Dedicated to the 100 million victims of communism worldwide.
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National Exhibit
National Exhibit
Imre Nagy

Imre Nagy (1896-1958) was a lifelong communist and victim of the system he served. He came from peasant background and after taken prisoner of war in World War I in 1915 became a communist joining the Soviet Communist Party and fighting in the Civil War. After returning to Hungary in 1923 he was active in the illegal
Hungarian communist party. In 1927 he escaped to Austria and in 1930 went into a prolonged exile in the Soviet Union where he stayed until 1944. In the Soviet Union he studied agriculture and worked in the Institute of Agrarian Sciences.

He returned to Hungary in 1944 and became minister of agriculture in the first post World War II coalition government presiding over the land reform. From 1947-49 he was speaker of the parliament. Following Stalin's death and the subsequent de- Stalinization he was prime minister from 1953-55 and inaugurated the so-called "new course" entailing more moderate policies. They included a shift from developing heavy industry and slowing the pace of forced collectivization (of agriculture) and the relaxation of police terror as well as amnesty for many political prisoners. But in 1955 he was removed from office (and the Central Committee of the Party) as the hardliners once more gained the upper hand. He was also expelled from the Party.

After the outbreak of the 1956 Revolution he became prime minister of the revolutionary government and withdrew Hungary from the Warsaw Pact; he supported free elections and a multi- party system. After the fall of the Revolution he was given asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy. Upon leaving the embassy he and his associates were taken into custody (despite promises of free passage). He was sent to Romania where he stayed until his secret trial in Hungary in 1958. He was charged with treason, sentenced to death and hanged. In 1989 he was rehabilitated and reburied, as a venerated martyr of the Revolution, his funeral attended by huge crowds. He might have survived had he been willing to "confess" and engage in self-criticism.

Nagy was the rare communist functionary who preserved apolitical moral sensibilities and a humane sense of moderation that prevented him from sharing the goal-oriented ruthlessness of other communist leaders. Even more remarkable despite the long period spent in the Soviet Union and in the communist movement such attitudes survived. His collected writings were
published in the West under the title "Imre Nagy on Communism."

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Location:  Eastern Europe
Capital:  Budapest
Communist Rule:  1949-1989
Status:  Dissolved - 23.10.1989
Victims of Communism:
27 000