Hungarian Soviet Republic
Motto: "Világ proletárjai, egyesüljetek!"
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Map of territory of the former Kingdom of Hungary, May–August 1919
Controlled by Romania in April 1919
Controlled by the Soviet Republic of Hungary
Subsequently controlled by Soviet Republic of Hungary to establish the Slovak Soviet Republic
Controlled by France and Yugoslav countries
Borders of Hungary in 1918
Borders of Hungary in 1920
|Government||Soviet socialist republic|
|Legislature||National Assembly of Soviets|
|Historical era||Interwar period|
|21 March 1919|
|23 June 1919|
|1 August 1919|
|ISO 3166 code||HU|
The Hungarian Soviet Republic or literally Republic of Councils in Hungary (Hungarian : Magyarországi Tanácsköztársaság or Magyarországi Szocialista Szövetséges Tanácsköztársaság ) was a short-lived (133 days) 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.
Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia, and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and in Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. It is the biggest Finno-Ugric language in terms of speakers.
A rump state is the remnant of a once much larger state, left with a reduced territory in the wake of secession, annexation, occupation, decolonization, or a successful coup d'état or revolution on part of its former territory. In the latter case, a government stops short of going into exile because it still controls part of its former territory. For example, after the Jurchen Jin Dynasty assumed control over north China, a rump Song state continued; and after the Qing Empire assumed control over most of Ming China, there was resistance by the Southern Ming and the longer-lived Kingdom of Tungning.
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the twentieth century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom in about the year 1000; his family led the monarchy for 300 years. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world.
It was the successor of the first Hungarian People's Republic and lasted only from 21 March to 1 August 1919. Though the de jure leader of the Hungarian Soviet Republic was president Sándor Garbai, the de facto power was in the hands of foreign minister Béla Kun, who maintained direct contact with Lenin via radiotelegraph. It was Lenin who gave the direct orders and advice to Béla Kun via constant radio communication with the Kremlin.It was the second socialist state in the world to be formed, only preceded by the October Revolution in Russia which brought the Bolsheviks to power. The Hungarian Republic of Councils had military conflicts with the Kingdom of Romania, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and the evolving Czechoslovakia. It ended on 1 August 1919 when Hungarians sent representatives to negotiate their surrender to the Romanian forces.
The First Hungarian Republic or by its contemporary name Hungarian People's Republic was a short-lived people's republic that existed, apart from a 133-day interruption, from late 1918 until mid-1919. It was established in the wake of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I. The Hungarian People's Republic replaced the Kingdom of Hungary and was in turn replaced by another short-lived state.
In law and government, de jure describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, de facto describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised. The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool". To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" it is "in fact" a swimming pool.
Sándor Garbai was a Hungarian socialist politician.
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As the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed in 1918, an independent Hungarian People's Republic was formed after the Aster Revolution. The official proclamation of the republic was on 16 November 1918 and its president became Mihály Károlyi. Károlyi struggled to establish the government's authority and to control the country.
Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in central and eastern Europe from 1867 to 1918. It was formed by giving a new constitution to the Austrian Empire, which devolved powers on Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) and placed them on an equal footing. It broke apart into several states at the end of World War I.
The Aster Revolution or Chrysanthemum Revolution was a revolution in Hungary led by Count Mihály Károlyi in the aftermath of World War I which led to the foundation of the short-lived First Hungarian People's Republic.
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.
An initial nucleus of a Hungarian communist party had been organized in a Moscow hotel on 4 November 1918, when a group of Hungarian prisoners of war and other communist proponents formed a Central Committee. Led by Béla Kun, the first members returned to Hungary, and on 24 November created the Party of Communists from Hungary (Hungarian: Kommunisták Magyarországi Pártja). The name was chosen instead of "The Hungarian Communist Party" because the vast majority of supporters were from the urban industrial working class in Hungary which at the time was largely made up of people from non-Hungarian ethnic backgrounds, with ethnic Hungarians only a minority in the new party itself.The party recruited members while propagating its ideas, radicalising many members of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary in the process. By February 1919, the party numbered 30,000 to 40,000 members, including many unemployed ex-soldiers, young intellectuals and ethnic minorities.
