When compared to some of his political contemporaries or to those individuals in his government who later would continue on in public life, the name Miklós Kállay does not generate nearly the amount of heat in arguments or feelings of disdain. It seems instead that a superficially “clear” picture of him has developed among historians, one that – both rhetorically and figuratively – fits him rather poorly. The “shuttlecock policy” expression in the title is one of the most familiar but also – let’s be clear here – frustratingly false clichés associated with him. For it should be more than obvious that his goals and maneuverings could not have been out in the open in terms of his policy approaches (although it is just as true that at times he did speak rather openly, even before larger audiences). At the same time, however, from the very moment of his appointment he laid the foundations for achieving his plans. Before taking office, he submitted a 5-point plan to Horthy, the purpose of which was the following: preserving whatever independence that remained for Hungary; to the extent that it was possible, regaining whatever independence that Hungary could; exerting resistance against any additional German demands; maintaining the integrity of the army; encouraging negotiations with the English and the Americans, while retaining a façade of loyalty through the continued distribution of pro-German propaganda; and most importantly sidestepping the country’s occupation. In light of these goals, the debate participants will attempt to review Kállay’s historic two years as prime minister. They will do so by setting aside the entrenched clichés and offering a colorful, evocative and at the same time thought-provoking analysis, the goal of which is to free the audience of the lasting falsehoods surrounding Kállay.
The event will take place at 6 PM on February 2nd, with university professor and Doctor of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Pál Pritz debating Senior Research Fellow at the VERITAS Research Institute for History András Joó. The debate moderator will be Subject Team Leader Gábor Ujváry, also from VERITAS.
The debate is open to the public.