Hungary in Revolution, 1918-19: Nine Essays

By Iván Völgyes | Go to book overview

Béla Kun: The Man and the Revolutionary

Rudolf L. Tőkés

According to his application for readmission to membership in the Russian Communist party, Béla Kun was born in 1886 of a bourgeois family. He was a lawyer by profession, who spoke and wrote Russian and German. He had been a member of the Hungarian Social Democratic party since 1902. He had previously served in the Austro- Hungarian army, in the Red Guard and in the Red Army in the Urals, and in the Ukraine in 1918 and 1920. As he stated, he had originally joined the Russian Communist party in Tomsk "before June 1916." Since 1917 as a member of the Tomsk city party committee, Kun had worked as a propagandist and journalist ( March- October, 1917), and after the October revolution as a correspondent of Pravda and editor of Szociális Forradalom. In 1918 he was the founder and chairman of the Communist party of Hungary, later a member of the Communist parties of Austria and Germany and of the Presidium and the executive committee of the Communist International, and (most recently), a special emissary of the Communist International in Germany.1

By any contemporary standard, these were impressive credentials worthy of an accomplished professional Communist revolutionary with considerable experience on the various battlefields of international class struggle. In 1921, at any rate, Béla Kun certainly seemed like a man who had earned his place on the "general staff" of the world revolution. The same man was arrested sixteen years later, in early June, 1937, on charges of subversive deviationist activities, Trotskyism, and an alleged record of treasonable conduct in the Communist International.2 He was executed in November, 1939.3 In February, 1956, during the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union], Kun was declared to be a victim of Stalin's cult of per-

____________________

Research on which this study is based has been supported by an American Council of Learned Societies-Social Science Research Council Faculty Research Grant. The staff of the Department of Government, Wesleyan University, and of the Research Institute on Government Affairs, Columbia University, contributed clerical and research assistance. Also, I wish to thank Professors István Deák ( Columbia University), Nathanael Greene, and Fred I. Greenstein ( Wesleyan University) for their comments on an earlier version of this study.

1
Irén Kun ( Mrs. Béla Kun), Kun Béla (Emlékezések) [ Béla Kun (Memoirs)] ( Budapest: Magvető, 1966), pp. 53-54 (hereafter cited as Kun Memoirs).
2
Cf., Tizenkilenc év távlatából.... A magyar kommün tanulságai [ From a distance of nineteen years.... The lessons of the Hungarian commune ] Szabad Szó [Free Word] ( Paris) 3, no. 13 ( 26 March 1938):5-8; and Sándor Poll, Fasizmus és demokrácia harca Magyarországon [ Struggle of fascism and democracy in Hungary ] Szabad Szó ( Paris) 2, no. 45 ( 6 Nov. 1937):1, 5.
3
Ferenc Münnich Elöszó [ Foreword ] to Kun Béla a Magyar Tanácsköztársaságról [ Béla Kun on the Hungarian Soviet Republic ] ( Budapest: Kossuth, 1958), p. 31. The fourth Russian edition of Lenin Works ( Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1950-1966) 40 vols., identified Kun as "a traitor to the cause of communism"; see 29:537.

-170-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hungary in Revolution, 1918-19: Nine Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 222

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.