Károly Grósz


Károly Grósz

Infobox_President | name=Károly Grósz


nationality=Hungarian
order=General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
term_start=May 27,1988
term_end=1989
predecessor=János Kádár
successor=End of communist rule
order2 = Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Hungary
primeminister2 =
term_start2 = June 25,1987
term_end2 = November 24,1988
predecessor2 = György Lázár
successor2 = Miklós Németh
primeminister3 =
term_start3 =
term_end3 =
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
birth_date=Birth date|1930|08|1|mf=yes
birth_place=Miskolc, Hungary
death_date=Death date and age|1996|1|7|1930|08|1|mf=yes
death_place=Gödöllő, Hungary
spouse=
party=Hungarian Communist Party,
Hungarian Workers' Party,
Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
profession=

Károly Grósz (August 1 1930 - January 7 1996) was a Hungarian communist politician.

Grósz was born in Miskolc, Hungary. He joined the Communist Party in 1945 at the age of 14. Soon the Communists had established a regime in Hungary, and Grósz rose through the party ranks, becoming an important party leader in his native region. In 1974 he was appointed head of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda of the governing Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party.

In 1979 Grósz was elected first secretary of the party committee of his home county. In 1984 he returned to national prominence as the head of the party committee in Budapest. At the next Party Congress in 1985, he became a member of the Politburo. In 1987, he was appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers to succeed György Lázár, who had filled the post for more than eleven years. The appointment of the younger and more energetic Grósz was acclaimed both at home and abroad. As the country was facing economic troubles and growing discontent, the aging party leader János Kádár decided to resign, although originally he had planned to remain in office until 1990. In May 1988 a party conference was convened, which elected Károly Grósz as general secretary of the party at Kádár's recommendation on May 22, 1988.

Grósz remained Chairman of the Council of Ministers until later that year, when he was succeeded by Miklós Németh, a representative of the radical reformer faction, and general secretary until October 7, 1989 although more and more sidelined by the radical reformers since early 1989.

Grósz on the other hand advocated moderate and measured changes in the political and economic spheres with the aim to accomplish a careful reform of socialism without touching the latter's foundations. He liked to call this a "model change" (i.e. reforms and refinements within socialism), as opposed to a total "system change", i.e. the replacement of socialism by a Western-style system.

By doing so, he was unable and - out of principal ideological convictions - unwilling to keep abreast of the dramatic changes the country was undergoing in 1989. He tried to slow down, stop or reverse the radical changes advocated by his adversaries that were aimed at establishing a Western-type political system and market economy in Hungary. He opposed the rehabilitation of the executed Imre Nagy, Prime Minister during the 1956 revolution.

In October 1989, the radical reformers within the party, including Gyula Horn, Miklós Németh and Imre Pozsgay, set out to reorganize the party along the concept of Western European social democracy and change its name to Hungarian Socialist Party. The communist ("hardline") faction, led by Károly Grósz, was defeated at the congress and refounded itself in December 1989 as a new Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party with Grósz as its first acting chairman (later renamed Workers' Party and since 2005 split into the Hungarian Workers' Party (2006) on the one hand and the Hungarian Communist Workers' Party on the other).

He died of kidney cancer at age 65 in Gödöllő, Hungary.


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