About

My name is Eva S. Balogh. As a twenty-year-old university student, I left Hungary in December 1956, after the failed Hungarian revolution. In late February, I arrived in Canada without knowing a word of English. After more or less learning the language I enrolled as a student at Carleton University, Ottawa, where I received my B.A. (hon.) in 1965, majoring in history. I continued my studies at Yale University, where first I received an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies, an interdisciplinary program, and later a Ph.D. in history. I taught East European history at Yale and published a number of studies on Hungarian foreign policy and party politics between the two world wars.

150 comments

  1. Dear Éva,

    Allow me to draw your kind attention to what is quite unusual in Hungary today. The Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle established in 2010 by scientists, clergymen, artists and the supporters of art founded in 2011 the Hungarian Civil Legion of Honour. Its first donation was in 2012 for two worthiests: dr. József Szarvas, a medical doctor, who carried out a traheoctomy on a motorcyclist on the roadside in 2009, and Emil Pásztor, professor of linguistics (posthume), who presented the idea of establishing the Museum of Hungarian Language in 1994, but did not live along its completion in 2008.
    The second donation ceremony wiil take place on the 10th of February this year at 11 am. at the Óbudai Társaskör (1036 Budapest, Kiskorona u. 7), where two candiates will have the medal: Sándor Fehér, violinist (posthume), who lost his life while saving children on the wrecked Costa Concordia ship last January, and the RE.F.U.G.I.U.S. Association of Burgenland (Austria) who undertook the sorrowful task (instead of us, Hungarians) to build and inaugurate a nice memorial for those 200 jewish Hungarian labour-camp inmates, who were massacred by the hosts of ball of countess Margaret Batthyány and the village dwellers during the night of 24 March, 1945 in Rechnitz (Rohonc) and were berried on a place unknown even today.
    Please, read our home page: http://www.arshumanica.org.
    Please give me your email addres and I will send you our invitation.
    Email: vinarius@t-online.hu

    Thanks and regards: Csaba Kuthi
    Ars Humanica Hungarica Circle

  2. Bonjour,

    Je souhaiterais vous soumettre un projet de publication ; pourriez-vous me communiquer une adresse mail ?

    Je vous remercie.

    Claude Donadello
    9, boulevard de Courtais
    03100 Montluçon
    France

    Tél. : 04 43 01 44 83

    claudedonadello@sfr.fr

  3. Donadello Claude :

    Bonjour,

    Je souhaiterais vous soumettre un projet de publication ; pourriez-vous me communiquer une adresse mail ?

    Je vous remercie.

    Claude Donadello
    9, boulevard de Courtais
    03100 Montluçon
    France

    Tél. : 04 43 01 44 83

    claudedonadello@sfr.fr

    May I inquire what kind of draft publication we are talking about? Eva S. Balogh

  4. Dear Mrs. Balogh,

    I read your political and history comments with much appreciation and find them very interesting, as a different point of view, especially those concerning the Hungarian-Romanian relations. I would like to congratulate you (and most of your readers too!) for the just and equidistant position on sensible matters and for proving that moderation exists amongst Hungarians in a larger extent that some would think.

    Unfortunately, so many Romanians are strongly and honestly convinced that all the Hungarians, from Transylvania, Hungary or elsewhere, hate Romania. And with the developments of last week some feel that things are on an ascending spiral, only going from bad to worse.

    Your blog proves that you don’t necessary have to love a country, in order to be able not the hate it. In this moment, I would be good if Romanians and Hungarians in Transylvania or Szekelys could at least tolerate or ignore each other (now maybe I’m generalizing too).
    There are so many on both sides who only see in black and white, and so much disinformation!

    Paul,
    Romania

  5. Eva, I have a very interesting story for you that may be worth writing a blogpost about. I can’t say more here.. i can’t find your email address, but you may write to me at ‘ varese at gmail dot com ‘ . Thanks!

