Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

family. During 1944, he was taken to a concentration camp in Hungary and transported to Auschmitz together with his parents. They all perished, except the fourteen- year-old Gyorgy. After World War II, Ranki returned to Hungary and was educated at the Jewish High School and Eotvos Lorant University. While at the university, he joined the Hungarian Communist party. After graduation, Ranki became a member of the Historical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1976, he was named deputy director of the institute. He worked together with Ivan T. Berend, and many of their works were published under their joint imprint. In 1982, Ranki succeeded Zsigmond Pal Pach as the director of the Historical Institute. He was an excellent organizer and had a good judgment of human nature. His closest coworkers were Berend (see Berend, Ivan T.), Peter Hanak (see Hanak, Peter), and Ferenc Glatz (see Glatz, Ferenc). Ranki traveled extensively abroad. He was elected honorary member of the faculty of Oxford University, and he taught at Cambridge University as a guest professor. He was elected vice president of the World Historical Association. In the early 1980s, Ranki was invited as a guest professor to the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Indiana, where he spent one semester a year thereafter. He established a Hungarian Studies program at that university which, continues to function today Ranki became very ill in 1988, and he died of cancer that year. His legacy includes voluminous works on Hungarian history, dealing with the period of the twentieth century. Some of his books were translated into English and were published in the United States.


Bibliography

Glatz Ferenc, ed. Modern Age--Modern Historian: In Memoriam of Gyorgy Ranki, (1930-1988) ( Budapest, 1990).

Religious Policies in Communist Hungary. The religious allegiances of Hungray's population were not uniform. About 60 percent of the population belonged to the Roman Catholic church; the majority of the rest belonged to various Protestant churches. About 80,000 Jews live in Hungary today, evenly distributed among conservative and reform Judaism. Regardless of religious affiliations, most of the people identified themselves with Western cultural and religious traditions, sharply separated from those confessing Orthodox Christianity in the southern belt of Eastern Europe. Religion in general and religious institutions in particular have always represented a serious obstacle to Marxist-Leninists whose ideology took on a distinctly Russian, that is eastern, character in Hungary. Jozsef Cardinal Mindszenty (see Mindszenty, Cardinal Jozsef), the archbishop of Esztergom in the years immediately following World War II, was considered by most Roman Catholic Hungarians as a courageous prelate, an inheritor of the mantle of leadership of his statesmen-churchmen predecessors. By 1948, Cardinal Mindszenty was the last outspoken critic of the communist system being imposed on Hungary. In spite of constant threats and efforts at intimidation, he spoke out for legality and respect for basic human rights. He was also a vociferous defender of religious education in the schools and of his church's right to main

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