Hungarian Experts in Nkrumah’s Ghana

Decolonization and Semiperipheral Postcoloniality in Socialist Hungary

How was Hungary connected to post-WWII decolonization? What does this episode of Eastern European history tell us about shared postcolonialities, transnational interconnectivity, and semiperipheral positioning strategies? This short article aims to address these questions in the context of socialist Hungary’s evolving relations with independent Ghana under the Kwame Nkrumah regime (1957–1966), by focusing on transnational experts and how Hungarian economists put together Ghana’s First Seven-Year Plan. My aim is to show how this led to the Hungarian emergence of comparative development studies and postcolonial knowledge production, and how parallels in colonial history were drawn between Hungary and Africa. I attempt to connect postcolonialism with world-systems analysis in order to present the intertwined discursive and structural processes of semiperipheral relations affecting colonial discourse.

Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah in Budapest, 28 July 1961. MTI Photo: Jenő Pap. © MTVA.

 

Semiperipheral Eastern Europe and decolonization

Eastern Europe seems to be the “black sheep” of postcolonial studies. The region’s complex colonial experiences and changing relations to the (post)colonial world have only recently been pushed into the limelight. Due to the trauma of WWII and Soviet communist hegemony, previous Eastern European colonial and imperial ties were almost forgotten, and the idea of Soviet imperialism was also disregarded. The Cold War intellectual division of labor epistemologically separated the “Second” and “Third World”, thus the study of (post)socialism from (post)colonialism. During the 1980s, the Euro-Atlantic and neoliberal hegemonic shift and the “back to Europe” discourse after the system change resulted in a postsocialist amnesia of denying former Eastern European connections with the “Third World.”

Global and transnational history aims to decenter the European epistemé by deconstructing internalist Eurocentric histories. The Cold War evolution of European integration was not only induced by geopolitical pressures from the socialist bloc, but also strongly embedded in post-WWII colonial struggles during the global 1950s.1 Since “decolonization” was a British concept of top-down “granted” independence in the vision of building a Commonwealth from colonies, socialist countries refrained from using the term, and defined themselves instead as fighting against imperialism and colonialism. Although this anti-imperialist solidarity towards emerging Afro-Asian postcolonies forged an important political project against the dominant capitalist system, it emerged during the global economic boom and relative geopolitical openness of the 1960s détente era. Decolonization also expressed the hegemonic shift from “high imperialism” to developmentalist imperialism, the opening up of investments predominantly for expansive U.S. capital and resulting Soviet rivalry in the modernization projects of newly independent postcolonial states.

In the historical long-term (longue durée), Hungary occupied a relatively stable semiperipheral position between the global center and periphery in the hierarchical division of labor of the capitalist world-system. The semiperiphery concept bridges cultural and structural aspects and offers a geographically more refined framework than colonizer/colonized subalternity, center/periphery dependency, or capitalist/socialist Cold War dichotomies. While colonialism expresses the power relation between the global center and the periphery, the semiperiphery stands out from the dominant historiography of colonialism due to its complex, in-between, uneasy and ambivalent relation to coloniality. Semiperipheral coloniality expresses the ambivalent historical relations of being both colonized and colonizer. Semiperipherality shares both central and peripheral aspects: being strongly connected through its cultural or geographical proximity to the global center, but remaining peripheral, dependent and subjugated to the global core as its “internal other;” not having colonies, but benefiting from civilizational superiority and imperialist practices over the global periphery; developing a strong urge to catch up to and imitate the center, while sharing its civilizational and modernization mission towards the periphery. Politically the semiperiphery offers the double role of either revolutionary resistance against the hegemonic center through its proximity, bridge function and alliance with the periphery or being the comprador “evil servant” against the periphery by stabilizing the exploitative hierarchy of the hegemon-led world system.

So what drove evolving political economic relations between socialist Eastern European and decolonized countries? Since semiperipheral Eastern European economies suffered from a relative lack of technology and capital, in order to buy Western technology to industrialize, decrease reliance on expensive imports, develop competitive exports and increase incomes, they depended on Western loans, and tended to accumulate indebtedness and trade deficits generated by unequal exchange.2 In turn, in their “double dependency” under Soviet political and Western capitalist dominance,3 socialist Eastern Bloc countries strove to develop trade with postcolonies to decrease their resource dependency on the Soviet Union and to obtain hard currency—since postcolonies held currencies of their former colonizers—in order to finance technology imports and pay back loans. In the context of Cold War era decolonization, Eastern Bloc foreign economies enjoyed relative autonomy in their foreign economic positioning strategies despite Moscow’s imperial gaze, in fact European socialist countries—in contrary to Western propaganda—did not have a united foreign policy towards Africa. The Sino-Soviet split and resulting Chinese-Soviet rivalry in the “Third World” from the 1960s led Moscow to allow the wider maneuvering of Eastern Bloc countries, so that allies could represent Soviet geopolitical interests, stabilize their regimes and decrease their economic deficits. On the other hand, their rapid modernization from agrarian to industrial economies and growing state centralization already in the interwar era, and their well-trained experts and acquaintance of Western knowledge made Eastern Europeans lucrative partners for the modernization projects of postcolonial countries. They were also more trusted and persuasive due to their relatively small size and similar histories of former oppression, enabling postcolonies to evade the direct influence of Moscow and Cold War military conflict. In turn, their “development guidance” in offering education, exporting machinery, technology and experts, and exporting their own socialist models of development could express cultural superiority, legitimate the successes of their regimes and achieve international political recognition.

After the political rupture and realignment due to WWII and Sovietization, Hungary’s efforts to intensify her trade with capitalist countries already commenced during the “New Course” since July 1953, even after the “degrading” of then premier of Hungary, Imre Nagy.4 The search for non-communist postcolonial markets started already from mid-1953, when Hungarian trade experts were sent to Arab countries, India, and Indonesia. Fearing international isolation after the Soviet military intervention in the 1956 revolution, the party leadership sought to develop diplomatic relations and export the “Hungarian model” for the political legitimation of the regime.5 In this context, decolonized Sub-Saharan Africa emerged as a potential region, and newly independent Ghana (1957) as a strategic country for gaining political alliances and penetrating markets in Africa. Hungary was one of the first countries to acknowledge Ghana’s independence, and János Kádár invited a Ghanaian delegation already in 1958, while the first official Hungarian trade delegation visited Ghana during August 8–15, 1959 to decided on building mutual relations.6 The rapid growth of exchange between Hungary and Ghana during 1960 and 1961 further escalated after Nkrumah’s turn towards “African socialism” and his Eastern European trip in 1961. An article of Magyar Nemzet entitled “Expanding World” (1961) evaluated the development of diplomatic relations with Ghana as “opening a new gate into the wide world for our homeland,” which demonstrated the failure of the imperialists to isolate Hungary from the non-socialist world.7 Hungary used these negotiations to bypass Western intermediaries in accessing products and also hard currency from postcolonial African countries.8 The aim of Hungary was to use Ghana to penetrate other Western African markets (which now formed protective unions), such as Nigeria, Guinea, or Mali. Thus, the main gains of the Ghana relation for Hungary was not to make short-term deals, but to establish long-term diplomatic relations in order to secure a wider market and resource base in the future. Hungary also sought to penetrate non-communist markets to compensate for deficits generated by trade with the Soviet Union and mostly the European Economic Community.9

 

Nkrumah in Hungary

After Ghana gained independence in 1957, president Kwame Nkrumah initiated pan-Africanism and the Non-Aligned Movement (1961) to fight against neocolonialism and imperialism. He embarked on modernizing the country via rapid industrialization by building a huge hydroelectric dam on the Volta River to produce cheap electricity for aluminum production, which could only be funded by the US, the UK, and the World Bank. To compensate for this new economic dependency, and to carefully maneuver between Cold War trenches, he developed African socialism and turned towards socialist countries. Following initial diplomatic negotiations, Nkrumah made a two-month tour around socialist countries in 1961 (including China), during which he visited Hungary between July 28 and 31. He was invited by the Hungarian government and the President Council, and his arrival was greeted by a grandiose, celebrative reception. The delegation signed a long-term trade treaty, a financial and a flight agreement, and negotiated about cultural, technological, and scientific cooperation for 1962.10

The Hungarian press heroized Nkrumah and positioned Ghana as an ally of socialist countries, while socialist assistance was staged in a relationship based on solidarity, humanism, mutual benefits, intercultural dialogue, the abolishment of racial oppression and prejudice, and joint anti-imperialist fight for freedom and peace. Optimist evaluations underlined that Ghana is a rapidly developing country, whose economic strength outgrows Turkey or Spain, and the pace of its economic growth exceeds many other countries’.11 Parallels were drawn between the historical colonial backgrounds of the two countries: since neocolonialism was conceptualized widely as the universal expansion of Western capitalist dominance, Eastern Bloc conflicts with the European Economic Community could now be put in line with struggles in the “Third World”.12 A long summary article framed the significance of Nkrumah’s visit in the context of then recent French aggression in Tunis, also addressed by a declaration from the World Council of Peace, calling for the annihilation of the colonial system and a movement towards world peace. In his greeting speech to Nkrumah, István Dobi, the president of the President Council, emphasized:

The People’s Republic of Hungary is also guided by the aim to support the war for independence of colonial peoples, strengthen friendship between different peoples, and contribute to securing world peace.

