László Rudas - Biography - Before The 1918 Revolution

Before The 1918 Revolution

László Rudas was born in Sárvár, Hungary on 21 February 1885. He joined the Social Democratic Party of Hungary (SDP) in 1903 as a university student and identified with the revolutionary socialist left wing of the party. From 1905 he was on the staff of Népszava (People's Voice), the official organ of the Hungarian SDP.

Following the October 1918 Hungarian Revolution, Rudas consistently stood on the left wing of the Hungarian SDP, voting with a minority of the Central Committee to condemn the Hungarian majority socialists for participation in the independent Hungarian government of Mihály Károlyi. Whereas the majority socialists sought an independent Hungary within the framework of a monarchy, the left wing sought insurrection leading to establishment of a workers' republic of the Bolshevik type, as was currently being established in Soviet Russia.

On November 17, 1918, Rudas and his co-thinker, János Hirrosik, called a secret meeting of 50 left wing members of the SDP. Rudas denounced the compromises made by the leadership of his party and called for the immediate formation of a new radical political organization, an idea which was not immediately supported by a majority of the session's participants. However, a week later, on November 24, members of the SDP met in a private apartment in Buda and acceded to Béla Kun's demand for the establishment of the Communist Party of Hungary. Rudas was a member from the Party's inception and was one of 18 original members on its first Central Committee. members. He also served as editor-in-chief of the party's official newspaper, Vörös Ujság ("Red Gazette").

Rudas was the first translator of V.I. Lenin's State and Revolution into Hungarian and also produced a number of other translations of Russian pamphlet literature.

Rudas was designated as the delegate of the Hungarian party to the founding congress of the Communist International (Comintern) in March 1919, but was unable to reach Moscow until a month after the gathering had concluded. Rudas stayed in Moscow for several months, attending meetings of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI). He then left for Germany and Austria, where he took part in the highly factionalized politics of the exiled Hungarian Communist Party (CP).

During the Hungarian Revolution, Rudas stood with the far left of the revolutionary government, urging "strong and merciless" application of the proletarian dictatorship "until the world revolution spreads elsewhere in Europe." He was regarded by revolutionary leader Béla Kun as an advisor on ideological matters, along with György Lukács.

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