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Inscrutable Students.Searching for Enemy in Hungarian Universities at the Beginning of Fifties
Published January 14, 2020

„Unknowable Students”. „Searching for the Enemy” at the Hungarian Universities in the Beginning of the Fifties. The Communist Party organization of Hungarian universities, in order to fulfil one of their main tasks, i.e. to “unmask the enemy”, attempted to gather a lot of information about the students. They collected d...ata through admission procedures about their class-origin, which was reckoned as basic indicator of their political reliability, while functionaries tried to force them to verbalize their opinion and to comment daily political events in obligatory courses of Marxism-Leninism and in other formal and informal discussions. Besides the identification of the “enemy”, the forcing of political statements had the purpose to get the chance to correct them. However, the overstraining of political issues, the circulating process of re-learning the same parts of Communist ideology over and over again, along with the overreaction of functionaries to politically “incorrect” opinions led to an unwanted effect. Reports on the effectiveness of contemporary practices of indoctrination stated several times that the ideological dissemination of knowledge does not provide some students with a world view, but rather a practical knowledge: the students, instead of revealing their real thoughts “learned to speak Marxism”.

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