Socialist Housing? Housing in the Hungary of the 1950s

Socialist Housing? Housing in the Hungary of the 1950s

Socialist Housing? Housing in the Hungary of the 1950s
Written by Márkus Keller
NSZL–L’Harmattan, Budapest, 2018.
252 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 674 1

2 990,- Ft

The housing problem that arose in the mid-19th century and is still present today, has two main questions in focus: how to provide people with suitable homes on affordable prices, and what sort of lifestyle and way of living should the new homes support.

The present volume explores the answers the Hungarian Stalinism of the long 1950s offered to these questions and looks at the influence the „socialist way of life” reflected by these answers made on everyday life. The housing programs and their financing, the circumstances of owning a home and the notion of a modern home are all interesting and complex topics of this book as well as the comparative analysis of the Experimental Estate of the 3rd district of Budapest and the Hansaviertel Estate of Berlin.

Márkus Keller, historian and sociologist, researcher at the 1956 Institute of National Széchényi Library and Associate Professor at the Department of Comparative Historical Sociology of ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences, introduces the analysis of housing in the 20th century referring to a well-known essay of Heidegger: it says dwelling is not just another activity but human existence itself. However, as it is not an obvious fact, the people of our age must be taught about it. The chapters convincingly prove that housing is one of mankind’s most relevant problems, existential in the strict sense of the word.