- State Protection Authority
The State Protection Authority ( _hu. Államvédelmi Hatóság or "ÁVH") was the
secret policeforce of Hungaryfrom 1945 until 1956. It was conceived of as an external appendage of the Soviet Union's secret police forces, but attained an indigenous reputation for brutalityduring a series of purges beginning in 1948, intensifying in 1949 and ending in 1953. In 1953 Joseph Stalindied, and Imre Nagy(a moderate reformer) was appointed Prime Minister of Hungary. Under Nagy's first government from 1953 to 1955, the ÁVH was gradually reined in.
History of the ÁVH
This is a summary of the organisations acting as
political policebetween 1945 and 1956.
BudapestPolice Main Command Political Department, ("Budapesti Főkapitányság Politikai Rendészeti Osztálya", PRO)
* 1946, Hungarian State Police State Protection Department, ("Magyar Államrendőrség Államvédelmi Osztálya", ÁVO)
* 1950, State Protection Authority, ("Államvédelmi Hatóság", ÁVH)
* 1956, the agency was abolished by the revolutionary government of
The subsequent government of
János Kádárdidn't want to resurrect the ÁVH after 1956 (Kádár was tortured by the ÁVH in the '50s). This should be considered in the light of the use of Soviet security apparatus directly in Hungary after the 1956 revolution, and in preparation for the trial of Nagy and "his accomplices". Between 1956 and 1963 Kádár, a natural opportunist, fought an inner party battle against hardline Stalinists. Kádár's victory was signalled in 1963 by a general amnestyfor the 1956 revolutionaries, an indication of the absence of a political police. Hungary would go on to be the only Warsaw Pactcountry without an intelligence service.
Policy and methods
While the security apparatus were operating, they supported the
Hungarian Workers' Party(MDP) directly, with little reference made to Government norms. This support was primarily through the secret gathering of intelligence, primarily through a vast network of informants, like the system used by the Ministry for State Security ( Stasi) in the German Democratic Republic.
The investigation network was supplemented with a mechanism of secret arrests, followed by extensive periods of
torture(lasting between 3 and 18 months). When the apparatus had extracted confessionsof varying quality from a prisoner, the State's system of public procurators and courts would be called in, in order to make a ruling on the sentence. This was the norm of operation for the ÁVH, and was only diverged from in matters of utmost state security; for example, the illegal arrest and indefinite solitary detention of the Communist Party of Great Britainoperative Edith Bone. Despite the forced nature of confessions, retractions at trial were not considered a danger to the process, due to the obvious threat of continued torture during a recess of the trial.
1953 Wallenberg show trial preparations in Hungary
ÁVH actions were not subject to
judicial review. On 1953-04-07, early in the morning, Miksa Domonkos, one of the leaders of the Jewishcommunity in Budapest was kidnapped by ÁVH officials to extract " confessions". [http://www.szombat.org/2006/0602apamatelhurcoltak.htm Interview with István Domonkos] , son of Miksa Domonkos who died after the show trial preparations hu icon] Preparations for a show trialstarted in Budapest in 1953 to prove that Raoul Wallenberghad not been dragged off in 1945 to the Soviet Union but was the victim of cosmopolitan Zionists. For the purposes of this show trial, two more Jewish leaders – László Benedek and Lajos Stöckler – as well as two would-be "eyewitnesses" – Pál Szalaiand Károly Szabó– were arrested and interrogated by torture.
The last people to meet Wallenberg in Budapest were Ottó Fleischmann, Károly Szabó, and Pál Szalai, who were invited to a supper at the Swedish Embassy building in Gyopár street on
1945-01-12. [József Szekeres: Saving the Ghettos of Budapest in January 1945, Pál Szalai "the Hungarian Schindler" ISBN 9637323147X, Budapest 1997, Publisher: Budapest Archives, Page 74] The next day, January 13, Wallenberg contacted the Russians. By 1953, Ottó Fleischmann had left Hungary, working as a physicianin Vienna.
