Sándor Varga Documents
The collection contains a great variety of documents that belonged to the historian and politician Sándor Varga. The majority of these documents are from the time when Varga was secretary of CSEMADOK (1968-1970), and they provide unique insight into the activities of this organisation. The collection also contains some documents that are related to the Hungarian youth organisation in Czechoslovakia. This organisation was an important platform for allowing young Hungarians in the country to make their voices heard. Through it, they organised workshops, discussions about the problems of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, and also discussions about the general political situation (including The Prague Spring and the following events). Despite its short existence, CSEMADOK had a crucial role in the youth movement, and this underscores the significance of this collection.
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Name of collection
- Sándor Varga Documents
Provenance and cultural activities
Sándor Varga is a Hungarian historian and politician from Slovakia. He graduated from Comenius University in Bratislava where he completed historical and archival studies. As a student he was a member in Hungarian youth organisations. He was one of the founders of the Hungarian Youth Organisation [Magyar ifjúsági szövetség, 1968]. After 1948, the Communist Party tried to win the youths’ attention by establishing the Union of Youth. It claimed to associate all social ranks and improve individuals’ social lives. But the Union did not meet all the demands of young people at the time, especially the problems of the Hungarian youth. As a reaction to this situation some new, partly independent youth organisations were established. The first organisation for Hungarian youth was established in 1964, after the Czechoslovak Union of Youth failed to meet their needs and claims. Varga was one of the founders of the Hungarian Youth Association [Magyar ifjúsági szövetség]. This association (MISZ) was established in 1968 in Bratislava, and was a response to the political situation following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. The main purpose of the group was to create an independent youth organisation. It was created to protect the rights of the Hungarian youth. From 1968 to 1970 Varga worked as Secretary of the largest cultural organisation of ethinc Hungarians in Slovakia in CSEMADOK. After that, and until Velvet Revolution, he worked in the Slovak National Archives. Then from 1989 to 1990 he was a deputy minister in the Slovak goverment. From 1978 to 1989 he was also a member of the Hungarian minority’s rights defense committee. In 1991 he created the Documentary Center for Nationalities in Bratislava. The Centerʼs main purpose was to document the history of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Throughout his life Varga tirelessly defended the rights of the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia. He was never persecuted for his activities, and he had a significant part in maintaning Hungarian cultural heritage in Slovakia.
The collection contains a large variety of documents, most of which are from the time that Varga was secretary of CSEMADOK. Other items in the collection are linked to the Hungarian youth organisations. The documents in the collection were gathered by Varga himself throughout his life, which he then donated to the Forum Institute in 1998. The documents are important for many reasons: they reflect the problems of the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia; they show how the largest cultural organisation of ethinc Hungarians in Slovakia, CSEMADOK, functioned; and, finally, they present evidence of the importance young people had in defending the rights of the Hungarian minority.
Description of content
The Sándor Varga collection contains a large variety of documents. The main part of this collection are documents from the years 1968 to 1970, a time when Varga was secretary of CSEMADOK. These documents include primarily reports or resolutions from board meeting (for example related to national festivals that CSEMADOK organised or CSEMADOK’s everyday activities). In the collection we can also find some documents related to Hungarian youth organisation in Czechoslovakia.
- legal and/or financial documentation: 1000-
Geographical scope of recent operation
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
Author(s) of this page
- Bothová, Barbara
Végh, László, interview by Bothová, Barbara, November 29, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection