Béla Kun

Last updated
Béla Kun
Bela Kun (cropped).png
Béla Kun pictured in 1923
People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs
Leader of Hungarian Soviet Republic
In office
21 March 1919 1 August 1919
Preceded by Ferenc Harrer (Minister)
Succeeded by Péter Ágoston (Minister)
Personal details
Born(1886-02-20)20 February 1886
Lele, Austria-Hungary
(today part of Hodod, Romania)
Died29 August 1938(1938-08-29) (aged 52) [1]
Moscow, Soviet Union
(today Russia)
Political party Hungarian Social Democratic Party (MSZDP)
Communist Party of Hungary (KMP)
Spouse(s)Irén Gál
ChildrenMiklós
Ágnes
ParentsSamu Kohn
Róza Goldberger
Profession Politician, journalist

Béla Kun (20 February 1886 – 29 August 1938), born Béla Kohn, was a Hungarian Communist revolutionary and politician who was the de facto leader of the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919. Following the fall of the Hungarian revolution, Kun emigrated to the Soviet Union, where he worked as a functionary in the Communist International bureaucracy as the head of the Crimean Revolutionary Committee from 1920. He was an organizer and an active participant of the Red Terror in Crimea (1920–1921), following which he participated in the March Action (1921), a failed socialist uprising in Germany.

Hungarian Soviet Republic communist republic established in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I

The Hungarian Soviet Republic or literally Republic of Councils in Hungary was a short-lived communist rump state. When the Republic of Councils in Hungary was established in 1919, it controlled only approximately 23% of the territory of Hungary's classic borders.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Communist International International political organization

The Communist International (Comintern), known also as the Third International (1919–1943), was an international organization that advocated world communism. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state". The Comintern had been preceded by the 1916 dissolution of the Second International.

Contents

During the Great Purge of the late 1930s, Kun was arrested, interrogated, tried, and executed in quick succession. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1956, following the death of Joseph Stalin and the critical reassessment of Stalinism.

Great Purge Soviet campaign of political repression, imprisonment, and execution

The Great Purge or the Great Terror was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union which occurred from 1936 to 1938. It involved a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of kulak and the Red Army leadership, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of saboteurs, counter-revolutionaries, imprisonment, and arbitrary executions. Historians estimate the total number of deaths due to Stalinist repression in 1937–38 to be between 680.000 and 1,200,000.

Rehabilitation was a term used in the context of the former Soviet Union, and the Post-Soviet states. Beginning after the death of Stalin in 1953, the government undertook the political and social restoration, or political rehabilitation, of persons who had been repressed and criminally prosecuted without due legal basis. It restored the person to the state of acquittal. In many cases, rehabilitation was posthumous, as thousands of victims had been executed or died in labor camps.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1953) and Premier (1941–1953). Initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, by the 1930s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.

Biography

Early life

Béla Kohn, later known as Béla Kun, was born on 20 February 1886 in the village of Lele, located near Szilágycseh, Transylvania, Austria-Hungary (today part of Hodod, Romania). His father, Samu Kohn was a lapsed Jewish village notary, while his mother - also from Jewish heritage - was Róza Goldberger who converted to Protestantism. [2] Despite his parents' secular outlook, he was educated at the Silvania Főgimnázium in Zilah (present-day Silvania National College, Zalău) [3] and a famous Reformed kollegium (grammar school) in the city of Kolozsvár (modern Cluj-Napoca, Romania).

Cehu Silvaniei Town in Sălaj County, Romania

Cehu Silvaniei is a town in Sălaj County, Transylvania, Romania. Four villages are administered by the town: Horoatu Cehului (Oláhhorvát), Motiș (Mutos), Nadiș (Szilágynádasd) and Ulciug (Völcsök).

Transylvania Historical region of Romania

Transylvania is a historical region which is located in central Romania. Bound on the east and south by its natural borders, the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended westward to the Apuseni Mountains. The term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also parts of the historical regions of Crișana and Maramureș, and occasionally the Romanian part of Banat.

Austria-Hungary Constitutional monarchic union between 1867 and 1918

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed when the Austrian Empire adopted a new constitution; as a result Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) were placed on equal footing. It dissolved into several new states at the end of the First World War.

At the kollegium Kun won the prize for best essay on Hungarian literature that allowed him to attend a gymnasium. His essay was on the poet Sándor Petőfi and the concluding paragraphs were:

Hungarian literature

Hungarian literature is the body of written works primarily produced in Hungarian, and may also include works written in other languages, either produced by Hungarians or having topics which are closely related to Hungarian culture. While it was less known in the English-speaking world for centuries, Hungary's literature gained renown in the 19th and 20th centuries, thanks to a new wave of internationally accessible writers like Mór Jókai, Antal Szerb, Sándor Márai, Imre Kertész and Magda Szabó.

Sándor Petőfi Hungarian poet and liberal revolutionary

Sándor Petőfi was a Hungarian poet and liberal revolutionary. He is considered Hungary's national poet, and was one of the key figures of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. He is the author of the Nemzeti dal, which is said to have inspired the revolution in the Kingdom of Hungary that grew into a war for independence from the Austrian Empire. It is most likely that he died in the Battle of Segesvár, one of the last battles of the war.

The storming rage of Petőfi's soul… turned against the privileged classes, against the people's oppressor… and confronted them with revolutionary abandon. Petőfi felt that the country would not be saved through moderation, but through the use of the most extreme means available. He detested even the thought of cowardice… Petőfi's vision was correct. There is no room for prudence in revolutions whose fate and eventual success is always decided by boldness and raw courage… this is why Petőfi condemned his compatriots for the sin of opportunism and hesitation when faced with the great problems of their age… Petőfi's works must be regarded as the law of the Hungarian soul… and of the… love of the country". [4]

Béla magyarized his birth surname, Kohn, to Kun in 1904, although the almanac of the University of Kolozsvár still referred to him in print by his former name as late as 1909. [5] There is no archival evidence that he took any formal action to change the spelling of his name, although it is clear that from 1904 all those around him referred to him as Béla Kun rather than Kohn, and he likewise used the Magyar variant in his signature. [5]

Magyarization adoption of Hungarian culture or language by non-Hungarian people

Magyarization, after "Magyar"—the autonym of Hungarians—was an assimilation or acculturation process by which non-Hungarian nationals came to adopt the Hungarian culture and language, either voluntarily or due to social pressure, often in the form of a coercive policy.

Before the First World War, he was a muck-raking journalist with sympathies for the Hungarian Social Democratic Party in Kolozsvár. In addition, Kun served on the Kolozsvár Social Insurance Board, from which he was later to be accused of embezzling. He had a fiery reputation and was involved in duels several times. In May 1913 he married Irén Gál, a music teacher of middle-class background.

Early political career

During his early education at Kolozsvár, Kun became friends with the poet Endre Ady, who introduced him to many members of Budapest's left-wing intelligentsia.

Kun fought for Austria-Hungary in World War I, and was captured and made a prisoner of war in 1916 by the Russians. He was sent to a POW camp in the Urals, where he became interested in communism. In 1917, he was caught up in what he regarded as the romance of the Russian Revolution, the idea of which fulfilled for him certain spiritual needs previously unsatisfied. Paradoxically, he held Russians to a certain degree in contempt, feeling that communism was much better suited to "civilised" nations such as Hungary rather than "barbaric" Russia.[ citation needed ] During his time in Russia, he became fluent in Russian (he was also fluent in German and competent in English).

In March 1918, in Moscow, Kun co-founded the Hungarian Group of the Russian Communist Party (the predecessor to the Hungarian Communist Party). He travelled widely, including to Petrograd and Moscow. He came to know Vladimir Lenin there, but inside the party he promoted ultra-radical left-wing political opposition to Lenin and the mainstream Bolsheviks. Kun and his friends (such as the Italian Umberto Terracini and the Hungarian Mátyás Rákosi), aggregated around Grigory Zinoviev or Karl Radek; instead of Lenin's pragmatism, they espoused and advertised the politics of "revolutionary offensive by any means". Lenin often called them "kunerists".

