Hungarian Revolution 1919

 

 

 

ENGLISH

This Website created on occasion of the 95th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution - 1919

 

 

 

Hungarian Revolution 1919

 

 

Éljen a világforradalom !"

[ "LONG LIVE THE WORLD REVOLUTION" ]

Budapest - May-Day - 1919

 

 

 

Message of the Comintern (SH )

March 21, 2014

Long live the 95th Anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution

of 21 March 1919 !

 



At the 95th Anniversary of the Hungarian revolution, we greet especially the Hungarian proletariat, the Hungarian comrades and all Communists all over the world.

Today we hoist the red banner of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, so it is not forgotten by the world proletariat .

We honor all Hungarian communists and internationalists , who built the Hungarian Soviet Republic with such great enthusiasm, and we honor all comrades who perished in the heroic defense of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Hungarian proletariat has not shed its blood in vain . The experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat can never be erased from the minds of the Hungarian workers .

Last but not least, the struggle of the Hungarian workers against imperialism was a helpful internationalist contribution to the defense of the Soviet Union, which was surrounded by enemies.


The Hungarian dictatorship of the proletariat was able to hold heroically for a short time .

But this is still a great historical victory of the workers over the bourgeoisie , that no enemy of the working class can deny . Lenin called the Hungarian proletarian revolution a

" world-historical revolution " .


The Hungarian Soviet Republic will wake up again and re- emerge in a socialist world republic !

The victory of the Hungarian Revolution is the first proof that Bolshevism was successful not only in Russia , but quickly spread across the Russian borders.



"Hungary has shown the example of a revolution that comes in a completely different way about. " (Lenin)



The Hungarian Revolution was thus the next step on the way to the vuctory of world Bolshevism.

With the Hungarian Soviet Republic, the Leninist world camp was created from 21 March to 4 August 1919.

In contrast, the Stalinist world camp existed for almost 10 years , from 1945 to 1953 .

In 1919, the Comintern was founded at the same time as the Hungarian Soviet Republic. From the very beginning, the Communist International had thus organized the solidarity of the world proletariat with the Hungarian proletariat and contributed directly to the international strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat outside Russia. Today, the Comintern (SH ) continues this struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world scale .

Our goal today is not limited in the re-establishment of the socialist world camp.

Our goal is to eliminate the inevitability of world imperialism , namely through its revolutionary , complete destruction .

Our goal is to end the world domination of the bourgeoisie.

Our goal is the sole reign of the world proletariat and the permanent victory of socialism and communism on a world scale .

These are the tasks of the Comintern (SH ) which - last not least - result from the defeat of the dictatorship of the proletariat in Hungary , namely to guarantee permanently the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat in every country of the world.

Only the dictatorship of the world proletariat can and will end the era of world domination of the bourgeoisie and initiate the era of world socialism .



On the way to world communism , the Hungarian revolution of 1919 thus played an important historical role that will never be forgotten.

The Hungarian Revolution entered the road of the socialist world revolution which began with the victory of the October Revolution. The history of the world socialist revolution shows that its way is long and difficult , but its ultimate victory is inevitable.



"We will see it - after the Russian and Hungarian Soviet Republic, the international Soviet republic will become a reality . "
(Lenin)

***





When Lenin received the information of the victory of the Hungarian Revolution during the Eighth Congress of the RCP ( B) , he sent his flaming greetings in a telegram . The establishment of the second Soviet Republic in the world was for Lenin living proof
that


" ... The time is not far away when communism will prevail all over the World . "


At once, Lenin secured the support by the Russian Soviet Republic .

At the same time he gave his firm conviction about the fact that the proletariat of the whole world will not allow the imperialists to raise a hand against the new Soviet Republic .

Lenin was dedicated to the main question, how any possibility of return of the rule of the bourgeoisie can be eliminated. And his answer was clear:

" that there is something logically necessary in the struggle that is being waged because of the onslaught of the whole international bourgeoisie. The hands of the international bourgeoisie are no longer free; the best proof of this is that the Hungarian proletarian revolution has taken place. "

Lenin said in his closing speech at the Eighth Congress of the RCP (B):


"Comrades,

behind us there is a long line of revolutionaries who sacrificed their lives for the emancipation of Russia. The lot of the majority of these revolutionaries was a hard one. They suffered the persecution of the tsarist government, but it was not their good fortune to see the triumph of the revolution. A better fortune has fallen to our lot. Not only have we seen the triumph of our revolution, not only have we seen it become consolidated amidst unprecedented difficulties, create new forms of government and win the sympathy of the whole world, but we are also seeing the seed sown by the Russian revolution springing up in Europe. This imbues us with the absolute and unshakable conviction that no matter how difficult the trials that may still befall us, and no matter how great the misfortunes that may be brought upon us by that dying beast, international imperialism, that beast will perish, and socialism will triumph throughout the world."


