IN November, 1918, a party of Red Cross men from Soviet Russia with unexceptionable passports crossed the frontier of the newly born Hungarian Republic.
The passports were false and the men had little connection with the Red Cross but a very close one with the Red Flag. Their leader, a small, slightly misshapen Jew, with a broad, intelligent face, was bound for Budapesth on a mission which was to have the gravest consequences for the country—and which had nothing whatever to do with succouring the sick. The name on his passport issued by Lenin was Major Sebestyen. His real name was Bela Kun.
This young man, only thirty years old, destined in a few months to become the dictator of Hungary, had been for two years a prisoner of war in Russia. His career up to the time of his capture had been somewhat inglorious. He had made a scant living as a rather seedy journalist in Budapesth. He was a Socialist in a mild way, and after a time took a post in the provinces as secretary of a workmen's benefit association. He earned very little, money was scarce, and presently he was involved in the disappearance of a part of the association's funds. Steps were being taken towards his prosecution when the Great War broke out.
Hungary, as part of the Austrian Empire, was of course on the German side. Bela Kun joined a cavalry regiment. He was not a good soldier, and his small stature, his ugliness and his ineptitude made him the butt of his comrades in arms. Only the Colonel was kind to him, a kindness which he did not forget when his moment of power came.
In 1916 Bela Kun was taken prisoner by the Russians. He was lent to a prison camp at Tomsk, in Siberia. There he met the ill-fated Radek, who, after the triumph of the Bolsheviks, had been appointed to spread Communist propaganda among the foreign prisoners. Kun embraced Communism with ardour, and set to work to organise an international battalion of prisoners of war to march to the defence of the new Soviet State. He only succeeded in raising thirty volunteers, but as the result of his enthusiasm he soon found himself in St. Petersburg helping to organise Communist propaganda among all prisoners of war. He was responsible [135 136] or a great congress of prisoners in St. Petersburg, he arranged classes for those who were to take on the work of agitation when they returned home, he ran a newspaper in Hungarian, he founded Hungarian and Roumanian socialist groups. His work was so energetic and successful that he became an intimate of Lenin. Lenin trusted him and hoped great things of him.
Meanwhile the War had dragged on to its bitter conclusion. The Central European powers were defeated, famine was at their doors, discontent rife among their peoples. The great Austro-Hungarian Empire had fallen in dust and its subjects were everywhere in rebellion. On October 30, 1918, a liberal, social-democratic revolution took place in Budapesth, and a few days later the Hungarian King, the last hope of the Hapsburgs, voluntarily abdicated. Hungary became a republic under the Presidency of Count Karolyi, the social democrat.
The War had become increasingly unpopular with the Hungarian people. When defeat became more and more imminent, when the Hungarian army was pressed back behind the frontiers, when the victorious Roumanians and Czechs invaded their homeland, the Hungarians rose in fury and overthrew their old rulers. In the assassination of Count Tisza, the aristocratic and reactionary premier of Hungary under the Empire, centuries of feudal tyranny were avenged. The long horror of the War had brought to a head the grievances and wrongs under which the peasants and workers of Hungary had laboured since time immemorial. All over the country, but particularly in the capital, the people were in revolt, against the oppression of the wealthy, landed aristocracy. Amidst this turmoil of discontent the liberal, moderate, pacifist Count Karolyi formed his new Republican government, with promises of peace, universal suffrage and democratic institutions. He was supported, at first, by wild enthusiasm among the masses.
Here Lenin saw his chance to found in Hungary a second .Communist state, to act as a jumping-off ground for the revolution in Central Europe. Everything pointed to Karolyi as another Kerenski; the next thing was to find the Hungarian Lenin.
The real Lenin chose young Bela Kun for the role, and so it came about that, provided with a false uniform and a false passport, and a large sum of money, Bela Kun came home to his fatherland.
