Árpád Popély: The Revolution of 1989 and the Hungarian community in Czechoslovakia as seen from Budapest

While the Czech and Slovak historians have practically been publishing studies, monographies and documents related to the regime change in Czechoslovakia and the preceeding normalisation period in the past twenty years constantly, the coverage of its interrelations with the Hungarian ethnic community is still in its infancy. We can only find scattered references to minority policies in the Czech and Slovak special literature, and Hungarian historians in Slovakia have sadly not touched upon the topic of the regime change in 1989 and the preceeding two decades of normalisation either.

This work aspires to be one of the first, and, from a certain point of view, a unique experiment on approaching the subject. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that it is not built upon Slovakian sources, but on the documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary stored in the National Archives, and it attempts to showcase how Budapest, the Hungarian diplomacy – and within it, the Hungarian Embassy in Prague and the Consulate General in Bratislava – percieved the ethnically related events during the regime change.
The two Hungarian representative bodies have made several hundred reports detailing the internal and external political situation of Czechoslovakia, as well as the economic and cultural life of the country, questions about the Czechoslovak–Hungarian bilateral relations and or course, the situation of the Hungarian minority in the country. As the communication with the minority community was first of all the task of the Consulate General, the vast majority of reports concerning the ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia naturally originates from Bratislava.