Lenin said:

I knew Comrade Béla Kun very well when he was still a prisoner of war in Russia; and he visited me many times to discuss communism and the communist revolution. Therefore, when news of the Hungarian communist revolution was received, and in a communication signed by Comrade Béla Kun at that, we wanted to speak to him and ascertain exactly how the revolution stood. The first communication we received about it gave us some grounds for fearing that, perhaps, the so-called socialists, traitor-socialists, had resorted to some deception, had got round the Communists, the more so that the latter were in prison. And so, the day after the first communication about the Hungarian revolution was received, I sent a wireless message to Budapest, asking Béla Kun to come to the apparatus, and I put a number of questions to him of such a nature as to enable me to make sure that it was really he who was speaking. I asked him what real guarantees there were for the character of the government and for its actual policy. Comrade Béla Kun’s reply was quite satisfactory and dispelled all our doubts. It appears that the Left Socialists had visited Béla Kun in prison to consult him about forming a government. And it was only these Left Socialists, who sympathised with the Communists, and also people from the Centre who formed the new government, while the Right Socialists, the traitorsocialists, the irreconcilables and incorrigibles, so to speak, left the Party, and not a single worker followed them. Later communications showed that the policy of the Hungarian Government was most firm and so Communist in trend “that while we began with workers” control of industry and only gradually began to socialise industry, Béla Kun, with his prestige, his conviction that he was backed by vast masses, could at once pass a law which converted all the industrial undertakings in Hungary that were run on capitalist lines into public property. Two days later we became fully convinced that the Hungarian revolution had at once, with extraordinary rapidity, taken the communist road. The bourgeoisie voluntarily surrendered power to the Communists of Hungary. The bourgeoisie demonstrated to the whole world that when a grave crisis supervenes, when the nation is in danger, the bourgeoisie is unable to govern. And there is only one government that is really a popular government, a government that is really beloved of the people-the government of the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.

 

Long live Soviet power in Hungary!

(Lenin)



Lenin teaches :

The Hungarian proletarian revolution is helping even the blind to see. The form of transition to the dictatorship of the proletariat in Hungary is altogether different from that in Russia—voluntary resignation of the bourgeois government, instantaneous restoration of working-class unity, socialist unity on a communist programme. The nature of Soviet power is now all the clearer; the only form of rule which has the support of the working people and of the proletariat at their head that is now possible anywhere in the world is Soviet rule, the dictatorship of the proletariat.

This dictatorship presupposes the ruthlessly severe, swift and resolute use of force to crush the resistance of the exploiters, the capitalists, landowners and their underlings. Whoever does not understand this is not a revolutionary, and must be removed from the post of leader or adviser of the proletariat.

But the essence of proletarian dictatorship is not in force alone, or even mainly in force. Its chief feature is the organisation and discipline of the advanced contingent of the working people, of their vanguard; of their sole leader, the proletariat, whose object is to build socialism, abolish the division of society into classes, make all members of society working people, and remove the basis for all exploitation of man by man.




Lenin called to the Hungarian workers :

Hungarian workers!

Comrades!

You have set the world an even better example than Soviet Russia by your ability to unite all socialists at one stroke on the platform of genuine proletarian dictatorship. You are now faced with the most gratifying and most difficult task of holding your own in a rigorous war against the Entente. Be firm. Should vacillation manifest itself among the socialists who yesterday gave their support to you, to the dictatorship of the proletariat, or among the petty bourgeoisie, suppress it ruthlessly. In war the coward’s legitimate fate is the bullet.

You are waging the only legitimate, just and truly revolutionary war, a war of the oppressed against the oppressors, a war of the working people against the exploiters, a war for the victory of socialism. All honest members of the working class all over the world are on your side. Every month brings the world proletarian revolution nearer.

Be firm! Victory will be yours!





Concerning the defeat of the Hungarian revolution, Lenin taught :

" The first revolution has failed , the next one will be victorious !"

The evil is this: the old leaders, observing what an irresistible attraction Bolshevism and Soviet government have for the masses, are seeking (and often finding!) a way of escape in the verbal recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet government, although they actually either remain enemies of the dicta-torship of the proletariat, or are unable or unwilling to understand its significance and to carry it into effect.

The fall of the first Soviet Republic in Hungary (the first, which fell, will be followed by a second, which will be victorious) shows clearly how vast, how immense is the danger of this evil. A number of articles in the Vienna Rote Fahne, ’ the Central Organ of the Austrian Communist Party, have revealed one of the chief reasons for its fall, namely, the treachery of the “socialists”, who went over to Bela Kun verbally and proclaimed themselves Communists, but who actually did not pursue a policy consonant with the dictatorship of the proletariat; they vacillated, played the coward, made advances to the bourgeoisie, and in part directly sabotaged and betrayed the proletarian revo-lution. Naturally, the powerful brigands of imperialism (i.e., the bourgeois governments of Britain, France, etc.) that surrounded the Hungarian Soviet Republic made good use of these vacillations within the Hungarian Soviet government and used the Rumanian butchers to crush it.

There can be no doubt that some of the Hungarian socialists went over to Bela Kun sincerely, and sincerely proclaimed themselves Communists. But that changes nothing essen-tial: a man who “sincerely” proclaims himself a Communist, but who in practice vacillates and plays the coward instead of pursuing a ruthlessly firm, unswervingly determined and supremely courageous and heroic policy (and only such a policy is consonant with recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat) —such a man, in his weakness of character, vacillations and irresolution, is just as much guilty of treachery as a direct traitor. As far as the individual is concerned, there is a very great difference between a man whose weakness of character makes him a traitor and one who is a deliberate, calculating traitor; but in politics there is no such difference, because politics involves the actual fate of millions of people, and it makes, no difference whether the millions of workers and poor peasants are betrayed by those who are trailers from weakness of character or by those whose treachery pursues selfish aims.

