Szemle Archive


…távoli kürthöz a bálványt…* Contributions to the Sign Systems of Small-sized Sacral Monuments. Symbols, Attributes, Ornaments, Decors *(Lyrics by Parti Nagy Lajos)

The study attempts to interpret the phenomenon of symbols, attributes, ornaments, and decors which play a dominant role in small-sized sacral monuments. It tries to distinguish between the different categories by using a specific example, the vine tendril and grape bunch, and also seeks to answer the question of how the given sign or symbol has undergone changes in meaning and function over time.

The First Days of the 1968 Soviet Occupation of Rožňava. Death of a Civilian and Shooting at the Kras Hotel

This paper presents different variants of two stories from Rožňava related to the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968, based on the accounts of local and neighbourhood informants. The question was asked in what form the local memory preserved the stories of the two former incidents: 1. the memory of the fatal accident caused by a Soviet tank, 2. the shooting at the Kras Hotel by Soviet soldiers. 1. The scene of the fatal accident on the day of the invasion of Rožňava was the main road across the town, when some of the local young men blocked the path of the tanks entering the town. 1. In the confusion, a young man (father of a family) standing on the side of the road was pinned by a tank against the wall of the building behind him, and his life could not be saved. There are two main variants of this story and several sub-variants. One main variant is that the tank deliberately pushed the victim against the wall, while the other variant is that it was an accident, the young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time. (A small memorial was erected in memory of Štefan Ciberaj, who died in the accident.) 2. The shooting at the city’s popular Kras Hotel took place on the third day after the invasion. The Soviet soldiers directing traffic at the intersection thought they were under attack by civilians, so they started shooting in the direction of where they thought the attack was coming from, mostly in the direction of the Kras Hotel. Several people were injured in the shooting, but fortunately there were no fatalities. Two main variants of this case are also preserved in local memory (with separate sub-variants).  One main variant is that the soldiers who were posting heard the shots from a nearby cinema, as an Indian film was being shown, and they thought that someone was shooting at them. Another variant is that a drunken officer fired his gun at the Kras Hotel, and the soldiers thought they were being attacked from there. In the decades that have passed, there have been countless variants of both incidents in the common knowledge, but there are many who have not heard of either incident, or if they have, very little concrete information has reached them.

From the People’s Court to the State Security Services. Contributions to the Assessment of the Career of Imre Varga, Bishop of the Reformed Christian Church of Hungary

The study aims to provide contributions to the exploration of life course of Imre Varga, former bishop of the Hungarian Reformed Christian Church of Slovakia. The author examines the extent to which the accusations of the People’s Court corresponded to reality, using the documents of Imre Varga’s trial at the People’s Court in 1945–46, which are held in the State Archives in Banská Bystrica. The People’s Court made three main accusations against Varga (his role in the Hungarian political parties, his conduct in relation to the First Vienna Award and his activities between 1938 and 1945). The author finds, on the basis of archival and press sources, that most of the accusations were unfounded and that the fact that Varga was declared guilty by the court but was only given a verbal censure was essentially a moral victory for the pastor.

Press, TV, Radio, Internet. Details on Media Consumption of Hungarians in Slovakia in 2021

The paper presents some characteristics of media consumption of Hungarians in Slovakia, based on empirical data for 2021. Specifically, what are the preferences for each media type, and how many people and how often they follow each print media product, TV and radio channels, and internet news portals, both in Slovakia and in Hungary.

What Is National Peace?

This paper examines the place of national peace in the conceptions of peace. What are its specificities, i.e. how it differs from other types of peace, and what are their common elements? It also addresses the problem of whether and how this can be applied to Hungarian–Slovak relations. One of the peculiarities of the relationships between Central European nations is the limited sovereignty of their states. It is in this state that peace becomes an issue.

Who Can Sit Where? Micro-Historical Lessons From Church Seating Disputes and Other Cases Based on a Record of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Feled

The centuries-old documents in the possession of the Reformed Christian congregations in southern Slovakia, within them in the settlements of the Gemer region, are still an untapped resource for historians and ethnographers. Most parishes in this region keep such documents, such as registers, minutes of presbyteries and assemblies, treasurer’s books, records of the history of the congregation, etc. In this study we are looking at one of the documents (a specific record of a presbytery and assembly) of the Reformed Christian congregation of our place of residence, Feled, which covers a relatively narrow period of time, not quite 13 years. However, both in the larger history and in the life of the local community, these were some of the most eventful years of the 20th century, as the minutes begin on 11 October 1914 and end on 30 January 1927.

The History of the Methodist Congregation of Nyíregyháza From the Beginning to the Czechoslovak–Hungarian Population Exchange

At the end of the 19th century, a significant religious revival movement unfolded in the Nyíregyháza Evangelical Church, which led to the formation of free church communities under the influence of Slovak itinerant preachers from Upper Hungary and Bácska. The most significant grouping, after the imprisonment of its leader, József Rohacsek in 1920, came under the protection of the Methodist Church. Although Slovak language use was strengthened for a time thanks to the connection with the Slovak-speaking revival movement, the process of Magyarization naturally accelerated after 1920. Pastor József Márkus was determined to preserve the Slovak language, in Nyíregyháza the public use of Slovak was almost exclusively restricted to the Methodist congregation. Despite this, the population exchange found a heavily Magyarized community, whose resettlement was met with incomprehension and astonishment by both the Methodist Church and the town’s public opinion.