GERALD FROST is a journalist who has written widely about domestic and international politics. He was Director of the London-based Centre for Policy Studies (1992–5) and of the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies (1980–92) which he founded. He has written widely for British, American and European newspapers and magazines including Encounter, Standpoint, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The New Criterion, The Wall Street Journal and Politique internationale. His publications include Hubris: The Tempting of Modern Conservatives; Anthony Fisher: Champion of Liberty; and Too “nice” to be Tories: How the Modernisers have damaged the Conservative Party (with Anthony Scholefield). From 2002–2009 he was editor of the fortnightly publication eurofacts. He is presently Deputy Director of the Danube Institute.

JÁNOS HORVÁTH (Cece, Hungary, 1921) retired in 2014 as the oldest sitting member of Parliament (an MP for Fidesz-MPP). He is Distinguished Professor of Economics at Corvinus University, Budapest. He earned his MA in economics at the József Nádor Polytechnics, Budapest, and his PhD at Columbia University, New York. During 1943–1944 he was active in the Szabad Élet Student Movement of the underground Hungarian Independence Alliance against Nazi influence and the occupation. In 1945 he took roles in post-war reconstruction, was a Smallholders’ Party MP and served as Economic Advisor to Premier Ferenc Nagy. In 1947 he was imprisoned for four years in the Communist-staged “conspiracy against the Republic” trial. In the Revolution of 1956 he again flew to the West and was prominent in politics. After the Soviet invasion he participated in Hungarian exile politics in Strasbourg, New York and Washington. He taught and wrote on economics in the US for 35 years, and returned to Hungary in 1998. Among other distinctions, he received the Medal of Honour of the Hungarian President.

ÁRPÁD KADARKAY (Kesztölc, 1934). His university application in Cold War Hungary was turned down for being “class alien, unqualified”. He became a miner in the coal pits of Dorog and Csolnok, “the pits of hell”. Conscripted into the Hungarian Army, 1954–56, he deserted in November 1956 and joined the Revolution. After the Soviet invasion, he emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, in March 1957. While working the graveyard shifts at Eburne Saw Mills, Vancouver, he earned Double Honours at the University of British Columbia, 1958–1963, and a fellowship, an MA in Political Science at UC Los Angeles, 1963–65, and a PhD in Political Philosophy at UC Santa Barbara, 1965–1971. He is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound, and lives in Tacoma, Washington. He did his research on György Lukács on IREX Fellowships. His publications include Georg Lukacs: Life, Thought, and Politics (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991), The Lukacs Reader (Blackwell, 1995), Human Rights in American and Russian Political Thought (University Press of America, 1982), and an English translation of Journey in North America, 1831, by Sándor Bölöni Farkas (Santa Barbara, 1978).

GYULA KODOLÁNYI (Budapest, 1942), Editor-in-Chief of Hungarian Review and of Magyar Szemle, is the author of eleven collections of poetry, scholarly and literary essays and poetry translations. He taught English and American Literature at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest in 1970–1989. He received research and teaching fellowships from the British Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, CIES and The German Marshall Fund of the US. He taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara (1984–85) and at Emory University in Atlanta (2004–2009), and read his poetry in English widely in the US. In 1987, he was a founding member of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF). In 1990–94, he served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In 2000-2005 he was an Advisor to President Ferenc Mádl. In 2012, he received Hungary’s Middle Cross with the Star and in 2005 the President’s Medal of Honour for his public and literary achievements. With Magyar Szemle, he received a Prima Prize in 2003.

LÁSZLÓ KRASZNAHORKAI (Gyula, 1954) novelist and screenwriter. After completing his law studies at the University of Szeged and Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, he sought a degree in Hungarian language and literature. His first major novel Satantango, published in 1985, achieved great success. In 1993, his novel The Melancholy of Resistance received the German “Bestenliste-Prize”. According to Susan Sontag, he is “the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville”. In 1996, he was a guest of the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. In 1990, he spent for the first time a longer period in East Asia. Krasznahorkai renders an account of his experiences in Mongolia and China in his works The Prisoner of Urga and Destruction and Sorrow beneath the Heavens. Since 1985, the renowned director Béla Tarr has made films almost exclusively based on Krasznahorkai’s works, including Satantango and Werckmeister Harmonies. He has been honored with numerous literary prizes, among them the highest arts award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize.

RYSZARD ANTONI LEGUTKO (Krakow, 1949) is a Polish philosopher and politician. Under communism he was one of the editors of the samizdat quarterly Arka. After the collapse of the communist regime he co-founded the Centre for Political Thought, which combines research, teaching, seminars and conferences and is also a publishing house. He has translated and written commentaries to Plato’s Phaedo (1995), Euthyphro (1998) and Apology (2003). He is the author of several books: Plato’s Critique of Democracy (1990), Toleration (1997), A Treatise on Liberty (2007), An Essay on the Polish Soul (2008) and Socrates (2013). In 2007 he was Poland’s Education Minister, and in 2007–2009 Secretary of State in the Chancellery of President Lech Kaczyński. He is currently a Member of the European Parliament, where he sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group.