We cannot yet say which of the Longuetists who signed the resolutions we are discussing will prove to belong to the first category, which to the second and which to some third, and it would be idle to speculate on it. The important thing is that these Longuetists, as a political trend, are now pursuing exactly the same policy as the Hungarian “social-ists” and “Social-Democrats” who brought about the fall of the Soviet government in Hungary. It is precisely this policy that the Longuetists are pursuing, for verbally they proclaim themselves supporters of the dictatorship of the proletariat and Soviet government, but actually they con-tinue to behave in the old way and to defend in their resolutions and to carry out in practice the old policy of petty concessions to social-chauvinism, opportunism and bour-geois democracy, the policy of vacillation, irresolution, evasiveness, subterfuge, suppression of facts, and the like. In their totality, these petty concessions, this vacillation, irresolution, evasiveness, subterfuge and suppression of facts inevitably constitute a betrayal of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Dictatorship is a big, harsh and bloody word, one which expresses a relentless life-and-death struggle between two classes, two worlds, two historical epochs.

Such words must not be uttered frivolously.

 

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat does not mean undertaking an assault, an uprising, at all costs and at any moment. That is nonsense. A successful insurrec-tion demands prolonged, skilful and persistent preparations, preparations entailing great sacrifice.

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat means making a determined, relentless, and, what is most important, a fully conscious and consistent break with the oppor-tunism, reformism, equivocation and evasiveness of the Second International—a break with the leaders who cannot help carrying on the old tradition, with the old (not in age, but in methods) parliamentarians, trade union and co-oper-ative society officials, etc.

A break with them is essential. To pity them would be criminal; it would mean betraying the fundamental inter-ests of tens of millions of workers and small peasants for the paltry interests of some ten thousand or hundred thou-sand people.

Recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat requires the fundamental reconstruction of the day-to-day work of the Party, it means getting among the millions of workers, agricultural labourers and small peasants whom only Soviets, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, can save from the miseries of capitalism and war. The dictatorship of the proletariat means explaining this concretely, simply, clearly, to the masses, to tens of millions of people; it means telling them that their Soviets must take over state power in its entirety, and that their vanguard, the party of the revolutionary proletariat, must lead the struggle.


 

In the case of Germany, where the November Revolution was not completed sucessfully , the socialist revolution in Hungary could consequently not be achieved. In this case, those great powers of the Entente - who won the war - smashed down the Ungarian Soviet Republic by means of the the inner help of the social-fascists and other Hungarian counter-revolutionaries. Thereby the imperialist war profiteers strengthened in the fight against the world revolution, against its proletarian internationalist detachment - the Hungarian proletariat.



Lenin drew important conclusion from the defeat of the Hungarian Soviet Republic on the Second Congress of the Comintern as follows:



No Communist should forget the lessons of the

Hungarian Soviet Republic.

The Hungarian proletariat paid dearly for the

Hungarian Communists having united with the

reformists.

Terms of Admission into Communist International


Written: July, 1920

Second Congress of the Communist International





Enver Hoxha also was critical towards the unification of the Communist Party with the Social Democratic Party:

"As was becoming apparent, Hungary had many weak points. There the party had been created, headed by Rakosi, around whom there were a number of veteran communists like Gerö and Münnich, but also young ones who had just come to the fore, who found the table laid for them by the Red Army anni Stalin. The «construction of socialism- in Hungary began, but the reforms were not radical. The proletariat was favoured, but without seriously annoying the petty bourgeoisie. The Hungarian party was allegedly a combination of the illegal communist party (Hungarian prisoners of war captured in the Soviet Union), old communists of Bela Kun and the social-democratic party. Hence, this combination was a sickly graft, which never really established itself, until the counter-revolution and Kadar, together with Khrushchev and Mikoyan, issued the decree for the total liquidation of the Hungarian Workers' Party." (Enver Hoxha, "The Krushchevites")




Far as we know from documents , Bela Kun has realized his mistake concerning merger with the Social Democratic Party of Hungary .

Therefore, Bela Kun could not agree ( our present state of knowledge) with the Popular Front policy of Dimitrov . Bela Kun practiced self-criticism for his mistakes he had made during the Hungarian Revolution in 1919 and became a defender of Stalin's social-fascism-thesis. So it was a logical conclusion that Bela Kun was expelled from the Comintern in 1935 , as a defender of the social-fascism-thesis which was rejected as alleged " sectarian" by Dimitrov. The social fascism thesis was contrary to the revisionist Popular Front policy Dimitrov and had to be removed .

The Communist Party of Hungary was initially not ready to implement the revisionist Popular Front policy in Hungary . In the country report of the Comintern , the Communist Party of Hungary was therefore not mentioned by the rightist Comintern leadership. bela Kun was put under pressure and attacked relentlessly .

At the same time the " Commission against the war , against the Second International (!) and against fascism " which was headed by Bela Kun , was dissolved by Dimitrov short hand . On the Seventh World Congress Bela Kun was present as member of the presidium. In his speech at the Seventh World Congress Bela Kun had initially approved the draft theses and report of Dimitrov and Bela Kun even "welcomed" them ( Minutes of the Seventh World Congress , Volume I, page 428) . However, Bela Kun explicitly stressed in his closing sentence:

" In the pursuit of a single, unified revolutionary party of the working class that will know how to lead the popular masses on the basis of the teachings of Marx, Engels , Lenin and Stalin to victory for the proletarian dictatorship , to the Soviet power."

