Ugrás a tartalomhoz Lépj a menübe

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /5


December 8th.

My way took me through the garden of the old Polytechnic. The place was black with people. In the great hall of the ' Stork's Fort ' Széklers and Transylvanian Hungarians were gathered together. The streets poured forth their masses : the crush up there must have been awful. I stopped against the railings and looked at the passers-by, excited officers, Székler soldiers, sad, care-worn people—homeless, every one of them. All their faces were of the Hungarian type. These are the people of whom the radical press of Budapest writes that they ought to be expelled, because there is a scarcity of lodgings !

Would these papers dare to write such a thing of, say, Englishmen, Frenchmen or Italians ? Can it be imagined that we should expel from their own capital these unfortunate people, while foreign refugees, who could have returned home long ago, have filled the houses ? In the first year of the war caravans of Galician Jews clad in gabardines fled before the Russian invasion. They were Austrian citizens, but the Hungarian capital received them nevertheless. They stayed on and have enriched themselves. And now, when homeless Hungarians are coming back, the Budapest press of the Hungarian Government shows them the door.

A big crowd of men came towards the garden, good looking, shabbily dressed gentlemen, who might have been officials who had refused to take the oath of allegiance to the invading Roumanians or Czechs. They reminded me of a declaration of the socialist Minister for Public Welfare, Kunfi : " As we are going to be a smaller country, we shall not be able to support the many officials of old Hungary. These will have to seek their living in America. " We have come to this ! The radical press of the immigrants advocates the expulsion of the Hungarian refugees, and the Minister of Public Welfare advises the native Hungarian intellectuals to emigrate !

So there is no more room for us in our own country ?

It is a wicked, devilish game. Words are used as keys to open the dark underground passages which undermine our country. The War Minister of Károlyi's Government says to the Hungarian army " I never want to see a soldier again. " The Minister for Nationalities ruins our fellow nationals and hands them over to the yoke of foreigners. The Minister of Finance says : " I don't want to see a rich man; I shall impose such taxes in Hungary as the history of the world has never known. " The Prime Minister declares that whoever invades Hungary, we shall appeal to the judgment of the civilised world, but we won't draw sword against the invader.

Just then some Transylvanian undergraduates dragged a little cart into the middle of the garden. A Transylvanian soldier was standing on it and he shouted out what had been discussed up in the hall.

" We will rise to arms. We swear it by our freedom, fifteen hundred years old ! "

An officer swore in the name of the Székler commando : " Our bodies and our souls for the Széklers' Independence. "

" We have had enough war ! " shouted a Budapest pacificist. He was expelled noisily from the place. Angry cries followed him down the stairs, and then a thousand voices shouted the curse : " May God forsake him who does not help the Széklers in their struggle ! "

I raised my head. It seemed to me that at last the town of silently suffering Hungarians had regained her voice, that the Széklers had given it back to her; and the cheers, rising, gigantic, in the garden, spread over the streets like a great, solemn oath.


December 9th-11th.

A black tablet has been hung under the glass roof of the railway station upon which the names of towns have been written with chalk : Ruttka, Kassa, Korosmező, Kolozsvár, Arad, Orsova) Szeged-Rókus, Pécs, Esszék. There are no more trains for these from Budapest. Passengers wait in vain. No more trains will come from the capital of Hungary. The nerves are severed, the arteries are cut, life-blood is oozing slowly out of them. Communication has ceased; tracks are covered with snow and the signal lamps are extinguished. Silence reigns in the distant little stations, the silence of a shudder. Who knows what may happen before the connection is renewed ? Foreign rule occupies our towns, it spreads further and further, always nearer to the centre...

And as each day passes, here in the isolated heart of the country everything is getting more and more antagonistic, dividing even those who have the power in their hands. The proposed law of land reform has lit a fire which shows up both extremes. Even in Károlyi's party there is a split. The radicals and socialists go hand in hand, and the Hungarians, notwithstanding their miserable position, are opposed to them.

It is said that the Government is tottering. By means of the Soldiers' and Workers' Council the power of the Socialists is increasing daily and they now claim the portfolios of War and of the Interior for themselves. Two Jews are their candidates. They accuse Batthyány of reaction and attack the Minister of War because he opposes the Soldiers' Council system, desires to diminish the socialist local guards, and recruits peasant guards in the country. They accuse him of supporting royalist movements and of forming officers' corps and emergency detachments.

The Counter-revolutionists !

This word is now beginning to raise its head in determination to break down any patriotic attempt, to stand in the way of every honest endeavour. We have reached the stage when it is counter-revolution to complain of the foreign occupations, to speak of the integrity or defence of the country's territory, or to say : " Let us work that we may not starve. "

The so-called unemployed are more powerful than those who work, and they are many. Their leader is Béla Kún, and they have plenty of money.

Shirking work is one of the best means to-day of earning one's bread and it is powerfully supported by a Government which distributes millions under the name of unemployment doles, while nobody will sweep the streets; snow and dirt grow in piles, and the garbage rots in the doorways.

It happened yesterday that, after infinite pains, I managed to obtain, at a fabulous price, a few sacks of coal. The carter who brought it threw it down in front of the cellar-trap. When I asked him to shovel it in he swore vilely because it was getting dark and he was not disposed to do it. He left it there, in spite of any tip I could offer him. And so, with the help of the little German maid, we had to do it ourselves.

The other day I saw an officer dragging home a cart of firewood. My sister brought potatoes home in a Gladstone bag because nobody would carry them for her at any price. The garbage of the capital has been removed during the last few days by some officials from the town hall; no carter would do the job, and so these officials thought it would not be out of the way to ' earn, ' besides their official pay of ten to twenty crowns a day, an extra one hundred and thirty crowns per diem.

While this sort of thing is going on there is a huge crowd in front of the office which pays out the unemployment dole. Lusty young men and ne'er-do-well domestic servants ' spoon ' in the crowded, disorderly queue. They get fifteen crowns daily, but are not satisfied and demand thirty. The agitators go even further and say persistently : " Everything is yours. " Nothing but hatred or indifference is left now in the minds of the people.

I went to a funeral this afternoon. We buried a young woman, a victim of the epidemic. We couldn't find a cab to take us to the cemetery, so we all walked. The priest was late, as he too was unable to find a cab. The large, cold garden of the dead was getting dark among the black cypresses when the coffin was lowered into the grave. The grave-diggers had waited a long time, and they became impatient and grumbled furiously. We heard coarse words. One of them looked at his watch. " It's too late, " he said, " we'll leave it till to-morrow. " So they stuck their spades into the mound of earth, took their hats and left. Down in the open grave lay the coffin, and the dismayed silence was broken by the fall of little clods of earth upon it. We looked at each other helplessly; nobody dared to speak.

" I won't leave her like this, " said the widower, and taking the spade in his shaking hands he covered with earth the most precious thing that life had given him. The lumps of earth showered noisily down on to the coffin. For a moment we stood overawed, the whole thing seemed so terrible, then we bent down and helped with our naked hands.

And in the dark a heart-breaking sob raised a human protest against all inhumanity...


December 12th.

A big red flag appeared in the streets this morning and went slowly towards the Danube under a gray, smoky sky. Street urchins ran beside it; the rabble rushed on like dust before the wind. The people in the street hugged the walls of the houses and again the flag came in sight, approaching unsteadily, followed by soldiers, at whose head an officer rode, with drawn sword. His face struck me as if I had been hit across the eyes by a twig. His ears projected from both sides under the officer's cap, and his lips formed a fleshy arc.

The face of the leader—the face of the people and of the army. The face of the soldiers of our war of liberation in 1848 was the face of Görgei, of Kossuth, of Petőfi. The face of Hungary of the Great War was the sad, resolute face of Stephen Tisza. The face of the October revolution was Michael Károlyi... And the face of this detachment with the red flag was the officer heading it.

Behind him the infantry came in irregular formation, many of the soldiers smoking. Guns rumbled after them; two gunners sat jolting on one of the guns, red ribbons floating from their caps. They were smoking too... The crowd went on. A battery of field artillery followed, and Hussars rode at the end. One trooper signalled to a lady friend of his who was passing, stopped his horse and had a nice, comfortable chat with her from the saddle, then he galloped after the rest.

Somebody said : " The whole garrison is here ! They are going to Buda. " " What for ? " Nobody knew. Meanwhile the red flag was climbing up the hillside towards the royal castle.

The city and the other quarters of the town knew nothing of this procession. Nobody troubled about it. The citizens of Budapest were apathetic and indifferent, and thought no more about it than did the bridge which suffered the procession to cross it. Men continued to live their precarious lives and everything seemed to be the same as yesterday, but in the afternoon came the news that this garrison had caused the downfall of the War Minister ! The Soldiers' Council and Joseph Pogány had ousted Albert Bartha.

It happened in the castle, on St. George's Square. I heard of it from an eye-witness. The infantry stood in a row, with machine-guns and the artillery behind them. And while threats against Bartha were shouted, the malicious face of Joseph Pogány-Schwarz appeared in one of the windows of the building occupied by the Soldiers' Council. The officers on horseback saw him and shouted his name and cheered him. Then the demonstrators cheered Károlyi. Meanwhile a delegation of the garrison's confidential men, led by Dr. Mór, a reserve officer, went up to the Prime Minister and presented him with a paper containing the demands of the garrison.

Károlyi received the delegation in deadly fear.

The soldiery down in the square turned their guns and machine-guns on the War Office... That is how they waited for an answer. As a matter of fact most of the men did not care what happened. It was the confidential men who told them how to come here, and what to demand, and accordingly they came and demanded : " Let Bartha resign and be replaced by a civilian Minister of War who will organise a democratic army. The staff-officers must be dismissed from the War Office, and the proclamation concerning the Soldiers' Council and the Confidential Men, suppressed by Bartha, must be put into execution at once. All the Minister's special officers' detachments are to be disbanded. " Finally they demanded that the officers should in future be elected by the ranks, and that rankers should be qualified to become officers.

