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The Porabje Slovenes in »Hungarian Gulag«


Head of the project: Katalin Munda Hirnök, Ph.D.
Cooperators: Attila Kovacs, Ph.D. (IES), Naško Križnar, Ph.D. (ISE ZRC SAZU)
Duration  project:  May 2009 – April 2012


The research project will focus upon the period of the Rákosi regime in Hungary, particularly following the Informbiro Resolution when, in the years 1950-1953, about 10.000 innocent people were deported to concentration camps in Hortobágy. Among the deportees were also a few tens of Slovene families from the Porabje region. The study and research of deportations and deportees in Hungary is still difficult, due to the special and sensitive character of the topic. Archival documents marked »Top Secret« were up to 1995 inaccessible to the public and to researchers. Due to intimidation, the survivers of the »Hungarian Gulag« remained silent decades after the abolition of concentration camps. The purpose of deportations was to intimidate and discipline the entire society. Although Hungarian researchers have since 2000 been intensely researching the topics pertaining to the recent Hungarian history, the destiny of the Porabje Slovenes has so far not been separately dealt with. They were deported together with other members of the Southern Slav nations living in the state border area, who were also regarded as »unreliable or dangerous« to the regime.
The starting-point of the project will be the ethnological study of the circumstances of their deportation, their life in concentration camp and after their return from it, as well as the study of consequences of this individual and mutual family experience for the Slovene ethnic community in the Porabje.
Since there are only few living witnesses, urgency will be a specific dimension of the research methodology. The scientific research work will be based upon literature, archival sources and testimonies by the still living protagonists, their families and fellow villagers, other deportees. Generation differences will be ascertained, as well as different view-points of individuals regarding the deportation. Throughout the research study, audio-visual documentation will be assembled which will finally result in a scientific film about this shattering period in the lives of the Porabje Slovenes, which did not only fatally mark the lives of individuals and families, but probably also affect the faster assimilation of the Slovene ethnic community in the Porabje.  
 



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