Society for the Anthropology of Europe
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Following World War II in Budapest Hungary, people faced new challenges posed by the harsh Rákosi regime. Based on a series of life histories, this presentation focuses primarily on Leila’s story shedding light on rebuilding the country after the destruction of the war. My informants characterized this era as one of restrictions, surveillance and fear that impacted their daily lives economically, politically, academically, and culturally. What strikes me about this period is that these people at a very young age experienced a rapid change in society, particularly one that consisted of an oppressive government. In later periods this experience of society change is one they have learned to deal with, and whereas some have learned to distrust unfair systems that may appear oppressive, others seem to be falling for a similar wave of autocratic leadership grasping to the appeal of conservative right wing populist trends.