Negotiation through Sport: Navigating Everyday Life in Socialist Hungary, 1948-1989

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Negotiation through Sport: Navigating Everyday Life in Socialist Hungary, 1948-1989
Mellis, Johanna L
University of Florida
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Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
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University of Florida
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Olympic games ( jstor )
Socialism ( jstor )
Sports ( jstor )
Unknown ( sobekcm )


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My research uses oral histories and archival research to analyze the interactions between athletes, Hungarian sport leaders, and the International Olympic Committee (hereafter IOC) as a microcosm of Cold War relations between society, the socialist state, and international organizations. Following the 1956 Revolution, which saw a mass defection of athletes to the West, Hungarian sport leaders softened their policies in order to entice athletes to assist in their mission to restore state and international legitimacy. Many athletes chose-and were not forced-to work with sport leaders after 1956 in order to receive career opportunities and socio-economic benefits. In the 1960s the IOC began electing officials from the Bloc countries into high-level administrative positions as a means of securing administrative support amidst internal crises. The Bloc states thus gradually enjoyed more opportunities to make IOC policies favorable to their athletes. I argue that by the mid-1960s each group cooperated with one another in mutually beneficial ways. By integrating histories of everyday life, bureaucratic institutions, and cultural diplomacy, this uncharted Cold War analysis sheds new light on the evolving politics of cooperation that emerged within the Cold War context. Socialist cultural policy and the governance of the global Olympic movement both depended on a tacit understanding of these emerging norms.

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2018 Johanna Mellis


To Greg


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The fact that I am listed as the sole writer of this work does not reflect the many individuals who generously offered their care, intellectual guidance, and memories to me throughout the process. I owe an incredible number of deb ts to those who helped my dissertation come to fruition and who kept me sane and healthy T he following is an attempt to thank everyone who aided me along this path. My advisor, Alice Freifeld, took a chance on me when I knew very little about Central Ea stern Europe. Most importantly she always encourages students to pursue topics that interest them In 2012, she suggested that I combine my personal interests in sport with my academic ones related to Hungary She had me read Robert Edelmans Spartak Moscow which incidentally was my first S port history book. I was hooked. Since then, Alice continuously encouraged me to follow my project wherever it took me, without pressuring me to study something closer to her area of expertise. I will be forever gra teful for her foresight in this realm. I am similarly thankful for all of the careful guidance that Matt Jacobs generously offered to me over the last several years. He has perfected the art of giving a balance of constructive criticism and positive encouragement to junior scholars. H e enthusiastically helped me to explore the field of Sport history and reminded me to keep the focus of this work on the athletes. Matt also consistently prodded me to approach the writing of this history from different angles and offer ed numerous concrete suggestions about how I could use my sources to attract the attention of readers H e encouraged me to embrace the complexities of the oral histories, to incorporate a self reflexive analysis here, and to show the relevance o f my topic beyond sport I owe much to his mentoring


5 I received additional assistance from my other committee members, Stuart Finkel, Norman Goda, Tamir Sorek and Emese Ivan. Stuart meticulously read Chapters 2 and 6, and expressed genuine enthusiasm for the sport and oral history aspects of this work. Norman Goda has been a great teaching and scholarly mentor since my days as a Masters student. Emese has been a driving force for this r esearch since 2012. Her positive memories as a basketball player at the Central Sport School in Budapest in the 1970s convinced me that this was a worthy topic. Emeses eager responses to my countless questions, and reassurances that I should trust myself spurred me on these l ast six years. Her positivity and wisdom about my career were invaluable. The Center for European Studies (CES) at the University of Florida gave me a home base since the first day. CES generously funded me to learn Hungarian over the years In particular I must thank Alice, as well as Lisa Booth and Koki Mendis for the support that they offered through CES for my research. The Center allowed me to present my work within a collegial environment twice Koki especially constantly reminded me to be confident in my work ethic and research during a crucial time. Edit Nagy deserves special thanks for patiently helping me learn the Hungarian language, culture, and history all these years. She also facilitated my first interview by introducing me to her father in started the research process for me I am incredibly thankful for her help. My time at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP) provided me with a rich home in the fall and spring s eme sters of 2016. Under the guidance of Paul Ortiz, Ryan Morini, Deborah Hendrix, and Tamarra Jenkins, I learned how to teach and manage oral history projects with students. I especially thank Ryan, who never failed to answer my complicated


6 questions and devote d hours to chat about oral history and memory with me. Partaking in SPOHPs workshop with the Duckwater tribe in Nevada forever changed how I approach and conceive of the interviewer narrator relationship. My colleagues in Ryans Memory Studies seminar i n the spring of 2017 Annemarie Nichols, Sam Winemiller, and Susan Atkinson in particular encouraged me to think broadly about how and why people remember, and how to retain the humanness of narrators memories Three other professors at UF deserve thanks for the ir guidance during this journey. Mitch Hart encouraged my intellectual abilities at a stage when I did not feel so confident in myself. Elizabeth Dale provided countless frank pieces of advice to me over the years, and helped me to explore the poss ibilities of the Digital Humanities in the classroom and in my research. Peter Bergmann gave me the best first seminar experience as a graduate student. His vast knowledge and kindness knew no bounds. We are still thinking of you. I am lucky to have had wonderful colleagues in graduate school. My small cohort in Modern European history deserves a wealth of thanks: Toby Shorey, Matt Mingus, Wesley White, Lisa Booth, and Elana ThurstonMilgrom Rachel Rothstein mentor ed me from the beginning, and served as a n incredible rolemodel scholar for me. Erin Conlin was and always will be a close friend. Her dogged attitude in graduate school and trail blazing path within O ral and Public history was a perfect guide for my later development as an oral historian. It has been a pleasure to befriend and commiserate with Jill Coste the last two years. Her passion for her research and teaching is something to which I aspire. The History Departments Writing Group motivated and inspired me during the writing and job applic ation process. I thank Mallory Szymanski, Michael Ge nnar o,


7 Andrew Welton, Jessica Taylor, and Alex Tepperman for their intellectual and emotional support during what was a trying time for us all Brandon Jett also deserves special thanks for reading early drafts of my work Our friendship with Brandon, his wife Dori, and daughter Poppy made our lives much, much better in graduate school. The same goes to Sonja and Tristan Vellinga, our first Gainesville friends. Sonja and Tristan reminded me to set aside my academic stresses and enjoy life. A number of other historians influenced this work. Anna Muller, who was a lecturer at CES from 20112013, read countless drafts of chapters. I am extremely grateful for Anna for first introducing me to the wonderful metho dology and fields of Oral H istory and Memory S tudies in 2011. She always encouraged me to listen to my sources, especially to the voices of my narrators. Since meeting Toby Rider in 2015, he has consistently been excited about my work. Toby also read sever al chapter drafts, and pushed me to insert more of the narrators rich voices into my analysis. His collaboration in the Cold War AthleteRefugee in CA Oral History Project opened up multiple new research and career possibilities for me. Tobys mentorshi p has and will continue to be priceless. T he Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) matched me with Robert Edelman in 2015 in their M entoring program. In his first email he kindly invited me to attend one of the three Glo bal History of Sport in the Cold War conferences. There I met Dr. Bob in person, as well as Toby, Tommy Hunt, and numerous other established sport historians. I have much to thank Dr. Bob with respect to this invitation, his academic guidance and research suggestions, and for opening the door for broadly for H istory PhD students to write dissertations on S port histor y. Tommy Hunt also offered his humble, sage wisdom in this process. He


8 con nected me to the Olympic Studies group at the University of Lausanne while I was conducting research at the International Olympic Committee Historical Archives (IOCHA) Leslie Waters and Kristina Poznn gave me muchneeded support and academic advice along the way, and have done much to incorporate me into the group of young scholars within the Hungarian Studies Association and ASEEES. I must also thank Toby, Matthew Llewellyn, John Gleaves, and the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) for allow ing me to participation in the Sport in California workshop in 2017. The workshop pushed me to think about the broader, international implications of my work. It also introduced me to numerous caring and stimulating scholars in the field of S port history I have to thank several institutions for their financial support of my studies and research over the years. I learned Hungarian and began my research thanks to CESs generous awarding of numerous Academic Year and Summer FLAS fellowships. Without CESs financial support, writing a Masters thesis and dissertation on Hungarian history would not been possible or conceivable. Once I began my PhD, the Department of History provided me with several years of funding, teaching assistantships, and the chance to teach three of my own courses. I spent the wonderful 20142015 academic year conducting research in Budapest thanks to a Fulbright IIE grant I returned to Budapest to conduct follow up work in the summer of 2016 as a result of three funding opportunities: UF s O. Ruth McQuown A ward, a CES Travel Grant, and NASSHs inaugural year of the Dissertation Travel Research Award. The NASSH award in particular helped me travel to the IOCHA in Lausanne, Switzerland. The research that I gathered that summer formed the foundation of my successful application for the


9 Olympic Studies Ce ntres PhD Student Grant Program in 2017. I spent three fantastic weeks at the IOCHA in August September 2017. St phanie Moreno, Lala Gintzburger, and Nuria Puig went to great lengths to accommodate my research stay there. The archivists at the IOCHA were immensely helpful and always friendly. Quentin Tonnere from the University of Lausanne also answered my many questions about the city, and made my visit a wonderful one. Patrick Clastres proved a careful reader of the work that I distributed for the seminar that he allowed me to do as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Lausanne I am profoundly thankful for UFs Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere for providing a wonderful, positivity filled Writing Retreat from May 711, 2018, when I was editing these chapters Being surrounded by similarly hardworking scholars gave me the space, confidence, and motivation for turning these chapters into a coherent dissertation. I am enormously grateful for the friends and mentors in Hungary who formed the research and mental foundation for this project. Once again, I thank Emese for her help. Through her connections, she and I interviewed Istvn Buda (the head sport leader who officially announced Hungarys boycott of the 1984 Olympics) three weeks before his death foundation for this project at the beginning. Emese also introduced me to her several of her former basketball teammates. Anna Molnr and Andrs Timr embraced me after learning about my project, and never ceased to share their knowledge and contacts within the Hungarian sport community. T hey along with their children, Dorka and Blint, helped to give Greg and I a home away from home in Budapest in 20142015 Through Anna and Andras, I met Mrta Szuchy. Mrta, also a basketball player, took kindly to


10 my research and introduced me to several other female athletenarrators. Mikls Zeidler at Etvs Lornd University (ELTE) helped to guide this project for many years. He shared his incredible knowledge of Hungarian sport history, helped me find narrators, and gladly served as my cointerviewer several times He is the most kind and patient historian I have ever met. I expect that our long conversations about this research will continue. Through Mikls I met a group of Hungarian History PhD students at ELTE who played a big role in the research. Zoltn Pl, Blint Fekete, Pter Galambos, and gnes Kpr invited us to their departments gatherings and out for drinks. Zoli Blint, and Pter all served as cointerviewers for several of the oral histories Zoli in particular showed great professionalism while interviewing some of his alltime favorite athletes, which would be challenging for anyone. All of them shared their insights into the narrators responses and memories when we debriefed after the interviews. I am thankful to have found such wi lling colleagues and lifelong friends in Mikls and the ELTE crew We also made many kind and giving friends outside of the academic and sport circles in Hungary Lars Kuehl, Krisztina Darinka, Ildik and Rbert Jancs, Mrti and Milan Solymosi have collec tively given us a community for whenever we return to Budapest. Melissa Byrnes, gave me a physical home in Budapest over the years. They moreover gave me helpful guidance for navigating academia i n the US helped me find l egal aid for the interviews, and continue to support my interest s in Hungarian history. Finally, I thank Eszter Karcsony and Rita Galambos for their work in transcribing the Hungarianlanguage oral histories Swimming was a crucial part of my life from ag es 8 22, when I swam for Poseidon Swimming and then at the College of Charleston. Through the long practices


11 ( as a distance swimmer, that meant staring at a black line for miles) and many swim me ets, I learned how to set goals, work hard to achieve them and press on after setbacks I also developed a lifelong interest in how athletes live their daily lives. T hese attributes and experiences undoubtedly helped me to complete the endurance race that was the PhD process, and motivated me to select this topic. I must thank my swim coaches for coaching me along that path. Diane Cayce (then of Poseidon Swimming) and Olympic breastroker Staciana Stitts Winfield deserve special recognition. More than anyone else, they exerted an extremely positive influence on my developmen t as an athlete, individual and woman. Working as a swim coach impacted this work in unforeseen ways. Coaching young swimmers at Gator Swim Club (GSC) and High Tide Aquatics from 2011present introduced me to the wonderful non academic community in Gainesville, and helped me to step back from my work even if just for an hour a day. The arrival of Robert Pintr in 2016 as my head coach and boss at GSC was highly fortuitous for my research. Although his experiences did not make it into the dissertat ion, Roberts experiences as a swimmer in Romania in the 1970s 1980s will be a perfect step towards a comparative analysis of sport and athletes under socialism. My parents have supported my endeavors in various ways. My dad always pushed me to keep striv ing and not rest on my past achievements. The work ethic that he instilled in me laid the foundation for my ability to persevere no matter what. My mom has believed in me for as long as I can remember She also taught me that peoples feelings and memories about the past influence their current beliefs and actions. Whether it was intentional or not, from an early age she steered me towards listening and valuing peoples memories. My siblings Laura, Rebecca, and Jonathan continue to


12 be role models for me. Th ey are all incredibly strong, hardworking, independent, and ambitious as well as incredibly downto earth and human. I am lucky to be surrounded by such accomplished and endearing siblings. As a fellow history nerd and a European football fan, my brother in law Sidart h expressed a genuine interest i n my topic early on. His acute understanding of the rigors of the academic path has meant the world to me. And finally, my partner Greg. His emotional and intellectual support has not wavered throughout this j ourney. He loved Hungary from the start and embraced my project from day one. Although not one to celebrate his own successes, Greg wholeheartedly did so every time that I achieved something, and helped me to see the bigger picture during my more unsuccessful moments. He knew exactly when to support my long working hours, and when to remind me to step back and be present in our life. He happily listened to me debrief from the oral history interviews and always served as a sounding board for my ideas. His keen insights into my research made my dissertation an infinitely better one. This work is dedicated wholly to him


13 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... 16 LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ 17 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 18 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 20 CHAPTER 1 THE BEAUT IFUL YEARS OF HUNGARIAN SPORT: ATHLETES, HUNGARIAN SPORT LEADERS, AND THE IOC .................................................. 22 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 22 The Cultural Cold War ............................................................................................ 27 Cold W ar Sport ....................................................................................................... 33 Hungary and the Eastern Bloc ................................................................................ 41 Methodology ........................................................................................................... 51 Oral History and Memory Analysis ................................................................... 52 Archival Research and Materials ...................................................................... 63 Organization ........................................................................................................... 68 2 A BALANCING ACT: SPORT LEADERS, THE HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST STATE, AND THE IOC, 1948 1955 ........................................................................ 71 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 71 Sport Leaders and the Administration of Elite Sport under Stalinism ...................... 76 Reorganization in 1951 .................................................................................... 79 Athletes Defections, the 1954 Protests, and the Sport Administration ............. 86 The IOC, the Amateur Rule, and Hungarian Sport Leaders, 19471956 ................ 96 The Old Boys Club and Fer enc ............................................................ 99 The Hungarian Case as a Trial Run for the Bloc ............................................ 108 The IOC Amateur Rules and Hungarian State Amateurism ........................... 113 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 119 3 ATHLETES EVERYDAY LIVES: A HIERARCHY OF PRIVILEGE ....................... 122 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 122 Communist Party Ideology, Privilege, and Elite Sport ........................................... 126 The Nature of the Carrot andStick System .......................................................... 132 Sport Leaders Tacit Rules ............................................................................. 134 The Impact of 1956 on the Carrot andStick System ...................................... 142


14 Hierarchy of Athletes Privileges ........................................................................... 145 The Best Benefit of All: Travel Abroad ........................................................... 147 Sport Jobs ...................................................................................................... 149 Prized Material Awards: Apartments and Cars ............................................... 156 Finding A Career and Stability after Sport ...................................................... 165 The Business Permit ...................................................................................... 170 The Best of Them All: Winning an Olympic Gold Medal ................................. 173 Athletes Salaries & Monetary Incentives .............................................................. 177 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 187 4 THE 1956 HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, MASS DEFECTIONS, AND GROWING ATHLETE SPORT LEADER COOPERATION ................................... 190 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 190 alinist Hungary ........................... 197 1956 Revolution in Sport: Reactions and Defections ............................................ 202 Defections and Hegyis Approach in Melbourne ............................................. 203 America: The Land without Socialist Opportunities ........................................ 207 Sport Leaders Changing Tactics ................................................................... 210 Case Studies: Punishments, Athletes, and Sport Leaders after 1956 .................. 214 Gza Kdas and the Impact of the International Sport World ......................... 214 Gbor Benedek .............................................................................................. 218 .............................................................................................. 222 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 228 5 PERHAPS YOU CAN BE HELPFUL IN THIS SITUATION: EVOLVING TIES BETWEEN THE IOC, HUNGARY, AND THE MIDDLE BLOC COUNTRIES ...... 231 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 231 Middle Bloc Leaders as Middle Men: Loth and Stoychev ..................................... 235 The IOC, the Bloc Countries, and the Amateur Rule ............................................ 239 The 1961 Meeting .......................................................................................... 241 A New Definition of Amateurism: Article 26 .................................................... 244 The Shift in Amateurism ................................................................................. 246 The Committees Inquiries into Systems of Material Support ....................... 249 Bloc Members Help in the Fight Against Commercialized Sport .................... 254 Amateur Rules as a Tool for Leverage ........................................................... 255 The Veiled Position of the Middle Bloc states in the IOC ...................................... 257 The Affidavit of Hans Neuling ......................................................................... 258 Responses: The IOC and GDR Sport Leaders ............................................... 262 A Figurehead of International Sport: rpd Csandi ........................................... 268 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 275 6 SZOCIALISTA SSZEKTTETSEK: CONNECTIONS AND SMUGGLING IN THE SPORT WORLD OF LATE SOCIALISM ....................................................... 279 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 279


15 Connections and Access in Everyday Life: Patronage and Blat ........................... 285 Connections in Hungarian Sport Life Before and After 1956 ................................ 291 State Society Relations and Consumption in Post 1956 Hungary ........................ 295 The Role of Connections in Smuggling ................................................................. 299 Sport Leaders Stance on Smuggling ................................................................... 302 The Golden Plane Opportunity ....................................................................... 308 Inconsistent Help from Sport Leaders ............................................................ 309 Strategies for Success in Smuggling for Profit ...................................................... 313 Discovering the Limits and Getting Caught ........................................................... 322 The Case of the Pentathletes in 19631964 ................................................... 322 The Troublesome Gyula Grosics .................................................................... 327 Sndor Wladr as a Lesson in the 1980s .................................................... 329 Anna Molnr and Computer Technology in Late Socialism ............................ 334 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 339 7 CONCLUDING REMARKS ................................................................................... 342 Athletes in Socialist Hungary and Today .............................................................. 346 Authoritarian Systems and Cultural Policies ......................................................... 348 Hungary in the International Community ............................................................... 349 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 351 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................. 353 Films ............................................................................................................... 361 Online Resources ........................................................................................... 361 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 363


16 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Range of Athletes Monthly Salaries (in Hungarian Forints) ............................. 180 3 2 Monthly Earnings for Average Hungarians, Tier 1 Athletes, and Top Party Leaders (in Hungarian forints) .......................................................................... 183


17 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 that Mayer forwarded to Edstrm .................................................... 112 3 1. From left to right in the front is Minister of Defense Mihaly Farkas, Hungarys top Stalinist leader in the 1950s Mtys Rkosi and sport leader Gyula Hegyi ................................................................................................................ 135 3 2. The hierarchy of privileges .................................................................................. 147 3 3. Threetime Olympic gold medal boxer Lszl Papp, in 1958, training the younger generation ........................................................................................... 168 3 4. Document detailing the background information for gymnasts in 1954, inc luding their salary information ...................................................................... 179 5 1. The last page of Neulings affidavit with the n otary stamp ................................... 260 5 2. The four copies of Neulings report that the IOC received in 1962 and are held i n its historical archives today ........................................................................... 262


18 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS COCOM Coo rdinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls FIFA Fdration Internationale de Football Association, the International Football Federation. The international governing body for soccer. FINA Fdration Internationale de Natation Association, the International Swimming Federation FRG Federal Republic of Germany, or West Germany GDR German Democratic Republic, or East Germany MKP Magyar Kommunista Prt, or Hungarian Communist Party MLSz Magyar Labdar g Szvetsg, or the Hungarian Football Association MOB Magyar Olimpiai Bizottsg, or Hungarian Olympic Committee MTST Magyar Testnevelsi s Sport Tancs, the Hungarian Council for Physi cal Education and Sport. This was the governing sport body from 1957 1965, when it was reformed into the OTSH MUSz Magyar Usz Szvetsg, the Hungarian Swimming Association NEM New Economic Mechanism, the set of liberalizing economic reforms implemented between 19681971 NOCs National Olympic Committees OSC Orvosegyetem Sport Club, or the Dental Universitys Sport Club OSH Orszgos Sport Hivatal, or National Sport Office. The national governing body for sport between 19481951. OTSB Orszgos Testnevelsi s Sport Bizottsg, or the National Office of Physical Education and Sport. The national sport body after the OSH was abolished in 1951, and continued to exist until just after the 1956 Revolution OTSH Orszgos Testnevelsi s Sport Hivatal, the National Office of Physical Education and Sport. The national governing body from 1965 until the regime change in 1989. POC Polish Olympic Committee


19 USSR Soviet Union


20 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy NEGOTIATION THROUGH SPORT: NAVIGATING EVERYDAY LIFE IN SOCIALIST HUNGARY, 1948 1989 By Johanna Mellis August 2018 Chair: Alice Freifeld Major: History My research uses oral histories and archival research to analyze the interactions between athletes, Hungarian sport leaders, and the International Olympic Committee (hereafter IOC) as a microcosm of Cold War relations between society, the socialist state, and international organizations. Following the 1956 Revolution, which saw a mass defection of athletes to the West, Hungarian sport leaders softened their policies in order to enti ce athletes to assist in their mission to restore state and international legitimacy. Many athletes choseand were not forcedto work with sport leaders after 1956 in order to receive career opportunities and socioeconomic benefits. In the 1960s the IOC b egan electing officials from the Bloc countries into highlevel administrative positions as a means of securing administrative support amidst internal crises The Bloc states thus gradually enjoyed more opportunities to make IOC policies favorable to their athletes. I argue that by the mid1960s each group cooperated with one another in mutually beneficial ways. By integrating histories of everyday life, bureaucratic institutions, and cultural diplomacy, this uncharted Cold War analysis sheds new light on t he evolving politics of cooperation that emerged within the Cold War context. Socialist


21 cultural policy and the governance of the global Olympic movement both depended on a tacit understanding of these emerging norms


22 CHAPTER 1 THE BEAUTIFUL YEARS OF HUNGARIAN SPORT: ATHLETES, HUNGARIAN SPORT LEADERS, AND THE IOC Introduction On the morning of May 20, 2015, I sat in the office of Attila Csszri, president of Adidas Hungary. Csszri was part of Hungarys O lympic pentathlon team at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. He explained to me how his status as an athlete made him kind of an elit e member of Hungarian society. 1 H e nevertheless needed to be careful when smuggling goods and make sure that his behavior did not go against the desires of the state.2 When I probed him about whether he believed there were any disadvantages to his position back then, he recalled, Disadvantages. No. He thought for a minute, and continued, Im trying to, no. Absolutely no. Beautiful years.3 Sport, he explained, was kind of [an] oasis in the desert. Csszri continued: Sport could protect me, sport could give me a nice target, sport could [help me] develop myself. So I have to thank, i n general, to sport for almost everythingSport allowed me to do that. To survive that terrible period, I think that was the only way .4 It is illustrative to peel back the many layers of the Hungarians recollections. On the surface, it may seem that his c haracterization of his years as an athlete as beautiful referred only to the conditions of sport in Hungary during his career in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet Hungarian sport and the nations sport community belonged, was influenced by, and contributed to soc ialist society in Hungary, as well as the broader world of 1 Attila Csszri, interview with Johanna Mellis Budapest, 20 May 2015. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid.


23 international sport. His remark therefore also reflects on the environments of socialist Hungary and international sport during the Cold War, and how the conditions within those spheres helped to f acilitate the development of the beautiful years that Csszri experienced. Each of these topics elite sport, socialist rule in Eastern Europe, and Cold War era international sport are typically characterized by politicization and abuse, state repression and material restrictions, and intense geopolitical tensions. These characterizations together form a traditional narrative of Cold War sport as an ideological and political battlefield, whereby the states behind the Iron Curtain used sport victories as political weapons and abused and discarded athletes bodies at their whim. Csszri s recollections, then, exhibit a different side to the story of socialist Hungary and Cold War sport. In order for him to remember and describe his experiences in this way to a foreigner from the West, no less certain conditions needed to coalesce in socialist Hungarys sport community, and in the broader international scope of the sporting Cold War. In this dissertation, I take the Hungarians remembrances seriously and expl ore the domestic and international conditions that underpinned Csszri s experiences. Triangulating over thirty oral histories with documents from the Hungarian socialist government, the states secret police files, and the International Olympic Committee (hereafter the IOC), I examine the mentalities, cultural behaviors, and evolving relations between the three groups of people who helped create the beautiful years of Hungarian sport from 19481989: Hungarian athletes, Hungarian sport leaders, and the t op IOC leadership.


24 First and foremost, I explore the experiences of Hungarian athletes and their impact on state sport policies. The typical narrative of Eastern Bloc sport as described above, portrays elite athletes as doped up, helpless victim s with no recourse against state control and repression except for acts of defiance and resistance. It is indisputable that during the early mid 1950s, sport leaders largely relied upon repressive tactics in an effort to control athletes behavior and guarantee sport success. During this period, the socalled Stalinist era of socialist rule in Hungary, sport leaders closely followed the states Cold War belief that gold medals on the global sports stage represented the systems political, economic, and cultural superiority over the capitalist West. Using the Stalinist era conditions to characterize the entire Cold War period, however, overshadows the real softening of socialist rule after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. 1956 represented a watershed moment for Hungarian sport. Hundreds of athletes voted with their feet and defected to the West following the Revolution and 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games The brawn drain threatened the states sport diplomacy goals and compounded its already damaged domestic and international legitimacy. Motivated to stem the tide of defections and entice athletes to help repair the nations legitimacy, sport leaders relaxed their policies and offered athletes more material rewards than before. Athletes simultaneously learned from their athletedefector compatriots (some of whom returned home) that only socialist Hungary, and not the capitalist West, would offer them the institutional and material support that they desired for continuing their careers. As a result of these changing mental ities and domestic conditions, from the late 1950s onwards many athletes chose and were not forcedto work with sport leaders. Athletes viewed cooperation as the best tactic to pursuing their


25 sport careers and receiving prized material rewards. Their decis ion to work with sport leaders thus represented an act of agency within the socialist system This dissertation also illustrates how sport leaders showed a significant level of flexibility in their policies following 1956. Although sport leaders used a pl ethora of punishments in the carrot andstick system of rewards and punishments that they developed with athletes in the 1950s the events of 1956 influenced them to adapt their system further. T he softening of Hungarian sport leaders priorities and tac tics with athletes following 1956 contradicts the image of the rigid bureaucrat. The shift in their policies played an important role in changing the behavior of athletes, and in the development of more amicable relations between them from the late 1950s u ntil 1989. With chapters focusing on their interactions, punishments, increased privileges and connections, I analyze the conditions that prompted athletes and sport leaders to rely on one another to achieve their respective goals. Finally, I examine Cold War cultural diplomacy within international sport by studying the evolving relations between the IOC and its members for Hungary and the Eastern Bloc. Influenced by Nikita Khrushchevs reforms and the need to repair the damage wrought by 1956 on the region, socialist sport leaders across the Bloc focused on strengthening international sport ties from the late 1950s onwards .5 The IOC namely its then president, the American Avery Brundage, simultaneously started to perceive the Eastern Bloc members as potential allies for supporting his view of the Olympic movement. Brundage hoped to secure their support in bolstering the IOCs amateur 5 Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016), 33.


26 rules in the face of encroaching commercial professionalism in sport in the West. The converging of interests between t he groups enabled the IOC and Bloc members to become strange bedfellows in the 1960s.6 By examining the sporting relations between the IOC and the middle Bloc countries located between the GDR and Soviet Union and not just the major Cold War nations my work illustrates the unique position and influence of the smaller Bloc states on international sport governance. The members for Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania in particular reached highlevel administrative positions within the IOC, reflecting the IOC s trust in them, and the level of influence they exerted on IOC policies. These members used their positions to shape IOC policy and aid their sport systems. These dynamics in turn protected the evolving carrot andstick system in Hungary, the privileges athletes received, and the increasing cooperation between athletes and sport leaders. By analyzing each groups changing priorities and practices vis vis one another, I argue that by the mid 1960s individuals in each group decided willingly if haltingly to cooperate with one another. The 1956 Hungarian Revolution and mass defection of athletes to the West, coupled with the IOCs needs to defend its ideals and organization against critics, motivated athletes, sport leaders, and the IOC to choose to work to gether. By doing so, members of each group gradually achieved their respective goals with respect to a high standard of living, sport diplomacy, and institutional stability and global reach. At their core, these emerging norms of cooperation entailed a great deal of flexibility and compromise within each groups tactics and policies. Only by 6 Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016), 117.


27 giving primacy to individuals voices does it become clear why and how these people gradually developed flexible and cooperative practices during a time that is traditi onally characterized by repression, ideological warfare, and the use of Bloc athletes as soldiers on the proxy sport battlefield worldwide. The Cultural Cold War The Cold War was a unique political conflict in that nations on the two sides, the communist E ast and the capitalist West, sought to fight each other in nonmilitary arenas so as to avoid another world war. As a result, from 19481989 states around the world assert ed their soft power in lower stake, proxy battles. Believing that culture was an important sphere in which soft power could operate, nations on both sides turned to the arts and letters as well as sport to fight the so called cultural Cold War.7 They navigated these cultural avenues in large part because of their universality and global appeal. Participating in an activity such as international sport offered states big and small the ability to speak, perform, and utilize the realms universal language for their own gain. Armed with the belief that winning contests demonstrated their sys tems political and economic strength, leaders thus infused ideology and politics into competitions, fairs, and tours that took place internationally, oftentimes outside the sphere of the Eastern Bloc In doing so, the socialist states employed tactics of cultural diplomacy. These tactics constituted the practices that nations developed in order to disseminate ideas and, products that are internationally identifiable as characteristic 7 Kiril Tomoff, Vi rtuoso Abroad: Soviet Music and Imperial Competition During the Early Cold War, 19451958 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), 11. Some of the first major works on the cultural Cold War include Walter Hixon, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and Cold War, 19451961 (New York: St. Martins Press, 1997); Yale Richmond, Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003); and David Caute, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cul tural Supremacy during the Cold War (London: Oxford University Press, 2005).


28 of the states ideal self representation.8 In the eyes of Eastern bloc leaders, attaining victories in international arenas provided them a prime opportunity to persuade and win over the hearts and minds of people at home and across the globe. By participating in this kind of diplomacy, nations East and West accepted the ide a that the cultural Cold War was where the ideological struggle would be fought and won. In order to stand a chance at successfully politicizing the cultural Cold War, participating nations needed to accept two major conditions. Importantly, governments needed to implement domestic policies that enabled their proxy soldiers to win cultural victories. I ndividuals such as musicians and athletes needed to be given access to the necessary resources that would facilitate their ability to compete on the global st age and defeat the enemy.9 I n the 1950s the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union devoted enormous resources to their cultural warriors, and thus to the larger cause of the cultural Cold War. Secondly the states behind the socalled Iron Curtain needed to operate within the sociocultural structures that governed each cultural realm As such Eastern Bloc leaders needed to ensure that their domestic policies and diplomacy tactics complied with the Western oriented rules, norms, and mentalities that guided internat ional cultural organizations such as the International Olympic Committee. The se organizations and communities were dominated, if not explicitly led, by Western men of the old boys club variety.10 The Blocs representatives therefore needed to adapt to Western mores 8 Tomoff Virtuoso Abroad, 11. 9 Kiril Tomoff, Most Respected Comrade: Patrons, Clients, Brokers and Unofficial Networks in the Stalinist Music World, Contemporary European H istory 11, 1 (Feb. 2002): 3365. 10 Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016); Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016).


29 broadly.11 As Eastern Bloc leaders realized in the 1950s, if they refused to follow a Western organizations rules, they could be isolated from the international community and without a platform to demonstrate their political strength. Thus despite the existence of an Iron Curtain, Eastern Bloc countries actively participated in numerous global communities, conversations, and developments from the onset of the Cold War .12 This dissertation contributes to what some scholars have coined the entangled histories of the cultural Cold War in two main ways .13 First, my analysis accepts the challenge that Tony Smith put forth in 2000 to adopt a pericentric approach to the Cold War by focusing on how nations outside of the US and Soviet Union played roles in shaping the nature of the global conflict.14 This approach draws inspiration from the literature on small states in international relations, which posits that foreign policy for smaller states is primarily predicated upon whatever benefi ts their individual position the most .15 Due to the dominant roles of America, the USSR, and East Germany during the Cold War, most historians examine a cultural realm and/or related industry in one of these countries, and compare their interactions and pol icy developments vis vis 11 Jenifer Parks The Olympic Games, xx. 12 As Tomoff points out, this occurred before the period in globalization officially began, according to some g lobalization theorists. Tomoff, Virtuoso Abroad, 6 13 The editors of the edited collection Beyond the Divide: Entangled Histories of the Cold War use the word entangled to emphasize how nations across the European continent bridged the socalled Iron Curtain and regularly entangled themselves with one anot her in matters of commerce, technology, and culture. Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen, Introduction, in Beyond the Divide: Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe, eds. Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015), 1. 14 Tony Smith, New Bot tles for New Wine: A Pericentric Framework for the Study of the Cold War, Diplomatic History 24, 4 (Fall 2000): 567591, 568. 15 See the volume Shaping the International Relations of the Netherlands, 18152000, eds. Ruud Van Dijk, Samuel Kruizinga, Vincent Kuitenbrouwer and Rimko Van Der Maar (New York: Routledge, 2018).


30 another of the major nations.16 The smaller European states such as Hungary could and did act in ways primarily aimed at meeting their own goals, and not necessarily those of the dominant rulers.17 Moreover, the perception of the s mall countries as less significant within the Cold War geopolitical imagination and in the international press sometimes opened up unique opportunities for these states to find additional avenues to pursue their aims. Hungarys position as an IOC member fr om the middle of the Eastern bloc, located between the USSR and East Germany, eventually enabled its IOC representative to gradually influence the IOCs policies in ways that protected Hungarys sport system and athletes. In the last decade and a half, a burgeoning literature has emerged on Cold War era culture in the middle Bloc countries that can be characterized into two strands. One branch analyzes the development of a specific cultural sphere within a single nation, such as the creation of television shows or a societys daily consumption habits.18 These historians have illuminated how as a result of the desire to catch up to the West in material terms, state policies, citizens expectations and behaviors, and statesociety 16 Anne Gorsuch, All This is Your World: Soviet Tourism at Home and Abroad After Stalin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011); Tony Shaw and Denise Youngblood, Cinematic Cold War: The Amer ican and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2011); Penny Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004); Mary Fulbrook, The Peoples State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005); Michael DavidFox, Showcasing the Great Experiment: Cultural Diplomacy and Western visitors to the Soviet Union, 19211941 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Rober t Edelman, The five hats of Nina Ponomareva: sport, shoplifting and the Cold War, Cold War History 17, 3 (2017): 223239. 17 Mikkonen and Koivunen, Introduction, 2. 18 A few notable examples include Paulina Bren, Jill Massinos forthcoming Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania, Patrick Hyder Patterson, Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); Communism Unwrapped: Consumpti on in Cold War Eastern Europe eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)


31 relations changed over ti me. The other field focuses on the development of exchanges or interactions between cultural groups and industries across the Eastern Bloc, and those that crossed the Cold War divide to the West.19 This historiography emphasizes the interconnectedness of the Bloc to the outside world, and how these Cold War encounters shaped domestic and international trends.20 Perhaps resulting from their domestic and cross border frameworks, the two strands of work tend to focus either on the Stalinist 1950s, or the period of relaxation and economic reform during the decades of late socialism. The analyses in the latter group especially tend to view deStalinization as the turning point that convinced the socialist states to begin offering substantial consumptive opportunities to its citizens. My work contributes to our understanding of the cultural Cold War by bridging the threads of domestic and cross border cultural development. Rather than examine Hungarys sporting engagements and diplomacy with or in comparison to another Bloc nation or Cold War superpower, I explore the interactions of Hungarian sport leaders with an international organization, the IOC. The International Olympic Committee maintained its own agenda during the Cold War, that of inc reasing its reach across the 19 See in particular the contributors to the edited collections Cold War Crossings: International Travel and Exchange Across the Soviet Bloc, 1940s 1960s eds. Patryk Babiracki and Kenyon Zimmer (College Station, TX: Texas A&M Press, 2014); Beyond the Divide: Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe, eds. Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015). 20 The scholars of socialist c onsumption and technology in particular have showed the porousness of the Iron Curtain, COMECON, and other regional restrictions on cultural and industry related development. See Mary Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Itha ca: Cornell University Press, 2013); Patrick Hyder Patterson, Risky Business: What was Really Being Sold in the Department Stores of Socialist Eastern Europe? in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 116139; Mark Keck Szajbel, Shop Around the Bloc: Trader Tourism and Its Discontents on the East GermanPolish Border, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012): 374392); Victor Petrov, A Cyb er Socialism at Home and Abroad: Bulgarian Modernisation, Computers, and the World, 19671989 (PhD diss. Columbia University, 2017)


32 globe and avoiding the political realm.21 The fact that the IOC explicitly sought to engage in global, peaceful sport diplomacy gave Hungary and its Bloc neighbors an opportunity to interact with and through the organization on a level that was not possible with cultural exchanges mediated simply through state bodies. As I will discuss in the next section, the IOCs expectations required Hungarian sport leaders to adapt their sport policies and diplomacy tactics and therefore to the bodys Western cultural norms. At the same time, the organizations global aims gave the Bloc nations an opening to influence its governing policies in ways that benefitted and helped to protect the regions sport systems at home. The efforts of the mi ddle Bloc countries helped to determine how the international organization governed sport worldwide, and therefore contributed to the development of a global sport culture more broadly.22 The actions and behaviors of the individuals examined here illus trate that, within the realm of Cold War era international sport, the Curtain that divided the two opposing sides was perhaps not made of Iron, but of Nylon, as Gyrgy Pteri suggests.23 My historical actors experienced a Nylon Curtain that increasingly had transparent properties, and allowed knowledge about cultural behaviors, goods, and ideas to be passed through it. Moreover, my analysis illustrates the important, albeit more subtle ways that individual athletes and sport leaders contributed to Cold War cultur al 21 The IOC today has more members than the United Nations and more power to enforce its dictates. Barbara Keys, Globalizing Sport: National Rivalry and International Community in the 1930s (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006) 7. 22 This perspective adds to Jenifer Parks research on t he role that Soviet sports bureaucrats played in influencing the global culture of the Olympic movement. Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016). 23 Gyrgy P teri, Nylon Curtain Transnational and Transsystemic Tendencies in the Cultural Life of State Socialist Russian and East Central Europe, Slavonica 10,. 2 (2004): 113123, 115.


