The name József Antall has become almost emblematic of the change of regimes that took place in Hungary in 1990. He has become an important ﬁgure of history, with all the consequences this status involves. Historians have already begun to assess his signiﬁcance, though little of this ever becomes part of broader public discussion. In a manner that seems almost characteristic of the prevailing mentality today, the view among the general public of Antall as a symbolic ﬁgure of history shifts only as various images accrue that belong to the realm of urban legends or fairy tales, and have little to do with his actual achievements. It is therefore not entirely superﬂuous to revisit and reassess the work and the personality of the leading character of the change of regimes in Hungary now on his eightieth birthday.
We can perhaps gain insight into the thinking and motivations of a statesman if we ﬁrst acquaint ourselves with the political ﬁgures whose careers were, for him, exemplary. In private conversations and at public functions, when speaking of his goals, his principles, and his views on political traditions Antall regularly referred to István Széchenyi, Ferenc Deák, and József Eötvös, three great liberal politicians of the mid-19th century, each of whom played a decisive role in the founding of the Hungarian system of civic institutions. When speaking of party politics, he alluded to Ferenc Nagy, leader of the Smallholders Party following the Second World War, a man forced into emigration by the communists. Among international statesmen, he held De Gasperi, Robert Schuman, and in particular Konrad Adenauer in high esteem, the members of the great trio who made the vision of a social market economy a reality and launched the process of European integration. One could easily write a monograph on the inﬂuence of the oeuvres of these politicians on Antall’s notions of politics, and the role his father played as the most immediate paragon of an ethical politician would deserve considerable emphasis. In the sketch here, however, my intention is simply to offer a few insights into and perspectives on the intellectual afﬁnities Antall shared with Konrad Adenauer.
There is a strong parallel between the two politicians based on the scale of the tasks that awaited them when they assumed ofﬁce and the nature of the historical challenges they faced, not to mention their responses to these challenges, from the perspectives of both practice and principle. One should begin by considering their views on society and the notions of humanity on which these views were based. Adenauer’s view of humanity became the foundation of a social structure built on the dignity of the person (a term somewhat distinct from the Anglo-Saxon notion of the individual, with similar emphasis on personal liberty but also recognition of the social values of the Humanist tradition) and the freedom of the individual. The spiritual and philosophical pillar of this notion and similar political goals that were being formulated in the latter half of the 1940s can be found in the principles of Christian personalism (the ideas of Jacques Maritain and others), the social teachings of the Catholic Church, and the economic models promoted by the so-called Ordoliberalist school of thought.
Adenauer had to forge new paths. In the wake of German and European political failures and the global economic crisis of 1929–1932, he was compelled to reassess the political lessons of the historical failures of Germany and Europe in the ﬁrst half of the 20th century, as well as the economic teachings of the general Depression of 1929–1933, and develop an entirely new synthesis. The essence of this synthesis lay in his recognition of the need to create, as an alternative to the liberalism of the Weimar Republic, the totalitarianism of the Third Reich, and the dictatorship of the Soviet Union (which in the wake of the war threatened to envelop all of Europe), a socially and economically viable political model a precondition of which was the formation of a fundamentally new German state. Taking this into consideration, “Adenauer’s primary goal with regards to the foreseeable future at the time he assumed his place on the political stage was to make the Federal Republic of Germany a sovereign state belonging to the West as quickly as possible”.1 His platform, the organic integration of Germany into the West, created a fundamentally new path for Germany and for all of Europe. It should be viewed as a historical innovation of far-reaching signiﬁcance. Adenauer’s view of the basic situation shows considerable afﬁnity with that of Churchill, who in May 1944, when speaking of the era that would come in the wake of Germany’s defeat, noted that relations with the Soviet Union would never represent genuine peace, but rather merely “prolonged cease-ﬁre”.2 It is worth citing an assessment of the British general staff from July of the same year, which reﬂects similar thinking but goes farther in drawing concrete conclusions: “The two European countries that may constitute a serious threat to our strategic interests: a reorganized Germany and Russia (…). Should Russia become one of our enemies, Germany would be the only country the geographical position, population, and resources of which would enable it to offer us assistance that would be decisive from the perspective of maintaining our position.”3
