1 / 2019

Ungváry Krisztián

The way of life of Sándor Démy-Gerő

The most important agents of the Hungarian foreign espionage have so far received little attention in research, because the lack of documents. The present sutdy attempts to examine the curriculum vitae of a person who was considered to be a particularly successful agent. Sándor Démy-Gerő was originally a career officer of the Royal Hungarian Army. He first joined a spy group that had been working for France against the communist Hungarians. This espionage group was called the Association of Hungarian Front Fighters (MHBK) and regularly sent couriers to Hungary. During his first assignment Démy-Gerő changed the fronts and moved to the Hungarian state security. He became the main source in the MHBK and contributed significantly to undermine the espionage attempts of this organization. Several spies have been arrested and executed in Hungary for his reports.

Démy-Gerő finally had to be recalled in 1951. The attempts to give him a new identity were difficult. Although he was one of the most successful agents, his leadership officers remained suspicious of him. It is remarkable how the Hungarian State Security dealt with its best agent.
Between 1974 and 1978 Démy-Gerő was reactivated under the name "Póker Tamás" and was used in Algeria. After his retirement, he got troubles because the state security over his time in illegality found no more documents and therefore his most important years in Austria have not been included in his pansion payments.

Neuspiller Ferenc

The piggy bank of the Roman residence. Why did the Hungarian intelligence support an Italian piggery?

The most promising untertaking of the Hungarian residence in Rome – before the 1956 revolution and war of independence – was to rope in Giovanni del Nero, Italian police. Del Nero worked at the Foreigner’s Surveillance Office (Ufficio Vigilanza Stranieri). As this office had close ties with the Italian counterintelligence, the Hungarian intelligence wanted to acquire information from him about them. Moreover, the Hungarian agencies also wanted to gain knowledge on the operation of the Italian police force and UN institutions in Rome. Del Nero was only willing to cooperate in return for financial compensation. The money he received from the Hungarian agencies he invested in his piggery. Based on Del Nero’s dossier, the study examines how the Italian police managed to extort money from the Hungarian intelligence and how the Italian counterintelligence tried to sneak close to the Roman residence.

Váradi Natália

The First Steps of The Organization of Soviet Power in the Transcarpatian region, 1944–1946

The area of ​​Transcarpathia was an integral part of historical Hungary until 1920, and then it was linked to Czechoslovakia for two decades. By the First Vienna Award that was signed in 2nd November, 1938, and with the military action between the 15-17th March, 1939 Transcarpathia returned to Hungary. After the Soviet occupation, on 28th October, 1944, a delegation from the emigrant Czechoslovak Government arrived to Hust, to reorganize the Czechoslovak administration on the basis of the law that had been valid before 1938, but the Red Army's leadership prohibited and blocked its work. In the 20th century, Transcarpathia underwent many trials and changes of borders. However, the longest, most troublesome period was the 46 years the region spent in the Soviet power system. Transcarpathia was quickly brought under Soviet control. Violent occupation of the area; total dependency on the party's power; harassment of the Hungarian and German ethnic population; the violent purges, collectivization of farms, persecution of churches; violent Russification; the abolition of private property etc. have become part of the Transcarpathian population everyday life.

Transcarpathian Ukraine's unification with the Soviet Union was an important step in the reorganization of the Communist Party of the Transcarpathian Ukraine on October 31, 1944 and also the first Transcarpathian party conference, which was convened by the Communists on 19 November, 1944 in Munkács. At the conference, the Communist Party of the Carpathian-Ukraine was formed, and the independence of the Transcarpathian Ukraine was proclaimed, which adopted a decision on "The reunification of the Carpathian-Ukraine with the Soviet-Ukraine" and on the convening of the Congress of the People's Committees. The first congress of the Transcarpathian Ukraine's People's Committees took place in Munkács on November 26, 1944, which declared the "reunion" of the area with the Soviet-Ukraine. It created its own supreme state authority, the so-called Transcarpathian People's Council of Ukraine. Ukraine. Transcarpathia was officially attached to the Soviet-Ukraine on 22 January, 1946. After another historic turn, its name became the Transcarpathian region.