  6. Shame on you, Communist. Viktor Orbán and Zsolt Bayer are the pride for our brothers – the normal and honest Hungarians. Here in Bulgaria the Rothschild’s Communists left Stalins bolsheviks to wipe out almoust all Bulgarians. Shame on you, international Communist and servent of the Rothschild’s red Nazis.

  7. Hello, Ms. Balogh. First of all, thank you for your wonderful blog. I find it an informative and entertaining collection on the always interesting Hungarians.

    As you have written a great deal on the state of the Hungarian judiciary, and even some on the trial of Miklós Hagyó and the other 14 defendants, I would like to point out that the European Court of Human Rights will announce their verdict tomorrow (Tuesday, April 23, 2013) as to whether Hagyó’s basic rights were violated throughout his time in pretrial detention. I have written about this here:

    http://thehagyocase.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/european-court-of-human-rights-ready-to-announce-verdict-about-the-hagyo-case/

    Also relevant, is the closed-door hearing of Tünde Handó in the Constitutional Court, which will also occur tomorrow. Presumably, Handó will have to explain why she approved the transfer of the BKV trial from the Budapest court system to that in Kecskemét.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    The Hagyó Case

  8. Yes, I’m very much interested in the Hagyó case. I know that tomorrow there will be a verdict but I want to wait until we know the results.

    I’m glad you like Hungarian Spectrum.

  9. Tisztelt Eva!

    Ez nem kommentár, hanem mondani akarom milyen jo ez a blog. Minden nap olvasom.

    Holland tortenesz vagyok, a hetvenes es a nyolcvanos evekben tanultam Magyarorszagon.

    A holland szocdem partnak irok Magyarorszagrol.

    Most az a helyzet, hogy holnap Ottawaba megyek, A ferjem mar ott van, egy konferencia miatt. Nem tudom hol lakik, de ha Ottawaban lakik, lenne lehetoseg talalkozni?

    Tisztelettel es udvozlettel,

    Antje Koelewijn,
    00.31.6.11273354

  10. Dear Professor Balogh,

    You may be interested to know that Australia today granted Raoul Wallenberg honorary citizenship, the first time this honour has been bestowed on anyone. The connection is that a number of Holocaust survivors rescued by him came to Australia and a few are still living. Wallenberg never visited Australia. I would add a link to media reports but I’m not very adept that way. I’m sure you can find them easily enough on the net.

    Regards,

    Andrew Endrey

  11. Dear Professor Balogh:

    I’d like to offer this as a suggestion topic for a day’s editorial and consequent comment debate in the Hungarian Spectrum.

    About Orbán’s psychological make-up:
    Each time I read anything about Orbán I come away with the impression he is wanting to ‘tickle’ or rather, worse: shock and irritate any and everyone like a naughty schoolboy needing and wanting to be at the center of attention…

    And, it seems to me he is upping the ante as he goes along. Nothing is shocking enough for him.

    I’d rather not imagine the future consequences when this schoolboy / now having full military powers at his disposal, goes out of control.

    And thank you for your dedicated work ! –
    I too left Hungary at a young age in 1956 – and later worked at international organizations (UNHCR, WHO, GATT (WTO) and others)

  12. Dear Prof. Balogh,
    Thank you a LOT for all your hard work of following, analysing, and disseminating info on what is going on in Hungary! Also, thanks for being impartial in posting, it is a rare occurance nowadays, since ALL issues became political. I am a non-native Hungarian resident interested in the affairs of the country where my child grows and where my taxes go, and your analysis provides the hope for a better future – for all residents of Hungary today. As long as we call things what they are, there is a chance to be heard!

    Szeretném, ha a legjobban ezt a blogot!
    Marianna B.

  13. There will be a demonstration on Sunday at 2 PM organized by teacher and civil organizations against Fidesz’s education policies. THey meet at the Pest side of the Chain Bridge.
    Excellent!