In the reception-room of the Prime Minister, Károlyi addressed the deputation, submitted, promised everything and—gave up Bartha.

" I saw with pleasure, " he said, " the many thousands of soldiers, because it has afforded me the evidence of my own eyes that the Hungarian Government is not defenceless, but has a powerful army at its back. "

As a matter of fact, at that moment the powerful army was not standing at his back but opposite him; an army that was good for nothing but to demonstrate in Budapest, and whose heroism was directed against his War Office, upon which its guns were trained.

Then the soldiers marched to the offices of the Soldiers' Council and Pogány addressed them in words full of vainglory :

" This demonstration has shown that there are enough soldiers, and that the troops are in the hands of the confidential men. It has shown, " he shouted in rapture, " that discipline can be maintained, but only when it is the troops themselves who maintain it... "

" Long live Pogány, the Minister of War... " rose the cry under the red flag. And he, red with the effort of shouting, roared the following threats : " We won't allow Budapest's social-democratic army to be disbanded, just because it is social-democratic ! We won't tolerate the formation of independent peasants' detachments ! "

" Long live the socialist army ! Down with the peasants' detachments ! " came the shout back from the square.

This morning something else was lost up there in the castle. Only a desperate effort made by secret organisation can help us now. The army of Hungary has passed entirely into the hands of Pogány-Schwarz, and the soldiers, drunk with joy, are shooting in the streets.


December 13th-15th.

The die was cast yesterday in the Castle, and the red flag was hoisted.

It is now impossible to patch up the country's misfortune. It is the Government which has patched itself up. Albert Bartha, the patriotic Hungarian soldier, has left, and so has Batthyány. The socialists had intended the Ministry of the Interior for the communist Eugene Landler, but they did not succeed in that. All the same, the victory of the socialists is complete—they have got the War Office ! For the present Károlyi is temporary Minister of War, but it is obvious that a little Jewish electrician, the social-democrat, William Böhm, stands behind him, though not so long ago he was repairing the typewriters and electric installations of the office.

" Good, you have come at last; just repair my machine ! " the girl-clerks said to him when they saw him in the passages of the War Office. " I am the Minister of War, " Böhm answered proudly, and sat down at Bartha's desk. Already he calls himself Hungary's Minister of War. Károlyi still masks him, but the game is obvious. When Károlyi formed his government on the 1st of November he started with five Jewish Ministers, but as he was afraid of public opinion he confessed to three only : Jászi, Garami and Kunfi, while in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diener-Dénes, and in the Ministry of Finance Paul Szende were hidden behind his own name.


They advance with frightful rapidity. The powers of destruction are putting into practice with ruthless logic the pronouncement of Kunfi to the National Assembly on the day the republic was proclaimed under the cupola of the House of Parliament : " After the institutions we shall have to change men ; we must put into every place in this country men who are inspired by the spirit of our new revolutionary ideas. "

It is clear now who these are, for the military and civilian administrations are already filled with people who used to work behind the counters of shops or banks, or in editorial offices, and used to mock at the unpractical Hungarian intellectuals who struggled for starvation wages in the public offices. Now they are taking their places, getting sudden rises in their salaries, and pursuing a racial policy such as, alas ! the Hungarian race has never been able to pursue.

" We are wiping out a thousand years, " is their cry, and they find fault with all the old institutions; but so far as they themselves are concerned, no criticism is allowed.

" Do you know, we have now come to this, " a tradesman said to me in his shop, looking round cautiously as he spoke, " that it is counter-revolution to push a Galician Jew by accident in the street. "

Now that we have retired from everything, and Hungary's social life has been swallowed up in the nation's poverty, and mourning, the twin-type of the war-millionaire, the revolution-millionaire, begins to play his part. A new kind of public invades the restaurants, the theatres and the places of amusement : plays, written by its writers, are played to full houses; people in gabardines occupy the stalls, while in the boxes orthodox Jewish women in wigs chatter in Yiddish, and in the interval eat garlic-scented sausages in the beautiful, noble foyer of the Royal Opera, and throw greasy paper bags about.

In the restaurants of the Ritz and Hungaria Hotels a new type of guests eat exclusively with their knives; their mentality is shown by the fact that the other day when a few French officers left a restaurant, they ordered the gipsy band to play the ' Marseillaise,' and rose to their feet. One of the officers turned back and said : " Sale nation... "

Invading conquerors sometimes deprive the conquered of freedom, weapons, and goods; but our conquerors deprive us of our honour as well.

Every day it becomes clearer to me that we shall never be able to repel the devastators pouring in over our frontiers till we have dealt with the devastators in our midst, and have put them back into their place. And—if we all work hand in hand—

Count Stephen Bethlen wants to weld all the patriotic Hungarian parties into one.

We women are already great in numbers. Every day we form new camps in different quarters of the town. I address the women, and tell them that our fortress is a triangle, the three advanced outworks being our country, our faith, and our family. These three outworks are threatened by Jewish socialist-communism. Before the foe can storm the fort we must strengthen the souls of the defenders so that the offensive may collapse. Of all humanity, women will be the heaviest losers if the war is lost and the communists win, for women are to be common property when once the home is broken up, and God and country have been denied.

The testament of Peter the Great is the programme of Panslavism. The communist declaration of Karl Marx, the son of a rabbi, Mordechai by his real name, is the programme of Panjudaism. If it is realised, Hungary perishes, and human culture will follow it into its grave. We who fight on the soil of dismembered, trampled Hungary do not fight for ourselves alone, but for every Christian woman in the world. They know it not, and they stretch forth no hand to help us, but look on while the nations to which they belong ruin us. But the day may still come when we shall be understood.

Those who heard my words followed me, and many of them offered their help, though at that time it was dangerous to make such an offer. I noticed more than once that furtive steps followed me in the streets, stopping when I stopped, and going on when I started again. They accompanied me down dark staircases, and when I looked back from a door I had entered, someone was standing in the dark and watching.

The Government knows about us, the police are watching us, but in vain; the idea goes on and spreads. Whenever I express it people recognise it as their own. It cannot be stopped now.


December 16th.

Once upon a time... Or was it not so long ago ? Was it on a winter evening in my childhood that I heard the story that once, up there in the Carpathians, a huge giant opened his jaws and tried to swallow the world ? We were already between his teeth, and all over the world folk said that that was the end of us. Poor little Hungary was done for, Imperial Austria would follow, and then it would be the turn of Germany. It seemed as if our time had come. In the shadow of the Alps, Italy waiting for her opportunity, drew her dagger from under her cloak, and stabbed us in the back. Roumania was feverishly tugging at her knife.

" Nothing can help the Central Powers now " .... The whole world said so, and thought us easy victims.

Then a miracle happened. It was on a certain day in May, and on that spring morning the three allies started an attack near Gorlice. " Mackensen, Mackensen ! " they shouted in victory, and the Tsar's Russia, the most terrible enemy whom a people had ever encountered, fell upon us.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it in my childhood that I heard the story, that, down in Transylvania, like an echo of Gorlice, the name of Mackensen rose again as a cry of victory above the Hungarian and German armies ? And then, above the vast mirror of the Danube's flood, a third time the name of Mackensen resounded. For the third time he stood at the head of the armies that were defending the gates of Hungary.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it so long ago that time has obliterated its memory ? It was yesterday ! It was on history's bloody page in the world-war, while there was still hope, while our honour was still bright.

And to-day when Mackensen came to Budapest to negotiate with Károlyi for the repatriation of his army, the red soldiers of Pogány-Schwarz, under the leadership of Captain Gerő-Grosz, with full knowledge of the Government, dragged machine-guns to the railway station and trained their muzzles on the line, while an evening paper had its Kinema operator ready. That is how Hungary's capital prepared for the reception of Field-Marshal von Mackensen.

When he looked out of his carriage window and saw the shameful spectacle of the railway station fortified against him, his fine, sharp features were distorted with rage. He took it in at a glance : he had been trapped. Capt. Gerő went up to him and told him he was a prisoner. Then he informed him that Károlyi wanted to negotiate with him and expected him at the House of Parliament. Mackensen protested, refused to go, and desired that Károlyi or his representative should come to the station. Capt. Gerő informed him that any refusal on his part would have disastrous consequences for his army.

After fierce argument the Field-Marshal reluctantly yielded, but declared that he would not leave his carriage till the machine-guns and the kinematograph apparatus were removed from the station. This was conceded. When he got out his face was white with anger and his chest heaved so that the decorations on it shook. He walked with his head erect to the closed car that was waiting for him.

The meeting between him and Károlyi took place in the House of Parliament, in the Prime Minister's room. A German friend of mine gave me the following account of it, received directly from the Field-Marshal's lips.

Károlyi received him standing and advanced a few steps to meet him. Behind him the social democratic secretary for War, the little Jewish electrician, was making himself as small as possible. Mackensen remained rigid, with both hands behind his back, glaring at the two men. He listened without a word to Károlyi, who, putting the responsibility on the powers of the Entente, requested him to give up all the arms of his army in conformity with the Belgrade Armistice. The Field-Marshal declined and said that as far as he was concerned, and according to his instructions from Spa, the conditions of the armistice concluded on the Western front were in force. He also declared that he would not leave Hungary till the last man of his army was over the frontier.

Károlyi informed him that he could not leave in any case, as he, with his whole army, was going to be interned in Fóth.

" I did not expect that ! " said Mackensen. And hard words were spoken between them. The Hungarian Government, however, had left itself a loophole. At first Károlyi threatened to intern the whole army, but at length he conceded that disarmament would be sufficient, and this Mackensen accepted only conditionally with the consent of the German Government.

During the debate Károlyi stuttered more than usual, and when this painful meeting came to an end he proffered his hand hesitatingly to Mackensen. The Field-Marshal measured him with contempt : " I have had to do with many people in my life, but I have never before met a man who was so devoid of all honour as you are. " Then, with a slight nod, he turned his back on him. And the hand of Michael Károlyi, which had already been contemptuously ignored by the French General Franchet d'Espèray, was left empty in the air.