He lost no time in settling down to organise Communist agitation in the new, unstable Republic. Bands of demobilised soldiers were constantly arriving from the front and roaming about the country without employment or means. A movement for the formation of Soldiers' Councils was already in being, and into this Bela Kun threw his very considerable energy and abilities. He gathered round himself a band of agitators who toured the country stirring up  Communist feeling and endeavouring to incite the people to rebellion. Unfortunately, this band numbered a good many rowdies whose love of destruction Bela Kun was unable to check. Their activities gave the band the reputation of being composed of escaped convicts.
In February, 1919, although Bela Kun's influence was now very strong, he seems to have over-reached himself. Under his orders an attack was made by the Budapesth Communists on the offices of a prominent Socialist newspaper. In the' ensuing melee the editor, a well-known man, was killed, as well as seven police, and a large number of people were wounded. There was a popular outcry against the outrage, and Bela Kun and other leaders were arrested. They suffered sadly at the hands of the police, who took their revenge in most brutal fashion, beating the prisoners almost senseless with rifle-butts. They were then thrown into gaol.
Despite this setback, revolutionary feeling was by now very strong among the workpeople of the capital and among the disbanded troops. Karolyi's government, partly from its pacifist attitude towards all its enemies, partly from its general incompetence, was becoming every day more unpopular. To please the Allies, Karolyi had disarmed all the Hungarian troops as they returned from the front, at the same time leaving himself no army with which to defend his government from its enemies on Left and Right. Meanwhile representatives of the victorious Allied Powers, the Czechs and Roumanians, both hereditary enemies of Hungary, were occupying Hungarian territory to the increasing resentment of the Hungarian people. Murmurs of discontent grew steadily louder. Public feeling veered each day further in the direction of Bela Kun and the Communists. Gaoling the Communist leaders had not touched the real problem, and the prisoners had not long to wait before their triumph came. In a little over a month, Bela Kun and his friends, still in prison, became the dictators of Communist Hungary.
The day came on March 20, 1919. Colonel Vix, the representative of the Allied Powers in Budapesth, handed Karolyi the famous Note which was the death blow to his government. The Note informed Karolyi on behalf of the Supreme Council of the Entente that the Roumanian army had been authorised to advance two hundred miles into the interior of Hungary, and that a further zone, forty miles wide, was to be declared neutral territory into which neither Roumanian nor Hungarian troops were to penetrate.
In the face of current public feeling, Karolyi could not accept the Note. Nor, in view of his country's position as the vanquished foe of the formidable Entente, could he reject it. His only course was  to resign, and hand the country over to the makers of a new age—the Communist Party,
Messengers were sent to negotiate with Bela Kun in gaol, and in the evening of March 20 Karolyi signed a proclamation drawn up by the Communists. It ended: "I, Provisional President of the People's Republic of Hungary, turn to the world proletariat for help and justice. I resign, and I hand over the power to the proletariat of Hungary."' Within an hour after the proclamation was signed, Bela Kun and his associates had left prison in triumph. In another quarter of an hour an Executive Council for People's Commissars had been appointed, and, with a stone-mason as its President, the new Soviet Republic of Hungary was in being.
For forty-eight hours all newspapers were suspended, but Karolyi's proclamation was sent out over the wireless to the entire world. The next morning Budapesth awoke to find its walls covered with red placards announcing the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Decrees were posted all over the city proclaiming a state of emergency; meetings were forbidden, all shops except food retailers, tobacconists, stationers and chemists were ordered to close down pending a State inventory, and the sale of alcohol was absolutely prohibited. Every decree ended with the words: On pain of death by summary execution.
With remarkable celerity the city of Budapesth was socialised. All dwelling houses were taken over by the State, and rooms were apportioned to families according to their needs. Thus, to the horror and disgust of the bourgeoisie, their fine mansions were invaded by the working classes from the overcrowded tenements. Charwomen brought their family gods into palaces and settled down side by side with Countesses, sharing the same stairways, the same bathrooms and kitchens, on a basis of one room per person. (This was later found to be too generous an allowance for the accommodation available, and pending the building of new workers' flats, the allowance was reduced to one room per two persons.) All bathrooms were declared public on Saturday nights. A janitor was appointed in each house of block of flats who superintended the behaviour of the tenants. His duties were to apportion rooms, to keep order, to settle quarrels, and, most important of all to the tenants, to give out the ration cards. The shops had reopened and goods were sold at low fixed prices, but no one could buy without presenting a trade union card and a ration card.