Later the next day, at the first banquet held at the House of Parliament, Dobi added:

Our people turn with great curiosity towards Africa, where today there is a battle decisive to the future of mankind wielded between social progress and the forces of imperialism.

In response, Nkrumah gave a toast, in which he declared:

We, in Africa, fight consistently. Whatever direction we try to leap forward, everywhere we find ourselves confronted by imperialist treachery. We will master our difficulties with the support of the socialist camp. We are here to strengthen our relations with Hungary, and strengthen our ties with the countries of the socialist camp.

And finally, at the evening banquet of the President Council, Nkrumah stated in his toast speech the following:

Mr. President! When I talked with you, the President Council, and members of government, the discussion—on the history of the Hungarian people—brightly evoked in me the events of our own battles. In the past the Hungarian people also knew well all the curses of foreign suppression. We have struggled for more than a hundred years under the yoke of colonial subjection. 13

The article accounted that later in his talk, when lamenting the violent acts of imperialists against Ghana, the British ambassador and military attaché left the scene—an incident Hungary’s primer János Kádár recalled in their personal discussion in a sarcastic tone.14

 

The meeting of János Kádár and Kwame Nkrumah in Balatonaliga
The meeting of János Kádár and Kwame Nkrumah in Balatonaliga

 

The dialogue between Nkrumah and Kádár—who was spending his vacation in his summer resort in Balatonaliga—is even more revealing in how historical parallels were drawn between Ghana and Hungary. Nkrumah recalled that the ex-Vice President of US, Nixon called Eastern Bloc countries, such as Hungary, “Communist slaves,” and added: “if slavery consists of what I saw in Hungary, I am prepared to become a Communist slave,” because “freedom, equality, justice, and all what goes with them, that is, humanism, take true shape only in socialist countries.” Kádár also reflected on his vision of common historical fates: “Our country had also lived for centuries under semi-colonial subordination, in fact, under the war, German fascists ruined and looted Hungary.” To accentuate his point, Kádár recalled in awe Nkrumah’s famous speech at the UN convention on “freedom for Africa.” On Nkrumah’s visit to the Beloiannisz Electric Equipment Factory of Budapest, which he decided to copy and transfer to Ghana, he declared in his speech to the workers:

 . . . we have chosen the same direction of development as yours. A great lesson and example to be followed is your technical and scientific development, the way you organize your agriculture.15

He also added gratefully:

In Hungary, the atmosphere greeting us was completely free of any kind of racial hatred or discrimination . . . We, in Africa, fight against imperialism, colonialism, and the new forms of colonialism, neocolonialism. We fight with the vision that success and victory will crown our actions. In this struggle we count on the Hungarian people . . . 16

 

Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah in Budapest, 28 July 1961. MTI Photo: Gábor Pálfai. © MTVA.
Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah in Budapest, 28 July 1961. MTI Photo: Gábor Pálfai. © MTVA.

 

József Bognár and the First Seven-Year Plan of Ghana

During his Hungarian visit, Nkrumah read a small book, Planned Economy in Hungary, published by József Bognár in 1959. Bognár was an important expert in socialist Hungary.17 Previously he was the mayor of Budapest (1947–1949), a prime member of the Small-Holders’ Party (1943–1948), and the minister of domestic and foreign trade in the communist government (1949–1956). After the 1956 revolution, however, he rejected invitations to the ministry. He instead became professor at Karl Marx Economic University from 1956, and the president of the Institute of Cultural Relations (1961–1969). He remained a major and a (yet much underrated) figure in Hungarian foreign policy-making and in preparing the semi-capitalistic reforms of the New Economic Mechanism. Nkrumah was impressed by the Hungarian achievements, and decided to invite Bognár to become a chief advisor to Ghana’s First Seven-Year Plan. Bognár recruited his team, and spent with his two assistants, Tamás Bácskai and Gábor Székely, two months, from January until the end of March 1962 in Accra.