Bela Kun pointed to the goal of the class struggle - the dictatorship of the proletariat , which was dropped by the Comintern in favor of compromise with the Bourgeoisie. In contrast to Bela Kun, the Hungarian revisionist and traitor Nagy stated in his speech at the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern:

" Within our party , there is still a sectarian attitude towards social democracy . " (Protocol of the Seventh World Congress , Volume II, page 612).
( Nagy had been chosen by the rightist leaders of the Comintern as "speaker" of the Hungarian section).


In their reports to the Seventh World Congress the Comintern leadership kept silent in their reports on the Hungarian people , who suffered under fascism - and that , although the Seventh World Congress had made ​​the fight against fascism, the most important task .

That was not astonishing. The teachings of the Hungarian revolution of 1919 , the betrayal of social democracy was not suitable for the merger with the Social Democrats in the Popular Front - as it was intended by Dimitrov.

Just one year later Bela Kun was arrested by the KGB ( In that time the KGB was headed by Jeshov, who was later unmasked as a counter-revolutionary and executed).

Bela Kun was removed by Dimitrov and all the leaders of the Comintern, who became later on revisionist leaders such as Togliatti , Pieck , and others.

1939 Bela Kun was sentenced to death .



What can we learn from the history of the Hungarian revolution?

No unity and pacts with the bourgeoisie !

Neither with the Social Democracy, nor with the modern revisionism , nor with today's neo- revisionism!

The Hungarian proletariat and the whole world proletariat will be victorious in the socialist revolution , if they are guided solely by the teachings of Marx, Engels , Lenin, Stalin and Enver Hoxha, if it struggles uncompromisingly against social-democracy , modern revisionism and neo- revisionism.

In order to secure the final victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat , a strong Comintern (SH ) with a newly formed Hungarian section is urgently required !


Long live the Hungarian Revolution of 1919 !

Long live the dictatorship of the Hungarian proletariat !

Long live the Hungarian Soviet Republic !



Long live the world socialist revolution !

Long live the world dictatorship of the proletariat !

Long live the proletarian world republic !

Long live world socialism and world communism !



Long live the 5 Classics of Marxism- Leninism

Marx , Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Enver Hoxha !

Long live the Communist International

(Stalinist - Hoxhaists ) !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LENIN ON THE

HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION -

1919

 

(collection of quotations - arranged by Wolfgang Eggers)

 

 

Lenin Archívum Magyar

LENIN ARCHIVE

in Hungarian language

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program of the Comintern

 

(Excerpt)

 

The powerful shock to which the whole of world capitalism was subjected, the sharpening of the class struggle and the direct influence of the October proletarian revolution gave rise to a series of revolutions and revolutionary actions on the Continent of Europe as well as in the colonial and semi-colonial countries: January, 1918, the proletarian revolution in Finland; August, 1918, the so-called “rice riots” in Japan; November, 1918, the revolutions in Austria and Germany, which overthrew the semi-feudal monarchist régime; March, 1919, the proletarian revolution in Hungary and the uprising in Korea; April, 1919, the Soviet Government in Bavaria; January, 1920, the bourgeois-national revolution in Turkey; September, 1920, the seizure of the factories by the workers in Italy; March, 1921, the rising of the advanced workers of Germany; September, 1923, the uprising in Bulgaria; Autumn, 1923, the revolutionary crisis in Germany; December, 1924, the uprising in Esthonia; April, 1923, the uprising in Morocco; August, 1925, uprising in Syria; May, 1926, the general strike in England; July, 1927, the proletarian uprising in Vienna. These events, as well as events like the uprising in Indonesia, the deep ferment in India, and the great Chinese revolution, which shook the whole Asiatic continent, are links in one and the same international revolutionary chain, constituent parts of the profound general crisis of capitalism. This international revolutionary process embraced the immediate struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as well as national wars of liberation’ and colonial uprisings against imperialism, which go together with the agrarian mass movement of millions of peasants. Thus, an enormous mass of humanity was swept into the revolutionary torrent. World history entered a new phase of development-a phase of prolonged general crisis of the capitalist system. In this process, the unity of world economy found expression in the international character of the revolution, while the uneven development of its separate parts was expressed in the different times of the outbreak of revolution in the different countries.

The first attempts at revolutionary overthrow, which sprang from the acute crisis of capitalism (1918-1921) ended in the victory and consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the U.S.S.R. and in the defeat of the proletariat in a number of other countries. These defeats were primarily due to the treacherous tactics of the social democratic and reformist trade union leaders, but they were also due to the fact that the majority of the working class had not yet accepted the lead of the Communists and that in a number of important countries Communist Parties had not yet been established at all. As a result of these defeats, which created the opportunity for intensifying the exploitation of the mass of the proletariat and the colonial peoples, and for severely depressing their standard of living, the bourgeoisie was able to achieve a partial stabilisation of capitalist relations.

 

 

MANIFESTO OF THE ECCI TO THE WORKERS AND SOLDIERS OF ALL COUNTRIES ON THE HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION


28 March 1919

 

 

 

 

ECCI

MAY DAY MANIFESTO

April 20, 1919

 

"Communism has come out on to the streets. The communist revolution is growing before our eyes. A Soviet republic in Russia, a Soviet republic in Hungary, a Soviet republic in Bavaria—these are the results of the recent struggles of the
working class."