Clothing also was nationalised, and everything was seized above the maximum personal allowance of two suits, four shirts, two pairs of boots and four pairs of socks. All jewellery was requisitioned and jewel raids were made not only on private houses, but in room to room searches of the luxury hotels. On the represen  tation of some of the British residents, Bela Kun issued printed notices to be placed on the doors of hotel rooms occupied by foreigners. One night a band of Red Guards, who, in spite of the stringent regulations prohibiting the sale of alcohol, seemed to be the worse for drink, appeared in the foyer of the Ritz Hotel and announced a room to room jewel hunt. Unfortunately, although there were many foreigners in the hotel, only one had a notice on his door. All the guests rushed to this one room for safety, and the ladies heaped their jewellery, amounting to thousands of pounds worth, on to the owner, a British press correspondent, for safe keeping. Meanwhile the hotel manager, with great presence of mind, invited the Red Guards to a meal before beginning the search. Food being scarce, the soldiers were only too delighted to be led to the hotel kitchen and given a good sit-down meal. While they were at it a telephone call was put through to the authorities, and soon another detachment of sober Guards arrived and ignominiously marched their comrades away.
Newspapers were republished under the strictest government control. Large space was allotted to news of events in Soviet Russia. On the trams the conductors changed their mode of address overnight from Sir or Your Excellency (according to the apparent degree of opulency of the passenger) to Comrade. The streets presented a quite normal appearance, except for the red posters, and the Red Guards, most of whom had no uniform except a red armlet, guarding the banks and public buildings. A British officer in Budapesth, one of the two representing the British army there, returned to his hotel on the night of Bela Kun's assumption of power to find his passage barred by a number of Red Guards with fixed bayonets. They refused to allow him to pass, but he was a very tall man, and, walking calmly up to the line of gleaming steel, he ran his finger along the points. "Your bayonets are not sharp enough to hurt a British officer," he said coolly; and, pushing them aside, walked in.
All the banks were taken over, and deposits and securities seized for the public funds. The ex-holders, however, were allowed to draw a monthly sum not exceeding the wage of the highest paid manual worker. In itself, however, money was of little use without a trade union card. Thus, in order to buy their daily necessities, aristocratic ladies and wealthy middle-class wives were obliged to take jobs such as riding mistresses or music teachers or anything that they knew how to do.
Of course the bourgeoisie and aristocracy were in a panic, and many were fleeing the country with such of their valuables as they could carry, often burying the rest in their gardens. This panic was deliberately fostered by Bela Kun's government as a repressive  measure. Newspapers printed lengthy accounts of the liquidation of the bourgeoisie in Russia. One of Kun's more violent associates, Czamuelly, was said to have promised his followers three days of massacre and pillage "in order to frighten the middle-class and give them a good lesson." He was supposed to be held back by the moderate elements of the government, but the threat hung over the bourgeoisie like a black cloud. Constant rumours flew round that the "three days" were to begin on "the morrow." The nobility scuttle into their houses, or rather what rooms are left them, like frightened rabbits," wrote a British reporter. Hungary's richest man, a millionaire armaments manufacturer, took an overdose of veronal. Unfortunately he did not take enough, and regained consciousness under arrest in hospital.
Counter-revolutionary activity sprang into being among the bolder elements. The bourgeoisie put their hope in intervention by the Allied Powers on the lines of the intervention in Soviet Russia. The advance which the Czech army was making into Slovakia therefore raised their hopes, and they were ready to do anything they could to help it. The Revolutionary Government realised that a strong check must be put on all counter-revolutionary movements, Bela Kun was not a bloodthirsty man, nor, with one exception—the sadistic Czamuelly—were the other Communist leaders. He decided, however, that a form of Terror was unavoidable if his bourgeois enemies were to be kept down. He therefore ordered the recruitment of a special corps of secret police to deal with counter-revolutionary activities.
