The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution (hereafter 1956 Institute) considers itself primarily the successor of the Imre Nagy Institute of Sociology and Politics, which operated in Brussels between 1959 and 1963, and of other western emigrant organizations and writers that maintained the inheritance of the Hungarian Revolution for more than three decades. In 1990, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences formed the Academic Documentation and Research Group for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. In 1995, the government of the Hungarian Republic granted the 1956 Institute, until then a social organization, the official status of a public foundation.

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