33 developments in the decades after the Revolution.24 The events of 1956 sparked changes within the Hungarian sport community that went beyond the nations borders and influenced the nature of domestic sport, international sport governance, and the global culture of elite sport. Cold War Sport Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, imagined the Olympic Games as functioning as an apolitical sphere for competitors across the globe to compete in peace and friendship. Yet at no time was it ever truly devoid of world politic s. T he onset of the Cold War in 1948 therefore did not mark the beginning of the politicization of international and Olympic sport. The IOC, for example, barred Germany, Austria, and Hungary from participating in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp due to th eir position as the aggressors of the First World War. During the 1930s especially, the Olympic Games saw an unprecedented rise in the Olympic movements politicization and attempted manipulation by national leaders. During this decade, many interwar leadi ng powers such as Nazi Germany and the USSR began to view membership and successful competition at the Games as a path to gaining worldwide recognition and legitimacy.25 The increased politicization set the stage for the postwar era. The political leaders i n the Soviet Union and newly created Eastern Bloc built on the politicization tactics of the interwar years and made the Cold War the heyday of 24 The existing Cold War oriented literature focuses on 1956, and depicts Hu ngary as fading from view within global politics thereafter. For example, see Lszl Borhi, Hungary in the Cold War: Between the United States and the Soviet Union: 19451956 (Budapest: CEU Press, 2004) ; Charles Gati, Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006). 25 Keys Globalizing Sport, 4.


34 sport diplomacy, such that it became a sport in and of itself.26 Even more so than art, literature, and music, the direct competitive nature of sport seemed to lend itself to Cold War political engagement. In athletic co mpetitions, one winner emerges as a result of defeating an opponent through one on one or team based races and matches. These contests, then, seemed to be a natural, tangible representation of an objective competition between the two sides. For Bloc leaders in particular, sport victories in the global arena of the Olympic Games presented vivid symbols of the physical strength and virility of their poli tical system. At the same time, the IOCs continued insistence that the Olympics were a peaceful, apolitical environment necessitated that the Eastern Bloc hide their politicization attempts behind a veil of peaceful engagement, at least to a certain ext ent. The Eastern European and Soviet leadership therefore viewed international sport as an especially ideal and ripe arena in which to project an image of power and convince citizens at home and abroad of the strength of their systems. Most people academi cs and nonacademics alike typically share a view of Cold War sport that focuses overwhelmingly on the negative elements of sport in the Eastern Bloc. They tend to allow the images of the abused, dopedup East German athletes that emerged in the 1980s, and the stories and documents that were unveiled after German reunification in the 1990s, to dominate their perception of Bloc sport as a whole. The seemingly logical interpretation that follows is that the government controlled doping scheme in East Germany existed in the same form every country, and that the GDR case perfectly symbolizes Eastern Bloc sport as a whole. For Westerners, 26 Barrie Houlihan says that sport diplomacy became a sport in and of itself during the Cold War and the Anti Apartheid movement. Barrie Houl ihan, Sport and International Politics ( New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994) 202.


35 this view serves an important purpose: it helps to reinforce a David and Goliathtype narrative of Western (such as American) sport and elite athletes who struggled mightily against the dopedup Goliath in the East. T his perspective also supports the Wests triumph at the end of the Cold War. Recent sport films such as Disneys 2004 Miracle about the showdown between the Ameri cans and Soviets at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, seems to offer proof of this narrative.27 It does not help that much of the historiography on Cold War sport analyzes governments use of sport policies and victories for political gain, and the role of the st ate and other highly placed influential actors in the politicization of sport. This topdown approach typifies the scholarship on elite sport in the East, West, and everywhere in between.28 The work on Eastern Bloc sport in particular focuses on the mechani sms of state repression against athletes, the propaganda, and doping. Similar to the broader field of the cultural Cold War, these studies primarily focus on the East German and Soviet cases;29 studies of sport in Hungary and the other Bloc countries tend t o recount 27 The Disney film offered a sanitized history of the event that enabled viewers to leave with a moral message and a feeling of uplift about Americas Cold War victory w hen the c ountrys geopolitical strength was shaken after September 11, 2001. Mike Silk, Jaime Schultz, and Bryan Bracey, From Mice to Men: Miracle, Mythology, and the Magic Kingdom, Sport in Society 11, 23 (2008): 279 297, 281. 28 On American Cold War sport, see Thomas M. Hunt, American Sport Policy and the Cultural Cold War: the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Years, Journal of Sport History 33: 3 (2006): 273297; Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, Dropping the Torch: Jimmy Carter, the Oly mpic Boycott, and the Cold War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Toby Rider, Cold War Games: Propaganda, the Olympics and U.S. Foreign Policy (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016). For sport in the USSR and Eastern Bloc, see Robert Edel man, Spartak Moscow: A History of the Peoples Team in the Workers State, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009); Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German Miracle, (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2017); East Plays West: Sport and the Cold War Stephen Wagg and David Andrews eds. (London: Routledge Publishing, 2007); Diplomatic Games: Sport, St atecraft, and International Relations Since 1945, Heather Dichter and Andrew Johns eds. (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2014). 29 Steven Ungerleider, Fausts Gold: Inside the East German Doping Machine (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2001); Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German Miracle (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Lucy Grant, Physical Culture and Sport in Soviet


36 a nations sport success statistically and offer political and/or bureaucratic analyses, with an adjustment for the specific domestic context.30 Surprisingly little is known about the very people upon whom Cold War sport politics depended: the coaches and athletes around the world. Even the few Americancentered works that examine the lives of athletes focus largely on the USs racialized or gendered sport policies, and how these practices dominated athletes experiences.31 In most historical contexts then, the state and to some extent national governing sport bodies are portrayed as all powerful forces in athletes lives. The few exceptions to this trend are studies of athletes who either led exceptional lives as resistors or challengers of state p olicies, or who served as examples of apolitical athletes who represented good values as citizens for the state.32 Recent studies of football have begun to Society: Propaganda, Acculturation, and Transformation in the 1920s and 1930s (New York: Routledge, 2013); Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016). Also see the recent documentaries Red Army directed by Gabe Polsky (2014; Los Angeles, CA; Sony Pictures Classic; 2015), DVD; 30 for 30: Of Miracles and Men, directed by Jonathan Hock (2015; ESPN Films), Cable documentary film. 30 Katalin Szikora, Sport and the Olympic Movement in Hungary (19451989), in The Shadow of Totalitarianism: Sport an d the Olympic Movement in the Visegrd Countries 19451989, ed. Marek Waic, (Prague: Charles University, 2015), 133195; Norbert Tabi, Futball s politika kapcsolata Magyarorszgon a II. vilghbor utn A kommunista diktatra viszonya a hazai labdargkhoz 1956ig, Palette: I. j s Jelenkortrtni Tudomnyos Dikkonferencia (Budapest: ELTE BTK j s Jelentkori Magyar Trtneti Tanszk, 2014): 5780; Norbert Tabi, labdarg kivgzsnek trtnete, Rubicon : Trtnelmi Magazin XXV, 262 ( July 2014): 2833; Balsz Rig, Egszplys letmads Kommunista hatalomtvtel a magyar sportban, (unpublished manuscript, 2015); A dam Fryc and Miroslaw Ponczek, The Communis t Rule in Polish Sport History, The International Journal of the History of Sport 26, 4 (2009): 501514; Michaela Wood, Romania at the Olympics: Women Gymnasts as Ambassadors in Sportswear, 1950s 1970s, Revista Arhivelor 84, 3.4 (July 2007): 273281. 31 Damion Thomas, Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012); Kevin Witherspoon, Going to the Fountainhead: Black American Athletes as Cultural Ambassadors in Africa, 19701971, The International Journal of the History of Sport 30, 13 (2013): 15081522; Ashley Brown, Swinging for the State Department: American Women Tennis Players in Diplomatic Goodwill Tours, 19411959, Journal of Sport History 42, 3 (Fall 2015): 289309; Anne Blaschke, The Dulles Doctrine on Love: Immigrat ion, Gender, and Romance in American Diplomacy, 19561957, Journal of American Studies 50 (2016): 397417. 32 Anne Blaschke offers an illuminating account of an athlete, the Czech Olga Fikotova Connelly, who criticized American imperialist policies after c oming to the US. Anne Blaschke, The Dulles Doctrine on


37 scratch the surface of the complicated experiences of athletes and their relations with sport lea ders.33 This analysis departs from the bulk of the literature and adds to the new direction of the field by giving primacy to Hungarian athletes experiences through the use of oral histories.34 The athletes behaviors which, outside of 1956, typically did not challenge the state in any form point to their conscious decision to pursue a gradual rapprochement of sorts with sport leaders after the events of 1956. Their efforts constituted a concerted attempt to shape their own lives and develop the best possible lifestyle and conditions for themselves within sport and socialist Hungary. Incorporating the oral histories therefore simultaneously highlights a more nuanced side of state officials and the sport bureaucracy than what is typically assumed. Examining s tate policies and the sport community from below moreover allows me to demonstrate how the relations between the two groups in socialist Hungary softened over time and ultimately enabled members of both parties to achieve their respective goals. Love: Immigration, Gender, and Romance in American Diplomacy, 19561957, Journal of American Studies 50 (2016): 397417. For an example of Soviet athletes as heroes, see Evelyn Mertin, Presenting Heroes: Athletes as Role Models for the New Soviet Person, The International Journal of the History of Spor t 26, 4 (Mar. 2009): 469 483. 33 Robert Edelman, Alan McDougall, Jonathan Grix and Mike Dennis all offer fascinating insights into the attitudes and behaviors of elite athletes, but situate them within the framework of how the state and/or public perceived and dealt with them. Robert Edelman, Spartak Moscow: A History of the Peoples Team in the Workers State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009); Alan McDougall, The Peoples Game: Football, State and Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); Dennis and Grix, Sport Under Communism; Gyrgy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, Pusks: Futball s trsadalmi legitimci az tvenes vekben, Sic Itur Ad Astra 62 (2011): 219231; and Tibor Takcs, Szoros Emberfogs: Futball s llambiztonsg a Kdr korszakban (Budapest: Jaffa Kido, 2014). 34 Barbara Cole conducted oral histories as part of her research on the East German sport system, although she mai nly used the material to fill in the details and informational gaps missing from the archives, and to get a sense of the interviewees perception of the system. Barbara Cole, The East German Sport System: Image and Reality (PhD diss. Texas Tech Universi ty, 2000 )


38 By explo ring the changing dynamics between the IOC and its members for Hungary and the middle Bloc countries, this research moreover adds to our understanding of the Olympic movement. The French aristocrat Coubertin genuinely believed that Olympism would bind together athletes from all corners of the globe, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, geopolitical affiliation, and religion, in the name of peaceful cooperation, cultural tolerance, and friendly competition.35 Yet the Olympic movement and other inter national sport bodies based their participation and organizing principles on the nation and national representation. From its inception at the end of the 1800s, the movement was thus vulnerable to manipulation for political and nationalistic ends. As Barbara Keys notes, the two poles peaceful internationalism, and competitive geopolitics and nationalism actually served to reinforce the other.36 Just as the international sport world acted as a channel for nationalist rivalry, nationalist impulses increased the internationalist power of sport.37 Because the IOC and other sport organizations required members to accept and adapt to their norms and cultural values, international sport became its own dictatorship of sorts. The Western values of the Eurocentric Old Boys club included the competition rules, hierarchy, and ideas about achievement, individualism, universalism, and the amateur athlete.38 Th e international organization actively sought to sustain the 35 Coubertin grounded the Olympic Games in another peaceful, turnof thecentury nationbuilding project, the world fairs. As explained by Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, the Olympic movement therefore reflected the internationalist spirit alive in modernizing Western soc ieties. Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 2425. 36 Keys Globalizing Sport, 4. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid; Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 58.


39 ideals and desires of privileged, white, and Western gentlemen. Its leaders insistence on maintaining and reinforcing the amateur rule, for example, ultimately discriminated against athletes of different class, political, gender, and racial backgrounds.39 The IOCs priorities helped to sustain the Western orientation of the organization, and ensured that the Olympic movements culture and values became the dominant universal and global sporting cul ture.40 From the late 1940s until the mid1950s, the IOC leadership and its members for the Bloc seemed to be in constant conflict. The Blocs overt attempts to politicize the organization and the IOCs amateur rules proved especially problematic for each s ide. Yet as Matthew Llewellyn, John Gleaves, and Jenifer Parks show, important changes occurred within the approaches taken by top leaders of the Bloc and the IOC that paved the way for less antagonism and more cooperation. A s imilar softening of Cold War politics in the spirit of sporting cooperation occurredalbeit temporarily between some of the major Cold War nations, as demonstrated by Robert Edelman in his analysis of the Soviet British compromise in 1956 over the shoplifting case of Soviet discus thr ower Nina Ponomareva.41 While the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev altered Soviet foreign policy to increase international contacts in the late 1950s the IOCs Brundage softened his attitude towards the Bloc. The evolving dynamics gradually improved relations 39 Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 58. 40 The International Football Federation, FIFA, has and continues to contest the Olympic movement as the dominant global sport culture and organization. 41 Robert Edelman, The five hats of Nina Ponomareva: sport, shoplifting and the Cold War, Cold War Hist ory 17, 3 (2017): 223239.


40 between the two groups.42 The sport diplomacy efforts of the Soviet Bloc and the IOC enabled the Soviet members to win the bid to host the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow.43 I contribute to the existing literature by examining the changing mentalities and relations between the IOC and its members for Hungary, as well as those of the other middle Bloc countries. Two primary issues created tensions that plagued the relations between the two groups in the late 1940s 1950s: the issue of the Eastern Blocs overt political tactics (and the IOC leaders Western, anti Communist biases), and the sport policies concerned with the athletes status as amateurs. The domestic sport context in Hungary after 1956 and the IOCs institutional crises in the late 1950s 1960s influenced members of each group to soften their opinions and seek better relations with the other. Brundage, for example, increasingly saw the middle Bloc members as potential useful allies for strengthening its amateur rules in the face of encroaching commercial professionalism amongst Western athletes. By the early 1970s Brundage relied on the aid of Alexandru iperco, the IOC member for Romania, and rpd Csandi, the member for Hungary, to keep the organizations amateur rules and t he Olympic Progra m events in line with his ideas about the amateur rules.44 As a result of these shifting dynamics, the middle Bloc IOC members successfully ingratiated themselves 42 Their sport diplomacy efforts, combined with continued changes within Soviet domestic policy in the 1970s, enabled the Soviet IOC members to secure the winning bid to host the 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow. See Llewellyn and Gleaves, The Rise and Fall ; Parks, The Olympic Games 43 Parks, The Olympic Games, xxxxi. 44 Simone Ionescu and Thierry Terret, A Romanian within the IOC: Alexander Siperco, R omania and the Olympic Movement The International Journal of the History of Sport 29, 8 (2012): 1171194.


41 within international sport, to the extent that Hungarys Csandi was called a figurehead of i nternational sport by one of the IOCs leading figures in 1983. By shifting their priorities in order to cooperate with one another, the competing tensions of the two groups the peaceful internationalism of the IOC and the Blocs socialist politics ultima tely tempered one another. Taking inspiration from Thomas Hunt, Paul Dimeo, and others, this work situates the personal and political motivations of international sport leaders within the changing context of the Cold War in order to delineate the constrain ts and opportunities available to them.45 Peeling back these layers reveals what Edelman has called a, much more complicated but useful set of ambiguities about Cold War sport.46 I would argue that these ambiguities and not the static, Western oriented nar ratives characterized the complicated mentalities and behaviors of the three groups of people I analyze here. The combination of the closer, more trustworthy relations and the tempered ideals and politics ultimately helped to shape the characteristics of t he Olympic movement, the way that the IOC governed international sport, and the nature of the global elite sport culture during the Cold War. Hungary and the Eastern Bloc The early years of communism in Hungary and the rest of the Eastern Bloc, from 1948 u ntil about 1953, are typically characterized as the Stalinist period of rule.47 During this time, the Stalinist parties in Hungary and its neighbors believed that only by 45 Paul Dimeo, et al., Saint or Sinner?: A Reconsideration of the Career of Prince Alexandre de Merode, Chair of the International Olympic Committees Medical Commission, 19672002, The International Journal of the History of Sport 28, 6 (2011): 925940. Also see Llewellyn and Gleaves, The Rise and Fall 46 Edelman, The five hats of Nina Ponomareva, 238. 47 During the years following Stalins death, from 19531955, the Hungarian Communist Party removed its Stalinist leader M tys Rkosi from power and replaced him with Imre Nagy. Nagy implemented the New Course policies which aimed at softening the repression to an extent and basing state policies on


42 obtaining full control over the economy, industries, agriculture, and the population c ould they create a new, more egalitarian society and transform its citizens into New Soviet Men and Women. During Stalinism the Bloc countries therefore attempted to create a planned, staterun economy, industrialize the state, abolish private property and free trade, and collectivize agriculture. State leaders oftentimes resorted to harsh methods to achieve their goals. Their actions resulted in the elimination of the supposedly exploitative classes, political terror against perceived enemies, and the creation of personality cults for Stalin and his closest followers across Eastern Europe, such as Hungarys Mtys Rkosi.48 In Hungary this period is also marked by the term meaning bell fright. The term referred to the arrival of the secret polic e at a suspected enemys door in the middle of the night to deport them or bring them in for interrogation.49 Amidst the harsh centralization and repression of the Stalinist era, Hungarian sport flourished. The success that Hungarian athletes achieved betw een 19481956 is nothing short of astonishing. At the 1948 Summer Olympics they received the fourthmost medals in the total medal count of all participating nations. The small nation of 10 million people performed even better in 1952, winning the thirdmo st medals at the Helsinki Summer Olympics Games. Only the US and Soviet Olympic teams bested the economic and scientific research, and not on Stalinist dogma. Gyrgy Pteri External Politics Internal Rivalries: Social Science Scholarship and Political Change in Communist Hungary, East Central Europe 44 (2017): 309339, 313. 48 David Hoffman, Introduction: Interpretations of Stalinism, in Stalinism: The Essential Readings ed. David Hoffman (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2003), 2. 49 Katalin Szikora, Sport and the Olympic Movement in H ungary (19451989), The Shadow of Totalitarianism: Sport and the Olympic Movement in the Visegrd Countries 19451989, ed. Marek Waic (Pra gue: Charles University, 2015), 150151.


43 Hungarians. Even at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, during which the athletes suffered from the trauma of the Hungarian Revolution one month earlier, the Oly mpic team won the fourthmost medals of all countries. In comparison, at the 1948, 1952, and 1956 Summer Olympics, other middle Bloc countries placed the following: the Czechoslovaks eight, sixth, and eighteenth; the Poles thirty fourth, twentieth, and seventeenth; and after the Romanians did not compete at the 1948 Summer Olympics, their athletes placed twenty third and ninth in 1952 and 1956.50 The states sport success did not end there; the Hungarian national football team, nicknamed the Aranycsapat ( Golden team) in Hungarian and the Magical Magyars by the West, only lost one game in international football between 1950 and 1956, to the West Germans at the 1954 W orld Cup. The late 1940s 1950s was the golden era of Hungarian sport. Most scholars attri bute the nations sport success to the socialist systems centralization and control of sport and athletes.51 Even though my narrators did not want to admit it, the socialist system deserves credit for facilitating the superstructure that allowed the sport community to thrive. At the same time, focusing on the socialist system ignores several important dynamics about the pre1948 sport community, and the role of athletes, coaches, and sport leaders in the golden era of Hungarian sport. Hungarian athletes su ccess did not begin in 1948, but in the interwar era. Athletes in 50 The 1948 Summer Olympics medal table, Wikipedia, accessed 12 May 2018, _table; 1952 Summer Olympics medal table, Wikipedia, accessed 12 May 2018,; 1956 Summer Olympics medal table, Wikipedia, accessed 12 May 2018, 51 See especially Gyrgy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, Pusks: Futball s trsadalmi legitimci az tvenes vekben Sic Itur Ad Astra 62 (2011): 219231; and Katalin Szikora, Sport and the Olympic Movement in Hungary (19451989), in The Shadow of Totalitarianism: Sport and the Olympic Movement in the Visegrd Countries 19451989, ed. M arek Waic ( Prague: Charles University, 2015) 131195.


44 water polo, fencing, football, and swimming began dominating the global sport scene during this time. The Hungarian Olympic team won the thirdmost medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, behind Germany and the US, and ahead of major powers such as Italy, France, and Great Britain.52 Many of the same athletes and coaches from the interwar period continued to work and compete for Hungary after the takeover in 1948. The Communists therefore found a sport community with a solid foundation for success after World War II and built on the communitys base and expertise to reach the golden era of Hungarian sport. Sport leaders such as Gyula Hegyi, and later Istvn Buda in late socialism, used their connec tions in order to obtain goods and accommodations that aided the athletes success. As the people who participated in the sport system and won the gold medals for the state, the Hungarian athletes and coaches formed the core of the systems incredible spor t success. The sport leaders in some ways acted as managers who secured the supplementary (and sometimes necessary) circumstances that furthered athletes ability to attain their achievements. Each group therefore influenced and contributed to the construc tion and maintenance of socialist Hungarys domestic legitimacy and international sport diplomacy goals from day one. The narrative of the Eastern Bloc state as totalitarian oppressor and its citizens as helpless victims therefore does not encapsulate the entirety of state society relations in the Stalinist era. The socialist parties basis for building legitimacy and public support lay in promising to alter long standing class divisions and the inequalities that resulted 52 In contrast, the Czechoslovaks received twelve on the total medal count, the Poles twenty second, and Romania tied Yugoslavia for twenty fifth. 1936 Summer Olympics medal table, Wikipedia, accessed 12 May 2018,


45 from the divisions.53 Yet these pro mises did not match up with the reality of the Communist states practices and policies, such as with the inc reased material shortages and decreased wages for workers. C itizens in the Stalinist years illustrated their discontent through active protest and more subtle acts such as workplace sabotage in hopes of influencing the state to change its policies.54 To some extent these efforts amounted to a contestation of state power. At the same time, many other Hungarian citizens accommodated and took advantage o f Communist policies that suited their identities and/or positions in society.55 As a result, even in the Stalinist years government policies, values, and everyday practices were shaped by the socialist state and its citizens, the latter of whom exercised agency in a myriad of ways.56 The 1956 Hungarian Revolution was the moment in which the Hungarian public actively expressed its discontent in the hope of forcing the state to reform its policies to better suit their needs and desires. What began as a revolt of university students in Budapest on October 23 quickly spread to a bloody revolution with street by street clashes. Workers and citizens in the countryside took up arms to fight the police and state security forces. The Hungarians celebrated a short vic tory from October 28November 4, until the Soviets reentered the country and brutally suppressed the revolt. 53 Pittaway explains that these promises succeeded in convincing many workers to support the early Hungarian Communist state. Mark Pittaway, The Workers State: Industrial Labor and the Making of Socialist Hungary, 19441958 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), 5. 54 Pittaway Workers State, 6 7. Also see Sndor Horvths recently translated monograph on citizens actions in the Stalinist industrial city of Sztlinvros in the 1950s Sndor Horvth, Stalinism Reloaded: Everyday Life in StalinCity, Hungary, trans. Thomas Cooper (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 2017). 55 Horvth Stalinism Reloaded, 3 4. 56 Horvth Stalinism Reloaded, 3


46 Between November 1956 and early 1957 over 200,000 Hungarians left the state and settled in countries like Austria, West Germany, the United States and Australia. Mass reprisals followed the Soviet invasion of Hungary, as the reconstituted state arrested 28,000 people, imprisoned over 13,000 of them, and executed 600 Hungarians by 1961.57 The brutal nature of the Soviet invasion and reprisals that followed damaged not only the socialist regimes domestic legitimacy, but its international reputation and image as well. The Revolution sparked fundamental changes across the Eastern Bloc, within Hungarian society, and in the publics relations with the st ate. Perhaps due to the geopolitical importance of the Hungarian Revolution to the Cold War, much of the literature focuses on the political and military history of the Revolution itself.58 Taking inspiration from the cultural turn and everyday life studie s, historians have explored how conditions in the Bloc changed following 1956 and the 1968 Prague Spring as well. Their work mostly examines the 1960s 1980s as a distinct era of socialist rule and statesociety relations, pointing to the evolution (and not stagnation) of policies regarding certain industries (tobacco), consumer goods (such as department stores and cars), and technology (computers).59 With respect to Hungary, most scholars 57 Hungarys Negotiated Revolution: Economic Reform, Social Change and Political Succession (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 14. 58 For example, see Lszl Borhi Hungary in the Cold War: Between the United States and the Soviet Union: 19451956 (Budapest: CEU Press, 2004) ; Charles Gati, Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006) 59 Mary Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013); Patrick Hyder Patterson, Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); B eth Greene, Selling Market Socialism: Hungary in the 1960s, Slavic Review 73, 1 ( Spring 2014): 108132; Lewis Siegelbaum, On the Side: Car C ulture in the USSR, 1960s 1980s, Technology and Culture 50, 1 (Jan. 2009): 1 13; Victor Petrov, A Cyper Sociali sm at Home and Abroad: Bulgarian Modernisation, Computers, and the World, 19671989 (PhD diss. Columbia University, 2017)


47 view 1956 as causing a fundamental break in the entire period, believi ng it motivated the state to implement completely new institutions and policies compared to the prior era.60 The governments socalled 3T policy that it implemented in 1959 to coopt artists and writers after 1956 gives credence to this perspective; so does General Secretary Jnos Kdrs 1962 statement, Who is not against us is with us . Kdrs proclamation implied that the post 1956 regime welcomed citizens who did not actively contest or challenge the system. 61 According to this perspective, the Hungarian state expected citizens to remain silent about the Revolution and apolitical vis vis the post 1956 system. In return, the Kdr government relaxed its repressive tactics and gave people more access to material goods and travel.62 Sndor Horvth complicates this framework by arguing that Stalinism was reloaded in the midlate 1950s Hungary. Due to citizens accommodation of socialist policies and the states incorporation of traditional values, a maintained and reloaded version o f Stalinism emerged 60 Jnos Rainer argues specifically against this interpretation. Jnos Rainer, The Sixties in Hungary: Some historical and political approaches, in Muddling Through the Long 1960s: Ideas and Everyday Life in High Politics and the Lower Classes in Communist Hungary eds. Jnos Rainer and Gyrgy Pteri, trans. Brian McLean (Budapest, Hungary: Institute for the History of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, 2005), 5. Examples of the other perspective include Gyrgy Pteri, Academia under State Socialism: Essays on the Political History of Academic Life in Post 1945 Hungary and Eastern Europe, Highland Lakes, (New Jersey: Atlantic Research and Publications, 1998); va Standeisky, Az rk s hatalom, (Budapest: 1956 Institute, 1996); Melinda Kalmr, Ennival s hozomny: a kora kdrizmus ideolgija, nyvkiad s Kereskedelmi, 1998) ; James Mark and Pter Apor, Socialism Goes global: Decolonization and the Making of a New Culture of Internationalism in Socialist Hungary, 19561989, Journal of Modern History 87 (December 2015): 852891. 61 The 3T title bears the name of the Hungarian terms for the words support, toleration, and prohibition. Implemented in 1959, this cultural policy guided how the state tried to gain the acquiescence of writers and artists after 1956 by relaxing censorship of the latters works Sndor Rvsz, Azcl s korunk (Budapest: Sk Kiad, 1997), 146147; Raiki Oikari, Discursive Use of Power in Hungarian Cultural Policy during the Kdr Era, in Hungarologische Betr ge: K drs Hungary Kekkonens Finland, ed. Anssi Halmesvirta 12 ( Jyvskyl, Finland: University of Jyvskyl, 2002), 149150. 62 Pter Kende, Mi trtnt a Magyar Trsadalommal 1956 Utn? vknyv XI. (2003), Magyarorszg a Jelenkorban, (Budapest: 1956 Institute) 12.


48 characterized by special coercive state policies and sustainable social practices on an everyday level.63 By examining the changes within the elite sport community from 19481989, my analysis demonstrates two important arguments about the socialist states sport policies and statesociety relations in Hungarian sport. On the one hand, I illustrate the continuity of Stalinist era state sport policies after the Revolution. On the other hand, I view 1956 as an influential turning point in modifying the pre1956 sport policies and in drastically improving athletesport leader relations from the 1960s 1980s. Due to the unique nature of Hungarian and Cold War sport, sport leaders implemented an unwritten carrot and stick system of policies with athletes in the early 1950s. Under Stalinism this system consisted largely of harsh punishments, but it also included prized privileges for athletes such as the ability to smuggle goods. Another key privilege that athletes received in the 1950s but enjoyed even more after 1956 was the ability to use connections in order to facilitate access to resources. For athletes, this consisted of a mixture of patronclient relations with sport leaders and the use of more horizontal szocialista sszekttetsek in Hungarian, or socialist connections within the framework of what is called blat in the Russian and Soviet context .64 Although sport leaders system did not only emerge in the wake of 1956, neither was it reloaded as a set Stalinist like policies after the Rev olution. Rather, the athletes defections, their 63 Horvth Stalinism Reloaded, 7. 64 Alena Ledeneva, Russia s Economy of Favors: Blat, Networking and Informal Exchange (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999); Kiril Tomoff, Most Respected Comrade: Patrons, Clients, Br okers and Unofficial Networks in the Stalinist Music World, Contemporary European History 11, 1, (Feb. 2002): 33 65; Tibor Valuch, Kz kezet mos: A szocialista sszekttetsek a Kdr korszakban, Barka 6 (2008): 7681.


49 perceived impact on the public, and concerns about Hungarys international image collectively motivated sport leaders to modify significantly their system of rewards and punishments after 1956.65 Sport leader s understood that their policies needed to work primarily in the interest of athletes in order to garner their compliance, and not against them. This constituted a fundamental shift from the Stalinist era. The combined trauma of the events of 1956 gave athletes equally important insights about the socialist system. The international context of the sporting Cold War appeared to give them the option of defecting and continuing their sport career with a similar level of government support as in Hungary. Their experiences in the West however, especially in America, taught them cruel lessons about the differences between American and Eastern Bloc sport culture; most of them abandoned their promising sport careers because of the enormous challenges of juggling ful l time employment with a training schedule that would keep them competitive at the international level. A few athletes returned to Hungary for the explicit purpose of continuing their sport careers. The athletedefectors time abroad had a psychological si gnificance, as did the Revolution itself.66 The Revolution and time abroad taught athletes about the necessity of learning how to live through socialism, the need to co65 Gyrgy Pteri describes a simi lar dynamic within the 1958 World Exposition after the Revolution. Worried about external legitimacy, the Kdrist regime continued its efforts to create an official pavilion at the Exposition, and proved willing to allow cultural figures involved in 1956 attend it as a way to show the world that Kdrism was a legitimate alternative to Stalinism. Gyrgy Pteri, Transsystemic Fantasies: Counterrevolutionary Hungary at Brussels Expo 58, Journal of Contemporary History 47, 1 (2012), 138142. 66 Alan Mc Dougall, The Peoples State: Football, State and Society in East Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); 132; Jnos Rainer, The Sixties in Hungary, 6.


50 exist with the post 1956 system, and the importance of cooperating with the sport leader ship .67 This is a story of human lives. The ways that athletes and sport leaders reacted to the Revolution helped to convince them and each other of the need to recalibrate their priorities and work with one another in order to achieve their respective goals of gold medals, successful careers, and a high standard of living. On the one hand, everyday reality placed people amidst a complex set of values, choices, and obligations which did not always prompt easy decisions.68 On the other hand, as Anna Muller has noted, a space of repression or constrained abilities can become a vehicle for creativity.69 Following the events of 1956, athletes in particular chose to help the states sport diplomacy goals, and therefore cooperated with the government and contributed to its domestic and international power. Their accommodation illustrates that compliance was (and is) not always or even primarily coerced from above.70 Importantly, their cooperation and accommodation did not limit their opportunities, but 67 With future resistance futile, many Hungarians acted in ways that served their personal interests, leading them to cooperate with the post 1956 state. Kende, Mi trtnt , 11 12; Gyrgy Majtnyi, What made the K dr Era? Two Books on Hungarys Recent Past, The Hungarian Historical Review trans. Alan Campbell, 2, 3, Ethnicity (2013): 667675; Tibor Takcs, Them and Us: Narratives of Agents from the Kadar Era, The Hungarian Historical Review 4, 1 (2015), 167. 68 Muriel Blaive, The Cold War? I Have it at Home with My Family, in The Cold War: Historiography, Memory Representation, eds. Konrad Jarausch, Christian Ostermann, Andreas Etges (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017) 199. 69 Anna Mller, If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Womens Prison in Communist Poland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017) 5. 70 Miklos Haraszti, The Velvet Prison: Artists Under State Socialism (New York: Basic Books, 1987), 5; quoted from Rubie S. Watson, Memory, History, and Opposition Under State Socialism, in Memory, History, and Opposition Under State Socialism, ed. Rubie S. Watson (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1994), 14.


51 enhanced them.71 This depiction of the elite athlete within the context of the Eastern Bloc and the Cold War is a significant departure from the narrative of the victimized athlete. Their decision to remain in the state, develop closer relations with sport leaders, pull c onnections with them for privileges, and reciprocate that help with gold medals and good behavior all amounted to an act of agency within the framework of the socialist state. At the same time, their decision to pursue good relations with sport leaders in order to receive these privileges also aided the Kdr regimes stability until 1989. Methodology In order to analyze the changing priorities of my historical actors, I examine sources ranging from oral histories, government documents and newspapers to correspondence between state officials and leaders of the IOC O ral history as a methodology continues to be used only sparingly by scholars of Central Eastern Europe, as well as those of S port history.72 As a result, the bulk of the methodological 71 Horvth Stalinism Reloaded, 6. 72 Analyses on Central Eastern Europe and Russia that incorporate oral histories include (but are not limited to) Svetlana Alexievich, Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the A fghanistan War trans. by Julia and Robin Whitby (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992); Memory, History, and Opposition Under State Socialism ed. Rubie S. Watson (Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 1994); Svetlana Alexievich, Voices from C hernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster trans. Keith Gessen (London: Dalkey Archive Press, 2005); James Mark, Society, Resistance and Revolution: The Budapest Middle Class and the Hungarian Communist State 194856, English Historical Review 120, no. 488 (2005): 963986; Eszter Zsfia Tth, 2010); Donald J. Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russias Cold War Generation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012); Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mcke, Velvet Revolutions: An Oral History of Czech Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); Anna Mller, If the Walls Could Speak: Inside a Womens Prison in Communist Poland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017); Mur iel Blaive, The Cold War? I Have it at Home with My Family, in The Cold War: Historiography, Memory, Representation, eds. Konrad Jarausch, Christian Ostermann, and Andreas Etges (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017): 194214. Cahns 1994 call to arms motivated some sport historians to utilize the method(ology). Susan Cahn, Sports Talk: Oral History and its Uses, Problems, and Possibilities for Sport History, The Journal of American Histor y 81, 2 (Sept. 1994): 594609. For a sampling of recent sport oral history work, see Barbara Cole, The East German Sport System: Image and Reality, (PhD diss. Texas Tech University, 2000); Carly Adams, Softball and the Female Community: Pauline Perron, Pro Ball Player, Outsider, 19261951, Journal of Sport History 33 (2006): 323343; Manfred Zeller, Our Own Internationale, 1966: Dynamic Kiev Fans Between Local Identity and Transnational Imagination, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian His tory 12, 1 (Winter 2011): 5882; Fiona Skillen and Carol


52 discussion will focus on the challenges of the method and approach, and why and how I incorporated oral histories and memory analyses into this work. Oral History and Memory Analysis I will offer some remarks about why some historians generally approach oral history apprehensively. For many scholars, the search for objectivity in primary sources and in their scholarly interpretations causes them to question the validity of oral histori es. We are taught to deal with documents, and not individuals or their stories in a face to face capacity. The very act of conducting an oral history means that we as historians place ourselves in the historical record. This can be off putting at best, and at worst seem outright antithetical to our purpose as scholars. The language and cultural barriers may also influence a historians decision whether to practice the method and incorporate this source material into their analyses. For historians of the Cold War and Central Eastern Europe, the regime changes in 19891992 offered the promise of multi archival research that would reveal what life was really like during the interwar and Cold War eras.73 Conducting and using oral histories may seem superfluous considering the amount of unexplored documents in archives across the region. Moreover, the Communist governments, and Hungarys current government as well, went to great lengths to politicize and control history and peoples memories as a way to build legitimacy and maintain power. That these efforts Osborne, Its Good to Talk: Oral History, Sports History and Heritage, The International Journal of the History of Sport 32, 15 (2015): 18831898; Tanya Evans, Swimming with the Spit,: Feminist Oral Sport History and the Process of Sharing Authority with TwentiethCentury Female Swimming Champions in Sydney, The International Journal of the History of Sport 33, 8 (2016): 860879. 73 The novelty, of course was the opening up of the ex Soviet and socialist archives. Blaive, The Cold War?, 196.