This job was given to an ex-sailor called Joseph Czerny, whom Bela Kun had known as a fellow prisoner in Russia. By the third day of the revolution he had organised a band of two hundred picked men, equipped with twenty-four cars and lorries, twenty-four machine-guns, and any number of rifles, automatics, knives, and hand grenades. The men wore a peculiar uniform of leather from head to foot, Leather cap, leather jacket, leather breeches, leather gaiters and shoes. Each man was armed with a butcher's knife, revolver and rifle, and for punitive expeditions they carried hand grenades. Each car or lorry was equipped with a machine-gun. Czerny is said to have chosen only dark men for his brigade of "Lenin boys," as they were called, alleging that fair men were too squeamish. He wanted his "boys" to look fierce and to flinch at nothing. They must not be afraid of blood, Czerny is supposed to have said, because blood was to be their business. Each recruit had to swear an oath to execute without hesitation any form of death sentence. All members of the corps were guaranteed immunity from punishment for murder unless by their actions they caused the death of a Communist leader. Their headquarters was  in a fine old palace on the embankment of the Danube which was rechristened the Lenin barracks, thus, giving the name of "Lenin boys" to its inmates.
The main business of this special corps was to arrest, bring for interrogation, and if need be punish persons suspected of counter-revolutionary activities, or persons considered in any way dangerous to the new regime. There was, as seems inevitable under any form of dictatorship, a vast network of spy organisation throughout the capital, and, in a lesser degree over the whole, country. Nobody could be sure of his neighbour, for, of course, the more afraid people become, the more tempting it as to denounce some one in die hope of deflecting the wrath, of the gods from one's own head.'" The house janitors, in particular, were expected to keep eyes and ears alert for signs of seditious activity.
A list of persons considered likely to be dangerous, mostly members of the nobility, was drawn up and many of these were arrested. Others escaped to Austria, but their families were sometimes arrested in their stead. Besides these, another list of four hundred hostages was made out. They were mainly drawn from prominent bourgeois families, and were arrested without warning, usually in the middle of the night. They were imprisoned under rather trying conditions of overcrowding and dirt, but otherwise came to no harm and were all eventually released. Bela Kun made it widely known through the medium of the press and the wireless that the advance of the Czech troops, or any other threat to the Revolution from within or without would bring with it fatal consequences for the hostages and a redoubling of the Terror.
Persons arrested on suspicion were taken to the vast basements of the Houses of Parliament to be questioned. The interrogations were presided over by a small hunchbacked Jew called Otto Korvin Klein, who struck terror into his prisoners with a long round ruler with which his restless hands played during the proceedings. He was an irate little man, and the rappings and accusing pointing of his ruler became almost a symbol of the Terror. He is supposed, in moments of anger, to have thrust the ruler down the throats, of prisoners who refused to make a confession. Certainly, as always happens when there is no public control of the police, brutal and indefensible methods were adopted by the "Lenin boys" to wring evidence out of the prisoners. Hungary is a country populated by the descendants of a fierce, warlike, nomadic people from the wild plains of Central Asia, who settled in the fertile Danube area little more than a thousand years ago. They have had plenty of fighting to do since then to keep out invaders, especially the Turks, and a certain strain of fierceness and extravagance runs through the Magyar temperament. It is not surprising that in the excite  ment of revolution, when passions were running high, brutality often came to the fore. Great capital was made by Bela Kun's enemies of the excesses that were committed under his dictatorship, while those that followed in the ensuing White Terror were conveniently hushed up.
