Press Room

On the passing of A. Ross Johnson, former Director of RFE/RL
Posted: 09/February/2021
It is with great sadness that we report on the passing of A. Ross Johnson. A scholar who specialized in East European and Soviet security issues, Johnson fulfilled senior positions at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL, Inc.) over several decades: he was senior executive from 1988 to 2002, director of the RFE/RL Research Institute, acting president and counselor of RFE/RL, and recently History and Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, and Senior Adviser at RFE/RL.
Opposition Roundtable Negotiations, image from the Black Box recordings
Posted: 04/February/2021
A new fully digitized, fully processed collection was made available for researchers for the first time in Hungary. Archival work never stops at Blinken OSA even amid a global pandemic. The AV Section of the Archives is happy to announce that a historically important visual collection is now fully digitized, fully processed, and available for the researchers and the wider public for the first time in Hungary. The Collection is titled the „ Recordings of the Opposition Roundtable Negotiations” which was a widely-known phase during the Transition period of 1989. The events were documented by the Black Box Foundation, the first independent media group in Hungary (since 1988). Contrary to the state-controlled media, Black Box was a fresh and independent voice in Hungary during the Transition, they extensively documented and even participated in the events of the peaceful Transition. The five-part documentary films about the negotiations can be found at HU OSA 305-0-2 The Collection is in Hungarian.
Posted: 26/January/2021
The Blinken OSA launched a blog series at, one of the leading independent news websites in Hungary. The blog entitled Forrás. [meaning source and, with the dot pronounced, boiling point] consists of posts written by the Blinken OSA staff, revolved around archival sources and their archival, historical, and contemporary context. As is in Hungarian, English translations will be published here, at the Blinken OSA website.
Fortepan / Tibor Somlai
Posted: 25/January/2021
The Archives contributes to the program in the form of an internship and a course titled Memory in Public Spaces (Including Archives) About the History in the Public Sphere (HIPS) program: HIPS is a 120 ECTS English-language program awarding a Multiple Degree. The program description says, “History in the Public Sphere is a two-year master program that focuses on the ways the past is represented, contested, and negotiated in the public sphere, exploring various contexts from the early modern period to the present in a comparative and transnational way.”
Blinken OSA  Stock Photo by Dániel Végel
Posted: 20/January/2021
Blinken OSA offers the three-credit course Archives, Evidence, and Human Rights to CEU students. Teaching has always been an essential part of the activities at Blinken OSA, and for many years, a variety of courses were launched to CEU students. We are happy to announce that despite the challenges and the CEU’s move to Vienna, the Archives continues its popular course Archives, Evidence, and Human Rights, offered to the Human Rights Program of the Legal Studies Department, cross-listed to the History Department. About the course: This course aims at looking at the roles and uses of human rights documentation in the context of preserving recorded memory and the history of human rights. Establishing facts by forensic methods, producing impeccable evidence to convict perpetrators, or understanding the roots of conflicts and working toward dialog and reconciliation are just a few areas where the availability of reliable records and archival activism can make a huge difference. Course description and Syllabus
Fortepan / Tibor Inkey
Posted: 15/January/2021
Cultures of Dissent in Eastern Europe (1945–1989): Research Approaches in the Digital Humanities – Online Co-funded by the Open Society University Network (OSUN) and the New Exploratory Phase in Research on East European Cultures of Dissent (CA 16213), a COST Action funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union ( Hosted by the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest, Hungary About the Course: The course is co-hosted by the Blinken Open Society Archives, CEU’s progressive hub for digital Cold War history and a natural home for scholarship conducted in this area. A previous course in 2019 already based its demo datasets on digitized content from the Blinken OSA collections: records of the Radio Free Europe Research Institute, and of RFE’s telex communication between New York and Munich in the 1960s. There are a lot of training schools in digital humanities methods around the world, but very few which are so focused on a particular subject area and dedicated to building collaborative digital history projects around a discrete set of topics. By basing the course and its follow-up activities at Blinken OSA, this program aims to seed a new wave of digital history projects that revolve around Cold War history and oppositional cultures.
Photó: Katalin Dobó
Posted: 12/January/2021
Archives to the Rescue: Left-Wing Journals of Interwar Western Europe Arrive at the Archives We are always delighted to share the news if our collection has been enriched with a special, new donation. Now, however, we have to report with a bitter taste that we had to transfer a part of the press collection of the Institute of Political History—recently cast out from its home—to the Archives, in order to avoid forced scrapping.    
Visegrad Scholarship Results at Blinken OSA
Posted: 08/January/2021
We are happy to announce that the evaluation of the last submitted Visegrad applications has finished and the final list of winners and reserves has been approved by the Council of Ambassadors. For detailed information on the call, please check the official Blinken OSA Visegrad Scholarship website The following candidates received full support: •    John/Jack Atmore (US) for his project Creating an Online Interactive Archival Documentary Platform with the Privát Fotó és Film Alapítvány Home Movie Collection •    Jelena Culibrk (Serbia) for her research Televising the Invisible Hand: The BBC and Postwar (Neo)Liberalism, 1968–1980. •    Svetlana Dimitrova (Bulgaria/France) for her research “Promoting Free Exchange Behind Closed Doors.” The Foundation for the Support of European Intellectuals in its Socio-Historical Context •    Samuel Finkelman (US) for his research How Soviet Jewish Intellectuals and Activists Mobilized the Past to Stimulate the Resurgence of Jewish National Consciousness •    Jira Janac (Czech Republic) for his research on Hydrosocialism •    Andrea Soós (Hungary) for her research on the oeuvre of László Rajk and his contribution to the social and political transformation of Hungary in the 1980s. •     Trinkle, Alice (Germany) for her research on “Understanding socialist economic reform as a global phenomenon.” Assessing exchanges between Europe and China and their influence on Chinese economic reform in the 1980s The following candidates received partial support: •    Bewicz, Piotr (Poland) for his research Letters From The Inside. The Phenomenon of Experiencing Archive – The Open Society Archives Example •    Lilla Farkas (Hungary)  for her research The Emergence of the Roma Rights Movement in the Last Years of Communism and its Immediate Aftermath
Blood/Witness Szabolcs KissPál Documentary Radio Play
Posted: 04/January/2021