Szekér Nóra

The Camp Commandant István Vasdényey’s Humanitarian Rescue Activity during the Holocaust

Between 1942 and 1945 István Vasdényey was the Commandant of the Internment Camp in Kistarcsa. During the period of the Jewish persecution he carried out everything he was capable of, regarding his authority power, to improve life conditions of the 1000-1500 Jews living in the camp. Moreover, he tried to prevent Eichmann’s action, which was - though even by Regent Horthy prohibited - transporting of the interned Jews to Auschwitz. After the war the Soviets took Vasdényey away and sentenced him to several years in a labour camp, and released him on 1953. In 1964, with the major support of the Jews prisoners rescued by him during the Holocaust, he has migrated to the USA. He died in 1984 in Buffalo.

Cseh Gergő Bendegúz

Diplomacy of the intelligence

Gábor Andreides – Anita M. Madarász – Viktor Attila Soós (ed.): Diplomácia, hírszerzés, állambiztonság. [Diplomacy, intelligence, state security] Budapest, Nemzeti Emlékezet Bizottsága, 2018.

The imposing volume published by the Nemzeti Emlékezet Bizottsága (Committee of the National Remembrance) contains 26 studies concerning the interaction, correlation and cooperation among the post-war Hungarian state security, intelligence and diplomacy. The studies are dealing with individual cases and specific actions of the Hungarian and other pro-soviet intelligence services, the organizational and methodological questions of these authorities and their activities in Hungary and abroad. Although the relevant archival sources are partly still classified, hidden, destroyed or disappeared, the authors of the volume made a huge effort to reveal as much component of this very complex issue as they could. Unfortunately the researchers have very rare and exceptional access to the Russian archives, so they had to use huge variety of other archival sources, published materials, memories, private records and open databases to complete the scope the research. The publication is based on the lectures of the conference held by the NEB in October 2017.

Pap Gábor

Expulsion and surveillance

Gajdos-Frank Katalin: Megfigyelve. Az állambiztonsági szolgálatok jelentései a magyarországi németekről 1945 és 1956 között. Bleyer Jakab Helytörténeti Gyűjtemény Heimatmuseum, Budaörs, 2016.

By now, a great corpus of the historical literature is available on the political and local history of the persecution of German minority in the post-war Hungary. Expulsion by Hungarian authorities, as well as deportation, confiscation of property, secret police surveillance and anti-German propaganda were some of the plenty forms of the persecution of Danube Swabians. The book of Katalin Gajdos-Frank discusses this persecution from the perspective of and the materials on Hungarian state security ruled by the Communist party in this period (1945-1956). Doing this, the author integrates the description of methods and cases of surveillance with the story of her own family and main-stream political history of local and international politics. Reading the unraveled cases conducted by secret police officers and tribunals, a pattern of political discrimination can be discovered: the tactics of linking undesirable social groups with each other, as in the case of German minority (Swabians) and propertied peasantry (kulaks), and making political accusation against them. There is no question about the scapegoat role of Hungarian Germans in the war-torn country and these kind of accusations proved to be practicable for the Communist party even in the later times of high Stalinism in Hungary (1949-1953). From the second third of the 1950s the repression eased on the German minorities and direct persecutions were replaced by indirect practices.

Szecsődi Attila

Violence without borders. Terror: 1918-1919. Revolutionaries, Counter-revolutionaries, Occupiers. 22 November, 2018. Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security, Budapest. (A conference review)

The conference, which was dedicated to explore the history of violence in the transitional years of 1918-1919 was co-organized by the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security and the History of Violence Workgroup. Each lecture dealt with the deeds committed by both the actual law enforcement bodies and the spontaneous actions of the citizens. The conduct of the masses differred from region to region. These unknown actions pose new questions for the historical inquiry. Masses were not moderated by either military, or police control. Regarding the history of the lost territories of Hungary in the aftermath of World War I, new enemy groups emerged within the minorities. The problem of statehood in connection with Transylvania and Novi Sad met the new local conflicts, which caused violence many times. Two lectures were also dedicated to analyse the activity of Otto Korvin and Tibor Szamuely.

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