The associates of the Research Institute and Archives for the History of Regime Change (RETÖRKI) welcome visitors of this homepage in the hope that there is widespread interest in the events of the most recent history of Hungary, the social transformation, the regime change that took place a quarter of a century ago.

The decision on the establishment of our Institute was made by the Government in 2013 [Government Decree 83/2013 (III. 21.)]. In this decree the Government specified the tasks of the Institute, which operates as a budgetary institution under the supervision of the Prime Minister’s Office. On this homepage visitors can get acquainted with the Deed of Foundation based on this decree.

Was the establishment of such an institution really necessary? The majority of Hungarian society does not possess a reliable knowledge on the history of the regime change, which has neither been documented nor investigated deeply enough. Aware of the fact that researchers have been working on the subject and published partial results, we can state that full documentation and exploration still requires years of work. Even those, who as adults lived through, participated to some extent in or shaped the events know only bits and pieces of the truth of the story. A new generation has grown up in the past quarter of a century. This generation has no adequate knowledge not only on the events, causes, participants of the regime change, but also on the history of the previous years and decades. This unawareness of history may have grave consequences for the future, first of all for the fate of the youth. Discernment and a historic memory of the nation are indispensable for good decisions in the future as well as for the foundation of national identity and awareness of the situation.

We deem it as one of our most important tasks that the work of our researchers, the processing, analysis and publication of documents should help public opinion understand the history of the regime change. It requires scientific research work to investigate the causes and find answers. Of course the regime change is not a series of events that can be interpreted and sized up in itself, but is imbedded in a larger historical process. Effective research in this case is conceivable only by taking into account the antecedents and the aftermaths together. The task cannot be limited to investigating the events of one or two “regime-changing” years. RETÖRKI provides its associates proper conditions for this research work, our homepage in turn gives information about our activities and their results to those who are interested.

Zoltán Bíró

General Director