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.
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities.
Béla Kun, 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).
The party came to power as the only group with an organized fighting force and promised Hungary would be able to defend its territory without conscription. Kun promised military help and intervention of the Soviet Red Army, which never came, against noncommunist Romanian, Czechoslovak, French and Yugoslav forces.
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most often a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991.
Kun founded a newspaper, called Vörös Újság ("Red News") and concentrated on attacking Károlyi's liberal government. During the following months, the Communist Party's power-base rapidly expanded. Its supporters began to stage aggressive demonstrations against the media. In one crucial incident, a demonstration turned violent on 20 February and the protesters attacked the editorial office of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary' official paper, Népszava (People's Word). In the ensuing chaos, seven people, some policemen, were killed. The government arrested the leaders of the Communist Party,banned Vörös Újság and closed down the party's buildings. The arrests were particularly violent, with police officers openly beating the communists. This resulted in a wave of public sympathy for the party among the masses of Budapester proletariat. On 1 March, Vörös Újság was given permission to publish again, and the Communist Party's premises were re-opened. The leaders were permitted to receive guests in prison, which allowed them to keep up with political affairs.
The Social Democratic Party of Hungary is a social democratic political party in Hungary. Historically, the party was dissolved during the occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany (1944-1945) and the communist period of Hungary from 1948 to 1989, after being forced into a merger with the Communist Party. It worked legally for a short time during the Revolution of 1956.
Népszava is a social-democratic Hungarian language newspaper published in Hungary.
On 20 March, president Mihály Károlyi announced that Dénes Berinkey government would resign. On 21 March, Károlyi informed the Council of Ministers that only Social Democrats could form a new government, as they were the party with the highest public support in the largest cities and especially in Budapest. In order to form a governing coalition, Social Democrats started secret negotiations with the Communist leaders – who were still imprisoned – and decided to merge their two parties under the name of Hungarian Socialist Party.President Károlyi, who was an outspoken anti-Communist, was not informed about the fusion of the Communist and Social Democrat parties. Thus, while believing to have appointed a Social Democratic government, he found himself faced with one dominated by Communists. Mihály Károlyi resigned on 21 March. Béla Kun and his communist friends were released from the Margit Ring prison on the night of 20 March 1919. For the Social Democrats, an alliance with the KMP not only increased their standing with the industrial working class, but also gave them a potential link to the increasingly powerful Russian Communist Party, as Kun had strong ties with prominent Russian Bolsheviks. Following Lenin's model, but without the direct participation of the workers' councils (soviets) from which it took its name, the newly united Socialist Party created a government called the Revolutionary Governing Council, which proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic and dismissed President Károlyi on 21 March. The liberal president Károlyi was arrested by the new Communist government on the first day; not until July 1919 did he manage to make his escape and flee to Paris. On 23 March, Lenin gave an order to Béla Kun, that Social Democrats must be removed from the power, thereby Hungary will be transformed into a real communist state, thus the "dictatorship of the proletariat" will rule it. Accordingly, the Communists started to purge the Social Democrats from the government on the next day.
Sándor Garbai, Béla Kun, Vilmos Böhm, Tibor Szamuely, György Nyisztor, Jenő Varga, Zsigmond Kunfi, Dezső Bokányi, József Pogány, Béla Vágó, Zoltán Rónai, Károly Vantus, Jenő Landler, Béla Szántó, Sándor Szabados, György Lukács, Jenő Hamburger, Gyula Hevesi, Antal Dovcsák, Gyula Lengyel and Béla Vágó.
In a radio dispatch to the Russian SFSR, Kun informed Lenin that a "dictatorship of the proletariat" had been established in Hungary and asked for a treaty of alliance with the Russian SFSR.The Russian SFSR refused because it was itself tied down in the Russian Civil War.
The government was formally led by Sándor Garbai, but Kun, as Commissar of Foreign Affairs, held the real power, because only Kun had the acquaintance and friendship with Lenin. (He was the only person in the government who met and talked to Lenin during the Russian Revolution) and Kun kept the contact with the Kremlin via radio communication.
The ministries often rotated among the various members of the government.