53 help shape peoples memories may influence scholars to believe that conducting oral histories, and studying memory on the basis of them, will not give us new or noteworthy insights into the era. This is not t o say that memory analyses about the region do not exist; the topic of official memory politics has received significant attention from scholars in recent years, with a growing literature on museums, memorials, reburials, commemorations, and other topdo wn memory controlling tactics.74 Without incorporating the memories of individual citizens, however, how can historians gauge the effectiveness of the regions preand post 1989 memory politics? How can we examine the relations that existed between state and society under socialism? Who are the people who shaped those ties, and what mentalities and behaviors influenced them? Reconstructing peoples priorities and decisionmaking provides the key to understanding the past and the present. 75 These research questions prove challenging to answer without gathering and engaging directly with peoples memories. Sport historians have gradually begun to use oral history, demonstrating that it can be valuable when contextualized and studied next to other sources.76 Ye t the method is not a popular one in the field. I believe a different factor is at play here. The work of sport historians tends to be overlooked (intentionally or not) by the traditional 74 For some examples, see Istvn Rv, Retroactive Justice: The Prehistory of Post Communism (Stanford: S tanford University Press, 2005) ; Karl Benziger, Imre Nagy, Martyr of a Nation: Contested History, Legi timacy, and Popular Memory in Hungary (New York: Lexington Books, 2008); James Mark, The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central Eastern Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); The Cold War: Historiography, Memory, Representation, eds. Konrad Jarausch, Christian Ostermann, Andreas Et ges (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017). 75 Czech scholars Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mcke ask similar questions at the outset of their work. Miroslav Vanek and Pavel Mcke, Velvet Revolutions: An Ora l History of Czech Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 4. 76 Fiona Skillen and Carol Osborne, Its Good to Talk: Oral History, Sports History, and Heritage, The International Journal of the History of Sport 32, 15 (2015), 1885.


54 historical community.77 Moreover, the fact that sport itself is a fac et of popular culture seems to convince some scholars that the topic is not worthy of serious academic scholarship. I believe that these issues play a role in convincing some sport historians that, as Ronald Smith explained, Traditional historians knowthat through solid historical methods and the use of primary sources they can come close to getting the story to be accurate and meaningful.78 In the 2000s a debate ensued over the ways that sport historians examine the power and positionality of the archive when using its written sources.79 This discussion, however, made no mention of developing sources such as oral histories that can complicate and/or offer additional stories of experience and power.80 Relying on written, archival sources, then, may seem to o ffer them a better chance of reinforcing the legitimacy of their work to traditional historians. I fully acknowledge that there are significant challenges to conducting and analyzing oral histories in Central Eastern Europe. People from this region of t he world can be hesitant to share their experiences with another person, and especially to an outsider who may not seem familiar with their nations history and culture. This is not a 77 Although there was a time when some sport historians wrote glorifying biographies of athletes an d/or recounted sport statistics, in the last few decades the field has produced countless important and critical studies connecting sport to issues of nationalism, race, gender, empire, and politics. 78 Ronald Smith, Intercollegiate Athletics/Football History at the Dawn of a New Century, Journal of Sport History 29, no. 2 (2002): 229239; cited in Douglas Booth, Sites of Truth or Metaphors of Power? Refiguring the Archive, Sport in History 26, 1 (2006), 92. 79 While Douglas Booth urged the field not to abandon but refigure the archives in order to understand their position of power, Martin Johnes convincingly reiterated how historians of sport meticulously interrogate t heir written sources in the search for silences and institutional attempts to exclude and assert power over other groups. Douglas Booth, Sites of Truth or Metaphors of Power? Refiguring the Archive Sport in History 26, 1 (2006), 93; Martin Johnes, Archi ves, Truths, and the Historian at Work: A Reply to Douglas Booths Refiguring the Archive, Sport in History 21, 1 (2007), 131. 80 Booth discusses the need to study other vehicles of sources, such oral testimony and newspapers. Booth, Sites of Truth, 103


55 surprise. Between the Second World War and 1989, Hungarians and their Eastern European neighbors learned that one of the key tactics of survival lay in carefully guarding their histories and actions, for fear of denunciation, a show trial, and even death. They learned from the socialist system in particular to police their own history, and to control their lives with silence.81 Trust is always an important element in conducting oral histories with any group of people. Yet due to the traumatic histories and learned culture of the region, securing trust (or not) can be the single factor that facilitates or bars the oral history process for a scholar. I never successfully interviewed someone based off of a cold call or email. Instead, I always needed a trusted acquaintance to serve as an intermediary. The intermediaries introduced me to potential narrators, vouched for my background, abilities, and aims for the interview namely, that I wanted to hear about their stories and daily lives, and not necessarily about doping or the secret police. For every interview conducted in Hungarian, a native Hungarian speaker accompanied me and served as the cointerviewer.82 These difficulties necessitated having a native speaker present to catch the unfamiliar phrases, colloquialisms, and other cultural references that I might not recognize on my own. The cointerviewers played an enormous role in facilitating, conducting, and debriefing after the interviews, and as a result I acknowledge their role in the oral history citations. 81 Istvn Rv, Retroactive Justice: The Prehistory of Post Communism (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005), 32. 82 The basic nature of an oral history interview makes them very challenging endeavors even in ones native language. Interviewers need to think on their feet and be flexible enough to change tactics midinterview, or follow up on a narrators minor point that he/she had not thought of. They moreover must stay attuned to the narrators body language and signals, as well as to their emotio nal cues and silences.


56 I would be remiss not to explain further how my outsider status and g ender might have influenced the interviews. For example, unless I arranged an interview over the phone in Hungarian, none of them believed that I had any knowledge of the language or Hungarian history at the onset of the interview. Sometimes a narrator mig ht describe in great detail the repression they experienced, or that which the state meted out to the public. Perhaps they wanted to give me what they thought I wanted to hear, which was a proWestern, anti Communist narrative. I think that many of the mal e narrators also assumed that because of my gender, I, unlike my male cointerviewer, was not a serious researcher.83 It is wellproven that because societies typically do not value womens work, expertise, or statements as highly as mens, men tend to talk down or underestimate women in malefemale conversations.84 Similar to the experiences of other female oral historians, many of the men visibly relaxed and offered a wider range of memories upon learning of my training and hearing the affirmative cues that I purposefully offered during the interview. 85 Most of them showed great pride while describing their smuggling endeavors. Perhaps their perception of being able to show off helped them to reassert a sense of agency and male identity with regard to th eir creative smuggling that does not easily fit within the narrow victim resistor narrative propagated by the current Hungarian government. The issue of sexual attraction and power also cannot be discounted. Despite wearing appropriate clothing and maintai ning 83 Over half of my narrators in Hungary were men over the age of fifty. All but two of my cointerviewers were male. 84 Valerie Yow, Recording Oral History: A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences (New York: Rowman and Littlefie ld Publishers, 2014), 200. 85 Yow Recording Oral History, 200.


57 professional boundaries, some older men did not shy away from addressing my gender or commenting on my looks.86 My discomfort notwithstanding, the mens remarks enabled them to assert control over the interview situation. Other men hardly looked at me at all, speaking instead only with my cointerviewer; perhaps they may have felt more comfortable speaking with a man and/or a Hungarian than a nonHungarian female. Ultimately, as patronizing and gender influenced as it was, the mens desire to educate me seemed to have worked in my favor. If they believed that I understood their history and stories, they might not have felt the need to provide such thorough explanations about what life was really like back then. Due to their different role and perceptio n in Hungarian society, many of the female narrators acted differently in the interviews. To my surprise at the time, a few of the women seemed visibly uncomfortable when sharing their stories with me. While my position as an outsider remained a factor, I think the gender dynamics in Hungary and in Hungarian sport also played a role here. The Hungarian press, sport broadcasters, and politicians very clearly favor the male athletes. Male athletes are frequently invited to serve as sport commentators on TV, a nd appointed to top positions in the sport bureaucracy and national federations. Women are generally given less space to share their opinions and expertise in Hungarian society; this might make them feel less comfortable talking about themselves to new peo ple in general. Amongst the women who appeared to enjoy the interview process, few of them shared smuggling stories to the extent done by the men. As I will discuss later, men did typically smuggle on a much 86 Most of these comments centered around their pleasure at meeting and speaking with a young, pretty woman. One narrator told me after the interview concluded that I looked fit, and then proc eeded to ask his wife if I looked fit.


58 larger scale than women. I also believe that the women felt more shame discussing smuggling in todays context than the men. Finally, unlike the men, the female narrators might not have felt the need to impress me with these stories. The twists and turns of peoples memories might appear as evidence of the inherent subjectivity and unreliability of memory. It is true that the changes in a narrators memories pose challenges for historians trying to analyze them as primary sources. Yet these mistakes or misremembered stories usually contain a deeper me aning. As famed oral historian Alessandro Portelli explained it, we dont reject the critiques but we take them as a point of departure to do a completely different kind of work.87 These moments provide scholars with an opportunity to explore the meaning s that narrators place around certain events, people, and ideas in their lives.88 Oral histories, after all, are not mere fact finding missions; they may help us fill in the gaps in the historical record, but we also use them to obtain a sense of the mental ities and motivations that spurred people to act in certain ways in the past. These perceived limits oral historys disjointed, fragmentary, and ever changing natureenables us to understand changes in values over time.89 Evaluating the products and process es of 87 Miroslav Vanek, Around the Globe: Rethinking Oral History with its Protagonists (Prague: Karolinum Press, 2013), 128. 88 Luisa Passerini, Fascism in Popular Memory: The Cultural Experience of the Turin Working Class (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Alessandro Portelli, The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History (New York: State Unive rsity of New York Press, 1991). 89 Vanek and Mcke, Velvet Revolutions, 6.


59 oral history work allows scholars to discuss how multiple histories are navigated and negotiated.90 For the individuals and groups excluded from the written, archival record, oral histories offer them a chance to describe their version of historical e vents. This was especially true for my narrators; more than most people under socialism, they had seen their victories and stories hyper politicized by the government. Ideology, after all, was supposed to supplant individual memory under these regimes.91 Un der socialism, it proved dangerous to remember facts and experiences that gave lie to, or questioned, government generated histories.92 Silence, or nontalk, became a key tactic of the state and the public to create and retell history, and to protect itself.93 Hungarys current Prime Minister, Viktor Orbn, has reinvigorated the politicization of history in his attempts to ensure that one particular narrative of Hungarian history is perpetuated. His version emphasizes Hungarians as either resistors or victims, and depicts the tenmonth Nazi occupation of Hungary and the socialist era as totalitarian, repressive, and above all else, foreign.94 This narrative 90 Sarah Ni ckel, Youll probably tell me that your grandmother was an Indian Princess: Identity, Community, and Politics in the Oral History of the Union of British Columbian Indian Chiefs, 19691980, Oral History Forum dhistoire orale 34 (2014), 19. 91 Luisa Pas serini, Introduction, International Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories Vol. I, Memory and Totalitarianism, ed. Luisa Passerini (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 8. 92 Donald J. Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russias Co ld War Generation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 5. 93 Istvn Rv talks about the peoples complicit nontalk about the 1956 Revolution in the decades that followed it. Rv Retroactive Justice, 3132. 94 James Marks argues that Orbn practices this kind of memory politics in order to weaken the Communist pasts continuing hold on present day Hungary. James Mark, The Unfinished Revolution: Making Sense of the Communist Past in Central Eastern Europe (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), xi.


60 purposefully removes responsibility or accountability for the political systems and policies from the Hungarian people. The creation of the House of Terror, a museum that focuses largely on the repression of Hungarians under Soviet rule, places primary importance on the suffering of Hungarians as a collective. The politicized history silences the experiences and memories of people that stand to challenge the narrative of trauma and resistance, such as the suffering of minority groups. More central to this story, however, Orbns version of history and collective memory leaves out the experiences of nonresistance, acquiescence, and cooperation with the Nazi and Communist periods of rule. This is strengthened by the tendency Hungarian oral hi storians to ascribe the greatest emphasis to the voices of victims and resistors from the past.95 Due to the current governments politicization of Hungarian memory about the socialist period, any engagement with memory is tinged with politics. Yet even as socialist and present day leaders created and guarded their correct interpretations of the past, alternatives memories and histories survived.96 My narrators rarely made overt political statements; yet they sometimes politicized their memories in a historiographical sense by using the interview as a way to work through their remembrances vis vis the politicized past. More specifically, they actively negotiated their memories in ways that addressed their past, present, and future identity, therefore speaking to their current political, social, and economic positions as well. Many of them 95 Mark The Unfinished Revolution, xxiii. For an example of a Hungarian oral historian whose work moves beyond the victim resistor framework, see Eszter Zsfia Tth, 10) 96 Rubie S. Watson, Memory, History, and Opposition Under State Socialism, in Memory, History, and Opposition Under State Socialism, ed. Rubie S. Watson (Santa Fe, NM: School of A merican Research Press, 1994), 2.


61 remain heavily involved in the Hungarian sport community today. They work as coaches, leaders of sport clubs and national sport federations, and in sport businesses like Csszri. For them, drawing attention to the fact that the socialist system created the foundation upon which their past achievements and current careers rest is not desirable. Many of them were thus interested in leaving the current shape of their memorie s and identities intact. As Sarah Nickel explains, narrators are not actors frozen in time and simply reflecting on pact actions, relationships, and ideas from the stable position of their past selves. They are both witnesses to historical events and ind ividuals with a stake in how they remember and talk about the past.97 Narrators speak in narratives, since it is one of the ways that people make sense of their experiences and communicate it to others.98 As a result of the influence of the politicized, victim resistor collective memory on the narrators, one of my main goals lay in drawing out the daily, seemingly minute stories about their lives. I admittedly did not always succeed; some individuals simply wanted to tell a set of circumscribed stories that they ostensibly prepared in advance, oftentimes about the great challenges they faced. Yet most of them proved willing to offer a mixture of stories, such as about their resourcefulness and creativity with smuggling. Resourcefulness is another common narr ative Eastern Europeans employ to depict their experiences.99 The athletes memories of resourcefulness lie somewhere in the middle of the victim resistor 97 Nickel, Youll probably tell me, 19. 98 Lynne Abrams, Oral History Theory 2nd ed. (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2016), 106. 99 Malgorzata Mazurek discusses how Polish families used resourcefulness as a framework to make sense of the socialist and postsocialist periods. Malgorzata Mazur ek, Keeping it Close to Home: Resourcefulness and Scarcity in Late Socialist and Postsocialist Poland, in Communism Unwrapped, eds. Mary Neuberger and Paulina Bren, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) 315.


62 narrative. By understanding and portraying some of their stories through this lens, my narrators found a way to mediate their level of privilegeprivilege which most of them did not want to acknowledge, as it directly conflicted with the national narrative and collective memory with the material and economic scarcity that most people experienced during thi s time. Outside of the smuggling stories, most of the narrators downplayed the rewards and opportunities they received. Ultimately, these different kinds of stories offered a mixture of narratives about the meanings they attached their memories, as well as about their identities today.100 Conducting the oral histories and analyzing the memories enabled me to explore individuals complex mentalities and behaviors in ways that move beyond Hungarys victim resistor memory framework today It moreover enabled me to connect with the Hungarian sport community in a way that was not feasible with archival documents and other print sources. By prioritizing a reciprocal relationship with my historical actors, I aimed to develop a shared authority to the extent that it was possible with my narrators over the knowledge and the memories that they graciously offered to me.101 Establishing trust and a shared authority proved crucial to this work. I ultimately succeeded in conducting over thirty oral histories with Hungarian athletes, coaches, and sport leaders. Collecting and incorporating their voices emphasizes their agency in participating in and constructing the socialist system within which they lived, and therefore their own lives.102 As Russian scholar Darya Khubova moreo ver explained in 100 Abrams Oral History Theory, 108. 101 Micha el Frisch, A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1990). 102 Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers, 13.


63 1992, It is sometimes said, and is almost true, that for us documents are subjective, and the only things which might be objective are the memories.103 Archival Research and Materials The rest of my research consists of documents from the Hungarian National Archives, the Historical Archives of the State Security Services, and the International Olympic Committees Historical Archives. At the National Archives, I mainly examined the documents from the National Office of Physical Education and Sport, the OTSH.104 Perhaps in an effort to keep the details about its state amateur system hidden from outsiders and the IOC, very few documents relate specifically to the athletes.105 In the rare occasions that a document concerned athletes, I extrapolate d on the significance of the text to examine what it suggested about the sport leaderships decisionmaking and athletes lives. I also utilized bureaucratic interactions between athletes and the national sport body, such as about athletes requests for housing or a permit to buy a car. These interactions illustrate the ways that athletes tried to pull strings with their sport superiors, and the power that the sport body could wield over peoples lives. The absence of more written, archival evidence of spor t leader athlete relations suggests that the sport bodys conversations about athletes were probably conducted in person or over the phone and not through official paperwork. It is also important to note that the archives do not house the documents related to sport, and elite sport especially, after the early 1970s. The 103 Darya Khubova, Andrei Ivankiev, and Tonia Sharova, After Glasnost: Oral History in the Soviet Union, International Yearbook of Oral History and Life Stories, Vol. I, Memory and Totalitarianism ed. Luisa Passerini (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) 96. 104 Even though the OTSH technically only existed from the mid1960s until 1989, the docum ents from each variation of the national sport body is catalogued in this collection. 105 Most of the documents concerned how the sport body managed elite and mass sport in Hungary, such as about sport policies and the construction and maintenance of sport f acilities.


64 material from the rest of the period are still in the Ministry of Sport.106 I also examined materials from the customs authorities, where I found a handful of documents about what customs of ficials found in athletes bags at the AustrianHungarian border in the 1950s. T he national sport body likely handled most of the incidents with the customs officials over the phone or in person. The State Security Archives and their materials provided m e with significant logistical and analytical challenges. Due to Hungarys data protection laws, there are strict rules about the kinds of information and documents researchers can access.107 Although nonHungarian and nonEU citizens face the most archival r estrictions, Hungarian citizens themselves do not enjoy full access to the files. The limitations depend on the time of protection ascribed to a historical actors personal information.108 If a person mentioned in a document was still alive, then that pers ons name was anonymized in the documents that the archive allowed me to see. The secret police files that I examined therefore were often very fragmented, with key documents excluded and paragraphs anonymized. These restrictions pale in comparison, however, to the analytical difficulties historians encounter when examining these materials. The secret police dossiers included the agents and informants reports but also the institutions investigation plans 106 Although a woman promised to help facilitate my access the documents in the Ministrys basement, she did not respond to any further communication about it. 107 Fortunately, the application process went smoothly for me, and within two weeks I was given approval to conduct research there. 108 Certain informationi.e. the persons state of health, harmful habits and sexual orientation is anonymized until thirty years after the persons death. If the date of death is not know n the time of protection is ninety years after his/her date of birth. If the date of birth is unknown, then the time period is sixty years a fter the archival document was created.


65 and interrogations. The files were intended to ser ve the perceived national and political security functions of the state. Although most historians initially believed that studying the secret police reports illuminated how this organ of the state exerted control through force, we now know that the state s ecurity forc es gradually evolved to serve a pedagogical service to citizens, informants, and agents.109 Similar to the oral histories in a way, agents and informants oftentimes attempted to use the reports to illustrate a certain image about themselves to th eir superiors.110 Other times they mastered the secret police language in order to achieve their own personal goals within the community. The authoring of the reports was therefore not only about exercising social control, but it also, served as a means of appropriating power by members of society in the interests of specific goals that had little to do or nothing to do directly with the agendas of the regime.111 The complications accessing and understanding the secret police materials made it a challenge to use the dossiers. In the rare case of the soccer player Sndor who was killed by the Ministry of Interior in 1951, I accessed his entire file since he h ad died over sixty years beforehand. The case is therefore the only one in which enough material existed to tell as complete a story as possible with the secret police reports. When possible, I compared the reports and investigations about athletes 109 Katherine Verdery, Secrets and Truths: Ethnography in the Archive of Romanias Secret Police Force (Budapest: CEU Press, 2014), 17. 110 Sndor Horvth, Life of an Agent: Reenergizing Stalinism and Learning the Language of Collaboration after 1956 in Hungary, Hungaria n Historical Review 4, 1 ( 2015), 56. 111 They sometimes tried to protect their community by only submitting certain reports, or by taking advantage of their access to the state security network more generally. Or, they used the reports to seek the approval of other members of the network and/or the secret police, and obtain something in the future from that approval. Horvth, Life of an Agent, 56.


66 w ith the oral histories, athletes autobiographies, OTSH documents, and newspaper accounts. I primarily used the reports to further examine stories from the oral histories, such as about athletes smuggling In this case, the reports confirmed much of what the athletes explained to me: that the agents and informants who accompanied them abroad collected information about the athletes international connections and smuggling practices simply to have the information for future potential blackmail purposes, and not to ensnare the athletes immediately upon their return. The athletes quickly learned to identify and be careful around the agent or informant assigned to them for trips. Finally, because the Hungary oriented part of this research focuses on the relationship between athletes and sport leaders, I only analyze the institution when it inserted itself into athletes lives, such as with In order to incorporate the international and Cold War perspective into this work, I studied the correspondence between the IOC and its members for Hungary and the Eastern Bloc at the IOC Historical archives The letters allow me to illustrate the changing relations between the two groups, in terms of showing how each sides political biases gradually receded in favor of domestic, diplomatic, and/or institutional concerns. As with the other archival documents, these materials required me to investigate how the biases and ambitions of the individuals shaped their authorship of the materials.112 Despite the IOCs claims to ap oliticism, the individuals who ruled the organization imbued their decisions with a Western political lens, at least until the late 1950s. I therefore examined the IOC through the perspective of those who sought to 112 Douglas Booth, Sites of Truth; Tibor Takcs, Them and Us: Narratives of Agents from the Kadar Era, The Hungarian Historical Review 4, 1 (2015): 144 170.


67 guide and shape it amidst the growing Col d War landscape. Due to the personal nature of correspondence, the top IOC leaders such as Sigfrid Edstrm Otto Mayer, and Avery Brundage often included emphatic language and other written cues that demonstrated a fascinating level of emotion and personal ity that does not usually exist in government documents. Analyzing their biases and changing priorities through the correspondence reveals much about how a self proclaimed apolitical, international organization sought to navigate the East West conflict. Th e IOC materials illustrate how a Westerndominated, supposedly neutral institution softened its anti Communist stance and accepted the Eastern Bloc members as dependable and useful allies as the organization expanded its reach to rule elite sport across th e globe. I investigate and balance the complexities in the sources by incorporating each persons human motivations, collating material from different levels of power, and creating new sources to offer fresh perspectives. The archival documents all provide necessary insight into the midlevel and elite power brokers of Hungarian and international sport.113 Members of government bureaucracies and international organizations had their personal goals and aspirations too, and their decisions sometimes served t heir own interests.114 When combined with the bottom up viewpoints from my narrators, I integrate voices from multiple levels of the Hungarian and international sport communities to tell the story of cooperation in Cold War sport. 113 Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 5. 114 Horvth, Stalinism Reloaded 7.


68 Organization The organizati on of the dissertation is largely structured around thematically organized chapters, with a chronological foundation when possible. The nature of the various available sources and the different kinds of voices for each group influenced how I structured the chapters. Most of the chapters highlight the changes within Hungarian sport that emerged as a result of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and mass defections of athletes to the West. Yet each chapter is not organized along similar lines; while some examine a concrete set of years (such as Chapter 4, which covers 19511959/1960), others discuss the evolution of policies and ideas over much larger periods of time, such as the 1960s 1980s. Due to their thematic organization, the chronology of the chapters also so metimes overlap with one another. The tone and kind of history that I explore in the chapters vary as well. For example, Chapters 2 and 5 consist of bureaucratic histories of the Hungarian sport administration and the International Olympic Committee becaus e they are based primarily on correspondence between the two groups. Chapter 3 is a social history in which I use archival documents and oral histories to discuss the material privileges and opportunities that athletes could receive from the sport leadership. Chapter 6 is a sociocultural analysis of athletes lives, connections, and smuggling opportunities primarily after the events of 1956 that is told almost exclusively by the voices of the athletes from the oral histories. Taken as a whole, the following chapters detail the evolving conditions in the Hungarian sport community and the IOC from 1948 until 1989. Chapter 2 explores how after the takeover in 1948, Hungarian sport leaders both Communist and not needed to learn how to balance the priorities an d demands of the Hungarian state and the International Olympic Committee. I examine the tussle


69 that ensued between the IOC and Hungarian Communist sport leaders over the thenhe Blocs state amateur system vis vis the IOCs amateur rules. The third chapter situates the position and everyday experiences of athletes, and their relations with sport leaders prior and to a certain extent after the 1956 Revolution. I discuss the carrot and stick system that sport leaders implemented to control and motivate athletes, and the different kinds of privileges and material rewards that athletes could gain (or lose) as a result of their position. Chapter 4 studies the impact of the events of 1956 on the athletesport leader relationship and sport policies. In order to illustrate the broad scope of 1956s influence, I analyze four case studies of athletes who got punished by the Hungarian state between 19511957. The cases depict athletes m yriad of reactions and behaviors with respect to the current conditions and politics, and the ways that the state and sport leadership responded to these behaviors in turn. The fifth chapter returns to the story of relations between the IOC, the organizati ons members for Hungary and the other middle Bloc countries. In it I explore how by the late 1950s early 1960s, leaders from both sides gradually decided to seek better diplomatic relations with the other. While the IOC sought to shore up support for its conservative amateur rules and expand its global reach, Hungary and the middle Bloc members aimed to gain significant influence within the IOC and on its policies in order to increase the Blocs power and protect their systems at home. Chapter 6 analyzes the role of connections in athletes smuggling mainly in the decades after 1956. By studying the function that pulling strings and smuggling served


70 for athletes, the chapter illustrates the improving, entangled relations between athletes and sport leaders if athletes played their cards right. The dissertation concludes with a deeper look into how Attila Csszri remembered and interpreted his privileges and highly placed connections. I also explore how the analyses discussed here can help us more broadly understand athletes behaviors, authoritarianstyle governments and cultural policies, and the relations between these kinds of states and international organizations today.


71 CHAPTER 2 A BALANCING ACT: SPORT LEADERS, THE HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST STATE, AND THE IOC, 1948 1955 Introduction In October 1953 Avery Brundage, thenpresident of the IOC sent a letter to 1 was a poet, historian, and sports enthusiast whom the IOC elected as its member for Hungary in 1948. The letter focus ed on press coverage of Brundages accusation of state amateurism in Hungary. State amateurism was the name given by the Western press to the statefunded sport systems in the Eastern Bloc countries that paid athletes in order train and win gold medals in international sport. Brundage I did make the remarks about State amateurs which appeared in LEquipe, but I did not apply them to the Hungarian football team as indicated in the article. What I said was no different than w hat appeared in my circular letter No. 12 which was sent out to all the members of the IOC As you know, I did not go to Budapest to make an investigation o f Hungarian sport. I have heard that there are State amateurs in Hungary as well as in a number of other countries, including France, so it is a problem that appears on both sides of the Iron Curtain .2 Brundages note highlights the sensitive nature of amateurism in international sport at the beginning of the Cold War. The system of state amateurism, whi ch I will use to refer to the Eastern Bloc sport systems, violated the IOCs rules about what constituted an about the rumors, 1 The 1953 letter from Brundage came on the heels of his visit to Budapest for the inauguration of the new soccer stadium, Npstadi on (Peoples Stadium). Its completion and inauguration was a major event for the socialist state. The stadium was built by the voluntary labor of the people, and occurred at a time when the Hungarian national soccer team had been undefeated in international competition since 1949. The state intended the stadium to represent the sport prowess of the Hungarian nation. 2 RM01/166, SD2 Correspondence, 19481958, IOC Historical Archives (IOCHA), Lausanne, Switzerland.


72 Brundage issued a subtle reprimand while at the same time offered Me opportunity to reassure him that the Hungarians followed the IOC s regulations. This type of letter characterized how Brundage and the IOC handled press reports and accusations of violations of its rules by both Eastern and Western member countries .3 Lacking the strength of a stronger administrative body Brundages wording exemplifies the IOCs attempt to govern by way of sending a diplomatic warning, and not through a more authoritative alternative.4 Understanding the amateur rule remained impor tant for and socialist sport leaders due to the Eastern B locs use of gold medals and sport diplomacy during the cultural Cold War.5 The socialist states pursued the politicization of sport with greater vigor and more state resources than their interw ar predecessors or contemporaries .6 In order to capitalize on the politicization of sport success, sport leaders across the Eastern Bloc not only needed to meet the sport diplomacy aims of the Communist Party and their political superiors; they also needed to learn how to work with and within the International Olympic Committee and its rules. Two issues complicated relations between the Bloc sport leaders and the IOC in the late 1940s mid 1950s: the 3 Avery Brundage did the same thing when he received word of the Soviets defying IOC rules on amateurism, by appealing to Constantin Adrianov and Nikolai Romanov, the top two sport leaders. See Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games 2016; and Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016); and Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016). 4 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 117118. 5 David Caute, The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1. 6 Barbara Keys shows how in the 1930s the importance of international sport organizations like the IOC and FIFA skyrocketed, specifically with the rise of Nazi Germany and within the Soviet Unions top Party leadership. Barbara Keys, Globalizing Sport: National Rivalry and International Community in the 1930s (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006).


73 composition of the IOCs Bloc members and amateurism. Alth ough the two groups became strong allies later on, the early Cold War era found them on opposing ends on these issues. Each side sought to shape the position of the IOC Bloc members and the amateur issue to fit their own political and/or institutional aims Hungarian sport leaders therefore found themselves needing to strike a balance between the demands of their superiors at home and the culture and regulations of the IOC. Two additional issues also emerged between 19481955 that should have influenced sport leaders decisions during this time: athletes defections to the West, and the protests in Budapest following the national football teams 1954 World Cup loss to the West Germans. Sport leaders chose not to tackle these matters directly until after the Hungarian Revolution and mass defections in 1956; as a result, the two prior incidents were missed opportunities for the Hungarian sport leadership to alter their policies with regards to the treatment of athletes and the overt politicization of sport. Mo st of the scholarship on the Hungarian socialist sport apparatus approaches the topic strictly from a domestic perspective, stating that its leaders acted solely in accordance with the program of top Party leaders.7 Focusing only on the Hungarian milieu veils the significant influence of the IOC and international sport community on the development of Hungarian Cold War sport By incorporating the domestic and international influences on the Hungarian sport administrat ion, I examine how the aristocrat his socialist sport contemporaries, Hegyi and Gusztv Sebes, 7 For the most recent scholarship that continues this trend, see Katalin Szikora, Sport and the Olympic Movement in Hungary (19451989), in The Shadow of Totalitarianism: Sport and the Olympic Movement in the Visegrd Co untries 19451989, ed. Marek Waic ( Prague: Charles University, 2015) 131195, especially 139140.


74 quickly found themselves in the position of middle men between their Party superiors and the IOC. Understanding the balancing act that Hegyi, Sebes, and their contemporaries needed to strike highlights their role as individuals (and not cogs) within the socialist bureaucracy, and the obstacles that limited their decisionmaking and activities.8 This chapter moreover contributes Hungarys perspective as a middle Bloc country to a sport and Olympic historical literature that focuses primarily on relations between the IOC and the main Cold War countries such as the US, Britain, the USSR, and the two Germanys.9 The nations geographical position as a middle Bloc state between the USSR and East Germany influenced its role in Cold War international sport; so did its long standing participation in the Olympic movement, since its inception in the 1890s. Hungary therefore stood apart from the Soviets, who did not officially enter the IOC until 1951. Hungarian socialist sport leaders began trying to shape their relations with the organization in 1948, without the USSRs seasoned knowledge or experience with the international sport body These early interactions between the IOC and Hungarian sport leaders taught members on both sides important lessons about how to work with one another during the Cold War. The lessons helped to inform the IOC and sport leaders in other middle Bloc nations, such as Poland, about to handle the institutional and/or political maneuvers of the other. 8 Parks The Olympic Games, 35. 9 For example, see Kay Schiller and Christopher Young, The 1972 Munich Olympics and the Making of Modern Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, Dropping the Torch: Jimmy Carter, the Olympic Boycott, and the Cold War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Toby Rider, Cold War Games: Propaganda, the Olympics and U.S. Foreign Pol icy, (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016) ; Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016) ; The British World and the Five Rings: Essays in British Imperiali sm and the Modern Olympic Movement eds. Erik Nielsen and Matthew Llewellyn (New York: Routledge, 2016).


75 This chapter explores how the socialist political system and the IOC primarily shaped sport leaders ability to pursue their sport diplomacy goals from 19481955.10 First I explore the cent ralization of elite sport in Hungary after the takeover in 1948, a period marked by the repressive, Stalinist era of Hungarian soc ialist rule. Contextualizing the structural changes within the sport administration underscores the level of influence exerted by the top Party leadership on elite sport. When possible, I specify whether the Party leadership or sport leaders made decisions in the administration of sport. Analyzing the perspective and decisionmaking process of sport leaders shifts attention away from the political center and illustrates how policies and power sometimes flowed from the middle of the socialist state outwards.11 I moreover examine athletes defections and the football protests in 1954 as missed opportunities for the sport leadership t o reflect on their sport priorities and policies vis vis athletes and the over politicization of football. The two incidents and their lack of influence on sport leaders tactics further underscores the states desire to politicize and control sport duri ng this time. The analysis then studies the conflict between the IOC and socialist interactions over the amateur rule. Brundages letter at the outset illustrates how both t he IOC and Hungarian sport leaders tried to juggle the politics and policies of their 10 Although relations between the Bloc nations, and between the IOC and the socialist Bloc collectively, both influenced Hungarian sport leaders abilit y to achieve their goals, these dynamics are beyond the scope of this analysis. During late socialism different nations, such as Romania, used international sport for the specific nationalistic purposes of defining itself vis vis both the West and the US SR. Michaela Andra Wood, Superpower: Romanian Womens Gymnastics during the Cold War (PhD diss., University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, 2010), 13. 11 This follows the approach taken by Jenifer Parks in her examination of the Soviet sports bureaucracys mid level decisionmaking. Parks, The Olympic Games, xiv.


76 institution and/or political superiors. Their interactions proved to be an early test of the power of the International Olympic Committee and the Hungarian sport leadership. These issues highlighted the IOC and Partys conflicting ideas about sport, politics, and culture. For their part, sport leaders in Hungary and its Bloc neighbors needed to balance the IOC s rules and culture with their Party superiors sport diplomacy goals. Sport Leaders and the Administration of Elite Sport u nder Stalinism The Hungarian Communist Party (hereafter MKP) viewed the politicization and centralization of sport as one of its top priorities, even in 1947 before the full takeover of the government.12 They started by replacing the leaders of sport federations and clubs with members of the top MKP elite. The highest ranking Party leaders in sport included: thenMinister of Interior and organizer of the Secret Police Lszl Rjk, who became president of the Hungarian Athletic Federation; Imre Nagy, Minister of Agriculture and later martyr of the 1956 Revolution, was appointed president of the Hungarian Wrestling Federation; and Jnos Kdr, General Secretary of the Party from 19561988, headed Vasas, the Iron Workers Sport Club.13 Their leadership of the sport organi zations 12 The governments politicization of sport, and thus scrutiny and control over its top athletes, did not necessarily begin with the Communist takeover. The interwar regime of Mikls Horthy began recognizing top athletes with a special award from 1936 onwards, to those who demonstrated merit in the field of sport and physical education. Horthy t ook inspiration from the Germans and Italians with this award. The interwar government also uses increasingly nationalist language when referring to the role of sport in Hungarian society. For an explanation of how well Hungarian athletes were received at home and by the political leadership in the interwar years, see Mikls Zeidler, A testgyakorls mint az egszsg s a szpsg forrsa az jkori magyar sportirodalomban, in Kor/trs panorma. Tanulmnyok a 70 ves Vony Jzsef Tiszteletre, eds. ss, Gyrgy Gyarmati (Pcs Budapest, Kronosz: llambiztonsgi Szolglatok Trtneti Levltra, 2015): 171212. 13 All of these men became major figures for MKP. After being appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1948, Rjk was arrested as part of the Stal inist show trials for conspiring with Yugoslavias Tito and Israel, and executed in 1949. After Stalins death in March 1953, Imre Nagy became Chairman of the Council of Ministers, only to be removed in April 1955. During the 1956 Revolution, Nagy first em erged as a voice of caution against the Revolution, but switched sides in favor of the revolutionaries. He became the Chairman once again during the Revolution, but was kidnapped by the Soviets and killed in 1958. Interestingly, Jnos Kdr became Minister of Interior after Rjk was promoted in August 1948. When the


77 before the MKP took full control of the government in 1948 illustrates the Partys intention to infiltrate, control and politicize Hungarian sport.14 March 1948 saw the creation of the National Sport Office (hereafter OSH), the first of several renditions of the national sport body under the socialists. The Council of Ministers (Minisztertancs ), named Gyula Hegyi as t he OSH president and promoted him to the level of State Secretary ( llamtitkr ).15 During this time the OSH worked under the Ministry of Culture, as its predecessor had during the interwar period.16 Hegyis status as a State Secretary meant that he attended the meetings of the Council of Ministers, which included the General Secretary of the MKP ( the top leader), the Ministers of Interior, Agriculture, and the like. This position afforded Hegyi access to top Party and government leaders, which enabled him to ask for favors for his administrative workers and athletes. His placement also demonstrated the Partys belief in sports connection to the central aims of the state, and in his ability to achieve their aims .17 Lastly, the decree that established the OSH al so stipulated that the OSHs State Secretary needed to be in agreement with the Ministry of Interior when giving directives Soviets invaded Hungary during the 1956 Revolution, the Soviets chose to back Kdr as the General Secretary of the Republic of Hungary. Kdr remained in the top leadership position until 1988. 14 For explanations of the centralization of elite sport in the other Bloc countries, see the edited collection, In the Shadow of Totalitarianism: Sport and the Olympic Movement in the Visgrad Countries, 19451989, ed. Marek Waic (Prague: Karolinum Pres s, 2014); Szikora, Sport and the Olympic , 135137. 15 The Council of Ministers was one of the highest governing bodies in the socialist states. Although its power grew and decreased according to the overall change in socialist leadership, in theory it ans wered only to the to the Communist Party. The Council created the OSH. 16 The duties of the OSH included managing college and university sport, managing the College of Physical Education, the appointment of physical education teachers, overseeing every spor t institution (federations, clubs, etc.) organizing lower level sport leadership, creating and maintaining sport facilities, and preparing future legislation for sport. Szikora, Sport and the Olympic , 137. 17 Szikora, Sport and the Olympic , 137.