Szabolcs KissPál Documentary Radio Play

Radio Tilos FM 90,3 MHz
January 10, Sunday, 2021, 12.30–1.30 p.m.

The events that took place hundred years ago are still leading to sharp, heated debates: which events do we consider national tragedies from the turn of the 1910s and 1920s? Whom do we consider victims to be emphasized as mementos for the collective memory? Whose blood was spilling from, so to say, the wounds of the nation? The documentary radio play by Szabolcs KissPál explores this issue through, on the one hand, the microhistories of the everyman of the era—the Jewish victims of the Red and White Terror—, and, on the other, through the great national narrative—the history of the Monument of National Martyrs, inaugurated in 1934, toppled in 1945, and reconstructed in 2019.

Online exhibition From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919
Posted: 16/December/2020
We are happy to announce that the current exhibition at Blinken OSA, closed due to the pandemic, is now available online! The web version of the exhibition titled From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919, includes interior photos, as well as the several hundred documents and their curatorial commentary on display. Visit the exhibition:
In the hills above Kravica
Posted: 10/December/2020
On Human Rights Day, shortly before the Dayton Accords were officially signed in Paris 25 years ago, Blinken OSA remembers those for whom The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although it put an end to the 1991-1995 wars, came too late: the over 100,000 victims. We remember human loss from the peculiar perspective of the forensic scientist in search of and identifying the missing.
Facebook design
Posted: 08/December/2020
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to post on the official Facebook Page of the Archives. Although we have set up a new Page, we are happy to announce that the old Page is back! Therefore, we have returned to the original channel, also sharing content from the past three months and much more. We are planning an informative campaign on the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Agreement, we will revisit the available panel discussions and recorded online events of the 17th Verzió Film Festival, and we will regularly post excerpts from the coming online version of the current exhibition closed due to the pandemic, titled From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary 1918–1919. Like us, follow us, and tune into the diverse world of the Archives! Due to the pandemic, the Archives is closed, but you can browse our digital repository, and read our blog posts and archival news!
Fortepan / Zoltán Szalay
Posted: 02/December/2020

“Labor Research from Planned Economy to Savage Capitalism” is the title of a workshop conference organized by Voices of the 20th Century Archive and Research Group together with Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives.

