Kádár, János

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Kádár, János

(yä`nôsh kä`där), 1912–89, Hungarian Communist leader. In 1932 he joined the then illegal Communist party and held high government and party posts from 1942, becoming home secretary in 1948, when the Communist party took control in Hungary. In 1951, Kádár was accused of pro-Titoism and imprisoned until 1954. After his release he quickly regained power, becoming a member of the party's central committee in July, 1956, and first secretary of the party (the Socialist Workers' party from Sept., 1956) in October. In the Hungarian revolution of 1956, Kádár at first aligned himself with the rebels and joined the cabinet of Imre NagyNagy, Imre
, 1896–1958, Hungarian Communist leader. Nagy was a symbol of the 1956 Hungarian revolt against the Soviet Union. As an agricultural expert he held several government posts in postwar Hungary before serving (1953–55) as premier.
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. However, in November he formed a countergovernment with Soviet support, and Soviet troops crushed the revolt. In 1958 he tried and executed Nagy and other leaders of the revolt. Kádár resigned as premier in 1958 but resumed that post from 1961 to 1965. In 1962 he carried out a drastic purge of former Stalinists. During his rule, Kádár remained a consistent supporter of Soviet foreign policy; he supported the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and many Hungarians never forgave him for his role in the 1956 uprising. Yet, from the early 1960s until his ouster in 1988, Kádár's social and economic policies were, by Soviet-bloc standards, relatively liberal. Under his rule, Hungary became known as the freest and most modern of the Eastern European countries.


See his Socialist Construction in Hungary (tr. 1962), On the Road to Socialism (tr. 1965), and Selected Speeches and Interviews (1985); C. Gati, Hungary and the Soviet Bloc (1988).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kádár, János


Born May 26, 1912, in Rijeka. Statesman and political leader of the Hungarian People’s Republic; prominent figure in the Hungarian and international workers’ movement. Son of an agricultural worker. He was a helper and then a mechanic. He joined the labor movement at the age of 17 and became a member of the Hungarian Communist Youth League in 1931. In 1931 he became a member of the Communist Party of Hungary (CPH) and of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Communist Youth League.

Under the fascist Horthy regime (1919–44), Kádár was active in the illegal work of the Communist Party. In 1941 and 1942 he was a member of the Pest Regional Committee of the CPH. In 1942 he was elected to the Central Committee and in 1943 became a secretary of the Central Committee of the CPH. He was repeatedly arrested for his revolutionary activity. He played a leading role in the organization of the antifascist movement in Hungary. In April 1944 he was arrested; he escaped from prison in November of that year.

After the country was liberated from fascist Horthy rule in April 1945, Kádár was elected deputy to the Provisional National Assembly and became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the HCP. From April 1945 to August 1948 he was secretary of the Budapest City Committee of the party. From 1946 to 1948 he served as deputy general secretary of the Central Committee of the HCP, and from June 1948 to 1950 he was deputy general secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party (HWP). From August 1948 to June 1950 he was also minister of internal affairs. From June 1950 to April 1951 he was in charge of the department of party organizations and mass organizations of the Central Committee of the HWP.

In 1951, Kádár was arrested on false charges. After being rehabilitated in 1954, he was initially elected first secretary of the party district committee in the 13th district of Budapest and then, in 1955, first secretary of the Pest Regional Committee of the party. The July 1956 plenary session of the Central Committee of the HWP placed him on the Central Committee and elected him a member of the Politburo and a secretary of the Central Committee.

During the counterrevolutionary revolt in Hungary in October and November 1956, Kadar took the initiative in forming the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Government and in restoring and strengthening the party of the Hungarian working class. From November 1956 to June 1957 he was chairman of an interim central committee, and in June 1957 he became first secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP). From November 1956 to January 1958 he was chairman of the Hungarian Revolutionary Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. From January 1958 to September 1961 he was a minister without portfolio and from September 1961 to June 1965 chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Hungarian People’s Republic. In 1965 he became a member of the Presidium of the Hungarian People’s Republic. Since 1957 he has been a member of the All-Hungarian Council of the People’s Patriotic Front. Kádár was made a Hero of Socialist Labor of the Hungarian People’s Republic in May 1962 and a Hero of the Soviet Union in April 1964. He was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1972.


Izbrannye stat’i i rechi 1957–60, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Izbrannye start i rechi 1960–64. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from Hungarian.)
Szilárd népi hatalom: fuggetlen magyarország. [Budapest] 1962.
A szocializmus teljes gyözelmé ért. [Budapest] 1962.
Tovább a lenini ôtou. [Budapest] 1964.
Hazafiság és internacionalizmus. [Budapest] 1968.
A szocialista Magyarországért. [Budapest] 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.