Why has the popularly elected government of this small nation surrounded by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Croatia received so much criticism?  Why has Slovakia challenged a recently enacted law allowing ethnic Hungarians living in regions formerly part of Hungary to apply for Hungarian citizenship, despite the existence of similar laws in other countries?  Why is Hungary’s new Constitution, its first permanent written constitution since 1949, being questioned? And just how stable and prosperous is this fascinating country in the heart of Central Europe?

Hungary continues to confront its history: the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Kingdom after World War I, which cost Hungary two-thirds of its territory and left large Hungarian communities outside its borders, followed by 50 years of post-World War II Communism. In the twenty years since the Communist regime collapsed various Hungarian governments have struggled to create a democratic state and solve the country’s social and economic problems, but a multitude remain as harbingers for the future.

The Speakers

Deborah Cornelius
Deborah Cornelius is an historian of East Central Europe and the author of Hungary in World War II: Caught in the Caldron (Fordham University Press 2011) and In Search of the Nation: the New Generation of Hungarian Youth in Czechoslovakia 1925-1934 (Columbia University Press, 1999. She formerly taught at Rutgers University and Franklin and Marshall College as well as in Vienna, Tangier and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She did her dissertation research for a PhD at Rutgers University on a Fulbright Fellowship in Hungary in 1987-88. Hungary in World War II: Caught in the Caldron is available through Amazon. It was republished in Hungarian summer 2015.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On December , 2011, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.