7 8 to the administrative authorities in matters of sport.18 In other words, Hegyi at times needed to consult with the Ministry of Interi or, which was in charge of the Secret Police. By linking the OSH with the Interior Ministry over certain issues, it afforded the Party an additional layer of control and discipline over Hegyi, his sport apparatus, and therefore over athletes as well. The significant amount of experience in sport administration that Hegyi brought to the table paid great dividends for his career. He spent several years in the 1930s as a leader of Vasas Sport Club, and participated in the labor movement in Hungary throughout the interwar period.19 Contemporaries described Hegyi as demonstrating great expertise and skill, and showing a feel for sport diplomacy in his work.20 Hegyi was not alone in bringing experience with sport administration to the table, as most of his contemporaries carried similar backgrounds in the sport world. This stands in contrast to other spheres within the socialist administration during this time, which overwhelmingly favored people with reliable (nonaristocratic, non Nazi) social and political backgr ounds.21 The practical expertise that Hegyi and his colleagues brought to the administration of sport was likely one of the main reasons why they retained their positions so long, even after political battles and upheavals within the government.22 18 Bals z Rig, Egszplys letmads Kommunista hatalomtvtel a magyar sportban (19451948), (unpublished manuscript, 2015), 5051. 19 Ibid, 56. 20 Budapest, Magyar Knyvklub, 1997, 267; quoted in Ri g, Egszplys letmads , 56. 21 Ibid, 57. 22 Hegyis career is worth mentioning here. He directed the National Office of Sport and Physical Education (OTSB) which came after the OS H, from 19501956. He continued holding the presidency of the OTSBs successor, the Hungarian Council for Physical Education and Sport (MTST), from 19571962. He also managed the MOB from 19511964, and was president of the Hungarian Football Federation


79 Reorganiza tion in 1951 In January 1951, the Council of Ministers reorganized the structure of sport in order to assert direct control and more thoroughly politicize sport for its own ends. According to a newspaper report, the OSHs placement under the Ministry of C ulture created too much red tape to pass the necessary sport legislation within the OSH.23 The Minisztertancs abolished the OSH and created the National Committee for Physical Education and Sport (hereafter the OTSB). The Council of Ministers brought the O TSB under its wing, and out from under the Ministry of Culture where the OSH existed. Hegyi kept his position as State Secretary, and Gusztv Sebes as Vice President. Hegyi also took over the presidency of the Hungarian Olympic Commi ttee (hereafter MOB) fr om Sebes. The change effectively tied MOB to the Hungarian state, which flew in the face of IOC regulations about the need to keep the National Olympic Committees (hereafter NOCs) independent from the domestic government. With the creation and centralizati on of the sport administration within the OTSB, the sports federations and clubs wielded much less power than under the OSH and during the interwar period.24 Importantly though, the sports federations continued to work with the OTSB on disciplinary cases w ith athletes and coaches giving them a level of influence in terms of who trained and achieved sport success for the state. With the OTSBs placement under the Council of Ministers, the three most powerful MKP leaders now play ed a direct role in the (MLSz) from 19641970. Gusztv Sebes, Hegyis closest second in command, also had a long career in sport, heading the MOB from 19491951, was vice president of the OTSB and MTST behind Hegyi, and was also the famed coach of the Aranycsapat Hungarys Golden Team in the 1950s. Ibid, 57 23 Szikora, Sport and the Olympic , 139140. 24 Ibid, 141.


80 administration of sport. The troika consisted of General Secretary Mtys Rkosi ( the times shifted from the Minister of Transportation, to Fina nce and the Ministry of State. Th policies directly to the OTSB through Hegyis position as State Secretary, without needing to filter them through the Ministry of Culture like before. The restructuring of the sport administrative body effectively put Hegyi and Sebes in position s directly under the most powerful figures in the MKP and government. Although the socialist states close patronage of elite sport did not end with the troika, the move exemplified the states aim of using sport success for its own political aims. The connections between the sport clubs and Ministries offer another angle to the process of centralization and politicization of elite sport in the late 1940s early 1950s. Hungarian sport leaders focused on taking Hungarys previously aristocratic, but flourishing el ite sport program under control and adapting it with the help of their superiors into a form that best suited the MKPs interests This contrasted with the Soviet sport system in the postwar era, which underwent centralization before World War II but needed to improve its competitiveness in order to dominate the Olympic Games. Like in neighboring Bloc countries, p reviously independent sport clubs became attached to specific Ministries in 1948 For example, the placement of the Honvd Sport Club under control of the Ministry of Defense made it the Army team, while the Ministry of Interior brought Dzsa Sport Club under its wing as the Police team (and thus under the secret police too). Athletes saw a mixture of positive and negative outcomes from this change. First, if one of the two teams selected an athlete, the athlete was


81 conscripted into either the armed forces or the police. As a result of being affiliated with the two top Ministries, athletes at Honvd and Dzsa experienced greater scr utiny than those on other clubs; they endured being monitoring from the Secret Police, as well as endured harsher punishments if a situation arose. The case of Dzsa soccer player 4 as it exemplifies the pressure and surveillance that these athletes encountered. At the same time, athletes also stood to gain significantly from being transfer red to the Army or Police clubs. It afforded them the opportunity to train and compete with the best players in the country. This was especially the case with football where the Army and Police teams quickly became the best Hungarian clubs by stacking their teams with top players from around the country.25 Typically, national teams across the globe consisted of a countrys top players who only practiced together in preparation for international tournaments. In the socialist bloc, the military teams benefitt ed significantly by players increased familiarity with one anothers playing styles.26 The phenomenon came together most spectacularly with Hungarys Aranycsapat or Golden Team in the 1950s; most of the national team players were selected from the Police and Army teams, and they only lost one game from 19501956. Moreover, Honvd and Dzsas alignment to the strongest Ministries meant that they received more funds and eq uipment compared to other, less connected sport clubs. For athletes, belonging to one of these clubs entitled to them to the best possible privileges, ranging from better 25 During the Hungarian national football teams winning streak internationally between 19491954, almost all of the players belonged to either Honvd or Dzsa. 26 David Goldblatt, The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer (New York: Riverhead Books, 2008), 343.


82 quality food, to the ability to travel abroad and enjoy a high standard of living. This stood in stark contrast to the average Hungarians experience during the late 1940s e arly 1950s, also known as the era of Stalinist style rule in Hungary, when food rations were reintroduced. The value of obtaining such high privileges cannot be underestimated. An incident involving Ferenc Pusks demonstrates how the close connections bet ween Honvd, Dzsa and their respective Ministries worked in practice. Pusks was Hungarys most successful and famous soccer player of the 1950s, and he played for Honvd. In 1953, Minister of Defense Mihly Farkas asked Pusks what kind of gift he would like in return for helping to celebrate the national teams fiftieth anniversary. After Pusks reportedly rebuffed the offer, Farkas gave him a twelvepiece set of silver cutlery and a Persian rug.27 The gap between Puskss cutlery set and Persian rug, and the struggles that many average Hungarians endured simply to survive in the early mid 1950s, was enormous. Pusks, who during the 1956 Revolution happened to be abroad for a series of games, did not return to Hungary and ended up continuing his soccer car eer at Real Madrid. In 1963, he was asked to reflect on the Hungarian leaderships use of sport for political matters in the 1950s. He reportedly said, Mihly Farkas was very occupied with the team. Why should I criticize [Farkas], if he helped once?28 In his remark, Pusks admitted to benefitting from the help that Farkas gave him and his 27 The extent to which these gifts were typical of what athletes could receive is not clear. None of the thirty athletes, coaches, or sport leaders I interviewed mentioned receiving or giving gifts of this extravagance. But perhaps that was because the interviewees chose not to discuss receiving such elaborate items. Tibor Hmori, Pusks. Legenda s valsg (Pusks: Legend and Reality) Budapest: Sportpropaganda, 1982) 148149; cited in Gyr gy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, Pusks: Futball s trsadalmi legitimci az tvenes vekben, Sic Itur Ad Astra 62, (2011): 219. 28 Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, 219.


83 team. The comment also illustrates Puskss feelings of indebtedness to Fark as, ten years later and after he had defected to the West The issue of how much power Hungarian sport leaders could exert on their own remains deeply contested. Some sport scholars argue that the troikas interest in the administration of sport took every element of control out of the OTSB, making it a shell of a body that simply implemented orders from above.29 From this perspective, Hegyi and Sebes emerge as helpless administrators in the Stalinist regime. But this assessment does not accurately illustrate the other side to sport leaders close relations with the troika and other leaders: the ability to use those connections in order to achieve more everyday sport aims, such as helping athletes receive what they needed to sustain their training regimen. About a month after the creation of the OSH in 1948, Hegyi secured the allocation of calorie packages to athletes.30 Hegyis main motivation for increasing athletes caloric intake most likely lay in increasingly the athletes likelihood of winning medals, and therefore in fulfilling the sport diplomacy goals of their superiors It cannot be denied, however, that Hegyis administrative work impacted athletes lives in tangible ways, especially during a time when good quality food proved scarce. Scholars have demonstrated that Soviet sport leaders used a high level of bureaucrati c skill and wide ranging connections within the Politburo when navigating obstacles that stood in the way of pursuing their administrative goals such as securing permission to build certain facility accessories that would satisfy international attendees 29 Szikora, Sport and the Olympic, 156. 30 It is not clear exactly who Hegyi contacted in ord er to obtain the approval for the extra food. For the purposes of this chapter, it is sufficient to point to the efforts Hegyi was willing to go to use his connections to get what he wanted. Rig, Egszplys letmads, 62.


84 a t the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games .31 Soviet sport leaders were not unique in this regard. The main difference between the two sets of leaders lay in the conditions of socialist rule, life in each nation, and the nature of their respective elite sport program. Hegyi and Sebes remained in their positions for so long partly because of their ability to understand the socialist bureaucracy and power structure, and use their expertise and connections to obtain what they wanted. The fact that Hegyi and Sebes enjoyed such close connections to Rkosi, Farkas and other leaders meant that Hegyi could pull strings in ways that directly benefitted athletes daily lives. Hungarys golden era of sport did not go unnoticed by the Soviets.32 The national water polo and gymnasti cs teams proved so impressive that the Soviets sent their team s to Budapest between 19501955 to learn the Hungarian coaches training and fitness techniques As Olympic champion water polo player Nick Martin explained, The Russians came every summer, reg ularly. They studied water polo. They wanted to get better, and they did.33 When describing how the Soviet gymnasts learned from her teammates before the 1952 Olympic Games, gold medal gymnast Andrea Bod Schmid Schapiro explained that, I wasnt there when apparently in 49 or 50 the Soviets came, and they didnt even know how to mount the beam. They walked on the end of the beam with stairs to going up. So they learned a lot from us, and my older 31 Parks also shows how did this when they were trying to create the Soviets first Olympic team in 1952, and later when attempting to win the 1980 Olympic bid and pull off a successful Games. Parks, The Olympic Games, 52 116. To see how middle men served as power broker types for Soviet musicians and composers, see Kiril Tomoff, Most Respected Comrade . 32 David Goldblatt briefly explains that the Golden Teams success was due to the nations hidden preWorld War II bourgeois past and the exaggerated hopes of its new Communist technocracy. This explanation, although promising, needs a more thorough investigation. Goldblatt, The Ball is Round, 300. 33 Nick Martin, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 6 November 2017.


85 teammates telling [me] this.34 The Soviets did not hide t he fact that they wanted to export the Hungarians training methods back home. The very existence of these cultural exchanges demonstrates the Soviets acknowledgement of the Hungarians prowess. It moreover illustrates the lengths they were willing to go to achieve global domination in sport, even over their socalled Bloc allies. Scholars attribute the high number of gold medals to the Hungarian states thorough centralization and control of elite sport, and in this they are partly correct.35 The year aro und training schedule kept athletes in Hungary and the rest of the Bloc prepared for international level competition all the time. As state amateurs, athletes moreover received paychecks from their sport club without needing to work a regular job. This sys tem enabled athletes to focus solely on training, regardless of the season, weather, or other obstacles. For example, during the winter, athletes in warm weather sports took to crosscountry skiing and ice skating in order to remain in shape. One could even say that the athletes from Hungary and other socialist countries first popularized both the fitness regime and cross training in elite sport. This is not to say that athletes in other countries did not do either of those things; rather, that the implemen tation of both elements occurred as a result of widereaching state directives, and not just in isolated cases. Sport leaders also played a crucial, if overlooked, role in the sport success of the era. Without their connections, athletes and coaches might not have received the necessary provisions such as the improved calorie allotment Hegyi procured in 34 Andrea Bod SchmidSchapiro, interview with Johanna Mellis, Novato, CA, 8 November 2017. 35 See especially Gyrgy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik; and Katalin Szikora, Sport and the Olympic .


86 1948to compete at the highest levels. The athletes themselves, who I will discuss in later chapters, also helped to form the foundation for Hungarys spor t prowess during this time. Ultimately, without the extensive politicization of elite sport by the socialist leadership, Hungary most likely could not have built on the interwar community to achieve such great success in the 1950s. Athletes Defections, t he 1954 Protests, and the Sport Administration The Stalinist nature of the political and sport system in Hungary did not go untested by athletes Within the sport administration, few problems proved as consistently problematic throughout the entire socialist period as defections. The flight of top athletes to the West threatened the nations Olympic potential and sport diplomacy goals; the defectio ns also seemed to symbolize to the public the illegitimacy of the political system. If the defections appeared to challenge the legitimacy of the socialist state, so did the protests that erupted in Budapest in 1954. Scholars have called the protests that broke out after the Aranycsapat s historic loss to the West Germans at the 1954 World Cup a football revolution. Although it is difficult to substantiate this claim, at the very least the protests proved to the state and sport leaders of the necessity to maintain athletes sport success. The problem with athletes defecting to the West in fact emerged as early as 1947 and remained one of sport leaders top priorities leading up to 1956.36 Hungary was not alone in facing this problem; in East Germany, for example, almost the entire football 36 See Norbert Tabi, Futball s politika kapcsolata Magyarorszgon a II. vilghbor utn A ko mmunista diktatra viszonya a hazai labdargkhoz 1956ig, Palette: I. j s Jelentkortrtni Tudomnyos Dikkonferencia, (Budapest: ELTE BTK j s Jelentkori Magyar Trtneti Tanszk 2014): 5780.


87 team at Dresdner SC left for West Berlin in May 1950.37 Lszl Kubalas flight illustrates how athletedefections not only had long standing consequences within sport in Hungary, but in the global sport arena broadly. Kubala was one of Hungarys best football players in the nations history and would have formed one of the backbones of Golden Team if not for his defection. The athletes series of defections and redefections exemplified the lack of border controls and overall disarray of postwar Eastern Europe. He first left Hungary in 1946 for K Slovan Bratislava in Czechoslovakia, only to return to Hungary and play for Vasas Sport Club in 1947. Kubala reportedly went back and forth between Hungary and Czechoslovakia in or der to avoid military servic e. He defected for good in 1948 and enjoyed a highly successful career at FC Barcelona in the 1950s. After settling in Spain, he became one of FC Barcelonas top players of all time, arguably preceding Lionel Messi in this role.38 Kubala moreover helped to later convince two more star Hungarian players, Zoltn Czibor and Sndor Kocsis, to join Barcelona after they defected in 1956. Kubalas initial defection in 1946 sparked the struggling postwar sport administration to implement initiatives to prevent more from leaving. The noncommunist, pre1948 sport leaders used newspapers to address the issue publicly and try to convince athletes to stay. Articles in NpSport (The Peoples Sport) changed 37 Jutta Braun and Ren Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors: E astern Ger man Top Athletes on the Run, The International Journal of the History of Sport 31, 12 (2014): 15191520. 38 Kubalas defection and how he came to play for FC Barcelona needs to be explored. It is believed that Barcelonas sport director pulled st rings within Francisco Francos regime in order to maneuver around the red tape and secure permission for Kubalas entry onto the team. The fact that he defected from communism and became a star player for a fascist state is reason enough for an illuminati ng analysis. Lee Roden, Laszlo Kubala, the man who shaped the clubs history, ESPN, 12 October 2015, accessed 11 May 2018, laszlo kubala.


88 tactics about halfway through 1946 in order to keep athletes in. First, they sought to convince athletes that professional sport was not the way for them, saying that it was morally impossible for them to leave Hungary and continue their careers elsewhere.39 By July 1946 the tone shifted t o an outright condemnation of athletes who left Hungary.40 Two months later, the precommunist national sport body announced that athletes who tried to cross the border illegally faced permanent disqualification from sport.41 The significant change in approach illustrates the growing concern, and even outright anxiety, about losing precious athletes to other countries even to their soonto be socialist brother, Czechoslovakia. Lacking bureaucratic might, pre 1948 sport leaders admittedly could do very littl e to address the issue beyond issuing condemnations in the newspaper.42 The increased bureaucratic reach, centralization of resources, and state force after the takeover in 1948 meant that the socialist leadership wielded more power to prevent defections t han their predecessors. Four more football players tried to cross the border illegally in 1949 and were subsequently arrested and interned at Kistarcs. The national team captain and coach, Gusztv Sebes, intervened and secured their release.43 Gyula Grosics the goalkeeper for the Golden T eam, also tried to defect in 1949. Somehow the secret police received news of his plans to defect, and sent a car to 39 Rig, Egszplys letmads, 31. 40 Npsport Mi az NSB llspontja a jtk osvndorlsokrl, 5 July 1946; cited in Rig, Egszplys letmads, 31. 41 Ibid, 31. 42 Ibid, 29. 43 Tabi, Futball s politika, 64.


89 pick him up at the street corner where he planned to meet his fellow defectors. The car sent him straight to 60 Andrssy Street, the infamous site of the secret police headquarters. Grosics said he was fortunate to only receive a oneyear suspension from sport and a twoyear suspension from playing on the national team.44 Compared to the next footballer who t ried to defect, Grosics indeed was fortunate. As I any athlete throughout the entire period of socialist rule. A member of the Golden team who played for t mistress, a celebrated singer. The Ministry of Interior and Secret Police learned of 45 After his capture at the Austrian summarily executed in March of 1951. The socialist leadership worked with the Ministry happen i f someone else tried to defect. In the meantime, the OSH and Hungarian Football Federation (hereafter MSLz) convinced an important international organization to support their cause: The International Football Federation (hereafter FIFA). After Kubalas fi nal defection in 1948, the OSH and MLSz sued Kubala for breaching the terms of his contract with Vasas.46 44 Elhunyt Grosics Gyula, HVG, 13 June 2014, accessed 15 May 2018, as 45 Tabi, Futball s politika, 5776. 46 It is interesting that the OSH and MLSz sued Kubala on the basis of him having signed a contract with Vasas during his time there. Elite athletes did not sign official contracts with their sport clubs. The terms of their agreements and employment by sport clubs was a much more unofficial, under thetable affair. The reasons for the seemingly clandestine terms of athletes work and employment will be discussed in the next chapter.


90 FIFA supported their claims and suspended Kubala from playing in La Liga, Spains premiere division, and from international games until 1951.47 FIFAs role in the matter highlights the various institutional priorities that the international sport organizations juggled during the Cold War. The IOC, FIFA, and other sport organizations officially upheld the shared goals of no politics, earning profits, and maximizing global participation.48 Yet as will be discussed in the next section, since Western European men dominated these organizations, the sport bodies instinctively leaned more towards the West in their political orientation At the same time, the bo dies sought to maintain their institutional and governing power by enforcing their regulations on member nations. For both the IOC and FIFA, one of the main regulations involved controlling athletes bodies so that they could not easily move from country to country and compete for whom ever they wanted. The IOC and FIFA typically required athletes to obtain citizenship of the country for which he or she competed.49 Although the issue will not be discussed at length here, it is worth noting that most countries at the time maintained 47 T he OSH and MLSz tried to sue Kubala for the money that Kubala had received from his sport club and the MLSz during his time at Vasas. It is not clear whet her they were successful in securing the repayment from Kubala or not. Regardless, it is interesting that the FIFA supported the cl aims of an Eastern Bloc state in the first place, and that Hungarian sport leaders tried in earnest to get Kubala to return the money that they had invested in him and his training. Targy: Kubala Lszl gye, 17 K MN 68 d. XIX I 14a Magyar Nemzeti Levltr (Hungarian National Archives, hereafter MNL) Budapest, Hungary. 48 Christine Eisenberg, From Political Ignorance to Global Responsibility: The Role of the World Soccer Association (FIFA) in International Sport d uring the Twentieth Century, Journal of Sport History 32,. 3 (2005): 379393. 49 For many years, the IOC held that even if an athlete obtained citizenship for a new country, they could not compete for a new nation if they had already represented a different one at the Olympics Games. There was a small loophole that allowed female athletes to compete for a new nation if she married a man with the new nations citizenship. Anne Blaschke discusses this in regard to the Czech athlete Olga Fikotov Connolly. Anne Blaschke, The Dulles Doctrine on Lo ve: Immigration, Gender, and Romance in American Diplomacy, 1956 1957, Journal of American Studies 50 (2016): 397417.


91 that a person wait several years before obtaining citizenship. In the case of Kubala, Francisco Francos Spain gave the athlete citizenship rights very quickly, probably in order for him to play for Barcelona and the national team. FIFA therefore supported the MLSzs claims and suspended Kubala from competing in Spains premiere football division in an effort to uphold it s regulatory and governing power in the face of Francos sporting citizenship policies FIFAs priority of upholding institutional power influenced the body to support an Eastern Bloc body, to the temporary detriment of Kubala, FC Barcelona, and Spain. All the while, the Hungarian national football team still managed to emerge as the worlds number one football team in the early mid 1950s. Yet as the MKP and sport leadership soon realized, relying on sport success to gain the polit ical legitimacy of the public was a risky endeavor. In the weeks leading up to the 1954 World Cup, the Hungarian press predicted nothing l ess than an, overwhelming, highscoring performance by the Hungarian steam roller.50 Considering that the national team remained undefeated since 1950 the teams win seemed predetermined. Their 32 loss to the West Germans in the World Cup match in Berne stunned fans on both sides of the Curtain and spurred Hungarians into action.51 When fame d sports commentator Gyrgy Szepesi announced the loss over the radio on July 4, 1954, demonstrations erupted. Their actions formed the first mass protests 50 Andrew Handler, From Goals to Guns: The Golden Age of Soccer in Hungary, 19501956 ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 97. 51 The foreign press, Hungarian state and domestic press predicted the teams comfortable win in 1954. Once the World Cup began, newspapers and radio programs kept the public abreast of the daily progression of the football matches. When the final game betwe en Hungary and West Germany began, the Hungarian public was poised for their team to bring home the gold medal. See Andrew Handler, From Goals to Guns: The Golden Age of Soccer in Hungary, 19501956 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).


92 since the takeover in 1948. The fact that nearly 40,000 fans sat in the Peoples Stadium listening to the radio broadcast of the game that day automatically brought potential protestors together in one place.52 Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets, smashing windows and ravaging the trams, metro and buses.53 After setting fire to the offices of the state football lottery, the protestors went to the Magyar Rdio headquarters, demanding to use the station for its purposes.54 The team Hegyi, and Sebes needed to be smuggled back to Budapest to a private, armed location.55 Hungarian scholars call the protests after the loss a football revolution, arguing that the events of 1954 laid the foundation for the Hungarian Revolution.56 Althoug h the protests could have been the work of football hooligans, several factors suggest that the rioters actions symbolized their discontent with the system and the close connections between the Party and football. The demonstrators destroyed state propert y and sought to use the radio, two tactics also used by the revolutionaries in 1956. Many Hungarians also heard stories of the gifts and enormous smuggling privileges that the football players received.57 Once the protestors assembled, rumors swirled that prior to the match, the West German government gifted the top Hungarian Party leaders fifty 52 Gusztv. S ebes, A magyar labdargs (Hungarian Football), Budapest: Spor t Lap s Knyvkiad, 1955, 464; cited in Szikora, Sport and the Olympic, 19 53 Sebes, 464; cited in Szikora, Sport and the Olympic, 19. 54 Goldblatt The Ball is Round, 356; Mria Ember, A kis magyar focialista forradalom, 4, 1 (2001) : 4142. 55 Goldblatt The Ball is Round, 356. 56 Ember, A kis Magyar, 4045. Also see the more recent publication by Gyrgy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, Pusks: Futball s trsadalmi l egitimci az tvenes vekben, Sic Itur Ad Astra 62 (2011): 219231. 57 Handler From Goals, 114.


93 Mercedes Benz automobiles in return for a fixed match in favor of the Germans.58 After protests spotted a few Mercedes cars on the streets of Budapest, the rumors and their implications about the close ties between the players and top state leaders seemed to be confirmed. Demonstrato rs shouted statements such as down with Pusks, and d own with Sebes.59 While at the radio building, they also demanded that Sebes not r eturn home.60 From this perspective, the fans focused on Pusks and Sebes because they could not publicly call for the overthrow of the entire political system. That would be tantamount to treason, and the state could arrest them for being fascist agitators. Singling out Pusks and Sebes as symbols of the state seemed the safest, but also most effective way to voice their criticisms. Concentrating their frustrations at the two men pierced at the heart of the connections within elite sport, as well as the l eaderships politicization of sport. The combination of the rumor and the protestors chants illustrated their hostility toward all official representatives of the regime, including t he otherwise undefeated Golden T eam.61 The resulting prot ests took the Party by surprise and caused irreparable harm to the regimes legitimacy. Whether the 1954 riots helped to shape Hungarians actions in 1956 more concretely than that, however, is unclear. At the very least, the publics actions offered sport leaders what sh ould have been an important message: that as a 58 Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik 221. 59 Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik 221. 60 Ember, A kis magyar, 4245. 61 Handler, From Goals, 120.


94 result of the over politicization of elite sport, some citizens viewed top athletes like Pusks as figureheads of the socialist state, and not as genuine heroes for themselves. The protests sparked the Counci l of Ministers to blame the OTSB, and they called for an internal inquiry of the matter. Hegyi issued a public self critique, a common practice amongst the Party leaders and comrades across the Bloc countries.62 Hegyi stated that, we overestimated the int ernational results, we became pretentious. Leaning on our developing mass sport, we must support professional sport and strengthen our position in the international sport life. We must focus on each and every sport and on promising newcomers and prepare for the 1956 Olympics.63 While he first admitted that the OTSB proved pretentious and focused too heavily on winning international competitions, he also emphasized their desire to prepare for the 1956 Olympic Games. The OTSB at this point by and large stil l worked under the aegis of the troika and Council of Ministers, especially in domestic issues related to sport. The absence of change and continued focus on the Olympics underscores the reality of the self criticism, and the internal inquiry of the OTSB m ore broadly: they were about making a statement, but not implementing real structural change. As two Hungarian 62 At the beginning of a public self criticism, a person would recant his views, and admit his failure to understand and follow the guidelines and plans of the state in his prior actions. The session ended after the person praised the value of the new plan or direction and endorsed the state and its vision. As a type of public confession, it was typically seen as a way to ingratiate oneself with the leadership after being blamed for a major misstep. John Kadvany, Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), 276. 63 L. Kutassi: A magyar szakszervezeti sportmozgalom a felszabaduls utn 1945 1963 (Budapest: SZOT), 222; cited in Szikora, Sport in the Olympic, 21


95 writers turneddissidents explained in the late 1950s, The Party was utterly indifferent as to whether the writers [self criticizers] were since re or not.64 Hegyis superficial self criticism meant that the OTSB and Hungarian elite sport system returned to business as usual after the 1954 loss and riots. The Golden T eam began winning games again and did not lose another one until the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. The Hungarian elite sport community as a whole resumed its focus on preparing for another round of victories at the upcoming Olympic Games. Based on the absence of structural changes in the OTSB and overall administration of sport, the Hungarian state and sport leaders most likely viewed the events of 1954 as an aberration. They could not have been more wrong. While the Hungarian publics frustration and discontent lay dormant momentarily, it erupted in a much more violent and sustained manner in October 1956. The defections, World Cup loss, and the protests illustrated the dissatisfaction of athletes and the public during the early years of socialist rule, as well as the state and sport leaders limited attempts to address the issues behind the incidents. The sentiments behind the defections and 1954 protests resurfaced with unprecedented force in 1956. Chapter 4 will illustrate how it was only after 1956 that the state and sport leadership finally learned the lessons from the defections and protests and alter their governing and political tactics with sport. Just as importantly, Kubalas defection and FIFAs stance on the issue demonstrates how priorities about governance and institutional power could and did sometimes overrule international sport bodies political 64 Tams Aczl and Tibor Mery, The Revolt of the Mind: A Case Study of Intellectual Resistance Behind the Iron Curtain ( New York: Praeger, 1958) 374.


96 inclinations in its decisionmaking. The episode moreover underscores the ambivalent way that these sport bodies treated individual athletes, and as we will see, some sport leaders as well. The IOC the Amateur Rule, and Hungaria n Sport Leaders, 19471956 In order to successfully politicize sport success for domestic and international gain Hungarian athletes needed to participate and win medals such as at the Olympic Games. Their ability to do this hinged on two factors: the nations continued membership and good position within the IOC, and retaining athletes Olympic eligibility according to the bodys amateur rules Within months of the political takeover the MKP aimed to install one of their men as the IOC s member for Hungary. The MKP undoubtedly worked under the Soviets mandate on the issue; yet a key difference existed between the sport community and Hungary and its satellite neighbors, and their counterparts in the Soviet Union: the historical legacy of the nations involvement in the IOC. Hungary had been a member of the Olympic family since the latters creation in the 1890s. The Czechoslovaks and Poles joined the IOC only after achieving independence following the First World War.65 The Soviets did not enter the or ganization until 1951. The MKP therefore not only found themselves needing to contend with Hungarys legacy of relations and involvement in the organization; they moreover needed to learn the political and cultural landscape of the Olympic family in 1948 w ithout the seasoned help of the USSR, such as how to navigate the rules of the IOC. The conflict over the 65 Despite the Czechs desire to establish an official NOC and join the IOC, the IOC was convinced by its German and Austrian members to bar the Czechs from entering the movement because it was not an independent nation. Upon their independence they joined the Olympic the movement. See Frantisek Kolr and Jir Kssl, Origin and Development of the Czech and Czechoslovak Olympic Committee, Journal of Olympic History 2, 3 (Autumn 1994): 1214.


97 sport leaders and the IOC tested the waters vis vis one another in t erms of their power and governance between 19481951, before the Soviets entered the movement. Due to Hungarys Olympic legacy and position as a middle Bloc member, the IOC and sport leaders learned from the IOC Hungarian interactions in the late 1940s ear ly 1950s about the institutional politics and culture of the other. These lessons influenced how the organization and other Bloc sport leaders, such as in Poland, later worked with one another. Fortunately for the sport leaders in the Eastern Bloc, several factors worked in their favor. Just as Hegyi and Sebes worked with FIFA to ban Kubala in 1950, the same menwho also held the top positions within the MOB also gradually learned how to balance the priorities of the IOC with the demands of their superiors back home. This included how to hide details of their state amateur system from the Western press and IOC, and how to handle accusations of amateur violations that the IOCs wanted them to counter. The sport leaders in Hungary and across the Eastern Bloc, in addition to the USSR, learned how to play an orchestrated game of silence, ignorance, and denial.66 The IOC, as they learned, never proved capable of adequately investigating or contesting them in the game of state amateurism. One of the IOCs main aims lay in expanding the number of participating nations in order to make the Olympic movement a global phenomenon. Prior to the 1920s, the IOC was still a fledgling international organization that sought to become the preeminent sport institution over compet ing regional bodies. IOC founder Pierre de Coubertin believed that if the IOC expanded its membership and become a global 66 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 114.


98 organization, it would succeed in becoming the foremost sport body in the world.67 It thus bode well for the IOC to sustain amicable relations with the newly minted socialist countries in Eastern Europe in the postwar era. This was especially the case with Hungary, a nation with such an outstanding history of Olympic participation and success. When it came to the political efforts of the Eastern Bloc as a whole, however, IOC members remained worried.68 Through a mix of rumors, vague reports, media suspicion and claims from Communist defectors, the IOC knew that Stalin aimed to manipulate sport success for political ends.69 The IOC worried about more than just the Communists political aims; the possible incorporation of scruffy Communist revolutionaries provoked the concern of the princes, counts, barons, generals, and wealthy businessmen alike of the international sport body.70 At the sam e time, Brundage stated in 1946 that, if we allow nationally subsidized Russian athletes, athletes who receive cash prizes, or other professional to participate there will be a storm of righteous disapproval from all over the world.71 On e year later th enIOC president Sigfrid Edstrm told then vice president Avery Brundage that, They are freed from their jobs, are well paid by the governments and receivewith their families more 67 For more, see Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016). 68 It is worth mentioning that sport leaders in ot her countries, namely Sweden and Denmark, had been pressuring the IOC to change their rules on amateurism so that their winter sport athletes could train more effectively. Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 128129. 69 Interestingly, a post World War II survey showed that out of 40 National Olympic Committees, only 6 were truly independent, nongovernment entities, in line with IOC rules. Ibid 13, 17. 70 Ibid, 107. 71 Avery Brundage to Sigfrid Edstrm, 16 April 1946, Box 42, Brundage Archives; cited in Lle wellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 109.


99 and special food.72 Edstrm and Brundages statements in the 1940s demonst rate their awareness of and stance on the USSRs amateur athletes well before the Soviets created their NOC in 1951. T he Old Boys Club and Ferenc At the end of World War II, only one of Hungarys two preWWII IOC members remained. He was none ot her than Mikls Horthy Jr., the son of Hungarys interwar political ruler, Admiral Mikls Horthy. As the son of Admiral Horthy, Horthy Jr. became politically suspect in post World War II Hungary even before the Communist takeover was complete. Yet the leaders of the IOC were known to tolerate members of fascist orientation. They remained hopeful that Horthy Jr. could continue his tenure as the bodys representative for Hungary Then IOC P resident Sigfrid Edstrm explained as much to IOC Chancell or Otto Maye r in February 1947. Edstrm said that, I hope that Horthy [Jr.] will come in good standing once again. We ought to keep him in that committee. I wish you would get in touch with him and hear what he has to say.73 Edstrm wanted Horthy to remain the IOC member for Hungary primarily because Horthy was a known and acceptable entity to the IOC; as the cultural gatekeepers of international sport, Edstrm and the others believed that the Hungarians aristocratic, Western background would help to maintain the mak eup of the IOC .74 Horthy Jr.s class and cultural background thus made him a desirable member for the IOC to work with in 72 Sigfrid Edstrm to Avery Brundage, November 12, 1947, Box 149, Brundage Archives; quoted in Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 108. 73 Sigfrid Edstrm to Otto Mayer, 3 February 1947, SD3 Correspondence January Ma y 1947, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 74 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 107.

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100 Hungary. Edstrm also likely believed that Horthy would continue to uphold the values of the Olympic movement.75 Edstrm and the IOC leadership knew however, that they needed a more politically neutral member for Hungary. Immediately following the 1948 Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz, and two weeks following Edstrms comment above, the IOC IOC members technically served as IOC representatives to their home country, and not as representatives of their country to the IOC. The IOC maintained this policy in an effort to ensure that IOC members served the Olympic movement first, and not the political aims of their home governments. As the winner of the Art Competition for his History of the Olympic Games at the 1928 Olympic Games, to the IOC. As the IOC would soon discover, he was also deeply committed to the history of the ancient Olympic Games. In the 1950s he published a history book of the Olympic Games that the IOC distribute d as the history of the movement for decades. The IOC ca red about Mez who maintained an interest in international sport and a speaker of many languages. In other words, he was exactly the kind of Western member with whom the IOC preferred to work. He spoke their language, figuratively and culturally, and importantly, was not a Communist. 75 Heather Dichter has explored how the IOC and Allied officials handled the issue of the membership of several Germans in the postwar German Olympic Committee who had questionable connections to the Nazis. Heather Dichter, Denazification, Democratization, and the Cold War: Diplomatic Manipulation of the German Olympic Committee, in Defending the American Way of Life eds. Kevin Witherspoon and Toby Rider (Little Rock: University of Arkansas Press, 2018): 133150.

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101 is a pleasure for us to wish [you] a happy welcome to the Olympic family. We are convinced our choice fell on a passionate defender of Olympism who will be able to apply with love the principles of the Olympic ideal which were inculcated by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, renovator of the modern games.76 Whereas Mayer expressed a te to defending the principles of the Olympic movement likely in the face of the Communist onslaught Edstrm asserted an pleased to meet you in St. Moritz and have t he pleasure to welcome you as a member of the International Olympic Committee. I am very glad that I have a good friend in Hungary again to write to if I want to know something. I hope that we will see each other in London.77 Taken together, Mayer and Edst r their the MKP at home. Barely six months into their rule, the MKP tried to bring the Hungarian Olympic Committee under its wing. The MKP first tried to do this by reorganizing the MOB witho ut prior consent from the IOC. In early June 1948 the IOC received a letter from the MOB st ating MOB ., Mayer quickly wrote to Edstrm about MOBs letter 76 17 February 1948, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence, IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 77 17 February 1948, SD5 Correspondence January May 1948, Edstrm, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, S witzerland.

