János Bárány, 1930–1959

Born in Répcelak, Vas County, Bárány was raised by his grandparents, after his mother had died in his infancy. He went to live with his father when he was seven years old. After completing the eight grades of primary school, he learnt the trade of a fitter, obtaining his trade certificate in 1948 from the Csepel Iron and Metal Works. There he worked as a toolmaker and later learnt the metal-planing trade as well. In 1951, he was conscripted into the ÁVH. While he was there, family problems led him to attempt suicide. He applied to join the party in 1954, but he was turned down despite being a Stakhanovite twice over. On October 23, 1956, he joined the demonstration while on his way home from the afternoon shift, later going to the Radio building. When the firing broke out, he went out to Csepel to fetch workers and weapons for the siege, in which he took part. On October 25, he was chosen as commander of the Tompa utca group of armed rebels, who nicknamed him Bordósipkás Jancsi (Johnny Redcap). Bárány organized the unit, brought public order to the area, and engaged Soviet military units several times. His force put up fierce resistance to the renewed Soviet offensive beginning on November 4. After the armed struggle failed, he fled to Austria with his fiancée, whom he had met during the revolution, but they were caught at the border. Returning to Csepel, he was elected onto the workers’ council at the engineering factory. At the same time, he began to organize the Revolutionary Youth Federation (Fisz), of which he became chairman. At the beginning of December, he attended the Mefesz meeting at the law building of Budapest University, where he made contact with the organization at the Central Military Hospital. Significant quantities of weapons and ammunition were collected and stored at the Csepel Youth Centre. The group also made and distributed leaflets. Bárány was arrested on April 20, 1957. The court of first instance condemned him to death on May 22, 1958 for leading a conspiracy against the state and other charges. This was confirmed by the Council of the People’s Court of the Supreme Court on February 10, 1959. He was executed on February 18.

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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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