It was thus that Mackensen became a prisoner of Hungary.

Was it a long time ago ? Was it in my childhood that I heard the story that once upon a time the shout of " Mackensen, Mackensen ! " resounded victoriously at three gates of Hungary ?


December 17th-22nd.

We walk in the gutter of shame between two close, high walls, whence there is no escape and no rest. In this deadly atmosphere we sink deeper and deeper at every turning.

Yesterday evening was even worse than usual. It was late when I said good-night to my mother, and I could get no sleep. Nations carry their misfortunes in common, and that is why they can bear the worst, but the shame which has now befallen us is so colossal that it seems to belong to us alone. It isolates us from humanity. I had been lying motionless in the dark for a long time and could think of nothing but how Károlyi had sinned' against us. To-morrow the whole world will know it and even our enemies will despise us for it.

Our enemies ?... The face of a German soldier seemed to stare at me from the dark. He was wounded; a shell had torn off both his legs. He had been brought from Transylvania about two years ago. I had spoken to him in the German hut at the railway station. And then there appeared another, and, as in a mad feverish dream, they came, and came, through the dark, pressing on in endless array, covered with blood, lame, mutilated, all those I had met in four and a half years' of war. One looked hard and scornful, another reproachful, and all stared at me pitilessly, and in my dream I could hear their moans.

During the years of war, the German, in his infinite pride, clumsily, coarsely, often hurt us, as he has hurt us before many times in history. His dreams of annexations have often eliminated the possibility of peace. His manner of waging war, the work of his diplomacy, and, above all, the arrogance he assumed in dealing with us, were often strange to our mind. But we recognised his greatness, his strength, his endurance and his honour, and I am convinced that there is not a single Hungarian in Hungary who does not repudiate, desperately and indignantly, that which Károlyi has dared to do in our name to Mackensen.

It was torture to lie still in bed. Why is there nobody among us who will avenge this ? Why is there nobody who will wipe off the dirt before it dries on us ? Innumerable eyes glared at me through the dark from under German soldiers' caps, and at last I could bear it no longer. I lit a candle and tried to read. I took up a Hungarian book, for I felt that at that moment it would be impossible to read a book in any other tongue. When my mind was troubled how often had I not found solace in Arány, Vörösmarty and Petőfi ? They wept over Austrian tyranny, over the failure of our war of liberation, but for all their sufferings those were pleasant times compared with the present. They knew how to console the passing sufferings of their age, and in that their age was fortunate—but we are forsaken. In our great city of a million thete is not a single poet through whose verses we can express our sorrows, who can give voice to our sufferings.

Anatole France poses as a socialist, and yet throughout the whole war he stood for the national ideals of France with the wholehearted fury of revanche. Gabriele d'Annunzio, proclaimed a traitor from the Capitol, led his nation off the right path, yet there was beauty in his wild war-cry because it was inflamed by the love of his country and his people. And while Anatole France and d'Annunzio sang in beautiful strains the glory and the victory of their nation, most of the poets of Budapest were in the cafés talking philosophy and pacifism, and more than one among them helped forward the rebellion at the Astoria Hotel. There were even some who proposed to the Council of Public Works that one public square should be called after Michael Károlyi, another in commemoration of the " battle " on the bridge, after the 31st of October, and the public park after a socialist newspaper ! Were they misled ? Maybe, but where are they now, when there can be no longer any misconception, when our land and our people are trodden down by the crowd they have joined ? If Hungarian politicians have sunk into deplorable impotence, if there is not a single soldier to draw his sword, why do not the poets rouse the sleeping nation ?

I crouched at my writing-table and in my grief started to address a letter to them. About an hour may have passed when suddenly I heard the creaking of a door in our flat. Steps went through the drawing-room. One was quick, the other hesitating. The dear, quaint rhythm approached and I remembered. Thus did my mother come to me when I was a child, when I had bad dreams, and even before she had reached my side all that was terrifying would vanish.

She opened the door. She could no more sleep than I could, so she sat down in the big arm-chair near my writing-table and remained there in silence. And I began to read to her what I had written.

" Our war was a war of self-defence. If anybody denies it, let him look at our frontiers north, south and east, if his tearful eyes can see so far. The war we lost was a war of self-defence. We lost it terribly, more terribly than fate had decreed. And now, the pain is so burning, our sufferings are so immeasurable, that the human brain has become benumbed and we are dropping from our hands that which we ought to hold on to.

" Our people, with its thousand years of history, stands exhausted, incapable of acting while the moments of grace which fate has given us before closing the most awful chapter of our history pass by.

" The sand is running out, and there is no hand to stay it. Where is he who will seize the moment and shout a message to our unarmed brethren perishing amid the bayonets of Czechs, Roumanians and Serbs ? Who will raise his voice so that it will carry beyond the walls erected by war between the peoples of the world, and bring faith, hope and love to us once more ? Where is he ? And if his voice does not carry far enough, why in this hour of our trial have all the strings of our nation's lute been slackened ? Why did our war produce no Petőfi, why is the burning pain of our defeat without Arany ? The strains of soft chords carry further than the declamations of loud-voiced orators.

" Have even the songs of our fighting bards forsaken Hungary ? Have the minstrels that remained at home all bled to death ? The recital of our sorrows should be piercing the hearts of five continents; strength and faith should be sung to our sufferers at home, the bloodless nation should be stirred up with wild inspiring songs, so that it may not abandon hope. Poets are needed, poets whose voices can hold together the Hungarian soil, poets who will teach Hungarians to help each other.

" Let them come, I beseech them, let the poets come who still feel Hungary's pain as their own, for whom Hungary's death is the death of themselves. For Pressburg weeps above the Danube, the people of our northern counties have lost their homes, faithful Zips calls broken-hearted to the Great Plain. Kassa is ready to grasp Rákoczi's sword. Transylvania shows her martyr's wounds while the proud Székler shakes off his shackles and the ancient land that Hunyadi held is breaking its heart over the disgrace of Belgrade. Who can give us a word of comfort, who can strengthen us with faith in a better future, in this hour of our agony, if not the poets of the nation ?

" And while I clamour in vain for them the immortals rise from their tombs, the great army of national spirits, planting a standard round which the millions of Hungarians should rally : a torch to guide them, a camp-fire to rest them, and the soft flames of the hearth to comfort them in the night of great deception.

" While our contemporaries fail to find a voice for our sufferings, Petőfi wanders among the ragged mutilated heroes who have returned :

" Oh shame, oh bitter shame ! Once Clio's records told
Of fame no fairer than thy fair name's fame ;
Now thou'rt despised, and those who would of old
Cringe at thy feet, dare strike thee free and bold
Full in the face, and cover thee with shame.

Whate'er my fate, whatever its decree,
I shall forbear and suffer for thy sake;
Though God's most bitter curse should fall on me,
Ne'er shall I rest, but goad and harass thee
Until I stir thy heart, or my heart break. "

" Down there in the plain, Arány wandered after sunset over the snow-covered land. He stopped at the threshold of stately manors, under hamlets' tiny windows, lit up by the brushwood fire from within. And it is the soul of the plains that speaks from his lips :

" The Nation lives and shudders as its heart
With horror feels destruction's deadly grip... "

" And above all, alone, like the voice of a giant choir, the voice of Vörösmarty exclaims :

" For come it will, for come it must
The dawn of better days,
For which this land, with pious lips
Beseeches Thee and prays. "

" Thus speaks the past to us while the lute of the present is silent, while innumerable, homeless Hungarians wander aimlessly in the streets of the distracted country's epidemic-ridden capital, whose streets are bedizened with flags fluttering in heartbreaking irony.

" My poor, unfortunate town, is there nobody to tell thee to put thy begrimed flags at half-mast ? Hast thou not a single minstrel to rouse thee ? Dost thou not see thy disgraced streets trodden by the fugitives of half thy country, by foreign armies, while all around thee the country is dismembered ?

" So let the dead come with their lyre to raise the quick, let the grave shout into the dwellings of the living, let the past console the present. For the songs of Hungary's poets of the past are all our hope; for they alone hold the promise of Hungary's future. "

So far had I written. In the morning I telephoned to the editor of the Pesti Hirlap and asked him if he wanted an article. It was the first time in my life that I had had to ask for space : up till now it was the papers who had asked me for copy. The editor accepted with thanks, so I sent him the manuscript; but I looked in vain for it in the paper next day, and the day after. I telephoned again. The editor was embarrassed, he apologised and said that he regretted he was unable to publish the article as it was not in accordance with the Government's views.

" Are the Government's views so anti-patriotic then ? " I asked.

" Please don't forget, " said the editor nervously, " that the present situation is terribly delicate; this may be the last bourgeois government, and goodness only knows how long it can hold its own. "

" I hope not long. I would rather see destruction declare itself openly. This downfall in disguise is intolerable. "

While we were speaking I heard a curious buzzing in the telephone, as if something were wrong with the apparatus. I wanted to speak to the editor of another paper, but the exchange was unable to give me the connection, though I tried for a long time. Meanwhile I sent to the Pesti Hirlap for my manuscript.

When it came at last I took it to the editor of the Radical Az Ujság. That also was a new experience, but I was determined that the article should appear in print, and refused to give in. Again the editor received my request courteously, and actually carried out his promise next day ; the article appeared, though in an obscure corner, and very indistinctly set.

Some day, when peace and quiet have returned, people will wonder how this could have happened under a government which proclaimed the freedom of the press, and at a time when the mouthpiece of the Social Democrats could promise its readers over their breakfast table that " the glorious revolution " would sweep away " bourgeois " society, and could accuse the Hungarian race of jingoism because it would not renounce without protest territory it had held for a thousand years—that a poor essay dealing with Hungary's sufferings should have had to perform such an Odyssey before a newspaper could be found to publish it. It will perhaps seem just as astonishing that I received in connection with it innumerable letters of thanks, and that a friend of mine who had spent fifty-one months at the front, and who had shown reckless courage, telephoned to me, saying : " Tears came into our eyes when we read your article. I take off my hat to you for having the courage to speak out. "

And while all these people, suffering greatly, were grateful because I said what they all felt, our foremost actress, Theresa Csillag, was walking about the town selling the shabby newspaper and, with her inimitable, beautiful voice, reading to the very souls of the passers-by the appeal : " Wake up ! "

There are many of us, only we don't know each other.


