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An Outlaw's Diary: The Commune - CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XII.

June 21st.

I like to listen to the children when they talk about the banks of the Ipoly. The dragonflies have made their appearance over the slow, warm water. The golden maple has withered in the garden. The crops are hot between the furrows. I like to hear that summer has come. The terrible time is passing.

In the name of the Entente, Clemenceau has sent a new ultimatum to the Soviet.

" The Hungarian army fighting on Czecho-Slovak territory must be withdrawn at once behind the frontiers fixed for Hungary... The Rumanian troops will be withdrawn at once as soon as Hungarian troops withdraw from Czecho-Slovakia... If within four days after the 14th of June the Government does not comply with this demand, the Allies will take punitive measures. "

On the other hand the powers of the Entente declare " in the name of peace and justice " that the frontiers to be fixed in a subsequent message will " permanently separate Hungary from Czecho-Slovakia and Rumania and that these Powers will be obliged to withdraw behind the fixed natural frontiers. "

An hour must have passed since we began and we are still reading the names of towns and villages cut off by Clemenceau's line in the name of " peace and justice." The name of every lost town, every little village is a stab. They want to take the sky above our heads, the ground under our feet. They want to take our ancient Hungarian towns, which we have not conquered by arms but which we have built with the sweat of our brow. They want to take the region of Sopron, where the giant of Hungarian music, Francis Liszt, was born ; Czenk, where the builder of modern Hungarian culture, Count Stephen Széchenyi, sleeps his eternal sleep ; Pressburg, the ancient coronation town, whence the cry of Hungarian fidelity " Moriamur pro rege nostro ! " rang out over land and sea.

They take Kassa with the grave of the champion of Hungary's freedom, Francis Rákoczy ; Munkács, the birthplace of our great painter, Munkácsy ; Gyulafehérvár, the resting-place of Europe's saviour, John Hunyady, the scourge of the Turks ; Kolozsvár, where stands the birth-place of the great prince of the Renaissance, Mathias Gorvinus ; the field of Segesvár, the cemetery of our national poet, Petőfi. They want to take Arad where thirteen martyrs of our independence, including Count Leiningen, died within an hour for their country. They want to take Szalonta, John Arany's purely Hungarian birthplace, the district where the oldest and purest Hungarian is spoken. They want to tear from us our brethren the Vends, Ruthenians and millions and millions of Hungarians. They want to take two rivers, the Drava and the Sava, and three mountain ranges, the Tátra, the Mátra and the Fátra, which adorn and form the armorial bearings of Hungary. And all this never belonged to those to whom it is given.

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They want to rob us of our cradles and graves, " in the name of peace and justice... " My God ! " Natural frontiers... " Are they making fun of our sufferings ? Dare they call the wound cut into the country's body " Natural frontiers ? " Somebody in the room laughed gruesomely.

" Here, we overlooked this : the frontier is only fixed till the conclusion of a definitive peace treaty... " I clung to the words, supported myself with them as with crutches.

" Of course these frontiers are meant for the Bolsheviks only. They are threats to induce them to surrender... " Aladár Huszár shook his head sadly : " You will see, all this will remain... "

........

June 22nd-23rd.

The days when something happens to us are not always the worst. The long dragging hours of eventless days are just as terrible. To stand roped to the mast of a wreck, to wait passively, to gaze at the hopeless horizon and to fancy that every white wave is a sail. To see the lights of phantom vessels, to hear imaginary voices. There is nothing to see, nothing to hear : all this is as much torture as the catastrophe itself.

........

June 24th.

The blossoms of the acacias have faded, but this year I have not seen their beauty. Now they have fallen to the ground and something else is in the air a rich scent which floats through my window. If it had a colour it would be white, if it were visible it would smile the limes are blooming. Somewhere, everywhere.

Books are less heavy to my weary hands, and I can now sit up in bed. The shrill whistle of the trains no longer pierces my brain, and there are many trains running, more and more every day. The troop trains are coming back : something is happening.