In the Russian Civil War in 1918, Kun fought for the Bolsheviks. During this time, he first started to make detailed plans for a communist revolution in Hungary. In November 1918, with at least several hundred other Hungarian Communists and with a large sum of money provided by the Soviets, he returned to Hungary.

Hungarian People's Republic

In Hungary, the resources of a shattered government were further strained by refugees from lands lost to the Allies during the war and that were due to be lost permanently under the projected Treaty of Trianon. Rampant inflation, housing shortages, mass unemployment, food shortages and coal shortages further weakened the economy and stimulated widespread protests. In October 1918, the so-called "Aster Revolution" established an unstable social democrat-communist coalition government. Kun founded the Hungarian Communist Party in Budapest on 4 November 1918.

He immediately began a highly energetic propaganda campaign against the coalition government: he and his followers rebelled against the President, Count Mihály Károlyi, and his Social Democratic allies.

His speeches had a considerable impact on his audiences. One who heard such a speech wrote in his diary:

Yesterday I heard Kun speak… it was an audacious, hateful, enthusiastic oratory. [...] He knows his audience and rules over them… Factory workers long at odds with the Social Democratic Party leaders, young intellectuals, teachers, doctors, lawyers, clerks who came to his room… meet Kun and Marxism. [6]

In addition, the Communists held frequent marches and rallies and organised strikes. Desiring to achieve a revolution in Hungary, he communicated by telegraph with Vladimir Lenin to garner support from the Bolsheviks, which would ultimately not materialise. [7] Although the Social Democrats were the largest party at the time, Kun had acquired a sizeable following.

On 19 March 1919, French Lt-Col Fernand Vix presented the "Vix Note", ordering Hungarian forces to be pulled back further from where they were stationed. It was assumed that the military lines would be the new frontiers that would be established by the peace conference between Hungary and the Allies. The Vix Note created a huge upsurge of nationalist outrage, and the Hungarians resolved to fight the Allies rather than accept the national borders. Károlyi resigned from office, ceding power to the Social Democrats, who realised that Hungary needed allies for the coming war and in their view the only ally that offered Hungary anything was Soviet Russia. As Kun was known to be friendly with Lenin, it was assumed that including him in the government would bring Soviet aid for war against the Allies.

Sandor Garbai and Bela Kun, leaders of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, 1919 Garbai Kun.jpg
Sándor Garbai and Béla Kun, leaders of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, 1919

Though imprisoned in February 1919 by the government of Mihály Károlyi, Kun was allowed to continue directing the Hungarian Communist Party from his cell. The Social Democrats first approached Kun on the subject of a coalition government. Such was the desperation for them to have Kun receive promised Soviet support that it was Kun, a captive, who decided the terms to his captors. This was despite the Red Army's full involvement in the Russian Civil War and the unlikelihood that it could be of any direct military assistance.

Kun proposed the merger of the Social Democrat and Communist parties, the establishment of a Soviet Republic and several other radical measures, which the Social Democrats agreed to. On 21 March 1919 a Soviet Republic was announced; the Social Democrats and Communists were merged under the interim name Hungarian Socialist Party, and Béla Kun was released from prison and sworn into office.

The Social Democrats continued to hold the majority of seats in government. Of the thirty-three People's Commissars of the Revolutionary Governing Council that ruled the Soviet Republic, fourteen were former Communists, seventeen were former Social Democrats and two had no party affiliation. With the exception of Kun, every Commissar was a former Social Democrat and every Deputy Commissar a former Communist.

Hungarian Soviet Republic

Bela Kun was the leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919. Bela.Kun.Revolution.1919.jpg
Béla Kun was the leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919.

