On 25 January, the Metropolitan Council of Budapest decided (by 19 votes to 3) to remove the statue of the Marxist philosopher Georg Lukács from the 13th District and replace it with a statue of King Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian nation. The proposal was put by a member of the neo-fascist Jobbik Party, Marcell Tokody.
Last year, despite opposition, Lukács’s house, which has served as an open archive since his death in 1971, was closed by the authorities. The fate of the documents in the archive, many of which have yet to be translated in languages other than their original Hungarian or German, is unclear.
In the history of 20th century Marxism Lukács is a central figure. He is certainly not without his critics, but some of his writings, particularly History and Class Consciousness, are seminal works of Marxism and have stood the test of time. We should not stand by and allow the barbarians of the Hungarian right, and their odious leader Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, to destroy his legacy.
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• The author lived in Hungary from 1991 to 2000 and is currently working on a full length study of Lukács and his legacy