Hungarian Soviet Republic

Hungarian Soviet Republic

Magyarországi Tanácsköztársaság
March–August 1919
Motto: "Világ proletárjai, egyesüljetek!"
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Anthem: Internacionálé[1]
The Internationale

Map of territory of the former Kingdom of Hungary, May–August 1919   Controlled by Romania in April 1919   Controlled by the Soviet Republic of Hungary   Subsequently controlled by Soviet Republic of Hungary to establish the Slovak Soviet Republic   Controlled by France and Yugoslav countries   Borders of Hungary in 1918   Borders of Hungary in 1920
Map of territory of the former Kingdom of Hungary, May–August 1919
  Controlled by Romania in April 1919
  Controlled by the Soviet Republic of Hungary
  Subsequently controlled by Soviet Republic of Hungary to establish the Slovak Soviet Republic
  Controlled by France and Yugoslav countries
  Borders of Hungary in 1918
  Borders of Hungary in 1920
47°29′00″N 19°02′00″E / 47°29′00″N 19°02′00″E / 47.4833; 19.0333
Common languagesHungarian
GovernmentSoviet socialist republic
• 1919
Béla Kun
• 1919
Sándor Garbai
LegislatureNational Assembly of Soviets
Historical eraInterwar period
• Established
21 March 1919
• Constitution
23 June 1919
• Disestablished
1 August 1919
CurrencyHungarian korona
ISO 3166 codeHU
Preceded by
Succeeded by
First Hungarian People's Republic
Hungarian Republic (1919–20)

The Hungarian Soviet Republic or literally Republic of Councils in Hungary (Hungarian: Magyarországi Tanácsköztársaság[2] or Magyarországi Szocialista Szövetséges Tanácsköztársaság[3]) was a short-lived (133 days) communist rump state.[4] When the Republic of Councils in Hungary was established in 1919, it controlled only approximately 23% of the territory of Hungary's classic borders.

It was the successor of the first Hungarian People's Republic and lasted only from 21 March to 1 August 1919. Though the de jure leader of the Hungarian Soviet Republic was president Sándor Garbai, the de facto power was in the hands of foreign minister Béla Kun, who maintained direct contact with Lenin via radiotelegraph. It was Lenin who gave the direct orders and advice to Béla Kun via constant radio communication with the Kremlin.[5] It was the second socialist state in the world to be formed, only preceded by the October Revolution in Russia which brought the Bolsheviks to power. The Hungarian Republic of Councils had military conflicts with the Kingdom of Romania, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and the evolving Czechoslovakia. It ended on 1 August 1919 when Hungarians sent representatives to negotiate their surrender to the Romanian forces.


As the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy collapsed in 1918, an independent Hungarian People's Republic was formed after the Aster Revolution. The official proclamation of the republic was on 16 November 1918 and Mihály Károlyi became its president. Károlyi struggled to establish the government's authority and to control the country.

"To Arms! To Arms!" Bolshevik Hungarian propaganda poster from 1919

An initial nucleus of a Hungarian communist party had been organized in a Moscow hotel on 4 November 1918, when a group of Hungarian prisoners of war and other communist proponents formed a Central Committee. Led by Béla Kun, the first members returned to Hungary, and on 24 November created the Party of Communists from Hungary (Hungarian: Kommunisták Magyarországi Pártja). The name was chosen instead of "The Hungarian Communist Party" because the vast majority of supporters were from the urban industrial working class in Hungary which at the time was largely made up of people from non-Hungarian ethnic backgrounds, with ethnic Hungarians only a minority in the new party itself.[6] The party recruited members while propagating its ideas, radicalising many members of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary in the process. By February 1919, the party numbered 30,000 to 40,000 members, including many unemployed ex-soldiers, young intellectuals and ethnic minorities.[7]

The party came to power as the only group with an organized fighting force and promised Hungary would be able to defend its territory without conscription. Kun promised military help and intervention of the Soviet Red Army, which never came, against noncommunist Romanian, Czechoslovak, French and Yugoslav forces.

Kun founded a newspaper, called Vörös Újság ("Red News") and concentrated on attacking Károlyi's liberal government. During the following months, the Communist Party's power-base rapidly expanded. Its supporters began to stage aggressive demonstrations against the media and against the Social Democratic Party. The Communists considered the Social Democrats as their main rivals, because the Social Democrats recruited their political supporters from the same social class: the industrial working class of the cities. In one crucial incident, a demonstration turned violent on 20 February and the protesters attacked the editorial office of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary' official paper, Népszava (People's Word). In the ensuing chaos, seven people, some policemen, were killed. The government arrested the leaders of the Communist Party,[7] banned Vörös Újság and closed down the party's buildings. The arrests were particularly violent, with police officers openly beating the communists. This resulted in a wave of public sympathy for the party among the masses of Budapester proletariat. On 1 March, Vörös Újság was given permission to publish again, and the Communist Party's premises were re-opened. The leaders were permitted to receive guests in prison, which allowed them to keep up with political affairs.

Other Languages
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Republica Sovietica Húngara
Bahasa Indonesia: Republik Soviet Hongaria
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mađarska Sovjetska Republika