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Gyula Peidl
Gyula Peidl was born in Ravazd on 4 April 1873.  He was a printer by trade from 1900 until 1918, and became active in politics as the war progressed.  Peidl became provisional head of government for Hungary after the collapse of the Soviet regime of Bela Kun on 1 August 1919.  After Kun and his most responsible henchmen (including the vicious Tibor Szamuely) had already fled for Austria, the Workers' Soviet of Budapest elected a new government on 31 July 1919 with Peidl performing the dual role of head of state and premier.  His position was held for only five days, until the Rumanian occupation forces closed down all offices of whatever government was still functioning. 

As Peidl was the foremost member of the formerly leftist Social Democratic Party but considered right-wing by the bolsheviks, there was the belief that the people of Budapest would receive him warmly and so find the will to resist the oncoming Rumanians.  Peidl overturn the most hated bolshevik decrees of Kun’s regime, released the political prisoners who were victims of the red terror, dismissed the “flying” revolutionary tribunals, and closed down the feared Red Guard.  Furthermore, confiscated land was returned to rightful owners, and churches were allowed to function without bolshevik persecution. 

Still, these overnight changes did not hearten the people enough to resist the Rumanians, who occupied Budapest on 3 August amidst general chaos.  An Interallied Military Mission arrived on 5 August to survey the damages the Rumanians were inflicting on the city in the name of counter-bolshevism.  On 6 August, some anti-bolshevik whites, led by Istvan Friedrich, stormed into the council of ministers and indignantly arrested the social democrats, escorted Peidl out of his office, and recognised
Archduke Joseph as the provisional Regent of Hungary. 

Peidl meanwhile fled the country to avoid the white terror that was soon accusing whole batches of people of either supporting Kun’s red terror or else supporting the occupying Rumanians.  Peidl stayed out of Hungary for two years, only returning in 1921, once Regent
Miklos Horthy formally dropped the warrant for Peidl’s arrest.  He became a minister of parliament in 1922 and served for many years. 

Gyula Peidl died in Budapest on 22 January 1943.

GWS, 6/03
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