A certain number of semi-official murders were carried out by the "Lenin boys." The basements of the Lenin barracks and the Houses of Parliament sometimes witnessed terror, torture and death, but they were hardly the scenes of wholesale carnage such as were rumoured. Some victims of unbridled ferocity had their eyeballs gouged out with knives. A young lieutenant was made to scrape a hole with his hands in a heap of red-hot coal in the furnace room of the Lenin barracks before being thrown into it and shot. Three detested officers of the old police were tortured before being hanged from a heating pipe in the basement of the Houses of Parliament. Father and son of a well-known political family were arrested one night with two others and taken away in a lorry, On the way to their destination, however, their captors changed their minds, and the lorry stopped near the bridge over the Danube which connects Buda with Pesth. The father and son were ordered to get down. They were driven at the point of the revolver towards the edge of the river, but the bank was encumbered with barges, and they were brought back to the lorry which then moved on to the bridge. The two men were then dragged off again and ordered to walk to the parapet. They were both shot in the head from behind and their bodies, alive or dead, thrown into the Danube.
The strength of the Revolution lay almost entirely in the working class of Budapesth and a few of the larger provincial towns. The peasants were hostile, and became increasingly so. All they wanted was to enlarge their individual holdings at the expense of the big estates, and they were furious at the low prices fixed by the State for their produce. They soon refused to sell at all, and withheld supplies from Budapesth. This caused an acute food shortage in the capital which did little to enhance the popularity of the Revolution. Bela Kun therefore sent out a special brigade of "Lenin boys" on punitive expeditions to the provinces to seize meat and vegetables and to suppress the opposition.
This special brigade was led by Czamuelly, one of Bela Kun's right-hand men, and who seems to have been a fanatic touched with sadism. The brigade had a special train which acted as its barracks, and which became known as the Death Train. As soon as news was received of a suspected insurrection in any district, the train raced off to the nearest point, cars were unloaded from the trucks, and within the shortest possible time the avenging band was on  the spot. Improvised military tribunals were set up in the disaffected villages, presided over by Czamuelly. Always exquisitely dressed, unruffled, cool, smoking a cigarette, he ordered whole batches of summary executions, and watched while the victims were hanged from the nearest tree: As exemplary warnings he would command the relatives of the condemned to witness the execution, and sometimes even to pull away the chair from under the victim's feet. He is said to have amused himself by personally tying the noose into interesting new knots.
While these measures cowed the opposition, they only increased the bitterness of the peasants. When the reaction came, all the excesses committed in the name of Communism were amply repaid. A French observer tells of a copse of acacia trees, near a village, from the branches of which dangled the bodies of sixty-two supposedly "Red" Jews. However, this was yet to come. Meanwhile, as May Day approached, Bela Kun and his colleagues were full of hope and encouragement. Bela Kun was in daily wireless contact with Lenin, and with Lenin's advice and support he hoped to make Hungary the stepping-stone to a Communist Europe. He realised, however, that Soviet Hungary could not survive unless Socialism triumphed in neighbouring states; but in the early days of the Russian Revolution, during the post-war turmoil when Central Europe was in a state of flux, the triumph of Communism seemed to many people only a question of weeks. Bela Kun was expecting a European-wide rising of the proletariat in the early summer.
Flushed with confidence, therefore, he prepared gigantic celebrations in Budapesth. The whole town was draped in red from end to end. Every janitor was charged with seeing that his house was duly decorated. Thus, willy-nilly, reluctant countesses were obliged to dye their curtains red and drape their windows with the symbol of all they most detested. All the most important statues, representing as they did bourgeois heroes or ideas, were swathed in red wrappings and decently concealed from the proletarian eye.
A terrifying rumour reached the community of exiled Hungarian nobility in Vienna. It was said that gibbets were being erected along the bridges and main streets of Budapesth, on which the bourgeois hostages were to be hanged as part of the May Day revelry. This was confirmed as absolute truth by later fugitives from Hungary, and caused terrible consternation among the emigrés, most of whom had family or friends among the hostages. In fact, the supposed gallows were merely the scaffolding used for erecting the street decorations.
Bela Kun was jubilant because the success of the Revolution seemed now assured. Early in April he had received a state visit  from the-representative of the Entente, no less a person than General Smuts. Bela Kun, himself People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, was now eagerly awaiting official recognition of the Hungarian Soviet by the Allies. He was also daily awaiting Communist revolutions in the neighbouring Central European States. But neither came. May Day was the high-water mark of the Hungarian Communist experiment. After that it slid down hill with gathering velocity to its final crash.
