Tomb of former Hungarian communist leader vandalised

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The tomb of former general secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, János Kádár, located in Budapest, Hungary in the Kerepesi Cemetery, was vandalised on Wednesday night.

Vandals accessed Kádár's casket by cutting a 40 cm hole into it and then removed some of his remains, police have confirmed. Reports say the urn containing his wife's ashes was also stolen. In addition, the vandals wrote "murderer and traitor may not rest in holy ground" on a memorial to communist leaders near Kádár's tomb.

"Not all the grave site was dug up. Experts are going to open the casket but as far as we can tell through the hole that has been cut into the coffin there are bones missing," said Endre Kormos, a spokesman for the Budapest Police Department. The damaged coffin has been removed by authorities for further athropological investigations. Police also said a plate of marble that was covering his grave was also stolen.

Kádár was a controversial and important figure of the 20th-century Hungarian history. He was the leader of the country in the period of Goulash Communism, when Hungary had one of the most liberal systems in the Eastern Bloc, however, he also assisted the Soviet troops in crushing the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and is held responsible for the jailing and execution of revolutionists, including Imre Nagy and other members of the government.

The Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, the center-right opposition party Fidesz and other political parties condemned the act, the Russian Pravda reports.