Gabor Peter

Gabor Peter

Birth
Újfehértó, Nyíregyházi járás, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Hungary
Death 23 Jan 1993 (aged 86)
Burial Farkasrét, Hegyvidék, Budapest, Hungary
Plot Columbarium, Row E, Niche 853
Memorial ID 15052816 · View Source
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Communist Official. Real name Benjamin Auschpitz. As head of Hungary's secret police from 1945 to 1952, he helped the Soviet Union seize power in his homeland after World War II. Jewish by birth and a tailor by trade, he joined the Hungarian Communist Party in 1931. During the war he was active as a spy for the Red Army and quickly rose to the upper echelons of party leadership. In January 1945, with Soviet troops occupying Hungary, Peter was named Director of the Political Police, reorganized the following year as the State Security Authority (AVO). An autonomous unit of the Interior Ministry, its ostensible purpose was to track down Nazis but its real agenda was far more sinister. Working with the Soviet MVD under direct orders from dictator Josef Stalin, Peter's task was to undermine the political and social infrastructure of Hungary's post-war democracy, thus setting the stage for the Communists to take control. To this end he set up a nationwide network of informers, ordered kidnappings of opposing political figures, and oversaw mass arrests of tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, who were either sent to the gulag or shot. In this climate of terror, reinforced by the continued presence of the Red Army, the Hungarian Republic broke apart and by 1949 a Stalinist puppet government was in place. As so often happened to Stalin's henchmen, Peter became expendable once his mission was accomplished. He was removed from his post in 1952 and expelled from the party. In January 1953, an increasingly paranoid Stalin announced his discovery of the "Doctor's Plot", a non-existant conspiracy supposedly launched by Soviet Jewish physicians, which the dictator intended to use as a pretext for anti-Semitic repression. As a Jew, Peter was immediately implicated and arrested. He faced certain execution, but Stalin died in March and the "Doctor's Plot" was officially discredited. The former secret police chief was instead tried on corruption charges and sentenced to life in a Soviet prison. Ironically, this spared him the retribution of the failed 1956 Hungarian Uprising, during which the AVO was abolished and many of its operatives were killed by a furious populace. In 1959 he was released under an individual amnesty and settled in Budapest, where he worked as a librarian until his retirement in the late 1970s. Unrepentant to the end, Peter lived to see the fall of Communism in Hungary and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and died a half-forgotten, half-despised relic of an oppressive era.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 26 Jul 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 15052816
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gabor Peter (14 May 1906–23 Jan 1993), Find a Grave Memorial no. 15052816, citing Farkasreti Cemetery, Farkasrét, Hegyvidék, Budapest, Hungary ; Maintained by Find A Grave .