Istvan Bibo

Picture of Istvan Bibo

Date of Birth: 08/07/1911

Age: 67

Place of birth: Budapest

Citizenship: Hungary



Born into a family of intellectuals. His father worked in the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, then was director of the University Library in Szeged.


He graduated from high school, Faculty of Law of the University of Szeged, in 1933-1935 he studied law and political science in Vienna and Geneva, then trained at the Academy of International Law in The Hague.

The scientific and political activity

In 1930 he served in the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice. At the same time engaged in scientific research, he wrote works on philosophy and sociology of law, legal ethics, international law. Since 1938 - a member of the Hungarian Philosophical Society. Participated in the activities of the March Front - left opposition to the regime of Miklos Horthy.

Since 1940 - assistant professor of the University of Szeged, 1941 - University of Cluj Napoca (newly established Hungarian higher education institution in Northern Transylvania, adjoint in 1940 in Hungary, and now Cluj Napoca - a city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania). In 1944 he helped to shelter Jews in Budapest, which threatened violence. In October 1944 he was arrested by the supporters of the pro-Nazi leader Ferenc Szalasi soon released, with disqualification to the civil service and to engage in teaching activities. He was forced to go underground.

After the overthrow of the Szalasi regime in Hungary - Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (March 1945 - July 1946), I was invited to the post of Interior Minister, his colleague at the March Front, one of the leaders levoorientirovannoy National Peasant Party (NCP) Ferenc Erdei. In May 1945 he joined the NCP. He participated in the development of a number of bills, advocated the democratic reorganization of the system of administrative-territorial (in particular municipal) administration.

In 1946-1950 - professor at the University of Szeged. At the same time was one of the leaders of the Institute of Pal Teleki in Budapest, engaged in Eastern studies. Since 1946 - a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. During this period, he wrote a significant number of scientific papers on the history, political science, law. He was a supporter of European integration, the creation of a stable system of international agreements in Europe, an opponent of nationalism. It raises questions about the injustice committed against the German population expelled from Eastern Europe, including Hungary (still being in the public service, proposed measures to mitigate this process, which have not been implemented). He adhered to the democratic left-liberal political views which were incompatible with folding totalitarian systems.

In 1949 he was removed from the Academy of Sciences during its reorganization. By that time actually stopped their activities and the Institute of Pal Teleki, was dissolved NCP. In 1950 he was forced to stop teaching, and from 1951 worked as a librarian at the University Library in Budapest. Activities in 1956 and imprisonment

In autumn 1956 the crisis of the totalitarian system and the mass protests of citizens of Hungary returned to the political activity. In October 1956 he prepared a manuscript of "Synopsis. October 1956 "- an outline of the program of political text, which criticized many postulates of Marxism (including provisions for the dictatorship of the proletariat), spoke in favor of the democratic development of the country. He was an opponent of restoration of large private property, considering that it should be handed over to workers collectives. One of the initiators of the revival of the NPC - called Petofi Party - in late October 1956. November 3, 1956 under the quota of the Party of Petofi was a part of the Imre Nagy government as Minister of State.

Already on November 4 the government was overthrown by Soviet troops. At a time when many in the Hungarian leadership found political asylum in the Yugoslav embassy, ??he remained at his post in the Hungarian Parliament building, was briefly detained, but later released. He addressed to the Hungarian people with an appeal, in which he called not to recognize the legitimate authority of the Soviet military administration and the pro-Soviet government, "to use against them all forms of passive resistance, except in cases when it comes to the food supply, and public service in Budapest." Then he offers the option of a compromise settlement of the Hungarian issues related to the preservation of socialism in Hungary during the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country, its withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact (or the system of its "war bonds") and the recognition of the USSR Imre Nagy government legitimacy. However, by the time the Soviet Union had already made a bid for the rejection of any compromise with supporters of Nagy.

In December 1956 was the author of the "Declaration on the basic principles of the state, social and economic structure of Hungary and the ways of overcoming the political crisis," prepared jointly with other leaders of the Petofi Party and the Party of Smallholders. May 23, 1957 arrested, and in 1958 for participating in the events of 1956 was sentenced to life imprisonment. In prison, he continued resistance to the policy of power. In March 1963 he was released under an amnesty - later than many of the policy of Imre Nagy`s associates.

After the liberation

In 1963-1971 he worked as a researcher at the Library of Hungarian Central Statistical Office, returned to scientific work, investigated the problems of foreign policy and translation activities. In 1972, Hungary published his monograph "The incapability of the international community of states and overcome it" (in 1976 abridged translation was released in the UK). In 1971 he retired.

In the 1980s, a collection of essays published Bibo in Hungary. He was a bust in Budapest, in the same city named after him gymnasium. In 2002 it filmed on a feature-length documentary.