  14. Kedves Hölgyem, talán Asszonyom!
    Kár, nagy kár, hogy a liberális baloldal nem képes elviselni, hogy lehet másként is látni a dolgokat, mint ahogy ők látják. Ilyen Magyarország esete is.
    Végre van az országnak egy olyan kormánya, akiknek van egy célja, van egy iránya. És ha talán a racionalitás marad az emberek motiválója jövő tavasszal, akkor marad is ez a kormány. És az jó lesz!
    Sajnálatos, hogy az ön elemzései jobbára bal-liberális elfogultságban születtek.
    Tisztelettel: MK

  15. Mate K. :
    Kedves Hölgyem, talán Asszonyom!
    Kár, nagy kár, hogy a liberális baloldal nem képes elviselni, hogy lehet másként is látni a dolgokat, mint ahogy ők látják. Ilyen Magyarország esete is.
    Végre van az országnak egy olyan kormánya, akiknek van egy célja, van egy iránya. És ha talán a racionalitás marad az emberek motiválója jövő tavasszal, akkor marad is ez a kormány. És az jó lesz!
    Sajnálatos, hogy az ön elemzései jobbára bal-liberális elfogultságban születtek.
    Tisztelettel: MK

    Kedves Mate!
    Kar, nagy kar hogy a jobboldal nem kepes meglatni, hogy a konzewrvativ politiak nem egyenlo a demokraitkus alapok eltorlesevel. A konzervativ politka szinten nem egyenlo az uram-batyam elosztassal sem, semmint a szegenyek kifosztasaval. Sjanalatos az is, hogy csak mint On, a jobboldal nem kepes elviselni azt, hogy van ellenvelemeny, es azt mont a haza megtamadasanak tartja. Talan, csak talan meg vannak olyan magyarok akik a konzervativ politikat ertik, gyakoroljak, es nem egy jobboldali, eltorzitott, valamifele kommunista korcsot probalnak ratukmalni masokra.
    Tisztettel: BE

    ps.: THis is an English language blog. You do not have to belong to the liberal left to recognize that.

  16. Deak Ferenc :

    Eva, are you aware of the apparent forcible closing by Hungarian police of a hotel where an Uyghur conference was being held, and the closure of the World Federation of Hungarians HQ near Astoria?

    http://www.hungarianambiance.com/2013/05/scandal-european-vice-president-of.html

    The original Youtube video of this no longer seems to be available, but there is a copy at the base of the Hungarian Ambiance post.

    No, I was not aware of it. I never heard of the Uyghur Conference in Budapest.

  17. Let me help out this guy until he learns a foreign language so you can see what are we up against. Left, liberal = evil. Simple, isn’t it?

    “Dear Miss, maybe Ma’am!
    It is such a pity the liberal left cannot accept that things can be seen differently from their point of view. This is the case in Hungary.
    Finally the country has a government, that has purpose, a direction. And if the the people will be motivated by rational thinking next spring [next election] then this government will stay. And that will be good!
    Unfortunately your analyses are mostly have a left-liberal bias.
    Sincerely: MK”

  18. Mate K: “És ha talán a racionalitás marad”

    Mutt, self-confident sounds different to me. I even get optimistic when despite this “purpose, direction, government”, people will only PERHAPS contemplate casting their vote for them. Ts ts ts.

  19. Hello Dr Balogh,
    Are you aware that parliamentarians from the 47-nation Council of Europe – an older and wider group of nations than the European Union and often described as “Europe’s human rights watchdog” – are to debate whether or not to subject Hungary to official “monitoring” of its democratic standards during their plenary session at the end of June? (ie. after Venice Commission latest opinion and European Parliament debate):

    http://www.assembly.coe.int/ASP/NewsManager/EMB_NewsManagerView.asp?ID=8675

    Only ten of the Council of Europe’s 47 member states are subject to this procedure – which involves regular visits and reports, and periodic debates on progress. Most are from Eastern Europe, and none from the EU. The Assembly has never before opened a full monitoring procedure against an EU member state.

