János Kőbányai’s paper is centred on two crucial questions. The first is if literature can be a source of history. Second, what does it tell about a nation’s collective memory if some of their historical milestones do not appear in novels? After the First World War Hungary gained back its independence, which had been lost back in the Middle Ages. However, the country lost most of its territory and population. There was also a civil war going on in the trenches, especially after 1916, mostly against Jews, who played a very crucial part in Hungarian modernity. The upheaval manifested itself in the battle between official and reservists. It is due to these socio-political factors that, despite some very sensitive and detailed works, no canonical, collectively determining and memorable novel appeared about the great war. Kőbányai highlights report literature and the hostage chronicles. Hungarian literature was rarely examined from the perspective of its migration literature, even though it was due to the revolutions following the Great War that a huge number of Hungary’s artists and intelligentsia emigrated. The most valuable works about the First World War were written in the isolation of emigration, and these are still not part of the canon.