Rajk, Laszlo läs´lō roik [key], 1909–49, Hungarian Communist leader. After fighting in the Spanish civil war of 1936–39 he was interned (1939) in a French camp for Spanish Loyalists. Rajk returned to Hungary in 1941 and became first secretary of the illegal Communist party. He participated in the Hungarian underground movement during the German occupation in World War II and was imprisoned for a time by the Gestapo. After the war he was made minister of the interior and in 1948 became foreign minister. In 1949, Rajk was accused of conspiring with Tito and others to overthrow the Hungarian government. He was tried, confessed, and was executed. In Mar., 1956, the Hungarian government declared his trial to have been in error.
See B. S. Szász, Volunteers for the Gallows (tr. 1971).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Austria and Hungary, History: Biographies