The Soviet meeting was suddenly broken up and Budapest is under martial law. The Soviet members of Balassagyarmat have already come home, and judging by their reports the triumphant Soviet must have been a strange gathering. During the proceedings the comrades unfolded their greasy parcels and began to eat, filling the place with the smell of garlic and the litter of food. Notwithstanding prohibition there was a good deal of drinking in the dining-room, and while the comrades in the House of Parliament were gushing about Proletarian happiness, outside, at the entrance to the former House of Lords, the leather- jacketed Lenin Boys were brutalising pale and starving people.

tc_od2-25

Béla Kún presided autocratically over the assembly. Whenever anything began to go contrary to his desires a motion of his hand closed the debate. On the last day but one ninety-seven members had put down questions, but he shouted at them that he was fed up with their talk and in twenty-four hours he hustled the Communist Constitution through. The Soviet members of the capital attacked those of the provinces ; they clamoured that it was their fault that the capital was starving, why did they tolerate all the counter-revolutions ? The provincial members, on the other hand, declared that the Communist administration was bankrupt, was worse than any other, and finally left the place as a protest. The wind was already veering and only Béla Kún's terrorism saved the Directorate. The Commissaries were shouting : " We won't stand the preaching of pogroms in the Soviet ! " There was great excitement. William Böhm declared that an anti-Semitic pogrom putsch had been started in Budapest two days ago.

The Commander-in-Chief held forth in gloomy strains : " Though the Red army is gaining victory after victory, the situation is not altogether rosy... " On the 2nd of May, he declared, amidst frenzied applause, the People's Commissaries and the members of the Workers' Council were to proceed to the front. " Our publicity agents have spread the news over the country, yet the comrades still stick tight to Budapest. If Eugene Landler with his twenty stone can climb hills and lie in trenches under fire, surely the others can do their duty too, otherwise the Proletarian soldier will no longer believe in Proletarian equality. " Then the Red Commander shouted in despair : " The reserves have not turned up. If this goes on for another four weeks, Vágo, Landler and Pogány can go into the trenches under my leadership if they like, but there won't be any soldiers left... " I pictured the scene and could not help laughing at its absurdity. I could see the twenty-stone mass of Landler, and Pogány's terrific circumference protruding from the trenches, while Comrade Böhm, the typewriter agent, with his Field Marshal's baton elegantly held to his hip, stands over them, the shadow of his legs throwing an O on the deserted landscape. " A grandiose historical group, " ' The People's Voice ' described it. Just so.

My friends heard me laughing, came into my room, and laughed too. The children, who hadn't seen anybody laugh for a long time, could not understand what had happened to us, so they, too, burst out laughing.

" And this is the gang which rules over us ! " ... The laughter stopped suddenly and there was silence the same silence as yesterday and the days before that. The children stopped laughing too, and shyly left the room...

Another train whistled beyond the trees and a former artillery officer ran in for a moment to see the Huszárs. Strange rumours are flying about : the army is falling to pieces all along the front : the soldiers are threatening to shoot their commanders : Béla Kún promised peace and bread and now they have war and paper money : at Branyiszkó the Székler battalions and workmen-soldiers demanded the national flag to be brought out and others left the front : yesterday a victorious regiment retreated from Léva to Ipolyság : on the Danube the Reds are retiring too, without any cause, dispersing in all directions : the men at the front have sent an ultimatum to Béla Kún demanding that the " comrades should come out into the firing line too, " or they will fight no longer : all the soldiers are saying the same thing : " the Jews swagger about in patent leather boots behind the front while we die. "

It was not the ultimatum of Clemenceau and the Allies that stopped hostilities with the Czechs, it was this attitude of the troops. " Why did we beat the Czechs ? " the soldiers grumbled. " What was the good of shedding all that blood if we have to come back ? "

" Our blood is cheap to the comrades ! " others answered.