December 23rd-24th.

Everyone I have spoken to within the last few days has expressed anger and disgust over Mackensen's arrest. Countess Raphael Zichy told me she met Michael Károlyi accidentally, and told him straight out what she thought about it.

" It was bound to happen, " he answered cynically, " the worst that can happen now is that I shall have the reputation of having been the first ungentlemanly prime minister of Hungary. "

We met again in the Zichy Palace, the same group as last time. We had intended talking about our women's organization, but, somehow, we could not avoid the subject of Mackensen.

" We must write to him in the name of the women ! " said I, and there was a chorus of approval. I was entrusted with the writing of the letter, and Prince Hohenlohe offered to translate it into German, while the others promised to collect signatures.

I wrote it the same night : it gave me no trouble, for it was already in my mind. I repudiated Károlyi's base deed, scorned it, branded it in the name of womenkind, and asked the Field Marshal to forgive what had been done against the will of the nation. We were helpless at present, but the day would come when Hungary's people would raise up a statue of him on the rocks of the Carpathians which he had defended.

My mother was the first to sign my sheet. Then I started for town, and in the evening brought home with me many signatures. A message was waiting for me at home to say that Countess Albert Apponyi was going to Fóth, and as she too had signed the letter, she would take the message of Hungary's womanhood to Mackensen for Christmas.

It was little enough, but we had no more to give. The Field Marshal understood. He read the letter at once and was deeply moved when he expressed his thanks.

Thus came the eve of Holy Christmas.

Along the pavements grimy heaps of snow were melting. Squashy black mud covered the streets, the gas lamps flickered palely, and the shops were closed at an early hour. ' The trams had stopped. The town was needy and cold.

When, in accordance with our yearly custom, my mother and I went to spend the holy evening with my sister Mary, we saw armed drunken soldiers loafing about the streets. All round us there was firing going on, and the windows of the houses were in darkness.

Everywhere in Hungary the windows are dark today, and there is shooting among the houses of peaceful people. Only the frontiers, the dangerously receding frontiers, are quiet under the wintry sky. Over the snow-covered fields of Transylvania a Roumanian general is marching on Kolozsvár with four thousand men. Yesterday his advance guards entered the town of King Matthias Corvinus. I wept when I heard it...

The French Lieut.-Colonel Vyx has sent another memorandum. He has advanced the Entente's line of demarcation once more, and has now pushed it beyond Pressburg, Kassa, Kolozsvár, beyond many lovely Hungarian towns. And the Czechs and Serbians are still advancing...

Never has Hungary known a sadder Christmas than this one. There are no lights on our Christmas tree, it has been turned into a gallows tree and bound to it stands our generation, wounded more deeply than any Hungarian generation has ever been wounded before.


Christmas Night.

An icy wind was blowing when my mother and I came home through the unfriendly streets, and volleys were being fired in the direction of one of the barracks. We went out and came back amidst the clatter of firearms, and between the two journeys there was the picture of my sister's home, the usual room, the dwarf pine tree, with spluttering, bad candles, and, on the table, covered with white linen, the children's presents. They at least enjoyed it. The little boy thought that his brother's patched up rocking horse was new, and that everything was lovely. Poor children of a poor age, it is as well that they don't know what our Christmasses were like !... A hundred candles, a noble, grand fir tree reaching up to the ceiling. The smell of pure wax mingling with the perfume of the fir, fresh from the Vág valley, and every wish of the year was satisfied under that tree. Beyond that, I saw another tree, then another, and another, many more... Burning candles and green fir trees carried me back into the years of the past : an avenue of shining Christmas trees, the end of which is so far away that in the depth of its perspective I can see myself quite small. There, far away, I was a child, like those who now count me among the old. Then all the old folk were still with me, the dear old ones who stand between us and death when we start life. There are many of them, many defending rows, so that we cannot see the end of the road... As we advance, one after another they disappear. My two grandmothers, my father... One defending row after the other has fallen out, and now only my mother and Uncle Géza, her brother, stand in front of me... I am coming to the front myself; like the others before me, I am hiding the end of the road from the children who are growing up...

When childhood has passed, the festivities of Christmas are always damped by the quiet sadness of memories. And this year it is not only the past of individuals but the past of our country, our people that haunts us. How lovely Christmas used to be... Hungary's Christmas ! So naturally lovely that we did not know...

Christmas bells ! When they called to midnight mass their clanging mingled with the rattle of machine-guns.


December 25th-30th.

In the good old times the last week of the year used to be one uninterrupted holiday. This year it is only a horrible part of the desperate road we have to tread. The news spreads from one to the other : to-morrow—the day after to-morrow—on New Year's Eve at the latest—there is going to be great slaughter in the town. Everything one sees is cruel, rough and repellent. I have hidden from it these last few days, and, near my mother, in the peace of my home, once more I have had time to think.

The Government speaks of elections, and promises this sham legal confirmation of its power for January, as the Entente refuses to deal with it under present conditions. Meanwhile the Social Democrats are trying to win over the villages, so the reform of the land-laws is again to the fore. They have always been a poisonous wound in Hungarian life, and should have been altered, justly, soberly, many a year ago. Previous governments have postponed it unscrupulously; the present government wants to use it as a firebrand. Buza Barna, the Minister for Agriculture, has promised so much land to those who want it that he wouldn't be able to find it even if he were to divide up all the entailed and private estates; and he has promised it for such an early date that it is technically impossible to deal with the matter in time.

The intention is obvious. After the Russian pattern, they want to gain the peaceful peasants' adherence to their revolutionary principles. So they promise land to everybody. This lying promise has spread with evil results : following the example of the workers in the towns, the agricultural labourers have now stopped work. They expect to till their own plots in the spring, so why should they work for others now ? No autumn sowing is being done, and while the country is starving, maize, potatoes, beetroot, swedes and vegetables worth millions remain in the fields unharvested. Agitators visit the villages, inciting the people against private property and landlords, and appealing to the servants and labourers to take possession of the land.

As the Budapest Soldiers' Council rules over the military administration of the government by means of its government delegates, so the Budapest Workers' Council lords it over the civil administration through its Socialist ministers. The leaders of the Soldiers' and the Workers' Councils are all of the foreign race, and they never tire of advancing their intentions of spoliation, wrapped in the Utopian dreams of Bolshevism. The Workers' Council at its last meeting in the New Town Hall settled the fate of land reform by simply overthrowing it, by declaring that the land was common property—that all private property must cease. Then they settled the question of taxes in a manner that effectually rendered any further discussion unnecessary. They proposed a hundred per cent, tax on all property—i.e. confiscation.

These declarations and propositions are spreading rapidly all over the country and preparing the minds of the people for the second revolution, which Zsigmond Kunfi, Lenin's emissary, threatens us will break out if the middle classes show resistance or dare to organise, or go so far as to attempt to give satisfaction to the powers of the Entente, who would prefer to deal with a middle class government rather than with the present rulers of Bolshevist tendencies. " There is need for a new revolution, " says he, " and it will come. "

The Government made no provision for order, coal or food during the Christmas holidays, but promised a new revolution instead—and it is with this promise that the terrible year makes its exit.


December 31st.

It was by accident that I went there. In front of the Maria Theresa barracks the soldiers had erected barricades of benches and seats on the pavement. They laid their loaded rifles on the backs of the seats, sat there and drew a bead on everybody who approached. " Get away from here ! " they shouted. Now and then a shot rang out, but no damage was done.

I went into a shop; it was already crowded, and people were talking excitedly. Somebody said there was to be a communist meeting in the barracks.

Béla Kún was to come from the Francis Joseph barracks, where he had incited the men to drive away their officers, but the soldiers could not make up their minds. Most of them watched the proceedings from the windows and then somebody fired a shot down into the yard, whence the fire was returned. There was a lot of firing and Béla Kún and his associates disappeared in the confusion. The soldiers then began to maltreat their officers and broke into the armoury, where about four thousand of them obtained arms. They are coming now, and are going to occupy the streets...

Four thousand men ! It was precisely that number of Roumanians who occupied Kolozsvár, but there were no four thousand Hungarians to face them. By order of the Government Lászlo Fényes had disarmed and sent away the Székler guards. It was in vain that Fényes was beaten later on by desperate Transylvanian fists, for four thousand Roumanians had meanwhile torn Kolozsvár from the country...

I was brought back to the present by people running past the shop. Someone shouted " The Communists are coming ! " A panic followed. Everybody rushed into the street, and the shops' shutters were drawn down quickly behind them. Red rags appeared on houses, and the middle of the road became as empty as if it had been swept clean. An armed lorry passed.

" There ! That one on the right, that's Béla Kún ! " Hands pointed to a vulgar-looking, yellow-skinned, dark-eyed, puffy-faced individual. His hat was tilted to the nape of his neck and his overcoat was open.

As I was going home by a round-about way I pondered on the man I had seen. Where had I seen his face before ? Suddenly I remembered. Shortly after the October revolution a man was addressing some disabled soldiers from the top of a garbage box near the railway station. I had been astonished at the time to see how this ghetto-Jew, who spoke bad Hungarian and had only lately discarded the gabardine, managed to get a hearing. I remembered that clearly. He had a common fat face and his eyes blinked while he preached against the existing order. His blubbering mouth opened and closed as if he were chewing the cud. He shouted in a hoarse, lifeless voice. He grew warm, and as he spoke he removed his hat frequently and wiped the perspiration off his baldish head with the palm of his dirty hand. I had wondered at the ugly foreign people who were listened to now-a-days by our folk. People who can't speak Hungarian set one Hungarian against another.

