Ervin Sinkó's Search for Community: The Early Years, 1898-1919


  • George Deák Independet Scholar



communism, anti-Semitism, Ervin Sinkó, Irma Rothbart, Hungarian Soviet Republic, Jewish conversion, pacifism


Before the political shift that occurred in1989, the biographies of early communists who had participated in the Hungarian Soviet Republic of 1919 could not be the subjects of critical histories. Later, such historical actors were either vilified or simply neglected. This article contributes to the reversal of this neglect by examining the youth of the novelist Ervin Sinkó (1898-1967), who both participated in the rule of the Soviet Republic and authored Optimisták, Történelmi regény 1918-1919-ből [‘The Optimists, a Historical Novel About 1918-1919’]. This article describes how the experience of anti-Semitism and traumas caused by the First World War led Sinkó through a number of fluid, intermediary stages that culminated in his support of communism; eventually, however, Sinkó’s experiences within the Soviet Republic’s regime prompted him to abandon communism in favor of an idiosyncratic form of Christianity. From another perspective, this work also traces the concurrent development of Sinkó's personality, from that of an aggressive adolescent to a compassionate adult.






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