The soldiers who are passing through the station talk about marching on Budapest : they are going to brain the People's Commissaries ! Huge inscriptions are chalked up all along the trains : " To death with Béla Kún ! " " Kill the Jews ! " A poster has been stuck up opposite our house : it represents a Red soldier with Semitic features holding a rifle ; his raised hand points in front of him and his mouth is open as though he were pronouncing the inscription : " You ! Counter-revolutionaries, lurking in the dark, spreading false reports, Tremble ! "

' The Red Newspaper ' shouts in the same bloodthirsty strain : " We demand martial law against the Counter-revolution ! We demand that the administration of martial law should be placed in the hands of the only man fit for the position Comrade Tibor Számuelly. Tibor Számuelly is a brave and energetic man, who dares to be ruthless for the sake of the Revolution... With ten men he crushed the Counter-revolution in Western Hungary... All honour to him who, in the interests of the Revolution, recoils from nothing, who has enough culture and courage to choose with energy and revolutionary faith the only path that is possible, the path that is inevitable, the path trod by Saint-Juste and Marat. The right system for every emergency, the right man for every job ! Martial law for the degraded Counter-revolution. Tibor Számuelly for the suppression of the Counter-revolution ! " To-day's ' People's Voice ' reports that martial law has already been proclaimed ; its administrator, however, will not be Számuelly but Commissary Joseph Haubrich, the Red Military Commander of Budapest, who is a Christian. But it is obvious why the choice fell on Haubrich and not on Számuelly. The Jewish race is short-sighted where the lessons of history are concerned, though it is not lacking in prescience. Számuelly's gallows, set up in the Hungarian villages, are not discernible in Paris and Rome, but foreign countries have their eyes on Budapest. So as far as Budapest is concerned let it be a Christian who sheds the blood of the Christians that rise against Jewish tyranny. The Red press proves this assumption to be correct. Számuelly's slaughters were passed over in silence, but the first execution under martial law in Budapest is announced in huge type : " COUNTER-RE VOLUTIONARY SENTENCED TO DEATH ! "

In Budapest and in the provinces small hand-written and typed handbills are now being circulated, marked " Copy this and pass it on ! " These handbills set forth the aims of the foreign race which, under the aegis of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, has come into power, and appeal to the Hungarian people to be patriotic. Among others who undertook the distribution of these leaflets was Géza Herczeg, a young man of the clerical class. He was caught and " On Monday night the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced him to be shot. "

So a Hungarian has died because he distributed bills inciting his compatriots to rebel against the Jewish terror. On the feast of Corpus Christi a young Jew spat on the Host, another fired at the altar, and in another place a volley was fired at the procession. Számuelly favours the proximity of churches for his executions, but in Béla Kún's Soviet Republic there has been no conviction for persecuting Christians. The cup has now overflowed, the millions are beginning to see. The eyes of the soldiery have been opened by the useless deaths of their fellows and by the acts of the champagne-drinking delegates-to-the-front. Recruiting is announced to begin in our county to-morrow, but village after village is sending messages to the Directorate that it will not permit it. The peasantry is fairly aflame. ' Comrade ' nowadays means Jew in the minds of the peasants.

On the other bank of the Ipoly they have beaten the political delegate to death ; his name was Ignace Singer. I remember seeing the red-haired Ignace Singer, the torturer of Balassagyarmat, and the rest of the Directorate bolting in coaches from the Czechs ; it was he who, after the defeat of the local Counter-revolution, shouted from the balcony of the county hall : " Slaughter the bourgeois and don't spare their women and children ! " His voice will be heard no more nor will that of his friend, Comrade Riechmann, who has chosen the wiser part and has absconded with five million crowns in cash.

One more storm and the fury of the betrayed people will break through the dams. The people has recovered its memory ; it remembers who exploited it during the war, who enriched himself by Hungary's disaster, who dragged it into the terrible peace, into civil war and death. The air is resonant with this new consciousness, conceived in blood. In the great plain one can hear metallic clicks which bode danger : with set teeth the Hungarian peasantry is sharpening its scythes ; and the edge is not meant for the crops, for the peasant looks towards Budapest.