The conference is in Hungarian.

Date: December 3–4, 2020

Hungarian sociologists in the 1970s and 1980s conducted an immense amount of interview research concerning workers and broader topics of the world of labor, which would be close to impossible today. These researches, by the 2000s, became the standard professional sources of social history. Archives hold several collections that were and could become relevant sources of research. Based on these collections, this conference explores a significant tradition of Hungarian sociology; the research on labor and workers’ everyday circumstances, which began in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as its interpretations in social history and the history of sociology. The conference is inspired by the new collections acquired by the Voices of the 20th Century and the Centre for Social Sciences Research Documentation Centre.

Berkeley Protocol
Posted: 02/December/2020
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials, when prosecutors used film as evidence for the first time in international criminal prosecutions, having set an evidentiary cornerstone in the foundation of justice, the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights launched the Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations.
Ádám Modor’s collection at Blinken OSA
Posted: 01/December/2020
In November, 2020, Blinken OSA received the personal papers of Ádám Modor (1958–2009), publisher, the head of Katalizátor Office, further enriching the Archives’ collections presenting the activity of the Hungarian democratic opposition. Ádám Modor worked primarily as samizdat editor and distributor, briefly contributed to Beszélő as a printer, and assisted the Áramlat Publisher as an editor.
CEU banner for the Open House
Posted: 27/November/2020
Blinken OSA—the Archives and gallery at Central Europen University—participates in the CEU Virtual Open House. This is the first-ever virtual CEU Open house, taking place on November 27, 2020. Anyone can join the program online! Live stream sessions on degree programs, students sharing their CEU experiences, departments showcasing their teaching programs, Q&As and roundtable discussions, and much more. Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives - Schedule
“Fathers and Children” by B. Krishtul.
Posted: 26/November/2020
Blinken OSA colleagues participated at the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Virtual Convention, 2020. Oksana Sarkisova, Research Fellow at Blinken OSA,  was the convener of the panel session “Socialism and the Human Face: The Present of the Past through the Prism of Private Photographic Archives” which included presentations by Maria Gourieva, Friedrich Tjetjen, Monica Ruthers, and Oksana Sarkisova and comments by Gil Pasternak and Galina Orlova. The panel explored multiple approaches to private photo collections as rich primary sources that can help reconstruct various facets of the recent past.
Photo: Terminal Stage
Posted: 23/November/2020
Verzió awarded six creators of outstanding documentary films at the annual awards ceremony on 20 November. This year, over 20,000 viewers attended the festival virtually, which exceeds both the number of previous Verzió festival attendees and the expectations of the organizers. Thanks to the online nature of the festival, the films this year have been accessible to more people than ever before. Virtual visitors have come not only from throughout Hungary, but from around the world, especially the United States, Romania, the United Kingdom and Austria. The Award Recipients of the 17th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival are the following. Heartfelt congratulations to the filmmakers! You can read the full jury statements here.
Saudade 2019 Verzió film
Posted: 21/November/2020

The 17th VERZIÓ Human Rights Documentary Film Festival showcases 50 films from 39 different countries, online, 10–22 November. These films bring us closer to topics such as climate change and its consequences, freedom of the press today, political abuse of national resources, and the ongoing struggles of refugees.

Documentary filmmakers capture the transformation and challenges of humanity. By highlighting and celebrating these films, VERZIÓ aims to bring viewers closer to each other’s reality, to provide reliable information, and to raise awareness about common joys and sorrows around the world, and in doing so, to contribute to a more supportive society. This year, to achieve these goals, the festival, founded by the Blinken OSA Archives, presents films in the following sections: International Competition, Student and Debut Film Competition, Hungarian Competition, Anthropocene, In the Name of Justice, and Archive of the Planet.

