Ferenc B. Farkas, 19031966
Born in Marosvásárhely (Tîrgu Mures) in 1903, Farkas completed secondary school in Budapest and then studied for eight semesters at the Budapest Technical University. He worked for two years as a bank clerk and then as the publisher of art-book series from 1929. Farkas was a founder member of the [communist-dominated] March Front and supported the idea of developing it as a political institution. In 1938, he helped the ‘populist’ group of intellectuals to buy the weekly paper Szabad Szó (Free Word), of which he remained editor and publisher until 1944. In 1939, he took part in establishing the National Peasant Party. In 1945, he became a member of the Budapest National Committee and then the Nationwide National Committee. He was a member of Parliament from April 1945 until 1949. From 1945 onwards, he was in charge of economic affairs at the Peasant Party, belonging to its Steering Committee, then its Political Committee, and finally its National Leadership. He was a prominent member of the faction led by Imre Kovács in 1945–6, supporting the idea of dissociating themselves from the communists and espousing a distinct left-wing, popular programme. In 1946–7, he joined the group headed by Ferenc Erdei, accepting the policy of bringing the Peasant Party closer to the communists. Farkas attempted suicide in 1950 and remained on sick leave until 1953. After his recovery, he headed the school savings institution and joined in the work of the Patriotic People’s Front in the autumn of 1956. He took part in the re-establishment of the National Peasant Party, and on November 1, became general secretary of what became known as the Petőfi Party. He represented his party in the last government of Imre Nagy, as minister of state. After November 4, he took part in the intellectual resistance. In 1957, he was a member of the Economic Reform Committee. From 1958, he lived in complete retirement as a pensioner until his death on January 22, 1966.
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