The Hungarian Soviet Republic, the second Communist government in Europe after Russia itself, was established on 21 March 1919. In the Soviet Republic, Kun served as Commissar for Foreign Affairs but had the most influence in the government during its brief existence. As he told Lenin, "My personal influence in the Revolutionary Governing Council is such that the dictatorship of the proletariat is firmly established, since the masses are backing me." [8]

The first action of the new government was the nationalisation of the large majority of private property in Hungary. Despite advice from Lenin and the Bolsheviks, Béla Kun's government chose not to redistribute land to the peasantry, which reduced the majority of their support in Hungary. Instead, all land was to be converted into collective farms and former estate owners, managers, and bailiffs were to be retained as the new collective farm managers. This resulted in the dissolution of the balance of power between the old ruling class and the peasantry which made up the majority of Kun's support.

In an effort to win peasant support, Kun cancelled all taxes in rural areas. To provide food for the cities, the Soviet Republic requisitioned food in the countryside through a red militia known as the Lenin Boys. This caused additional conflict between Kun and his supporters in the countryside.

Within the Socialist Party, there was a bitter dispute over the permanent name of the party, which may have reflected underlying tensions between the two merged parties. The former Social Democrats preferred "Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party", while former Communists wanted "Hungarian Socialist Communist Workers' Party" instead. Within the ranks of the former Communists themselves, a split developed between the rural and urban factions.

On 24 June, anti-Communists attempted a coup d'état. The government retaliated with secret police, revolutionary tribunals and semiregular detachments such as Tibor Szamuely's bodyguards, the Lenin Boys; this campaign became known as the Red Terror. Of those arrested, an estimated 370 to about 600 were killed; [9] some place the number at 590. It has been argued that the major limiting factor on the repression were the former Social Democrats such as József Pogány, relatively moderate supporters of Kun.

Opposition appeared to be centred on the city of Szeged and around Rear Admiral Miklós Horthy, who formed a National Army against the government. But the National Army never saw action and marched on Budapest only after the Romanians withdrew in November, while the Horthy regime staged a White Terror in 1919–20, during which Hungarian villagers were murdered, tortured, and kidnapped for profit. [10] During the White Terror, tens of thousands were imprisoned without trial and as many as 5,000 people were killed. [11]

The Soviet government lasted for 133 days, ending on 1 August 1919. The Soviet Republic had been formed to resist the Vix Note, and created the Hungarian Red Army to do so. Given the disparity in power between Hungary and the Allies, Hungarian chances for victory were slim at best. To buy time, Kun tried to negotiate with the Allies, meeting the British General Jan Smuts at a summit in Budapest in April. Agreement proved impossible, and Hungary was soon at war later in April with the Kingdom of Romania and Czechoslovakia, both aided by France. The Hungarian Red Army achieved some success against the Czechoslovaks, taking much of Slovakia by June.

The Hungarians, however, were repeatedly defeated by the Romanians. By the middle of July 1919, Hungary had begun a major offensive against the Romanian invasion. The Allied Commander in the Balkans, the French Marshal Louis Franchet d'Esperey, wrote to Marshal Ferdinand Foch on 21 July 1919: "We are convinced that the Hungarian offensive will collapse of its own accord... When the Hungarian offensive is launched, we shall retreat to the line of demarcation and launch the counteroffensive from that line. Two Romanian brigades will march from Romania to the front in the coming days, according to General Fertianu's promise. You see, Marshal, we have nothing to fear from the Hungarian army. I can assure you that the Hungarian Soviets will last no more than two or three weeks. And should our offensive not bring the Kun regime down, its untenable internal situation surely will." [12]

The Soviets promised to invade Romania and link up with Kun and were on the verge of doing so, but military reversals suffered by the Red Army in Ukraine halted the invasion of Romania before it began. Around this time, the Romanians invaded Hungary and overthrew the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Thus, on 1 August 1919 a government of Social Democrats ruled the country, after on 4 August the Romanian army took Budapest. [13]

Activity in Crimea

From left: Bela Kun, Jacques Sadoul, Leon Trotsky, Mikhail Frunze and Sergey Gusev. Kharkiv Ukraine 1920. Russian Civil War. Bela Kun, Jacques Sadoul, Leon Trotsky, Mikhail Frunze, Sergey Gusev 1920.jpg
From left: Béla Kun, Jacques Sadoul, Leon Trotsky, Mikhail Frunze and Sergey Gusev. Kharkiv Ukraine 1920. Russian Civil War.