    The Assembly’s Monitoring Committee has already (narrowly) expressed itself in favour of monitoring, and has produced a comprehensive report on how far Hungary meets the Council of Europe’s democratic standards, citing deep concerns at “the erosion of democratic checks and balances” as a result of the new constitutional framework in the country. Here is the full report:

    Click to access amondoc08_2013.pdf

    A separate body of the Assembly, the Bureau, has expressed itself AGAINST monitoring – the Assembly is in effect split. The report will now be debated (probably on Tuesday 25th June) by parliamentarians drawn from all 47 national parliaments and the plenary Assembly will make a final decision in favour or against.

    The debate and vote will be webcast live on the website of the Assembly.

    Hope that’s useful!

    Regards,
    Angus Macdonald
    (PACE press officer)

  20. Dear Mr. MacDonald,

    Thank you very much for the information. It is nice getting direct input from the right source. I checked my older posts and found that I had written about the Council of Europe twice. Once on January 25, 2011 (https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/the-council-of-europe-and-hungary/) and again on June 12, 2012 (https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/council-of-europe-debate-on-the-functioning-of-democracy-in-hungary/comment-page-1/). I do hope that I managed to get to be accurate in my description of the organization.

    I was especially happy to receive your description of the present status of the Hungarian case before the Council of Europe. I assume that the latest report of the Venice Commission will have some bearing on the final decision.

    I’m so glad that you are aware of the existence of Hungarian Spectrum and thank you for taking the time to write,

    With best wishes,

    Eva S. Balogh

  21. Dear Dr Balogh,
    Many thanks for the swift reply – and, indeed, for your earlier detailed and accurate posts on the Council of Europe! I should correct one small point in my earlier post: the debate in the European Parliament is scheduled for July, and therefore in fact comes AFTER the Council of Europe debate. Let us see what happens in both debates…
    Best regards,
    Angus Macdonald

  22. This blog is according to the ideas of a party called SZDSZ, that had less than 1% support and fall out of the parlament due to incompetence and mega-corruption. Citing Balint Magyar, a former member, in 2013 is a serious sign of ideological blindness.

    Maybe, entertaining for some left-wing foreigner who does not know what is going on, but for the rest of us this is just sectarian nonsense.

  23. London Calling!

    Steven Slav

    Johnny Foreigner here – Jobbik is it?

    This foreigner – and many others on here – know more than most indigenes about what is really going on in Hungary. And many of us visit often.

    Unlike you – we know what a free press is, and what a real democracy looks like.

    And no, not left-wing.

    I suggest you get out more – and stop attending those Magyar Gárda rallies.

    Regards

    Charlie

  24. I live in Hungary, “Stephen Slav”, I doubt you do. I guess it’s matter of perspective in regards to “what’s going on”. But hey why don’t you tell us what’s really going on in Hungary “according to Slav”?

  25. Pingback: Carolina Panthers
  26. Steven Slav: And you basing your comment on what facts exactly? I have a large family and lots of friends in Hungary, and I am Hungarian myself. Eva paints a very clear picture of what is happening in my beloved country. In fact you should applaud her that she tries to bring factual reporting on Hungarian issues versus the corrupted reporting of many government controlled media. Keep reading Steven with an open mind, and check the facts on both sides. You will be surprised.

  27. Dear Mrs. Éva S. Balogh, subject: motor fuel marking with isotope

    in such a way I would like to draw your attention to the attached web pages resp. newspaper articles.
    There is about a law proposal promoted first by Antal Rogán than by Sándor Pintér regarding motor fuel marking by a colour-process or with isotope(!) in Hungary.
    My comment on this subject is as follows:
    First – if this frightening version of the attached story is really true – I simply cannot believe that a government of a member state in the European Union is allowed to take such unjustifiable, silly measures which are in addition really hazardous.
    On the other hand I don’t want to buy flubbed and maybe unhealthy and polluting motor fuel in my privately owned car paid by myself from my taxed income.
    Finally there are a lot of people have to stay at home (in Hungary), forced to make their way in life harder hoping for normal circumstances.