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102 Being a functionary, he has been put on the retired list and has nothing to do anymore with sports in this country.78 In an appr oach that characterized his correspondence and mode of sport governance more generally, Mayer openly expressed his opinion about the manner. He told Edstrm that, If this is a political machination I dont know? [sic] 79 Mayer correctly identified the MKP from the MOB the MKP likely believed that he would no longer be able to serve as the IOC member for Hungary. The move would ostensibly give the MKP the opportunity to appoint one of their men to the posit ion. This was indeed a political machination of the Hungarian Communist Party. Motivated by these concerns, Edstrm and Mayer initially proved willing to play the game and push back against the MKP In 1948, a flurry of letters passed between M ayer, Edstr did not know about his removal until informed about it by Mayer. The Hungarian responded with genuine embarrassment .80 turned to the President and General Secretary [of the MOB ]to demand clarification. They claim t hat it never happened and they never sent such a messageAlso, [Gyula] Hegyi also had no knowledge of my expulsion and at the same time invited the Hungarian Olympic Committee to invite me to his meetings in the future. It has already happened.81 In h is re most astonished to hear that your Olympic Committee 78 Mayer to Edstrm, 3 June 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003, (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 79 Ibid. 80 June 1948, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZ O Correspondence (Written work and correspondence of Ferenc Mezo), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 81 Hegyi was the top sport leader in Hungary from the late 1940s through the 1960s. He was the president of the different iterations of the national sport body. Ibid

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103 claims to have never written that you were excluded. I am, of course, very happy that this is not the case, but I would like to justify it and send you a copy of the letter in which this was mentioned. I have highlighted this in red. You will agree with me that this is clear.82 Mayers response illustrates his willing ness discover the truth about the situation. Edstrm also told that, In the treatment of the new statues your presence is urgently necessary, since you have personal experiences from most Olympic games.83 Edstrms remark mimics the motivation serving as the IOC member for Hungary, and not be replaced by a Communist member without Olympic experience. MOB did not end here. On June 14, 1948, Mayer received a phone call from Mr. Gednyi, a member of the MOB M ayer gave Edstrm the details of the phone call and, per usual, his personal opinion of the encounter. According to Mayer, Mr. Gednyi: He told me privately (that is why he did not write) that the Ungarian [ sic ] Olympic Comm. who is entirely new formed w ould like to have a second member for Ungaria. My opinion is that Mr. Mezo [ sic ] who is not anymore member of the ungarian [sic] Olympic committee, is perhaps not very much persona grata in their new [ sic ] organization? Therefore they want also one of their man in the C.I.O. As I could understand during our conversation I think that Mr. Gedenyi [ sic ] has received an order to call me on the subject, but that he does not agree very much to propose somebody else. I replied that for London it would anyhow be too late to have such a nomination done. On the other hand my personal [ sic ] opinion was that we had just a member nominated and that it is too soon to ask now for a second 82 June 1 948, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence (Written work and corres pondence of Ferenc Mezo), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 83 948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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104 one. I suggested to Mr. Gedenyi to wait until London and that we could talk with you on this subject. I was of course very prudent in what I said by telephone to that country! As I could understand Mr. Gedenyi was surely controlled.84 The letter demonstrates Mayers awareness of how the MKP controlled MOB tried to increase their position within the IOC by manipulating the position of their nations member to the IOC. By deferring to the bureaucratic process necessary to nominate a second member, Mayer effectively used IOC procedures to forestall further ef forts from the Communists to use the IOC for political purposes. Mayer and Edstrms later responses to the MOB s maneuvers constituted more decisive attempts to safeguard the Olympic movement from the encroachment of the MKP Within days of the phone call that his exclusion from the MOB: cannot be possible as long as you are a member of the International Olympic Committee. As you know, our members must be affiliated with the National Olympic Committees in all countries. For this reason I wrote today to the HOC [MOB] to draw attention to these anomalies and asked to consider your re entry. I wanted to tell you about my intervention with this letter.85 Mayers response shows how the IOC leaders continued to f eel out the MKP and decide how to deal with the c ommunists more generally. Although he explained how MOB because of his membership in the IOC, Mayer simultaneously asked and did not state or demandthat the Hungarian remain in the MOB This word highlights the organizations wariness of the communists across the 84 Mayer to Edstrm, 15 June 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 85 16 June 1948, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence (Written work and correspondence of Ferenc Mezo), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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105 Bloc, and the bodys desire to not damage relations with them. Moreover, Mayers use of the word intervention is key here. It denotes the IOCs acceptance that t hey needed to interfere in the domestic politics of Hungary as it concerned the positionholder of Hungarian IOC member. This move contradicted the IOCs apolitical stance and efforts to avoid meddling in members domestic affairs. Yet Mayer and Edstrm likely believed they were protecting the integrity of the Olympic movement. Edstrm proved more decisive than Mayer in his response to the situation. He MOB : Our rules state so plainly. M ezo [sic] is our representative in Hungary and cannot be turned out by the Hungarian Olympic Committee. Kindly inform the National Olympic Committee in Budapest about this fact. Inform them also that we wish Mezo to come to London together with the Hungar ian team, just as he did in St. Moritz .86 MOB appeared to be settled. The MOB MOB wrote to served as their vice president, the initial letter about his expulsion was not written properly because he remained part of the MOB .87 needed to accompany the Hungarian Olympic team to the 1948 London Olympic Games that summer.88 Mayer persisted in MOB had indeed written to him in early June 86 E dstrm to Mayer, 1 July 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 87 Mayer to Edstrm, 5 July 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Eds tr m: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 88 importance of the matter to the IOC at the time. Edstrm to Mayer, 7 July 1948, SD6 Corresponde nce, JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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106 89 Ultimately however, Mayer MOB .90 Edstrm appeared relieved as well. Even though he disagreed with the planned to put forward to the IOC in London, Edstrm voiced his hope that Dr. Mezo [ sic ] will be present in London.91 Edstrm may not have agreed with the Hungarians ideas about the shape of t he Olympic movement. H is comment illustrates however, that and trustworthy IOC membe r for Hungary. Yet the MOB continued to contest s membershi p in the IOC and MOB. First, they did not allow him to attend the 1948 London Olympics. Then i n December 1948, Mayer received a letter from a Professor Werner Kunz in West Germany Kunz had received an S.O.S. reques ted an official help him in his flight out of his country.92 In explaining Kunzs letter to Edstrm, Mayer Peoples democratizat ion ( durch die Volksdemokratisierung ausgeschieden worden) and described the Hungarians situation as tragic .93 the IOC. Mayer relayed to Edstrm that, he will only get a short per mission to stay in 89 July 1948, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence (Written work and corres pondence of Ferenc Mezo), I OCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 90 Mayer to Edstrm, 10 July 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 91 Edstrm to Mayer, 12 July 1948, SD6 Correspondence JuneJuly 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 92 Mayer to Edstrm, 8 December 1948, SD8 Correspondence November December 1948, CIO A P04/003 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 93 Ibid.

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107 Switzerland and even for this I must make the necessary steps near the swiss [ sic ] political department. It is a very delicate situation as he might be considered in Switzerland as a political refugee.94 Mayer admitted to Edstrm that I really do not know what to do and I am very sorry for Dr. Mezo. This shows us again that we must be very prudent with the new members we accept from those countries.95 Mayers letter illustrates the diplomatic difficulties the IOC faced when try ing to cou nter the c ommunist government to intervene, which potentially could ignite tensions between the Swiss and Hungarian governments. Even when IOC leaders sympathized with their fellow members situations, the constraints of the growing Cold War tensions restricted the IOCs capacity to intervene directly in a member nations political affairs. 1961. The leaders of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Hegyi and Sebes, must have the IOC in order to maintain cooperative relations with the international sport body. Meanwhile, the IOC stood by its position that it could not involve itself too closely in the domestic matters of the Eastern Bloc nations. This was not only because of the IOCs apolitical stance. The IOC leaders knew that if they truly wanted to expand the Olympic movement globally, they needed to strategize and determi ne who were the most diplomatic people with whom to work from behind the Curtain. 94 Ibid. 95 Ibid.

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108 The Hungarian Case as a Trial Run for the Bloc The case of the MOB served as a trial run for the IOC in its relations with the other Bloc countries. In a February 1949 letter to Edstrm, Mayer laid their cards on the table vis vis the new Bloc countries, saying, Personally I dont think it wise to elect new members in Poland and Czechoslovakia. You can judge f.i. our member Mezo who has been put out by the Hungarian Olympic Committee; he is of no use for us at the moment, and so it will be for news members of the abovementioned countries.96 Mayers comment about the Hungarian being of no use to the sport b ody may seem like a sharp contrast from his sympathetic statement about the Hungarian three months prior. His 1949 remark, however, reveals the IOCs true priorities when i t came to the Eastern European c ommunist counties. The IOC leaders may have wanted their kind of men as IOC members. But at the end of the day, the organization also needed to work with the C ommunists in the region in order to expand the Olympic family globally The comment also unders cores the limits of the IOCs willingness to help out, and ambivalence towards, members in dire situations The IOC watched as other Bloc states in the region attempted similar political maneuvers within their NOCs and vis vis the IOC. The IOC member for Poland, Professor Jerzy Loth, saw his turn come in late 1950. The situation in Poland and in its neighboring countries during this time 1948, as Stalinism grew more entrenched and more repressive every year after the pol itical takeovers. Loth did not send a direct message to the Olympic leadership. Similar to 96 Mayer to Edstrm, 16 February 1949, SD1 Correspondence January February 1949, CIO A P04/004 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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109 gave a message to the Swiss Embassy in Poland to give to the Swiss Political Department in Geneva, to pass to the IOC.97 Acco rding to Mayer: Loth explains the situation there as we all know it. The National Olympic Committee of Poland has been dissolved and all its members replaced by people who are under the communistic [ sic ] obedience, in words all politicians. Loth is not anymore member of the new Olympic Committee of Poland. Iwrote him a letter to be shown to its Committee informing same that Loth being not member of this National Comm. is against our own rules; but they did not take any notice of this fact. This new Committee has been formed, says Loth in his communication, in view of the Helsinki Games in 1952. Further, what my letter was concerned, the National Olympic Comm. of Poland agrees to reinstate Loth in this Committee under the conditions [ sic ] that the I.O.C. agrees to nominate a new member (a second one) for Poland, this member being one which will be proposed to us by the Poland O.C. This is the report of Loth.98 Loths message reveals how the NOC of Communist Poland (POC) had adapted its tactics visMOB tried to formed POC proposed keeping Loth and adding a second Polish member for the IOC. By electing a second member the POC aimed to install a Polish Communist in the IOC while allowing the Olympic family to keep one of their men in the organization. This proposal shows how sport leaders in the Communist countries gradually learned the rules of the Olympic movement in order to increase their political leverage within the organization. 97 Mayer also made use of the Swis s governments Political Department. He used their help in determining the background and po litical orientation of Alexandru in 1951. Mayer to Edstrm, 8 March 1951, SD2 Correspondence, MarchApril 1951, CIO A P04/006 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edst rm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 98 Mayer to Edstrm, 9 December 1950, SD7 Correspondence November December 1950, CIO A P04/005 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edst rm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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110 Mayer refused to allow the POC to nominate a second member and maintained that Loth would remain the IOC member for Poland. When describing the situation to Edstrm, Mayer relayed an ad ditional message to Edstrm to not write anything about the Loths communication in their letters to the Pole This was because Loths letters were being read by the Communists before he received them.99 This development demonstrates the changing circumstan ces within the Bloc in the early Cold War year. At the same time that the Eastern Bloc governments strengthened their grip on their domestic populations, its officials and cultural leaders and the IOC also learned each others cultural norms and/or politic al intentions. Edstrm responded to Mayers lengthy letter in a concise but tothe point manner, saying, I shall of course give this important letter confidence, but this matter and the situation of all the satellite states must be studiedFrom an Olympic point of view the world seems soon to be devided [ sic ] into two big sections: East and West.100 It remains clear at this poi nt that the leaders of the IOC the Olympic movement broadly stood on the Western side of the Cold War. Although ned on their respective Olympic Committees, the extent of their role in the NOCs is not clear. Within the IOC meetings, they voted along Communist lines, and at times advocated for Communist policies in the IOC. In May MOB had been redesigned, and that the harmony 99 Ibid. 100 Edstrm to Mayer, 12 December 1950, SD7 Correspondence November December 1950, CIO A P04/005 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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111 is impeccable in the MOB .101 Hungary, citing its history of having two IOC members from 1909wished to know about the progress in the negotiations between the East and West German Olympic delegates, stating he would like to inform his comrades in the MOB about the details.102 political interest in Olympic history, explaining that he was busy preparing a new edition of his Olympic book.103 Thanks to Mayers u nreserved manner in his letters, it is possible to examine how the IOC leadership attempted to understand and respond to the Communists efforts in ways that bolstered the authority of the IOC. Mayer forwarded letter to Edstrm, and included an addi tional note at the top specifically for the president, saying This letter may interest you. 104 As illustrated in Figure 21, Mayer moreover wrote a that Mayer and Edstrm even needed to feel out the nonCommunist IOC members for the Bloc countries. They aimed to determine the extent to which the Eastern European leaders served the IOC under the influence of their Communist parties. 101 June 1951, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence (Written w ork and corres pondence of Ferenc Mezo), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 102 Ibid. 103 that he was writing, asking for help in finding material for it. Although Oly mpic history was undoubtedly a not primarily occupied with Communist pol itical matters. Ibid 104 Ibid.

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112 Figure 2forwarded to Edstrm Notice the note to Edstrm at the top and his marks to the left 16 June 1951, SD2 Correspondence 19481954, CIO MBR MEZO Correspondence (Written work and correspondence of Ferenc Mezo), IOCHA. Edstrm refu sed to allow a second IOC member for Hungary. He explained that it would s et a precedent for the Eastern B loc, which could create a very disagreeable minority in our Olympic Committee.105 Edstrm s remark reveals the IOCs fears about maintaining the balance of power within the Olympic family if a disagreeable minority of Communist oriented members started to grow within it. Just as importantly, Edstrm correctly acknowledged the reason for the shift in tone in the letters from the Bloc 105 Edstrm to Mayer, 21 June 1951, SD3 Corresponde nce May July 1951, CIO A P04/006 (IOC Presidents Sigfrid Edstrm: correspondence), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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113 countries in 1951. According to the IOC president, the NOCs in the satellite states were acting much nicer now that the Soviets had been accepted as a member of the IOC.106 The leaders of the Olympic movement continued to feel out the people whom the Communist members nomi nated to the IOC. As the incoming president of the IOC in 1952, Brundage began receiving correspondence about the Bloc members in 1951. For example, Mayer discussed with Brundage the Bulgarian Olympic Committees nomination of General Vladimir Stoychev as the IOC member for Bulgaria. Although he was a noted member of the Bulgarian Communist Party, General Stoychev was also a successful sportsman, having competed in the equestrian events at the 1924 and 1928 Summer Olympic Games. Mayer explained to Brundage that Stoychev In factseems to be a good man for us ? [ sic ] 107 These responses demonstrate the IOCs attempts to decipher the Communists diplomatic maneuvers within the IOC. Mayers assessment of Stoychev illustrates the IOCs tendency to more easily accept Communist oriented members who held a sport background. Ultimately, however, the IOC had no choice but to learn to admit and work prudently with the Communist IOC mem bers. The IOC Amateur Rules and Hungarian State Amateurism The IOCs rules on amateurism, which the organization used to govern Olympic eligibility, strictly prohibited the state amateur system used in the Eastern Bloc Reality, however, proved to be a much different matter. The IOC lacked the manpower to enforce their regulations Som e historians have also argued that when the organization allowed the Soviets to enter the Olympic family in 1951, the IOC essentially rubber 106 Ibid. 107 Mayer to Avery Brundage, 27 December 1951, SD6 Correspondence 1951, A P05/014 (IOC Presidents: Avery B rundage: correspondence), IOC HA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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114 stamped state amateurism in the Eastern Bloc.108 Yet for many years Brundage tried to use the limited means at his disposal to investigate claims of state amateurism in the Bloc. In the 1950s he could only write diplomatically worded letters to the NOCs about reported violations As a result, sport leaders eventually realized that they only needed to provide the IOC wi th superficial proof of abiding by the amateur rules. What emerged after an initial burst of vigor from Brundage was a system in which both sides ultimately paid little more than lip service to the conflict between the IOCs amateur rules and state amateur ism. Just as athletes learned the rules of the game in relation to the state and sport leaders, sport leaders also slyly picked up on the rules of the game as it related to amateurism and the IOC.109 The way that the amateur ideal first emerged structured how the IOC defined and used the notion to suit its needs. The concept of the amateur athlete developed during Victorian Britain. During this time, upper middle class and aristocratic men created the notion as a way to distinguish themselves and their pow er as an educated and gentlemanly elite within s port, as opposed to the morally corrupt working class.110 A person was an amateur if they pursued sport during their leisure time, with the aim of cultivating a sound mind and body as part of their identity as a gentlemancitizen. If 108 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 113. 109 Jenifer Parks notes this about Soviet sport bureaucrats as well vis vis the IOC. Parks, The Olympic Games, xvii. 110 The idea of the amateur, gentlemanly sportsman arose as a result of the dual emergence of popular and successful workingclass athletes, and the equally working class, who were seen as unruly spectators. It was also an attempt to fight off the growing capitalist orientation of sport, which amateur proponents believed ruined the purity of the sport for fun environment within upper and upper middle class sport. According to Llewellyn and Gleaves, As an invented tradition, amateurism represented both a rejection of corrupting capitalistic impulses and a bold proclamati on of the immutability of the British class system. Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 6, 12.

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115 someone participated in sport for money, such as through gambling or for pay, then he constituted a professional athlete. The ability to play a sport for fun and educational purposes however, remained a possibility only for those wi th the available money and free time. As a result, athletes from a working class background who relied on these payments in order to train and compete were summarily deemed professionals, and not amateurs. Amateurism thus not only dictated who could play s ports, but how it could be played.111 The encroachment of athletes who competed for money in late nineteenthcentury Britain, particularly the commercial aspect of professional sport, motivated the founder of the Olympic movement Pierre de Coubertin to use t he amateur ideal as the defining rule for Olympic competitors.112 The absence of bureaucratic strength within the IOC precluded any authority to enforce its rules. The IOC consisted of a small office from the beginning, partly due to the challenges it faced in its first thirty years simply trying to stabilize their authority while they lurched from crisis to crisis. Coubertin and his small staff ultimately relied on the goodwill of the international sport federations to provide the bureaucratic might, and the NOCs to inv estigate their athl etes about potential violations The struggles that Brundage faced in the 1950s were thus a continuation of his predecessors problems .113 111 Amateurism can also been see as a reaction to the changes wrought by modernity it, provided a sense of civility, sociability, and cordiality in an increasingly turbulent, competitive and industrialized world. Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 12, 17. 112 Interestingly, new scholarship shows that Coubertin only used this version of the amateur ideal in order to sell the modern Olympic movement to aris tocrats across Europe, especially in Britain. He was more tied to the spiritual, cohesive understand of amateurism, in terms of how the moral and aesthetic side of Olympic amateurism could bind people together from all over the globe. Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 12, 24. 113 See Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall especially Chapters Two and Three.

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116 Coubertin found the process of developing and enforcing a standardized definition of an amateur athlete extremely challenging, mainly because different ideas of amateurism and professionalism existed within each sport, and sometimes across countries as well. This plagued the IOCs first two postwar president s, Edstrm and Brundage. Throughout the 1950s, Brundage diligent ly investigated and pursued rumors regarding violations of amateurism. He collected material on the rumors, and subsequently corresponded to NOCs on both sides of the Curtain about potential violations with a passion that went unmatched by his predecessors or successors.114 at the outset of the chapter, which resembled ones he sent to Soviet IOC member Constantin Adrianov, shows Brundages diplomatic savvy and ability to address the issue without explicitly accusing the country of a violation. The advent of the Cold War only made matters more difficult for the IOC. The organization received critiques from both sides of the Curtain to adjust its amateur rules to fit the realities of post 1945 sport. The first people to challenge the amateur ideal after World War II did not come from the Eastern B loc, but from a collection of Scandinavian spor t federations in 1946. The Scandinavian sport federations argued that their athletes in the winter sports, incidentally their most successful sports, could not devote adequate time to training due to the financial costs of being an athlete competitive enough to participate in the 1948 Olympic Games. Brundage, then the IOC vice president, believed that the Scandinavians calls for brokentime payments and an increase of the prize money (by five pounds!) constituted heresy against the fixed, 114 Llewellyn and John Gleaves Rise and Fall, 99

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117 moral law of am ateurism .115 The Scandinavians complaint illustrates how the IOC faced challenges and violations of the amateur rule on both sides of the Curtain, and not simply from the Bloc nations. Brundages reaction to the complaint also underscores his unwillingness to heed calls to democratize sport by relaxing the amateur rule, even though spreading the IOCs global reach formed one of the bedrocks of the Olympic movement. The IOCs official definition of amateurism underscored the organizations attempts to mainta in a certain level of apoliticism, so as to not be accused of unfair treatment of nations on either side of the Cold War. Its 1949 rules on eligibility stated that an amateur, ...participates and always has participated in sport solely for pleasure and for the physical, mental or social benefits he derives therefrom, and to whom participation in sport is nothing more than recreation without material gain of any kind direct or indirect...116 The IOC used this exact phrasing to define amateurism and Olympic e ligibility throughout the 1950s. The short and vague language of the definition served a clear purpose amidst the growing Cold War: since it proved difficult to interpret by everyone, no one could claim discrimination or unfairness on behalf of the IOC. At the same time, the concepts vagueness invited people of all political persuasions to repurpose the amateur rule to fit their system. Neither Eastern nor Western sport leaders found the vague definition satisfying. B rundage quickly found himself caught i n the middle of the two sides after returning from a series of successful visits to Hungary and the USSR between 19531954 115 Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 102103. 116 Olympic Rules, 1949, Charter/Olympic_Charter_through_time/1949Olympic_Charter.pdf

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118 Despite the vagueness of the amateur rule, the socialist sport leaders believed the IOCs stance on amat eurism was discriminatory, c laiming it favored American college athletes.117 The challenges he faced by seeing violations of the amateur rules from the East and West. In the same letter, Brundage admitted that: Even though political systems are different, there is no difference in the definition of an amateur in any country, and in my opinion there is no reason why Olympic rules and regulations cannot be followed just as well behind the Iron Curtain, and perhaps even better than in countries with other political conceptionswe have the same thing here in the United States, in the case of boys who are given scholarships and other inducements to go to college to play football. I n my opinionthey are not amateurs. College football is not an Olympic sport, however.118 Brundage appears here as an ope n emphasized Hungarys strength as a socialist country in abiding by and enforcing regulations on its athletes. Brundage also sought to present himself as a rational proponent of amateurism by pointing out the hypocrisy of the student athlete system within American college sports. The overall message contrasts Brundages statements to Edstrm in 1946 about how the participation of subsidi zed Russian athletes would garner them a storm of righteous disapproval from around the world. The 1953 letter shows the changes in Brundages amateur ideal that delineated Olympic eligibility in the short year since he became IOC president. As Chapter 5 will explore, the changes in the amateur rule in the 1960s and 1970s demonstrates the evolution of Brundages priorities, and therefore those of the organization as well. 117 Parks, The Olympic Games, 92. 118 22 October 1953, National Olympic Committee (NOC) Hungary, D RM01/166, SD2 Correspondence, 19481958, IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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119 Conclusion During the early years of the Cold War, the Hungarian sport administrati on and the IOC tested the waters of their organization, policies, and power, sometimes vis vis one another. The top Party leadership in Hungary attempted to keep a tight lid on the OTSB, particularly in the early mid 1950s. Socialist leaders believed that the more they controlled and politicized elite sport and athletes, the more they could control both sport victories and their image at home and abroad. In the short term, their approach and tactics succeeded. The centralization of the Stalinist years played a significant part in continuing and expanding upon the interwar and immediate postwar success of Hungarian athletes. The close connections between the top Party leaders and the Army and Police teams, in terms of the material privileges and training be nefits given to athletes and coaches, also played a significant role in their enormous success. The defections and the 1954 protests illustrated the depths of peoples dissatisfaction with the regimes repressive policies. These incidents helped to lay the foundation for the Hungarian Revolution and mass defections in 1956. Even though Hungarian sport and the MOB enjoyed a long history within the IOC, the MKP and communist sport leaders still struggled to learn the political contours of the international or ganization. By examining the middle Bloc status of Hungary and Hungarian sport leaders vis vis the IOC, this chapter illustrates how the Communist countries and side sharpened their res pective positions and altered the ways that they tried to navigate the issue of the IOCs representatives. After several attempts to assert their institutional regulations and power over one another, the IOC leaders and MOB reached an uneasy but workable t

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120 Hungary, but he increasingly supported Communist positions within the IOC The was a necessary concession in order to maintain cooperative relations with the IOC. For their part, Edstrm, Mayer, and later Brundage realized that they needed to accept the Bloc members if they truly wanted to achieve their goals of global participation. Brundages softening stance the Americans thinking and position with the Bloc nations that grew stronger throughout the decade. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, Brundage recognized that he needed and could rely on the IOC m embers for Eastern Europe to help sustain his vision of the organization and the amateur rules. By this point, members of each side began a real effort to work with one another diplomatically. Fortunately for Hungarian sport leaders and for athletes the I OC and Brundages lack of bureaucratic power helped to shield the state amateur system in Hungary. As will be discussed in detail in the next chapter the way that most top Hungarian athletes received their salaries went against the IOCs rules on Olympic eligibility. The IOCs limitations ultimately impacted its institutional and governing power From the mid late 1950s onwards, Brundages standpoint on both the Eastern Bloc co untries and state amateurism gradually began to soften. This changing dynamic helped the cause of Bloc sport leaders The IOCs changing stance towards state amateurism and Olympic eligibility meant one main thing: socialist sport leaders could continue to support their athletes from state funds, as long as they gave the appearance of abiding by the IOCs rules. The balancing act began with the takeover in 1948, specifically between maintaining diplomatic relations and the image of athletes amateur

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121 status for Olympic eligibility purposes, and ensuring that athletes won the Olympic m edals that top Party leaders desired. The lessons that Hungarian sport leaders learned from the IOC in the late 1940s early 1950s helped them to safeguard the system of punishments and privileges that they used to motivate athletes at home.

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122 CHAPTER 3 ATHLETES EVERYDAY LIVES: A HIERARCHY OF PRIVILEGE Introduction In 1952, a woman named Mrs. goston Hasenauer submitted a legal request to the Hungarian national sport body regarding the pension and financial rewards that Olympic champion swimmer Zoltn Halmay should have been receiving.1 Halmay won seven medals between the 1900 and 1908 Olympic Games, and at the time of Hasenauers letter he suffered from Parkinsons disease. Gusztv Sebes, the OTSB vice president, responded with the following: Zo ltn Halmay, like other Hungarian Olympic champions, r eceives from us the same monthly award of a certain amount, but the award occurs without obligation on the part of the OTSB, and neither Zoltn Halmay nor other athletes can rely on the elite athletes prize. On the other hand, the athletes reward is a co mpletely special award, which [is for] the purpose of special merits gained in the field of Hungarian sport and physical education2 Sebess response highlights the OTSBs belief that the Hungarian soci alist state and sport body gifted these rewards to athletes on their own accord, and only when they deemed that people contributed special merits within sport. Athletes could not claim that the state or OTSB owed them these rewards. Sebes further corroborated this point by explaining how these rewards were so special that they could not be seized or confiscated for other purposes, even if demanded by a judicial writ of sequestration.3 In other words, Sebes admitted that the awards stood above the jurisdic tion of socialist 1 According to the inquest, Halmay was not receiving money from the National Office of Sport and Physical Education (hereafter the OTSH), in the form of a pension or goodwill (or mercy) aid. Trgy: Halmai Zoltn gye, 17t. Helyi s szemlyi gyek ttel 38 d., XIX 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 2 Ibid. 3 A writ of sequestration is a process in which a court orders the seizure of property, to be kept in the custody of the authorities, until it is decided otherwise.

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123 law. He moreover explained the matter of athletes awards is of a highly confidential nature. Sebess emphasis on the confidentiality of the matter illustrates the sport leaderships recognition that their reward system violated the IOC s amateur rules. Using Sebess remarks as a starting point, this chapter explores how material and financial rewards constituted an important factor in the athletesport leader relationship. Although the socialist state served as the ultimate distributor of goods, Hegyi, Sebes, and others gained the approval for and allocated privileges to top level athletes. These sport leaders offered the privileges and awards as part of the carrot andstick system that they used to motivate athletes to stay in Hungary ( not defect) and win gold medals. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and mass defection of athletes to the West, privileges became even more important. Sport leaders relied more upon using them, and less on harsh punishments, to convince athletes to help a chieve the states sport diplomacy goals. The defections also taught athletes about the harsh realities of the capitalist sport system in America especially, which in turn helped them better appreciate and work towards the opportunities provided by the socialist sport system in Hungary. The privileges and rewards that athletes could receive moreover played a fundamental role in determining the everyday material conditions and standard of living that they could enjoy in the socialist system. Access to material privileges, then, is a lens through which to analyze the structures that influenced the cultural behaviors and lives of Hungarian athletes and the sport leadership between 19481989. As an analysis of privileges and material rewards, this chapter comprises a social history of athletes daily lives in socialist Hungary. In the last twenty years scholars of everyday life and consumption in the Eastern Bloc have examined the ebbs and flows of

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124 socialist policies regarding consumer goods and lifestyle, and how these policies impacted peoples lives. The historiography on the USSR views the 1930s as the time when the state started awarding privileges to individuals based on their imagined or real input in a certain position or type of work, such as with the Stakhanovite movement.4 Most of the work on the satellite countries either examines the tactics that people adopted during the shortage economy of the 1950s to obtain necessary goods, or the states prioritization of impr oved consumption to citizens in late socialism.5 Yet the Eastern Blocs desire to win the global cultural Cold War in sport prompted the state and sport leaders to immediately begin using the allocation of privileges to structure and motivate the sport com munity. The sporting Cold War therefore influenced policies that ensured that socioeconomic disparities never truly disappeared in Hungary after 1948. Examining the material privileges that athletes could obtain underscores the real opportunities that the state offered privileged groups under Stalinism, and not only after 1956 and during the decades of late socialism. Their privileges complicate the suffering and victimization narrative that typically characterizes both the harsh Stalinist era and the soc ialist sport system s across the Bloc. The opportunities sport leaders offered to 4 Jukka Gronow, Caviar with Champagne: Common Luxury and the Ideals of the Good Life in Stalins Russia (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2003), 124. Other histories of Soviet privilege and consumption include Lewis Siegelbaum, Stakhanovism and the Politics of Productivity in the USSR, 19351941 ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Sheila Fitzpatrick, Eve ryday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Time: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). 5 For an example of strategies during the Stalinist 1950s, see Karl Brown, The Extraordinary Career of Feketevg r : Wood Theft, Pi g Killing, and Entrepreneurship in Communist Hungary, 19481956, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). Other histories of consumption in the satellite s tates include Patrick Hyder Patterson, Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011) ; Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. P aulina Bren and Mary Neuberger ( Oxf ord: Oxford University Press, 2012); Mary Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013) ; and Beth Greene, Selling Market Soci alism: Hungary in the 1960s, Slavic Review 73, 1 ( Spring 2014): 108132.

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125 athletes were one of the primary reasons why some athletedefectors chose to return to Hungary after 1956, and why many more athletes stayed in the nation from the 1960s 1980s The range of institutional, financial and material materials that athletes could receive in socialist Hungary were unmatched outside of the Eastern Bloc nations. By examining sport leaders carrot andstick system from the perspective of the privileges, athletes emerge as creative but also pragmatic individuals who tried to use all possible methods to maximize their chances of attaining the best possible lifestyle. In contrast to much of the work on the Eastern Bloc sport systems, athletes willingness t o contribute to the states sport diplomacy goals did not render the helpless but afforded them unparalleled opportunities. Just as importantly, the changes in athletes privileges and rewards after 1956 demonstrates how sport leaders successfully coopted athletes to cooperate with them towards the states sport diplomacy goals. Due to the scarcity of primary sources on the topic, I examine the available materials on athletes privileges throughout the entire socialist period. The archival collection on t he national sport body contains very little concrete information regarding athletes salaries, sport jobs, the monetary awards they received for gold medals, and the like. Sebess letter at the outset of the chapter constitutes one of four documents that I found where sport leaders spoke specifically about athletes salaries between 19481972. S port leaders therefore proved highly effective at hiding the specifics of their reward system from leaking out of Hungary and potentially reaching the IOC or Wester n press. When the sources allow, I examine how the rewards changed over time, such as the increase in monetary sums given to Olympic medal winning athletes. Whereas the narrators retained vivid memories of the gold medal lump sums and what they bought

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126 with the reward, they rarely recalled the more everyday privileges such as their sport job salaries. This chapter lays the foundation for understanding the carrot and stick system and explores the tangible privileges and opportunities that athletes could obtain. It begins by discussing the contradiction between Communist Party ideology about creating a utopian, classless system, and the Bloc nations willingness to maintain the inequalities into their societies with the privileges for athletes. I discuss the n ature of the carrot andstick system and the power differentials that derived from the systems unwritten rules. The third section analyzes the hierarchy of the privileges that athletes could receive if they played their cards right in the carrot and stick system, exploring athletes ability to travel abroad, their sport jobs, access to apartments and cars, as well as obtaining business permits and receiving lump sums for Olympic medals. Finally, I compare athletes salaries to what average Hungarians and P arty leaders received, and the post sport careers and retirement help that the national sport body sometimes gave to athletes. Communist Party Ideology, Privilege, and Elite Sport The notion of offering special privileges to individuals whose work did not produce a concrete product for the state contradicted the core of Communist ideology. Yet as the Soviet leadership realized in the 1930s, the state needed to create and promote certain kinds of individuals such as heroes and cultural figures in order to b uild support and prestige for the state domestically and internationally. At the same time, leaders in the USSR also recognized that material incentives could be used as both a stick and carrot to punish and motivate citizens to meet production goals. The Eastern Blocs desire to win the cultural Cold War in sport brought a sense of urgency to

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127 the Soviets interwar practices. The Hungarian sport leadership quickly realized that offering athletes prized opportunities and material rewards served as an effecti ve tactic to motivate athletes to win gold medals. The socialist state based its agenda and claims to political legitimacy by emphasizing its ability to eliminate social class divisions and the resulting inequalities that resulted from them .6 The fact that the state owned all goods and modes of production was intended to assist the Party in its claim of eliminating inequalities. The leadership also believed that a worker s value lay in his/her ability to produce tangible goods that the state could redis tribute to everyone equally The lack of measurable, industry related productivity in sport influenced some Party leaders to believe, especially in the 1930s, that competitive sport was Western and bourgeois.7 Other leaders worried that athletes might st rive for sport success in the pursuit of money, and not for the aesthetic or health benefits it offered.8 The idea of professional athletes therefore contrasted with Party ideology. This argument continued to find support until 1989, where its proponents continued to connect athletes salaries, privileges and standards of living to greedy and capitalist behavior. 6 Pittaway, The Workers State, 5. 7 Interestingly, this was the same argument used by British elites in favor of amateurism in the nineteenthcentury. Upper class Brits developed the term amateurism in the mid1860s, which was based on class. Anyo ne who was a mechanic, artisan or laborer was a classified as a professional, and deemed ineligible to participate in the games of gentlemanly amateurs. Parks, The Olympic Games, xv; David C. Young, A Brief History of the Olympic Games ( Massachusetts: Wiley Blackwell Publishing, 2004) 94. Also see Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, especially Chapters 2 and 3. 8 Some leaders believed that competitive sport cultivated attitudes that were alien to socialist society, such as a narrow specialization, gambling and speculation, and the like. They also believed that fans would become passive spectators of elite sport. James Riordan, Sport in Soviet Society: Development of Sport and Physical Education in Russia and the USSR (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 83.

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128 Critics who opposed the idea of prioritizing the development of competitive athletes could also find solace in the limited availability of material goods that seemingly lay at the heart of the Stalinist systems. From their inception, the socialist systems ability to produce and distribute goods to the public was plagued by several factors, including but not limited to: inefficient planning, a hi gher emphasis on industrial production and products and the redistribution of goods amongst the top Party echelons and government ministries By focusing on industrial output in particular, during the Stalinist era the Eastern Bloc states placed the production of consumer goods on the back burner. This created endemic shortages for basic foodstuffs and clothing in the 1950s especially for which people spent incredible numbers of hours queuing in lines. The absence of consumer items created what Jnos Korn ai famously coined as economies of shortage in the Bloc countries.9 Access to goods and privileges quickly thus grew to be an everyday issue for socialist citizens. As Sheila Fitzpatrick explained about the USSR, Class status in the real world was a mat ter of having greater or lesser access to goods, which in turn was largely a function of the degree of entitlement to privilege that the state allowed.10 To a large extent, an individuals proximity to privilege and statecontrolled materials directly impa cted how people lived. The state and its officials began using goods and opportunities as a way to shape peoples productivity and behavior. B read rationing was turned into a weapon or tool for motivating workers to raise their production; but 9 For a thorough examination of the shortage economy, see Jnos Kornais Economics of Shortage ( Amsterdam: NorthHolland Publishing Company, 1980 ) 10 Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism, 13.

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129 leaders al so used it to discipline lazy workers who did not meet their quotas.11 In addition to the rationing system, the state used material incentives, such as the ability to eat at ones workplace cafeteria, as forms of wage payment.12 The combination of rationing and material incentives helped to form the basis of the hierarchy of privilege that emerg ed in the mid1930s in the USSR. Since Eastern Bloc leaders instituted the Soviet Unions socialist ideology and policies after taking power in 1948, the USSRs ideas and experiences regarding access to goods and incentives helped to create similar hierarchies of privilege in Hungary and the rest of the Bloc nations.13 The lack of adequate food and basic consumer items meant that Eastern Europeans citizens constantly t hought about ways to obtain those items, thereby raising the importance and concern over the extent of ones privileges. In order to obtain hardto find items, individuals resorted to a range of patronage and socialist connections. These connections ultimately played an enormous role in how socialist citizens of all statuses received materials and opportunities. 11 The last of necessary items prompted the Soviet state to introduce rationing in December of 1930 in the USSR. The leaders who developed the rationing system inherently privileged people like industrial workers and Party elites over class enemies and undesirables like kulaks. All laborers were to be divi ded into groups based on class production criteria, which further split the provisioning divides. Elena Osokina, Soviet Workers and Rationing Norms, 19281935Real or Illusory Privilege? The Soviet and Post Soviet Review 19, no. 13 (1992): 61. 12 Ibid, 6 2. 13 According to Istvn Rv, one factor that contributed to the increasing stratification of the socialist societies lay in leaders desire to plan every aspect of the economy and production to the highest possible level. More specifically, To carry out the intentional design of the centralizer undisturbed, to accomplish the grand social vision of the planner, all individual actions must be under strict control to ensure that the billions of individual acts contribute to the gigantic task of social constr uctionThe planner must locate the economic tasks of each producer, the centralizer must find the most appropriate place for each citizen in the political machinery. The construction of the anti individualistic, collectivist, centralized society starts wit h unprecedented individualization. Istvn Rv, The Advantages of Being Atomized: How Hungarian Peasants Coped with Collectivization, Dissent 34, 2 ( Summer 1987): 335349, 337.