Béla Kun then went into exile in Vienna, then controlled by the Social Democratic Party of Austria. He was captured and interned in Austria, but was released in exchange for Austrian prisoners in Russia in July 1920. He never returned to Hungary. Once in Russia, he rejoined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Kun was put in charge of the regional Revolutionary Committee in Crimea, which during the Russian Civil War changed hands numerous times and was for a time a stronghold for the anti-Bolshevik White Army. It was in Crimea that the White Russians led by General Wrangel fell to the Red Army in 1920. About 50,000 prisoners of war and anti-Bolshevik civilians subsequently were executed, on Kun and Rosalia Zemlyachka's order, with Lenin's approval. [14] After having been promised amnesty, they had surrendered. [15] Mass arrests and executions occurred while Kun was in control of the Crimea. Between 60,000 and 70,000 inhabitants of the Crimea were executed in the process. [16] [17]

The "March Action" in Germany

Kun became a leading figure in the Comintern as an ally of Grigory Zinoviev. In March 1921, he was sent to Germany to advise the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and encouraged the KPD to follow the "Theory of the Offensive" as supported by Zinoviev, August Thalheimer, Paul Frölich, and others which in the words of Ruth Fischer meant ""the working class could be moved only when set in motion by a series of offensive acts." [18]

On 27 March, leaders of the Communist Party of Germany decided to launch a revolutionary offensive in support of miners in central Germany. Kun along with Thallheimer were among the driving force behind the attempted revolutionary campaign known as "Märzaktion" ("March Action"), which ultimately ended in failure.

In the end, Lenin blamed himself for appointing Kun and charged him with responsibility for the failure of the German revolution. He was considerably angered by Kun's actions and his failure to secure a general uprising in Germany. In a closed Congress of the Operative Committee - as Victor Serge writes - Lenin called his actions idiotic ("les bêtises de Béla Kun"). But Kun did not lose his membership in the Operative Committee, and the closing document accepted at the end of the sitting formally acknowledged the "battle spirit" of the German Communists.

Kun was not stripped of his Party offices, but the March Action was the end of the radical opposition and of the theory of "Permanent Offensive":

"The final analysis of things shows that Levi was politically right in many ways. The thesis of Thallheimer and Béla Kun is politically totally false. Phrases and bare attending, playing the radical leftist.". [19]

Throughout the 1920s Kun was a prominent Comintern operative, serving mostly in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, but his notoriety ultimately stopped him being useful for undercover work.

Later career

Kun's final undercover assignment ended in 1928 when he was arrested in Vienna by the local police for travelling on a forged passport. Back in Moscow, he spent much of his time feuding with other Hungarian Communist émigrés, several of whom he denounced to the Soviet secret police, the OGPU, which arrested and imprisoned them in the late 1920s and early 1930s. During the Comintern's "Third Period" from 1928 to 1935, Kun was a prominent supporter of the Social Fascism line that equated the moderate left as "social fascism", an animosity in large part owing to Kun's strained relations with the Hungarian Social Democrats. [20] In 1934, Kun was charged with preparing the agenda for the 7th Congress of the Comintern, in which the Social Fascism line was to be abandoned and the Popular Front was to be the new line for Communists all over the world, a policy change that Kun was opposed to. [20] Instead of submitting to party discipline, Kun did his best to sabotage the adoption of the Popular Front policy, which led to him being formally sanctioned for insubordination. [20] In 1935-36, the leadership of the émigré Hungarian Communist Party was thrown into crisis as Kun sought to prevent the adoption of the Popular Front policy, which occasioned a vigorous round of party in-fighting. [21] Beyond policy, there was also a clash of personalities as Kun's abrasive and autocratic leadership style had left him with many enemies, who saw the dispute over whether the Hungarian Communist Party was to adopt the Popular Front strategy as a chance to bring down Kun, who many Hungarian émigrés deeply hated. [22] Reflecting his embattled position led Kun to denounce one of his leading enemies in the Comintern, Dmitry Manuilsky who was sympathetic to the anti-Kun faction to the NKVD as a Trotskyite, who in his turn had also denounced Kun to the NKVD as a Trotskyite. [23]