MIHÁLY NAGY (Kaba, 1957) holds a degree in archaeology from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest and a PhD in history from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1983 he joined the Hungarian National Museum, where he later worked as Head of the Department of Roman Antiquities and Scientific Secretary to the General Director. He curated exhibitions of the Hungarian National Museum, among others The First Chinese Emperor’s Terracotta Army, the most successful exhibition of its kind, and Lapidarium, a permanent exhibition of Roman stones. He has represented the Hungarian Government as an expert witness in the Sevso trial. From 1998 he participated in the setting up of the Department of Monuments and Sites in the newly created Ministry of National Cultural Heritage. He also worked at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture in Brussels as a policy officer managing the European Year of Creativity and Innovation. He writes and lectures widely on the above subjects.

MAX NEUMANN was born in Saarbruecken in 1949. He is an artist whose works express the temporal human condition, the wait, the day-to-day life, the non-communication, the pessimistic alienation. His biography is rich in international exhibitions, such as Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Berlinische Galerie – Germany, Musée de Caen – France, Museum Oviedo – Spain, Seibu Museum – Japan.

JOHN O’SULLIVAN (Liverpool, 1942) is editor-at-large of National Review in New York where he served as Editor-in-Chief for ten years. He was a Special Adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street and later assisted her in the writing of her two volumes of memoirs. He has held a wide variety of senior editorial positions in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the founder and co-chairman of the Atlantic Initiative, an international bipartisan organisation dedicated to reinvigorating and expanding the Atlantic community of democracies, launched at the Congress of Prague in May 1996 by President Václav Havel and Lady Thatcher. His book, The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister (on Pope John Paul II, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher), was published in Hungarian too in 2010. Until 2011, he was the Executive Editor of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Prague. At present, he is director of the Hungarian think tank Danube Institute.

ALAINE POLCZ (Cluj-Napoca, 1922– Budapest, 2007) was a psychologist ministering to the needs of disturbed and terminally ill children and their families. Author of numerous articles, and several books on thanatology, she was the founder of the Hospice movement in Hungary. Her autobiographical account of the experiences of a woman then 19-20 years old in the closing months of the WWII was first published in Hungarian in 1991 and has since been translated into a number of languages. Exciting, shocking and revealing, it is a journey into a piece of Central European history and a testament to the fighting spirit of a woman who challenged the inhumanity of war.

GEORGE SCHÖPFLIN (Budapest, 1939) has been a Member of the European Parliament for Fidesz since 2004. He graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1962, and did his postgraduate studies at the University of Bruges. He worked at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (1963–1967) and the BBC (1967–1976). He taught at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London from then on, becoming Jean Monnet Professor of Politics there from 1998 to 2004. He is active in the Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs Committees of the European Parliament. He is also the author of many articles and books, including Politics in Eastern Europe 1945–1992(Blackwell,1993),Nations, Identity, Power (Hurst, 2000). His latest book, The Dilemmas of Identity has already appeared in Hungarian as Az identitások dilemmája (Attraktor, 2004).

EMILY THOMPSON was born in Topeka, Kansas, in the United States. She completed her Master’s degree in Philology at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, and holds a BA in English and French Literature from Kansas State University. She has previously worked as a staff writer and editor for The Prague Post and has contributed to Global Post, Public Radio International, Fair Observer, and other international publications. Her interests are Central and South-Eastern European history and cultural studies, women’s studies, human rights, linguistics and media freedom. She currently works in Communications in Prague for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

DONALD WESLING, poet and professor at the University of California at San Diego is best known for his pioneering books on modern poetics and prosody. His most recent scholarly book, published by Rodopi (Amsterdam, 2008) is Joys and Sorrows of Imaginary.

Justice MAREK TADEUSZ ZUBIK (Przemyśl, Poland, 1974), professor of law, is director of the Chair of Constitutional Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw. From 2002 until 2007, he was deputy director of the Department of Preliminary Review of Applications and Constitutional Complaints in the Office of the Constitutional Tribunal. From November 2007 until July 2010 he was Deputy Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection. In 2010 he was appointed Chairman of the Legislative Council to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and head of the legislative training programme. In November 2010 the Sejm of the Republic of Poland appointed him Justice of the Constitutional Tribunal. He is the author, co-author or editor of over 150 scholarly writings on human rights, the Constitutional Tribunal and the judiciary of Poland.

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