The Foundation of Political History (Politikatörténeti Alapítvány) is 30 years old. Our little brother, the imprint Napvilág, turns 25 years old. Ideally, we should celebrate, but rather we are moving. We have already written a lot about why we have to leave our headquarters on Alkotmány utca in an undignified and unjust way. How did we get here?
Like everyone, we have changed a lot in three decades. Nevertheless, we are proud that—as a non-profit organization working outside the state-institutional system—we still exist and operate as an open, left-wing workshop based on solidarity. Further, our institute is a significant, internationally-renowned research institute in the historical and social sciences, and has been competitive in international and national funding schemes alike. In fact, the Institute currently hosts a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant Project “Negotiating post-imperial transitions”. See: 1918local.eu), perhaps the most prestigious funding body for large-scale scientific work on the continent.
Beyond our external research operations, our internal holdings are unique and need to be preserved. The library and archive of the Institute of Political History is a combined collection of international value for the longue durée history of the workers’ movement in Hungary, the postwar period of transition and state socialism (1945–1989), as well as Hungarian and, more widely, (East) Central European progressivism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Our holdings are integral for the study of the period of regime change from 1989 onward. Augmenting our left-wing spirit, we adhere to the norms of scientific research, and, as such, we take action against governmental falsifications of history.
We have not received support from the Hungarian state since 2010. Conversely, the government has propped up newly-founded institutes with heaps of public money in exchange for their promotion of historically revisionist narratives that dovetail with and justify the extreme nationalism and chauvinism of the government itself. These are political, not financial considerations.
As such, the forced move to our new location will come at the expense of our core operational budget. Indeed, we must also preserve the necessary function of our Institute: maintaining the very possibility of debate against government institutions. We have many plans for the future, but their realization depends on how many of our own resources the move will now consume. Simply put, our reserves are finite.
It would take about 30 million forints—€80,000 or roughly one third of our annual budget—to move our archives and library, book publisher, and scientific workshops to their new location. In gathering this sum, we would like to ask for a SINGLE donation from you. Your contribution will help preserve our apparatus for exploratory and social-critical research, maintain our partnerships, allow our archival and library materials to remain available and accessible, and continue the publication of books on social theory and history well into the future.
Without independent research institutes, there is little hope for places that can support the critique of all existing conditions. And the conditions that currently obtain in Hungary, in East Central Europe, on the whole continent, in the so-called West, and indeed one may say globally, are intolerable, and deserving of the harshest criticism.
Every forint counts. Even with a small donation, new books, documents, and small pieces of the past are preserved so that future generations may also get to know them.
How to Send Your Donation to Us:
Name of Recipient: Politikatorteneti Intezet
Address of Recipient: 1054 Budapest, Alkotmany utca 2., Hungary
For Euro-denominated transfers: EUR IBAN: HU68 1200 1008 0010 2946 0030 0009
For Forint-denominated transfers: HUF IBAN: HU89 1200 1008 0010 2946 0010 0005
Notice: operating aid
Name of Bank: Raiffeisen Bank Zrt.
Adress of Bank: 1133 Budapest, Vaci ut 116-118., Hungary
Online, recurring-contribution donations can be made through Patreon. It is the easiest way for people outside of Europe to donate, but please note that it is designed for recurrent support. Single donations only occur if you cancel the auto-renew function after you are charged the first time. If you plan to donate only once, choose whichever amount you would like to donate, then click “I’d like to set a monthly limit,” then select “1” for “times per month”. Once you are charged, cancel the auto-renew payment so that you will not be charged a second time.
Here is the link: