Jews for and against Communism in Hungary

I’m reading a biography of Edward Teller, the American who created the Hydrogen nuclear bomb. As in some other books I’ve been recently reading, the connection between some radical Jews and Communism comes up again. Edward was from a middle class Jewish home in Hungary. After the Russian revolution, a series of events led to a Jewish Communist by the name of Bela Kun becoming the leader of a “workers’ and peasants’ state’ in Hungary.

The result was a complete breakdown in the economic system. Services stopped. Goods, including food, did not move to market.

As the Communists realized that their hold on the country was growing weaker, they reverted to a reign of terror. “Traitors” were being arrested, jailed and sometimes shot every day. Corpses of dissidents were hung from lampposts.

Not only was Kun a Jew, so were eight of his eleven commissars. The authors say that Kun’s collaborators had nothing in common, with the comfortable middle-class Jews of Budapest as represented by the Tellers. The Jewish bourgeoisie resented the revolution. Nonetheless, say the authors: “… by the deposed Hungarian aristocracy and the non-Jewish middle class, including many citizens of German descent, Kun’s reign of terror, his inept bungling of a still-functioning state, would be remembered as the product of Jews.”

Edward Teller’s mother told a friend “I shiver at what my people are doing. When this is over there will be a terrible revenge.”

I (the blog author) have wondered at how much the role of some Jews in Bolshevism strengthened the hand of Hitler. Its obviously impossible to quantify this, but when Bela Kun’s regime was overthrown, it was by troops led by Admiral Miklos Horthy, who while he disliked Hitler, did approve of the German dictator’s crusade against Bolshevism and initially allied with the Nazis in World War II. (Horthy later tried to extricate Hungary from the war, which got him abducted by the Nazis). The Hungarian Jews were not deported to Auschwitz until Germany occupied Hungary.


Energy and Conflict – the Life and Times of Edward Teller – by Stanley Blumberg and Gwinn Owens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s