After the declaration of the constitution changes took place in the komisararo. The new ministries:
This government consisted of a coalition of socialists and communists, but with the exception of Kun, all commissars were former social democrats.Under the rule of Kun, the new government, which had adopted in full the program of the Communists, decreed the abolition of aristocratic titles and privileges; the separation of church and state; codified freedom of speech and assembly; and implemented free education and language and cultural rights to minorities.
The Communist government also nationalized industrial and commercial enterprises and socialized housing, transport, banking, medicine, cultural institutions, and all landholdings of more than 40 hectares. These economic policies created high inflation while leading to food shortages across the land. Public support for Communists was also heavily dependent on their promise of restoring Hungary's former borders.The government took steps toward normalizing foreign relations with the Triple Entente powers in an effort to gain back some of the lands that Hungary was set to lose in the post-war negotiations.
The Communists remained bitterly unpopularin the Hungarian countryside, where the authority of that government was often nonexistent. The communist party and communist policies only had real popular support among the proletarian masses of large industrial centers – especially in Budapest – where the working class represented a high proportion of the inhabitants. The communist government followed the Soviet solution: the party established its terror groups (like the infamous Lenin boys) to "overcome the obstacles" in the Hungarian countryside.
The Hungarian government was thus left on its own, and a Red Guard was established under the command of Mátyás Rákosi.
In addition, a group of 200 armed men – known as the Lenin Boys – formed a mobile detachment under the leadership of József Cserny. This detachment was deployed at various locations around the country where counter-revolutionary movements were suspected to operate. The Lenin Boys, as well as other similar groups and agitators, killed and terrorised many people (e.g. armed with hand grenades and using their rifles' butts they disbanded religious ceremonies).They executed victims without trial. This caused a number of conflicts with the local population, some of which turned violent.
The situation of the Hungarian Communists began to deteriorate in the capital city Budapest after a failed coup by the Social Democrats on 24 June, the newly composed Communist government of Sándor Garbai resorted to large-scale reprisals. Revolutionary tribunals ordered executions of people who were suspected of having been involved in the attempted coup. This became known as the "Red Terror", and greatly reduced domestic support for the government even among the working classes of the highly industrialized suburb districts and metropolitan area of Budapest.
In late May, after the Entente military representative demanded more territorial concessions from Hungary, Kun attempted to "fulfill" his promise to adhere to Hungary's historical borders. The men of the Hungarian Red Army were recruited from the volunteers of the Budapest proletariat.In June, the Hungarian Red Army invaded the eastern part of the newly-forming Czechoslovak state (today's Slovakia), the former so-called "Upper Hungary". The Hungarian Red Army achieved some military success early on: under the leadership of Colonel Aurél Stromfeld, it ousted Czech troops from the north, and planned to march against the Romanian army in the east. Despite promises for the restoration of the former borders of Hungary, the communists declared the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic in Prešov on 16 June 1919. After the proclamation of the Slovak Soviet Republic, the Hungarian nationalists and patriots soon realized that the new communist government had no intentions to recapture the lost territories, only to spread communist ideology and establish other communist states in Europe, thus sacrificing Hungarian national interests. The Hungarian patriots in the Red Army saw this as a betrayal, and their support for the government began to erode (the communists and their government supported the establishment of the Slovak Communist state, while the Hungarian patriots wanted to keep the reoccupied territories for Hungary). Despite a series of military victories against the Czechoslovak army, the Hungarian Red Army started to disintegrate due to tension between nationalists and communists during the establishment of the Slovak Soviet Republic. The concession eroded support of the communist government among professional military officers and nationalists in the Hungarian Red Army; even the chief of the general staff Aurél Stromfeld, resigned his post in protest. When the French promised the Hungarian government that Romanian forces would withdraw from the Tiszántúl, Kun withdrew his remaining military units who had remained loyal after the political fiasco in Upper Hungary. However, following the Red Army's retreat from the north, the Romanian forces were not pulled back. Kun then unsuccessfully tried to turn the remaining units of the demoralized Hungarian Red Army on the Romanians. The Hungarian Soviet found it increasingly difficult to fight Romania with its small force of communist volunteers from Budapest, and support for both the war and the Communist Party was waning at home. After the demoralizing retreat from "Northern Hungary" (later part of Czechoslovakia), only the most dedicated Hungarian Communists volunteered for combat, and the Romanian army broke through the weak lines of the Hungarian Red Army on 30 July.