 

ECCI

MANIFESTO ON INTERVENTION IN RUSSIA

18 June 1919

 

"The workers of all countries should bear clearly in mind that what is now at stake is not only the fate of the Soviet Republics of Russia, Hungary, the Ukraine, etc.; the fate of the world revolution is being decided in the Urals and before red Petrograd, in the Carpathians and on the Danube. If the imperialists of all countries now succeed in smothering the first flames of the communist revolution, the workingclass movement in all countries of the world will be set back many decades. The entire burden of paying for the first great imperialist war will be thrown on to the labouring people, and not only in the defeated countries, but also in those of the
victors. The eternal conflict over the division of the spoils will, however, soon lead to new, even more senseless and more bloody wars, and in the end the whole world will be plunged into hopeless misery and bondage.
The only way out and the only salvation is the socialist world revolution. "

"The Executive Committee of the Communist International for its part proposes that the workers of all countries express their solidarity with the peoples of the Soviet republics by arranging an international demonstration against the attack of the imperialist Powers on Russia and Hungary.
The time for verbal protests is past; it is time to act. . . ."

 

 

 

 

 

APPEAL OF THE ECCI ON BEHALF OF THE HUNGARIAN SOVIET REPUBLIC


July 1919

 

 

BOYCOTT THE YELLOW INTERNATIONAL

July 15, 1919

 

The imperialist governments of the Entente countries have opened a crusade against the Russian and Hungarian proletarians who seized power in their countries.
Honest workers in the Entente countries express the deepest indignation about this crusade and are ready to come out in arms against their governments. But what part are the official social-traitors playing in this affair? The social-chauvinists of
Germany as of France, of Austria as of England, are trying to damp down the workers' protest. By their action they are helping Kolchak, the Rumanian boyars, and all other stranglers of the Hungarian and Russian revolution.

The political strike which is to take place in the Allied countries on 21 July in protest against intervention in Russian and Hungarian affairs heralds an entire series of international battles which will inevitably end with the victory of the world proletariat over international capital.
The Executive Committee of the Communist International has unanimously decided to call on workers' organizations throughout the world to boycott the forthcoming despicable comedy in Lucerne. . . .
On that day the workers in all countries should demonstrate in every possible way against the yellow 'International' and give proof of their fidelity to the ideals of communism proclaimed by Marx and Engels. Come out on to the streets that day, comrade workers, fling your contempt and hatred in the face of the lackeys of capitalism, proclaim the principles for which Karl Liebknecht fought, rally your forces under the banner of the Third, Communist International!

 

 

 

ECCI STATEMENT ON THE FALL OF THE HUNGARIAN SOVIET REPUBLIC

 

5 August 1919

 

 

 

 

Second Congress of the Comintern

Excerpt of the Manifesto, adopted on August 6, 1920

 

The heroic attempt of the Hungarian proletariat to break out of Central Europe’s state and economic chaos onto the road of a Soviet Federation – the only road of salvation – was strangled by the combined forces of capitalist reaction at a time when the proletariat of the strongest states of Europe, deceived by its parties, proved incapable as yet of fulfilling its duty both toward Socialist Hungary and toward itself.

The Soviet government in Budapest was overthrown with the collaboration of the social-traitors who, in their turn, after maintaining themselves in power for three and a half days, were cast aside by the unbridled counter-revolutionary scum whose bloody crimes surpassed those of Kolchak, Denikin, Wrangel and other agents of the Entente. But even though temporarily crushed, Soviet Hungary is like a beacon light to all the toilers of Central Europe.

 

* * *

 

The officers’ Mafia of White Hungary, which exists clandestinely alongside the government of counter-revolutionary hangmen supported by England, has given the world proletariat a sample of that civilisation and humanitarianism which Wilson and Lloyd George advocate as against the Soviet power and revolutionary violence.

 

* * *

 

Proletarians of Italy, remember the fate of Hungary, which has entered the annals of history as a terrible warning to the proletariat that in the struggle for power as well as after the conquest of power, it must stand firm on its own feet, sweeping aside all elements of indecision and hesitation and dealing mercilessly with all attempts at treachery!

 

 

 

* * *

 

The Communist International is the party of the revolutionary education of the world proletariat. It rejects all those organisations and groups which openly or covertly stupefy, demoralise and weaken the proletariat, exhorting it to kneel before the fetishes which are a facade for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie: legalism, democracy, national defence, etc.

Neither can the Communist International admit into its ranks those organisations which, after inscribing the dictatorship of the proletariat in their programme, continue to conduct a policy which obviously relies upon a peaceful solution of the historical crisis. Mere recognition of the Soviet system settles nothing. The Soviet form of organisation does not possess any miraculous powers. Revolutionary power lies within the proletariat itself. It is necessary for the proletariat to rise for the conquest of power – then and only then does the Soviet organisation reveal its qualities as the irreplaceable instrument in the hands of the proletariat.

The Communist International demands the expulsion from the ranks of the labour movement of all those leaders who are directly or indirectly implicated in political collaboration with the bourgeoisie, who directly or indirectly render any assistance to the bourgeoisie. We need leaders who have no other attitude toward bourgeois society than that of mortal hatred, who organise the proletariat for an irreconcilable struggle and who are ready to lead an insurgent army into the battle, who are not going to stop half-way, whatever happens, and who will not shrink from resorting to ruthless measures against all those who may try to stop them by force.