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130 The use of incentives marked the USSRs shift towards recognizing, honing and rewarding people with specialized skills in 1935.14 Stalin and his advisors sought to select people whose talents, skills and work ethics visibly helped the march towards progress. The emergence of the Stakhanovite labor movement best exemplifies this change in ideology. The movement used labor competitions to develop and find workers who could exceed productivity levels by large margins within a certain period.15 While rewarding these people for their achievements, the state also used them as role models to teach the Soviet public how to work and behave in society .16 The shift towards developing specialists and the labor movement combined with other factors to strengthen the role that privilege played in influencing the everyday lives of socialist citizens.17 At the heart of these changes lay a focus in offering materi al rewards to those whom the state believed proved their skills and merit in contributing to the goals of socialism. The cultural Cold War and international sport in the postwar era brought into sharp relief the sport leaderships need to control and moti vate athletes to win gold 14 Robert Edelman, Spartak Moscow: A History of the Peoples Team in the Workers State (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009), 85. 15 See Lewis Siegelbaum, Stakhanovism and the Politics of Productivity in the USSR, 19351941 9 Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1988) 16 When Stalin announced the merits of the Stakhanovites in November of 1935, he proclaimed that each person, works according to his abilities and receives articles of consumption, not according to the work he performs, but according to his needs as a cult urally developed individual. Joseph Stalin, Speech at the First All Union C onference of Stakhanovites, 17 November 1935, accessed 20 February 2017, https://www.marxis 17 For example, cultivating and satisfying peoples consumption habits became an increasing concern of the socialist states. For example, see Jukka Gronow, Caviar with Champagne: Common Luxury and the Ideals of the Good Life in Stalins Russia (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2003), and Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism After the Prague Spring ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010).

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131 medals and contribute to the states sport diplomacy goals. The carrot andstick system of punishments and rewards helped sport leaders to achieve this goal with athletes and deliver result s to their superiors. The states desire to politicize Cold War sport therefore motivated sport leaders to develop a system that inscribed a hierarchy of privileges for athletes, and therefore reinstituted socio economic inequalities within the sport community and Hungarian society generally. The protests that erupted in Budapest after the Hungarys 1954 World Cup loss, combined with the brawn drain in 1956, further demonstrated to sport leaders the need to continue the nations sport success for the sake of public legitimacy, and keep athletes satisfied enough to stay in Hungary. Sport leaders therefore began offering more materials to athletes, and as the next chapter demonstrates, relaxed the punishments they used with athletes. Elite sport thus became comparable to the Stakhanovite movement, but with the added international influence of the Cold War.18 The material privileges formed an essential component of sport leaders carrot andstick system. Within the context of life under socialism, the privileges also played an important role in athletes everyday lifestyles. In order to receive the rewards however, athletes needed to learn the unwritten rules of sport leaders system. In the 1950s especially, the tacit nature of the system reinforced sport leaders power over athletes. Only after the 1956 Revolution and mass defections did athletes see their leverage and power vis vis sport leaders and in the carrot and stick system increase. 18 Parks, The Olympic Games, xv

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132 The Nature of the Carrot andStick System The sport leaderships use of unwritten rules as a framework for the carrot andstick game inherently afforded them a method of maintaining control over athletes.19 Although athletes tried their best to learn the tacit rules of sport leaders system, at times the OTSB seemed to impose their power on athletes arbitrarily. Is tvn Buda, president of the Hungarian national sport body and MOB from 1978 1985, admitted that he primarily determined issues with athletes on an individual, caseby case basis.20 Individual character and gender, as I will discuss in Chapter 6, sometimes i nfluenced how Hungarian sport leaders made decisions regarding athletes. Yet it is also important to remember that s port leaders sought gold medals and athletes loyalty to the system in part because their own reputations and careers depended on it.21 The d ifferent factors that impacted their decisionmaking created a level of instability in the carrot and stick system. It is undeniable that the instability of sport leaders rules inherently limited athletes power and ability to function well in the social ist system Athletes often struggled to determine the contours of how sport leaders made decisions, and therefore 19 Other scholars have noted the use of unclear rules by different groups of higher authority in their interactions with citizens. Kojevnikov explores how academics learned the rules or rituals of public behavior by observing their contemporaries in the sessions of dis putation and criticism/self criticism and they frequently held about the ideological correctness of their intellectual scholarship. Within the ritual sessions or games of intraparty democracy, rulegoverning did not imply the existence of an explicit code, but the shared perception that there are some rules. Alexei Kojevnikov, Rituals of Stalinist Culture at Work: Science and the Games of Intraparty Democracy circa 1948, The Russian Review 57 (January 1998): 2552, 32, 34. 20 The OTSB was succeeded by the MTST (Hungarian Council of Physical Education and Sport), and later by the OTSH (National Office of Physical Education and Sport). Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013. 21 This underscores Mark Pittaways notion that the socialist states consisted of a concert of institutions that were social actors in their own right, each of whom pursued different agendas. Pittaway, The Workers State, 3.

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133 faced challenges learning the unwritten rules of the carrot and stick system. In order to maximize the likelihood of learning and following the rules, athletes needed to self police their behavior and activities. Doing so offered them the best odds of receiving desired privileges and avoiding trouble. The athletes of the 1950s undou btedly endured the most instability and uncertainty. Two factors influenced athletes experiences during this time : the nature of the Hungarian Stalinist system, and the absence of a preceding group of athle tes who could share their triedandtrue experiences with the current crop of competitors. With each passing decade, the imbalance of power between the two groups began to level out. The evolving dynamics resulted largely from the ways that the events of 1956 impacted athletesport leader relations and domestic sport policy. Compared to their predecessors before 1956 athletes from the late 1950s onwards learned how to work within sport leaders carrot andstick system and attain the veritable socialist good life. At the heart of the carrot andstick sys tem between athletes and the sport leadership lay a struggle over power and agency. Even in the relaxed atmosphere of the 1970s and 1980s of late socialism, athletes occupied a vulnerable place within the socialist system. As the next chapter discusses, th e more successful an athlete, the more he or she came under the close scrutiny of the sport leaders and sometimes the state security services as well Sport leaders and athletes remained mot ivated by different goals within elite sport and both sides did t heir best to attain those goals. Sport leaders shaped the unwritten rules in order to meet the orders dicta ted by their superiors. Athletes wanted to achieve sport success, obtain a comfortable lifestyle to the largest extent possible, and stay out of trou ble with the secret police. After the failed

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134 1956 Revolution, sport leaders sought to prevent more athletes from defecting by softening their repressive tactics and offering a broader pool of athletes prized privileges than before. These changes amounted t o a significant shift within the carrot and stick system. Athletes responded to the shift in leaders priorities and to the realization that socialist Hungary offered the best possible situation for them by choosing to stay in Hungary and work more with sport leaders in order to obtain the highest standard of living possible within the world of international elite sport The evolving relations between the two groups and in the carrot and stick system emerged before the softening of state society relations i n late socialism. Even amidst the improving athletesport leader relations however, athletes still needed to learn the unwritten rules of the system. Sport Leaders Tacit Rules First and foremost, in order to obtain the best possible privileges athletes needed to compete at the highest levels and bring sport success back to Hungary. The more successful an athlete proved in winning gold medals at the Olympics, World or European Championships, the more likely the Hungarian national sport body gave athletes access to the benefits that they wanted. Athletes in the 1950s quickly learned, however, that sport success alone did not give them what they wanted from the sport leadership. Thi s fact forced them to figure out by trial anderror the behavi ors and activities that the OTSB and sport clubs deemed acceptable versus unacceptable

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135 Figure 31 From left to right in the front is Minister of Defense Mihaly Farkas, Hungarys top Stalinist leader in the 1950s Mtys Rkosi, and sport leader Gyula Hegyi In the second row to the left, with a whitecollared shirt is Aladr Gerevich, Olympic champion fencer who won gold at 6 consecutive Olympics from 1936 1960. Photo credit: Fortepan. Figure 31 above shows how the Stalinist era socialist leadership aimed to use the presence of Olympians such as Aladr Gerevich at state speeches given by top MKP leader Mtys Rkosi, for example, to demonstrate two main poi nts: athletes support for the socialist system, and the states support for sport The state press then used these images in turn to convince people to support the state, as well as to portray athletes as models of exemplary and flawless political and mor al behavior to the public.22 T he sport authorities in the 1950s especially believed that they needed to use every possible controlling and inspecting authority in order to help athletes display themselves as builders of the socialist state .23 22 Evelyn Mertin, Presenting Heroes: Athletes as Roles Models for the New Soviet Person, in The International Journal of the History of Sport 26, 4 (March 2009): 469483, 469. 23 M. Prozumenshchikov, Bolshoi Sport I bolshaia Politika, (Kultura I vlast ot Stalina do Gorbacheva Issledovania series) ( Moscow: Rosspen, 2004) 14; cited in Mertin, Presenting Heroes, 469.

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136 The Hungarian state monitored the beliefs, actions and behaviors of its citizens in the public and private sphere;24 yet due to their importance and proximity to the states sport diplomacy goals, athletes found themselves under much more scrutiny than the average person. Athletes could not speak cri tically of the socialist system nor criticize the sport system. The 1956 Revolution prompted some of Hungarys best athletes to speak out in ways that did not happen previously, nor after it. The experiences of Gbo r Benedek during and after the 1956 Revolution illustrate this point. Amongst other things, Benedek was summarily banned from sport from 1957 until 1965 for reportedly criticizing various sport leaders prior to and following the Melbourne Olympic Games.25 S ubsequent newspaper articles in 1958 and 1959 highlighted how Benedeks defamation of the Peoples Democracy, of socialist sport, of the Soviet Union precluded him from working with young athletes as a coach.26 The Hungarian press made it clear to readers that the state tied Benedeks criticisms of the Hungarian sport system to that of the Hungarian socialist system and the USSR. D uring the 1950s Olympic champions and internationally ranked athletes also needed to demonstrate their political reliability t o the sport leadership. The best way to show ones loyalty and support ultimately lay in becoming a member of the Communist Party. Yet even in the 1950s, the state seemingly cared more about achieving Olympic 24 Socialist leaders did this in order to gauge (or even force) peoples attitudes in favor of the system, in hopes of gaining political legitimacy Mark Pittaway defines political legitimacy as, A state of affairs in which a given regimes claim to rule is met with a sufficient degree of acceptance to ensure that it was able to acquire the necessary degree of infrastructural power to rule on a daily basis and this appear as a coherent, unified actor ruling from above the rest of society. Pittaway, The Workers State, 4 25 Benedek Gbor jelenzse, 1, 13 March 1970, H 45914; Kapitny, 3.1.2 M3 2615, llambiztonsgi Trtenelmi Levltar (hereafter B TL), Budapest, Hungary. 26 Attila ghassi, Egy elmaradt kzfogs trte kett az lett, Index, 19 August 2006, accessed 18 June 2017 ; Erk lcsi alap n lk l... Npsport 1 November 1959.

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137 gold medals than athletes political reliabilit y and tendency to defect. Before the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, the secret police submitted a report to OTSB and MOB about which athletes it deemed flight risks or too politically unreliable to attend the Olympic Games. In this case, the states sport diplomacy goals won out over the secret polices concerns. Hegyi in particular helped to ensure that the listed athletes were allowed to compete at Helsinki.27 Hegyis actions shows how propaganda opportunities in sport could take precedence over the secret polices concerns about political reliability.28 Fortunately for athletes and Hungarian citizens broadly, one of the changes that emerged in the post 1956 socialist system was a decreased emphasis on political reliability and political capital more broadly Although a persons political background could still influence his or her experiences in late socialist Hungary, social capital and szocialista sszekttetsek or socialist connections, also became important in influencing the kinds of opportunities, pr ivileges, and punishments they received.29 The socialist leadership also tried to shape athletes behavior and loyalty through political education classes. Across the Eastern Bloc, the national sport bodies believed the courses would help athletes serve as mouthpieces of the Party during events at home, and as ambassadors in sportswear abroad.30 More specifically, the sport 27 Tibor Takcs, Szoros emberfogs: Futball s llambiztonsg a Kdr korszakban ( Budapest: Jaffa Kiad, 2014), 17 18. 28 Takcs Szoros emberfogs 18. 29 Tibor Valuch, Kz kezet mos: A szocialista sszekttetsek a Kdr korszakban, Barka 6 (2008): 7681. 30 Mihaela Wood uses this term to describe the use of Romanian female gymnasts during the Ceausescu era. Other scholars have called athletes diplomat s in tracksuits. See Michaela Wood, Romania at the Olympics: Women as Ambassador s in Sportswear, 1950s 1970s, Revista arhivelor 84, 34 (2007): 271281.

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138 leadership wanted athletes to be exhibited as politically skilled and ideologically sound personalities.31 For reasons that are unclear however, not all athletes needed to attend these classes. Gymnast Andrea Bod Schmid Shapiro vividly remembered not attending political education classes before going to international competitions in the 1950s; when asked, she laughed and responded with an emphatic Thanks [ sic ] God, no.32 Regardless of whether they attended the classes, the risks involved in criticizing the state publicly or while abroad deterred the vast majority of athletes from doing so. The sport leadership moreover expected athletes to show or avoid certain behaviors in their private lives. It ultimately proved more difficult for athletes to determine the sport leaders unwritten rules regarding their private lives than their public ones. The state worried the most about athletes defecting, as it appeared as the most public way of rejecting the socialist state. In East Germany, athletedefectors were branded as traitors of the state.33 As the next chapter will show, the Hungarian socialist state altered how they handled the defections o f athletes over time. T he terrible fate of footballer and wouldillustrates the lengths the Ministry of Interior in particular went to in order to prevent defections to the West during the was not publicized, it remained an open secret in the football community. It succeeded in teaching Hungarian footballers about the dangers of trying to defect from the Stalinist system, as no other footballer tried to defect until after the 1956 Revoluti on. In contrast, the Hungarian socialist press took 31 Mertin, Presenting Heroes, 472. 32 Andrea Bod SchmidShapiro, interview with Johanna Mellis, Nov ato, 8 November 2017. 33 Braun and Wiese Tracksuit Traitors, 1520.

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139 different tactics to address the mass defections in 1956. The sports press highlighted the stories of dissatisfied athletes defectors who returned to Hungary. They also tackled headon the defection of one famous athlete couple, water polo player and va Szekly, and stressed the impact of their absences on the water polo community.34 Athletes also needed to learn t he sport leaderships parameters for the perfect socialist athletehero s lifestyle and non sporting activities. The fact that these parameters changed over time provided more challenges for athletes trying to determine the sport leaders unwritten rules. For example, while many athletes purchased a car, it could not be a luxury car; the most luxurious car that an athlete describ ed obtaining in their interview was a Volkswagen Beetle. The issue of smuggling, to be discussed in more detail in Chapter 6 exemplifies athletes challenges in this arena. Bringing goods into and out of the country remained officially punishable by the criminal code. Limits on the estimated value of smuggled goods did exist, although along with the rest of the sport leaderships tacit rules, they proved difficult for athletes to understand. T he sport leadership approached the issue ambiguously; they sometimes facilitated athletes smuggling and other times they did nothing to protect athletes from inspections. From the late 1960s onwards, sport leaders helped to legitimize some athletes smuggling endeav ors by giving them a small business permit to open stores and sell their illicitly obtained goods. Sport leaders believed that these 34 For a more indepth look at how the Hungarian press handled the difficult topic of with athletedefectors in their publications following 1956, see Emese Ivan and The 1956 Revolution and the Melbourne Olympics: The Changing Perceptions of a Dramatic Story, Hungarian Studies Review 35, 12 (2008): 9 23.

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140 increased material privileges would encourage athletes to cooperate with their sport diplomacy goals. Their rationale proved accurate; smuggling became a key factor that allowed athletes to improve their standard of living, which motivated them to continue cooperating with sport leaders. T he state security services played an influential role in monitoring athletes activities. The secret police ordered agents and recruited informants to infiltrate the va rious sport circles and teams. T he institution also tried to recruit athletes themselves to aid in gathering information about the sport community.35 The was t he harshest incident of secret police involvement and impact on an athletes life. Although the state security forces continued to collect information about athletes after the 1950s, the institutions might and interference in their lives abated during thi s time Many of the secret police dossiers from the post 1956 period include reports about athletes international contacts and smuggling. If an athlete was punished for smuggling, it was usually because the customs authorities caught the athletesmuggler at the border, and not on account of a secret police report. The state security services therefore mainly seemed to gather this information in order to blackmail an athlete into working for them. Being blackmailed into working for the secret police was undoubtedly extremely difficult for athletes. As scholars have noted however, agents and informants could and did choose which information to report.36 East German footballer turnedStasi informant 35 For a detailed examination of the state security services and Hungarian football in late socialism, s ee Tibor Takcs, Szoros emberfogs: Futball s llambiztonsg a Kdr korszakban ( Budapest: Jaffa Kiad, 2014) 36 Sndor Horvth, Life of an Agent: Reenergizing Stalinism and Learning the Language of Collaboration after 1956 in Hungary, Hungarian Historical Review 4, 1 (2015): 56 81; Tibor Takcs,

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141 Georg Buschner, for example, never denounced individual play ers and was described as a careerist and individualist by his local Stasi office.37 Like their nonsporting countrymen, some athletes who began working as agents and informants used their positions for personal and/or material reasons. Istvn Hircsk, a H ungarian interwar ice hockey player and later coach who defected to the West in 1958, was one such sportsman. In the mid1960s he began speaking with the Hungarian state security services. As the secret police eventually discovered, Hircsk hoped to leverage his reports in return for the institutions help in obtaining a passport for his wife, as well as financial support for establishing a restaurant in England.38 As with the rest of citizens under socialism, athletes motives for working for the secret pol ice ranged from commitment to socialism, vanity, coercion, and material inducements.39 In still other cases, the state security services wanted to obtain a sense of athletes attitudes towards sport and the system. For example, one informant reported how a few Hungarian national team football players wanted to injure themselves so as to avoid playing against the Soviets.40 These cases illustrate the precarity of the sport world, where athletes needed to deal with secret police surveillance and significant res traints on their freedom of movement.41 Them and Us: Narratives of Agents from the Kadar Era, The Hungarian Historical Review 4, 1 (2015): 144170. 37 McDougall, The Peoples Game, 126127. 38 Trgy: Stephen George Hilton, 4 January 1966, Million, 3.2.4. K 2285, BTL, Budapest, Hungary. 39 McDougall, The Peoples Game, 126. 40 Tibor Takcs, Kihagyott helyzetek: Magyar szovjet vlogatott labdargllambiztonsg, Betekinto 2 (2013), 20 accessed October 2014, 41 McDougall, The Peoples Game, 56.

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142 Athletes experiences in the early mid 1950s taught them about the need to exhibit model socialist behavior at political functions, not to defect to the West, nor to criticize the sport system. The presence of the state security services in the sport commu nity not only added an additional level of scrutiny over athletes lives; it also made them susceptible to becoming coerced into working for the institution. Similar to how Hegyi secured approval to override the secret polices flight risk list in 1952 how ever, some athletes turnedinformants used their positions to protect others and/or achieve their personal goals. The rules of the carrot andstick system explored here constituted most of the worst elements of being an elite athlete in Hungary. In contras t, the material privileges formed the best aspects of the system, and also constituted why many athletes chose to stay in Hungary and cooperate with the sport leadership after 1956. The changes in these unwritten rules that occurred after the events of 195 6, and how the changes impacted athletes lives, will be explained in subsequent chapters. The Impact of 1956 on the Carrot andStick System The failed 1956 Revolution and subsequent defection of over onethird of Hungarys Olympic contingent shook the Hu ngarian sport world to its core.42 Few other actions could have symbolized athletes dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs more than voting with their feet. The Hungarian sport leaderships troubles were compounded by the fact that many of the athletes who left for the United States joined coaching staffs across the country and used their expertise to train American athletes. 42 Other Olympic athletes stayed in Australia, and many youth and elitelevel footballers went to Western Europe (suc h as Austria and Spain). For more on the defections, see Toby Rider, Cold War Games: Propaganda, the Olympics, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Illinois: Univ ersity of Illinois Press, 2016).

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143 The reduction of top athletes fear of future defections, and sport diplomacy goals influenced sport leaders to begin us ing more carrots than sticks The case of Olympic fencers Ldia Dmlky Skovics and her husband Jzsef Skovics reveals much about the sport leaderships shift in priorities and style of rule immediately after the Revolution. The Skovicss defected with thirty six of their fellow athletes and sport officials from the Hungarian Olympic team to the United States, under the guise of Sports Illustrated s sponsorship.43 T hey settled in California and worked as a draftswoman and auto mechanic respectively, only to return to Hungary within the year. According to Ldia Skovics, the Hungarian sport leadership did not hinder their plans to leave for the US initially, nor when returning in late 1957.44 The sport leadership welcomed them back with open arms, probably because they wanted the couple to continue contributing to Hungarys Olympic performances. Ldia Skovics ultimately won a team gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and they both coached numerous Olympic fencers throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Their stor ies indicate how the mass defection of a significant portion of Hungarys 1956 Olympic team played a considerable role in influencing sport leaders to use more incentives than punishments with athletes. Hungarys decreasing position as a world sport power after 1956 also played an important role in shaping leaders unwritten rules. After the remarkable successes from 19481956, the Hungarian Olympic teams fell to seventh, sixth, and fourth place in the 43 As Rider explains, the magazines guidance and sponsorship of the defected athletes was largely a cover for several behindthe scenes individuals who organized and made it happen. These individuals belonged to a combination of the CIA, Time Magazine, SI, the Free Europe Committee, and the US based Hungarian National Sports Federation. See Toby Rider, Cold War Games 44 Ldia Dmlky Skovics interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 April 2015.

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144 total medal count at the 1960, 1964, and 1968 Summer Ol ympic Games respectively. After 1968, they never again placed in the top five in terms of the total number of Olympic medals they won. The mass defection after 1956 was not the only reason compounding Hungarys Olympic standings. The mid1960s also saw countries such as East and West Germany devote more financial resources and institutional manpower to building their elite sport prowess.45 Hungary, a small country of about 10 million, could not compete like it used to. In an effort to improve Hungarys sport rankings, the sport leadership increasingl y softened its grip on athletes and afforded them better odds with which to play the game. The sport leaderships relaxation of its sticks and policies mirrored the post 1956 states decision to give citizens more consumer goods and traveling privileges in return for their apoliticism in the public sphere. The changing nature of the carrot and stick system and the unwritten rules, thus reflected the broader trends that made late socialist Hungary the happiest barrack in the socialist camp. Even though the sport leaderships style of rule softened, athletes could not abuse their privileges and give the appearance of profit ing exc essively from their endeavors. Although t he case of Golden Team goalie G yula Grosics and his permit will be discussed later, it is instructive to mention it here. In the late 1970s, the OTSH gave his wife a permit to open a shop. Grosics, however, began selling computers smuggled 45 More recent research has unveiled that the FRG, partly as a result of being awarded the 1972 Olympics, but also because of the changing infrastructure and policies regarding elite sport in the GDR, us ed sport for political purposes and poured state finances and resources into developing their athletes from the 1968 onwards. Unlike in the GDR, in the FRG an anti doping movement arose amongst the public, which showed that West Germans disapproved of the increased use of performanceenhancing drugs. Moreover, although the FRG could devote money to developing elite sport, the states adherence to freedom from state pressures (in comparis on to the GDR ) prevented total state control and the proliferation of doping. Michael Krger, Stefan Nielsen, and Christian Becker, The Munich Olympics 1972: Its Impact on the Relationship Between State, Sports and Anti Doping Policy in West Germany, Sport in History 32, 4 (2012): 526549.

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145 in from abroad in his shop. This constituted a violation of COCOM rules, which aimed at preventing the sale of Western computer technology to the socialist states. According to Istvn Buda, the top sport leader at the time, Grosics could not adhere to the unwritten rules.46 Grosics pushed the limits of his status and privileges too far; Buda said that Grosics, simply got into water where I could not save him. Where no one could save him.47 Although it is not entirely clear what kind of punishment Grosics received, the OTSH most likely revoked the st ore permit. Grosicss experiences and Budas recollections of the incident demonstrate how even in late socialism athletes needed to understand how to smuggle and display their privileges and moderate wealth without capturing the attention of sport leaders Athletes experiences show that the mass defection after the 1956 Games immediately influenced sport leaders to soften their tactics towards athletes. The changing landscape of international sport competition also influenced sport leaders to use more inc entives with athletes. The combination of the evolving domestic and international spheres enabled athletes to learn and adapt more thoroughly to the unwritten rules of the sport leaderships carrot andstick game in the decades of late socialism. The next section illustrates how this played out in athletes everyday lives in terms of the material privileges they could receive. Hierarchy of Athletes Privileges F rom the beginning of Communist rule in 1948, athletes could receive a range of financial and mat erial benefits from the Hungarian state and sport leadership The 46 Istvn Buda, co interviewed by the Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, 12 July 2013. 47 Ibid.

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146 following analysis explores the reality of a thletes lives by studying the hierarchy of privileges they could receive within a pyramid structure, as depicted in Figure 32. The basic nature of the awards discussed here remained the same throughout the entire period. The only exception is the business permit, which the sport leadership did not help athletes obtain until after the implementation of the economic reforms in 1968. When the sources allow, I analyze the changes in the privileges over time, such as the increase in Olympic gold medal rewards. It is important to note what may appear as a concrete image of the levels of privilege did not necessarily correspond to reality.48 Athletes did n ot comprise a uniform group who could expect or reasonably predict what they could receive, unless they won an Olympic gold medal and received a lump sum for it Winning an Olympic gold medal did not guarantee that someone received all of the privileges listed beneath the gold medal reward; at the same time, an athlete did not need to compete at the Olympic Games to receive the upper level rewards. For example, fencer received a business permit even though he never competed at the Olympic Games The extent to which an athlete learned and adapted to the sport leaderships rules considerably influenced the types (or levels) of privilege to which he or she enjoyed access Connections could also play a role; brother , won a gold medal in pe at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and perhaps the latters status and connections helped obtain the permit. Athletes experiences indicate a fair amount of fluidity within the hierarchy of privileges, testifying to the socio economic differ entiation that existed within toplevel athletes. They had 48 The use of the pyramid shape is not necessarily a reflection of how athletes or sport leaders viewed the privilege. None of the interviewees described the privileges, or the hierarchy of elite athletes, in this light. I am merely using it as a visual aid and interpretive structure.

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147 much to gain, but also much to lose. Only by learning and abiding by the unwritten rules of the sport leaderships game could an athlete truly experience a life of socialist privilege Figure 3 2 The hierarchy of privileges. The progression above reflects the frequency of each privilege, with the travel representing the most common privilege, and Olympic gold medal rewards signifying the least common and greatest award an athlete could receive. The Best Benefit of All: Travel Abroad The most ubiquitous opportunity for athletes remained the ability to travel abroad for competitions. The ability to travel in the Stalinist era of the 1950s constituted an enormous privilege of which most people c oul d only dream Outside of the top Party leadership, athletes were some of only a few groups of people who could travel during this time. For the sake of comparison, Hungarian pianist Annie Fischer was one of only Olympic Gold Medal Rewards Business Permit Post Sport Careers Apartment, Car Sport Positions Travel Abroad

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148 a handful of musicians allowed to travel and perform abroad before 1956. Due to the states limits on travel in the 1950s Hungarian citizens perceived value of the activity increased tremendously during this time compared to before 1948 .49 The state gradually relaxed its restrictions on travel in the 1960s. While internationally renowned academics such as Ivn Berend and Gyrgy Rnki received permission to travel in the early 1960s, average citizens could only do it once every three years beginning in the early 1970s.50 As will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 6, the ability to go beyond Hungarys borders brought with it another coveted opportunity: the chance to bring goods and currency in and out of Hungary, either to sell or for personal use. Although the benefit of traveling grew less uniq ue during the decades of late socialism, its value changed only to a degree. Eastern Europeans increasing thirst for knowledge, experiences, and consumer items from the West made travel to the West one of the most sought after privileges throughout the period .51 Traveling abroad enabled athletes to gain a glimpse of life beyond the Curtain. In many ways, traveling also allowed them to better understand the limitations of the socialist system and what it offered to them, compared to the capitalist ones in the West. Fearing that athletes would be lured by Westerners and defect while traveling for a competition, an agent or informant from the state security service always travelled abroad with teams. Since the agent or informant was usually the only nonsport m ember in their group, athletes oftentimes spotted the person and understood the need to 49 Ferenc Hammer, A Gasoline Scented Sinbad: The Truck Driver as a Popular Hero in Socialist Hung ary, Cultural Studies 161, 1 (2002): 80 126. 50 Ibid, 111112. 51 Ibid, 80 90.

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149 exercise caution in what they said and did around the individual. Sometimes the same agent or informant travelled with a team for a time, which aided athletes ability to identify the person. The existence of the individual assigned to monitor the athletes undoubtedly presented a challenge to athletes. As explains, the position of the individual could be complicated for a variety of reasons: The leader [Party chap erone] was sometimes an old fencer. But sometimes people from the Communist Party. But it was very interesting because for them it was also very important, the sport, and they were not the enemy. But sometimes there were difficulties. But they were mainly friendly. And also because we have to travel together, it was one team .52 remarks present a nuanced image of the secret police individual who traveled with teams abroad. He was not the only one to describe both sides of the informant or agent: that the person could be friendly, or even an insider within Hungarian sport, and even part of a team. These factors did not preclude the individual from presenting problems for athletes. Rather, the fact that the informant or agents background varied so muc h from competitionto competition meant that athletes needed to be vigilant in their behaviors towards the secret police people who monitored them. Sport Jobs The second most common privilege that athletes enjoyed was a sportlls or a special sport position. An athletes sport job usually corresponded to the work place or industry associated with their sport club. These positions or jobs gave athletes the vast major i ty of their income. The sport jobs sometimes required littleto no work outside of an athletes training sessions and competitions. Despite the absence of concrete information about why one person received a specific sportlls over someone else, t he 52 interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest July 3, 2013.

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150 status and condition of an athletes sport job seemed to depend on several factors: 1) an athletes demonstrated success on the field, 2) if they chose a nonsport professional career path, 3) their attitude and political disposition or beliefs, and 4) the strength and clout of his or her sport club and its connections to a government ministry. The different possible sport jobs and the time that an athlete could devote to training demonstrates the wide range of privileges that athletes might (or might not) receive from the national sport body and his or her sport club. T he community of eli te athletes in Hungary was not a homogeneous group. Rather, it proved one highly differentiated and contingent upon things like income, occupation, and sport club. The cream of the crop sport positions required a few hours every week at ones workplace, and some none at all. A thletes typically did not have any educational or professional training for these paper positions. For example, football er Klmn Ihsz and basketball player Anna Molnr worked as an engineer and a chemists assistant respectively, although they lacked education and training for these professions.53 Importantly, while Ihsz played football in the late 1950s 1960s, Molnr competed in the 1980s. Their similar work experiences illustrate significant continuity over time in the kinds of sp ort positions athletes could receive. Four time Olympic water polo player Istvn Szvs Jr. explained the nature of his job like this: There were such jobs. They sent us somewhere, and so we did not have to go to work. Or in the morning you went, and you c ompleted your thing. When I began to play at Fradi [Ferencvros], I was an inspector at a dairy factory, which meant that everyday in the morning from 810 I went in. And 53 Although it will not be discussed here, f ootball players received an additional premium if they won matches and did so by a certain margin of points. The premium amounts varied according to what the OTSH established for each game. Klmn Ihsz, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler Budapest, 17 January 2015; Anna Molnr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Dorka Timr, Szentendre, 12 April 2015.

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151 at 10 I left. But to the extent that I was an inspector.I ate breakfast, I read the news. I never finished any effective work .54 Szvs Jr.s comment highlights how on a daily basis some Hungarian athletes did not need to perform any effective labor at their jobs in order to receive a paycheck His work as a dairy inspector proved typical of athletes sport jobs, because of Ferencvross connection to the Ministry of Agriculture. As he noted, other athletes did not need to come to their workplace, except to receive their paychecks every few weeks. Athletes with a sportlls like Szvs Jr. enj oyed the best possible scenario. Compared to most athletes in the US, many Hungarian athletes jobs purposefully did not interfere with training nor with frequent travel for competitions.55 This type of sport j ob undoubtedly played a significant role in improving an athletes chances of international sport success. It moreover contradicted the IOC amateur s rules and socialist ideology regarding productive labor. Although not technically a sport job, many of H ungarys best athletes received positions in the Hungarian military and police force as a result of competing for the Honvd (Army) and Dzsa (police) teams. For example, as a member of the Army team before his defection to the US in 1956, runner Lszl Tbori was a lieutenant and received his pay from the Army Nick Martin, a member of Hungarys gold medal winning water polo team who also defected to America in 1956, described how: when I left Hungary, I was a captain of the police. With each Olympic cham pionship we jumped rank, and I was happy in Hungary. I was a star. 54 Istvn Szvs Jr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 16 April 2015. 55 The papers of the OTSH did not include a single mention of the sportlls This is most likely due to the OTSHs desire to keep the existence of these jobs a secret, particularly from the IOC for eligibility purposes. Hungarian citizens would also not probably have been happy to see official evidence of privileges, socioeconomic differences and athletes special jobs. In their interviews however, nearly every athlete understood what sportlls meant in their interviews.

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152 Of course, as a policeman, I did absolutely nothing. I used to go in the first of each month to pick up my salary, but then I thought that was ridiculous. I just had it mailed to me [laughs ] .56 Martins description of his police rank and the benefits that went with it reveals several facets of the jobrelated privileges that athletes could enjoy. He interjected his happy memories of the advantages that the police position offered, and related it to his being a star in Hungary. Martins laughter at recalling how he confronted the ridiculous nature of the position illustrates his acknowledgement of the irony of the matter. By requesting for his paycheck to be mailed to him, Martin avoided participating in any of the typical work expected of policemen around the world, even down to simply showing up at the station once a month. Athletes who competed for the Army or Police team found themselves needing to face and comply with the st ates politics much more frequently than athletes on other teams, as well as interact with top Party and government leaders. After Tbori and his Army teammates broke the 4x1500 meter world track record in 1955, they reported to an event at the Ministry of Defense, which oversaw the team. The Minister of Defense himself, Mihly Farkas, shook hands with the recordbreaking relay team. Farkas told Tbori that, Great things come in small packages. Tbori, replied as if I agreedThen we drank a toast to H ungarian triumphs and afterwards they muttered the kind of things that they always did: Were the best! Were mighty! We love the Soviet Union!57 Olympic athletes typically experienced this level of state politicization of their success following their r eturn from the Olympics, and athletes more generally 56 Nick Martin, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 7 November 2017. 57 Lszl Tbori, A Biography: The Legendary Story of the Great Hungarian Runner (Sarasota: First Edition Design Publishing, 2015), 5253.

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153 needed to participate in statesponsored parades and other public events. This kind of closed event within the Ministry of Interior, then, appears limited to athletes on the Army and Police teams. Tbori had no choice but to perform as expected of him and accept that the Ministry of Defense wanted to politicize his success. Athletes on the Army and Police teams could also use their position to save people. During the Stalinist years, Martin witnessed som eone ask a bus driver if the bus went to Mikls Horthy Square, which derived its name from Hungarys aristocratic, interwar ruler who allied Hungary with the Nazis during the Second World War. A fter 1945 it was renamed Mricz Zsigmund Square C onsidering t he Stalinist climate of the 1950s, referring to this kind name for a location was dangerous. When a secret police officer began to escort the man off the bus, Martin intervened; since his police rank was higher than the officers, Martin was able to take c ontrol of the situation. The athlete recalled exclaiming to the man after they left the bus, Are you out of your mind? Do you want to get in trouble? Walk with me another corner, and then just go home and be quiet.58 Although Martin was the only athlete with a military or police rank who shared stories of helping people with his position, it does not mean that it did not happen. In my efforts to avoid posing potentially sensitive or leading questions to the narrators, this was not a question that I asked of them. The fact that Martin explicitly viewed this type of behavior as a privilege that he received as an athlete illustrates his sincerity in the matter. In fact, when asked about the privileges he received, this story was the first one that Martin shared; it must have immediately come to his mind because he did not hesitate in sharing it. 58 Nick Martin, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 6 November 2017.

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154 In terms of the sport jobs for nonmilitary athletes, some of them did require athletes to complete work during the week. Four time female Olympic fencer Ldia Dmlk y Skovics spent several years working twenty to thirty hours per week at the IBUSZ travel agency.59 It is not clear why she, as an Olympic athlete who won one gold and two silver medals between 19561968, needed to commit s o much time to her official job a s opposed to other athletes. It was not specific to her gender, as other female athletes worked at premium sport jobs similar to the one described by Szvs Jr. Anna Mo lnr, who worked as a chemist s assistant, never made the Olympic basketball team du ring her career in the midlate 1980s. Fortunately the fencer recalled enjoying the work, in part because through the position she developed useful connections in relation to traveling abroad.60 Athletes also tended to work real jobs if they were doctors, lawyers, or physical education teachers or while training for these professions. They usually worked around thirty hours per week in hospitals and offices in lieu of special sport jobs. Istvn Szondy, who won a team gold and indivi dual silver medal in modern pentathlon at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, remembered receiving at least half of his salary from his position as a physical education teacher at a school in the northern Budapest district of jpest.61 He most likely received the r est of his salary from his spor t club, Budapest Fklya (Torch). It is noteworthy that sport leaders and sport clubs permitted athletes in the medical, legal and sport related professions to work so many hours during thei r sport 59 Ldia Dmlky Skovics, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 April 2015.. 60 The topic of developing connections with people to obtain services, goods and information, coined blat by Alena Ledeneva, will be discussed in C hapter 6 61 Istvn Szondy co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015.