The First Seven-Year Plan of Ghana was a truly transnational product, which represented the emerging transnational character of development planning, since previous colonial planning was administered by experts from the imperial core. Although Bognár led the planning work, the Plan was ultimately a negotiated product of various local and foreign planners and ministers. The Plan was formulated by Ghana’s Planning Commission, and preparation included 4 qualified Ghanaians and 16 foreign advisors of varying expertise and command of English, and limited knowledge of the Ghanaian economy.18 Among the Ghanaians were E. N. Omaboe and J. H. Mensah, while another important advisor was the Bank of Ghana, which organized with the Planning Commission a staff of freshly graduated economists versed in the ideas of mainstream development economics.19 For advice on tax issues, Nkrumah turned to (Lord) Nicholas Kaldor, a renowned Hungarian-born British economist by the original name of Miklós Káldor. The Polish economist Czesław Bobrowski (1904–1996) from the Planning Commission of Poland was also involved. In the 1970s, Bobrowski became a renowned international expert in economic development, working for the United Nations in developing countries such as Algeria, Ghana, Iraq, and Syria.20 Due to criticism from the World Bank and to their suggestion, the Ghanaian government held an academic conference in March 1963 to discuss the plan. This conference became an iconic moment of clash between different ideas on economic development, with 14 high-ranking experts arriving from the US, the UK, the Eastern Bloc, and the Third World, such as Dudley Seers, (Sir) W. Arthur Lewis, (Lord) Nicholas Kaldor, Albert Hirschman, K. N. Raj (Delhi School of Economics), H. C. Bos, József Bognár (representing Ghana’s Planning Commission), and Czesław Bobrowski.21

The “Ghana job” resulted in institutionalizing the new expertise of development planning, development and area studies, and enabled Hungary’s entrance into the emerging global market of development advocacy towards the “Third World.” After Ghana, Bognár was invited by many other developing countries, such as India, Indonesia, Burma, and the United Arab Republic to advise on their economic plans. Only after his invitation to Ghana as chief advisor did he realize developing countries as “the most important issue in the world economy.”22 His book published in 1959 enjoyed general international success in “developing countries,” and was retrieved by the representatives of the above-mentioned states.23 Due to the “pilot” project of Ghana, Bognár focused his scientific and advisory work on developing countries.24

The Hungarian delegation of development economists arrive in Accra in January 1962 to work on Ghana's First Seven-Year Plan. From left to right: Tamás Bácskai (Bognár’s assistant, associate professor), Péter Kós (first ambassador), Kwame Nkrumah (President of the Republic of Ghana), József Bognár (chief advisor), Gábor Székely (Bognár's assistant, economic engineer).
The Hungarian delegation of development economists arrive in Accra in January 1962 to work on Ghana’s First Seven-Year Plan. From left to right: Tamás Bácskai (Bognár’s assistant, associate professor), Péter Kós (first ambassador), Kwame Nkrumah (President of the Republic of Ghana), József Bognár (chief advisor), Gábor Székely (Bognár’s assistant, economic engineer). 25

 

The Center for Afro-Asian Research

Bognár’s assignment in Ghana was also decisive in him institutionalizing the Afro-Asian Research Group in 1963, first based at Karl Marx Economic University at his Department of International Trade and the Department of Economic History,26 which later evolved into the Center for Afro-Asian Research (CAAR) at Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) in 1965. The establishment of CAAR went in line with the institutionalization of similar centers in socialist countries that specialized in global comparative analysis and development economics, including the Institute for the World Economy and International Relations in the Soviet Union in 1956, the Center of Research on Underdeveloped Economies in Poland in 1962, and the Institute for Developing Countries in Zagreb, Yugoslavia in 1971.

What is conceptually remarkable in Bognár’s founding proposal for CAAR is that by generalizing his local planning experiences in Ghana, he argued against imposing socialist or capitalist development models on these countries, and suggested a separate category of “poorly developed countries” constituting “a specific type of economic development”.27 He even argued that “the historically evolved problematic of socialist countries is also not far from the issues of poorly developed countries (China, Vietnam, Mongolia)” [original emphasis].28 Bognár explicitly proposed his institution to become a government think tank in order to provide training and briefing for advisors, experts, and university lecturers traveling to “poorly developed countries.” Moved from the university to a bourgeois mansion, CAAR enjoyed political protection and great intellectual autonomy, which was guaranteed not only by becoming an entity of HAS, but also by Bognár’s high reputation and good personal relations with János Kádár. The Afro-Asian Research Group was treated as a significant entity under HAS, enjoying high funding and prosperous development.29 Bognár also extended his bargaining position with politicians by establishing the Scientific Council for World Economy in 1969 [Tudományos Világgazdasági Tanács], and CAAR was later transformed into the Institute of World Economics30

