HUNGARY: The Strange Case of Kadar

Budapest-born Arthur Koestler was the first to dramatize the theory that a strong shot of ideological doubletalk, administered with a minimum of sleep, was enough to persuade an old Communist to confess to, and even agree to be shot for, errors he had not committed. Though a brilliant anti-Communist novel, Koestler's Darkness at Noon left the lingering impression that the Communist inquisitors won by superior cunning.

The facts seemed to be a good deal simpler and more sinister than what Koestler imagined. The 1949 show trial of Hungary's Communist Foreign Minister Laszlo Rajk read as if it had been taken from...

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