Károly Szabó was captured on the street on
1953-04-08and arrested without any legal procedure. His family had no news of him throughout the following six months. A secret trialwas conducted against him of which no official record is available to date. After six months of interrogation, the defendants were driven to despair and exhaustion.
The idea that the "murderers of Wallenberg" were Budapest Zionists was primarily supported by Hungarian Communist leader
Ernő Gerő, which is shown by a note sent by him to First Secretary Mátyás Rákosi. [ [http://www.es.hu/pd/display.asp?channel=PUBLICISZTIKA0442&article=2004-1018-1055-02COSU Kenedi János: Egy kiállítás hiányzó képei] hu icon] The show trial was then initiated in Moscow, following Stalin's anti-Zionist campaign. After the death of Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria, the preparations for the trial were stopped and the arrested persons were released. Miksa Domonkos spent a week in hospital and died shortly afterwards at home, mainly due to the torture he had been subject to [ [http://www.hungarianquarterly.com/no143/p129.html Hungarian Quarterly] hu icon] .
political prisoners were imprisoned in ÁVH-run concentration camps. These camps were mixed and varied. Early camps tended to be cruder and crueler. In particular, the status of ex-party members varied. In camps prior to 1953 they were more harshly treated than other prisoners. After 1953, ex-party members were a virtual aristocracywithin prisons. Additionally, prior to 1953 certain camps had as their goal the eventual death of inmates due to overwork and maltreatment. In a number of cases, torture was an essential part of camp life and discipline.
Imre Nagy's first government from 1953 to 1955 vastly improved conditions in the camps, and halted the efforts to exterminate political prisoners.
The ÁVH also assisted the Soviet sphere security apparatus by staging
show trials. In two cases, the ÁVH was given the privilege of leading an attack on undesired elements throughout Hungary. In 1948 the Roman Catholic bishop József Mindszentywas tried and imprisoned. In 1949, the ÁVH arrested Hungarian Communist Partymember László Rajk, who was then tried and executed for nationalismand Titoismin a show trial that signified to the international communist movement that Yugoslavia was now a threat. (Ironically, László Rajk was the man who organised the ÁVH.)
The ÁVH in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956
1956 Hungarian Revolution, elements of the insurgents tracked down and killed both known and suspected ÁVH officers and informants. When the Revolution began, a crowd of some thousand people attacked the police headquarters in Budapest, shouting slogans as "tear down the star!" and "free the prisoners!", referring to the enormous red starthat stood on the building's roof, a symbol of socialism, and to the many prisoners kept inside. Fearing for the lives of both himself and his officers, the chief of the police let the crowd into the building, allowing them to take any political prisoners they wanted.
During and after the siege of the Hungarian Workers' Party headquarters (in Republic Square, "Köztársaság tér"), some members of the ÁVH were lynched, a fact later extensively used in party propaganda to back up the claim that the revolution was of a "fascistic, anti-Semitic and reactionary" nature.
Persecution by József Dudás' militia
Attacks on the ÁVH only became a significant activity as informal
truces developed between the student-controlled combat organisations and the Soviet troops in Budapest. Freed from the necessity of immediate combat, the József Dudásmilitia planned a series of atrocities against ÁVH officers, informants, and on a few occasions against ordinary Communist-party members caught up in the revolution. József Dudás' militia is often considered a far-right group, but others claim he was a communist; either way, his militia's violence is not contested.
October 29, in the second week of the revolution, the Dudás militia attacked the headquarters of the secret police in Budapest, massacring the ÁVH inside. This event was well documented by both western and eastern journalists and photographers, and constituted the primary evidence against Imre Nagy and other members of his cabinet in the White Books.
A Western eyewitness said::"The secret police lie twisted in the gutter [...] the Hungarians will not touch the corpse of an ÁVH man, not even to close the eyes or straighten the neck."
