Department or Program



Nations and nationalists make use of historical narratives in their quests to build unity and achieve other political goals. Those who control memories of the past are often able to affect changes in the future. Hungary is no exception; it is also a particularly historically conscious society with a dark and discontinuous recent past, which is currently being tackled by an increasingly controversial political leadership. This thesis explores this dynamic between power and history by examining public memories of the Holocaust and communism, as represented in the public sphere by museums. It focuses on the narratives told by those with power, and seeks to identify the functions of these stories. What motivates groups to tell which stories and what purpose do these public memories serve? This thesis analyzes the texts and symbolism used, the narratives told, and other characteristics of historical museums. It examines the unique representations of the Holocaust and communism and identifies when memories of the two events converge. These public memories, whether advanced by official or other powerful voices, often present narratives of a continuous Hungarian nation, interrupted by foreign-imposed oppression and victimization.

Level of Access

Open Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.