The news has been spreading for days. In the county of Pest counter-revolution has flared up. Aszód and Pécel have risen, Cumania and the whole length of the banks of the Danube are in ferment. It started on the 19th of June, on the feast of Corpus Christi, and the tocsin carried the news from village to village along the banks of the Danube. The peasants took their scythes, tore up the railways and cut the telephone wires. The Directorate took to flight and the Red Guards surrendered and ran for their lives.

Kalocsa, Dunapataj, Dömsöd, Tas, Lacháza... names that sound like ancient Hungarian music. They are ringing with the sound of Hungarian hopes... Hungarian scythes.

........

June 25th.

It was long after midnight when I heard steps coming from the direction of the railway station. A voice said in the street : " There will be no trains for Budapest to-morrow. " The news spread in the morning nobody knew who had brought it, it just came suddenly. The Counter-revolution has broken out in Budapest ! Imagination supplied the rest.

The Hungarians working for us in Vienna... a railway strike... the names of villages and counties... all along the Danube... the whole of Western Hungary, Szeged... The Whites are marching with fifty thousand men from Szeged towards Budapest.

Stories inspired by hope.

Then somebody came from Vácz, bringing news. Yesterday at four o'clock in the afternoon four cannon-shots were heard in the direction of Budapest. The cannonade increased. People ran down to the banks of the Danube and listened with their ears to the ground. Many stuck ribbons of the national colours in their coats. There is a counter-revolution in Budapest ! The barracks rose against the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and most of the factories joined in. The monitors on the Danube shelled and destroyed the Hotel Hungaria, which had become Soviet House. The ships hoisted the national flag, and white flags are floating from the castle, from Mount Gellert, from the houses of Buda.

A fierce joy seized me and I wanted to get out of bed. I felt ill no longer. Then... nothing especial happened and yet things began to lose their brightness. Evening came. We laughed no more and suspense became pain.

No newspapers arrived. The train was very late ; there was a passenger from Budapest—Comrade Frank, Dictator of the County, and once again he talked loudly under the porch, and he wore a red tie. A gentleman passed with a white handkerchief protruding from his pocket. " Remove that counter-revolutionary badge ! " shouted Frank. My friends sat around me in silence, none of us dared speak of plans. Hope dried up in our hearts. Then the door was cautiously opened and somebody came in. It was a railwayman they always have the latest news. The Counter-revolution in Budapest has been defeated, and those who were caught are to be hanged !

In Budapest everybody knew about it beforehand, people talked openly in the streets. The signal was expected for three o'clock, when the monitors would open fire. The moving spirits of the rising were Captain Lemberkovics and a military chaplain, Julius Zákány. Haubrich, the Red commander of the garrison, appeared to side with the rising and declared that in case of success he would assume the military dictatorship ; in case of failure, however, he would deal mercilessly with the organisers. He also informed the credulous counter-revolutionaries that the Soviet had ordered him to declare martial law. He had managed to postpone it till the 26th, but could hold out no longer. Let them therefore have the rising on the 24th, on Tuesday. Thus it was Haubrich himself who fixed the date and on Tuesday morning his posters appeared on the wall. Martial law ! The carrying out of the Counter-revolution was entrusted to a Red brigade of Hungarian soldiers composed of about three thousand men, and they had thirty guns and a few armoured cars. Haubrich knew of this, and just before the rising he despatched the brigade to the Northern front.

From that moment the Counter-revolution was reduced to a forlorn attempt, supported by the men of the artillery barracks, the monitors, the military academy and the patriotic workmen of a factory in Ujpest.

When the signal was given in the harbour of Old Buda, the three monitors came forth under the national flag and began to shell Soviet House. Fifty pupils of the military academy occupied a telephone exchange and meanwhile people were gathering at the appointed places. Officers 170 citizens, students and policemen met under doorways. The workmen, however, forsook the rising at the last moment. Many of the officers were late. In places where four or five thousand armed men were expected, only ten or twenty appeared, and of the twenty thousand hoped for only a few hundreds turned up.

The men in the artillery barracks were restrained by Communist orators, who appeared suddenly and informed them that the Counter-revolution had already been defeated everywhere, and made them arrest their officers.

