The story how Hungary almost fell victim to the Cold War in 1982.
The lecture used newly-released documents from British, American and Hungarian archives to examine the policy of the British and US governments towards Hungary 1979-84. It traced the rise in Western interest in Hungary in the light of martial law in Poland. There’s new information on the Hungarian financial crisis of 1982 and the arguments it prompted between the United States and its allies as to the policy of ‘differentiation’ between states in the Soviet-controlled Eastern bloc. There’s discussion of Western policy during Andropov‘s brief ascendancy and the decision on the part of Margaret Thatcher and the British Government to promote greater contact with the East, prompting her acceptance of the long-standing Hungarian invitation to visit.