    Best regards
    „Joe Average” from Hungary

    http://hvg.hu/velemeny.nyuzsog/20130704_Atomhajtassal_Simicska_Lajosert#rss
    http://www.nol.hu/gazdasag/a_valasztasok_utanra_csuszik_uzemanyagjeloles
    http://www.hirkereso.hu/search?q=izot%F3p&timelimit=168&archivum=-1

  28. Bár csupán névrokonok vagyunk, sajnálom hogy csak most találtam erre az oldalra. Gondolatébresztő írások ezek, őszintén gratulálok hozzá. Kár, hogy magyar nyelven nem találni hasonló kvalitást.

  29. May I inform the readers of this informative blogsite of a new book Peter Krasztev and I have co-edited. There will be an English edition later this year (or early next year), under the title THE HUNGARIAN PATIENT, to be published by the CEU Press (I am not a Hungarian speaker).
    Here is the link: http://napvilagkiado.eu/webaruhaz/shop.product_details/2-elkeszueletben/flypage.tpl/845-tarka-ellenallas/ Eva, I return to the States next week, and would be happy to send you a complimentary copy, if you would kindly provide me a mailing address by email to vantil39@gmail.com. Best regards, Jon

  30. Dear Dr. Balogh,

    I would greatly appreciate emailing you. Would it be possible to have your email address please? I have a question (which is quite important to me) which I would love to ask you so as to receive your well thought through advice and opinion. 🙂

    I completely understand if not!

    Many thanks,

    Krisztina

  31. Ms. Balogh,
    Thank you so much for much a wonderful website.I’m an american and I married my husband , Gyula , just 6 months ago. I am still trying to figure him out ! 🙂 Hungarians are very very different from Americans ! I stumbled across your website looking for clues about Hungarian male mentality, and found such a load of information n culture, politics and history . Thank you ! Patricia Lynn Pap~

  32. Dear Patricia, There are many readers of Hungarian Spectrum who are married to Hungarians although it seems to me that it is normally the wife who is Hungarian and not the husband.

    I’m glad that you find the blog useful. If I were you I would also read the comments because among the commenters there are many foreigners who live in Hungary and thus they have a special perspective on Hungarian mentality. But, of course, one shouldn’t generalize. On the other hand, from yesterday’s post it is clear that even liberal Hungarians entertain a more traditional view of family despite the fact that reality doesn’t reflect their ideals. There are far too many single mothers, a great number of divorces, and most of the families cannot really live on one salary. But facing reality was never a strong point of Hungarian culture. I’m glad that you are here.

  33. Dear Mrs Balogh, I have noticed that it is de rigueur for Fidesz-types (particularly young, thrusting professionals) to wear a neatly cropped moustache and beard “ring” arrangement around the mouth. That is, the moustache and beard are joined at either side. I was wondering if you know where this is from. Is it something that is mandated from above? Does it symbolise something?

  34. Dear Mrs Balogh,
    I am writing in the behalf of New Eastern Europe, a magazine on Central and Eastern European Affairs. We are about of publishing an article on our online student column on the issue of Roma in Ózd and the case of public fountains. I am writing to ask you if we can use the picture and the video that you published on your post (https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/water-and-politics-the-case-of-the-roma-in-ozd/). If not, cold you please help me in finding any picture related to the topic?
    I thank you in advance for reading this request,
    Best Regards,

    Giacomo Manca

  35. I just found your Blog and find it extremely interesting…if not very encouraging! I was particularly interested in an entry from 30 May about Cecile Tormay. As it happens, my mother’s maiden name is Tormay (she is in fact Cecil’s niece.) Fortunately, anti-semitism is not a genetically-determined trait. Being Hungarian, I of course try to find a connection. One direct one…we should have overlapped at Yale where I was a graduate student in economics from 1967 to 1971. (But I don’t recall ever meeting you, maybe because I lived off in Branford and didn’t socialize much.) Balogh is a rather more common Hungarian name than Koromzay, but are you by any chance related to the Hungarian economist Tamas Balogh (eventually Lord Balogh) who, together with Niki Kaldor and Peter Bauer constituted the curious triumvirate of hungarian jewish economists who became British lords.? (Although Peter Bauer, whom my mother dated in her youth was way over on the other side of the political spectrum from the other two.)

