György Ránki Hungarian Chair Symposium


The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence: 50th Anniversary Conference


 Saturday-Sunday, March 4-5, 2006


Kelley School of Business Graduate and Executive Education Center

Room 1008; 1275 E. 10th Street

Indiana University, Bloomington


Organized by the Indiana University György Ránki Visiting Hungarian Chair with the Central Eurasian Studies Department Hungarian Studies Program at IU, this event is intended as a commemoration of one of the most significant historical events of the last century as well as a scholarly conference of international importance.


SATURDAY, March 4, 2006


8:15-8:45am           Continental breakfast and conference check in


8:45am                   Welcoming Remarks 

                                Elliot Sperling, Indiana University

                                His Excellency András Simonyi, Ambassador to the US from the Republic of Hungary

9:00-11:15am         Panel I: Background and Domestic Context
                             Chair: Gustav Bayerle, Indiana University
The Revolutionary Tradition in Hungary (abstract)
                                          István Deák, Columbia University             
     Socio-psychological Roots of Discontent: Paradoxes of 1956 (abstract)          
Gábor Gyáni, MTA Történettudományi Intézete
 Hungary in the Soviet Empire 1945-1956 (abstract)                        
                                          László Borhi, Indiana University/MTA Történettudományi Intézete

                        Hungarian Writers in 1956 (abstract)

                                Mihály Szegedy-Maszák, Indiana University/ELTE

11:15-11:30am       Coffee Break

11:30-12:20pm       KeynoteAddress
                                The Ten Truths of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence of 1956 (abstract)
                                        Béla Király, Commander-in-Chief of the National Guard of Hungary (1956)
Note:  A recent injury precludes travel so Béla Király's presentation is by video.

12:30-2:30pm      Lunch in the Federal Room, Indiana Memorial Union second floor
                              Note:  If you did not pre-register for this conference, ask staff about lunch availability.


2:30-4:45pm           Panel II: International Context                

                             Chair: Toivo Raun, Indiana University           

                                 Khrushchev and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (abstract)

                                          Péter Kenéz, University of California Santa Cruz

                                 The Soviet Union and the Onset of the Crisis in Poland and Hungary (abstract)

                                          Mark Kramer, Harvard University

                                 The Hungarian Revolution in the Context of the Cold War Military Confrontation (abstract)

                                          David Holloway and Victor McFarland, Stanford University

                                  The Eisenhower Administration and the 1956 Hungarian Crisis (abstract)

                                          Günter Bischof, University of New Orleans


SUNDAY, March 5, 2006


8:30-9:00am           Continental breakfast and conference check in


9:00-10:45am        Panel III: Process

                             Chair: Mihály Szegedy-Maszák, Indiana University/ELTE

                                 Intersecting Lives: Imre Nagy and János Kádár in 1956 (abstract)

                                          János Rainer, 1956-os Intéze

                                 The Hungarian-Soviet Armed Struggle for Budapest, October-November 1956 (abstract)

                                          László Ritter, MTA Történettudományi Intézete

                                  Investigation of a Characteristic Shot of the Revolution:  the Fate of a 'Girl from Pest' and a Widely

                                  Published 1956 Photograph (abstract)

                                          Eszter Balázs, Politikatörténeti Intézet


10:45-11:00am       Coffee break


11:00am-1:00pm     Panel IV: Consequences

                             Chair: Denis Sinor, Indiana University

                                 The Impact of 1956 on the Hungarians of Transylvania (abstract)

                                          Andrew Ludanyi, Ohio Northern University

                                 Reconstruction of Discourse: Literature and the Events of 1956 (abstract)

                                          Thomas Cooper, Columbia University                               

                                Captive Minds and Scapegoats in Stalinist Hungary (abstract)     

                                          Attila Pók, MTA Történettudományi Intézete



The symposium is free and open to the public. The courtesy of advance registration is requested but not required. Contact: Indiana University Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Goodbody Hall 157, 1011 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7005; phone 812-855-2233; fax 812-855-7500; e-mail


Free parking is available on weekends in the Indiana University Fee Lane Parking Garage. The Kelley School of Business Graduate and Executive Education Center is connected to that parking garage at the northwest corner of 10th Street and Fee Lane. For a campus map, see


If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Contact Karen Niggle at


Text Box:

LATE CHANGE NOTE: Circumstances prevent Tibor Frank, ELTE, from attending the conference. His paper titled Saving a Nation or Saving Face: US Efforts to Rescue and Aid Hungarians, 1956-1958 (abstract) will be published with the other conference papers in a special issue of the journal HUNGARIAN STUDIES edited by Mihály Szegedy Maszák and published by Akadémiai Kiadó.

Organizer: László Borhi (, IU György Ránki Visiting Hungarian Chair
Assistant: Andrew Burton (,