The increasing shortage of food and all other commodities, including fuel (the trains, which were very few, ran on wood), was causing growing discontent among the working people of Budapesth-the very people who had hitherto been the backbone of the Revolution, unorganized mass demonstrations, including hundreds of housewives, marched up from the industrial quarters to demonstrate in front of the luxurious Hotel Hungaria, now Soviet House, where the People's Commissars and their families were installed. In the country the peasants continued their passive resistance in spite of Czamuelly and his tribunals. Bands of unemployed soldiers still roamed at large creating disorder^ A wide portion of the land, including much of the richest territory, was occupied by enemy armies.
Bela Kun saw that the next move was urgent—to stem the ebbing tide of his popularity, to unify the people, to distract them from the inevitable dislocation of daily life, he must make war on the invaders and drive them out. A call to arms went out to the Red Army and was greeted with wild enthusiasm. The army had been reorganised on democratic lines, commanded by such of the old officers as could be trusted. It was now to try its strength on the invading Czechs in Hungarian Slovakia.
The new move was given full publicity. Great parades were held in Budapesth. Speeches, proclamations, newspaper articles poured out a stream of propaganda to fire public patriotism. Before leaving for the front, each regiment paraded its banners through the streets, and had the right to demand free gifts from all the shops. These were fastened to the regimental banners and hoisted on high to continue the triumphal march. In the shops the soldiers commandeered whatever took their fancy, and their taste seemed to run to the ornamental rather than the useful. As they marched through the streets their banners were seen decorated with silver spoons, inkstands, gold slippers, silk stockings, gloves, and ladies' hats. One banner was seen surmounted by a pair of ladies' woollen combinations.
The Red Army went off singing to the front. Soon news came through of victory. The people's army succeeded in driving back the Czechs from retreat to retreat. Popular enthusiasm for the  Revolution revived. Then came a hammer blow which struck down the victorious revolutionary army in its tracks. The Entente became alarmed at its progress westwards. It feared that a further victory would mean a revolution in Czecho-Slovakia. The Red Army was by this time threatening the important frontier town of Pressburg (now Bratislava). If Pressburg fell, declared the French general stationed there in a telegram to the Entente Council, there would be a Communist coup in Prague. So a Note came to Bela Kun, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, telling him that if he did not withdraw his troops from the Czech front, the Roumanian and French armies in the south of Hungary would be ordered to advance northwards. Thus Pressburg was never captured, and the People's Army, within sight of final victory, received orders to retreat.
Before finally withdrawing, Bela Kun set up a Socialist government in the reconquered territory, and formed a Slovakian Soviet Republic, the most westerly outpost of Communism. It was short-lived, for as soon as the Red Troops withdrew, the Czechs re-occupied the ground, and the Slovakian Soviet melted away a few days after its inauguration.
The Roumanians, however, were still encamped on a large slice of Hungarian territory in the east. The necessity for a successful war was still as great as ever. So Bela Kun sent his Red troops to the Roumanian front. But their morale was broken. The campaign proved a ghastly fiasco. The Commander-in-chief turned traitor and quite openly got into communication with the counter-revolutionaries who had now formed a miniature government in the French-held town of Szeged in South Hungary. The Roumanians beat the disrupted Red Army in every important engagement, and, although fighting went on desultorily through June and July, with an occasional minor success to the Hungarians, a steady Roumanian advance was maintained towards Budapesth.
Meanwhile the Revolution was also threatened from the south and east. In the south a White army was encamped at Szeged, and, although it had so far been kept in check by the French garrison in the town, presented a constant threat. In Western Hungary peasant revolts were daily becoming more serious. The Hungarian Soviet was menaced on all sides.
