Dedicated to the 100 million victims of communism worldwide.
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National Exhibit
National Exhibit
Mathias Rakosi

Rakosi (1892-1971) was the most powerful and most unpopular Hungarian communist leader who used to be called "the best Hungarian pupil of Stalin." He did have personal contacts with Stalin and faithfully implemented all of his commands and suggestions.

Rakosi was the prototypical high level communist functionary who firmly believed that acquiring, maximizing and holding on topower justified utmost ruthlessness in the service of the great goals. He also encouraged his own "cult of personality" - his pictures were everywhere, exhibits and books about his life were plentiful and his birthdays were major national celebrations.

He was the son of a Jewish grocer and grew up in a small village but this background did not prevent him from studying at the Oriental Academy in Budapest after a distinguished record in high school. He too was a prisoner of war in World War I and subsequently became a founding member of the Hungarian Communist Party. His lifelong career in the communist movement began with his participation in the short-lived Hungarian communist regime
of 1919 as deputy commissar of commerce and member of the Revolutionary Council. This was followed by work for the Communist International in the early 1920s and later in the Hungarian communist underground. In 1933 he was arrested and sentenced to life but after serving fifteen years was released to
the Soviet Union in exchange for historic Hungarian flags Russian
troops took in 1848.

Rakosi returned to Hungary in 1945 with other communists in Soviet exile (the so-called "Muscovites") and energetically embarked on the quest for total power and remodeling the Hungarian political systems and society along Soviet lines. He was secretary general of the Hungarian Communist Party (1945-
1956) and as well as deputy prime minister and prime minister for shorter periods. He introduced the so-called "salami tactics"(his term) to eliminate step by step all opposition. In 1949 he declared: "He who is not with us is against." Removed from power during de-Stalinization (in 1953) he regained it in 1955. In July 1956 he went to the Soviet Union and stayed in exile until his
death as his numerous requests to return to Hungary were refused.

Click for sources of the victims of communism

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