There was no doubt whatever about it. The man on the garbage box and the man whom the people pointed out as Béla Kún were one and the same.


I heard later what had happened in the barracks. There too Béla Kún made a revolutionary speech. Before he started, two Jewish corporals had attempted to prepare the soldiers, but the soldiers threatened them and they were lucky to escape. Then Béla Kún tried to speak. The soldiers arrested him, boxed his ears, shoved him into the lock-up and turned the key in the door. Everybody was pleased; the soldiers cheered their officers, and it seemed for a moment that the soldiers of the Maria Theresa barracks would stand their ground and beat anarchy. Then Joseph Pogány arrived in a motor car with his escort. He inquired excitedly what had happened, cursed both officers and men, and hurried to Béla Kún. They had a long conversation in the lock-up, then Pogány solemnly released the Communist and drove him off in his car. Meanwhile the mutinous soldiers from the Francis Joseph barracks arrived. It was quick work. When Pogány's motor started with Béla Kún in it the soldiers were already shouting with all their might " Long live Communism ! "

In the afternoon Countess Károlyi, escorted by her husband's secretary, an officer called Jeszenszky, visited the barracks. In the evening it was the talk of the town that there was going to be a mutiny, and that the citizens were going to be massacred at night. Explosions were heard now and then in the dark, and the rumour spread that the communists had blown up a munition factory and the railway bridge. They were all false; it was only the soldiers out on a spree. They fired the heavy guns, threw handgrenades, dragged machine-guns into the street and fired them just to pass the time away.

Midnight drew nearer amid the clatter of fire-arms. As at Christmas, we again gathered at my sister Mary's. The New-Year's punch was standing ready in long fluted glasses, and the children kept looking at the clock.

I had a letter in my hand; it had come from the capital of Transylvania with the last Hungarian post, behind it the barrier had crashed down. It was just like getting news of the death of a relation during the war, and after he had been buried receiving the last letter from his hand. My heart bled, though I did not know, and had never seen, the writer of the epistle. I read it out aloud :

Kolozsvár, December 23rd, 1918.

" I have just read in the Sunday issue of ' Az Ujság ' your article ' Awake.' I cannot describe what I felt when I read your lines, and yet I feel I must write to you. Every word of your terrible, biting truth has engraved itself upon my heart. It is this tone, this hard, bitter language, that we need to-day; we need it as much as a starving man needs a bit of bread, as a drowning person needs something to cling to. That is what we want : the proclamation of our confidence, our self-respect, to a world in which every nation boils with patriotism while we Hungarians, alone, proclaim internationalism, humility, and resignation—far beyond the necessities of our miserable condition.

It is true : our leaders don't feel Hungary's death—and, what is worse, our poets are silent as if they too were insensible to it. I cannot thank you enough that in this back-boneless, collapsing, suicidal Hungarian world you have had courage enough to throw it in our teeth. How many Hungarians like you are there in the de-nationalised heart of our country, and how many Hungarian writers besides you feel there, what we feel here, when this evening brings us the burden of the certainty that to-morrow, on Christmas Eve, Roumanian troops will tread the streets of Kolozsvár ?

I write these lines from the unhappy soil of Transylvania on the eve of the occupation of its capital. I beg of you don't forsake us poor Hungarians in the future. Write for us. We welcome your lines, your writings, as prisoners in their dungeon welcome rays of sunshine. It is possible that politically we shall fall to pieces, that the predatory nations who fall upon us will tear us to shreds, but the meeting of Gyulafehérvar cannot make a law, the Government Council of Nagy Szeben has not power enough, and the Roumanian occupation cannot bring in an army big enough to tear from our hearts that which was written there by your pen. As long as the Hungarian spirit lives, there is hope for our resurrection.

I remain, etc.,

We looked at each other. This letter came, not from a single individual, but from Kolozsvár, from the whole of unhappy, amputated Transylvania.

" What will there be in a year's time ? What will remain of Hungary ? " Our prophecies were gloomy indeed; the crowning mercy of hope alone remained. Then my brother-in-law said : " They can tear us to pieces, but they'll never prevent us from getting together again ! "

I asked my mother what she thought.

" It is your affair now. I shall watch you. "

The clock struck.


January 1st, 1919.

This year people dare not wish each other a happy New Year. They murmur something, then cast their eyes down with a strange expression, as if they were looking into an open grave.

Kassa has been occupied by the Czechs ! Under the tower of its old cathedral, down in the crypt, Rákoczi's skeleton hands are clenched and he asks : " Is it for this that you brought my body back from Turkey ? " On the same day the Hungarian troops left Pressburg at the instigation of the confidential men of the Budapest Soldiers' Council. The local Workers' Council thereupon assumed control, and to-day, on New Year's day, the Italian Colonel Ricardo Barecca entered the town at the head of a Czech regiment. On the bank of the Danube, beside a marble equestrian statue of Maria Theresa, two Hungarians stand with " Moriamur pro rege nostro " on their lips : did they cast their eyes down in shame, is it only the stones that still say this in Pressburg ? Meanwhile the Government informs the country with pacificist satisfaction that : " in order to avoid bloodshed the armed forces of the popular government have retired everywhere. "

During the last few weeks the life of us Hungarians has been like an attempt to climb out of a putrid well into daylight. We have toiled painfully upwards, we have made desperate efforts to escape the slimy horrors of the water, but in vain. The wall of the well, like a slippery drain, grows higher above our heads, the water rises behind us, and there is no escape. Slimy stagnant water, beastliness, utter beastliness.

Yesterday Mackensen was surrounded by French Spahis in the castle of Fóth. He is now guarded like a criminal, and people are saying that Károlyi is responsible for this.

It is an old-established custom with us that on New-Year's day the Prime Minister should make a speech, retrospective and prospective. Michael Károlyi delivered his speech this morning. He accused the past and renounced the future, accused the old system of being responsible for all our misfortunes, and, as the only means of salvation, proclaimed his feeble-minded hobby : " We must seek help for Hungary's cause in pacificism, for in that name alone shall we conquer... Should pacificism fail, then I say : finis Hungarix. "

Pressburg, Kassa, Kolozsvár... pacificism failed to save them. And the man who said on the 31st of October : " I alone can save Hungary, " cries to the deceived millions on New Year's day : " finis Hungarix. "

This cowardly declaration roused me from lethargy. I felt that from the moment when Károlyi renounced his prey, our unhappy country became our own, our very own. If it is over for him, it must start anew for us. Henceforth I shall work more, and more ardently.

In the afternoon we met at my Transylvanian friend's house. But before I started from home various people rang me up on the telephone, and warned me not to go out because riots were expected. Some made excuses for non-attendance, some said they had been warned by the police, others had received hints from Károlyi's immediate surroundings. Though it was scarcely four o'clock when I left home, I found that the concierge had already locked the front door of our house. Hardly anybody was visible in the dead streets, shops and house-doors were all shut. The houses looked repellingly, selfishly down on me, and I had the unpleasant feeling that if anything happened to me not one of them would open its door to rescue me. I felt depressed by a sense of expulsion and outlawry. He who has never walked in the daytime through an empty town, where there is no soul, no carriage abroad, where all the houses are shut up, has never felt what real loneliness is.

Only a few of us met in my friend's room : a few women and a politician or two, dropped in at intervals. We were all sad and depressed, and nobody started a discussion. The only thing we decided was that our organisation should be called the National Association of Hungarian Women.

Before we parted my Transylvanian friend asked me what our material resources were. I had not thought of this, so was embarrassed, and felt rather ridiculous... We hadn't got a penny !... This is the result of having an organisation presided over by someone whose creative power is restricted to the writing-table, someone who could imagine the possession of untold treasures when her pockets were empty. I could go off to distant countries while sitting at home with my head between my hands. I could create a scorching summer while the snow was falling, and one flower was enough for me to make a spring. I could build houses and harvest golden crops, though I possessed no land, no bricks, no garden and no fields.

My friend laughed and whispered : " Don't let it out, but if you want anything tell me. "

When I went home the town had regained its usual aspect. The nightmare had departed, the doors were open, the traffic had come back again into the empty streets, and nobody could tell whence the false alarm had come, whether the communists had meditated a rising, or Bartha's scattered officers' corps had projected one. It's just one of our daily frights.


January 2nd-3rd.

Two peculiarities in the life and the manners of old people have become clear to me lately.

In our generation it has never mattered much who over-heard what one said. We are accustomed to speak openly. The security in which we lived until lately made our opinions free and gave our age its undisciplined character. I have often noticed that my mother and people of her age speak in lower tones than we do, and more discreetly. They were bred in times when there was always someone unwanted listening. The spy system of Austrian absolutism taught them to be cautious. My mother has often remarked : " You would talk of anything before anybody. " I used to think that this restraint was the outcome of the educational principles of a more refined age. But since the present illegal government, afraid for its power, has taken to watching us with spies and agents-provocateurs, I have realised that the superior, reserved expression of our elders is not merely the outcome of a more aristocratic spirit pertaining to a world that has gone, but that it had its ultimate source in self-defence.

In the same way another peculiarity of theirs has become plain. They built their houses and made their furniture in a different way from ours. When I was a child I used to love hunting for secret drawers in ancient furniture, and concealed rooms and recesses in those cunningly built old houses. I remember that whenever I went through the abodes of past ages, old castles, manors and houses, I used to take a peculiar delight in their elaborate and intricate construction. The secret hollow spaces in the walls attracted me, and invisible cupboards—they contrasted so strangely with the smooth lines of our modern houses. I realise now that all this was not due to mere fancy. I realise that there is no precaution of this sort taken in building a house which does not spring from a wish for either attack or defence. The hidden recesses designed by the old architects, the secret drawers in old furniture, the reticent, cautious speech of former generations, all these were only protective against a danger which threatened. In the last few weeks public security has grown weaker and weaker, and the rumour has been spreading with increasing persistence that the present spendthrift government intends to lay its hand on all gold and silver in private possession. I often look round in despair at the smooth walls of our house, which refuse all help. If is not possible in these days to bury anything in the woods. The leaves have fallen long ago, poaching soldiers are roaming about everywhere, and the townspeople go out to steal wood all over the place. It is only in one's own home that one can hide anything.