Death and legacy

Bela Kun after arrest by NKVD 1937 Bela Kun NKVD.jpg
Béla Kun after arrest by NKVD 1937

During the Great Purge of the late 1930s, Kun was accused of Trotskyism and arrested on 28 June 1937. [24] Little was known about his subsequent fate beyond the fact that he never returned. Even an official Hungarian Communist biographer with official access to the Communist International's archives in Moscow denied information during the mid-1970s. [25]

Only some time after the fall of the Soviet Union and the opening of certain archives in its aftermath did Kun's fate become public: after a brief incarceration and interrogation, he was hauled before a judicial troika on charges of having acted as the leader of a "counter-revolutionary terrorist organisation." [24] Kun was found guilty and sentenced to death at the end of this brief secret trial. The sentence was carried out later the same day. [24]

When Kun was politically rehabilitated in 1956, as part of the de-Stalinization process, the Soviet party told its Hungarian counterpart that Kun had died in prison on 30 November 1939. In 1989, the Soviet government announced that Kun had actually been executed in the Gulag more than a year earlier than that, on 29 August 1938. [26]

After the war the Soviets inaugurated a Communist puppet regime in Hungary under the leadership of Mátyás Rákosi, one of Kun's few surviving colleagues from the 1919 coup.

Notes

  1. "Victims of Political Terror in the USSR - Kun Bela Morisovich". Memorial with Commissioner on Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Russian United Democratic Part "Yabloko" and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (in Russian). 2007.
  2. György Borsányi, The Life of a Communist Revolutionary: Béla Kun. Mario D. Fenyo, trans. Boulder, CO: Social Science Monographs/Atlantic Research and Publications, 1993; pg. 1.
  3. Personalități
  4. Tokes, Rudolf Béla Kun: The Man and the Revolutionary pp. 170–207, from Hungary in Revolution edited by Ivan Volgyes, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971 p. 173.
  5. 1 2 Borsányi, The Life of a Communist Revolutionary, pg. 2.
  6. Tokes, Rudolf Béla Kun and the Hungarian Soviet Republic New York: F.A. Praeger, 1967 pp. 111–2.
  7. Borsanyi, Gyorgy The life of a Communist revolutionary, Béla Kun Boulder, Colo: Social Science Monographs; 1993, pp. 146–7.
  8. Janos, Andrew, The Politics of Backwardness in Hungary, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982, p. 197.
  9. Borsanyi, Gyorgy The life of a Communist revolutionary pp. 197–8.
  10. Bodo, Paramilitary Violence
  11. Hill, Raymond (2003-01-01). Hungary. Infobase Publishing. p. 33. ISBN   9780816050819.
  12. Borsanyi, Gyorgy The life of a Communist revolutionary, pp. 435–6.
  13. Istvan Deak, "Budapest and the Hungarian Revolutions of 1918-1919." Slavonic and East European Review 46.106 (1968): 129-140. in JSTOR
  14. Donald Rayfield. Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him. New York: Random House, 2004; p. 83
  15. Gellately, Robert (2007). Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Knopf. p. 72. ISBN   1-4000-4005-1.
  16. Bertold Spuler, "Die Krim unter russischer Herrschaft," Blick in der Wissenschaft, Berlin, 1948, No. 8, p. 364; Dzafer Sejdamet, Krym (The Crimea), Warsaw, 1930, pp. 128-29; A. Falken-horst, "Massenmord auf der Krim," Donau-Zeitung, Belgrade, February 23, 1943.
  17. http://www.iccrimea.org/historical/crimeanturks.html Complete Destruction of National Groups as Groups - The Crimean Turks
  18. Hallas, Duncan The Comintern pp. 62-64, Haymarket Books, 2008
  19. Lenin's letter to G. Zinoviev
  20. 1 2 3 Chase, William "Microhistory and Mass Repression: Politics, Personalities, and Revenge in the Fall of Béla Kun" page 454-483 from The Russian Review, Volume 67, Issue # 3, July 2008 page 462.
  21. Chase, William "Microhistory and Mass Repression: Politics, Personalities, and Revenge in the Fall of Béla Kun" page 454-483 from The Russian Review, Volume 67, Issue # 3, July 2008 pages 463-464.
  22. Chase, William "Microhistory and Mass Repression: Politics, Personalities, and Revenge in the Fall of Béla Kun" page 454-483 from The Russian Review, Volume 67, Issue # 3, July 2008 pages 464-465.
  23. Chase, William "Microhistory and Mass Repression: Politics, Personalities, and Revenge in the Fall of Béla Kun" page 454-483 from The Russian Review, Volume 67, Issue # 3, July 2008 page 471.
  24. 1 2 3 L.I. Shvetsova, et al. (eds.), Rasstrel'nye spiski: Moskva, 1937-1941: ... Kniga pamiati zhertv politicheskii repressii. (The Execution List: Moscow, 1937-1941: ... Book of remembrances of the victims of political repression). Moscow: Memorial Society, Zven'ia Publishing House, 2000; pg. 229.
  25. See: Borsányi, The Life of a Communist Revolutionary, pp. x, 436.
  26. "New information about death of Bela Kun," from BBC transmission of Hungarian Telegraph Agency in English, 14 February 1989

Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by
Ferenc Harrer
People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs
alongside others

21 March – 1 August 1919
Succeeded by
Péter Ágoston

Related Research Articles

Christian Rakovsky Soviet diplomat

Christian Rakovsky was a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat; he was also noted as a journalist, physician, and essayist. Rakovsky's political career took him throughout the Balkans and into France and Imperial Russia; for part of his life, he was also a Romanian citizen.

Hungarian Communist Party political party

The Party of Communists in Hungary, renamed Hungarian Communist Party in October 1944, was founded on November 24, 1918, and was in power in Hungary briefly from March to August 1919 under Béla Kun and the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The communist government was overthrown by the Romanian Army and driven underground. The party regained power following World War II and held power from 1945 under the leadership of Mátyás Rákosi. In 1948 the party merged with the Social Democrats to become the Hungarian Working People's Party. The Communist Party of Hungary was a member of the Communist International.

Mihály Károlyi Hungarian politician, president, prime minister of Hungary and ambassador to France

Count Mihály Ádám György Miklós Károlyi de Nagykároly was briefly Hungary's leader from 1918 to 1919 during the short-lived First Hungarian People's Republic. He served as Prime Minister between 1 and 16 November 1918 and as President between 16 November 1918 and 21 March 1919.

Gyula Peidl Hungarian politician

Gyula Peidl was a Hungarian trade union leader and social democrat politician who served as Prime Minister and acting head of state of Hungary for 6 days in August 1919. His tenure coincided with a period of political instability in Hungary immediately after World War I, during which several successive governments ruled the country.

History of communism history of the ideologies based in Marxism

The history of communism encompasses a wide variety of ideologies and political movements sharing the core theoretical values of common ownership of wealth, economic enterprise and property.

Tibor Szamuely Hungarian politician

Tibor Szamuely was a Hungarian politician and journalist who was Deputy People's Commissar of War and People's Commissar of Public Education during the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

Paul Levi German politician

Paul Levi was a German Communist and Social Democratic political leader. He was the head of the Communist Party of Germany following the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919. After being expelled for publicly criticising Communist Party tactics during the March Action, he formed the Communist Working Organisation which in 1922 merged with the Independent Social Democratic Party. This party, in turn, merged with the Social Democratic Party a few months later and Levi became one of the leaders of its left wing.

