Protests and parades : national day commemorations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, 1918-1989
Title: Protests and parades : national day commemorations in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, 1918-1989
Author: TALABÉR, Andrea
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This thesis examines national days in Hungary and Czechoslovakia from their establishment as independent nation-states in 1918 to the collapse of Communism in 1989. The focus is on the capital cities of Budapest and Prague, as the locations of the official commemorations. In these eighty years both countries underwent major political, social and cultural changes that were reflected in national day commemorations. In the interwar period these countries were free to establish their own commemorative calendars and construct their own national historical narratives. Whilst in Hungary this was a rather straightforward process, in Czechoslovakia establishing the calendar was fought along a number of different battle lines. During the Second World War Czechoslovakia was occupied by Nazi Germany and dismantled, whilst Hungary became Hitler's reluctant satellite. National day calendars, rather than simply being completely cancelled, continued in some form from the previous period, as this allowed the Nazis to maintain a semblance of normality. The most significant overhaul of the national day calendar came with the Communist takeovers. The Communist parties imposed a new socialist culture that included a new set of Sovietthemed national days. However, they could not completely break away from the national days of the independent interwar states. Eventually, especially from the late 1960s, the Communists in both countries found that it was expedient to restore some of the interwar national days, some of which still continue today, thus questioning how radical a break 1989 was. Studying national days over the longue durée enables historians to uncover how the dynamics of political power operated in Central and Eastern Europe over the 20th century. This thesis concludes that national days are an example of both the invention of tradition as well as the resilience of tradition, demonstrating how political regimes are always bound by the broader cultural context.
LC Subject Heading: Hungary -- Anniversaries, etc. -- Political aspects; Nationalism and collective memory -- Hungary; Hungary -- History -- 20th century; Czechoslovakia -- Anniversaries, etc. -- Political aspects; Nationalism and collective memory -- Czechoslovakia; Czechoslovakia -- History -- 20th century
Defence date: 3 June 2016; Examining Board: Professor Pavel Kolár, European University Institute (EUI Supervisor); Professor Lucy Riall, European University Institute; Professor Peter Haslinger, Herder Institute; Professor Nancy M. Wingfield, Northern Illinois University.