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Imre Nagy

Nagy, Imre (ĭmˈrĕ nôj, nŏdˈyə) [key], 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. His "new course" de-emphasized heavy industry, stopped forcible collectivization, and loosened police controls; he was increasingly critical of Soviet influence in Hungary. Denounced for Titoism, he was removed from office. His expulsion from the Hungarian Communist party in early 1956 was rescinded at the request of rioting students shortly before the Hungarian revolution began (see Hungary). Nagy was recalled as premier of the new government on Oct. 24, 1956. He took refuge in the Yugoslav embassy when the Soviets counterattacked (Nov. 4) and crushed the revolt. Leaving the embassy under a safe-conduct pledge, he was seized by Soviet police and was later returned to the custody of the new Hungarian regime headed by János Kádár. His trial and execution were announced in 1958. In 1989, he was officially rehabilitated and reburied with full honors.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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