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It was thirty years ago that the world turned upside down in Eastern and Central Europe. Our future, perhaps for the first time during the tormented 20th century, finally seemed to look bright, as we threw off the Soviet yoke and left the spectre of Communism behind. Changes came as a shock, as nobody really expected them—although many had hoped for them. However, the first years, despite all the faith pinned on them, proved to be controversial, as people set their hopes too high, looking forward to achieving a Western lifestyle within a few years.
In spite of the initial hopes turning sour, the past thirty years still provide us with a perspective to claim that the overall balance of the changes is positive; no one thinks nowadays that continuing the Socialist dream would have been a viable option for the country.
The current issue of In Focus magazine aims to weigh the nature of the changes and pinpoint the main takeaways that can serve as an inspiration for the present and the future. In this attempt, the magazine strives to connect generations—help those who were witness to the events remember and those who were not there understand the importance those years, while also honouring the memory of József Antall, whose name our institution bears.