Nora Berend

Nora Berend is a fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Her books include At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims and ‘Pagans’ in Medieval Hungary.

Not Just a Phase: Rewriting Hungary’s Past

Nora Berend and Christopher Clark, 20 November 2014

This summer​, a new monument appeared in Budapest’s Liberty Square. Amid a copse of truncated white marble pillars stands the metal figure of a slender young man. Wrapped from hips to feet in windswept drapery, he opens his arms to the sky. In his right hand he bears the orb of political authority surmounted by the Hungarian double-barred cross. Wings sprout from his shoulder blades....

Nora Berend writes: The opposition is not between liberal and nationalist constructions, but between historical research and political myths – incorrect representations of the past that create legitimacy for the present. Hitler did not take control; Horthy retained power, and hosts of government employees participated in the deportations. Koszorús was no saviour of the Jews: he was ordered to Budapest...

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