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Editor's Corner: Remembering escapee from brutal tyrant

Janos Kadar was a brutal communist pig who ruled over Hungary for 32 years. Among other atrocities, he presided over the many murders that put down the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, an event that began on Oct. 23 of that year.

I remember this not because I am Hungarian, or because I happened to be in Hungary when the revolution started, but because a friend of mine was nearly murdered in the massacre that put an end to the revolution. He escaped Hungary within a millimeter of his life, carrying another escapee, who had been been wounded, on his back.

My friend’s name was Arpad Kadarkay, and on occasion he would regale his friends with the story of his escape from the revolutionary massacre, during which he literally ran away from half the police in Budapest and later half the Hungarian army’s soldiers who were firing at him and some of his friends with Kalashnikov rifles. Some of the friends were hit. Arpy had to carry one of them on his back, the friend’s arms around Arpy’s shoulders as he stumbled and ran for a place at the border with Austria where it would be safe to cross.

The friend survived, but it did take him a long time to heal.

Arpy wound up as a professor of political science at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where he and I met through a mutual friend, an economics professor.

One thing Arpy was absolutely sure of was that communism was the worst thing to have happened to the human race, and socialism was right behind it.

“It is terrible, because it is built on lies,” I remember him saying. “It claims to be democratic, but it is just the opposite. It is the rule of a few despots, enforced by murder and threats.”

He used to be amazed that certain American intellectuals actually believed communism to be the wave of the future. “They believe Marx to be a prophet,” he would say. “He was actually an idiot who didn’t know what he was talking about. If anyone wants to see what communism really is all about, they should study Stalin. He murdered tens of millions. They should study Mao. He murdered 30 million.”

Arpy died in 2015. We never discussed the Kim family of North Korea, but there’s no doubt what he would have thought of them, especially the youngest, Kim Jong-un, with whom we are dealing now, and who even had his own brother murdered to hold on to power.

So far, Arpy’s views of communism have never been disproved.


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