The monitors gave up their useless cannonade and fled down the Danube to the south. The workmen of the factory were persuaded to surrender to a band of terrorists who had hurried to the spot. Shots were exchanged between Buda and Pest. The colours on the masts of the ships on the Danube and on the soldiers' caps changed from red, white and green to red as events took this turn.

Terror Boys on lorries with machine guns raced through the empty streets, shooting into the windows and firing volleys at the houses, occasionally breaking into houses and carrying the occupants off. They tore down the national colours wherever they found them, and corpses began to strew the pavements. When evening came the unfortunate town knew that it had not yet freed itself from the tyrant and that there was seemingly no hope left. By its organisation the Red power had swept away in a few hours the rising of the barracks, the monitors and the factories. The whole thing crumbled away in blood, misfortune and retreat. Everything was lost.

Not everything ! In the general collapse a handful of Hungarian boys kept the flag flying. The forsaken cadets of the military academy held out. Till next morning these boys in white uniforms defended the telephone exchange which had been entrusted to them against the assaults and machine-guns of the Reds. They also defended the building of their academy, besieged by a whole regiment. The attacking Reds were reinforced in the morning, artillery was brought up, and Haubrich sent a message to the effect that if they did not surrender he would have the whole place blown to pieces. Then only did the gate open and the heroes of the Counter-revolution lay down their arms. Soldiers with fixed bayonets drove a group of boys in white uniforms to the condemned cells.

Everything is lost. Yet there has been this ray of light in a town wrapped in darkness and shame. Our honour, which the men could not defend, was saved by a few boys ; and through our despair there appeared a vision of a new generation worthier than the old. What will be their fate ? The nights are nights of terror and nobody sleeps ; some fight with horrors, others hope and pray.

Poor boys ! I think of them and their mothers, of unknown, pale, sleepless women, strangers to me yet closely kin. I, too, have a mother.

........

June 26th.

The Red press rhapsodizes to-day. " The Counter- revolutionary plot has failed. Capitalism attempted to regain its power. It was led on by a tricolour flag. The mean, cowardly bourgeois mob of priests, bankers, aristocrats, officers, Jew boys, has crept out of its lairs to incite pogroms. "

This is a cunning attempt to twist the truth. The persecution of the Christians must be screened, and as there is none to contradict it, Béla Kún's press boldly calls executed Christians ' Jews ' so as to persuade the grumbling people that the Dictators do not protect their own race. And it accuses the Jewish bankers of sympathy for the Counter-revolution so as to throw sand in the eyes of the peasantry led to the scaffold. Géza Herczeg, to whom they allude, was a Hungarian, and the Jewish bankers have nothing in common with Hungary's struggles.

I have it on the authority of one of the noblest figures of the Counter-revolution, a friend of mine, that when in desperation the organisers of the Counter-revolution asked for a loan from the Hungarian Jewish bankers abroad, and the Hungarian aristocracy, for the present deprived of all its means, offered to guarantee it, they refused with derision ; for although the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is causing them temporary losses, they are ready to sacrifice themselves for the final triumph of their race and declare proudly that " this Béla Kún is, after all, a wonderful fellow ! " The written materials for the history which is to be compiled to-morrow is already being intentionally falsified by the newspapers of to-day. The Counter-revolution was not a fight of Capitalism against the Proletariat, it was a fight of the Hungarian nation against the foreign race.

Its victims are not bankers and capitalists, but the poor Hungarian middle-class, starving intellectuals, struggling manufacturers, poverty-stricken officials, and artisans, while its butchers are not Proletarians but Számuellys, Joseph Pogánys, George Lukács and Béla Kúns.

" Bad news... "

It is cold. The door rattles and the wind comes in at every crevice. Out of doors under a leaden sky the trees are blown nearly to the ground.