Thus Churchill speciﬁcally and the British in general had realistic views (or at least presentiments) regarding post-war power relations and the threats that Europe would face, but when it came to the complex social, economic and political questions that emerged in the wake of the allied victory, it is no exaggeration to claim that Adenauer was the only statesman in the West able to offer an adequate answer. The fate of Germany accordingly became the central issue of European politics. This could be reduced to two interrelated questions: how should Germany be organized politically and to which sphere of inﬂuence should it belong, the East, which was under totalitarian rule, or the West, which was being rebuilt on its democratic foundations. These two questions arose in a variety of contexts, including the issue of neutrality, Germany’s commitment to the West, the peace treaties, the Eastern border of the country (the so-called Oder-Neisse line, essentially the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers), and the uniﬁcation of the different zones of occupation. Adenauer clearly understood that in order for the German state to survive and later be reuniﬁed, it was absolutely necessary that it become an integral part of the West, both economically and from the perspective of security policy. He discerned, intuitively and with shrewd insight, the aggressive nature of Soviet power, and he never allowed himself to be lured by the Siren songs of the East, not even when the question of the unity of the German state was at hand. He saw reconciliation with France, with which Germany had shared a turbulent history and now common fate, as one of the concrete tasks that arose in the new constellation, for this was the only realistic foundation of enduring European peace, and it was also a precondition of prosperity. This found form, for instance, in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1950, which was the result of a French initiative (the so-called Schuman Plan, named after French foreign minister Robert Schuman), but which harmonized entirely with ideas Adenauer had had in the early years following the war as president of the Rhine Province Provincial Committee, ideas that took into account both economic and security concerns.
Thus Adenauer’s interest in the conditions of European peace dated back to the years following the First World War, but his political career was broken in half by the rise of the Nazi party. In 1933 he was forced into hiding, and his old schoolmate Ildefons Herwegen, who had become the abbot of Maria Laach, an abbey not far from Cologne, gave him sanctuary for several months. He used this time of forced withdrawal from public life to study the social teachings of the Catholic Church, documents such as the Rerum novarum, an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII, and the Quadragesimo anno, issued by Pope Pius XI. The inﬂuence of these documents on his work in the organization of the Christian Democratic Party following the Second World War is evident. This is clearly illustrated by a handwritten draft of his from early 1946, the ﬁrst part of which reads:
I. Individual and state
1. The foundations are Christian ethics and culture, true democracy is necessary, which supports and permeates the life of the state. The dignity of the person and his inalienable rights constitute the limits of state power.
2. The right to political and religious freedom.
3. Justice, equal rights and legal security for all.
4. Recognition of the fundamental signiﬁcance of the family from the perspective of the people and the state.
5. Recognition of the contributions of women and the defence of women at home and in the family. A woman’s freedom to be active in professional and public life.
The majority has no forcible or unlimited rights over the minority. The minority also has rights and duties.4
Adenauer ﬁrst presented this draft to the Christian Democratic Union in Herford, a town in the British zone of occupation, on 22 January 1946. In the following months it gradually became a fundamental and integral part of the organizational activities of the Christian Democratic Union in the other zones of occupation.5
Thus both through his tremendous organizational work and his inﬂuence in matters of basic principle, Adenauer played a decisive role in the creation of a national Christian party that in his view would be able to address the historical tasks that awaited. The next great political challenge arose in 1949. Following landslide electoral victories of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (the two prominent conservative parties, which continue today to function as sister parties), it became necessary to form a government, and Adenauer had to ﬁght against plans that had gained currency both among members of his party and among members of the Free Democratic Party of a grand coalition including the Social Democratic Party. Adenauer clearly realized – and later developments proved him right – that this idea, much like that of neutrality (which had support among the same circles), would only play into the hands of Soviet aspirations for expansion, which threatened both Germany and the rest of Western Europe.6 The economic platform of the Social Democratic Party was based on a model of mixed free market and central planning, and on this issue the party enjoyed the sympathies of the trade-union wing of the Christian Democratic Union. The social market economy that in Adenauer’s mind constituted the only proper model was clearly incompatible with this view, and it would not be possible to rule effectively as part of a coalition formed in spite of such a fundamental rift. Instead, with an unusually shrewd sense for tactics Adenauer managed to implement his vision of a small coalition.