    I hope we can keep in touch, if you are interested I live in rural France after a long period as Director for Country studies at the OECD where I was actively involved in working with the hungarian authorities to organize the transition from communism to a market economy..

    Val Koromzay

  36. WOw, reading of it and experiencing some Hungarian-Slovak animosity recently–I found this blog very interesting.My last name was americanized at Ellis ISland so I have no real data as to what it was originally. I suspect hajosz and their is a street in Budapest with a very similarly spelled name. Nowadays my grandparents home towns are now in Poland. The immigration papers however say at the time their country was Prussia, even though my grandparents claim Slovak heritage.

  37. Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family name who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa. Now, if you grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, It is possible that they moved to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late 18th century. Interesting story.

    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

  38. Eva S. Balogh :

    Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family names who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa, of course. Now, if your grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, just as s in Hungarian is pronounced as sh. How they got to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late eighteenth century, of course, I have no idea. It would take a little genealogical research..

    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

  39. THank you so much for your quick and informative response. I hope I didnt mislead you but both my hrandparents emigrated to the USA prior to WWl. I will look up the dates later. I will also review the immigration papers etc and get back to you. The Americanized version of our last name is “Hajost” and thats what was supposedly given to my grandfather at Ellis Island or at least thats the family legend as I remember it. WE receive an extreme amount of questions regarding our last name, such as “what is that” and “were are you from” Thanks again.Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family names who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa, of course. Now, if your grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, just as s in Hungarian is pronounced as sh. How they got to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late eighteenth century, of course, I have no idea. It would take a little genealogical research..
    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

    Eva S. Balogh :
    Hi, Mark. The locality where your grandparents came from is a bit mysterious. The name, I suspect, is Hungarian “hajós” which means “boatman.” Of course, both in Hungary and in Slovakia there are many people with Hungarian family name who consider themselves Slovaks. And vica versa. Now, if you grandparents ended up in the Austrian part of Poland it is possible that the spelling of their name was changed to Hajosz. Sz in Polish is pronounced as sh, It is possible that they moved to that part of Poland that was acquired by Prussia in the late 18th century. Interesting story.
    I suggest that you take a look at a historical atlas to get a good sense of what partitioned Poland looked like.

  40. Greetings. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks and enjoy learning about Hungarian politics (I was 9 when we came to the US in 1956). I am writing about this question: I have a cousin who I’m “friends” with on Facebook. He frequently re-posts articles from a publication titled “Flag Magazin.” Can you tell me and your readers about it? Is it affiliated with Jobbik? Looks like it might be… Today my cousin posted this article:
    http://www.flagmagazin.hu/politika/nicsak_ki_beszel
    My Hungarian is too weak to be able to understand it, unfortunately, but, as a child of Holocaust survivors, the accompanying photos make me think I should be worried about the content. Can you help me understand what the article said? A short synopsis would help a great deal.

    Thanks you.

    Andrew Szasz

  41. Andrew Szasz :
    My Hungarian is too weak to be able to understand it, unfortunately, but, as a child of Holocaust survivors, the accompanying photos make me think I should be worried about the content. Can you help me understand what the article said? A short synopsis would help a great deal.
    Thanks you.
    Andrew Szasz

    Andrew,

    I looked and I don’t understand a word from the articles … I don’t think it is worth the attention. After a wasted ten minutes I’m still not sure what am I reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s