Every Sunday, check out our weekly press roundup of the best pieces and most insightful articles on Central Europe in international media (note: access to some of them might be restricted to subscribers only).
Where Lenin stood: Hungary’s vanished Communist monuments, Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe took a tour across Hungary to visit the sites where statues of Lenin once stood. Embark on this fascinating photo-report to discover what replaced them.
The broken promise of a panda: How Prague’s relations with Beijing soured, The New York Times
At the height of the Czech-Chinese diplomatic rapprochement, Beijing promised to offer a panda. It’s still nowhere to be seen. But the growing tensions between the Czech Republic and China go far beyond Prague’s disappointment of not receiving this adorable furry animal.
Foreign policy views in the heart of Europe are not monolithic, German Marshall Fund of the United States
The Prague-based Association for International Affairs (AMO) teamed up with the German Marshall Fund of the United States to present the results of a poll conducted among Visegrad countries’ decision-makers and stakeholders, showing the major overlapping interests and key differences in foreign policy orientations in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Long overlooked, Bratislava shines with a newfound cool, The New York Times
The NYT took a trip to Bratislava and looks at how creative locals are energizing and reinventing what was once a communist outpost.
How Hungary’s ‘Trianon trauma’ inflames identity politics, Balkan Insight
As the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Trianon Treaty looms, Balkan Insight examines how the governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has co-opted the national narrative and exploited the sense of historical trauma for political gain.
History in the (un)making: Historical revisionism in Viktor Orban’s Hungary, Brookings Institution
“Who controls the past, controls the future [and] who controls the present controls the past”, George Orwell once wrote. These words seem not to have been lost on Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban, whose decision to remove the statue of 1956 anti-communist revolt leader Imre Nagy is only the tip of the iceberg of his attempt to rewrite history, argues the Brookings Institution.
How Poland’s ruling party cynically fuels anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, Haaretz
“Poland’s nationalist government, and its pet historical institutes, may not believe ‘global Jewry’ is hiding the truth about a secret Nazi gas chamber in the heart of Warsaw. But there’s a reason they flatly refuse to disprove the hoax”, writes Warsaw-based foreign correspondent Christian Davies for Haaretz.
The violent insights of Bohumil Hrabal, The New Yorker
A must-read piece by The New Yorker on the life and work of Czech literary master Bohumil Hrabal, author of ‘Closely Watched Trains’, ‘Too Loud a Solitude’ and ‘I Served the King of England’, among other masterpieces.
This Czech search engine was beating Google until recently. It says Google isn’t playing fair, Quartz
If you live in the Czech Republic, you’ve probably heard of Seznam.cz. Here’s how this home-grown search engine held its ground for so many years against Google, and how it eventually fell prey to the U.S. tech giant’s dominance.