For Adenauer, the platform of a social market economy was closely intertwined with his concept of a properly functioning society, and as such it represented a decisive and ultimately also popular element of the Christian Democratic Union’s election campaign. When the party assumed power, it was Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard who transformed this platform into practice. Erhard had gained Adenauer’s attention in 1948, when as the Director of Economy in the American and British zones of occupation (the so-called Bizone) he had abolished price- ﬁxing and wage controls instituted by the military administration, thereby setting the economy on the solid foundations of free market principles. His decision had been followed by rapid successes, and what had been a market of scarcity soon became a market of surplus. Erhard was acting more on instinct than out of any kind of theoretical conviction, but fortunately theoretical grounding was but an arm’s reach away. In the latter half of the 1930s economists had developed models somewhere between the extremes of classical liberalism and the central planning characteristic of totalitarian states, models that harmonized with Christian social teachings and saw a regulatory role for the state in promoting the common good. From the perspective of later developments, the signiﬁcance of the contributions made in the late 1930s and early 1940s by German economic and social thinkers cannot be overstated. German economist Wilhelm Röpke, who under Hitler had to take refuge in Switzerland, the representatives of the Ordoliberalism of the Freiburg school (according to which the state must play a role in a market economy to ensure free competition and prevent the rise of monopolies) deserve particular emphasis, as does Alfred Müller-Armack of the Cologne school, who coined the term social market economy (“Soziale Marktwirtschaft”) and shared many of Röpke’s conclusions.7 Röpke, Müller-Armack, and their peers developed models of a market economy in which the state guaranteed economic competition and individual freedoms.8 The tenets of the Ordoliberalist model became an integral part of the platform that led to the stabilization of the German currency and the adoption of the strict principle of the independence of the central bank.
Thus with his strategy of Western orientation Adenauer blazed an entirely new path in the history of German politics, and in this respect historians have been quite right to note the decisive role of his Catholic and Rhenish identity. From the perspective of the expansionist aspirations of the Prussian Empire (of which the German Rhineland had been a part), France and the West had been rivals or enemies. From the perspective of the left bank of the Rhine, however, Prussia represented “Asia”, and the culture and mentality of the Rhineland was a kind of meeting point of Western trends, as a German historian put it, “by virtue of the inner equilibrium of the population, in which Catholicism and liberalism, Northern and Southern Europe, French lifestyle and Prussian virtues are united”.9 Adenauer had a similar view. In an interview with the Rheinischer Merkur in February 1948 he made the following statement: “At one time the heart of the Christian West beat somewhere between the Loire and the Weser.” He referred to the Dome of Cologne, the style of which “derives from French roots”, but which is a venerable German symbol of Western culture. This is a sign, he continues, “that the fruitful meeting of Germany and France is the key” to the renewal of Western thought.10
His mention of the Dome of Cologne merits note in part because Adenauer himself clearly knew that this ediﬁce, to which the Hohenzollern railway bridge leads, had been a symbol of the construction of the Prussian Empire since the Congress of Vienna in 1815. It was in this spirit that the larger Western half of the dome, which had been left unﬁnished in the Middle Ages, was completed in the 1840s in order to create a structure that rivalled cathedrals in France. Thus Adenauer illuminated his fundamental political goal by this new iconographical interpretation, relevant from the perspective of political history and art history, clarifying both what he sought to achieve, and – equally importantly – what he did not seek to achieve.
When he came to power, like the leaders of other East European states, József Antall found himself faced with very similar challenges to those the Christian Democratic Adenauer had had to confront as chancellor of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. He had to replace a totalitarian dictatorship with a parliamentary democracy, build a corresponding institutional system, and – perhaps the most immediately palpable challenge – decide the fundamental nature of the new economy. Furthermore, the state, recently liberated from the rule of a great power and now enjoying the legitimacy of a democracy following the ﬁrst free elections, had to ﬁnd its place in the international constellation, a constellation that itself was undergoing dramatic change as the world order based on the bipolar power balance of the Cold War came to an end.
