Underground Streams

National-Conservatives after World War II in Communist Hungary and Eastern Europe
$75.00 / €63.00 / £54.00
Publication date: 
March, 260 pages

The authors of this edited volume address the hidden attraction that existed between the extremes of left and right and of internationalism and nationalism under the decades of communist dictatorship in Eastern Europe. One might suppose that under the suppressive regimes based on leftist ideology and internationalism, their right-wing opponents would have been defeated and ultimately removed. These essays, on the other hand, recount the itinerary of survival and revival of “right-wing” thought and activities under communist dictatorship. Resistance and accommodation are explored in the various phases from the Stalinist era to the demise of the Soviet Bloc, with the continuity provided by tacit or concealed right-wing discourses receiving particular consideration. The Eastern European right, both in its conservative and fascist version, centered on nationalism, a legitimizing factor that increased with the downfall of the regimes, and the authors thus accord nationalism special attention.  

Two documentary sources for these essays that stand out are files of the security services and the exceptionally rich Oral History Archive compiled by the 1956 Institute in Budapest, Hungary.



Vladimir Tismaneanu – Bogdan Iacob: The Romanian Ideology: Merging Political Extremes in a National Stalinist Discourse
Attila Simon: Absent traditions. Right-wing strands in Slovakian politics
András Schweitzer: Round-trip on the Czech lands - The Origins of a Liberal Right Revolution
Janos Rainer: Conservative right-wing political thinking in Hungary after 1945


– Targets: Potential & Actual

Krisztián Ungváry: Social resistance under the Kádár system and the “right-wing”
enemies of state security
Gábor Tabajdi: Christian democrats under fire from the political police, 1945–89
András Lénárt – Rudolf Paksa: “Petty” Arrow-Cross supporters on the Interior Ministry files

– Survival, Opposition, Collaboration: Strategies & Memories

Zsuzsanna Kőrösi: “I had an old-fashioned, conservative upbringing” – One of the Christian middle class looks back on his life
Katalin Somlai: A nationalist of successive periods: Miklós Mester (1906–1989)
Iván Szegő: From Right To Left – Or Not? Béla Csikós-Nagy, a Paradigmatical Opportunist of Transitions