Email this review


Here is the first of the books dealing with this controversial figure whose trial and sentence aroused widespread indignation in all freedom-loving people. In a sense he has become a symbol of the struggle against the methods of Communism in strangling free expression. A book dealing with his life and work and the activities leading up to his arrest as well as the trial itself will command a large reading public. As is the case in any book on a controversial issue, the author's background is important to the reader. This Bela Fabian recognizes and lays bare the facts. As a native Hungarian of Jewish parentage and a member of a Jewish congregation, his admiration for Mindszenty does not spring from Catholic partisanship, but rather from a common antipathy to Communism as well as Nazism, and continuous opposition to the present communist regime and the earlier Bolshevist regime of Bela Kun. The author's own experience as a prisoner of war in Russia in World War I; his imprisonment during the Bela Kun regime; his internment by the Nazis, and finally his escape when the Russians came in 1945 -- all served to augment his opposition. He portrays Mindszenty as a valiant fighter for freedom. His arrest, prosecution and sentence are described in detail, and he has no doubt but that Mindszenty's so-called ""confession"" was the product of refined torture and drugs. It is brought out, however, that Mindszenty had active contacts with the West; that he carried on negotiations with the Hapsburg family looking towards eventual restoration of the monarchy and that he consistently opposed the confiscation of Catholic estates through ""land reform"" legislation. This is a partisan book which leaves the reader feeling that there is more to be told. Perhaps the book scheduled on Macmillan's list will throw further light on the case.

Pub Date: July 11th, 1949
ISBN: 116448818X
Publisher: Scribner