In order to forge the proper path, Antall had to have a carefully thought-out vision of the undertakings that awaited him in the domestic political sphere and the outlines of the new world order, a vision that took into consideration the long- term interests of all of the domestic and international players. He also had to have an equally discerning vision of the hierarchy of tasks he would have to address in order to be able to follow the path that would lead to the realization of his strategic goals. Antall drew on the lessons of the history of strivings for civic society in Hungary, as well as his own profound understanding of the experiences of several decades of West European Christian Democratic politicians and parties, Adenauer foremost among them. It was clear to him that the Hungarian democratic parties, which had had democratic and Christian tendencies, but which had been liquidated with the takeover by the Soviet forces in Hungary, could not simply be revived in the same form. At the same time he felt that it would be possible to build on the traditions of the democratic political actors of the so-called coalition period (the brief period between 1945 and 1948, when there was still some hope among many that a multi-party democracy in Hungary would be able to survive despite Soviet occupation), which included the Independent Smallholders Party, the Democratic People’s Party, and the Peasant Party (which in 1956 became the Petôﬁ Party). In Antall’s view these traditions could form the foundation of a new coalition that would ﬁt into the broader spectrum of European people’s parties, or rather, in the case of the Hungarian Democratic Forum of which he took the leadership, a fundamentally Christian democratic party that itself integrated a variety of traditions and would thereby be able to play new political roles and address the radically new challenges that had arisen. The new element in all this was the particularly signiﬁcant role of the Christian Democratic tendency. In this Antall not only went beyond the tradition of the short-lived Democratic People’s Party led by István Barankovics (whom he held in high esteem), he also strove to rethink the fundamental concept of smallholder politics, which was even closer to his mentality, from the perspective of partnership with Western Europe. In contrast with the majority of “politicians” formerly opposed to “real socialism” and ﬁnding now themselves cast somewhat unexpectedly into a free political arena, Antall knew well that it would only be possible to govern effectively and promote the interests of the country if the institutional and party-political structure was compatible with the world the newly democratic Hungary sought to join, a world in which every political inclination had to seek and ﬁnd allies. This coalition prevailed and won the elections, and thus the question of a grand coalition government arose (and here too one sees a parallel between Antall’s career and the career of Adenauer). Antall was put under considerable pressure, domestic but particularly international, to form a coalition with the Alliance of Free Democrats, who had emerged as the second most prominent party in the elections, a party that characterized itself as liberal. Antall unambiguously rejected these proposals, not simply – as many people think – on the basis of subjective considerations of the incompatibility of the leaders of the two formations (though this of course was a factor), but rather ﬁrst and foremost because he sought a multi-party democracy in which “national conservatives form the government for a time, then liberals, and this can only be realized if the two do not form a grand coalition”.11 In Antall’s view, the Hungarian Socialist Party, which was (and is) the successor to the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party of the communist regime, had no credibility as a social democratic party.
As the ﬁrst prime minister of the period following the change of regimes Antall presented the parliament, itself the ﬁrst freely elected parliament in Hungary since 1945–1947, with a program the foundation of which was the person (again, a term distinct from the Anglo-Saxon notion of the individual), in all the complexity of his personal, social, professional, etc. relations in which he had to be succoured through regulation, supervision and support – relations that had to be sustained with subsidium, a concept the roots of which stretch back to Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas, though also palpable in Protestant thought.12 This notion of the person is not a general one, but one invested with concrete rights and obligations. And the community of persons delegates the tasks related to the promotion of the common good that they cannot accomplish on their level to representatives who at least in principle exercise power in a manner legitimized by the electoral system. One sees in this foundation of principles a clear realization of the centrality of the person to Christian democratic thinking, which is equally salient in the points of Adenauer’s platform cited above. Like Adenauer, Antall recognized the importance of this ethical Christian foundation, which is part of the social teachings of the Catholic Church. He gave clear proof of this in 1991 when he held a broad-ranging but thoroughly documented presentation at an international conference organized by the Vatican in Rome on the hundredth anniversary of the Rerum novarum (which to this day constitutes a formulation of contemporary Catholic social teachings). Speaking to an audience comprised among others of leaders of the people’s parties in the “emerging democracies”, including prime ministers and foreign ministers, Antall shed light on the inspiring role of the social teachings of the papal encyclicals in Europe over the course of the century that had passed. Initially, given his tight schedule, Antall had wanted someone else to speak in his stead at the conference. It was a sign of the recognition he enjoyed among Christian democratic leaders in the West that the Italian Prime Minister Andreotti considered his participation in the event so important that he had a plane sent for him, a gesture Antall was hardly able to reject.
