Lenin Boys
The Lenin Boys were a band of Communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 enforcers formed to support the short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic
The Hungarian Soviet Republic or Soviet Republic of Hungary was a short-lived Communist state established in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I....

 of 1919. The group seems to have contained about 200 young men dressed in leather jackets, acting as the personal guard of Tibor Szamuely
Tibor Szamuely
Tibor Szamuely was a Hungarian Communist leader.Born in Nyíregyháza, a city in the Northeast of Hungary, Szamuely was the oldest son of five children of a Jewish family. After completing his university studies, he became a journalist...

, Commissar for Military Affairs. Their unit commander was József Cserny.

The Lenin Boys (or, more correctly translated, the "Lenin Youth") were used as an instrument to suppress opposition to the communist government.

While it is not clear when and to what degree the Lenin Youth became executioners, contemporary media reports suggest there was an evolution from enforcers to killers. On May 18, 1919, almost two months into the four-month-long Hungarian revolution, the New York Times reported that

After a failed counter-revolutionary coup attempt in June 1919, Communist leader Béla Kun
Béla Kun
Béla Kun , born Béla Kohn, was a Hungarian Communist politician and a Bolshevik Revolutionary who led the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.- Early life :...

 is said to have unleashed the Lenin Youth in a more savage fashion, in order to stamp out any more counter-revolutionary urges among his opponents.

He failed. With the backing of the occupying French, Romanian troops invaded Hungary, occupying Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 on August 6, 1919. Kun and his colleagues fled. After the arrival of Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy
Miklós Horthy de Nagybánya was the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary during the interwar years and throughout most of World War II, serving from 1 March 1920 to 15 October 1944. Horthy was styled "His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary" .Admiral Horthy was an officer of the...

's counterrevolutionary Hungarian forces in Budapest three months later, virulently anti-Communist officers carried out a wave of savage retributive violence against Communists (as well as suspected leftists of any stripe) known as the White Terror
White Terror (Hungary)
The White Terror in Hungary was a two-year period of repressive violence by counter-revolutionary soldiers, with the intent of crushing any vestige of Hungary’s brief Communist revolution. Many of its victims were Jewish.-Background:...

. The Lenin Youth were particular targets for their anger.

Cserny was captured, tried and executed by the new government in December 1919.


  • Borsanyi, Gyorgy The life of a Communist revolutionary, Béla Kun translated by Mario Fenyo, Boulder, Colorado: Social Science Monographs; New York: Distributed by Columbia University Press, 1993.

External links

  • Cecile Tormay
    Cécile Tormay
    Cécile Tormay was a Hungarian writer.In 1919 she began expressing her political views, and opposed the Béla Kun regime...

    : An outlaw's diary (1923)
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