Béla Kun, together with other high-ranking Communists, fled to Vienna on 1 Augustwith only a minority, including György Lukács, the former Commissar for Culture and noted Marxist philosopher, remaining to organise an underground Communist Party. The Budapest Workers' Soviet elected a new government, headed by Gyula Peidl, which only lasted a few days before Romanian forces entered Budapest on 6 August.
In the power vacuum created by the fall of the Soviet Republic and the presence of the Romanian Army, semi-regular detachments (technically under Horthy's command, but mostly independent in practice) initiated a campaign of violence against Communists, leftists, and Jews, known as the White Terror.Many supporters of the Hungarian Soviet Republic were executed without trial; others, including Péter Ágoston, Ferenc Bajáki, Dezső Bokányi, Antal Dovcsák, József Haubrich, Kalmár Henrik, Kelen József, György Nyisztor, Sándor Szabados, and Károly Vántus, were imprisoned by trial ("comissar suits"). Actor Bela Lugosi, the founder of the country's National Trade Union of Actors (the world's first film actor's union), managed to escape. Most were later released to the Soviet Union by amnesty during the reign of Horthy, after a prisoner exchange agreement between Hungary and the Russian Soviet government in 1921. In all, about 415 prisoners were released as a result of this agreement.
Kun himself (along with an unknown number of other Hungarian communists) was executed during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of the late 1930s in the Soviet Union, to which they had fled in the 1920s.
Mátyás Rákosi[ˈmaːcaːʃ ˈraːkoʃi] was a Hungarian communist politician. He was born Mátyás Rosenfeld in Ada. He was the leader of Hungary's Communist Party from 1945 to 1956 — first as General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party (1945–1948) and later holding the same post with the Hungarian Working People's Party (1948–1956). As such, from 1949 to 1956, he was the de facto ruler of Communist Hungary. An ardent Stalinist, his government was very loyal to the Soviet Union, and he presided over the mass imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people and the death of thousands. American journalist John Gunther described Rákosi as "the most malevolent character I ever met in political life."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Hungarian–Romanian War was fought between the First Hungarian Republic and the Hungarian Soviet 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.
The Hungarian National Council was an institution from the time of transition from the Kingdom of Hungary to the People's Republic in 1918. At the congress of the Hungarian Social Democratic Party (MSZDP) in October 1918 called for the Socialist Left József Pogány minority to its own policy, which should be based on the emerging workers 'and soldiers' councils. In contrast prevailed Zsigmond Kunfi in the MSZDP that the liberal left "48" party of Count Mihály Károlyi and the bourgeois radical party of Oszkár Jászi was entered into an alliance. These three parties formed on 25 October, the Hungarian National Council.
Lajos Návay de Földeák was a Hungarian jurist and politician, who served as Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1911 and 1912.
The Hungarian Republic was a short-lived republic that existed between August 1919 and February 1920 in the central and western portions of the former Hungarian Kingdom. The state was established in the aftermath of the Hungarian Revolutions of 1918–1919 by counter-revolutionary forces who sought to return to the status quo prior to 31 October 1918.
György Lukács was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher, aesthetician, literary historian, and critic. He was one of the founders of Western Marxism, an interpretive tradition that departed from the Marxist ideological orthodoxy of the Soviet Union. He developed the theory of reification, and contributed to Marxist theory with developments of Karl Marx's theory of class consciousness. He was also a philosopher of Leninism. He ideologically developed and organised Lenin's pragmatic revolutionary practices into the formal philosophy of vanguard-party revolution.
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.
The White Terror in Hungary was a two-year period (1919–1921) of repressive violence by counter-revolutionary soldiers, carried out to crush any opposition supportive of Hungary’s short-lived Soviet republic and its Red Terror. Many of the victims of the White Terror were Jewish. During the White Terror, tens of thousands were imprisoned without trial and as many as 1,000 people were killed.
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.