In accordance with the electoral programme, the government’s concept of a social market economy constituted an organic part of the politics built on the notion of the inner freedom of the person. At the time, few people really understood or were familiar with the actual components of these politics, and they did not realize that it was this vision that had led to the miraculous economic recovery in Germany in the ﬁrst half of the 1950s. Antall, however, not only studied Erhard’s economic policy, he also understood its theoretical underpinnings, the conclusions of the Ordoliberalists of the Freiburg School, and he knew Röpke’s foundational work, Der dritte Weg, or “The Third Way”, which had been published in Hungarian translation by Barankovics in 1943, only one year after the publication of the ﬁrst German edition.13
Naturally Antall assessed the historical situation and the tasks that awaited him in the domestic and international arena following the fall of communism in 1990 from the Hungarian point of view, in other words from a different geopolitical perspective than that of the German Chancellor in the wake of the Second World War. The consequences of the Treaty of Trianon, which redrew the borders of Hungary following the First World War and created signiﬁcant Hungarian speaking minorities in the surrounding states, continued to constitute an unsolved problem in the Carpathian Basin, as did the foreseeable developments in the Balkans, which since the fall of the Ottoman Empire had been an area rife with mute tensions. In the new situation that arose with the fall of the Soviet Union, the withdrawal of Russian troops from the former Soviet sphere of inﬂuence in Eastern Europe, and the reuniﬁcation of Germany the question of a new European unity that would include the Eastern half was raised. In marked contrast with prominent political leaders in the West (including Thatcher and Mitterrand), Antall considered the reuniﬁcation of Germany a precondition of European stability, and he saw Hungary’s integration into the European community and accession to Euro-Atlantic systems of alliances as strategic goals. To him it was self-evident that it would only be possible to create a new state of affairs in the Eastern half of the continent as long as Russian imperial tendencies remained at bay and new expansionist forces in Russia did not gain the upper hand. Obviously Adenauer had to confront this problem as well, though following the Second World War the Soviet empire had been at the height of its power and so had posed a more imminent threat to the future of Western Europe. But Antall saw the risk no less clearly than Adenauer. Initially he counted on the possibility of a restoration of Soviet power, which might come at any time, though in the end, at the time of the (ultimately feeble) putsch in Moscow, he recognized the need to support Gorbachev and Yeltsin – unlike many other European leaders, such as Mitterrand. In his approach to the West he consistently and unambiguously based his policies on the Euro-Atlantic alliance, and on his own convictions, which were in part the products of his profound knowledge of the lessons of European and Hungarian history and the vicissitudes of the 20th century.
In Antall’s thinking, the goal of building ties with the successor states of the Soviet Union was a natural complement to his security policy of accession to the Western systems of alliances. He was strengthened in this view by the emergence of an independent Ukraine, and he ﬁrmly believed that it was absolutely necessary to develop relations with Russia based on partnership, even at the Euro-Atlantic level. This view, which he had already expressed when proposing in Moscow in early June 1990 the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, was an important precondition of any further unfolding of global power relations. The question of the Hungarian minorities in the surrounding states was a separate issue, from the perspective of both the relationship of the minorities to Hungary and relations between Hungary and the neighbouring states. Antall took a stand based on a vision of a cultural reintegration transcending state borders, and on the question of individual and communal rights he promoted political solidarity, while also striving to maintain stability in international relations in the region and viewing the Helsinki Accords of 1975 (which guaranteed national borders and the territorial integrity of the states of Europe) as inviolable.14 Naturally he knew it would take considerable time before the ethnic and national tensions in the region, the roots of which stretched far back into the past and which in the 20th century had created such animosities and continued to ﬁnd form in new nation building aspirations, would give way to cooperative strategies.
