The Secret Trial of Imre Nagy

The Secret Trial of Imre Nagy

The Secret Trial of Imre Nagy

The Secret Trial of Imre Nagy


Among the various secret or staged processes in court that are all to some degree the focus of public attention, the process against Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy of the 1956 Revolution is especially noteworthy. This volume contains the most important documents of this process: the indictment, the death sentence, the prosecutor's motion 31 years later concerning the repeal of the death sentence, and the acquittal. The separate research papers analyze the historical background of the process and the unlawful practices followed in the administration of justice of the communist party-state, best exemplified by the most serious infringements in the process against Imre Nagy. This book may be read with interest not only by lawyers and historians, but by all interested in the struggle of human will against political terror.


János Radványi

In this important book, Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament Alajos Dornbach presents readers with long-awaited documentary evidence of the secret trial of Imre Nagy, the leader of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and a group of his associates. It is a book of historic significance--at once a tribute to individual courage in the face of insuperable odds and a crushing indictment of the abuse of human rights in a communist dictatorship.

In his capacity as an attorney for the Historical Justice Committee in Hungary in the 1980s, Dornbach was both participant and observer in the protracted political and legal battles that cleared the way for the rehabilitation of Imre Nagy and other martyrs of the revolution. His incisive essay on the communist judicial system and practice serves as an introduction to the hitherto top-secret transcripts from the Nagy trial, which in turn are rounded off by Professor György Litván's historical background chapter. Taken together, these pages offer a rare look at the ways in which the post-revolution regime fashioned "legal means" to subvert the popular will and stamp out resistance against their totalitarian rule. the proceedings serve also as a grim reminder, if any is needed, that for decades under Soviet domination, the bosses of the world's communist parties constituted the most brutal mafia in contemporary history, a force geared at all times to retribution in the service of preserving the pax sovietica.

The editor, Alajos Dornbach, fulfills an important task in facilitating the Western reader's comprehension of the complexity of events in Hungary in 1956 and Nagy's role in them. Until now, Nagy was perhaps best remembered in Washington, Paris, London, and Rome as the Hungarian premier who held office during a turbulent revolution in October 1956, fell out of favor in the communist camp, and, like so many before him, met an untimely end. What few outside the Soviet sphere realized was that even before his death Nagy had become a symbol of personal freedom and national independence not only in Hungary but throughout Eastern and Central Europe. and even fewer, inside or outside . . .

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