Attila Szigethy ( 1912-1957)

Born in Kapuvár, Győr-Moson-Sopron County, Szigethy completed middle school and then became a clerk in his home town, first at the district court and in 1939 at the district trade association. In the mid-1930s, he became involved in the 'populist' movement, joining the National Peasant Party in 1939 and taking part in the 1943 Balatonszárszó conference. During the German occupation, he gave refuge to several fugitives, includingIstván Dobi. From 1944, he was involved in activities of the Peace Party a short-lived front organization for the illegal communist movement. In 1945, he became head of his local National Peasant Party branch and a member of the county assembly. He was a member of Parliament from 1947 to 1957, although he never joined the communist party. He was deputy chairman of Győr-Sopron County Council from 1950 to 1954. As a keen supporter of the reform programme ofImre Nagy, he was dismissed from his county-council position, but served from the autumn of 1954 as deputy chairman of the countyPatriotic People's Front committee.Ferenc Erdei intervened to have Szigethy appointed manager of Kistölgyfa State Farm. He obtained a degree at the Sopron Forestry Academy in 1955. Szigethy was elected one of the vice-chairmen of the social policy and legal committee formed at the Patriotic People' s Front on October 11, 1956. On October 26, he arrived in Győr, where he became chairman of the provisionalGyőr National Council. Learning of the firing incident at Mosonmagyaróvár, he sentGábor Földes and Árpád Tihanyi to prevent further bloodshed. From the outset, Szigethy was intent on consolidating the revolution and finding people solutions. On October 28, he addressed an ultimatum to Imre Nagy, demanding that the ÁVH should be disbanded, multi-party elections called and negotiations started on the withdrawal of Soviet troops. On October 30, he managed to forestall a coup attempt byLajos Somogyvári, by mobilizing the waggon-factory workers and soldiers. That evening, theTransdanubian National Council was formed. On the following day, Szigethy was elected its chairman and a delegation met with Imre Nagy andZoltán Tildy in Budapest. As a result, the organization appealed on November 2 to the factories to resume work. After November 4, Szigethy went into hiding for a few days, before returning to Győr, where he tried to prevent the arrest of local revolutionary leaders. After the defeat of the revolution, the Kádár government tried unsuccessfully to recruit Szigethy as a government commissioner or a minister. In February 1957, he travelled to Bulgaria with a Patriotic People's Front delegation. On May 3, he was arrested and stripped of his seat in Parliament. However, after several previous attempts, he committed suicide in prison on August 12, before his trial could begin.

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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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