After Dudás' militia assaulted the building, the surrounding crowd lynched a number of ÁVH officers. Highly visible in photographs of this attack are the party's paybooks displayed on to the corpses, demonstrating that ÁVH soldiers received at least 10 times the
wages of a manual worker.
Reaction of revolutionary forces to Dudás
When the students' and workers' councils discovered what the Dudás group was doing, they instituted armed patrols to arrest and detain ÁVH members for their own safety, and for future planned trials. As a result of Dudás' massacres, and the students' policy of arrest, many ÁVH voluntarily turned themselves in to students' or workers' councils to seek protective custody. This was a reflection of the shared student-worker policy of keeping the revolution pure and bloodless. Dudás was sought for arrest by the students' and workers' councils.
Unsurprisingly, when the
Warsaw Pactintervened in the revolution to support the government, ÁVH officers carried out brutal reprisals against those who had killed their comrades. The ÁVH generally targeted all revolutionaries, and received significant assistance from the Soviet Union's security apparatus, who arrested the Nagy government, General Pál Maléter, and deported thousands of students and workers to the Soviet Union.
House of Terror
Shortly after the
Arrow Cross Partyleft it, the building under the address 60 Andrássy Road became the ÁVH Headquarters. The building is now a museum called "The House of Terror", commemorating the victims of both political systems.
* [http://www.th.hu/html/hu/_4_1_t.html The history of ÁVH] (in Hungarian), from the website of the "Public Historical Files of the Hungarian Secret Services [http://www.th.hu/] "
* [http://www.raoul-wallenberg.asso.fr/wallenberg_arch/wallenberg_test/karoly_szabo.html Homepage Raoul Wallenberg Asso.fr]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
State Records Authority of New South Wales — NOTOC The State Records Authority of New South Wales (commonly known as State Records NSW) is the archives and records management authority of the Government of New South Wales in Australia. It can trace its history back to the establishment of… … Wikipedia
Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia — The Environmental Protection Authority of Western Australia ( EPA ) is a statutory authority within the Government of Western Australia and is the primary provider of independentenvironmental advice to Government. Its role also includes… … Wikipedia
The Environment Protection Authority (Western Australia) — The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is an independent body that was established by the Western Australian Government with the objective of protecting the state s environment. The EPA provides advice to the Minister for the Environment… … Wikipedia
State Political Directorate — Not to be confused with GRU, a Soviet embodiment with a similar acronym. Soviet poster of the 1920s: The GPU strikes on the head the counter revolutionary saboteur. The State Political Directorate was the secret police of the Russian Soviet… … Wikipedia
State and Church — • The Church and the State are both perfect societies, that is to say, each essentially aiming at a common good commensurate with the need of mankind at large and ultimate in a generic kind of life, and each juridically competent to provide all… … Catholic encyclopedia
State Council of the People's Republic of China — 中华人民共和国国务院 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guówùyuàn … Wikipedia
State of New York — State of New York † Catholic Encyclopedia ► State of New York One of the thirteen colonies of Great Britain, which on 4 July, 1776, adopted the Declaration of Independence and became the United States of America. BOUNDARIES AND… … Catholic encyclopedia
State Defense Forces — (SDF) (also known as State Guards, State Military Reserves, or State Militias) in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government, although they are regulated by the National Guard Bureau through… … Wikipedia
State sector organisations in New Zealand — are as follows: (see also State Sector Act 1988) Parliamentary Offices * Office of the Controller and Auditor General (Tumuaki o te Mana Arotake) ** Audit New Zealand * Office of the Ombudsmen (Nga Kaitiaki Mana Tangata) * Office of the… … Wikipedia
State Oceanic Administration — (SOA; Chinese: 国家海洋局 Pinyin: Guójiā Hǎiyáng Jú) is an administrative agency subordinate to the Ministry of Land and Resources, responsible for the supervision and management of sea area in the People s Republic of China and coastal environmental… … Wikipedia