Someone says in a whisper :

" There is an old saying that when there is a wind like this in June it means that the gallows are busy. "

They are hanging Hungarians everywhere. Brave Captain Lembrovics and his friend, Lieutenant Filipec, have been killed. They have hanged the leaders of the factory workers, Ladislaus Orszy and foreman Martinovics. Other factory workers and bourgeois have been shot in front of the factory by terrorists.

' The People's Voice ' reports the news with satisfaction : " The Court martial has sentenced Stephen Kiss, Joseph Grasse and Ladislaus Szabó, former officers, and Zoltán Oszváth, a captain on the active list, Antony Waldsteinbrecht, a former lieutenant of the reserve, and Francis Imrey, a former captain, to death by hanging. "

The Terror tribunal is now trying the pupils of the military academy. And who will count the corpses thrown into the Danube, the dead bodies lying in the streets ? Now and then one hears a name from among the many. Madarász, a young medical student, was beaten to death because he had the temerity to study with a candle burning in his room. To the shame of humanity they have also murdered Dr. Nicholas Berend, the famous children's specialist.

Comrade Haubrich proclaims proudly : " Order reigns in Budapest, " and has the following proclamation posted up:

" After June 26th the doors of all houses must be closed at 8 p.m. No one is allowed in the streets after 10 p.m. More than three people must not be together in the street. All theatres and places of amusement are to be closed. "

And the Dictators order the city, distracted with sorrow, to hoist red flags on its houses. The walls are covered with orders.

" Any counter-revolutionary attempt, or offence, will be punished by hanging. Any counter-revolutionaries caught armed will be shot on the spot.

Budapest. June 25th, 1919.

Joseph Haubrich, Béla Kún,

Commander of the Garrison. Deputy Commander-in-Chief. "

They give orders, sentence and murder undisturbed. The wind is howling. Trees are blown nearly to the ground. And all over Hungary there are hangings.

........

June 27th.

Now that it has passed we begin to realise that even in our despair we had still hopes. It is no good to tell us we were wrong, we persisted in believing in the success of the heroic inhabitants of the banks of the Danube. That is over too, for there also the Counter-revolution has been defeated. A political delegate boasted loudly in front of the county hall of Balassagyarmat : " We have settled the whole lot. While Béla Kúm and Haubrich worked in Budapest, Számuelly dipped the peasants' rising in red. He took his revenge on the farmers. Any village that had injured the Jews was simply exterminated. "

People are fleeing from those parts, coming in our direction, and escaping over the Ipoly into the hills, where the Czechs are. The Czechs take our people to Olmütz if they are officers and to Pressburg if they are civilians. The fugitives know the fate in store for them, yet they go there ; anything is better than the gallows.

People escaping from sentence of death are continually ringing at the door, seeking Aladár Huszár. Somehow those who are in trouble know his name, and they come to him pale and exhausted, even as I came. Often they cannot speak, yet he understands them as he understood me. The Directorate keeps an eye on him and his house is watched detectives swarm around it. But he manages frequently, when night has come, to conduct anxious shadows through the quiet streets of the town to the living bridge across the Ipoly. Meanwhile the Red sentry loafs at the corner and glares at our windows. Hours pass. Mrs. Huszár walks quietly up and down in the next room. She stops suddenly, resumes her walk, then stops again. The whole house shares her vigil. Then the small gate opens... so he has come home at last. The wind covers the tracks of the fugitives, the news of blood alone remains.

The banks of the Danube are one continuous death rattle : for a whole week Számuelly has been hanging. The Revolutionary Cabinet despatched him and he arrived with his terrorists at Kunszentmiklós the day after the rising. With him came his two Russian Jew hangmen, Itzigovic and Osserovic, and, dressed in black and with leggings, a little Jew hangman called Kohn-Kerekes. The latter was overheard having an argument with Gustav Nick, a freed murderer and terrorist, as to whether one could hang two or three within five minutes.

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Számuelly toyed with his elegant chamois gloves. He wore patent leather boots, a Soviet cap, and on the breast of his Russian blouse a red Soviet star. Ignace Fekete, a telegraph operator, was dragged before him. Számuelly inquired why his orders had not been obeyed ? " Hang him ! " Somebody told him that Fekete was a Jew. He made a sign to Kohn-Kerekes : " Let him go ! " Jews are only hanged by mistake.

