In The Name Of The Working Class: The Inside Story Of The Hungarian Revolution
By Sandor Kopacsi
Grove Press, 1987, 304 pp.
A dedicated communist and rising star in the postwar Hungarian regime, Kopacsi became chief of police (the regular civil police, not the hated security forces) in Budapest in 1952. In 1956 he supported the liberal and nationalist trends represented by Imre Nagy, sympathized with popular demands, and was named deputy commander of the new national militia. When Soviet forces took over, he was seized, tried with Nagy and the other "traitors," sentenced to life in prison, and amnestied some years later. This is not the only inside story of 1956, but it is an arresting and significant one, a swiftly moving narrative studded with vivid encounters as the author, now a Canadian citizen, recalls them.