I had a look at the cellar the other day, but its concrete floor would only yield to a pick-axe, which would make a noise, and leave tell-tale traces. The attics are out of the question, for we have had to remove even the few things we kept there : it is not even possible to hang the washing in them, for there are specialists of the burglar fraternity who operate from the roofs of Budapest.

I spent sleepless nights pondering over the question where we should put our silver when I brought it home; I even thought of the hollow window frames. If we took up the parquet flooring it would give very little space and we could put only a few things under it.

It was my mother who solved the problem, and we decided that I should bring the plate chest home from the bank. This was not quite as easy as it sounds, for I didn't dare to do it by myself. A few days before, we had sent my sister some curtains and pictures in a hand-cart, and a small party of soldiers had simply taken the bundle off the cart and gone off with it. So I asked a cousin of mine to come to my help. He donned his uniform and armed himself with a revolver, and under his martial escort I drove through the town. Whenever soldiers or sailors approached us a lump rose in my throat. So many dear momentoes, so many old family things were hidden in that box—practically all our valuables were rattling in the ramshackle old cab !

I got home dead-tired. The day dragged to an end, and when at last night fell and we could close the shutters without raising suspicion, and the maids had gone to bed, we three started to hide the things. My mother wrapped them up and then tied long strings to the handles of the ewers and salvers. Meanwhile I hammered small nails into the top of my bookcase, tied the strings on them and let down the salvers behind the case, one after another. It was an excellent plan : nothing was visible, either from above or from below : the things dangled peacefully in mid-air. The tea-pots and ewers gave us more trouble, but there again my mother had an idea. In the drawing-room a large mirror hung in a corner and there was a big space behind it; so we hung the teapots and jugs by strings from two hooks at the back of it.

A single electric bulb lit up the gloom of the room. A chair was placed on the stove, my cousin, in full uniform, stood on the chair, and my mother and I handed the things, dangling from their strings, up to him. He bent up and down as if he were decorating a Christmas tree.

It was long after midnight when we had finished, and as I got into bed I remembered that evening when I had seen the people in the opposite house hiding their clothes, and I sympathised even more with them now. In fact I approved of their action. The state requisitions clothes ostensibly for the soldiers, but the soldiers never get them. It is just robbery, under the guise of Socialism, like everything else nowadays : the collectors and distributors keep anything worth keeping. Many a janitor and hall porter appears suddenly in mackintoshes of British make, or valuable fur-coats, and not a soul dares to say anything. The second-hand clothes shops are full of clothes that have been commandeered.

When it comes to commandeering the silver it will be just the same. And as I went off to sleep I was as pleased with the spaces behind the mirror and the book-case as a smuggler with his cave.


January 4th.

There are few people in the streets to-day. I left home early, for this morning the police came and told us that they were going to make a fresh examination of the villa where the burglary took place. After much running about, however, we found that the police had forgotten the whole affair, that no inquiries had been made, and that the official papers, as well as my own complaint, had been mislaid. That is what usually happens nowadays.

There is great excitement in town : the workmen are taking up a threatening attitude towards the managements of the factories. The Ganz engineering works were surrounded this morning by armed men, the managers were dismissed, and new ones appointed—under the control of the shop-stewards.

When I reached the bottom of the hill I had to wait a long time for a tram. Only one man was waiting besides me at the stopping-place. He wore a checkered pork-butcher's cap and a ragged, dirty uniform, and in his button hole he displayed the Socialist emblem, the red man with a hammer. The stopping-place was at a lonely spot, and I felt uncomfortable, for the man kept on looking at me.

I thought it as well to know with whom I had to deal.

" Has there been an accident, that there is no car ? " I asked him.

" Maybe, " he said abruptly. And then, as if irritated by my presence, he got angry. " We shall put things straight in no time, " said he. " We've settled with the Ganz works. The trams will come next. But first of all we're going to socialize the state railways, and shall dismiss the managements of all the works and yards. In the provinces we shall take things in hand too. Béla Kún and Comrade Vág have swept the coal-mines of Salgó Tarján. "

" It was a sad sweep, " said I. " The result was eleven killed and about a hundred wounded. Do you know that there was scarcely a house left standing afterwards ? "

" The Communist workers behaved all right. It was the rabble that plundered the town. "

" I was told that Béla Kún set the armed workers against the unarmed population. It is said that the miners used dynamite to blow up the town. They took possession of the depots, the railway station, the post office. Roving gypsies couldn't have done all that. It was a well organised rising. "

The man looked down, smacking his leggings with his cane. When he looked up again there was hatred in his eyes.

" It's just as well that you gentle-folk should understand that from now on that's how things will be done. Everything has been yours long enough, now let it be the people's. "

" Don't you suppose that those you call gentlefolk have risen from the people ? To rise in the social scale one has to work, and it is worth working for. Only it is not often the work of a single life, but of several generations, till at last one reaches the goal. If from the start there is no possibility of getting on in the world, it will mean that industry, hard work and intelligence will be deprived of their reward. Would you work without a prospect of a pleasanter life ? "

" No, " the man said hesitatingly. Then, as if angered by his own back-sliding, he said rudely : " They tell a different tale in the Unions. "

" The Jewish leaders... "

" Well, that's true, they are Jews, every one of them, " he admitted grudgingly. " Whose fault is it ? The gentle-folk's, who would not mix with us. They never troubled about us, and left us to the Jews. "

" There you are right, " I rejoined, and he took off his cap when I got into the tram.

I came home feeling chilled, and met three men on the stair-case, two soldiers and one in civilian clothes. The maid who opened the door informed me that they had come to commandeer lodgings.

" Did you let them in ? Why did you not tell them that we already had a certified lodger ? "

" It was no good. They pushed me aside and came in. Poor, dear old lady. They were so rude to her. They went everywhere, looked at everything, and told her she would not be allowed more than two rooms. "

Naturally my mother was upset. A dentist with four children had put in a claim for three of our rooms with the common use of the kitchen and bathroom. If I remember rightly his name was Pollak and he had lived till then in the ghetto.

I flew into a rage. I had never heard of any lodgings being commandeered for Transylvanian refugees : they are expelled, while Galician refugees of Austrian nationality are planted in our midst. What are they afraid of ? What are they fleeing from, that they thrust their way into the homes of Christians ?

" I'll arrange it all, don't you worry, " I said to my mother. " We haven't come to that yet... "


January 5th.

It was my mother herself who took in the invitation, and the man who brought it made her promise solemnly that she would deliver it into my own hands alone.

I knew what it was about, and early in the afternoon I started on my errand. It was five o'clock before I entered the door of the house owned by the Franciscans. Some gentlemen were on the staircase before me. We met in the rooms of Stephen Zsembéry, a former deputy. All the leaders and principal members of the anti-revolutionary parties were present with the exception of Count Julius Andrássy, who had mysteriously disappeared, and Count Apponyi, who has retired from politics. Count Stephen Bethlen proposed the union of all parties, as the only means of saving the country. At first he was supported, then objections were raised and—when we broke up it was decided to meet again soon, in order to come to some final decision.

I was sad when I went home. On the way I remembered a story I had once written of how an inn stood on the plain, on the great military road. Warriors passed in great numbers, on their way to recover Buda from the Turks. They hailed from all the corners of the earth. There were only two Hungarians in the inn, but they could not get on with each other : they quarrelled, came to blows, killed each other. Over their bleeding corpses their greatest foe said happily : " That is a good job : if they had not killed each other, we never could have got the better of them. "

These two Hungarians have had many names in the course of the centuries. Once they were called Ujlaki and Gara, at another time Kuruc and Labanc; then Görgey and Kossuth, quite lately Tisza and Andrássy. And to-day our perennial ghost seemed to have walked during our labours.

Æterna Hungaria...


January 6th.

That ghost has been haunting us too long : it must be laid. Ever since I met this ever-recurring cause of our nation's defeat in the Franciscans' house, my language to the women has assumed a graver tone.

Those who have allowed the country to go to rack and ruin have not changed, and so a new future must be built up in the minds of the children. To succeed our own much tried generation we must raise up a new one which understands and holds in horror that bane of our nation, party strife, born of everlasting jealousy. We must start with the children, and see that in future no man says to his brother : " Why should it be thine ? Why not mine ? " Or : " If it cannot be mine, let it be rather our neighbour's child than thine... "

The women understand me. Our numbers grow more and more.

Cold rain was falling, slanting in the wind, as I crossed the town on foot, on my way to meet the leaders of the various organisations of Protestant women. The streets were emptier than usual, and as I approached the House of Parliament I began to feel rather nervous. The friendless streets, like the lairs of cut-throats, opened darkly into the ill-lit square. I had had enough of walking and wanted to get into a tram, but as usually happens nowadays, especially when one is in a hurry, the traffic had come to a standstill and no car appeared. Several people were waiting at the stopping-place where a constable, armed with a rifle, was standing on the edge of the pavement. I looked at my watch. The tram was due at five and it was already a quarter past. The constable cursed : " We might loaf here till midnight, " said he, and shifting his rifle on his shoulder he started to walk off.

" Can I go with you ? " I asked him. The man nodded and, taking two steps to his one, I walked along with him. " People will think you are locking me up, " I laughed.

" We are going away, from the police-station, " he laughed back. " As a matter of fact it is wise of you not to walk alone here. People are often attacked. But it won't last. The old order will be restored. We shall soon rid the country of this Galician ministry. " He began to complain bitterly, cursing the Government and all the various councils : " They ought all to be hanged, every one of them. "

" Do tell me, how did you come to join the revolution ? "

" I ? A few bribed scoundrels misled us. We didn't know what we were doing. "

When I left him I thought that the news that the police are drifting over to the counter-revolution must be true. It could hardly be otherwise, seeing that they are all brave, Hungarian, country-bred lads.