In Tass he had two men hanged on a mulberry tree in front of the town hall because they carried sticks. " Where did you buy those sticks ? " " Somewhere, " the men answered haughtily. " Hang them ! " ordered Számuelly. In Solt he had the notary and the innkeeper hanged. He spat on Lieutenant Azily when he was already on the gallows. And on he went with his hangmen. Csengöd, Öregcsertö... everywhere he hanged.

In Dunapataj he met with resistance, so he attacked the peasants, who had only scythes, with guns. Yet they stood their ground for five hours. Hundreds and hundreds perished. In to-day's ' Red Newspaper ' Számuelly reports in Dunapataj alone three hundred counter-revolutionaries killed. When his Terror Boys got possession of the village he had sixty men, old and young, hanged and shot without questioning them. He himself fixed the rope round several of the victims' necks and kicked the corpses with his patent leather boots. In Dunaföldvár also the trees were turned into gallows. After a desperate battle Kalocsa was forced to surrender. Számuelly erected his gallows in front of the house of the Jesuits. During the execution a priest in full canonicals, with a crucifix raised high, appeared in one of the windows and from a distance gave absolution to the martyrs. Poor Hungarian peasants, unknown yesterday, now immortal ! They were thrown naked into pits the Directorates did not even register their names. Számuelly, with disgusting callousness, certified ' suffocation ' as the cause of death.

A single gesture on the part of humanity would have been sufficient to save us from all this shedding of Hungarian blood. Instead, the victorious powers encircled us and pointed us out to their own working-men as an example of the blessings of practical Marxism. They talked of ' peace ' in Paris. And to satisfy the more sensitive their citizens their representatives in Budapest now and then entered a formal protest against the shedding of blood.

A traveller came with the evening train from Budapest and he brought news. The Revolutionary Council had fixed Thursday for the executions, which were to take place in public, in one of the finest squares of the town, the Octogon. All preparations were made : the military cordon was posted early in the afternoon : the Lenin Boys were there. The whole town was trembling with excitement and a crowd of some ten thousand people assembled, waiting and murmuring. There were no gallows it was intended to hang the counter-revolutionaries on the lamp-posts. The carts for the corpses arrived, and the excitement of the crowd increased. Six o'clock struck. Somebody shouted : " They are bringing the condemned ! " Then it was given out that the hanging would not take place. At the last moment Colonel Romanelli, the head of the Italian Military Mission, had sent a note of protest to Béla Kún, which was reported in the newspapers :

" I address to you the demand that you respect without exception the lives of all the hostages and political prisoners who have fallen into your hands in consequence of the late events, including those who were taken after armed resistance. I warn you and every member of your Government that you will be called jointly and severally to account if you execute the sentences mentioned above."

Béla Kún answered as follows :—

" The Hungarian Soviet repudiates all threats which render the members of the Government responsible for events which are the internal affairs of the country. " He appealed to the " friendly feelings testified by Italy towards the Soviet " and expressed his doubt whether Italy could be the protector of " gangs of assassins who, in the interest of the Counter-revolution had intended to murder women and children and exterminate the Jews " and who had been sentenced by judges of the Soviet " according to their own laws. "

Számuelly goes on hanging people in the provinces, but in Budapest the execution on the Octogon was prevented by the manly and determined attitude of the colonel. But while Italy saves a few lives with one hand, what action does she take with the other ? Why does Italy refuse to know who Béla Kún is and what it means in the eyes of Hungary that he can boast of his friendship with Italy and that the Red army can proclaim " We are smashing the Counter-revolution with Italian guns and Italian arms ? " It is said that the pearls from the lovely white necks of Hungarian women go abroad, and that fine thoroughbreds are driven from the Hungarian prairies in exchange for guns sent to exterminate us.

If this is true, there will be no blessing on the exchange. Spilt blood will ooze out from under the pearls and from under the hoofs of the horses.

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