As a secondary student at a Piarist school Antall had immersed himself in questions crucial to the fate of the Hungarian nation, and later, when the communist rise to power severed for the foreseeable future any vision of historical continuity, he continuously followed world politics and the shifts in great power relations. He was motivated by his conviction that the Soviet system was fundamentally at odds with human nature and was therefore ultimately unviable. From the outset, its fall was “genetically” inevitable. In his view, during the four decades of communist rule in Eastern Europe the question was always what would need to be done when the Soviet system eventually collapsed. As a consequence of the unexpected outbreak of the revolution in 1956, Antall had a chance to participate at his father’s side in the short-lived attempt to resurrect a democratic Hungary. It then took another three decades before he found himself again in a position to take political action. Servile adaptation and political mimicry were alien to him: he devoted himself ﬁrst to secondary education and later, when the authorities made even that impossible for him, to historical scholarship as a ﬁeld in which he could remain intellectually free and creative under the prevailing conditions, and thereby retain his right to the freedom of thought at least.15 He never gave up the goals that were his greatest motivation, and he remained a politician in disguise. He himself spoke about this once: “I prepared myself to pursue a career in politics, and I set out on a political career, and even in those years [i.e. under communism] I told myself that I was not really unhappy, I just lived a sort of inverted life, and what could have been my passion, what could have been my hobby, from art history to cultural history, that was what I earned my living from, and politics remained a hobby.” This explains why, when the absurd situation changed, Antall was able to assume a place on the political battleﬁeld with the intellectual arsenal of a seasoned politician. As he noted, continuing the line of thought above, “the only thing that really happened to me after 1987–88, when I began to take an active part in political life, was that everything was turned around”.16
Antall’s family was part of the old Catholic nobility of Transdanubia (the Western half of the country). As Antall himself often noted, in contrast with Western Europe the nobility in Hungary was the primary repository of civic values. In the early 19th century, the era of national awakening, almost all of the organizers and standard- bearers of the transformation of Hungary into a modern civic society resting on democratic foundations were members of the nobility. As was the case among the Poles, in Hungary this social layer looked back on a history of prominence in political life that stretched back almost a millennia, and thus its educated members had a knowledge of politics based on an unbroken tradition of leadership. In other words, the most gifted representatives of the nobility had always been able to approach politics from a national perspective and see the situation of the country in the larger context of international pressures and exigencies.
Only a leader whose decisions were based not simply on pragmatic considerations, but also on inner convictions founded on value-oriented principles and internalized knowledge would be able to remain on the right path. Antall spoke of this in a presentation held on 19 December 1991 at the request of the Századvég School of Politics: “Politics must be pursued with the passion of a calling, but the skill of a craft. But the greatest skill as a craftsman is no substitute for the sense of calling.”17 At the close of his presentation, in order to clarify the broad range of ethical tenets and psychological, cultural, and objective forms of knowledge that underlay his interpretation of politics as a mission, Antall cited some of the main themes of the book by famous Hungarian Piarist scholar and educator Gyula Kornis, Az államférﬁ (The Statesman):18 “Statesman and history; The ethos and mentality of the statesman; The signiﬁcance of the statesman’s sense of mission; (…) The ideal of liberty; The ideal of the Nation; (…) The power of the will; The tenacity of the will; (…) The statesman as a master of compromise; (…) Political pragmatism.”19
Adenauer’s achievements offer clear proof of his political acumen and ethical commitment. His successes constitute more than the triumph of a shrewd statesman, they are also testimony to the ability of the West to renew itself. Ultimately the assessment of the political oeuvre of József Antall will depend on whether Eastern Europe and the West will be able to fully cooperate with one another, and whether their integration will lead to a new world also capable of moral renewal.
In conclusion, one should note that the threat of Russian expansion was a central question for both statesmen. For if we fail to build on solid foundations in Western and Eastern Europe, if we are not stalwart husbandmen of our lands and guardians of our properties, others will certainly attempt to seize them from us, whether by military or economic conquest. There is a rare consensus among historians that by making Germany part of the alliance of Western powers, a mission that compelled him to ﬁght numerous battles in the domestic and international arenas, Adenauer saved Western Europe from Soviet inﬂuence. He had an inﬂuential if not decisive role in fashioning a united Western Europe of which the countries of Eastern Europe could become a part following their liberation from Soviet rule in 1990, and it is particularly signiﬁcant that they were able to do so as equals, in principle at least, or in accordance with their own political accomplishments. This represents a tremendous achievement for Europe, and certainly an auspicious moment for the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, even if the process of accession (which by some is perceived as a kind of return) is at times a torturous and seemingly hopeless task, the challenges of which are particularly arduous in everyday life in Hungary today. József Antall saw this very clearly, and as a statesman at a historical crossroads he was able to discern and embark down the paths that lead out of what Hungarian historian István Bibó famously referred to as “dead-end Hungarian history”.
Translation by Thomas Cooper
1 Winkler, Heinrich August: Németország története a modern korban [The History of Germany in the Modern Age]. Vol. II, Budapest, 2005, pp. 136–137
2 Cited in Görtemaker, Manfred: A Német Szövetségi Köztársaság története az alapítástól napjainkig [The History of the Federal Republic of Germany from its Foundation to the Present Day]. Budapest, Korona Kiadó, 2003, p. 19.
