Born Oct. 12, 1898, in Budapest; died there Aug. 4, 1959. Leader of the Hungarian workers’ movement, state and political figure of the Hungarian People’s Republic, and literary scholar.
In November 1918, Révai helped organize the Communist Party of Hungary (CPH). He was a member of the editorial staff of the newspaper Vörös Ujság, the central organ of the CPH, and from 1926 to 1930 of the Foreign Office of the Central Committee of the CPH.
Révai attended the Sixth Congress of the Comintern (1928). In May 1934 he emigrated to the USSR. He taught at the International Leninist School and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. In 1937 he became a member of the Central Committee of the CPH.
During World War II (1939–45), Révai carried on work among Hungarian prisoners of war in the USSR and worked at the Kossuth Radio Station. From 1945 to 1948 he was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPH, and from 1948 to 1952 of the Hungarian Workers’ Party. Révai was minister of education from 1949 to 1953. From 1953 to 1956 he was deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Hungarian People’s Republic. In 1956 he became a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers’ Party, and in 1957 of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party.
Révai was the author of historical works and works of literary scholarship, including Kölcsey (1938), Endre Ady (1940–41), and The Poetry of Attila József (1958). These works advocated a unified antifascist orientation in literature. Révai interpreted the works of Kölcsey, Ady, and József from a Marxist viewpoint, as being directly linked with the ideological trends and social problems of their times.
Révai was an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1949). He was awarded the Kossuth Prize (1949).
WORKSVálogatott irodalmi tanulmányok, 2nd ed. [Budapest] 1968.
REFERENCEBodnár, G. “Vázlatok Révai József pályaképéhez.” In Tanulmányok a magyar szocialista irodalom történetéböl. Budapest, 1962.
T. M. ISLAMOV and O. K. ROSSIIANOV