Sándor Bali, 1923–1982

Born as the 13th child of a peasant family at Újdombóvár, Baranya County (now in Tolna County), he had six years of schooling before going to work as an errand boy, navvy and farm labourer. In the autumn of 1944, he was taken to the West with the retreating Germans, as a member of the Levente youth movement, but returned in 1945. In 1946, he started work at the Standard (later Beloiannisz) Telecommunications Factory, where he learnt the trade of a tool fitter. Bali was a Stakhanovite several times over and twice received the award of Outstanding Worker. As one of the best men at his trade, he was elected chairman of his factory trade-union committee. Bali joined the Hungarian Communist Party in 1946 and the HWP on its formation in 1948. He took part in the Budapest demonstration on October 23, 1956. On October 29, he joined the provisional workers’ council at the Beloiannisz factory, where he was elected chairman of the permanent workers’ council at the end of November. From the end of October to December 9 (when the area workers’ councils were dissolved), Bali chaired the 11th District Workers’ Council. Several times, he gave help to ÁVH officers and communists who were hiding from the popular anger against them. He and others were carried off from the Beloiannisz factory by Soviet soldiers on the night of November 13, but they were released the next morning. On November 14, he was an 11th District delegate to the founding meeting of the Greater Budapest Central Workers’ Council, to which he was elected. As a member, he took part in talks with members of the Kádár government on several occasions. He was arrested in the Parliament building on December 11, 1956, but released again on the 16th. He then tendered his resignation from the workers’ council chairmanship, but it was not accepted. Bali was arrested for a third time on March 2, 1957. On October 24, 1957, he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment as a co-defendant in the trial of Sándor Rácz and associates. On his release in 1963, he was not allowed to return to Beloiannisz and became a toolmaker with Egyesült Izzó (United Incandescent Lamp) instead. The address at his funeral, in the Rákoskeresztúr Cemetery in January 1982, was delivered by Imre Mécs. Over 400 people attended, including many former political prisoners.

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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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