Lajos Kossuth and the Hungarian Revolution in Czech Society (with an Emphasis on the Works of Karel Havlíček and Ludwig Rittersberg)

Pages 49–59
DOI 10.1515/amnpsc-2017-0029
Keywords Czech lands – revolution of 1848 and 1849 – Lajos Kossuth – Karel Havlíček – Ludwig Rittersberg
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Citation POKORNÁ, Magdaléna. Lajos Kossuth and the Hungarian Revolution in Czech Society (with an Emphasis on the Works of Karel Havlíček and Ludwig Rittersberg) . Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum. Prague: National Museum, 2016, 61(3-4), 49–59. DOI: . ISSN 0036-5351. Also available from:
Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae – Historia litterarum | 2016/61/3-4

Lajos Kossuth (1802–1894) has been the symbol of not only the revolution in Hungary in 1848 but also of the Hungarian national movement in general. The article draws attention to some major published reflections of Hungarian politics and mainly its representatives in the Czech press in 1848–1852 with particular focus on Lajos Kossuth in the texts by the journalists Karel Havlíček (periodical production) and Ludwig Rittersberg (Kapesní slovníček novinářský a konversační /A Pocket Dictionary of Journalism and Conversation/). With respect to the genre diversity of their publications (the periodically issued press in the case of Havlíček and collected works, albeit of journalistic character, in the case of Rittersberg), however, it would be almost purposeless to compare these two testimonies of the period in question in detail. Each of them fulfilled their role in the public space: one was engaged in news reporting, whereas the other, after some time, remembered the values, people or events gradually forgotten in the changing political situation after the defeat of the revolution. Although Havlíček and Rittersberg were not in entire ideological agreement and alienated during the revolutionary period, they both criticised Kossuth’s national policy towards Slavs. Havlíček’s Národní noviny [National Newspaper] and his Slovan [The Slav] as well as his publication Duch Národních novin [The Spirit of the National Newspaper] and Epištoly kutnohorské [The Kutná Hora Epistles] were officially forbidden in 1850–1851; likewise the publication of Rittersberg’s work in the Austrian monarchy was forcibly interrupted at the entry ‘Medakovič’ in 1852. In this connection, the author also mentions the prepared glossary of another part of Rittersberg’s work, which remains unprocessed in the Literary Archives of the Museum of Czech Literature, paying attention to Rittersberg’s focus on major Hungarian figures, life and institutions. In the next part of the work, the author, based on her analysis of the list of prohibited publications (Chronologicko-abecední seznam tisků zakázaných v monarchii podle nařízení ministerstva vnitra z roku 1851 a tiskového nařízení policejních úřadů z roku 1852 /A Chronological-Alphabetical List of Publications Prohibited in the Monarchy According to a Decree of the Ministry of the Interior of 1851 and a Press Regulation of Police Authorities of 1852/) has provided specific examples of the restrictions to which the books published on the topic of Hungarian revolution had been subjected. Nevertheless, the governmental authorities were not satisfied with the policy of prohibiting individual publications, so that, in the end, a ban was imposed on 3 March 1853 on any information on Kossuth as well as on the Italian revolutionary Mazzini and on their ‘treacherous proclamations’.

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