1944-1945: Anarchists in the Hungarian Resistance

Hungarian soldiers and Arrow Cross fascist group shredd Jewish books
Hungarian soldiers and members of the Arrow Cross fascist group collect Jewish books for shredding

The anarchists in WWII Hungary who fought in the Resistance to the Nazis and later the Russian occupiers until their suppression by the Communists.

Submitted by Steven. on September 13, 2006

Following the destruction of the Hungarian anarchist movement by the fascist regime of Admiral Horthy, anarchist groups began to re-emerge around the veteran libertarian called Torockoi, who was 80 years old in 1945. The first libertarian action was against occupying German forces by an anarchist student group. One of them, surnamed Christ(!) - a 15 year old poet from a small town in the North - was captured. In prison he met comrade Aton M. of the Hungarian-Yugoslav anarchist group Bacska (“The South”) with one hundred members, and is one of the strongest resistance groups.

In October 1944 Christ and the Russian anarchist Alexei Korsakin were freed after the Szalazi coup against Horthy.

They made contact with Torockoi and with P.M. - a student who had set up an anarchist group supported by the ‘Communists’. They start to harass the Nazi and fascist military, adopting the legendary red belt of Korsakin. They refused unity of action with the Communists, who denounced them to the Germans, who then arrested 67 militants including P.M. His group split, and two thirds went over to the Communists.

Korsakin’s group - wearing red belts - attacked and destroyed two units of the Hungarian river fleet, in central Budapest. The following night, Christ’s group Sz.F. (Libertarian Front) blew up a munitions dump. A third group were executed after an attack on Nazi Party headquarters. The movement continues with attacks up to the Battle of Budapest, which claims 200,000 lives. The movement then decided to safeguard its forces for the political struggle to come after the expulsion of the fascists.

In July 1945 the movement regrouped. P.M’s group wanted a working arrangement with the Communists against the ruling class. Torockoi’s group wanted the legalisation of the movement, Korsakin’s and Christ’s groups wanted to continue the armed struggle against the State and the Russian troops. Torockoi’s views gain a majority. A print shop was set up and propaganda distributed. The movement had 500 militants, and its influence was spreading.

The Communists then banned the movement. Torockoi died after being arrested. Four anarchist students opened fire on Russian troops, and were killed in the ensuing gun-battle. In the factories of Csepel Island, anarchists led the only strike after liberation from the fascists. Thirty workers, including 24 anarchists, were subsequently executed. The libertarian movement was liquidated. P.M. fled to Italy, Christ and Korsakin to France.

Widespread resistance to the Communist dictatorship would break out again, however, in the Hungarian uprising of 1956.

Nick Heath
Slightly edited by libcom