Join the live events through Verzió's website or Facebook page. During the live discussions ask the guests in the chatbox or record your questions to the filmmakers and share them through the Vialog app, that you can find on the individual films’ pages and the front page as well.

 Tickets and passes

(ASEEES) Virtual Convention, 2020.
Posted: 17/November/2020
Blinken OSA colleagues participated at the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Virtual Convention, 2020. The convention hosted over 500 roundtables and panels, a film series, receptions, entertainment breaks, and affiliate group business meetings. With over 2,500 session participants and attendees, the 2020 Virtual Convention was a dynamic and productive event. Yulia Karpova, Assistant Archivist at Blinken OSA, planned to present her new research findings on furniture design for the Research Institute for Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Leningrad in 1938. However, she writes, “because my research trip to St. Petersburg in the spring was canceled, I could not carry out a case study. Instead, I presented a new research project entitled ‘The Aesthetics of Biopolitics: Design for Reproductive Healthcare in Denmark and Russia, 1920s–90s’.” A Junior Research Fellow at Blinken OSA, Ioana Macrea-Toma participated in the panel Cold War Archives: Sources, Silences, Interpretations, and Ethics, with the presentation ‘Cold War Archives: Ethics and Poststructuralism.’
17th Verzió
Posted: 09/November/2020

The timetable of the Opening Night

The Opening Night will be broadcast live on our website and on our Facebook page.

7:00 pm Opening speech by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova, Festival Director
7:10 pm Opening performance by FreeSZFE

The Opening film 76 Days, a Chinese documentary shot in a Wuhan hospital during the first months of the coronavirus outbreak (Viewer discretion is advised.) will be available from 7:00 pm November 10 at
Go to the site and register with a free user account.
To watch 76 Days for free, go to the film’s page, click on the “Kölcsönzés” (Rental) option, and enter the promo code: 76NAPVERZIO  
Once the first 200 viewers have “rented” the film, another 400 tickets will be made available at the price of 900 HUF.
More information about tickets and passes can be found here.

9:30 pm Q&A with Hao Wu, director
During our online discussions, you will have the chance to ask your own questions in real-time but you can also prerecord questions and messages to filmmakers on the films' page

Posted: 04/November/2020
We are happy and proud to announce that Samizdat Archives section of our archival catalog has been replenished with 6 more archival series descriptions in the past few months. We have introduced archival descriptions that are available in English and Russian for the newly processed unique archival series that shed light on the convoluted period of Perestroika and transition to post-Soviet reality in Russia and other newly independent states. The Samizdat Archives series newly published in our catalog introduce the public to the informal and regional press, letters addressed to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty by its audience from across the (former) Soviet Union, and multiple diverse documents that witnessed the transition era from political and social viewpoints. The new content can be a very useful help for researchers, journalists, and educators interested in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the aspects of regime change in the entire East European region.
Content from the 1989 Website
Posted: 29/October/2020
We are happy and proud to announce that our thematic website, 1989: lesz-e? (Will There Be A 1989?) has been seriously upgraded in the past few months. We have uploaded the meticulously rearranged and humungous Hungarian Press Survey from Radio Free Europe, which contains more than 15.000 pages of Hungarian press clippings from the year 1989. Hypers: The website: New Content:
RFE collection 1964
Posted: 27/October/2020
We are happy to announce the second call for the Visegrad Scholarships at OSA in the fall of 2020/21! Submission deadline: November 15, 2020 We invite applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy, and sociology to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Scholars and artists are invited to analyze the documentary practices of different agencies and persons on both sides of the Iron Curtain and assess the truth value of related documents/ artifacts. Visegrad Scholarship at OSA For a better and deeper understanding of the interdependent recent history of (the center of) Europe, the International Visegrad Fund offers 15 research fellowship grants annually in the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest on a competitive basis to support scholars who wish to conduct research in the holdings of OSA, and whose current research projects are relevant to the holdings and the given research priorities of the Fund and OSA. For detailed information of the call, please check the official OSA Visegrad Scholarship website.
Robolove -Verzio Film Festival 2020
Posted: 26/October/2020
Closer to Each Other’s Reality The 17th VERZIÓ Documentary Film Festival announces this year’s films   The 17th VERZIÓ Human Rights Documentary Film Festival showcases 50 films from 39 different countries, online, 10–22 November. These films bring us closer to topics such as climate change and its consequences, freedom of the press today, political abuse of national resources, and the ongoing struggles of refugees.
UN Report
Posted: 21/October/2020
The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabián Salvioli has recently presented his report to the Human Rights Council on “Memorialization processes in the context of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as the fifth pillar of transitional justice”. The report contains several recommendations on the role and importance of archives in post-conflict memory work that Blinken OSA has continually promoted through its human rights archiving and archival activism. The report establishes that since “memorialization is linked to the ability to obtain access to the archives”, the safeguarding and unrestricted availability of records related to gross human rights abuses is a matter of paramount importance in enabling societies to learn the truth about, regain ownership of and engage with their past(s). It further formulates the following recommendation: “113. In order for memorialization processes to be effective, it is essential to protect the archives of State agencies and civil society organizations, especially those that work in the area of human rights. Archives should be accessible in accordance with established standards, and Governments should remove obstacles to such access.”
Dobi Book Launch
Posted: 19/October/2020