When I reached the meeting of the leading Protestant ladies I told them that so long as the various Christian creeds were fighting separately we should obtain nothing, but that if they joined hands they might still save the country, and they all decided to put all self-interest aside and to save whatever might still be saved. I felt that the unity which political parties were trying vainly to attain did already exist in the women's souls.


January 7th-10th.

This wretched town is continually being convulsed by riots, and between the riots it howls and destroys, starves and robs. Its streets are peopled with Communist demonstrators who march about under the red flag. From the opposite direction comes a crowd of patriotic youths under the national flag, and the two crowds go for each other, tear off each other's emblems and break each other's heads. And while the crowd is openly turbulent, astonishing things happen in secret.

Mackensen has been surrounded by Spahis in Fóth.

At dawn some French officers entered his room, made him a prisoner, and gave him half-an-hour in which to make his preparations, and then, before the sun rose, and without attracting attention, took him with his escort by car to Gödöllő. It is said that they are going to send him somewhere south. Károlyi's Government, although it is alleged that the arrest was made by the Government's request, has lodged a protest with the French. The organ of the Freemasons, Világ, remarked cynically that : " in the noise of great catastrophies the voice of little individual tragedies is lost... " Any tragedy is individual for them when it happens to gentile races, but whatever touches their race becomes a public calamity.

At noon another rumour spread over the town. Balthasar Láng, one of the props of the War Office, an old friend of mine, has been arrested.

Better news had been reaching us for some time. Counties in the north had begun to organise, and far from the treasonable Soldiers' Council, home-defence committees had been formed. The men folk of the north-western counties had stood to arms and opposed the advancing Czechs at Vágselye, but it had not come to a battle. As soon as the enemy heard that armed resistance was awaiting him, he turned in his tracks and retreated.

Hope rose. It would have been so easy for the armed Hungarian population to expel the intruders who refused to face a battle. Baron Láng was one of the organisers of this plan. It is said that the president of one of these home-defence committees, Szmrecsányi, spent the night before his departure at Láng's house, and that with traditional Hungarian carelessness he left his motor waiting all night in front of the house, so that the secret police of the Soldiers' Council got wind of his visit and reported the matter, and the Soldiers' Council insisted on action being taken. At the time, Count Alexander Festetich, Károlyi's brother-in-law, had been put at the head of the War Office to screen the little Jewish electrician who really ran the show, and this weak nobleman was obliged to have Láng arrested. He ordered him to appear before him, and had him detained on the spot.

It was the fate of one man only, but it affected so many...

The head of the Soldiers' Council, Pogány, and the leaders of the Social Democratic party had long ago decided the fate of any formal resistance ; they anxiously watched the organisation of measures for the country's defence. The Social Democrats had made it a special point that none but they should have any armed forces at their disposal. Károlyi and Festetich did not stand in their way in this matter, and the military administration withdrew all arms and munitions from the contingents which had risen patriotically in the country's defence. The trains carrying provisions for them were stopped by Pogány when ready to start; the troops fed themselves for a time at their own expense; but the Soldiers' Council of Pest would not have this either and sent a number of its agitators among them.

Suddenly, discipline began to slacken among the ranks; the soldiers dismissed their officers, raised the red flag, and withdrew without the slightest reason and left the country open to the invading Czechs, who became intoxicated with their easy success. After six thousand Hungarian soldiers had surrendered in Pressburg to one of their regiments, they crossed the Ipoly river at their ease and occupied the coal mines of Salgo Tarján. A detachment of forty men, without firing a shot, planted the Czech flag on the walls of the impregnable fort of Komárom...

These days have pierced the heart of the nation.

Now it is reported that the Czechs will not stop at the bend of the Danube. The only cowards of the World War, the perpetual traitors, are preparing to occupy Budapest, and nowhere do the bayonets of Hungarian soldiers advance, while Hungary melts away. They scatter without order, under the influence of that terrible eastern eye, which hypnotises our people and lures the unhappy nation to disgrace.


January 11th.

The sky is dark and threatening. On the great national road which runs from the Carpathians to the heart of the country the bayonets of Czech soldiers are advancing on the capital, and now for the first time Bolshevist posters have appeared on the walls of Budapest. " The Hungarian Communist Party will hold a mass-meeting... " It was under the shadow of these ill-omened signs that, this morning, we unfurled the flag of the National Association of Hungarian Women.

In a house on the bank of the Danube, in the rooms of the Christian Socialist Party, lent for the occasion, we gathered together without informing the police. The élite of both the Catholic and the Protestant world of women was present. Among those who attended we observed with astonishment some of Károlyi's closest relations, who were asking their acquaintances why we had met and what we were driving at. Some uneasiness was shown, and to prevent it spreading Countess Raphael Zichy took the chair at once and opened the meeting. With a brevity which admitted of no interruption she communicated the purpose of the association and informed us of the agreement between the Protestant and Catholic camps.

Consternation was visible among the relations of Károlyi. Words of discord arose, obviously meant to destroy the unity which was a threat against the Government. When the president called on me to speak I felt that our cause was at stake, and heart and head alike were possessed with the same inspiration. I forgot that I was a stranger in the world of politics, that I had not prepared my speech, that I had never spoken at a great public meeting before; I only knew that our cause must prevail; and all my love for, all my despair over, our people cried out from my very soul, in my words.

" I see on the soil of Hungary two churches, Catholic and Protestant, and over them the Christian sky of Hungary stretches in eternal majesty. The soil on which they stand, the sky that is above them, are our country, our faith. Let these form the bond between us, my sisters... "

Till that moment I did not know what marvellous wings words possessed, but now I was carried away by my own words, and they carried the others with me to a point where our souls met.

"... We cannot walk separate paths, we who seek to walk the path marked out by Christ ! Let us love one another and walk hand in hand, Christian women ! Hand in hand ! "

Eternal love and gratitude filled my heart at this moment, and my voice had more than mere words in it : " That which has never before happened in our country shall happen now—we, Protestant and Catholic women, shall be united this day, we whose sole desire it is that Hungary shall be Hungarian and Christian. "

The objections of the ladies belonging to Károlyi's party were lost in the general acclamation, and the National Association of Hungarian women emerged from the obscurity of weeks of struggle and came out into the open as the counter-revolution of the women, in defence of their faith, their country and their homes.


January 12th.

The papers that used to be Conservative published the news of our association and its manifesto, but made no comments on them.

I told Joseph Vészi, the editor-in-chief of the Pester Lloyd, that we were on the defensive and did not intend to attack. His sense of justice inspired him to say : " I shall publish your appeal, and I think it is natural that you should organise on a Christian and national basis, because Hungary was ruined by Jews—not by the Jews—but by Jews. Five hundred Jews... I say so, though I am a Jew myself. "

I noted these words, not as a testimony to me, but as an admission !

I have no doubt that there are many Jews who think the same. But surely they do a great wrong to their own people by not branding such among them as " black sheep, " especially at a time when they alone have the right to speak and protest in the interest of the country.

The Socialist press passed over the manifesto in silence.

When I started out a wintry storm was howling over the houses. Count Stephen Bethlen had convoked another meeting for five o'clock in the House of the Franciscans. Up in the dark sky black clouds raced along like fearsome witches. Only a few street lamps were alight, and the rattling of their panes in the wind sounded as if their teeth were chattering. The whole town was thronging to the first mass-meeting of the communists. Above the houses the eternal flags were flapping wildly, their green and white parts so begrimed that now only the red was showing like a blotch of blood. In the dirty streets scraps of paper and dirt were whirled about, and the wind almost blew people off their legs.

When I came to the big mansion, which faces on to two streets, armed soldiers were standing at the entrance, with red cockades on their caps. They stared hard at me, and when I got inside I was told that there were soldiers at the other entrance too. " They are watching us... "

Count Bethlen again raised the question of unity.

" Foreign bayonets are marching on the capital; don't let it be said that we couldn't agree until we were under their very shadow. "

Hours passed in hopeless, sterile discussion. All the time I could not help thinking how the socialists in the Workers' Council had by now practically joined forces with the Communists, and that while we were unable to come to an agreement they were probably howling in unison at their general meeting for the destruction of our country, faith and homes.

In all my life I was never more despondent. As a last hope I got up and said that the Christian women had already joined together, and that we were now all in one camp and only waiting to be able to join with the united parties.

" Long live the ladies ! " shouted the whole room, but again nothing happened, and the meeting dispersed without having come to any decision—just like the time before.

When I left, the soldiers were no longer loafing near the entrance. A rabble crowded the streets, and an acquaintance whom I met said to me :

" Do you see this mob ? It has come from the mass-meeting, where it has been listening to the Communists' speeches. "

The meeting started as a demonstration and ended by becoming the occasion for the unfurling of the Communist banner. At the request of Lieut.-Colonel Vyx the police had handed over nine Russian Bolshevik Jews to the French, and they had been expelled. A part of the population of Budapest now gets up a demonstration in favour of these nine foreigners, though it made not the slightest protest when Károlyi delivered several millions of Hungarians to the Czechs, Serbians and Roumanians. Jewish officers with red cockades organised the meeting, and the people of the ghetto were thronging there among disbanded soldiers, Galileist students, apprentices, and crazy women. The whole place was crammed with a human stream primed with hatred. The galleries creaked under their weight, and in the corridors a crowded-out throng shouted furiously.

On the platform the red phalanx of the Communist leaders surrounded Béla Kún, who opened the meeting and spoke of the revolution of the world's proletariat and the counter-revolution of the capitalist order, the two forces which, according to his materialistic views, are fighting a death struggle in Europe to-day. He attacked the Government because it had delivered up the red " comrades " and because it was hindering the westward advance of the Soviet Republic. Then he referred with enthusiasm to the struggle of the German Spartacists, speaking of them almost reverently.

