At the end of the 20th century the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the bipolar world marked the end of an era, which was one of the darkest and most tumultuous times in history.

Consequently, the opportunity arises for historians to study this period as a whole. Historiography has a new challenge to reconsider events and correlations from new angles and perspectives which defined the previous century. Therefore, there was a great need to create an academic institution which attempts to re-evaluate the history of the 20th century by involving young researchers.

The Institute of the Twentieth Century started operating in May 1999. The general director of the academic workshop is Mária Schmidt (Doctor of History).

The Public Foundation for Research on Central and Eastern European History and Society is an organization with the primary aim to conduct historical research of the 20th century. Its main mission is to introduce and research the context and correlations of Hungarian, Central and Eastern European history, politics and society. The Foundation intends to encourage research on the regime change and promote the study and exhibition of archives and records of political trials and the in-depth analysis of dictatorships. We intend to conduct our research by contrasting and combining ideologies and we support and fund events which try to reconstruct the history of the age by holding conferences, academic discussions and symposia. Engaging young researchers in academic life is one of our key objectives. The research team consisting of undergraduates and graduate historians present their results every two weeks.

The Institute of the Twentieth Century has issued several publications of scholarly standard in the topics of history and social science.



The Institute of the Twentieth Century has launched the collection of family relics

The Institute of the Twentieth Century is calling for photographs, postcards, personal and family stories, reminiscences, diaries.

 On the occasion of the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in 2014 the Institute of the Twentieth Century is hoping to hear from those who possess photographs, postcards, personal recollections, family stories, anecdotes, reminiscences or diaries. The main purpose of compiling a collection of pictures and reminiscences is to exhibit a perspective of the First World War which had a far-reaching effect not only on the everyday lives of families but on posterity as well.

Please send the documents to the following address:

XX. Század Intézet / Institute of the Twentieth Century 1122 Határőr út 35.

For more information please write to:

or call +36(1) 212 71 41

Announcement of the House of Terror

The House of Terror Museum is collecting data on the occupation of Hungary in 1944 and the siege of Budapest in 1944-45.


On 19th March 1944 Hungary was occupied by the Nazi Germany and as a result thousands of people died or became prisoners or persecuted, whose names remain unknown to us. The House of Terror Museum aims to present an accurate picture of the tragedy, therefore the Museum is calling for people who can demonstrate beyond doubt that their relative or acquaintance was the victim of the occupation or who came into possession of data related to victims due to their research to let the Museum know.

The call also applies to the siege of Budapest between 30th December 1944 and 13th February 1945, in which “approximately 25 thousand civilians have been killed”. The Museum looks forward to hear of those “whose relatives or acquaintances died in the siege of Budapest and whose final resting place is still unknown”.

The House of Terror Museum expects applications by e-mail. All information sent to us will be subject to academic research.


About us


European Union Grants

This project is funded by the European Union, with co-funding from the European Social Fund.

Audio-Visual Memory Collection

Project ID: TÁMOP-3.2.9-08/1/A-2009-0002
Total funding: 549 804 734 Ft.

The goal of the project is to record historical video interviews and thus, contribute to the development of core competences of history learning by supplying methodological guidelines for creating and processing oral histories, thus, strengthening cohesion between generations in society and eventually contributing to the methodological renewal of teaching history.

Essentially, the project aims to provide means of understanding and interpreting contemporary history for learners in a way that it suits the manner of perception of this particular age group and, at the same time, train secondary school history teachers methodologically and deliver the essential conditions and equipment.

Competency-based learning has recently gained ground to a great extent in the Hungarian Education system, and eventually the 243/2003. (XII. 17.) Government Decree about the issue, introduction and implementation of the National Curriculum explicitly listed those core competencies which have to be developed in order to facilitate lifelong learning and the flexibility to adapt to new challenges and to be able to influence them.

The period after 1945 is highly underrepresented in the Hungarian history syllabus and the teaching material can hardly be taught and interpreted through ‘traditional’ methods due to the different narratives and its efficiency is low. Discouraging statistics are well known about how limited and incorrect knowledge secondary school students have concerning this period (the years after 1956, the subsequent reprisal, consolidation, soft dictatorship and the regime change). Changing this situation is crucial as students’ social knowledge becomes ‘lifelike’ if it is based on contemporary event history.

Collecting audio visual memories featuring oral history and integrating it in the history syllabus and making it available online not only directs the attention of the youth and future generations to the recent memories of relations of the time, which is still available to them, but also contributes to the expansion of methods used in history teaching consequently improving core competences.

Therefore, the project aims to contribute to the development of core competences and indirectly strengthen cohesion of generations by preserving oral history in interviews and creating supplementary teaching materials and at the same time promote the renewal of the methodology of teaching history.

As part of the project, at least 500 pupils will be participating in the interviewing process and at least 200 teachers but at most 400 teachers will be trained from approximately 200-250 public educational institutions.
In terms of pedagogical and methodological aims the immediate target group consists of 1500 people, however, considering the total number of targeted secondary school classes the target audience may be approximately 4500-5000 people. The range would be countrywide, not representative in terms of regions.

In this process and through the support system (training and mentoring) teachers will acquire new methods which will enable them to make modern history teaching more efficient and effective.
In this respect, recording interviews is not an end in itself but a significant element of learning history, understanding of human nature and social skills. Moreover, a comprehensive audio-visual database of the period between 1938 and 1989.

The name and address of the Beneficiary:

The Public Foundation for the Research of Central and Eastern European History and Society
1122 Budapest, Határőr út 35.

The name and address of the Intermediate body:

Fund Management Directorate of Ministry of Education and Culture
1055 Budapest, Bihari János utca 5.