely uninteresting, has been used for artistic projects. The book cube is one of the projects.

Read on...


Digitized Documents and Films of the Hungarian State Security

allambiztonsagOSA Archivum is digitizing records on the structure and modus operandi of the Hungarian state security and other repressive organs of the communist regime. These have been obtained under strict scrutiny by private persons and researchers from various Hungarian archives, particularly from the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security and its predecessors. By uniting the fragmented, scattered and often artificially separated files, we hope to give a full picture of the activities and culture of the former state security organs.

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Balkan Express - Return to Europe

rteScreening of two documentaries by Gerald Knaus, Open Society Fellow at CEU and Chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI), who recently completed a series of ten documentaries entitled Balkan Express - Return to Europe. The series was recently awarded the Erasmus EuroMedia Grand Award 2008 for outstanding European media productions by the European Society for Education and Communication (ESEC). The aim of the series is to acquaint viewers with this fascinating region and its peoples, their recent past and their struggle for a better future in Europe.

Time: January 13 & 14 at 6pm
Location: OSA Archivum, 1051, Arany Janos u. 32.

Read on...


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