The Full Wiki

More info on Karoly Grosz

Karoly Grosz: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Károly Grósz article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Károly Grósz

General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
In office
May 27, 1988 – 1989
Preceded by János Kádár
Succeeded by End of communist rule

In office
June 25, 1987 – November 24, 1988
Preceded by György Lázár
Succeeded by Miklós Németh

Born August 1, 1930(1930-08-01)
Miskolc, Hungary
Died January 7, 1996 (aged 65)
Gödöllő, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Political party Hungarian Communist Party,
Hungarian Working People's Party,
Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party,
Workers' Party
The native form of this personal name is Grósz Károly. This article uses the Western name order.

Károly Grósz (August 1, 1930 - January 7, 1996) was a Hungarian communist politician.

Grósz was born in Miskolc, Hungary. He joined the Communist Party in 1945 at the age of 14. Soon the Communists had established a regime in Hungary, and Grósz rose through the party ranks, becoming an important party leader in his native region. In 1974 he was appointed head of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda of the governing Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party.

In 1979 Grósz was elected first secretary of the party committee of his home county. In 1984 he returned to national prominence as the head of the party committee in Budapest. At the next Party Congress in 1985, he became a member of the Politburo. In 1987, he was appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers to succeed György Lázár, who had filled the post for more than eleven years. The appointment of the younger and more energetic Grósz was acclaimed both at home and abroad. As the country was facing economic troubles and growing discontent, the aging party leader János Kádár decided to resign, although originally he had planned to remain in office until 1990. In May 1988 a party conference was convened, which elected Károly Grósz as general secretary of the party at Kádár's recommendation on May 22, 1988.

Grósz remained Chairman of the Council of Ministers until later that year, when he was succeeded by Miklós Németh, a representative of the radical reformer faction, and general secretary until October 7, 1989 although more and more sidelined by the radical reformers since early 1989.

Grósz on the other hand advocated moderate and measured changes in the political and economic spheres with the aim to accomplish a careful reform of socialism without touching the latter's foundations. He liked to call this a "model change" (i.e. reforms and refinements within socialism), as opposed to a total "system change", i.e. the replacement of socialism by a Western-style system.

By doing so, he was unable and - out of principal ideological convictions - unwilling to keep abreast of the dramatic changes the country was undergoing in 1989. He tried to slow down, stop or reverse the radical changes advocated by his adversaries that were aimed at establishing a Western-type political system and market economy in Hungary. He opposed the rehabilitation of the executed Imre Nagy, Prime Minister during the 1956 revolution. Hoping to defuse the campaign to rehabilitate Nagy, Grósz broke the news of the latter's earlier NKVD ties in a speech at the September 1, 1989 meeting of the HSWP Central Committee, but those present decided not to publish the facts. (Soviet KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov had sent a dossier of incriminating KGB documents, both genuine and bogus, to Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on Friday, June 16, 1989 - the same day that several hundred thousand Hungarians gathered in Heroes’ Square in Budapest to witness the ceremonial reburial of Nagy and several other leaders of the 1956 revolt who had been tried and executed in 1958). In February 1993, when Kryuchkov’s secret letter to Gorbachev was published in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Grósz gave an interview to the Hungarian newspaper Népszabadsag the following month, acknowledging that Nagy had indeed worked for the Soviet secret police in the 1930s and early 1940s[1]

In October 1989, the radical reformers within the party, including Gyula Horn, Miklós Németh and Imre Pozsgay, set out to reorganize the party along the concept of Western European social democracy and change its name to Hungarian Socialist Party.

The communist ("hardline") faction, led by Károly Grósz, was defeated at the congress and refounded itself in December 1989 as a new Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party with Grósz as its first acting chairman (later renamed Workers' Party and the 'Communist Workers' Party'). The party failed to win parliamentary representation in the first multiparty election in the newly formed Republic of Hungary.[2]

He died of kidney cancer at age 65 in Gödöllő, Hungary.


  1. ^ .Johanna Granville, "Imre Nagy aka 'Volodya' - A Dent in the Martyr's Halo?", Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Spring, 1995.
  2. ^ Международный ежегодник: политика и экономика. Выпуск 1989 г. /АН СССР, Ин-т мировой экономики и междунар. отношений; Гл.ред О.Н.Быков - М. Политиздат, 1989 - С.71.
Political offices
Preceded by
György Lázár
Prime Minister of Hungary
Succeeded by
Miklós Németh
Preceded by
János Kádár
General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party
Succeeded by
party dissolved


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address