Ivan’s private site

June 3, 2008

In memoriam Ferenc Fejtő

Filed under: General,Hungary,Links — Ivan Herman @ 11:04

Ferenc Fejtő (or, if you prefer, François Fejtő) passed away yesterday. I know his name was not widely known in the “West”, and that is unfortunate, but nevertheless Wikipedia has an entry which is fairly accurate (the French Wikipedia article also gives his partial bibliography).

The Hungarian regime of the 80’s and before (as indeed most dictatorial regimes) was mostly afraid of knowledge. Knowing the truth, knowing the real history and not only what was officially taught was considered as subversive. Ie, many books were banned, forbidden; the books of Fejtő were high on their list, so to say. I still cherish some of his books (“Histoire des démocraties populaires”, “Chine/URSS”; the former was also published in English by Pall Mall Press in 1971, under the title “A history of the People’s Democracies”) that I had to smuggle into the country in the 70’s or the 80’s coming back from my trips abroad and which helped me a lot in understanding the history of the environment I was living in. It was good to have such intellectuals like him.

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