The next event of the Nepostrans seminar series will be held on June 20, 16:00 CET.
Hybrid event with VERONIKA SZEGHY-GAYER (research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences CSPS of the Slovak Academy of Sciences)
Registration is required: https://forms.gle/fMemaLYQARvfEDok7
(Zoom link will be sent after registration)
Venue: Institute of Political History – Library, 1114 Budapest, Villányi út 11-13., ground floor
Two main narratives dominate the historical scholarship on civil service on the territory of daily Slovakia during the first half of the 20th century. On the one hand, in Hungarian historiography, the issue of discontinuity has mainly been discussed, especially the question of nearly half a million people, including many civil servants who fled from the successor states to post-WWI Hungary, and the same applies to works regarding Hungarian territorial revisions between 1938 and 1941 or the anti-minority discrimination after WWII. This narrative on forced migration processes prevailed in Hungarian memory literature, fictional works, and collective remembrance. On the other hand, Slovak scientific works that investigate the establishment of Czechoslovakia only discuss the question of Czech officials moving to the Slovak part of the republic or the proportion of ethnic Slovaks working in the Czechoslovak state system but put emphasis mainly on state-rupture and personal discontinuity too.
In this talk, I intend to provide new insight into the research of civil service on the territory of Slovakia after 1918. I will examine how civil servants at the local level have adapted to the changing political circumstances in different state regimes and to what extent they were engaged in the competing state-building efforts which alternated in a relatively short period mainly in the Slovak – Hungarian border region. Based on the personal trajectories of mayors, district chiefs, teachers or officials of local administration, I will investigate the strategies that characterized the attitudes of public employees in times of political regime changes, as well as their loyalty and relationship to the state.
Veronika Szeghy-Gayer is a research fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences CSPS of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. She received her PhD in history at the Eötvös Loránd University in 2016 and her dissertation on the Hungarian minority in interwar Czechoslovakia was published by the Kalligram Publishing House of Bratislava (2016). Her research interest includes the fields of Central and East European nationalism and minority studies. In 2021 she was the winner of the Danubius Young Scientist Award in 2021, while in 2022, jointly with László Csősz, received the Mark Pittaway Article Prize for the study Petitioners of Jewish Property in Košice: a Case Study on Holocaust and Local Society in a Slovak-Hungarian Border Region. Since 2016 she is a member of the Trianon100 research team of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She is cooperating with Collegium Carolinum to create a handbook of the religious and church history of Slovakia during the 20th century. Between 2018 and 2021, she participated in the project of the Jewish Community Museum of Bratislava in the processing of the collection of the Jewish Museum of Prešov. Currently, she is a local expert for the EHRI and she is leading a research team at the Slovak Academy of Sciences that examines the history of civil service in Slovakia under changing regimes in the first half of the 20th century.