Who's Who - Bela Kun

Bela Kun Bela Kun (1886-1936), the Hungarian revolutionary, was responsible for founding the world's second communist government with the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the close of the World War One.

The founder of the Hungarian Communist Party, Kun served in the Austro-Hungarian army with the declaration of war in August 1914, until he was taken prisoner by the Russians in 1916.

He played no further part in the war until the Russian Revolution and the ascent of the Bolsheviks to power.  He thereafter returned to Hungary as an ally of the Bolshevik government, with the intent of stirring a revolutionary uprising.

In this he was remarkably successful.  Having formed an alliance with the Social Democrats Kun was able to form a coalition government that the Communists quickly came to dominate.

In government however Kun found his popularity waning with unpopular decisions to nationalise industry and agriculture.  Unrepentant, Kun maintain power through the ruthless use of the armed forces.

Opposition continued to grow however and, on 1 August 1919, Kun's government fell in the face of invasions from both the Czechs and Romanians, not to mention the French-sponsored counter-revolutionary force led by Admiral Miklos Horthy de Nagybanya (which succeeded in establishing Horthy in government for many years).

Fleeing to the Soviet Union, Kun established himself as a party operator within Stalin's government.  The circumstances and date of his death remain unclear, but he is believed to have met his end in one of Stalin's innumerable purges.

Panzer was a term used to describe a German tank.

- Did you know?

Who's Who