István Angyal, 1928–1958

Born at Magyarbánhegyes, Békés County, Angyal completed ten years of school, but was prevented from studying further because of his Jewish origins. During 1944, he was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp with his mother and an elder sister, who both died there. After the war, Angyal completed his secondary schooling in Budapest and obtained a place studying Hungarian and history in the Arts Faculty of Budapest University. However, after two years, he was expelled from the university in 1949, after speaking up for the politician and Marxist philosopher György Lukács. He then learnt the trade of reinforced-concrete fitter at the Stalin Ironworks in Dunapentele (Sztálinváros, now Dunaújváros), where he was soon promoted to foreman technician and then site engineer. On October 23, 1956, he was working in Esztergom when he heard news of the preparations for the students’ demonstration. He joined the demonstrators at the Bem statue and marched with the crowd to Parliament. That evening he was at the radio siege, helping to rescue the wounded and unload ammunition. On October 25, he joined the ‘bloody banners’ protest. On his suggestion, the protesters read out their demands before the embassies of socialist countries, not the US Embassy as originally intended. On October 26, he was distributing newspapers, and on the following day, food to armed rebels and families with children. Angyal joined the Tűzoltó utca (8th District) rebels that day and soon became their commander, taking part with them in the armed defence of the district. On October 29 and 30, he negotiated on ceasefire terms several times. Thereafter he gave precedence to maintaining order. His group fought on until November 8, having flown the red flag next to the national flag on houses on November 7, the anniversary of the Russian Revolution of 1917. After the uprising had been crushed, Angyal continued to agitate from the Péterfy Sándor utca Hospital, where he worded, duplicated and distributed leaflets and appeals. He made several abortive attempts to contact the new Kádár government and János Kádár personally, hoping to defend gains made in the revolution. Although he was encouraged to do so by his colleagues, Angyal would not flee the country. On November 16, 1956, the hospital was raided by special forces and Angyal was among those arrested. On April 17, 1958, a court of first instance sentenced him to death for initiating and heading a conspiracy against the state and on other charges. The sentence was confirmed on November 27, 1958 by the Council of the People’s Court of the Supreme Court and carried out on December 1.

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This page was created: Wednesday, 23-Aug-2000
Last updated: Wednes, 12-Sept-2001
Copyright © 2000 The Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution

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