About Us

Although a lot of historical works based on state security documents have been published in the recent years, there are still numerous myths about the sources kept in the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security. The Historical Archives therefore considers it a mission of very great importance to support as many publications as possible to be published in accordance with scientific source publishing norms. Our year-books, volumes of studies and sources illustrate this effort and we have launched our quarterly online periodical “Betekintő” with the same intention. Its title, Betekintő (“Looking Glass”), is an indication of the ars poetica of the editors whose aim is to give a glimpse, an insight into the state security documents that were created before 1990. The expression itself “giving an insight” was used in the founding act of the state security archives, Act XXIII of 1994 to define the right of the victims of the former political police and their descendants to read and copy state security documents created about them.

The intention of our board of editors, however, goes further than this: Betekintő wishes to inform the wider public of the activities, the methods and the organisations of the pre-1990 political police as well as to make available documents related to it. We are convinced that the studies about the state security will increase our general knowledge about the era. The documents which had gone into the holdings of the Historical Archives constitute a special type of historical sources of post-World War II history due to their special character and their incompleteness. Sometimes they can tell stories by themselves, however, they must be completed and contrasted with other archival and bibliographical sources to become witnesses of an age. We believe that electronic publication serves the aim of making the sources available to the wider public. The English language version (homepage and abstract) serves also this aim. This form of publication does not contradict the academic criteria, since most historical periodicals are available on the internet nowadays, some even exist exclusively online. We primarily encourage publications based on the documents of the political police and those related to its history, as well as annotated source editions with introductory essays.


Published quarterly by the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security
Responsible editor: György Gyarmati
Editor-in-chief: Zsolt Krahulcsán
Editors: Gergő Bendegúz Cseh, István Papp
Copy-editor: Tamás Tiszóczi
Technical preparation: Roland Bognár, László Borkúty
English version: Éva Petrás
Correspondance should be addressed to: 1067 Budapest, Eötvös u. 7.

E-mail: betekinto@abtl.hu
Statements and opinions expressed in Betekintő are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors.

ISSN: HU ISSN 1788 – 7569

Former editors-in-chief: Tibor Takács (2007–2008), Rolf Müller (2009–2010)
Former members of the editorial board: Tibor Takács (2007–2011), Katalin S. Varga (2007–2008), Rolf Müller (2007−2012)