Communists vs. Conservatives and the Struggle for the Hungarian Soul in Canada, 1940-1989

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Title: Communists vs. Conservatives and the Struggle for the Hungarian Soul in Canada, 1940-1989
Authors: Adam, Christopher Peter
Date: 2013
Abstract: This thesis explores the pervasive political divide within Canada’s Hungarian communities between communists and nationalist conservatives. Both sides in this conflict struggled for ownership of Hungarian national symbols and the right to be seen as the “true” guardians of Hungarian identity in Canada. While religious differences between Roman Catholic and Calvinist Hungarian immigrants served as a divisive force in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the arrival of a massive wave of new immigrants from the lands of the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War introduced into Canada the fiery political divisions between the far left and right that engulfed Hungary in 1918/19. Throughout the interwar period, during the Second World War and in the Cold War era, successive regimes in Budapest intervened, further politicized and divided Canada’s Hungarian communities, separating them into “loyal” and “disloyal” camps. But both communist and conservative Hungarian-Canadian leaders demonstrated a significant level of agency by often charting their own course and thus confounding their allies in Budapest. This thesis argues that Hungarian-Canadian communists only paid lip service to the Marxist language of class conflict, while national self-identification trumped class-based identity or internationalism, and conservative nationalists represented a large, politically heterogeneous camp, divided by generational conflicts and tensions between immigrant cohorts.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24057
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-2958
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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