The Communist International is the world party of proletarian uprising and proletarian dictatorship. It has no aims and tasks separate and apart from those of the working class itself. The pretensions of tiny sects, each of which wants to save the working class in its own manner, are alien and hostile to the spirit of the Communist International. It does not possess any panaceas or magic formulas but bases itself on the past and present international experience of the working class; it purges that experience of all blunders and deviations; it generalises the conquests made and recognizes and adopts only such revolutionary formulas as are the formulas of mass action.

 

Working men and women!

On this earth there is only one banner which is worth fighting and dying for.

It is the banner of the Communist International!

 

 

 

An Appeal from the Hungarian Communist Party to the International Working Class

The Call, 30 December 1919, p.4;

 

 

Comrades,

After months of heroic fighting we have been beaten by the well-equipped and well-organised armies of the counter-revolutionaries. The White Guards of the Hungarian counter-revolution are terrorising the people by barbarous acts of repression and are supported by International capitalism-a war of extermination never before witnessed for its horrors against the Hungarian proletariat.

Thousands of our comrades have been cruelly tortured in order to make them confess to crimes they have not committed and finally sentenced to death, the method being by beheading. Women and children have not been spared, women have been flogged naked in the streets, lines of workers and students have been tied to the tails of horses and dragged along the ground until they have died of exhaustion; Soviet delegates have been buried alive. The persecutions and tortures are not yet at an end. The degenerate Hungarian nobility, thirsty for blood, has viciously revenged itself on the defenceless working-class, because, in feudal Hungary the workers dared to institute a Communist Society. Mutilated corpses are still to be seen lying about, but still they search for fresh victims. Now has begun a judicial comedy, for the persecutions still go on under so-called legal forms. Comrades who honestly and conscientiously carried out their duties in the Communist Government are awaiting their death sentence!

All suspected of sympathy towards the working-class movement are being interned in the camp at Heymasker, so no revolutionary movement is able to rise again between the Danube and Tibisk. The concentration camp has been prepared for 120,000 persons, and has been named the Hunger Doom! Heymasker during the war was a military camp for fever stricken and other contagious diseases.

The captured Red Army which fought so bravely for four months to defend the revolution has been deported to Rumania and other regions.

We turn to the International working class, we appeal to its conscience and reason to help the Hungarian people In this terrible hour of need, to save them from the death sentence and internment in the camps of hunger and death.

The Hungarian Revolution is not dead; the Hungarian Proletariat will again take its place in the last fight. Do not allow your Hungarian brothers to be exterminated. In sending you our best greetings, we are certain that the Italian, French, English, Belgian, and American working-class will not ignore our appeal, our cause is their cause, and once again we cry, “Long live the Social Revolution.”

 

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

OF THE HUNGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budapest - 1919

 

 


It was that on November 6 1917, the day before the Bolshevik seizure of power, Bela Kun became a founding member of the Hungarian Section of the Russian Communist Party. In July 1918, just after the oubreak of the Russian Civil War, he led Communist Latvian and Hungarian soldiers against the opponents of Lenin, the right-wing Social Revolutionaries (Russian peasant party). On October 25, 1918, he was active in Moscow in establishing the Union of Communists of Hungary, which was transformed on November 4, 1918 into the Communist Party of Hungary.

 

 

 

Bela Kun

The Model Product of Imperialism

Pravda May 24, 1918


International Socialist Library No. 15, Revolutionary Essays by Bela Kun, B.S.P., London.

A close alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary has been concluded, and is making its appearance as a new factor in the arena of the world-war.

By this new treaty Austria-Hungary is annexed to Germany in the fullest sense of the word. If any of the nations that constitute the Dual Monarchy has recourse to a revolt or a rising, before it there will instantly rise the perspective of military occupation. The fundamental characteristic of the treaty, however, is not its reduction of Austria-Hungary to the position of a colony, not the economic exploitation of the country, but the guaranteeing to Germany of cannon-fodder in order that she may realise her imperialists aims.

Annexation is veiled in the form of a treaty: but this circumstance means nothing. The organs of the German military party do not attempt to conceal that that fact implies merely a special act of grace on the part of victorious German imperialism. The “Kreuz-Zeitung” points out that considerations of a military and political nature do not permit of the publication of the secret treaty, and announces triumphantly that the treaty of alliance between Germany and Austria is first and foremost the result of the German military successes. And the paper does not conceal the military and aggressive character of the new agreement; it does not hide the fact that its aim is the utilisation of Austro-Hungarian man-power for German military ends.

From the economic point of view, Austria-Hungary is completely exhausted. She can supply neither bread nor raw material. Its German imperialist allies have no longer any belief in its credit. The only article of commerce which Austria can still supply — albeit with difficulty — is cannon fodder.

Nevertheless, this treaty is meeting with no small opposition from all the peoples of Austria, not excluding the German-Austrians. The “Arbeiter Zeitung” protests sharply against this aggressive alliance, this annexation; although the Austrian Government takes pains to emphasise that “the defensive nature of the Dual Alliance remains unchanged.”

In spite of the desperate attempts to prevent the annexation and final reduction of Austria into the status of a colony, a semi-official statement of the Government has to declare, in discharge of “its duty as an ally,” that the spearhead of this agreement is directed not only against Russia, as hitherto, but against “all other Powers.” The semi-official statement of the Austrian Government goes on to point out that the new alliance, as it now stands, assumes the character of a “League of Nations” — under which title is masked a league of the Central European Powers, headed by Germany.

This may possibly pacify the Austrian social-patriots of the type of Karl Renner, but will in no way satisfy the proletarian masses of Austria and Hungary. Annexations will not calm the soldiers, deserting in larger and larger numbers, and, according to trustworthy information, refusing to go to the French front. . . .

If the Austrian semi-official statement twice emphasises the fact that “an unshakeable foundation has been created for the new alliance” — that military power which, in the eyes of the German papers, constitutes the chief value of the alliance — the Austrian monarch will not be able to do without the introduction of German troops into Bohemia and Hungary. Tisza and Seidler intend by means of this alliance to buttress the decaying fabric of the State; but the German imperialists will be able to force the Austro-Hungarian workers to observe the conditions of the treaty only by making use of the methods which were employed in the Ukraine.

The provisions contained in this treaty will be revealed only when the publication of the secret archives is accomplished in Austria-Hungary as in Soviet Russia.

The German, Austrian, and Hungarian revolutionaries must use the existence of the new alliance to increase their struggle against German-Austrian imperialism. The state of mind of the troops shows that that struggle has already begun. If there are still “Social Democrats” who, fearing an Austrian defeat, deliberately stand in the way of the revolution, they will be swept away by the masses of true proletarians.

After this treaty, the Austro-Hungarian proletariat is even more definitely than before at the cross roads of the dilemma: endless war or the revolution?

 

 

 

 

Bela Kun

The Birth-Pangs of the Revolution

Pravda June 27, 1918
International Socialist Library No. 15, Revolutionary Essays by Bela Kun, B.S.P., London.


The communiques from the internal front of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy daily give us further and further hope. The defeat on the Italian front is not the result of the strength of the Italian Army. On the contrary, it is brought about by the sharpening of the conflict on the internal front. The troops which have fought blindly and senselessly for years, in the cause of imperialism, are now deliberately surrendering. In Austria-Hungary there has at last arisen a yearning for the defeat of one's own imperialism. This denotes already a high level of development of the revolutionary consciousness.

Simultaneously with the news of defeats on the Italian front information has arrived, from the internal front, concerning bloody repression in Hungary. “The factories are idle,” declares the Premier Wekerle; “just at the moment when their intensive activity is required.”

This is a patent symptom that, by the undermining of war industry, the workers are instinctively striking for the defeat and dissolution of the military State institutions of their “own” imperialists, in order to clear the path in this way for the revolution. The refusal to accord the most elementary rights to the proletariat raises these waves still higher. The immediate political cause of the recent explosion was the project of electoral reform proposed by Tisza, which annuls all the solemn promises hitherto given. All the efforts of the official Hungarian Social-Democratic Party were directed only towards the achievement of electoral reform. They were attempting to divert the working-class movement into “legal” channels, and thereby were hindering the development of the revolution. But objective conditions broke up these artificial channels, and the workers have begun to use semi-legal methods of struggle. The last events show us that the Government has to suppress the workers’ revolts “with blood and iron.”

At Budapest, where the movement assumed an extremely threatening character, the Government invoked the assistance of the gendarmes, of whose good offices they had availed themselves hitherto only to maintain order in the villages. In them lie all the hopes of the Government at the present moment, as it is no use counting on the soldiers: they are the worst firebrands of the revolutionary movement.

But the weapon is two-edged, and the repressions of the gendarmes render existing antagonisms still more acute. During the last demonstrations at Budapest four workers were killed, while the wounded are reckoned by scores. This measure will still more rapidly force the workers to forsake the peaceful path of the struggle for the franchise. From day to day the conditions for an armed uprising of the masses become more and more mature.

At Pecs, one of the principal industrial and mining centres of Hungary, the soldiers of the 48th Reserve Infantry Regiment shot their colonel and several officers. On the other side of the Danube, in Western Hungary, the soldiers secretly removed from their barracks arms and ammunition.

Returned internationalist prisoners of war, carrying on revolutionary agitation, are subjected to the most savage persecution.

The Government may possibly improve the economic position of the workers to a certain extent; but politically it is quite incapable of making the slightest concession to them. The composition of the Governmental parties precludes the possibility of any modifications whatsoever in the Tisza-Wekerle project of electoral reform. In those parties are represented not only the semi-feudal aristocrats, but also the rich peasants and manufacturers, compulsorily organised nowadays into manufacturers’ associations.

The new project for the compulsory amalgamation of large industrial enterprises, the indirect tax on corn, and the mill monopoly, as a means for uniting the financial and landed aristocracy — all this reduces the proletariat to a condition from which no electoral reform can rescue it. Thanks to this condition, all sections of the lower middle class, as well as the proletariat, have been brought to a state of desperation.

The country has been handed over, lock, stock, and barrel, to the German militarists. The promises and pacifist declarations of Count Czernin could only for a short time keep the people in a state of deception, even with the efforts to the same end of the official representatives of the working-class movement.

The recent meetings and strikes, however, prove that the masses are about to take over the question of peace into their own hands.

That is a sketch of the general situation in Hungary. The new Minister of the Interior is trying to calm the frightened bourgeoisie by telling them that the soldiers’ mutinies will be suppressed by the most drastic means. But there are no longer any reliable troops available for this purpose. In one small town in Bohemia, lately, the following incident occurred. The 68th Infantry Regiment, which hitherto had been considered trustworthy, and which was specially ear-marked for the work of crushing the Czech revolutionary movement at Prague, suddenly went over to the side of the workmen on strike.

The new alliance with Germany is reviving the movement in the Austrian half of the Dual Monarchy as well. The unsuccessful offensive against Italy is there, too, bearing its revolutionary fruit.

The condition of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy clearly points to the fact that the birth-pangs of the revolution have begun.

 

 

Bela Kun

The Revolution in Hungary

Pravda July 4, 1918
Source: International Socialist Library No. 15, Revolutionary Essays by Bela Kun, B.S.P., London.

 


The working-class movement in Austria-Hungary previous to the risings already bore all the signs of developing revolution. The Austro-Hungarian and German papers give us only fragmentary information about the revolutionary movement which has sprung up. But even from that we can make two important deductions concerning the strength, the power of resistance, and the meaning of the revolutionary movement.

First, the strike in Hungary is not a purely local event. It is not a series of strikes embracing separate industries. It is one mass movement, bearing the stamp of the General Strike, in the sense that work has ceased everywhere, in all the most important branches of industry, transpot, and mining.

Secondly, it is absolutely impossible to reduce the causes for the General Strike purely to hunger or the demand for electoral reform. The General Strike is directed against the machinery of the State — against militarism and discipline.

All the demands of the strikers are connected with the question of power, and, as such, rise beyond the limits of the parliamentary State. The movement, it cannot be doubted, will not continue on the scale of the usual mass strike, especially as it is fraught with the most deadly peril for the vital interests of a State at war.

The movement has adopted the typical forms of that stage of a revolution which is the forerunner of the actual rising. Here and there more and more frequent cases of stoppage of work are to be observed, representing something unheard of during the first three years of the war — right up to the October Revolution. The “union sacrée” has been smashed to atoms by the workers themselves. All attempts at conciliation on the part of the leaders of the official Social-Democracy, whose aspirations have never left the bounds set by a narrow Parliamentarism, have beeen in vain.

True enough, the proletarian movement arose elementally; the strikers have not a clear class feeling or a concrete social policy; the movement has no leaders, and is semi-conspirative; but it is undoubtedly revolutionary. Greater results have been achieved than by the last forty years’ struggle for the franchise.

In their search for the path to freedom, the workers have entered the trade unions. Before the war, the membership of the Hungarian trade unions never exceeded 110,000; during the last two years, they have had an increase of over 100,000 members. During the war it was impossible to transform the labour organisations in accordance with the revolutionary requirements of the proletariat; but the workers now are carrying on the struggle in spite of the trade union leaders. The mass struggle has in Hungary become the accepted method of the working-class movement, even though it has not yet received official sanction. For fifteen long years the official organs of the Party have threatened the bourgeoisie: “We shall begin to talk Russian.” At the present moment, the Hungarian proletariat is talking and, actually, acting Russian.

In Budapest there is a general strike. The railwaymen have struck. Other enterprises are on the eve. The postal and telegraph employees are adopting passive resistance, which is nothing but a veiled form of strike.

The chief coal pits are also idle. According to the declaration of the Hungarian Minister for Commerce, 600 truckloads of coal per dray are wanting through the strike at Petroszeny alone. The transport crisis has reached its maximum.

The workers openly refuse to obey the orders of the administrative officials of the militarised enterprises. They threaten the commandants and officers with the fate of the colonel at Pecs, whom the soldiers killed with their rifle-butts. The repressive measures undertaken in the case of one individual workman, who had been arrested for a statement of this kind, served as the immediate cause of a strike in the largest mining district in Hungary. In Budapest, after an exchange of shots in the State railway shops, the workers sacked the office of another factory.

In the demands of the metal-workers’ deputies, put forward on June 19th, the following two points appear: (1) The withdrawal of gendarmes from the factories; (2) The dismissal of the railway shop officials.

On June 21st the strike at Budapest became a general stoppage. The newspapers did not appear; the tramway services stopped; the postal and railway servants announced their solidarity with the strikes (a strong movement is noticeable in their midst); the private postal-telegraph-telephone services also ceased. The leaders of the Party and of the trade unions made an attempt to moderate the movement; but from day to day new proclamations appear, calling on the workers to continue the strike.

The Minister for Commerce and Industry has declared in Parliament that the action of the railwaymen and postal servants will be crushed by the most severe repressive measures. The Government wants to crush the working-class movement by violence. The proletariat must reply not by isolated shots, as happened lately at Budapest, but by a mass movement. The bourgeoisie can no longer rely on its military forces. The soldiers are going over to the side of the people, not only at Pecs, but also in other towns. In the Hungarian plain regular pitched battles between deserters and the gendarmerie have taken place. On the Italian front, the Hungarian troops — like the Roumanian, the Serbian, and the Slovak soldiers — either refuse to take the offensive, or else surrender.

The quantity of “trustworthy” troops is quite insignificant. On the other hand, the number of deserters and men arrested for violation of discipline is growing. The Hungarian military prisons have long been so full that the authorities have been forced to make use of civil gaols.

Tisza has appeared in the foreground. Wekerle, the Hungarian Trepov, is still Premier, but Count Tisza has announced that the day is at hand when he will take over the government in order that repressive measures shall be ruthlessly administered. But whether Tisza will have time to do this is another question. The objective situation, in Hungary is such that there is little hope of governing by means of a Parliamentary ministry, and without an open dictatorship.

And from the open dictatorship of the capitalist class, it is not a long step to the open dictatorship of the proletariat.

 

 

 

 

Bela Kun

MARXISM VERSUS SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

Address delivered at plenum of the Executive Committee of the Young Communist International

1932

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map - Hungarian Soviet Republic