The Redl Case in Contemporary Press Cover Image

A Redl-ügy megjelenése a korszak sajtójában
The Redl Case in Contemporary Press

Author(s): Gábor Csiszár
Subject(s): Social history, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület
Keywords: history;Hungary;20th century;Austro - Hungarian Army;

Summary/Abstract: The study compares articles published about Colonel Alfred Redl’s treason and subsequent suicide in 1913 in twenty-four contemporary Hungarian-language dailies. Nearly all the papers fell short of editorial integrity, either by publishing fake news or by withholding information that did not fit into the narrative flow of the coverage of the case, for example, Redl’s homosexuality. Csiszár examines the attitudes of contemporary political press towards the government, the military, the ministries and the judicial system, suggesting that the number of publications which supported and lauded the government in power was higher than previously assumed in scholarship. Regardless of their political sympathies, many papers incited against ethnic communities on account of Redl’s Slavic background and demanded a firm political foothold of the reliable Hungarians within the monarchy. Based on an incorrect assumption about Redl’s Jewish heritage, one Catholic daily also went as far as publishing an openly anti-Semitic op-ed.The other theme in the study is the representation of homosexuality in contemporary media. The articles reveal the attitudes towards homosexuality upheld by opinion leaders of the intelligentsia a hundred years ago. Homosexuals were depicted as victims of sexual abuse who are (in modern terminology) bisexual, and effeminate in appearance. They were believed to be blackmailed but at the same time it was assumed that they built a secret network to support each other. There were reports about (probably fictitious) orgies in Vienna, transvestite photography, and false charges of paedophilia. One of the articles of Pesti Hirlap, however, was a pioneer of the gay civil rights movement in Hungary: adopting the German fight against Article 175, the author argues for the abolishment of criminality.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 72
  • Page Range: 158-180
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Hungarian