Péter Kende, b. 1927

The parents of Budapest-born Péter Kende were doctors. He arrived in Szeged in February 1945 and took his school-leaving examinations there in June. He then studied law, before transferring to history and sociology at Budapest University. Having joined the Hungarian Communist Party, Kende became editor of its youth paper. In March 1947, he joined the staff of the central party daily, Szabad Nép (Free People), later becoming the paper’s foreign editor. He became a supporter of Imre Nagy’s line in 1953. In October 1954, he attacked the editors and the policies of the party leadership at a rebellious branch meeting of the party and was dismissed from Szabad Nép and went to work in Szeged. When the revolution broke out, Kende became an editor of the paper Magyar Szabadság (Hungarian Freedom), which first appeared on October 30. In November and December 1956, he worked alongside Miklós Gimes as a writer and editor on the illegal opposition paper Október Huszonharmadika (October 23). He left Hungary in January 1957 to escape the wave of arrests, settling in Paris, where he obtained a doctorate in sociology and published several books and articles on Eastern European socialism. He was a compiler of the collection of documents entitled The Truth about the Imre Nagy Case , which appeared in 1958 and was translated into several languages. Kende was on the staff of the Imre Nagy Institute in Brussels from 1959 to 1964. In 1978, he founded the journal Magyar Füzetek (Hungarian Pamphlets), which he edited until 1989. From 1962 to 1989, he also wrote political articles for the Paris Irodalmi Újság (Literary News). In 1983, he became vice-chairman of the Hungarian League of Human Rights. He worked as a researcher, a political commentator and a university professor until 1993, when he retired from the French State Scientific Centre (CNRS). Since 1993, he has taught regularly at the Loránd Eötvös University and the Századvég School of Politics in Budapest. He is an overseas member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and a member of the board of the 1956 Institute

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