Export to your Reference Manger

Please Copy & Paste



Bookmark and Share

Paralleled Stories Revived: Show Trials and Popular Front Policy in Hungary

[journal article]

Ötvös, István

fulltextDownloadDownload full text

(127 KByte)

Citation Suggestion

Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-411815

Further Details
Abstract This study analyzes the László Rajk trial and its afterlife until the post-1989 transition. It illustrates that not only this trial, but also the memory of this prosecution was strictly regulated by official political directions. Moreover, the author emphasizes the direct connection between the Rajk trial and the changing idea of the popular front. If during the war, the Soviets and the European communist parties successfully followed the anti-fascist popular front strategy, the directives from Moscow changed in September 1947. Andrei Zhdanov’s idea of the two camps forced the satellite parties to change the popular front policy. Once the anti-fascist popular front strategy sank into oblivion, Rajk could be turned into an enemy and be sentenced to death, although he had been a prominent figure of the anti-fascist resistance. When the popular front strategy was revived in new form, Rajk and his fate became a historic topic. Following the debates around this topic, this study stresses that the Rajk trial was a very problematic issue for János Kádár, who had a personal responsibility for this death and thus directly influenced the remembrance of the trial. Once Hungary headed towards political pluralism, the Rajk case sunk into oblivion, for the reevaluation of Imre Nagy’s competing case emerged as the symbol of the break with the communist regime.
Keywords transitional society; communism; popular front; resistance; opposition; political police; rehabilitation; reminiscence; Hungary
Classification General History; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Free Keywords show trial
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
Page/Pages p. 39-53
Journal Annals of the University of Bucharest / Political science series, XVI (2014) 2
ISSN 1582-2486
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works