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Poster of a Jewish Communist soldier gloating at hanged war heroes

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.351

Poster with a cartoon of a Jewish Bolshevik gloating over a street with Transylvanian war heroes hanged from scaffolds during the Red Terror of Bela Kun's short lived Hungarian Soviet Republic. The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I (1914-1918) and the 1917 Russian Revolution led to political instability. Bela Kun, born Bela Cohn to a Jewish father, was radicalized as a Communist while a POW in Russia. In 1919, he led a coup and established a Communist regime. One of the goals was to restore Hungary's prewar borders by reclaiming Transylvania. There were large scale executions of anti-communists and perceived opponents and widespread acts of arbitrary violence. The hanged men in the poster wear the traditional costume of the Kalotaszeg region of western Transylvania (now part of Romania), where the majority of the population were Reformed Presbyterian Hungarians, unlikely to support a Communist regime. After about four months, Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic was overthrown by Romania. This poster is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

Artwork Title
Ezert Harcoltunk?
Alternate Title
Is this why we fought?
publication/distribution:  1919
publication: Sopron (Hungary)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:29
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