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Tibor Szamuely
Tibor Szamuely (December 27, 1890 – August 2, 1919) was a Hungarianmarker Communist leader.

Born in Nyíregyházamarker, a city in the Northeast of Hungary, Szamuely was the oldest son of five children of a Jewish family. After completing his university studies, he became a journalist. He started his political activities as a member of the Hungarian Social Democratic Party.

Szamuely was drafted and fought as a soldier during World War I; in 1915, he was captured by the Russiansmarker. After the Russian Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, he was released together with all other POWs. By then Szamuely had become a Communist. In Moscowmarker he organized a Communist group together with Béla Kun among the Hungarian prisoners of war. Many of them, including Szamuely and Kun, joined the Soviet Red Army and fought in the Russian Civil War on the side of the Bolsheviks. Szamuely later went to Germanymarker and in December 1918 he took part in the formation of the German Communist Party with Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

Szamuely was militant in his views and extreme in his choice of methods: in February 1919, as the Communist movement in Budapest became emboldened to challenge the government, he wrote in the pages of the Vörös Újság (Red News): "Everywhere counter-revolutionaries run about and swagger; beat them down! Beat their heads where you find them! If counter-revolutionaries were to gain the upper hand for even a single hour, there will be no mercy for any proletarian. Before they stifle the revolution, suffocate them in their own blood!"

Six weeks later, the Communist members of a coalition government staged a coup and established the Hungarian Soviet Republic, under the leadership of Béla Kun. Tibor Szamuely became a prominent leader of the new government. He occupied a number of posts, but finally was made People's Commissar for Military Affairs. He is remembered as chief of the "Red Terror" to combat counterrevolutionary activities. Szamuely’s own personal guards were nicknamed the "Lenin Boys" or "Lenin Youth." They were freely used to suppress with violence any resistance to the Communist regime's new policies. Tallies of the number of victims of the terror vary; different sources generally count the dead at close to 600.

In late May 1919, Szamuely made a trip to Moscowmarker by airplane to campaign for world revolution together with Lenin.

The Hungarian Soviet Republic only lasted for six months. On August 1, 1919, Kun fled as Romanianmarker troops approached Budapest. Szamuely managed to evade the brutal anti-Communist reprisals known as the "White Terror", and fled in his car towards Austriamarker. But after making an illegal border crossing, he was seized by the Austrian authorities and killed. Other sources say he committed suicide. His body was hacked and scattered in the fields.



  • Tibor Szamuely Alarm! - ausgewählte Reden und Aufsätze (Berlin. 1959).

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