1956 Commemoration Season: Freedom First in Pakhuis de Zwijger Amsterdam
Would you fight for your freedom? That is the central question that will be discussed during this evening organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Hungary in The Hague. This year, Hungary commemorates its tragic but uplifting 1956 revolution. An expert panel will give short remarks before engaging in a lively discussion with the audience.
The Revolution of 1956
It was precisely 60 years ago that the Hungarian society revolted against Communism. University towns became revolutionary hubs with the youth playing an important role in the fight that ensued. Young men and women fought ardently and paid with their blood as their fight for freedom resulted in a Soviet crackdown. The spirit of the revolution prevailed at last in 1989 when Hungary finally became a free democracy. Despite the crackdown, this revolution had a profound impact on the Hungarian society.
In order to explain how this impact continues to define Hungarian society, historian Tamás Magyarics will give a historical narrative to start the evening.
Following this narrative, assistant Professor of European Studies at Maastricht University Ferenc Laczó will discuss the emergence of the official interpretation of the revolution, covering regime propaganda, censorship and tabooization related to the events in subsequent decades, as well as the official remembrance after 1989. Laczó will furthermore discuss the connection between 1956 and 1989, the relationship between those years and the establishment of a democratic regime in Hungary.
Subsequently, Anne de Graaf (Amsterdam University College’s Head of Studies, Academic Core) will discuss the role of youth in revolutions around the world. Considering the fact that the Hungarian Revolution was a direct result of youth activism, De Graaf’s research is extremely relevant as it has taken her to places around the world where she interviewed and worked with young revolutionaries, peace builders and activists to find out how voice and agency affect the role that youth play in a society.
In 1956, even the Dutch youth in Amsterdam strongly reacted to the events in Hungary as they protested and attacked buildings linked to the Communist party.
We would like to discuss what youth activism looks like today and whether you would stand up for your freedom. The audience will debate and discuss this central theme, under the leadership of Moderator Dr. László Marácz.
This evening is sponsored by the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight 60th Anniversary Memorial Board.
Address Pakhuis de Zwijger: Piet Heinkade 179, Amsterdam
Source and photos: Embassy of Hungary in the Hague