" Long live the Spartacists, we're Spartacists too ! " the soldiers shouted frantically : " we're all Bolsheviks ! "

" Our first duty is to arm ! " shouted Béla Kún. Then he bellowed into the hall : " Lenin makes an appeal to you through me ! " At the mention of Lenin's name the whole gathering rose. Women applauded like furies. " Lenin sends you this message : ' change the war of imperialism into an international class-war !' "

Somebody shouted " Death to the Bourgeoisie ! " and the whole hall took up the cry. Then there was an interruption. The Red soldiery would not allow Garbai, the Socialist leader, to speak. Béla Kún, shouting from the top of the table, tried to make order : " If a bourgeois came to speak here, I should be the first to say 'throw him out of the window;' but Comrade Garbai has come from the other camp of the Workers, with whom we have yet to join up in our fight for freedom. "

Comrade Garbai said something to the same effect : " The Socialists and the Communists agree on every point : their aims and their enemies are the same, but the time has not yet come. "

Vágo shouted in a hoarse voice : " The Communists want no freedom of speech, no democracy; arm the whole proletariat, disarm the bourgeoisie, proclaim the Soviet Republic !... "

I thought of the meeting of Hungarian gentlemen I had just left.

The wind howled round me, the flags tore at their staffs and fluttered wildly over the dark streets; their folds became entangled and they struggled as if desperate hands were wrung above the people's heads.


January 13th.

I have been working the whole day long, at work that is new to me. In the office of our Association I have been racking my brain with details of organisation. I drew up handbills and wrote innumerable letters, though I hate writing letters. In the evening we met in the Zichy palace and decided that in any event we would prepare a memorandum of protest on the part of the women, so that it should be ready when the missions of the Entente arrived. Count Klebelsberg brought forward a draft, ready for translation into foreign languages... Time passed, and we started home.

Nowadays it is rare to get a cab, and if one happens to meet one one may well say one's prayers before entering it. During the last spell of darkness a soldier climbed on to the box of a cab in which were two ladies. He and the driver were accomplices. The horses were whipped up and the cab was driven at a mad gallop through lonely suburban streets, towards the cemetery. Fortunately the ladies jumped out, and so escaped; but goodness knows how that night would have ended for them if they had not.

Countess Zichy sent me home in her own carriage.

Klebelsberg got out in the Inner town and I drove on alone. When we reached the Rákoczi Road all the street lamps were suddenly extinguished. The dark street gaped and swallowed us up.

There was shooting everywhere, and the horses became restless. I could feel that the coachman was frightened : indeed the night seemed full of terror. We arrived at a gallop at my house, and I saw that my mother's window was open. Regardless of the cold she was sitting at it waiting for me, and now called down to the coachman : " There is a riot near the Popular Theatre, don't go in that direction. "

The man thanked her for the warning, and the clatter of hoofs died away in the opposite direction, turning so suddenly that it seemed the very horses were aware of the danger.


January 14th.

Our destiny has been decided for us in secret, in whispers within the walls of Pest. And the houses where this whispering has been going on have paid the penalty : their grimy fronts are branded with the mark of the beast. The very customs and manners of the times are designed for the masses, and obtrude themselves like prostitutes in the street. Modesty and discretion no longer exist. It is probably for the same reason that the world of art and letters now produces only works meant for the masses. Epochs are known by their arts. Our age has posters—and viler, baser posters than those of to-day, whether on paper or in the shape of men, have never existed.

As I stepped out into the street this morning it did me good, after all the pasted-up horrors, to see the posters of the League for the Defence of Territorial Integrity, showing on a red background the split-up map of Hungary. This map showed the ancient kingdom cut up into five pieces, and in the midst of the provinces despoiled by Czecho-Slovakia, Yugoslavia, Roumania and Austria, there appeared the tiny little land that remains to us, a land incapable of existence, the plain deprived of its forests and its mines. And underneath, as though the crippled land, robbed of three million Hungarian sons, were crying out, three words were printed : " No, no, never ! "

The streets, the houses, the walls proclaimed it, and after endless weeks I felt for the first time at home again in this town, which had denied everything that goes to make up my faith. Is Budapest recovering its sanity ? My hope was suddenly torn to shreds. Near a bare tree of the boulevard a well-dressed young man bent down and scooped up some mud with his hands; then... he walked up to the wall and flung it all over the poster.

The blood rushed to my head. " How dare you ! " I cried. The young man turned round. I shall never forget his face ; it was drawn in Palestine two thousand years ago.

" What are you talking about ? There's no such thing as ' my country,' " he said vindictively.

Instinctively I looked round—was there nobody to take this scoundrel by the throat ? But the passers-by went on unheeding. I don't remember what I said, but I don't think I have ever felt so angry before. It was all so humiliating. I had never realised so clearly, so frightfully, what it was they wanted. No country ! They have none, so they intend that we shall have none either.

Are the Jews going to outlive us too, because they will not die for the land ? All my national instincts rebelled. They shall not outlive us ! Their time will come. They are only mortal, for they want a country—they want our country. The life of peoples is like the life of individuals. They have their childhood, their youth, their manhood and their old age. Humanity has deprived the Jewish people of the flowering time of youth and manhood. Their race has aged unsatisfied while it has buried its contemporaries—Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians. It has seen Athens, Rome, and Byzantium die, though it was old when it stood at their cradles. Without contemporaries, alone, a stranger, it has remained among us, and it cannot yet die, for it must await its destiny. And now, even when the nations had begun to deal kindly with it, it celebrates its wasted flowering-time in a horrible dance of death.

The Wandering Jew paints his face young, and indulges in orgies on the edge of the grave.


January 15th-27th.

At the corner of a street I met a couple, a girl and a man. The fair face of the girl was familiar to me. She wore her hair after the Bolshevik fashion and her eyes stared curiously while she talked. Suddenly I remembered her : it was Maria Goszthonyi. She looked untidy, her boots were down at heel, her skirt was ragged and she wore no gloves though it was bitterly cold. Her companion had black gloves and was dressed entirely in black, and as he had black hair too he was a most mournful-looking object. His narrow shoulders bent forward and his back looked humped; he hadn't really got a hump, but his face gave one the impression of a hunchback as well. He was remarkably pale, and only his big, Jewish nose shone red in his face between his dark eyes. How did a girl like this come to be in his company ?

They had passed me while I was still thinking of them and casually I noticed the name of the street I was in, Visegr'd Street. The editorial offices of the Red News were in this street and it was a hotbed of Communists, who gathered here for their meetings.

I had heard a lot about Maria Goszthonyi lately. She had learned Russian within the last few years and had translated several Communist works, and under the influence of two Jewish friends, one of them the son of a rich banker, had professed Syndicalist principles. She had some trouble during the war because in the hospital in which she worked as a voluntary nurse she taught Communist doctrines to the wounded soldiers. It is also said that during the stormy days of October she made propagandist speeches in one of the camps of Russian prisoners. She had said one day to a friend of mine : " We shall soon be fighting over barricades in these streets. " Since then she had often been seen with Béla Kún at Communistic meetings. The last time I had spoken to her she had been a mere child. Her parents had brought her up in their castle, carefully guarded, spoilt, and she seemed an artistically inclined, bright young girl. Her mother is patriotic and fond of music, and the best musicians used to stay at their house; her father runs a model farm.

How could a girl like that fall into the company of the Communists ? There are epidemics of a spiritual nature too in this world ! The war itself was one epidemic, and Bolshevism is another. There is a serious spread of the disease at Berlin at present. Its two most violent propagators have been killed, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, and because the woman was the more gifted of the two and had a greater gift for hatred, her destructive spirit was more efficient than his. While Liebknecht organised the German Spartacists he was the link between the revolutionary Jews of Russia and Germany. These two combined with the criminal classes and stirred up the Berlin rabble against the townspeople, for they wanted civil war, and to be masters of ruined Germany. Now the rage of the mob has torn Rosa Luxemburg to pieces, and Liebknecht, who egged on others to face death while he hid under an assumed name, ran when his turn came to show courage—and was shot as he ran.

The Berlin papers said that neither of them knew the limit where political strife ended and criminal action began, but the Hungarian supporters of the Government wrote : " The fate of these two is perilously like to that of the Nazarene... This day two saints, with the halo of martyrs, have been enshrined in the history of communism... "

The whole existence, foundation, and teaching of communism is based on class-hatred, which means fratricide. Christ's teaching is love itself. There is no bridge over the gulf separating the two. His kingdom is not of this world, theirs is all of this world and brushes aside all that is not of this world. They take everything, He gave everything. The Nazarene died for them too, and now they crucify Him anew.

At the commemorative service organised by the Communists, Béla Kún and his comrades insulted the teachings of Christ. Foaming at the mouth, they pointed towards the portraits of Rosa Luxemburg and Liebknecht, carried about on poles, called on the crowd for vengeance and vomited such hatred as has never before been heard in this town. At first Béla Kún impressed the mob, then, all of a sudden, it turned against him. He shouted from the platform : " We too are threatened with their fate. But we vow that even if we are drawn and quartered we shall continue to walk along the road on which they led. "

Somebody in the crowd shouted : " Are you going to walk when you've been drawn and quartered ? " The crowd roared with laughter. It was no good after that to shout " Comrades, don't weep ! " for nobody was weeping, and the speech, meant to produce revolutionary fury, burst like a soap-bubble over the people's head.

To-day it bursts, to-day they laugh. But on the quiet the Government is playing the Communists' game. A short time ago a Communist agitator, Tibor Szamuelly, was arrested on a charge of murder. A Lieutenant-Colonel, back from captivity, deposed that this man, who as a prisoner of war in Russia had been one of Trotski's confidants, had ordered the execution of a hundred and fifty Hungarian officers because they refused to join the Red guards. This Communist Szamuelly had not spent three days in prison when, at the intervention of Károlyi, the proceedings against him were quashed and he was released.

Another chink in the screen behind which the devilish work is being carried on.

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /1

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /2

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /3

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /4

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /5

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution /6

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution – Original – PDF

Cecile Tormay: An Outlaw's Diary: Revolution – Book Format – PDF

Part Two: An Outlaw's Diary: The Commune