Weekly newsletter

Former Prime Minister József Antall Passed Away 30 Years Ago

Hungary Today 2023.12.12.

President Katalin Novák commemorated on her social media page the politician who died thirty years ago today and was the first elected Prime Minister after the regime change of 1989.

As she wrote:

in spirit and feeling, he was the prime minister of 15 million Hungarians.”

Antall was born in 1932 in Pestújhely, into a family of politicians. His father, József Antall Sr. was a member of parliament for the FKgP (Independent Smallholders’ Party) and later a minister. He studied history at the Eötvös Lóránd University and worked as a secondary school teacher from 1955. In 1959 he was suspended from teaching due to his political activities during the revolution of 1956. Until the regime change he worked at the Museum of Medical History. In 1988, he became active in politics in the MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum), of which he became president. He stood for the 1990 elections as president of the MDF, where

he won 42% of the seats, representing the “calm force”.

At the time of his election, Antall undertook an impossible mission. The country, in a tragic economic situation, had to be led between battles of political coalitions. Despite his serious illness, he did not retire from his duties as prime minister.

[…] I will serve as long as my service is useful”,

the former Prime Minister said in his famous hospital interview.

His work in the face of attacks (in the case of standing up for Hungarians beyond the border) provided a strong foundation on which later conservative governments could build.

His former party colleague, Imre Kónya wrote of him that “his death could make him a symbolic figure of regime change”.

Via Magyar Nemzet / Mandiner; Featured Image: Fortepan / Zoltán Szalay

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>