Zoltán Kékesi

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2019 - June 2020
Discipline: 
Cultural History
Institution: 
Yad Vashem
Project Title: 
Beyond Denial: Perpetrator Memory and the Hungarian Fascist Exile in West Germany and Argentina
Project Abstract: 

My study is a contribution to the emerging field of perpetrator memory studies. The project focuses on West Germany and Argentina and examines the memory culture that Fascist Hungarian émigrés created after 1945. It centers on a generation of intellectuals that were born around 1900, started their carrier in counter-revolutionary Hungary, propagated racial policies in the 1930s and 1940s and shaped the radical émigré culture in the 1950s and 1960s. A comparative study focusing on the Hungarian diaspora in Munich and Buenos Aires offers the opportunity to examine perpetrator memory as it developed in two comparably different political contexts. I argue that the memory of the perpetrators has an unexplored potential for the understanding of both the Holocaust and post-war history, as it can help us better understand the actions of the perpetrators, the re-creation of radical identities, and long-term continuities in memory regimes.