>How do Hungarians feel about their past?
That depends heavily on who you ask.
We're in a process of re-canonisation currently and there's serious conflict among academics, historians, politicians and intellectuals on how to interpret our past, from Saint Stephen to Horthy and Kádár.
(But this is often seen as a continuation of the "Urbanite-Ruralite" conflict of the late 19th century.)
Basically the Urbanite-Liberal (The Hungarian "Left") wants to be wholly assimilated into Europe and the European idea, Europe can do no wrong, Europe as an abstract concept is the ultimate good, and they will commit the most heinous economic crimes like privatisation, embezzling and sending funds out to German megacorps in the name of "Europeanism" along the neoliberal/bioleninist lines of thought.
If you want to be a "Troo-intellectual" you have to be an Urbanite-Liberal because otherwise they'll deny you position, fame and will even try to discredit you through their media. They're an awfully backhanded, irritating bunch if you ask me when it comes to their goals, but more importantly, their style. They hold that they're the only ones allowed to criticise anything, or to make fun of anything.
Though their influence on the media and academia has diminished considerably since Orbán took power again.
The Ruralite-Conservatives (The Hungarian "Right") are partial to "Europeanism" but through "Hungarian Characteristics" and place the continued political independence of the Hungarian state as the centre for their ideas.
Under Orbán they managed to chastise the hardcore rightists and neo-Hungarists (while assimilating some elements naturally, but toning them down, obviously) and consolidated themselves into a big-tent-rightist party that obliterated everything socially right to the Socialist Party.
They're moralising, having "God, Homeland, Family" as their slogan, and some of them are quite the anti-semites if you let them talk long enough, but ultimately they're not very well coordinated and often have limited foreign connections and backing. (Unlike the Urbanites who have endless cash-supplies from NGOs and the west to continue their political struggle against the Ruralites.)
Regards to history, the favour portraying it as a heroic struggle against foreign oppression (and surviving unjust oppression) and balancing national identity with progress, while the urbanites only use history and the imagery to discredit ideas of Hungarianism and force a culture of being ashamed down our throats.
The Ruralites also openly favour the Turkic/Turanic ethnogenesis theory in favour of the Finno-Ugric one. (Though they linguistically do not yet deny or suppress the latter one in schools, only opting to present the question as ambiguous.)
(Of course while the Ruralites uphold social-political independence, they cannot and do not want to uphold the economic independence of the nation, only going so far as to utilise local oligarchs as money-deposits for German money and foreign investment instead of completely selling out everything, which some see as some sort of long-con when it comes to the economics.)
As I see it, the Orbán-era so far saw a sort of rehabilitation of the Horthy-regime, alongside trying to both mould and tone down the nostalgia for the Kádár-system, instead opting to use Rákosi's crimes as a way to discredit socialism (and anything tangentially related to it) in the process.
The fact that the Socialist Party even today refuses to clearly repent for the crimes the party committed in the 1945-60s period against dissidents and rebels.
There's no centrist position, ultimately it all boils down to whether or not you believe in some superior, good and just European identity that is ultimately ought to supersede Hungarian identity in the long run (but strangely enough not Romanian, Slovakian or even the ""Romani""), or you believe there's a deathly struggle for the survival of Hungary's statehood and ultimately its nationhood. (Since our statehood is the ultimate expression of our nationhood.)
The writing down and retelling of past events only serves as munition for this, whether or not it's liberals quoting Saint Stephen that "A Monolingual state is weak and prone to failing" when they want to disingenuously discredit the idea of a nation state (since they only give a shit about Stephen when they quote him for this one mistranslated line) or when the rightists are touting the economic wonder Horthy's regime pulled off by even managing to survive Trianon.