Sándor Révész – István Dobi – The Forgotten Head of State

Online book launch

András Mink, the historian talks with the author.

Who was István Dobi? It is not easy to decide who this seemingly familiar head of state really was, who at the end sank into obscurity. Perhaps ‘the youngest son of the poor man’, who struggled with poverty and nominally won half of the kingdom but could not even be a real king on his throne. Perhaps the politician, who understood Hungarian land and peasants the most, who by representing cooperatives though, has worsened the situation of those living from the land. Perhaps the puppet of Rákosi and Kádár, who struggled with alcoholism, and who clearly saw many signs of the system’s inability to function, yet his role consisted of handling the negligible cases eagerly. Perhaps one of our most popular head of state, since before ‘Uncle Árpi’, he was ‘Uncle Pista’ for the rural peasantry, and was even called ‘My Beloved Leader’ at times.
Behind the scenes of his life – his ascension and his quiet downfall –are all the peculiarities, compulsories, and compromises of the system. All such contradictions, the understanding of which brings the reader closer to the understanding of the history of Hungary.
Sándor Révész is a Pulitzer Memorial Prize-winning journalist and historian. Editor of Beszélő, then Népszabadság, currently a colleague of HVG, and the columnist of Mozgó Világ. Thousands of his articles and studies have been published in various Hungarian newspapers, as well as in newspapers in Esperanto.





Photo: Hungarian National Museum
Posted: 19/October/2020

From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary, 1918–1919
Blinken OSA, Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Hungarian Calvary – Hungarian Resurrection is the title Oszkár Jászi, the Hungarian civic radical politician chose for his book on the history of the Aster Revolution and the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Jászi spent most of his life after 1919 as a political emigré; his book was published in Vienna in 1920. He concluded that for Hungarians, the Bolshevik attempt—which had “run amok,” as he put it—had for years to come discredited all democratic, liberal political ideas, movements, and any hope of a freer and more just society in Hungary.

Curated by András Mink
Co-curator: Mihály Dobrovits
Design by Virág Bogyó

Research Room
Posted: 16/October/2020
This Saturday, Blinken OSA starts its accredited education program for teachers in its original format for the last time. A new course is being prepared, we will report about it soon. Titled “Scopes and Constraints in 20th-Century Hungarian History,” the 30-hour long, free-of-charge, accredited teacher education program for history teachers will start on this Saturday. The two lecturers of the course are historians András Mink and Krisztián Ungváry, the course will run between October 17, 2020 and February 20, 2021.
Photo: Hungarian National Museum – Historical Photo Department
Posted: 12/October/2020

From Harvest to Harvest – Hungarian Calvary 1918–1919
Blinken OSA – Galeria Centralis
October 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Online Opening Event

October 15, 2020, 6:00 p.m.

opening remarks by
MINK András
curator of the exhibition

opening remarks by
CSUNDERLIK Péter, historian

The event closes with two rarely seen/heard contemporary pieces.