From the beginning Bela Kun had known that it was essential to form a block of Central European states who would stand together, backed by Russia, to face the hostile capitalist powers of the West. To create such a block was even more vital than to feed the people at home. Therefore Bela Kun had put aside enormous sums of money out of his none too well furnished treasury ^for financing propaganda in the neighbouring states—  Austria, Czccho-Slovakia, and Roumania, This money was transmitted first of all to the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna, from whence it was to be distributed.
But here the White emigrés, whose counter-revolutionary activities had so far been mainly confined to quarrelling among themselves, struck their blow.
News of this vast sum in the Hungarian Embassy came to the ears of the counter-revolutionaries through their spies and a bribed secretary. The Communist ambassador and his staff were away on a lightning visit to Budapesth. On the eve of their return the Whites broke into the Embassy under the eyes of the Austrian police patrolling the street. Once inside they were safe, because an embassy forms an extra-territorial unit, outside the jurisdiction of the country in which it stands. Within the doors of the Hungarian Embassy the Whites were on Hungarian territory, and die Austrian police could not enter. They rifled the place from top to bottom, found the money and removed it with many documents. Then they camped in the great salons, waiting for the return of the enemy, Soviet Hungary's representative.
He arrived with his family and staff in the middle of the night, weary and travel-stained. The Embassy presented a perfectly normal appearance outwardly, but as soon as they were all safely inside, the outer doors were barred and the hidden Whites burst upon them. Had it not been for the moderating influence of an Englishman, Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett, foreign correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, who, an ardent anti-Communist, had thrown himself into the adventure and was on the spot acting as a sort of organiser, the Ambassador and his entourage would have been massacred there and then. Instead they were removed one by one in a car to the vaults of a neighbouring convent. Each prisoner, when he was separately taken away, imagined that he was going to be thrown in the Danube.
The money, 135 million Hungarian crowns and 300 thousand Swiss francs, was taken in suitcases to Mr. Ashmead-Bartlett's room in the exclusive Hotel Bristol. He tells* the story of his arrival, carrying the cases.
"What have you got there?" asked the night porter.
He replied: " Oh, I have a lady friend, a Miss Wood, who has just escaped from the Bolshevists, and she managed to bring some of her belongings in these bags and I have promised to take care , of them for her. Will you carry them upstairs to my room?"
When he felt their weight he said: "Isn't it astonishing what women can find to put in bags. My wife fills hers up like this whenever she travels."
News of the coup reached Bela Kun, and it was a fearful blow to  him. He was furiously angry, but before anything could be done he had to make formal representation to the Austrian Government to cede temporarily the extra-territorial rights and give permission to the Austrian police to enter the Embassy. The Austrian police at last took possession, and the counter-revolutionaries were ejected. Meanwhile one of the women prisoners in the convent dungeon had become ill, and the Whites let them all out. The money, however, was irretrievably lost to the Whites, who would use it for their own ends. Thus the hoped-for foreign revolutions never happened, and at the end of July, 1919, Bela Kun found himself in a hopeless position-internal discontent, dislocated economy, enemy armies advancing on two sides. On Friday, July 31, the Roumanians crossed the river Tisza and threatened Budapesth. The Council of People's Commissars met for the last time and acknowledged defeat. A special train waited in the station, and Bela Kun and several other of the leaders fled in the evening to Vienna.
Czamuelly, however, was away in the provinces with his Death Train. On hearing the news of Bela Kun's fall, he set out for the Austrian frontier by car. He reached it in safety, but knowing himself to be hotly pursued, he left the car a little way from the actual frontier, and did the rest on foot across country. His pursuers caught sight of him just as he passed the frontier. They fired, and he fell dead on Austrian territory. An arrangement was concluded with the Austrian police by which the story was given out that Czamuelly was arrested at the frontier, and that he shot himself with a revolver concealed in his handkerchief.
Bela Kun was interned on his arrival in Vienna. An attempt to assassinate him was made the following spring, when his enemies sent him a gift of poisoned Easter eggs. Being a Jew, he did not eat them. Later he was allowed to escape to Russia, where he was for a time appointed Governor of the Crimea. He is said to have disappeared in the recent purges.
*Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, The Tragedy of Central Europe, 1923.
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