Letter from Bela Kun to the CC CPH recognizing his erroneous attitude toward the new Comintern policy and leadership.
11855 (a) from Ger[man]
14. XII. 35.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Secret.
A LETTER FROM COM. BELA KUN TO THE CC CP HUNGARY.
I am rushing to write this short letter immediately upon my return from vacation, without having looked at the materials that have arrived in my absence. Such haste is caused by the following two reasons:
1. Two leading comrades in the C[ommunist] I[nternational] informed me during a discussion about my future work that my position before and during the Congress (as well as com. Grossís[i] behavior during the Congress) has caused doubts within the CI leadership as to whether the proper attitude of the CC CP Hungary toward the new CI leadership has been guaranteed. Naturally, from this follows the suspicion that an incorrect attitude by the party leadership towards the new CI leadership [provides] no guarantee of consistent implementation of the VII Congress line in the party and its work.
2. Comrade B.[ii] informed me that a certain member of the delegation to the Congress,[iii] whom he had talked to in person, did not fully understand the Congressís line and the political and organizational aspects of the resolution regarding the work of the CP of Hungary. He also informed me that all of the other delegation members were also dissatisfied† with the delegationís work and with the delegation leadershipís failure to adequately apply the Congress line in practice to the situation in Hungary and to the work of the CP of Hungary.
These two factors, which compelled me to write this letter, are closely related. Reservations that the CI leaders have about the party leadershipís future work and the dissatisfaction of the comrades who have recently arrived from the country with the performance of the delegation, without any doubt, have the same roots. My attitude toward the new CI leadership, before and during the Congress, prevented us from discussing all the [relevant] issues with the delegation at the time of the Congress. We also failed to properly inform the CC members so that the party, by implementing the correct political line, would promptly accomplish the turn that is consistent with the Congress resolution and, in particular, with the com. Dimitrovís report.† Neither the delegationís written report, nor the prompt delivery of the Congress's minutes to the [party] organizations can [by themselves] guarantee the turn in the partyís policy and organizational work which, according to the resolutions of the VII Congress, is necessary in Hungary as well. Suggestions regarding negotiations in Prague[iv] and the creation of the Popular Front that were sent from here are just preparatory steps. They are not yet sufficient to assure [proper] understanding by the party members of the necessity of a radical political turn nor to explain the historical significance of the VII Congressís resolutions not only to the party members, but to all Hungarian workers.
Any attempt to base relations between the partyís CC and the CI leadership on the recent mistakes that I committed while in the CI, and which caused my erroneous attitude toward the new CI leadership, would cause immeasurable harm to the party.
I most firmly declare that only that leadership which has been formed from the best representatives of the communist parties of capitalist countries, with com. Dimitrov at its head, and which fully enjoys and deserves the confidence of all communist parties, and especially of the VKP(b), can guarantee the implementation of the line of the VII Congress. In general, the CC CP of Hungary has not contradicted, before, during or after the Congress, the new CI leadership or the policy initiated at the Congress by com. Dimitrov. My erroneous attitude toward the new CI leadership formed independently of the CC as a whole, without its knowledge and, no doubt, in defiance of its line.
Wishing to avoid, at any cost, further harm to the party as a result of my mistake (of which the comrades have been informed), I make the following suggestion. If, within a month, we are not able to call a broader meeting, we call an enlarged plenum of the CC with the participation of several comrades who occupy the most important positions in the leadership. At this meeting we will discuss the question of making even more concrete the resolutions of the VII Congress. The plenum should also express its opinion regarding the performance of the delegation and criticize my behavior, which led to the well-founded doubts of the CI leadership about the party leadership. Be assured that neither personal relations in the CC, nor my work as the partyís representative will be affected by even the harshest criticism, but, on the contrary, will only benefit from it.
RGASPI, f. 495, op. 18, d. 1038, ll. 241-243.
Original in Russian (translation from German). Typewritten.
The German original in the RGASPI was altered: part of the text from pages 1 and 3 was cut out, including B. Kunís signature.
[i] Franz Gross (real name Ė Gusti; aka Iohann Nagy) (1893-1937). A lawyer by profession, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Hungary in 1912 and, in 1918, the CPH. During the period of Soviet Republic in Hungary, he was a prosecutor in a city revolutionary tribunal. In August 1919, he was arrested and held in prison until September 1920, when he escaped to Czechoslovakia. In 1923, he emigrated to the USSR. He was a member of the VKP in 1923-1931. He worked in the Peopleís Commissariat of Justice and, in February 1923, he was sent to the city of Engels, where he worked as the chairman of the city court. In 1925, he was Second Secretary of the VKP city committee in Saratov. He was a member of the VTsIK, and a delegate to the 11th and 16th VKP Congresses. Between 1931 and 1936, he was a secretary of the CC CPH, a member of the Foreign Committee of the CPH, and the CPH representative in the ECCI. He was a delegate to the 6th and 7th Comintern Congresses. He worked illegally in Vienna, Prague, Paris and other European cities. In June 1936, the ECCI expelled him from the CC CPH. Gross's expulsion from the CPH came after the 27 May 1936 ECCI meeting† discussed his political position and behavior at the 7th Comintern Congress. Gross was accused of disrupting organizational work and violations of the rules of secrecy (in connection with the discovery and arrest of the party printing press in Hungary), of sabotaging the implementation of the decisions of the 7th Congress, and of a hostile attitude towards ECCI members. Gross allegedly expressed his hostility by failing to stand up when the audience gave standing ovations to Dimitrov and Manuilsky, who had been elected to the ECCIís Presidium.† Gross explained his action by the fact that the Hungarian delegation was denied the right to nominate Bela Kun to be a member of the ECCI Presidium. In October 1937, the ECCI reviewed Grossís case. At that time, he had already been arrested. The ECCI decided to expel him from the party as an enemy of the people.† On 10 December 1937, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced him to be shot.
[ii] Refers to Imre Komor-Katsburg Bacskai.† For his biography, see Document 59.
[iii] The Hungarian CPís delegation to the 7th Comintern Congress consisted of 6 people: five had deciding votes--Janosh(Z. Szanto), Robert Dieri, Karl Kowach, Bela Kun, Iohann Nagy (Gross); Eva Lakatosh had a consultative vote.
[iv] In December 1934, the CC CPH suggested to the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Trade Union Council in Hungary that they cooperate in common action and common struggle in defense of the trade unions with the goal of broadening democratic rights and freedoms, and unifying forces to support the activities of the SDP. The CC CPH invited the SDPís leadership to speak out in support of common action with the then illegal CPH. The SDP leadership declined these suggestions. In spring 1935, the CC CPH suggested conducting a meeting with the SDP leadership. The SDP leadership again refused.