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155 careers. Sport leaders clearly valued the athletes who contribute to these professions in Hungary. If nothing else, sport leaders probably used athletes participation in white collar professions to help bolster their image as models for the rest of society. As for physical education teachers such as Szondy, the intention was quite clear: the state profited from the athletes expertise in identifying and developing the next generation of sport talent. In rarer cases still, some athletes such as the 1972 Olympic champion boxer Gyrgy Ged worked full time factory jobs during their careers.62 From 1964 until 1967 he worked as a welder in a shipyard, and then later in a factory that made ventilation equipment for export. He reportedly only received a onehour reduction from the workday for his training. It is not clear why Ged worked in a factory throughout his career.63 A thletes such as Ged who worked full time, factory positions stood at a clear disadvantage to people like Szvs Jr., who for part of his career could devote nearly all o f his time to training in his sport. After the ability to travel abroad, the opportunity to work at a special sport position represented one of the best privileges that athletes could enjoy. The sport jobs enabled athletes to focus much of their time and energy on training for competitions. Not all athletes received the premium positions that required them to only pick up their paycheck (or have it delivered to their homes). The different levels of sport jobs illustrate 62 Gyrgy Ged, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 24 January 2015. 63 Ged himself did not know why he worked in these kind of jobs, and not in a special sport job. Perhaps it was due to the fact that he was a boxer, and not a sport that was a higher priority within the sport leadership, such as swimming or football. In Hungary, boxing is a lower class sport, which tended to attract people with lower socioeconomic statuses, and those form minority groups. For example, while Ged was Jewish, the number one Hungarian boxer of all time, Lszl Papp, was of Roma background.

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156 how athletes privileges comprised a significant spectrum. The variety of employment opportunities available to athletes thus underscores the different socioeconomic levels within the community of athletes in socialist Hungary. As athletes such as Tbori and water polo player i only realized after defecting to the US, the privileges that the socialist systems offered their athletes were unparalleled in the world at the time. The sport jobs gave Hungarian athl etes an enormous advantage over their competitors in the West, such as in America, where many athletes struggled to work fulltime and train enough to be competitive at the international level. Prized Material Awards: Apartments and Cars Similar to traveling abroad, Eastern Europeans placed great value in obtaining housing and a car as a result of the constant housing shortages and limited production of automobiles. Many former citizens of the socialist states therefore maintain vivid memo ries of when they received permission to move into a new home, and/or when they could obtain a car. Phrases and words such as receive permission and obtain are key within the socialist context; the states control of all resources, and the endemic scar city of housing and automobiles throughout the period, meant that citizens normally waited on a list upwards of ten years before they were allocated them. In comparison, athletes only typically needed to wait a few months for an apartment or car. Contrary to popular lore however, the national sport body and sport clubs did not simply gift athletes these items; rather, sport leaders and/or the sport club found an available flat or car, after which the athlete could receive and pay for it. Unlike traveling and the sport jobs, these privileges constituted a material award, or an anyagi jutal om. In their interviews, athletes stressed the fact that they needed help with finding an apartment. Although Chapter 6 discuss es the topic of patronage, blat and socialist

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157 connections more thoroughly, an analysis of how socialist citizens obtained housing and cars would be incomplete without the concepts. Athletes used a combination of patronage and the more horizontal connections in blat in order to obtain the se rvices, go ods and information that the leadership promised them.64 As members of the cultural elite, athletes enjoyed special access to highranking members of the sport world and other ministries with their sport connections Istvn Szondy counted top sport leader and OTSB president in the 1950s, Gy ula Hegyi, as a one of his connections As a result of Hegyis help, Szondy received an apartment in a prime location in downtown Budapest, only a few blocks from the Danube River, on Pannnia street.65 Although many narrators recounted the help they received in obtaining an apartment, very few of them acknowledged another main component of their privileges that helped them obtained a prized item : jumping the line and getting ahead of other people. Part of Istvn Szvs Jr.s interview highlights this point: Szvs Jr.: The club [might help someone get an apartment], but not the federation. And not every club. Usually the [Ministry of] Interior club, the Honvd club would help, maybe Ferencvros, Vasas. The big clubs could help one person. For me for example, my first apartment was 70 square meters of an estate, in Obuda, it was a cooperative apartment. That was as much as my money [could afford]. In that they could help, that I received an allocation. Mikls Zeidle r : Well, to advance on the waiting list. Szvs Jr.: Yes, somewhere I got ahead. They allocated it to me, and I paid.66 64 Although no exac t equivalent of the word blat exists in Hungarian, the phrase szocialista sszekttetsek or socialist connections, is the closest to the Russian term as it describes the nature of the contacts that people used secure items and opportunities Peoples b lat network and socialist connections consisted of relations with family and friends, at their workplace, and their friends contacts Valuch, Kz kezet mos , 76 81; see Ledeneva, Russia s Economy of Favors 65 Istvn Szondy co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015. 66 Istvn Szvs Jr co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler Budapest, 16 April 2015.

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158 The issue of moving ahead on the wait list represented one of several facets of their privileges that seemed to make athletes uncomfor table. It most likely reminded them of the uniqueness of the material privileges that they enjoyed compared to everyone else. My co interviewers decision to present the other side of Szvs Jr .s apartment allocation to him to challenge his memory and int erpretation, as some might say represented an attempt to uncover the silences that exist within the narrators understanding of their experiences and memories .67 Some narrators offered general statements that compared their overall circumstances to what average Hungarian experienced. Yet very few of them offered a deeper account of how their circumstances and privileges, such as with obtaining an apartment, differed from those of other citizens. In this case, j umping the line occurred at the expense of peopl e less fortunate in their status and connections. M ost athletes retained fond memories of the first apartment they moved into after reaching the status of an elite athlete. In the late 1950s, Olympic fencing couple Ldia Dmlky Skovics and J zsef Skovi cs received permission to move into and buy an apartment. She still proudly lives in it today.68 In 1977 two fencing brothers, Gbor and n idyllic town near Budapest.69 The ability to build a house was a privilege reserved mainly for people who 67 For an interesting take on the different kinds of silences that can appear in oral histories, see Sarah N ickel, Youll probably tell me that your grandmother was an Indian Princess: Identity, Community, and Politics in the Oral History of the Union of British Columbian Indian Chiefs, 19691980, Oral History Forum dhistoire orale 34 (2014): 1 19. 68 The interview that I conducted with her was done in the same apartment. Ldia Dmlky Skovics interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 April 2015. 69

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159 the opportunity together probably helped their case. The practice of needing to request housing conti nued even into the late 1980s. In 1986 basketball player Anna Molnr and her husband moved into a building of flats owned by the company of her sport club, Tungsram Electrical Company, in 1986. Molnrs club offered them a loan to buy the apartment. While companies normally required loan recipients to work for them for a set number of years, Molnr and her husband bypassed this step .70 Throughout state socialism, obtaining a flat proved to be one of the top bene fits of becoming a top athlete. M any athletes corroborated this in their interviews. Most of the time the national sport body needed to approve athletes requests for better housing, after which they sent the request on to a higher authority. Requests for housing therefore became one of the few issues directly related to athletes lives that sport leaders dealt with regularly and in an official capacity.71 While the sport clubs usually requested apartments from the national sport body on behalf on their athletes, athletes sometimes also submi tted letters directly to the sport body to support their case. In January 1954 runner Lszl Zarndi submitted a housing request to OTSB president Gyula Hegyi. Zarndi asked for an apartment that would allow for more relaxation to, achieve the best possi ble results.72 Zarndi was a member of the bronze medal winning 4x100 meter r elay at the 1952 Helsinki Games. He sent another, more 70 Anna Molnr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Dorka Timr, Szentendre, 12 April 2015. 71 As a result of this, there is significant documentary evidence available within the available OTSH materials. 72 Trgy: Zarndi Lszl lakskrelmnek felterjeszts 809 Laksgyek ttel 68 d., XIX I 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary.

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160 detailed twopage letter to Hegyi about his ho using situation. In September 1954, Zarndis superior skola, or the Physical Education University, sent another letter to Hegyi in support of Zarndis request.73 Olympic champion water polo player Gyrgy Krpti also sent multiple requests to the OTSB regarding his living situation, albeit with requests for m oney for home repairs. H e finally received the financial assistance in 1957, a full year after winning his second Olympic gold medal and several years after he originally began submitting his requests.74 Krpti s request illustrates the range of issues in which athletes relied on and appealed to the national sport body for help. The acute housing shortage in the 1950s helps to explain why it often took repeated requests from athletes and sport clubs for a particular matter to be resolved. Yet athletes cont inued to struggle to secure housing even into the 1960s and 1970s, by which time the housing shortage had supposedly been solved. Tams Wichmann and Gyrgy Ged, a twotime Olympic silver medal canoer and Olympic champion boxer respectively, both encounter ed obstacles when they requested help with their living situation in the late 1960s 1970s.75 According to Ged: I asked the sport committee, what they called the OTSH, the National Office of Sport and Physical Education, and I asked if it was possible for t hem to try to help, because I live along the Duna [Danube],.. and I pay 400 forints a month. It was hot when I ran after the bus. The water in the jug 73 Since there is no further evidence regarding Zarndis housing issue, his request was probably fulfilled following the letter sent by his workplace. Trgy: Zarndi Lszl lakskrelmnek felterjeszts 809 Laksgyek ttel 68 d ., XIXI 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary. Kiril Tomoff discusses how musicians used letters of support from people in higher positions than them in order to substantiate their requests to the higher authorities. See Tomoff, Most Respected Comrade. 74 Ultimately he received a total of 9,000 forints for home repairs. Trgy: Feljegyzs: Krpti Gyrgy s Jeney Lszl, Uszs 1957 v. Ttel 105 d., XIX I 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 75 Tams Wichmann, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, Hungary, 11 November 2014 ; Gyrgy Ged, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 24 January 2015.

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161 was frozen, it was that cold. I asked, that they help solve the problem. And so they told me not to be hop eful because [Tams] Wichmann...who was the World Championlive[s] in a laundry room with children and a mother. They [he] were World champions, I am just a European champion. Do not be hopeful .76 Geds memory is interesting for a number of reasons. When recollecting the episode, Ged included the reasons he used to justify to the OTSH why needed assistance with his living situation. He moreover remembered very clearly that the OTSH did not promise to be able to help him immediately with an apartment; instead, the sport body compared his situation to that of a more successful athlete, therefore relativizing his request altogether. At the time of Geds request in 1969, it was several years before he won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympic Games. By compar ing the boxers situation to a more successful athlete, perhaps the OTSH sought to deflect Ged s attention away from the bureaucratic challenges that sport leaders sometimes faced in finding apartments for athletes, and therefore from the limitations the socialist system placed on their ability to aid athletes. On the other hand, the OTSH might have just been realistic about Geds chances in receiving an apartment considering his level of sport success. Regardless of the OTSHs reasons for their response, the incident demonstrates the limited challenges that athletes could face in meeting their basic housing needs under state socialism .77 The boxers memories illustrate how sport leaders at the OTSH tried to be forthcoming with athletes regarding expectatio ns about receiving an allocated 76 Gyrgy Ged, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 24 January 2015. 77 I do not think that it is a coincidence that h e was the only one out of twenty three interviewees who 1) worked a full time factory job, 2) encountered such stiff resistance when he requested help with an apartment, and 3) described how he was taken from his house and forced to do military duty.

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162 apartment. Even if they did not have to wait fiveto ten years for an apartment like most Hungarians, some athletes did not receive them with a snap of their fingers. Despite his portrayal of the OTSHs response, later in the interview Ged explained how the body allocated him an apartment in a prefabricated or panel building with heating and hot water in the same year as the above request, in 1969.78 The boxers depiction of how the OTSH responded to his request is characteristic of his broader oral history. In nearly every memory, Ged appears as a victim who should have received more than he did. Whereas most of my narrators worked at paper jobs and received salaries just to train, Ged labored in a factory and only received a onehour reduction every day to practice.79 Today, he is known for more than his Olympic gold medal in 1972. In 1998, he was discovered shining shoes in Heroes Square, a popular and visible place in Budapest. Ged endured significant injury and econ omic strain after the regime change in 1989, and wanted to bring attention to the financial struggles that he and other athletes faced. The discovery of Geds financial position led the Hungarian Parliament to eventually decide to pay a monthly annuity wi th benefits to Olympic champions who face economic hardship.80 Through his memories, 78 At first Ged confused the dates of when he received the apartment, and switched between saying he received it in 1969 and in the year before he won his Olympic gold medal, in 1971. The boxers confusion is understandable. It is not unrealistic to think that at sixty six years old, Geds brain had suffered serious damage from his boxing career. If Ged did not receive the apartment allocation in 1969, he likely received it sometime before 1972 Munich Olympics. It is important, however, that the OTSHs respons e to Geds request plays a bigger role in his memory than the date of when he actually received it. Even if Ged moved into the apartment in 1971, he still only waited two years, in comparison to the fiveto ten years that most people waited. Ibid. 79 Ibid. 80 Magyar Nemzet 21 April 2014, a ccessed 23 September 2017, gyorgy cipot pucolt a hosok teren1222132.

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163 then, Ged may have been trying to reinforce the image of the downandout Olympic champion. The ease or difficulty and manner in which athletes gained access to an apart ment highlights the role that connections played in their lives. In the context of the Soviet music world, Kiril Tomoff illustrates how musicians use of their connections to obtain what they wanted underscored the relationship between hierarchical power and creative authority.81 In the case of the athletesport leadership relationship, athletic performance took the place of creative authority The national sport body most likely believed that people like Szvs Jr. stood poised to win more gold medals than people such as Ged. T he scarcity of available automobiles also made them an extremely coveted item in the Eastern Bloc. After submitting a cash deposit, average Hungarians waited on a list upwards of ten years in order to be able to take a car home.82 But the common belief that sport clubs and the national sport body simply gave cars as gifts to top athletes also proved untrue; just as with apartments, an athletes c lub and/or the national sport body needed to give him or her a permit to buy a car. In fact, nearly every narrator stressed the fact that they needed to buy the car with their own money. Most athletes, particularl y those in ball sports who medaled at the O lympics, bought the East Germanproduced Trabant, the most common car in the Bloc countries and thus symbolic of the era. Other athletes, such as 81 Tomoff, Most respected comrade, 44. 82 For a fascinating discussion of how Poles tried to jump the line to receive a car, see Mariusz Jastrzab, Cars as Favors in Peoples Poland, in The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, ed. Lewis Siegelbaum ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010) 30 46.

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164 O wning a car from Western Europe, and not one produced in the Bloc gave an athlete great pride and status within the sport and larger Hungarian community. The story of how Istvn Szvs Jr. bought his first car helps delineate a number of points about the nature of elite athletes status and opportunities under socialism: Szvs Jr.: When I was 20 I bought a car, that the Customs [Authorities] had confiscated, for 60,000 forints in installments. I paid 30,000 [forints] down, and within two years I paid the [rest of the] 30,000. A grey [car]. Mikls Zeidler : But then that was obviously not from the scholarship money. Szvs Jr.: No. I put the money together from the sport. A Volkswagen [Beetle]. There was a wooden steering wheel...there was a tape player built into it, speakers on the side...83 Szvs Jr. bought t he car in 1968, the same year as his first of four appearances at the Olympic Games. His story illustrates an interesting facet of the relationship between elite athletes and the state under socialism. The state and various ministries sought to obtain more than just political legitimacy and gold medals in their relationships and interactions with cultural figures like athletes. When possible, the state took advantage of ways to profit financially from athletes. In this light, Szvs Jr. s acquisition of the car was a win win for both parties. It is unclear how Szvs Jr. found out about the confiscated car. He probably learned about it through a connection; fortunately for him, Szvs Jr. belongs to a dynastic water polo family in Hungar y. His father, Istvn Szvs Sr. was a two time Olympic gold medal water polo player, in 1952 and 1956. Szvs Jr. s son, Mrton Szvs moreover played on three medal winning World Championship water polo teams between 20052013. Szvs Jr. therefore could use his own sport 83 Istvn Szvs Jr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 16 April 2016.

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165 connections in obtaining items and opportunities, as well as those of his father. Considering the way that he remembered receiving the apartment, it is not a surprise that Szvs Jr. did not recollect (or share) more details about how he discovered the opportunity to buy the car. Finding A Career and Stability a fter Sport Athletes seemed to understand the limited nature of their sport careers. Pentathlete Ferenc Trk described in his memoir how compared to other professi onals, The athlete, on the other hand, has a short time, in good cases a few successful years, and then it ends.84 Like athletes all over the world, those under socialism could only train twice a day and compete for so long. Numerous athletes competed thr oughout their thirties, and some managed to continue into their forties. Their limited careers meant that they needed to begin preparing for their post athletic employment during their competition days in order to ensure the best possible lifestyle for the m and their families. Their limited career spans could have influenced sport leaders to disregard and neglect athletes once they passed their prime competitive careers. Yet the sport leadership in many cases believed it necessary to continue helping athlet es once they retired. Sport leaders such as Gyula Hegyi and Istvn Buda probably saw the value in continuing to use athletes for propaganda reasons for the state, such as to display the ideal s ocialist values to the public. Eve with sport leaders help, at hletes still needed to utilize their own skills in order for their post sport careers to be successful enough to support their desired lifestyles. 84 Ferenc Trk, Ha kell, jra lefutom ( Budapest: ghajlat knyvkiad kft, 2011), 108109.

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166 Some athletes chose to attend university in the middle of their sport careers in order to begin a profession such as in medicine or law. The sports that historically attracted middle and upper middle class athletes, such as fencing and water polo, tended to produce more athletes turnedlawyers and doctors than other sports. Yet attending university in the middle of an athletes training was not an easy decision to make. First, obtaining a university degree required athletes to take time away from training to attend classes, study for tests and complete the other degree criteria. Athletes therefore needed to learn how to juggle their intense training with serious study. While Szvs Jr. described the accommodations his professors at the dental university gave him with regard to missing classes and exams, another water polo player experienced the exact opposite with one of his medical school professors.85 Although perhaps Szvs Jr. s enormous success aided his cause at the university, it is more likely that athletes experiences with university professors differed on a caseby case basis. Athletes also oftentimes needed to switch from their original sport clubs to the one connected to their university. Szvs Jr. played for Vasas from 1960 1968 one of the most successful and powerful clubs in Hungary at the time.86 But when he decided to attend dental school at Semmelweis University, he switched from Vasas to Semmelweiss club, Orvosegyetem Sport Club, (hereafter OSC). As a smaller club, OSC enjoyed fewer connections to the OTSH or any of the government ministries than 85 Istvn Szvs Jr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 16 April 2015; Rbert Tams, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Annamria Sas, Budapest, 3 June 2015. 86 Szvs Jr. had a special connection to Vasas, since his father, Istvn Szvs (Olympic water polo champion at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics) previously played and coached at Vasas. Istvn Szvs Jr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 16 April 2015.

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167 Vasas. OSC thus wielded less power and financial means to support its athletes. According to Szvs Jr., in addition to the university scholarship, athletes sometimes received a small monthly payment.87 The payment did not compare to what he would have continued receiving at Vasas; yet as Szvs Jr. explained, obtaining a university education was very valuable, as it provided him with a viable professional career after retiring from sport.88 Athletes like Szvs Jr. clearly viewed university educati on as a tool for maintaining their socioeconomic status.89 The sport leadership also saw the value in Hungarian athletes attending university; sport leaders and the media could point to university educated athletes as the epitome of what ordinary Hungarians should aspire to. The OTSH sometimes helped athletes gain entry to university, particularly if they contained undesirable elements in their family background or lacked the necessary academic criteria. Although he did not provide specific details, Olympic gold medal gymnast Zoltn Magyar admitted to receiving help from sport leaders in securing admission to veterinary school after his retirement in the 1980s .90 Many successful athletes became noteworthy coaches upon their retirement from competition. Spo rt leaders understood the merit of using athletes expertise to train the 87 Not all professors proved willi ng to accommodate athletes requests for exam extensions. Some athletes cited examples where individual professors proved difficult and either did not accommodate their needs, or did so begrudgingly. But this behavior from professors appears to have been r are, and not the norm. Rbert Tams, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Annamria Sas, Budapest, 3 June 2015. 88 According to OTSH documents, his salary from OSC was 600 forints per month. Istvn Szvs Jr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 16 April 2015. 89 The Eastern European socialist leaders believed that university education could be a tool for upward (social) mobility, mainly for under privileged people like worker peasants. Initially, students with an intellectual or otherwise middleclass background were not as readily accepted into universities. But admissions were relaxed after 1956 in Hungary, which served to further exacerbate social stratification. See John Connelly, Captive University: The Sovietization of East Ger man, Czech and Polish Higher Education ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000) 3. 90 Zoltn Magyar co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pal, Budapest, 27 April 2015.

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168 younger generations of Hungarian athletes. As illustrated in Figures 34, there was significant propaganda value in portraying former successful athletes giving back to Hungarian soc iety by continuing to contribute to the nations sport success. Retired athletes still needed to attend university and receive a degree from the Physical Education University before they could enjoy a coaching position. Figure 33 Three time Olympic gold medal boxer Lszl Papp, in 1958, training the younger generation. Photo credit: Fortepan. Many retired athletes also aspired to top leadership positions within their sport club or federation, the national sport body or the Hungarian Olympic Committ ee. Typically, o nly the most successful athletes enjoyed these positions. Former athletes, such as twotime Olympic gold medalist pentathlete Ferenc Trk, usually spent at least a decade as a coach before ascending the ladder to higher leadership positions.91 After receiving his coaching diploma in 1966, Trk became the head coach of the national pentathlon team in 1976. H e coached the Hungarian Olympic pentathlon team to individual and team gold medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Trk and each 91 After receiving his coaching diploma in 1966, Trk became the head coach of the national pentathlon team in 1976. He was then a member of the presidency of the Hungarian Pentathlon Association from 19891996.

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169 membe r of the 1988 Olympic pentathlon team Jnos Martinek, Attila Mizsr and Lszl Fbian all spent time working either as President or Vice President of the Hungarian Pentathlon Association. Trk was a member of the MOB from 19891997, and Fbian has been MOB member since 1996. Their appointments to these positions is common amongst Olympic gold medalists. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is rarer for less successful athletes and coaches to obtain high administrative positions; and although it is beyond the scope of this chapter, it is also less common for former top female athletes to reach the same sport administrative positions as their male counterparts .92 The issue of how athletes transitioned after retirement and supported themselves financially was a serious question that athletes and the sport leadership faced. Athletes such as Szvs Jr. associated their decision to enter university or become a coach as the most viable way to secure their familys financial and material needs in retirement. Istvn Buda, president of the OTSH and MOB from 19781985, explained the difficulties in impressing upon athletes the importance of developing a life after sport that did not depend on the help of the OTSH.93 W hile Buda and others did not bestow lavish gifts to r etired athletes, they facilitated athletes access to opportunities to become successful on their own dime, or based or their own efforts. The national sport bodies thereby sought to enable athletes to find avenues through which to secure their financial s tability after ending their careers. The OTSH most likely did this for three main reasons. First, it remained in the best interest of the sport leadership for their current and former star 92 Despite not having any coaching experience, Olympic swimmer Judit Temes became a member of the MOB in 1961, of the Hungarian Swimming Association in 1973, and a member of the European Swimming Associations Technical Committee in 1977. She had received a medical degree i n 1955 and worked in a hospi tal in Budapest. 93 Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013.

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170 athletes to continue to be successful, as it demonstrated the socialist states goodwill. The second reason lay in the states ability to profit from the athletes business dealings, just as when Istvn Szvs Jr. purchased the confiscated Volkswagen Beetle. Finally, athletes continued success offered a model for how average Hungarians could also achieve and enjoy the benefits of the good life if they worked hard and played by the rules of the state.94 The Business Permit The opportunities provided by the business permit for athletes, the sport leadership, and the social ist state deserve more explanation for several reasons. Unlike the other privileges, the phenomenon of the business permit was tied to the implementation of the New Economic Mechanism in 1968 (hereafter NEM). NEM consisted of a series of economic reforms aimed at focusing increasing profits in the Hungarian economy. One facet of NEM allowed for the formation of small businesses, as well as increased international trade. The sport leadership also sought avenues in which both athletes and the state could earn a profit; t he case of how Istvn Szvs Jr. paid and received his car highlighted how state officials in late socialism approved and even endorsed deals with athletes that benefitted both parties. The same reasoning can be used to partially explain why sport leaders increasingly allowed athletes to bring goods in and out of Hungary. The ability to earn money from transactions with athletes demonstrates how the Hungarian socialist state increasingly viewed athletes as sources of earning potential. The oppor tunity to become an economic contributor to the state s 94 The state moreover attempted to incorporate athletes into the economic sphere that was emerging as a result of the New Economic Mechanism, passed in 1968. By doing this, the state and sport leadership could continue promoting and using athletes as role models for the broader public; more specifically, these athletes could become models for the New Socialist (Consumer) Man or Woman.

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171 coffers meant that athletes value did not simply lie in their ability to help with Hungarys sport diplomacy goals. The ability to obtain a business permit exemplifies this point. The chance to operate a shop, such as a clothing or electronics store, opened up a world of possibilit i es in a socialist country. Athletes often combined their privileges and socialist sport connections in order to secure a permit and obtain or create merchandise to sel l in their private businesses Despite never competing for the Olympic team, fencer Gbor siness permit in 1971, and opened a clothing store that he ran with his wife. He used the sewing machines he smuggled home after a competition to make the sweaters he sold in the store.95 He also recounted needing to pay a tip to the tax inspectors who came to the store, so that he could report lower profits to the state than what his store actually made.96 r he retired from fencing in the early 1980s, and it did not close until the political changes in level continue to br ing back cloth material to make sweaters for his store. As mentioned before, Golden Team goalie Gyula Grosics ran a fashion boutique with his wife in the late 1970s. He used his connections with the current generation of football players to sell the goods that they brought back home from abroad. Once he 95 The fencers abili ty to adapt and make use of the opportunities at his disposal with the permit illustrates how Sylvain Dufraisses point about how athlete adapted to customs rules and changing implementationcan be taken further to illustrate some athletes broader econom ic activities. Dufraisse, Des sordides actes, 173174. interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 11 July 2013. 96 Ibid.

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172 began selling smuggled computers however, Grosics crossed a line where even top sport leader Istvn Buda and his other contacts could not help him.97 Although it is not clear what punishment Grosics received, his wifes store permit was likely revoked. When discussing the incident, Buda, who remained committed to his socialist beliefs and actions until his death in 2013, characterized Grosicss behavior as greedy; considering the sport leaders continued pol itical beliefs, Budas assessment of Grosics most likely represented the sport leaderships overall attitude towards Grosicss activities. The footballers greedy behavior moreover justified the skeptics within the socialist leadership about the dangers in giving athletes prized privileges and opportunities. Finally, his behavior was the exact opposite of what the state wanted athletes to represent to the public as model socialist citizens. In 1987 twotime Olympic silver medalist canoer Tams Wichmann o pened his own pub. When explaining how he opened the bar, Wichmann explicitly pointed out that contrary to the rumor, he did not merely receive the shop as a gift for his sport successes; Wichmann insisted that he bought the space in the late 1980s and use d his own hands to build and craft the interior of the pub.98 Unlike most of the small businesses that athletes operated under socialism, Wichmanns pub weathered the political changes in 1989 and remained open until in 2018. The business permit represented a significant opportunity for athletes to support themselves financially after retiring from sport. The permit enabled the national sport body in late socialism, the OTSH, to help and use athletes for propaganda purposes 97 Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013. 98 Tams Wichmann, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 11 November 2014.

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173 without needing to give them signi ficant financial aid. The story of Grosicss store underscores how even though the state sought ways to profit from athletes nonsport activities, operating a shop most likely placed the owners in an even more vulnerable position than before. Even in late socialism sport leaders and the state seemed to believe that a thin line existed between businesses The Best of Them All: Winning an Olympic Gold Medal Winning an Olympic gold medal gave athletes the most immediate and tangible privilege of all: a small fortune in the form of a onetime lump sum.99 Even the conditions of the shortage economy in which the constant scarcity of goods meant that even if someone had money, the goods might not be available to buy did not impede athletes ability to make a oncein a lifetime purchase with the gold medal sum. Receiving the money in return for winning a gold medal did not mean the same as winning the lottery in an American sense; rather, it enabled athletes to buy something that co uld fundamentally impact their lives, such as a car or furniture to outfit an apartment. It is important to note that silver and bronze Olympic medalists also received significant monetary awards, albeit less than their gold medal counterparts. In order to illustrate a sense of the meaning of these amounts to Hungarians at the time, when possible I compare the awards to the other scant financial information available. Hungarian Olympic gold medal ists from the 1948 Summer Olympic Games received 10,000 forints, or about ten months worth of a top athletes in 1954.100 The 99 It is not entirely clear whether athletes received these lump sums from MOB or the OTSH. There is no mention of these awards in the OTSH documents, and several of the athletes gave conflicting accounts of who gave them this money (if they remembered at all). 100 Juha Pl, Feldobja vagy lebntja a sportolkat a hszmillis olimpiai jutalom?, Origo online, 20 April 2012, accessed 15 March 2017, helyezettek dijazasa-

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174 monetary award for Olympic champion athletes increased with every Olympic Games. After winning individual silver and bronze medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, pentathletes Gbor Benedek and Istvn Szondy received 14,000 and 12,000 forints respectively.101 By the 1976 Olympics that amount increased to 70,000 forints for gold medal winners, or about $1683 US dollars at that time.102 The 1976 amount totaled nearly two times the average Hungari ans year ly salary at that time.103 T he Olympic gold medal rewards saw a dramatic increase of 60,000 forints between 1948 and 1976, in less than thirty years. The spike in Olympic medal rewards further supports the idea that the OTSH, together with the MOB, strove to incentivize athletes to perform better on the international stage with considerable increases in their monthly salaries and medal rewards. Yet these increases remained geared towards the top tier athletes. The rise in Olympic medal rewards did no t directly impact those who never qualified for the Olympics or World and European Championships, except to motivate them to train harder and perform better at competitions. The surge in Olympic medal rewards reflected sport leaders growing concern with H ungarys performance at the Olympic Games in the 1970s. Unfortunately for Hungarian sport leaders, increasing the gold medal rewards and monthly incentives did sors tamas kovacs antal gyenesei leila.html ; Trgy: Torna, 1954, 8826 Beszmolk, versenykirtkelsek ttel 71 d., XIX I 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 101 Istvn Szondy co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015. 102 Conversion from Hungarian forints to US dollars based on the calculations on ht tp:// Unfortunately, the earliest date that the site can convert forints to dollars is 1968. This explains why there is no currency conversion given for the forint amounts prior to 1968. 103 Pl, Feldobja vagy lebntja a sportolkat a hszmi llis olimpiai jutalom? Origo online; and Magyarorszg npessge s gazdasga mlt s jelen. B udapest, 1996 (updated February 2016), Kzpont Statisztikai Hivatal, http://www

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175 not correlate to a boost in Olympic performance: after receiving the fourthmost Olympic medals in the 1968 Mexico Olympics, the Hungarian Olympic team never again placed in the top five in the total medal count. Hungarian sport leaders goal of repeating the sport successes of the 1950s proved more elusive than ever. It is important to analyze the l ump sum amounts for Olympic medals within the purview of the shortage economy that characterized life under state socialism. Winning a gold medal and the lump sum during the socialist era did not equate to becoming a millionaire It did, however, enable a Hungarian athlete to splurge on a major consumer item such as a car or refrigerator Boxer Gyrgy Ged proudly explained how when he received 50,000 forints for his gold medal at the 1972 Munich Games, he outfitted his entire home with new furniture.104 Wate r polo player Gbor Csap recalled how some of his Olympic teammates used the reward to buy their first car after the 1976 Olympics .105 Within the socialist context, most families spent up to a decade saving money and pooling their resources together in order to make a deposit and /or pay for a similar purchase. The financial rewards for Olympic medals thereby signified a certain level of wealth in socialist society that very few people enjoyed. Elite athletes understood this dynamic and placed signif icant meaning in obtaining monetary awards as a result of their sport successes. The 70,000 forints that gold medalists at the 1976 Montreal Olympics received did not enable them to buy an apartment outright, as the average flat 104 In the interviews, most athletes appeared hesitant to disclose how much they had received for an Olympic medal, and either downplayed the amount of the award or denied receiving anything altogether. Gyrgy Ged, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 24 January 2014. 105 Gbor Csap, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 20 April 2015.

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176 cost between 300,000400,000 forints in the late 1970s.106 None of the athletes cited the gold medal monetary rewards as their main motivation for training and competing. However, the lump sums symbolized real wealth and, as a result of the consumer items athletes bought with their mo ney, a high status to which most Hungarians aspired Fortunately for athletes in late socialism, the significant increase in lump sum amounts occurred just as the state heralded the obtainment of such goods as the new socialist form of consumption.107 Stor ies of gold medal winning athletes buying furniture or a car with their rewards demonstrate athletes willingness to embrace the states turn to consumption. The experiences and memories of Tams Wichmann help illustrate this point. Wichmann achieved an im pressive two silver Olympic medals and was a ninetime World Champion sprint canoer. He mourned the fact however, that he did not win a gold medal at any of the four Olympics that he competed in between 19681980.108 Interestingly, Wichmann must have receiv ed monetary awards for his Olympic silver medals and World Championship gold ones. Yet he did not mention this in his interview. Part of the reason for his regret lay in his inability to enjoy the broader privileges that he otherwise would have received as a gold medalist. Since the late 1990s early 2000s the Hungarian government has given Olympic champion athletes a monthly monetary 106 Tibor Valuch, Magyarorszg trsadalomtrtnete a XX. Szzad msodik felben ( Osiris Kiad: Budapest, 2005) 138. 107 Beth Greene, Selling Market Soci alism: Hungary in the 1960s, Slavic Review 73, 1 (Spring 2014): 108132. 108 Despite not winning a gold medal however, Wichmann remains one of the more popular and well known athletes of the 1970s today. Tams Wichmann, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 11 November 2014.

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177 sum for the rest of their lives. Wichmanns silver medal excludes him from receiving this government money. He moreover lamented not receiving the kind of attention from the sport community then and today that other athletes receive in terms of obtaining respectful coaching positions and serving as sport commentators on TV. His lamentations illustrate his desire to receive more prestige and work within the sport community today. The monetary award for the silver medal, combined with obtaining the business permit and opening the bar in 1987, did not extend the financial stability nor opportunities within Hungarian sport that he d esired. Wichmann is right to believe that winning an Olympic gold medal could provide the foundation for a lifetime of financial stability, as well as a better reputation and positions within the Hungarian sport world than what he currently enjoys. Many of these privileges were connected to winni ng an Olympic g old medal and continue to be so today .109 Although nonOlympic, second success and stability outside of the sport community, the Olympic gold medal remained key for most athletes to reach the next step in the Hungarian sport community. Athletes Salaries & Monetary Incentives Despite the scant number of primary sources and secondary literature on the monthly salaries for athletes and Hungarians more generall y, it is possible to draw a few conclusions about athletes incomes. This section therefore analyzes the incomes of athletes alongside that of average Hungarians and Party leadership, and also highlights the different levels of salary figures for athletes. Situating athletes salaries within this 109 R eceiving a gold medal puts athletes in the spotlight for almost the rest of his life in Hungary, in terms of opening doors to coaching positions on successive Olympics teams, becoming an IOC member, and a sports commentator on TV.

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178 context shows that athletes only received slightly higher incomes than the average Hungarian, and much less than what state leaders enjoyed. Considering the surprisingly small gap between the incomes of athletes and the average person, I placed athletes salaries outside of the pyramid of privileges earlier in the chapter. The nature of their special sport job mattered more to athletes lives than their salaries, in terms of how the unique circumstances of their j obs aided their training and sport careers. Athletes received money mainly from their work place, and sometimes from their sport club and the national sport body Interestingly, many athletes recalled the nature of their sport jobs but not their incomes nor the incentive money from the national sport body. The money from the OTSH consisted of supplementary funds, intended to incentivize athletes to bring home better results from competitions. C oncrete figures relating to athletes income appeared only twic e in the archival collection of the national sport body: once in 1954 concerning Hungarian gymnasts, and again in the early 1970s. Each time, the national sport body divided athletes pay into three tiers or categories, with the first tier encompassing Oly mpic and World Championship medalists. The figures from 1954 also include the gymnasts sport clubs, jobs, the salaries that they received from their workplaces, their athletic achievements, as well as a brief assessment of the athletes moral and political characteristics. Figure 3 1 shows the salaries for First Tier gymnasts. Ferenc Pataki won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics in the floor exercise, and a bronze in both the vault and in the team combined exercise. gnes Keleti was one of the most successf ul gymnasts of all time, winning 5 gold medals at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, as well as multi ple silver and bronze medals.

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179 Figure 34 Document detailing the background information for gymnasts in 1954, including their salary information. Trgy: Torna, 1954, 8826 Beszmolk, versenykirtkelsek ttel 71 d., XIX I 14a, MNL The second column lists the sport clubrelated information for each athlete.110 Born in 1917, Ferenc Pataki played for Vrs (Red) Meteor. He "worked for the National Company for In dustrial Coal Sales where he received 1,500 forints per month. As for Keleti, she competed for Posts Sport Egyeslet ( Posta l Sport Team ) and received 900 forints a month from her workplace. At the time of this documentation, Pataki was past his prime years of the 1948 Olympics, where he won a gold medal. Meanwhile, Keleti neared the height of her career, having won one gold medal, one silver, and two bronze at the 1952 Olympics, and later winning an astounding four gold medals and two silver s at the Melbourne Olympic Games in 1956. For reasons that are unclear she received a much lower base salary from her job than Pataki did, totaling 600 less forints per month. To add to the confusion, Pataki received 500 forints per month as an extra or bonus, while Keleti received 600. Both were moreover the first gymnasts to receive the coveted title of master of Hungarian gymnastics. The 110 Trgy: Torna, 1954, 8826 Beszmolk, versenykir tkelsek ttel 71 d., XIX I 14 a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary.

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180 documentation about the second and third tier athletes and their monthly salaries fluctuated in a similar fashion It is worthwhile to compare the salary and bonus ranges between the two top tiers. While Pataki and Keletis sport club salaries ranged from 9001,500 forints, the monetary incentives they received from the OTSH totaled between 500600 forints. The comb ination of the two sources of monetary income earned them between 1,5002,000 forints per month. Aside from Olga Tass, who re ceived no salary as a student at the Physical Education University, Tier Two athletes received between 5001,250 forints from their places of work Their OTSH supplements earned them an additional 300600 forints.111 The range o f total monetary earnings that Tier T wo athletes could receive was much bigger than for Tier O ne athletes from 6001,650 for ints Table 31 compares the various monetary earnings more directly, and also includes Tier T hree athletes. Table 3 1. Range of Athletes Monthly Salaries (in Hungarian Forints).112 Tiers Sport Job Salary Incentive Money Total Salary Tier 1 900 1,500 500 600 1,500 2,000 Tier 2 0 (student) 1,250 300 600 600 1,650 Tier 3 0 (non student) 1,150 200 400 200 1,450 Receiving substant ial sums of monetary incentives outs ide of their sport job salaries typically increased athletes total earnings above what the average Hungarian received. The next time that the national sport body discussed, documented, and catalogued information relating to athletes take home pay occurred in 19701972. The changes in athletes monthly earnings occurred on a sliding scale, with toptier athletes receiving the biggest pay increase. Importantly, this material did not include the salaries 111 Ibid. 112 Ibid.

