Gábor Péter

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Gábor Péter (born as Benjámin Eisenberger in Újfehértó, 14 May 1906 – Budapest, 23 January 1993) was a Hungarian Communist politician, of Jewish origin. Between 1945 and 1952 he was the absolute leader of the State Protection Authority (Államvédelmi Hatóság) which was responsible for much cruelty, brutality and many political purges.

Early life[edit]

Born Benjamin Eisenberger to Péter Eisenberger, a tailor, and Róza Meczner, in Újfehértó, Hungary. During his early years he worked as a tailor. He took part in the labour movements from the early years of the 1920s.

In 1931, he joined the Hungarian Communist Party. At this time he was also a lover of Litzi Friedmann the future first wife of Kim Philby, a member of the Cambridge Five.[1]

Career[edit]

In January 1945, he was appointed as leader of the Budapest Police Main Command Political Department (PRO), the Hungarian secret police. Péter's career rose quickly then: he became leader of the Hungarian State Police State Protection Department (ÁVO) then the State Protection Authority (ÁVH).[2]

In 1952, he was discharged from his position because he was Jewish.[2] Later he was arrested in Mátyás Rákosi's villa. According to historian Tibor Zinner, Gábor Péter was present on an official visit. Unexpectedly a handcuff clicked on his hand put back. After that Mihály Farkas stepped forward from behind the curtain and said: "the game is over". Gábor Péter's wife, Jolán Simon, who served as Rákosi's secretary, was also arrested.[citation needed]

In 1954, a court martial sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was accused of being a Zionist spy who cooperated with László Rajk, Rudolf Slánský and other "agents of international Zionism". In 1957, his term of imprisonment was significantly reduced and in 1959, he was released. After that he worked as a librarian.[2]

Death[edit]

On 23 January 1993, at the age of 86, Péter died of natural causes in a Budapest hospital, Hungary. He was nearly blind. He was survived by his wife, Jolán Simon.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Volodarsky, Boris (2014). Stalin's Agent: The Life and Death of Alexander Orlov. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-965658-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Gabor Peter, 86, Dies; Led Hungarian Police". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 

Sources[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
office established
Head of State Protection Authority
1945–1952
Succeeded by
László Piros