Béla Biszku

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Béla Biszku
Biszku Béla a Ganz Műszer Művekben.jpg
Minister of the Interior of Hungary
In office
1 March 1957 – 13 September 1961
Preceded by Ferenc Münnich
Succeeded by János Pap
Personal details
Born (1921-09-13) September 13, 1921 (age 92)
Márokpapi, Hungary
Political party Hungarian Communist Party, Hungarian Worker's Party, MSZMP
Profession politician
The native form of this personal name is Biszku Béla. This article uses the Western name order.

Béla Biszku (born 13 September 1921) is a former Hungarian communist politician, who served as Minister of the Interior from 1957 to 1961.

Life[edit]

Biszku joined the Hungarian Communist Party (MKP) in 1944 and participated in the resistance movement that fought against the Nazi German occupation of Hungary and against the collaborationist Arrow Cross Party government during the end of World War II. After the war, he organized Angyalföld, Budapest branch of the communist party, then he had worked for the MKP's Budapest Party Committee since 1946.

Between 1957 and 1961 he served as Interior Minister in the government of János Kádár, and between 1961–1962 became the deputy prime minister. From 1962 until 1978, he was a Secretary of the Central Committee. In 1972, together with Zoltán Komócsin, and other fellow communists, he became involved in a plot to force János Kádár to resign from virtually all of his public functions in an effort to return Hungary to a more orthodox Soviet-style line. To achieve his goals, Biszku tried to convince Yuri Andropov of the rightness of his cause, who immediately alerted Kádár. Afterwards Kádár slowly removed Biszku from power.

He is known for the severity he showed in suppressing and punishing after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, one of the largest revolt against the communist government in the Eastern Bloc and its Soviet-imposed policies, was defeated.

From the End of Communism until 2011, he successfully evaded any kind of prosecution for human rights abuses committed under the Kádár regime while living in relative obscurity, and sought to portray the regime in a favorable light.

Criminal investigation[edit]

A criminal investigation against Biszku was opened in 2011. He is being charged with denial of communist crimes that may result in a three year jail sentence.[1]

On 10 September 2012, Biszku was placed under house arrest on charge of suspicion of committing war crimes. He is the first politician of the 1956 Communist leadership to face a criminal inquiry. He is accused of failing to protect civilians in wartime. In addition, he needs to hold responsibility for ordering the security forces to open fire on crowds. In case, he is found guilty of the charges brought up against him that he has indefatigably denied, he could face a life imprisonment.[2]

His trial was scheduled to begin on 18 March 2014.[3]

On May 13, 2014, he has been found guilty of war crimes during the suppression of the October 1956 uprising against communist rule. He was convicted of ordering security forces to open fire on civilians, killing 49 people, and was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. Biszku was also found guilty of other charges, including denying crimes committed by the communist regime - a crime in Hungary, like Holocaust denial.[4]

Literature[edit]

  • Szabó, Miklós: Adalékok a Magyar Néphadsereg 1961-1962. évi történetéhez. 1. rész, in: Új Honvédségi Szemle. LXI. évf., 2007/9. sz., 96. p
  • Bölöny, József: Magyarország kormányai. 1848–1992, 4. bőv. és jav. kiad., Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 1992. 269. p.
  • G. Tabajdi, K. Ungvári: Elhallgatott múlt, Corvina, Budapest, 2008, pp. 99–100.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Denying communist crimes". Earth Times. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  2. ^ "Hungary 1956 counter-revolutionary Béla Biszku arrested". Politics.hu. 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  3. ^ "92-year-old former communist leader Biszku to be tried in March". Politics.hu. 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  4. ^ "Hungary 1956 revolt: Bela Biszku jailed for war crimes". bbc.co.uk. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Ferenc Münnich
Minister of the Interior
1957–1961
Succeeded by
János Pap