CAAR emerged as a prestigious institution, not only at home, but also in the international scene, and it regularly published a “yellow-brown” book series consisting of their own research reports in various translations, as well as Hungarian translations of foreign authors in the field. Interestingly, many of CAAR’s associates were originally not trained as economists (even Bognár’s background was in the humanities); they were a heterogeneous group of people who self-taught themselves in international relations and development economics. CAAR became an important promoter of export-oriented growth, and advised on Hungary’s integration into the world economy by drawing comparisons above accepted Cold War ideological regionalism.

 

 

Acknowledgements

I would like to acknowledge support from the Visegrad Fund research scholarship, which allowed me to conduct 2 months of archival research at the Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives. My gratitude also goes to professor James Mark for involving me in the five-year Leverhulme Trust-funded research project, 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective (http://1989after1989.exeter.ac.uk).

 

About the author

Zoltán Ginelli is a critical geographer and historian of science from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. He is an assistant researcher at the Institute for Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and an assistant for the Leverhulme Trust-funded research project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective based at Exeter University (2014–2018). His research focuses on the historical geographies of scientific knowledge, transnational and global history, world-systems analysis, and postcolonial and decolonial theory. His dissertation studies the transnational history of the “quantitative revolution” in Cold War geography and spatial planning. His main work is on the history of Hungarian geography, and his current research focuses on socialist globalization and the changing relations between Eastern Europe and the “Third World,” specifically Hungary and Africa.

 

