Czechoslovak Hungarian Workers' Cultural Association (CSEMADOK) Archive
The collection contains documents from the holdings of the largest cultural organisation for ethinc Hungarians in Slovakia. This organisation was one of the few in Czechoslovakia dedicated to issues affecting an ethnic minority, and its holdings therefore offer valuable insight into the status of minority cultures. The society organised cultural events and lectures, and it supported theater, song, and dance groups. It also offered a platform for maintaining cultural identity, and it provided a place for discussion.
During The Hungarian revolution in 1956 CSEMADOK supported the position of the Czechoslovak government on the events. During the Prague Spring CSEMADOK supported the liberalisation policies, tried to change itself into a political interest group, and asked for more rights and privileges for ethnic Hungarians. After the suppression of the Prague Spring the political leadership of CSEMADOK was purged.
The collection includes documents from the CSEMADOK Central Committee and documents related to the organisation of national festivals (Gombaszög/Gombasek festival, Jókai Napok/Days, etc). Publications are also a very important part of the collection.
931 01 Šamorín Parková 4 , Slovakia
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Provenance and cultural activities
CSEMADOK is a cultural society for ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. It was formed on 5 May 1949 in Bratislava as a part of the Czechoslovak National Front. The name is an abbreviation of the Hungarian Csehszlovákiai Magyar Dolgozók Kultúregyesülete [Czechoslovak Hungarian Workers' Cultural Association]. CSEMADOK's main task was to take care of the general cultural development of ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. The organisation published its own political magazine and also a newsreel. An amateur theater and a folk dance group operated within the organisation. The organisation could be said to have improved Hungarian fellowship in Slovakia.
In the year 1956 some of the members supported the Hungarian Revolution. Nevertheless, the Central Committee was forced by the government to condemn the Revolution, and this political position caused thousands of members to leave CSEMADOK. In the year 1968 CSEMADOK reached its greatest prominence and made a number of proposals about the requirements of the Hungarian minority. After the Soviet invasion there was a "consolidation" within CSEMADOK, and the leading members of the reform movement were dismissed. After the activities in Prague Spring CSEMADOK was dismissed from the National Front. In the 1970s and 1980s anti-Hungarian activities reached their peak: the policy toward minorities was restricted, most of the Hungarian schools were closed, and CSEMADOK’s powers were reduced. There was an effort to close CSEMADOK, but the Committee was strictly against it. Toward the end of the 1990s the organisation was dependent on money from the Slovak government, and it almost collapsed as the government radically restricted its financial support. In 1995 the government stopped supporting CSEMADOK entirely, after which it was completely reorganised and became a civil society.
Description of content
The collection contains documents from the holdings of the Central Committee. It includes correspondence, regulations and reports from CSEMADOK meetings. Additionally, it contains documents related to the organisation of national festivals. Publications are a very important part of the collection.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 500-999
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
- Szabó, Rezső. 2004. A Csemadok és a Prágai tavasz. Pozsony: Kalligram.
Author(s) of this page
- Bothová, Barbara
Végh, László, interview by Bothová, Barbara, November 29, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection