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TITLE:             The Case of the Socialist Camp vs. Imre Nagy (II)
DATE:              1958-6-17
COUNTRY:           Hungary
ORIGINAL SUBJECT:  Evaluation and Research Section
THEMATIC SUBJECTS: Hungary--1956 Revolution, Communist Parties--Yugoslavia, Soviet Bloc

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Radio Free Europe/Munich Hungry

Office of the Political Advisor

Background Information USSR

June 17, 1958


The specter of the trial and execution of Imre Nagy. for the past
18 months hovering over the entire "socialist camp", has now become an
irreversible reality. Made inevitable by the inexorable logic of the "pure"
ideology being propagated in the intensified campaign against revisionism
in theory, forced relentlessly towards this verdict by the pressures of the
geopolitical premises of the concept of the "indestructible nature of the
camp of socialism" to an endless reiteration of the charge of "treason",
the ultimate penalty inflicted upon the "National Communist" leader and
his Party and military supporters closes The chapter on experimentation and
innovations introduced into the Stalinist control mechanism within the orbit.[**]
[??]ss than two months after First Secretary Nikita S. Khrushchev, the head of
the CPSU, assumed the role of chief of government, the previous policy of
political trials and executions has been reinstituted as the ghoulish
symbol of the mono-Party-State power.

The timing of the announcement, at the height of the current
Soviet-Yugoslav controversy, places that chronic ideological dispute in its proper
perspective. As a result of his acceptance of the second Soviet intervention
in Hungary as necessary to correct the consequences of Nagy's practise of
national communism (Pula speech, 11 November 1956), Tito has deprived himself
of all convincing argumentation against the Soviet interpretation of the
"unity of the Socialist Camp"; through the imprisonment of Milovan Djilas
 his analyses of Communist theory -- the Soviet as well as the Yugoslav
???ant -- Tito has denied himself the chance of an unambiguous rejection of
Soviet accusations. To preserve the national independence of the State he
controls, Tito must nevertheless try to split the ideological hairs of
Party doctrine0 The Soviet decision to order the execution of Nagy, which,
as all else in Moscow now, must be attributed to Khrushchev personally,
reduces Tito's protestations to the compromised testimony of the actual
source of poisonous heresy (revisionism,) and of the accomplice in political
crime (treason). As long as Khrushchev's tactics were directed at bringing
Tito back into the bloc the postponement of the Nagy trial could, from the
Soviet point of view, be justified; like the promise of safe conduct for
Kagy given to the Yugoslavs in November, 1956, this delay would have been
prolonged only until the Yugoslav participation in the Warsaw Pact and


(*) See Background Information, 1 February 1958, also General Desk Background
Papers, 5 December 1956 and 20 April I957.

[Page 2]

Comecon would have made withdrawal impossible. As soon as the break with
Yugoslavia had widened into an unbridgeable chasm, the fate of Imre Nagy
was sealed; the first step was almost certainly the Yugoslav abstention
from the conference of "Ruling Parties" in November; the implementation
decided (or announced) at the unexpected meeting of Party secretaries and
heads of government in Moscow a month ago. No less in ignorance than the
Western journalists who are still disseminating Polish inspired versions of
that conference was Tito unaware, of that momentous decision, Utterly
oblivious to the implications of the connection between the "traitor Nagy" and the
Yugoslavs being made in the Soviet campaign against revisionism, the
Yugoslav leader in his speech only two days ago (Tanjug, 15 June 1958) had not
seen fit to mention the most serious of the bloc-wide, not only Chinese,
accusations -- the Yugoslav complicity in the Hungarian uprising. Today
Nikita Khrushchev has cashed the check Marshal Tito wrote in November, 1956,

Within the Soviet Union the execution of Imre Nagy can hardly pass
without repercussions. Although the victim of Khrushchev's need for a
demonstration of the fate of anyone attempting to "disintegrate the Socialist
Camp" made no distinction between any of the Soviet leaders in his treatise
on Communism, (Praeyer, New York, 1957), the chronology of his appointment
(June, 1953) and dismissal (March,1955) as Chairman of the Council of
Ministers and his policy "in industry coincide too closely with the incumbency of
G. M. Malenkcv not to be exploited by Khrushchev at some future date. Already
associated by the First Secretary with the Yezhovshchina (1937-38), held
responsible for Beria's crimes in Leningrad (l949) publicly disgraced on
the issues of industrial and agricultural policy, deprived of all State and
Party posts, as the result of defeat on internal issues in the intra-Party
struggle for power, Malenkov can now be made the scapegoat for the
consequences of Khrushchev's policy towards the bloc. In possession of a complete
monopoly on political -- and police -- power at home, the First Secretary
Chairman of the Council of Ministers can, in fact he must, rewrite the
history of the past five years in order to justify his present actions.


(**) The case of Poland and Gomulka seems to be an exception; it should,
however, be remembered that the possibilities of economic pressure, complete
military integration, and geographical location exclude the possibility of
Poland's leaving the camp. The key problem of Party and police relationships
remains unclarified for the moment; the delay in convoking the Party congress
is a measure of Gomulka's unwillingness to test his strength within the Party
apparatus against those who might accept a return to the previous pattern of
inter-Party dealings.

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