4 Mensing, H. P. (ed.). Adenauer: Briefe 1945–1947. Siedler Verlag (Adenauer. Rhöndorfer Ausgabe), 1984, p. 607.
5Ibid., and M. Szebeni, Géza: Egy kereszténydemokrata az új Németországért. Konrad Adenauer [A Christian Democrat for the New Germany. Konrad Adenauer]. Magyar Szemle Könyvek, Budapest, Magyar Szemle Alapítvány, 2010, p. 70.
6 Adenauer wrote of the scope of the danger posed by Russia in an oft-cited letter of 1945 addressed to the mayor of Duisburg, in which he also sketched the clear outlines of the security policy that he felt Germany and the West would have to adopt in order to counter this threat.
7 The term Ordoliberalism, coined in 1950 by Hero Moeller in reference to the journal Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (the ofﬁcial English translation of which is The Ordo Yearbook of Economic and Social Order), refers to a school of thought according to which the state has a signiﬁcant role in the regulation of the economy. Its most prominent representatives include Walter Eucken, Franz Böhm, Leonhard Miksch and Hans Großmann-Doerth.
8 Tóth, Tihamér: Az ordoliberális iskola palackpostája – a piacgazdaság eszméje egykor és ma [The Bottle Post of Ordoliberal School – The Concept of Market Economy in the Past and in the Present]. Acta Universitatis Szegediensis, Acta Juridica et Politica, Tomus LXXIII, Fasc.1–64, Szeged, 2010, pp. 887–889. Among others, Hungarian economist and scholar László Csaba has made a number of observations regarding these models and their continued relevance.
9 Baring, Arnulf: Außenpolitik in Adenauers Kanzlerdemokratie. Bonns Beitrag zur Europäischen Verteidigungsgemeinschaft, Munich and Vienna, 1969, p. 50. Cited in Görtemaker, Manfred: A Német Szövetségi Köztársaság története az alapítástól napjainkig [The History of the Federal Republic of Germany from its Foundation to the Present Day]. Budapest, Korona Kiadó, 2003, p. 79.
10 Reinischer Merkur, 21 February 1948. Cited in Görtemaker, ibid., p. 79.
11 Kende, Péter: “Találkozásaim Antall Józseffel” [Meeting József Antall], in: Jeszenszky, Géza –Kapronczay, Károly – Biernaczky, Szilárd: A politikus Antall József – az európai úton [József Antall, a Politician on the Road to Europe]. Budapest, Mundus Magyar Egyetemi Kiadó, 2006, p. 321.
12 In a speech held before the Hungarian parliament Antall summarized his platform in the following words: “We put the person in the focal point of our government platform. (…) The government feels that the pledge and guarantee of national renewal is the creative person who is not simply free before the law, but also inwardly renewed and liberated. A renewed Hungary should be a community of such persons! (…) The person can only give full expression to his abilities in a state of physical, spiritual, and social prosperity.” Antall József országgyûlési beszédei 1990–1993 [József Antall’s Speeches in the Hungarian Parliament, 1990–1993]. Budapest, Athenaeum Nyomda Rt., 1994, p. 18.
13 Röpke, Wilhelm: Die Gesellschaftskrisis der Gegenwart, Zürich, 1942; New edition: Bern, Haupt, 1979. Wilhelm Röpke: A harmadik út. (Korunk társadalmi válsága) [The Third Way. The Social Crisis of our Age]. Budapest, Auróra kiadó, 1943.
14 The essence of the Helsinki Accords was that international borders could only be changed with the full accord of the parties concerned.
15 In an interview, Zsigmond Jakó, a history professor from the city of Cluj (or Kolozsvár to use its Hungarian name), characterized the conscientious and ethical pursuit of scholarship as a tool in the preservation of rights in the face of Communism.
16 Antall, József: Modell és valóság II [Model and Reality II]. Budapest, Athenaeum Nyomda Rt., p. 238.
17 “A politika – hivatás és szakma” [Politics: a Mission and a Profession], in: Antall, József: Modell és valóság II [Model and Reality II]. Budapest, Athenaeum Nyomda Rt., p. 239.
18 Kornis, Gyula: Az államférﬁ: a politikai lélek vizsgálata I–II [The Statesman: a Study of the Political Soul I–II]. Budapest, Franklin-Társulat, 1933.
19 “A politika – hivatás és szakma” [Politics: a Mission and a Profession], in: Antall, József: Modell és valóság II [Model and Reality II]. Budapest, Athenaeum Nyomda Rt., p. 239–240.