Between 1941 and 1989, Hungary’s hand-tied politicians were at the mercy of the Great Powers and their struggle for hegemony in Europe. A study of US diplomatic documents shows the extent to which realpolitik determined US policy on Hungarian national independence.
A reluctant and fearful West
How far did the West support the transformation of eastern Europe in 1989? Documents recently released from the Hungarian archives reveal how western leaders, without exception, deferred to the Soviet Union at the time, writes László Borhi. The threat of regional chaos and residual fear of German hegemony meant an overwhelming support for preserving the status quo as the events of 1989 unfolded.