Notes

  1. This is well exemplified by postcolonial trajectories of Eurafrica, the Mediterranean Union, or Caribbean Europe. See József Böröcz, The European Union and Global Social Change: A Critical Geopolitical-Economic Analysis (London: Routledge, 2009); Attila Melegh, “Globális ötvenes évek,” Eszmélet 105, no. 45. (2015): 182–191; Manuela Boatcă, “Caribbean Europe: Out of Sight, out of Mind?” in Constructing the Pluriverse: The Geopolitics of Knowledge, ed. H-J. Burchardt and B. Reiter. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018).
  2. Tamás Gerőcs and András Pinkasz, “Conflicting Interests in the Comecon Integration: State Socialist Debates on the East-West-South Relations,” East Central Europe (forthcoming).
  3. József Böröcz  “Dual Dependency and Property Vacuum: Social Change on the State Socialist Semiperiphery,” Theory and Society 21 (1992): 77–104.
  4. Szabad Nép 14, no. 85 (25 March 1956).
  5. György Péteri, “Transsystemic Fantasies: Counterrevolutionary Hungary at Brussels Expo ’58,” Journal of Contemporary History 47, no. 1 (2012): 137–160.
  6. “Magyar kereskedelmi küldöttség látogatása Ghanában,” Népszabadság (20 August 1959), HU OSA 300-40-1: 713; “Magyar kereskedelmi küldöttség utazott Ghanába,” Népszava (6 August 1959), HU OSA 300-40-1: 713.
  7. Tamás Zala, “Táguló világ,” Magyar Nemzet (3 August 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 713.
  8. Emil Gárdos, “Magyar gyárak Ghanában,” Külkereskedelmi Szemle (July-August 1961): 33–35, HU OSA 300-40-1: 713.
  9. “Hungary seeks to penetrate non-communist markets to compensate Eastern Bloc trading losses,” Item No. 3348/56. (29 March 1956), HU OSA 300-40-4: 15/3. 751.1 Foreign Trade: Egypt, 1954–1956.
  10. “Bővülnek a magyar-ghanai gazdasági kapcsolatok,” Népszabadság (25 October 1961); “Magyar-ghanai közös nyilatkozatot írtak alá,” Magyar Nemzet (30 July 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 848.
  11. György Kalmár, “Gyors iparosítás és törzsfőnökök…,” Esti Hírlap (27 July 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 848.
  12. Soviet and Eastern Bloc media criticized the Eurafrican policy of the (later) European Economic Community emerging already in 1957 as a form of neocolonialism. See Melegh. “The Communist Drive into Africa” (7 March 1958), 14, HU OSA 300-8-3-18103.
  13. “Üdvözöljük kedves vendégünket, Nkrumah elnököt!,” Népszabadság (28 July 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 848.
  14. Frigyes Köszegi, “Távol a szemtől, közel a szívhez,” Népszabadság (1 August 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 848.
  15. “Magyar-ghanai közös nyilatkozatot írtak alá,” Magyar Nemzet (30 July 1961), HU OSA 300-40-1: 848.
  16. Ibid.
  17. József Bognár, Planned Economy in Hungary: Achievements and Problems (Budapest: Pannonia Press, 1959). Originally in Hungarian: József Bognár, Szocialista tervgazdálkodásunk eredményei és problémái (Budapest: Pannonia, 1959).
  18. Tony Killick, Development Economics in Action: A Study of Economic Policies in Ghana, second edition (London and New York: Routledge, 2010 (1978)), 147.
  19. Ibid, 58.
  20. Bobrowski is only mentioned passingly by Grischow and Weiss, and surprisingly not at all by Killick. Bobrowski worked out the postwar reconstruction and development program of Poland in his exile in London. In November 1945, he was appointed president of the Central Planning Office until February 1948, and developed the three-year Economic Recovery Plan. Under Stalinization, he was removed from his office and fled to France, where he became a research fellow at the Institute of Political Science and the National Center for Research in (Center Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique) during 1952–1956. Bobrowski returned to Poland after October 1956, and continued as a researcher, and in 1958, as a full professor at the University of Warsaw, and as deputy chairman of the Economic Council of the Council of Ministers during 1957–1963. Together with Zygmunt Bauman, Jan Strzelecki, and Jerzy Viaterm, he took part in the discussion devoted to the future of Polish society in 1961. He emigrated from Poland after the events of March 1968. See Grischow and Holger Weiss, “Pan-Africanism, Socialism, and the Future: Development Planning in Ghana, 1951–1966,” in The Struggle for the Long-Term in Transnational Science and Politics: Forging the Future, ed. Jenny Andersson and Eglé Rindzevičiūtė (New York and London: Routledge, 2015): 218–240.
  21. Tony Killick was also one of the participants. See Grischow and Weiss, 123, Killick, 58, Robert L. Tignor, W. Arthur Lewis and the Birth of Development Economics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016), 187.
  22. József Pozsgai, “Tervezők tanácsadója: Bognár professzor a fejlődő országok problémáiról,” Magyarország 36, no. 9. (1965), HU OSA 300-40-5: 21/19. See Bognár.
  23. From personal correspondence with Mihály Simai.
  24. “A fejlődő országok helyzete és szerepe a következő évtizedek világgazdaságában: Bognár József akadémiai székfoglaló előadása,” Magyar Nemzet (9 November 1965), HU OSA 300-40-5: 21/19.
  25. ózsef Bognár, “Két hónap Ghánában,” Magyar Hírek (1 May 1962): 1–2.
  26. Letter from János Molnár to József Bognár,” 31223/1962.VI (Budapest: HAS Archives, 8 November 1962).
  27. József Bognár, “Beadvány a Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Elnökségéhez Afro-Ázsia-i kutató csoport létesítése tárgyában,” 15302/II/1963 (Budapest: HAS Archives, 27 September 1962.
  28. Ibid.
  29. In the HAS budget, the number of institutions receiving target funding decreased (1959: 58, 1962: 24, 1964: 16) in line with the concentration of larger funds to strategic research. Of the 26% total growth in the funds of HAS during 1960–1963, 22% was used to organize the CAAR. See “A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Társadalmi-Történeti Tudományok Osztályának kibővített osztályülése (1964. április 15.),” A Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Társadalmi-Történeti Tudományok Osztályának Közleményei 13, no. 1–2 (1964): 389–420, 413.
  30. Interestingly, it was ultimately Bognár and not the well-known Hungarian Africanist Endre Sík to establish an institution such as CAAR. Sík (1891–1978) was captured by the Russian army in 1915 during WWI, and in he Soviet Union, he became a teacher at the Africa Department of the Eastern Workers’ Communist University (1926–1937), the associate of the Soviet Scientific Academy and taught at the State University of Moscow (1938–1945). He came back to Hungary in 1945, and from 1947, he worked in high-rank positions , such as minister and diplomat in the Foreign Ministry, finally as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1958–1961). From 1963, he became a member, and a year later , the president of the Council for World Peace (Béke Világtanács). He authored the four-volume History of Black Africa (Fekete-Afrika története), published in 1964–1973, which was translated in French and English.

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