Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2001

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Long Island, NY, March 3, 2001

Hero of 1956 Hungary Revolt Dies

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) -- Sandor Kopacsi, one of the leaders of the Hungarian revolt against Soviet rule in 1956, has died, state-run radio reported Saturday. He was 78.

Kopacsi died Friday in Toronto. The cause of death was not revealed.

Born on March 5, 1922, in Miskolc, an industrial town in eastern Hungary, Kopacsi joined the resistance in 1944 after the Nazis occupied Hungary.

After the war, he became a policeman, rising in the ranks to become the chief of police in Budapest by 1952.

When the uprising against Soviet rule broke out in 1956, (pictures above) he sided with the rebels and turned police headquarters into one of the movement's strongholds.

"Kopacsi recognized the democratic nature of the movement and came over to the side of the forces of change," said Bela Kiraly, a retired general and one of the leaders of the 1956 revolt.

Kopacsi was arrested in November after the Soviet Union dispatched tanks to the streets of Budapest to suppress the revolt. He was sentenced to life in prison but was granted amnesty in 1963 and allowed to work in a factory.

In 1975, he was allowed to emigrate to Canada, where his daughter lived.

Four years later, his memoir of the revolt, "In the Name of the Working Class," was published. It was translated into eight languages.

Kopacsi and his wife, Ibolya, returned to Hungary in 1990, settling in a modest apartment. He was visiting his daughter, Judit, at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife and his daughter.

Related items on this website:

 David Irving: Uprising! (free book download, pdf file)


David Irving writes:

I interviewed Mr Kopacsi when he was living in Ontario in 1980. His book is highly to be recommended: it gives a vivid insight into the methods and criminality of the Communist rulers of post-war Hungary. Unlike them, Kopacsi was not Jewish, and he pulled no punches in describing the crimes committed by their secret police (AVO and AVH). The uprising began as an old-fashioned anti-Jewish pogrom, and rapidly turned into a full scale revolution, which was crushed by Soviet tanks. I also interviewed in Moscow General Pavel Batov, who commanded the Russian tank forces engaged.
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