Lajos Somogyvári, (b. 1917)

Born into a farm labourer’s family in Sárbogárd, Fejér County, Lajos Somogyvári had six years of schooling before going to work on the land. After military service, he joined the police force, serving in Budapest until January 1945, when he was taken prisoner by the Soviets at Kőbánya tram depot. On his return to Hungary in November 1950, he was placed under police surveillance for a year. He worked in Sárbogárd as an agricultural labourer. On October 30, 1956, he arrived in Győr at the head of an armed force. Claiming to represent the young liberation fighters of Budapest, he delivered a speech at Győr Town Hall, attacking the government of Imre Nagy and calling for a new government under his own leadership, as well as armed intervention by the West. The speech was recorded on tape at Győr radio station, but never broadcast. Still at the head of his force, he went out to the waggon factory, the largest industrial installation in Győr, where he tried to gain the workers’ support for his demands. Attila Szigethy, with the help of the waggon-factory workers’ council and the local soldiers supporting the revolutionary leadership, was able to prevent Somogyvári’s attempted coup, but Somogyvári himself managed to elude the soldiers sent to arrest him. On the next day, he was in Székesfehérvár, where he spoke at the meeting called to establish a military council of the local guard, making similar demands to the ones he had made in Győr, this time representing himself as a representative of the University Revolutionary Students’ Committee. His proposals were strongly criticized by subsequent speakers and Somogyvári was expelled both from the meeting and from the town. He then travelled to Budapest, where he tried to win the Corvin köz group of armed rebels to his cause. Accompanied by a handful of armed men, he sought out Colonel András Márton and presented his proposals again, but Márton rejected them and ordered his arrest. After the defeat of the revolution, Somogyvári fled through Austria to West Germany, where he died.

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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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