I did not expect that my annual visit to Hungary would coincide with a major political upheaval, which erupted when the prime minister (Ferenc Gyurcsány) confessed to prolonged lying about the state of the country and especially of its economy. It is an additional coincidence that prior to this visit I gave a paper in London at a conference on the fiftieth anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution which focused on the official mendacity as a major source of the rejection of the communist system in Hungary (and elsewhere) and the moral revulsion felt by ordinary people confronting the daily lies in the official media.

I was born in Hungary and left it after the defeat of the Revolution in 1956. I first returned in 1974. I visited several times during the 1980s, and annually since the collapse of the communist system in 1989. I still have relatives and friends in Budapest, and I like the city where I grew up; my Hungarian...


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