András Hegedüs, b. 1922

Born in Szilsárkány (Győr-Moson-Sopron County) into a peasant family with a medium-sized holding, Hegedüs lost his father early. After completing his secondary education at the Evangelical Lyceum in Sopron, he entered the Electrical Engineering Factory of the Budapest Technical University in 1941. He was an activist with the communist Peace Part and a member of the Kisz Secretariat during the German occupation. In January 1945, he became provincial secretary of the newly established Madisz, and then its national organizing secretary responsible for education affairs and founding new provincial branches. Early in March 1946, he was sent on a three-month course to the party college. At the end of 1947, Hegedüs became agricultural specialist adviser to Erno Gerő, and deputy head and later head of the HWP Central Committee’s Agricultural and Cooperative Department. In 1950, he became a member of the party Central Committee and Secretariat, and an alternate member of the steering committee. The 2nd Congress of the HWP, held in February 1951, elected him a member of the Political Committee and the steering committee of the Central Committee. He was appointed deputy minister of agriculture on November 3, 1951, and on January 5, 1952, became state minister for agriculture and forestry. He served in the first Nagy government of 1953, as first deputy prime minister and agriculture minister concurrently. On April 18, 1955, he was appointed prime minister, in which capacity he signed the Warsaw Pact on Hungary’s behalf. He was a member of the Hungarian delegation that travelled to Yugoslavia in October 1956. On October 24, 1956, he was dismissed as prime minister and appointed a deputy prime minister. On October 28, he signed an antedated official appeal from the government for Soviet intervention. On October 29, he was taken to the Soviet Union with other compromised leaders. There he worked as a senior research fellow in the Philosophy Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He studied sociology until his return to Hungary in September 1958, when he joined the staff of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Economics. In 1962, he became deputy president of the Central Statistical Office, and in 1963, head of the new Sociology Research Group at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was editor-in-chief of the journal Valóság (Reality) until the spring of 1965. In 1966, he began to teach at the Karl Marx University of Economics. However, he condemned the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968, was dismissed from his teaching post and went to work at the Industrial Economics Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1973, the Political Committee of the HSWP passed a resolution ‘on the anti-Marxist views of certain social scientists’. In May of that year, he was charged with revisionism in the so-called philosophers’ trial, excluded from the party and dismissed from his job. He worked as an economic adviser until his retirement in 1975. From 1975 to 1990, he toured the world giving lectures, which aroused great interest due to his past. In these, he attempted to draw world attention to the Eastern European sphere through scholarly and political criticism of socialism. In 1979, he signed the statement of solidarity with the imprisoned members of the Czechoslovak civil-rights movement Charta 77. In December 1986, he took part in the illegal conference on the 1956 revolution held at István Eörsi’s flat, and in December 1988, he gave a lecture at the first legal and public conference on 1956, held at the István Széchenyi Specialist College and Social Sciences Club.

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This page was created: Wednesday, 23-Aug-2000
Last updated: Wednes, 12-Sept-2001
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