John Pepper Hungarian politician

John Pepper, also known as József Pogány and Joseph Pogany, was a Hungarian-Jewish Communist politician. He later served as a Revolutionary in the Communist International in Moscow, before being cashiered in 1929. Later an official in the Soviet government, Pepper ran afoul of the secret police and was executed during the Great Terror of 1937–38.

Revolutions and interventions in Hungary (1918–20)

There was a period of revolutions and interventions in Hungary between 1918 and 1920. The First Hungarian Republic was founded by Mihály Károlyi during the Aster Revolution in 1918. In March 1919, the republic was overturned by another revolution, and the Hungarian Soviet Republic was created. The unresolved conflicts led to wars between Hungary and its neighbor states in 1919. The Hungarian Soviet Republic ceased to exist after the Romanian occupation. The Treaty of Trianon in Versailles chilled the conflicts and beneficiaries for this event were Romania, the newly formed states of Czechoslovakia, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Union of Transylvania with Romania

The Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on 1 December 1918 by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia. The Great Union Day, celebrated on 1 December, is a national holiday in Romania that commemorates this event. The holiday was established after the Romanian Revolution, and commemorates the unification not only of Transylvania, but also of Bessarabia and Bukovina and parts of Banat, Crișana and Maramureș with the Romanian Kingdom. Bessarabia and Bukovina had joined with the Kingdom of Romania earlier in 1918.

Gyula Alpári was a Hungarian Communist politician and propagandist, as well as a journalist by profession.

Lajos Magyar was a Hungarian Communist journalist and sinologist, active in the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919, after the fall of which he was imprisoned by the Horthy regime. In 1922 Magyar went to the Soviet Union as the result of an exchange of prisoners; there he worked on the staff of the Comintern and at the newspaper Pravda. Between 1926 and 1927 he was sent on a diplomatic mission to China. From 1929 to 1934 he served as deputy chief of the Oriental Secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Communist International.

Lenin Boys band of Communist enforcers formed to support the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919

The Lenin Boys were a band of Communist enforcers formed to support the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919. The group seems to have contained about 200 young men dressed in leather jackets, acting as the personal guard of Tibor Szamuely, Commissar for Military Affairs. Their unit commander was József Cserny.

Hungarian–Romanian War war (15 April – 3 August 1919) fought between the First Hungarian Republic and the Hungarian Soviet Republic and the Kingdom of Romania

The Hungarian–Romanian War was fought between the First Hungarian Republic and the Kingdom of Romania. Hostilities began on 13 November 1918 and ended on 3 August 1919. The Romanian Army occupied eastern Hungary until 28 March 1920.

László Rudas was a Hungarian communist newspaper editor and politician who survived the Great Purge in the Soviet Union to become director of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of Hungary.

Executive Committee of the Communist International

The Executive Committee of the Communist International, commonly known by its acronym, ECCI (Russian acronym ИККИ), was the governing authority of the Comintern between the World Congresses of that body. The ECCI was established by the Founding Congress of the Comintern in 1919 and was dissolved with the rest of the Comintern in May 1943.

Red Terror (Hungary)

The Red Terror in Hungary was a period of heightened political tension and suppression in 1919 during the four-month period of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, primarily towards anti-communist forces. The communist party and communist policies had considerable popular support among the proletarian masses of large industrial centers - especially in Budapest - where the working class represented a higher ratio of the inhabitants. In the Hungarian countryside, the authority of the government was often nonexistent, serving as a launch-point for anti-communist insurgency. The new government followed the Soviet solution: the party established its revolutionary terror groups to "overcome the obstacles" of the worker's revolution. It received its name in reference to the Red Terror of Soviet Russia. It was soon followed by the White Terror against communists, industrial workers and Jews.

MA (journal)

Ma was a Hungarian magazine connected with the Magyar Aktivizmus artistic group whose title not only reflects their initials but also means "today". It was founded in 1916 in Budapest by Lajos Kassák, who continued to publish it in exile in Vienna after he left Hungary following the banning of the journal by the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.