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Tibor Déry


Tibor Déry (Budapest, 18 October 1894 - Budapest, 18 August 1977) was a Hungarian writer. In his early years he was a supporter of communism, but after being excluded from the ranks of the Hungarian Communist Party in 1953 he started writing satire on the communist regime in Hungary.

Tibor Déry was born in Budapest into a prosperous family of partly Jewish descent. In 1919, he joined the Communist Party and served in the ill-fated revolutionary government of Bela Kun, which collapsed before the end of the year. For much of the next fifteen years he lived in exile, returning to Hungary for good in 1935.

Though initially well-regarded by Hungary’s post-World War II Communist government, by 1953 Dery had been expelled from the party for his criticism of its increasingly repressive policies. He then supported Imre Nagy’s reformist government and, after the Sovjet suppression of the 1956 uprising, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Writers around the world (including Camus, Sartre, E. M. Forster, Rebecca West, and Alberto Moravia) rallied on his behalf and in 1960 Dery was not only granted amnesty but allowed to publish and travel in relative freedom. Among Dery’s major works are Love and Other Stones, the novel The Unfinished Sentence, and an autobiography, No Verdict.

Tibor Déry