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The expulsion as historical turning point in the religious and cultural life of the German-Hungarian village Budaörs/Wudersch?
Published September 10, 2020

The expulsion of the German minority in Hungary at the end of World War II started on the 19th of January 1946 in the small village Budaörs/Wudersch close to the capital Budapest. The village has become well-known in the interwar period for its flower carpets prepared for the feast Corpus Christi, made by its German-speaking population until o...ver 90% of the inhabitants were forced to leave the country for the American occupation zone of Germany, a moment that has been long established as the historical turning point in the history and culture of the German minority in Hungary. The expulsion thus divides the tradition of making flower carpets for Corpus Christi into two eras. Previous research has often struggled with connecting these two eras with each other, when analyzing the development of the feast. The main goal of the research paper is to describe the situation of the Catholic Church in Hungary in the times of transition to Socialism, both on national and local level and to deconstruct the idea of the year 1946 being the one and only possible turning point when considering the changes in the tradition. A newly found source in the Esztergom Primatial Archives, an album with photos taken of the flower carpet in 1948, a present made for Cardinal Mindszenty, shows that the route of the procession has stayed the same, although changes in the number of observants and the lack of women wearing the traditional costume of Budaörs can be observed. These findings demonstrate a continuity of tradition and village life, straddling the supposed divide, and hence suggest a re-interpretation of the feast’s significance as demonstration of the catholic inhabitants’ resistance to the slowly establishing soviet system.

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