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181 that athletes received from their sport jobs; it only referred to th e monetary incentives that the OTSH gave them As a result, it is difficult to compare the total amount of money that athletes earned between the two periods. The documents from 1970 show the development of a more nuanced approach to motivating and awardi ng successful athletes with monetary incentives. T he OTSH used two different, but specific phrases when describing this money. The title of the document is The Policies for the System of Athletes Material Incentives ( Sportolk ek szablyzata).113 The wording specifies that the OTSH aimed to use the system and money as incentives for athletes and their performances. Throughout the document however, they describe the money as a preparation award or allotment ( juttats ).114 This is most likely due to the IOCs changes to its amateur rules in the early 1960s, which allowed national sport federations to give athletes money in order to prepare for the Olympics. In addition to the specific wording of the rewards, the national sport body tried to implement a more structured approach to incentivizing athletes. Rather than dole out amounts of money to individual athletes on a seemingly caseby case basis, the national sport s federations received a certain amount of points for each medal their athletes won at the preceding Olympic Games. They received 7 points for a gold medal, 5 points for a silver medal, 4 points for 3rd place, etc., and one point for a sixthplace finish. Each point was worth 9,600 forints, or 800 forints per m onth. The sport s federations then distribute d the money they received for the points from the OTSH to 113 1970, 210 ttel 159 d., XIX 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary 114 Ibid.

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182 the athletes every month. Athletes were then categorized into an A and a B group, depending on their recent achievements. Whereas the OTSH correlated Category A athletes along the same lines as Tier One in 1954, sport leaders seemingly combined tiers Two and Three from 1954 into Category B. After discussing the system in multiple memos between 19691971, th e OTSH implemented the new incentive system in 1972 in time for the Munich Olympic Games. The Hungarian Olympic team did not fare especially well at these Olympics, and only reached a disappointing eighth place in the total medal count. Regardless of the teams Olympic standings, the athletes who won medals received a significant amount of money, particularly when combined with the lump sums discussed earlier. Category A athletes consisted of members of the national team whose performances placed them within the international rankings. They received anyw here from 6001,500 forints per month from the sport federations, taken from the financial point system described above. Those in the B category received 400600 forints, and included nationally ranked athletes, members of the junior national team, and y outh athletes who received a gold badge.115 Although it is not clear what a gold badge was, the identification meant that successful athletes under the age of 18 could already begin receiving a considerable amount of incentive money on a monthly basis. 115 The monthly pay range for Hungarian athletes amounted to $10$25 US dollars for A category athletes, and about $7$10 for those in the B category. Conversion from Hungarian forints to US dollars based on the calculations on Ibid

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183 Tabl e 3 2 Monthly Earnings for Average Hungarians, Tier 1 Athletes, and Top Party Leaders (in Hungarian forints) 116 Yearly Range Average Hungarians Total Salary Tier 1 Athletes Base Salary Tier 1 Athletes Incentives Tier 1 Athletes Total Salary Top Party Leaders Total Salary 1953 1955 1,080 900 1,500 500 600 1,500 2,000 5,750 1963 1,702 N/A N/A N/A 11,000 13,500 1970 1972 2,222 N/A 600 1,500 N/A N/A Despite the uneven documentation and figures for peoples salaries under state socialism, important conclusions can still be made from the figures in Table 32 First and foremost, comparing the data shows that the base incomes for Tier 1 athletes, at least for top gymnasts in 1954, were not that much higher than what the average Hungarian received on a monthly basis. The additional monetary incentives that athletes received pushed their total earnings up to about oneand a half to two times the average salaries that people took home. At the same time, the very best athletes only received about onethird as much money every month as what top Party leaders received in the 1950s, such as the First Secretary of the Communist Party.117 This comparison illustrates how even though athletes enjoyed an elite status in socialist society, their everyday standards of living monetary wise did not come close to those 116 The figures for average Hungarians is taken from Magyarorszg npessge s gazdasga mlt s jelen. Budapest, 1996 (updated February, 2016), Kzpont Statisztikai Hivatal, cs/hun/xstadat/xstadat_hosszu/h_qli001.html For athletes salaries, see Trgy: Torna, 1954, 8826 Beszmolk, versenykirtkelsek ttel, 71 d., XIX I 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary; 1970, 210 ttel 159 d., XIX 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary. For top Party leaders, see i rendkvli lsre, M KS276. f. 53. cs. MNL, Budapest, Hungary ; and Bizottsg 1963. december 21, M MNL, Budapest, Hungary (accessed via ArchvNet at elme_az_50es_evekben.html?oldal=4) 117 The figures listed under Top Party Leaders for 1963 were for First Secretary Jnos Kdr, President Chairman of the Council of Ministers Istvn Dobi, and Vice President of the Council Gyrgy Marosn.

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184 experienced by the ruling socialist leaders. As with the varied nature of athletes sport jobs, pointing out the gap between two different kinds of elites athletes and state leaders shows just how w ide the gulf was between the rulers and the ruled. Comparing the salaries in Table 32 also negates the idea that athletes experienced a lifestyle that was infinitely more luxurious than what the average Hungarian could enjoy. Finally, the changes to the incentivizing program between 1954 and 1970 show that the awards really only increased for th e top level of Olympic athletes, meaning within the Tier One and Category A; whereas Tier One gymnasts in 1954 received between 500600 forints as a monthly bonus, in 1970s Category A athletes could receive between 6001,500. Moreover, Tier Two gymnasts could obtain 400600 forints a month as an incentive, which was the equivalent of what Category B athletes received in 1970. This shows that the new program remained geared towards rewarding the most successful athletes and only on incentivizing athletes who were not internationally ranked in their sport. Even though i nformation regarding athletes sport jobs and the Olympic medal rewards remained an open secret in t he Hungarian sport community, t he national sport bodies still worked diligently to keep these details hidden from the IOC and Western press This explains why specific evidence pertaining to athletes monetary earnings only appeared in writing a handful of times in the available documents for the entire period of 19481989. The quote from the beginning of the chapter comprised the first instance the issue was documented, in 1952.118 Sport leaders raised the issue again in 118 Trgy: Halmai Zoltn gye 17t. Helyi s szemlyi gyek ttel 38 d., XIX 14a MNL, Budapest, Hungary.

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185 1958, during a meeting of the Hungari an Cycling Federation. In the meeting, someone broached what he coined a sensitive topic ( egy knyes tma): the monetary rewards given to athletes, and which athletes would be selected to receive the determined award amount.119 The cycling leaders acknowledgement of the sensitive issue demonstrates the importance of the matter to the sport administration as a whole. It is also indicative of leaders discomfort with the issue, and their unwillingness to confront it more directly Sport leaders at the OTSH, sport clubs and associations most likely sought to avoid discussing athletes pay in writing due to the issue of Olympic eligibility. The lack of documentation about athletes salaries shows that they were well aware that thei r treatment of Hungarian athletes did not meet the IOCs criteria of amateurism. The documentation regarding athletes incomes in 19701952 deserves special attention. The amount of material about the issue is unique. The OTSH sent out a packet of memorand um to sport clubs across the country, in which they described how to categorize athletes into tiers according to their sport success, and the income range that corresponded to each tier. The letter prefacing the updated categories stated the following: I c all to [your] attention that according to the International Olympic Committees rules and regulations giving cash benefits for sports activity is against amateurism (although this view is outdated and untenable, but still in force), so to ensure the parti cipation of Hungarian Olympic athletes we ask that the material be treated in strict confidence.120 119 Ultimately, the association leaders decided to give an average of 300 forints to support the competitive cyclists who had Olympic and World rankings, and to certain members of the national team. Trgy: n Kerkpr 1958 v ttel 118 d., XIX I 14b, MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 120 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary

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186 That the OTSH sent out these letters and required the sport club leaders to respond and acknowledge the content of the materials is surprising. With this le tter, the OTSH recognized and confirmed that the OTSH and the sport federations payment of Hungarian athletes directly conflicted with IOC s rules on amateurism and eligibility. The sport leadership moreover asserted their belief to lower level sport admi nistrators that the IOCs then current amateur rules was outdated and untenable. The monetary figures for the year 1970, which the IOC would have considered cash benefits, comes directly from these memos. Recipients of the material therefore needed to treat the matter with strict confidence i n order to avoid the IOCs gaze and ensure Hungarian athletes continued participation at the Olympic Games. The Hungarian Olympic teams slip in the rankings of the total medal count probably prompted the OTSH to revise its categorization and pay of athletes in 1970.121 In their internal discussions about the categorization and pay of athletes, OTSH members discussed how the, current financial incentives do not help to sufficiently solve our objectives for competi tive sport.122 Importantly, the memo specifically linked the financial incentives to the achievement of high results at the Olympics, World, and European Championships.123 OTSH leaders thus remained primarily concerned with incentivizing Hungarian athletes to boost their international athletic performance. The flurry of memos between 19691970 illustrate the importance of the issue to the OTSH. 121 Another potential explanation lies in the rise of other elite sporting powers, such as the combined German teams, Italy and Japan. By the late 1950s these and other countries also began to invest significant amounts of money and resources into their elite sporting programs, largely for the similar purpose of proving the strength and viability of the various political systems. 122 Ibid. 123 Ibid.

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187 The discussions during this period of time concerned the topic of athletes material incentives, or sportolk anyagi stnzsek Some members of the OTSH cautioned against awarding athletes with high incentives for fear of leading to excessive materialism within the sport community. The debate that occurred over athletes materialism from the late 1960s onwards continued to be a contested topic up until 1989. The deliberation also mirrored the larger discussion over the Hungarian publics consumption habits that occurred at the same time.124 Despite these concerns over athletes excessive materialistic habits, the OTSH leadership agreed to raise athletes salaries to the amounts listed above beginning in 1970. Conclusion Analyzing athletes chances for obtaining desired privileges illustrates the ways that the sport leadership tried to incentivize athletes with tangible carrots to remain in Hungary and attain results on the field. The lack of specific documentation about athletes material privileges exemplifies the unwritten nature of the leaderships rules for athletes. By working with a set of rules that proved diffi cult to define, the sport leadership aimed to maintain as much control as possible over athletes, especially in the 1950s. Fortunately for athletes, with each passing decade the sport leaderships rules became less strict; they also became somewhat easier to comprehend, if only 124 As state supported examples of the New Socialist Man and Woman, elite athletes needed to display a level of modest consumption that could serve as a model to the greater public. But Hungarians viewed top athletes such as pentathlete Andrs Balcz as more t han model socialist citizens. Instead, athletes came to embody a celebrity status in socialist Hungary that not even sport leaders could have foreseen. As will be discussed more thoroughly in relation to Balcz at the 1969 Pentathlon World Championships, s ome athletes achieved such a high hero status in state socialist Hungary that it could help stave off harsh punishment from the sport leaders at the OTSH and the athletic federations. For more on this topic, see Tamas Dombos and Lena Pellandini Semanyi, K ids, Cars, or Cashews? Debating and Remembering Consumption in Socialist Hungary, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 325350.

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188 because athletes could learn from their predecessors experiences. The relaxation in the rules offered athletes more opportunities to influence the shape of their careers and lifestyles. The changing dynamic also situated athletes on a more even playing field with the sport leadership than before. For an athlete, achieving a lifelong goal such as winning an Olympic gold medal entitled them to extraordinary rewards for their hard work. Yet as athletes experiences illustrate, they also needed to exhibit significant cleverness and persistence in order to receive the best possible privileges and secure their financial futures. The next chapter will explore the dark side to the states unwritten rules. If an athlete failed to act cautiousl y, he or she ran a high risk of finding themselves in trouble with the sport leadership or worse, the state security forces. The International Olympic Committee ruled that an athletes amateur or professional status determined his or her eligibility (or i neligibility) to compete at the Olympics during that time.125 The Hungarian state and OTSHs aims regarding international prestige and legitimacy through sport depended solely on Hungarian athletes participation in the Games. Sport leaders therefore sought to avoid at all costs discussing anything that might jeopardize their athletes Olympic eligibility. This partially explains why details about the athletes salaries, rewards, and other incentives rarely appeared on paper. The other reason is because the v ery idea of a statesupported sport job ran counter to the governments notions of contributing productive labor to the building of socialism, and of athletes as model citizens. Ultimately, the states desire 125 While reports abounded about how athletes from the Communist countries were treated and paid as professionals, the International Olympic Committee remained silent on the issue in public. After all, it was in the IOCs best interest to keep from expelling the Bloc athletes from the Olympic Games, for the sake of maintaining public and international relations.

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189 to use Cold War sport victories to prove the superiority of its system at home and abroad overrode the IOCs amateur rules and some of the Partys core values. Despite the absence of concrete written evidence, nearly every athlete knew the precise meaning of a sportlls in the interviews Their reco gnition of the terms underscores the frequency with which the phrase was used within the Hungarian elite sport community. Ultimately, the issue of the athletes amateur or professional status did not only plague the Hungarian national sport bodies Since every Communist nation implemented the Soviet model of paying its top athletes with state money, the issue of Olympic eligibility proved problematic for all of them during this time. The privileges and materials rewards discussed here, in addition to the ability to achieve sport success, formed the foundation for why some athletedefectors returned to Hungary and why many more chose to cooperate with the sport leadership from the 1960s 1980s. As the next chapter will show, the events of 1956 proved crucial i n convincing athletes of this point; that fateful year also persuaded sport leaders to lessen their repressive tactics and increase athletes privileges from before. The material privileges and opportunities that sport leaders offered athletes therefore became the basis for their improving relationship in the decades after 1956.

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190 CHAPTER 4 THE 1956 HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION, MASS DEFECTIONS, AND GROWING ATHLETE SPORT LEADER COOPERATION Introduction On April 8, 1957, Sports Illustrated published an Gyarmatis defection to the United States Gyarmati was Hungarys best water polo player of all time, ultimately le ading the Olympic team to gold medals at the 1952, 1956, and 1964 Olympics. In the article the athlete described t o American readers how: At home, the cowards rule in the shadow of Russian tanks. Many of our friends have been deported to RussiaOthers are kept in prisons and camps without the pretext of a charge or the formality of a trial. The Free World is our first line of defense, our bastion and faith, our foothold, our beachhead1 Gyarmatis bold, public statement underscored his intentionat that point to make America his new home. After failing to find coaching positions abroad however Gyarmati and his family returned to Hungary. In August 1958, the Hungarian spor t leadership suspended Gyarmati from participating in domestic sport activities until December 31, 1959, and prohibited him from international play in perpetuity.2 They revers ed their dec ision less than two years later in order to allow Gyarmati to compete on the national team in late July 1960.3 The upcoming 1960 Rome Olympic Games, which began one month later, undoubtedly played a part in motivating the reversal. Yet Gyarmati was not a passive actor in this process. Motivated by the first hand knowledge that only his socialist homeland could offer him the sport career and privileges he 1 Gyarmatis Story, Sports Illustrated, 8 April 1957, 32. 2 NpSport 24 August 1958, 4. 3 Kijel NpSport 27 July 1960, 1.

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191 desired, the athlete urged his sport connections to lobby leaders to soften the punishment. Gyarmatis actions thus dovetailed with the Hungarian states desire to win gold medals. From 1960 onwards, Gyarmati enjoyed a high status, great popularity, and received prized material privileges in return for cooperating and helping Hungary win more Oly mpic gold medals. The combined events of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Melbourne Olympic Games one month later prompted many athletes to make the lifealtering decision to defect to the West. The flight of onefourth of the Hungarian Olympic team t o America, combined with hundreds of footballers who also fled West, was the single largest defection of athletes from any nation at one time during the Cold War. Their westward flight had profound implications for sport leaders, especially for top sport l eader Gyula Hegyi; the way that Hegyi handled the defections shaped the carrot andstick system that he used to monitor and motivate athletes and therefore impacted the lives of all Hungarian athletes following 1956. The reverberations of the mass flight did not end there. Gyarmatis story shows how athletes experiences abroad taught them eye opening lessons about the realities of the Western, capitalist sport systems. Gyarmati and others learned that only socialist Hungary could offer them the career opp ortunities and material privileges that they desired. From the trauma of the events of 1956, then, emerged a realization amongst both parties of the need to work with one another in order to achieve their respective diplomatic, sport, and lifestyle goals. The improving athletesport leader relations arose by 1960 and continued to improve until 1989, albeit haltingly at times. It predated the gradual softening of broader statesociety relations that began in the early 1960s and so lidified later in the decade. The improving

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192 conditions in the Hungarian sport community moreover contrasted significantly with its counterpart in the GDR. East Germany saw a resurgence of governmental and Stasi control in 1 969 in sport aimed at legitimizing the nations independent e ntry at the Olympic Games through drug fueled performances. Aside from Toby Riders recent analysis of Americas role in bring ing the Hungarian athletes to the US, almost nothing is known about the defectors experiences, nor about how their actions impac ted the domestic and global sport communities.4 S cholars have really only looked at athletes escapes from the GDR to West Germany.5 Alan McDougall nuances the stories of harrowing defections and the Stasis manipulation of families left behind by exploring the role of the West German sport authorities, the lack of jobs, and athletes isolation abroad as factors that aided or prevent ed athletes from leaving.6 Yet it is equally important to locate the act of def ection within the broader range of activities for which the sport leadership punished athletes before and after 1956 This chapter therefore gauge s the larger impact of the events of 1956 on athletesport leader relations and sport policies by comparing the punishment of athletes prior to and after that momentous year. I therefore examine indepth the 1956, including Gyarmati. 4 See Toby Rider, Cold War Games 5 See especially Jutta Braun and Ren Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors: Eastern Ger man Top Athletes on the Run, The I nternational Journal of the History of Sport 31,.12 (2014): 15191534. 6 Alan McDougall, The Peoples Game: Football, State and Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)

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193 By inserting the voices of individual s into the history of 1956 in relation to the Hungarian sport community, this chapter continues to highlight the real hopes and fears that motivated people to act in ways that would best benefit their careers and situations. Everyday life historians often use the concept of EigenSinn to a nalyze how individuals sought to realize their own aims within and against authoritarian systems.7 This notion of self will provides a framework to explore the wide range of how and why people behaved under the Nazi and socialist states. Examining how these actors asserted agency allows my analysis of the Hungarian socialist sport community to move beyond the traditional victim res istor collaborator narrative, and into the grey areas in which people actually lived and worked.8 Scholars using this approach might view the impact of the events of 1956 as illustrating the limits or contestations of dictatorship and socialism.9 However, the events of 1956 in sport sparked changes within athletes and sport leaders behaviors that modified sport policies, expanded each groups opportunities, and to some extent their respective power too. Athletes actions motivated sport leaders to alter their Stalinist, carrot andstick system in ways that proved mutually 7 Dictatorship of Experience: Towards a SocioCultural History of the GDR ed. Konrad Jarausch, trans. Eve Duffy (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999), 9. For the foundational work on EigenSinn see Alf Ldtke, Eigen Sinn. Industriealltag, Arbeitererfahrungen und Politik vom Kaiserreich bis zum Faschismus (Hamburg, 1993). 8 Maureen Healy, Review of German Studies Association Conference 2003 Sessions 3 and 22: Revisiting Alltagsgeschichte: Praxis in Everyday Life and the Discipline of History , H German, H Net Reviews (October 2003):13, 1. 9 For examples of analyses that uses frameworks such as these to examine the limits on dictatorship, peoples actions in a participatory dictatorship, and contested legitimacy, see Dictatorship of Experience: Towards a SocioCultural History of the GDR ed. Konrad Jarausch, trans. Eve Duffy (New York: Berghahn Books, 1999); Mary Fulbrook, The Peoples State: East German Society from Hitler to Honecker (New Haven, NH: Yale University Press, 2008); Mark Pittaway, The Workers State: Industrial Labor and the Mak ing of Communist Hungary, 19441958 (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012); Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German Miracle (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Alan McDougall, The Peoples State: Football, State and Society in East Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

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194 beneficial for the state and athletes. These dy namics did not reload Stalinism;10 rather, they molded the broader post 1956 Hungarian sport community in ways that made it distinct from its predecessor. The Revolution and mass defections provided a jumping off point for people to reassess their position in socialis t society, and what they could do to work within it. The impact of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on statesociety relations has received considerable attention, especially with respect to Hungarys post 1956 cultural policies towards writers and artists.11 General Secretary Jnos Kdr famously declared in 1962 that, Who is not against us is with us. His statement began an era in which the state encouraged citizens apolitical cooperation, and remained ambivalent towards anyone who did not openly oppose t he system.12 To gain the acquiescence of cultural figures following the Revolution, the socalled 3 T policy was implemented in 1959 to determine which writers and artists (and their works) would be supported, tolerated, or prohibited.13 Yet f ocusing on th e history of this policy veils the fact that the Revolution 10 Horvth, Stalinism Reloaded 7 11 Examples include Gyrgy Pteri, Academia under State Socialism: Essays on the Political History of Academic Life in Post 1945 Hungary and Eastern Europe, Highland Lakes, (New Jersey: Atlantic Research and Publications, 1998); va Standeisky, Az rk s hatalom, (Budapest: 1956 Institute, 1996); Melinda Kalmr, Ennival s hozomny: a kora kdrizmus ideolgija nyvkiad s Kereskedelmi, 1998); Jnos Rainer, Bevezets a Kdrizmusba: Magyarorszg a Szovjetuni rnykban, 19441989 (Budapest: 1956 Institute, 2011); James Mark and Pter Apor, Socialism Goes global: Decolonization and the Making of a New Culture of Internationalism in Socialist Hungary, 19561989, Journal of Modern History 87 (December 2015): 852891. 12 Kende, Mi t rtnt , 12. 13 The 3T phrase comes from the Hungarian words for support, toleration, and prohibition. These categories were not defined by strict regulations, but altered according to the current political situation. Cultural leader Gyrgy Aczl also developed personal relations with artists and writers, and exerted power by doling out favors to those who cooperated with his policies. Sndor Rvsz, Azcl s korunk (Budapest: Sk Kiad, 1997), 146147; Raiki Oikari, Discursive Use of Power in Hungarian Cultural Policy during the Kdr Era, in Hungarologische Betr ge: Kdrs Hungary Kekkonens Finland, ed. Anssi Halmesvirta 12 ( Jyvskyl, Finland: University of Jyvskyl, 2002): 149150.

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195 motivated many socialist officials to alter preexisting policies and tactics with society, rather than implement new ones. The trauma that all Hungarians experienced gave them certain insights about how to live through socialism, such as the necessity of coexisting with the post 1956 system, or even some level of cooperation between the state and society.14 The international sport world had always offered both parties career and diplomatic opportunities; here it played an additional role in influencing how athletes and sport leaders behaved after the Melbourne Olympics and back in Hungary. I analyze t he lives of four male athletes who received punishments from the state for their actions between 19511958, 15 The first section experiences serve as a barometer for the impact of 1956. The analysis turns to 1956, explaining the defectio ns and athletede fectors experiences in the United States The final section examines the last three cases, showing the factors that influenced sport leaders and some athletes to adapt to the ramifications of the events of 1956. First and foremost, the at hletes behavior during and following the Revolution illustrates their willingness to act out by voicing their long silenced opinions. Yet if the Revolution had a psychological impact on Hungarians, so did the defectors time abroad.16 Many Hungarian athlet es learned that their best options for succeeding in sport and enjoying 14 With future resistance futile, many Hungarians acted in ways that served their personal interests, leading them to cooperate with the post 1956 state. Kende, Mi trtnt , 11 12; Gyrgy Majtnyi, What made the K dr Era? Two Books on Hungarys Recent Past, The Hungarian Historical Review trans. Alan Campbell, Vol. 2, 3, Ethnicity (2013): 667675; Takcs, Them and Us, 167. 15 For a wide variety of reasons that are beyond the scope of this chapter, very few female athletes were punished by the state. 16 Rainer, The Sixties in Hungary, 6; McDougall, The Peoples Gam e, 132.

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196 privileges lay in socialist Hungary Meanwhile, sport leader Hegyi demonstrated a surprising amount of benevolence in his approach with defecting athletes in Melbourne, even if only because keeping the door open for their return suited the post 1956 states sport diplomacy and propaganda goals. I argue that by 1960, members of both groups had learned that cooperating with one another could yield Olympic medals and a continuation of material privileges. Their combined actions contradict the image of Eastern European athletes as dopedup victims or wily resistors, and sport leaders as calculating bureaucrats who obeyed the Party.17 The type of Eigen Sinn exhibited by athletes who decided to cooperate cannot be seen as conformity to state policies.18 Their cooperation moreover did not limit their opportunities, but expanded them.19 A thletes such as Gyarmati pursued this route in order to actively shape the course of their lives within the context of socialist sport. The human stories showcased here demonstrate how the upheavals of 1956 convinced sport leaders to modify their carrot andstick system and fundamentally altered their interactions with athletes into what became a mutually beneficial relationship. 17 Analyses using this totalitarian view of sport include Steven Ungerleider, Fausts Gold: Inside the East German Doping Machine (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2001); Adam Fryc and Miroslaw Ponczek, The Communist R ule in Polish Sport History, Th e International Journal of the History of Sport 26, 4 (2009) :501514; Andra Wood, Superpower: Romanian Womens Gymnastics during the Cold War (PhD diss., University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2010); and the documentaries Red Army and ESPNs 30 for 30 episode, Of Miracles and Men. My work contributes to other scholars who have approached sport from a nuanced perspective, such as Mike Dennis and Jonathan Grix, Sport Under Communism: Behind the East German Miracle (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmill an, 2013) ; Alan McDougall, The Peoples State: Football, State and Society in East Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014); and Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016) 18 McDougall, The Peoples Game, 62. 19 Horvth, Stalinism Reloaded 6.

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197 The oppressive rule and overt politicization that characterized the Stalinist years guided sport leaders orientation of the carrot andstick system with athletes. Under the directio n of top state leaders, sport leaders leaned more heavily on harsh punishments than privileges to control athletes behavior, prevent them from defecting, and motivate them to win medals Due to the state and sport leaderships reliance on athletes for spo rt diplomacy purposes and for shaping socialist citizenship domestically, athletes became the fulcrum upon which a portion of the states international power and domestic legitimacy rested. It is important to keep these points in mind when examining the fo llowing cases of athletes behaviors and punishments. Athletes could and did receive the privileges discussed in the previous chapter, and sport leaders such as Hegyi sometimes could use their highplaced contacts to help athletes in need. Hungarys Stalin ist orientation, however, meant that there were limitations on sport leaders capacity aid athletes when they most needed it in the 1950s. The story use of punishments to control athletes on and off the field. The biggest problem that Hegyi and the OTSB faced until 1956 was preventing athletes from defecting to the West. Athletes in other sports defected; yet Hungarian football was different than other sports due to the national team s incredible successes in the 1950s and the sports enormous popularity in Hungary and around the world. The professionalization of football worldwidemeaning that top players could receive lucrative contracts to play abroadthreatened to entice members of the Golden Team to defect to teams in

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198 Western Europe. These teams would pay handsomely for the worlds best players.20 Sport leaders and the state realized this when Lszl Kubala defected in the late 1940s and famously played for football powerhouse FC Barcelona. O ther players left to play professionally in Western Europe during this time as well The OTSB therefore viewed football players as the most problematic athletes.21 The state leadership decided to set an example for other players wishing to escape. By 1951, they created specific legal proceedings which made defection under certain conditions punishable by death.22 In nd only victim.23 defender for Dzsa Sport Egyeslet the Police team. In this position he received the rank of a First Lieutenant and competed numerous times on the Golden Team. 24 In 1951, sought to defect to Western Europe for love and for money. He wanted to pursue a life with his mistress, the Hungar ian singer Erzsbet Kov cs. They were both married to other people, and he had two children. The state believed that their relationship was incompatible with and ran afoul of socialist mor als.25 After being threatened with imprisonment in an internment camp if they did 20 Most other sports, such as swimming and fencing, did not enjoy the same professional status. This drastically decreased the chances of them defecting from Hungary. 21 For more on the MKPs politicization of top Hungarian soccer players, see Gyrgy Majtnyi, Czibor, Bozsik, Pusks: Futball s trsadalmi legitimci az tvenes vekben, Sic Itur Ad Astra 62 (2011): 219231. 22 Tabi, Futball s politika, 64. 23 N rg kivgzsnek trtnete, Rubicon: Trtnelmi Magazin 25, 262, (July 2014): 2833 33. 24 Athletes at Dzsa and Honvd (the Army team), like at their corresponding military clubs in other soci alist countries, received the best privileges and military ranks. They also endured more surveillance and scrutiny than athletes at other clubs. 25 XXI. Szzad Hall a szerelmrt, RTL Klub,, September 8, 2010; Tabi, Futball, 64.

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199 not cease relations, the pair sought ways to leave the country.26 During the interrogations following his arrest, admitted that while he could not earn more than 25003 000 forints a month in Hungary, outside of the country he could receive a $10,000 contract in Italy.27 ve a secret agent a hefty sum of four thousand Hungarian forints in exchange for the documents and photos necessary to leave the country.28 his pistol with him to the Austrian Hungarian ould not be able to "put away twoto three men on his own if he was caught.29 On March 6, secret n a closed trial with soldiers standing along the corridor. On May 19, 1951, the Hungarian Military Tribunal sentenced him to death by hanging.30 famed players Ferenc Pusks and Gyula Grosics, requested a meeting with the Minister of Defense Mihly Farkas, who promised to help.31 The timing of their meeting and Farkass role in the matter remains unclear. Ultimately, was executed. 26 Tabi, Futball, 64. 27 Szcs Sndor rny. fhdgy. Dek Ferenc rny. fhdgy, s Magyari Sndor rny. fdhgy. disszidlsi gye, 3 March 1951, 1011, 3.1.9. V 71031, BTL, Budapest, Hungary. 28 Szcs Sndor, BTL, Budapest, Hungary, 6. 29 Tabi, A Futballistaper, 31. 30 XXI. Szzad Hall a szerelmrt, RTL Klub. 31 XXI. Szzad Hall a szerelmrt, RTL Klub; Mikls Fejr, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Pter Galambos, Budapest, 4 June 2015.

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200 layered. According to an unpublicized addendum to the penal code, military men such as border received life imprisonment. However, aggravated cases of attempted defection, such as with the possession of weapons, were punishable by death. The additional penalty never appeared in the Magyar Kzl ny which informed the public about signature on forms that acknowledged his understanding of these laws .32 police background and the presence of his gun during the attempted defection sealed his fate. The planting of the agent, and the agents role in persuading the athlete to bring the gun, illustrates the amount of coordination that occurred between the Ministry of Interior and take his talents to Western Europe The gun simply provided them with the means to sentence him to death legally. Considering the popularity and enormous success of the Golden Team, and the MKPs desire to po liticize on sport success, the M inistry of Interiors extensive efforts to entrap underscores their desire to make him a up and execution is the only known incident of the kind during the socialist period within the Hungarian sport community. Gyula Grosics explained it best, noting, Having decided in advance that it would be a possible deterrent to other Hungarian players, to scare off thoughts of remai ning outside of the country, poor Sanyi [Sndor] became the victim of Hungarian football at that time. 33 32 Tabi, A Futballistaper, 31. 33 XXI. Szzad Hall a szerelmrt, RTL Klub.

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201 nothing about his attempted defection, trial, or execution appeared in the press. This contrasts with the trial of an East German track and field coach and a physical education lecturer in 1958, who were accused of helping an athlete plan his defection. In this case, the Ministry of National Security choreographed the trial, the newspaper Deu tsches Sportecho reported the matter to the public, and the defendants received long prison sentences.34 The East German case shares more qualities akin to other of the i ncident spread through and beyond the Hungarian soccer community.35 Mikls Fejr, who owned a restaurant frequented by many athletes from the 1950s 1980s recalled sorrowfully that, If he did not defectwith the pistol, he would not [have been] executedthat was the biggest problem.36 The Ministry of Interior continued to worry about athletes leaving for the West. Before the 1952 Olympic Games, the secret police submitted a list of twenty athletes and coaches they believed to be potential flight risks.37 Names on the list included the political leadership and Hegyi secured the approval of most athletes on the secret polices list; this illustrates how the potential propaganda opportunities with sport success sometimes overrode concerns about athletes political reliability.38 From start to much different. His execution successfully served as a lesson to other Hungarian 34 Braun and Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors, 1520. 35 Tabi, Futballistaper, 33. 36 Mikls Fejr, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and P ter Galambos, Budapest, 4 June 2015. 37 Takcs, Szoros Emberfogs 18. 38 Ibid.

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202 football players. Grosics and Fejrs recollections, combi ned with the fact that very few athletes tried to defect between 1951 and the Revolution, demonstrate the effectiveness of that lesson.39 1956 Revolution in Sport: Reactions and Defections The timing of the Revolution was fortuitous for Hungarian athletes It gave some of them an opportunity to voice their opinions, and others a way to leave Hungary and try their hand at starting anew somewhere else. Athletes and sport leaders reacted to the Revolution in many ways, ranging from keeping quiet, speaking out, defecting, and/or returning home. Their respective decisions helped to change not only the course of their lives, but domestic sport policy, the shape of the Hungarian sport community, and the development of elite sport around the world. When the Revoluti on began on October 23, 1956, Hungarys Olympic team members were busy training for th e Melbourne Games that began in November After famed sports reporter Gyrgy Szepesi called for the revolutionaries to lay down their weapons on the radio, the Olympic team spra ng into action. They drafted a statement for Magyar NpSport that condemned Szepesis speech on November 1, just before their departure for Melbourne. The statement boldly proclaimed that, We promise that at the Olympic Games we will be fighting in the sacred spirit of the martyrs of the national revolution and for the glory of the Hungarian nation.40 With this declaration, the 39 Several swimmers and a cyclist attempted to defect by swimming across the Danube in August 1956 and were shot at. It is not known if the authorities knew that they were athletes. Tabi, A Futballistaper, sg tllte az ugat hallt, NOL, 21 August 2016, accessed 24 November 2017, szitava lottek a magyar uszotehetsegtulelte az ugatohalalt 1628457. 40 A forradalom vrtaninak szellemben... Magyar N psport 1 November 1956, 1.

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203 Hungarian Olympic team made their allegiance to the Revolution loud and clear. When the Olympic team wrote the statement and left Budapest, it still appeared as though the revolutionaries were victorious After learning about the Soviet invasion on their way to Melbourne, some athletes decided right away not to return to Hungary. As demonstrated by the cases of Kdas, Benedek, and Gyarmati many athletes continued to show their support for their crushed compatriots. Defections and Hegyis Approach in Melbourne Fortunately for those wishing to defect, several Americans and HungarianAmerican migrs had already started formulat ing a plan. Anti communist crusaders from the Free Europe Committee, the Hungarian National Sports Federation, Time Inc., and Sports Illustrated convinced the US Central Intelligence Agency to coordinate efforts to bring willing Hungarian athletes to Ameri ca. The people behind the mission, called Operation Griffin, believed that the issue fit squarely within Americas Cold War foreign policy and propaganda.41 In terms of refugee resettlement, it certainly did; in the 1950s, American policymakers began viewing newcomers within the prism of the East West conflict and linked the Cold War to US immigration and refugee policies, as well as to notions of American identity.42 The categorization of political refugees therefore became narrowly designated for people fleeing from communism. Western governments and the press then portrayed the arriving refugees as proof of their 41 For an excellent account of the affair, see Toby Rider, Cold War Games: Propaganda, the Olympics, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Illinois: Univ ersity of Illinois Press, 2016), especially Chapters 6 and 7. 42 Carl Bon Tempo, Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees During the Cold War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 5. On international migrant policy in the Cold War, see Laura Madokoro, Elusive Refugee: Chinese Migrants in the Cold War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016).

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204 undying commitment to anticommunism.43 Although not without difficulty, the individuals behind Operation Griffin eventually found sympathetic ears when seeking support to carry out the mission in Melbourne. After much debate, the US government decided that the athletedefectors served the national interest. Like most of the Hungarian refugees in the wake of 1956, the athletes entered the nation on parole and therefore bypassed most of the typical bureaucratic red tape.44 Unbeknownst to the athletes, the final step, that of their resettlement, would prove much more challenging for many of them. Hegyi s stance during the Melbourne Olympics proved crucial for athletes wanting to defect. Athletedefector Lszl Tbori described Hegyi as a nice man who was a Communist on the outside, but not on the inside. 45 Hegyi reportedly was despondent and drinking heavily throughout the Games. 46 Amidst the chaos, Hegyi was undoubtedly worried about the post 1956 state s retribution measures against the athletes who supported the Revolution, and about being purged himself when they returned, or worse. Several athletes told Hegyi of their decision not to return home, which illustrates how much they trusted him. Rather than force athletes to return home, several people remembered that Hegyi offered them a shot of p link a and sausage as a 43 Tara Zahra, The Great Departure: Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2017), 219; Susan Carruthers, Cold War Captives: Imprisonment, Escape, and Brainwashing (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999), 87; Tempo, Americans at the Gate, 4. 44 Rider, Cold War Games, 119, 123. 45 Lszl Tbori, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Los Angeles, 5 November 2017. 46 In his memoir, Hegyi recalled tryin g to stay in Melbourne to treat a medical condition. Harry Blutstein, Cold War Games: Spies, Subterfuge, and Secret Operations at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games (Richmond, Australia: Echo Press, 2017), 197, 219.

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205 parting gift. 47 Water polo player Nick Martin vividly remembered Hegyi telling him that he would always be welcomed home. 48 The athletes ability to defect was aided by the fact that seven of the secret police agents initially scheduled to accompany the Olympic team to Melbourne stayed in Hungary to fend off the revolut ionaries. 49 Hegyis response to the defecting athletes helped to maintain his relationship with many of them, thereby keeping the door open in case they decided to return to Hungary. The 1956 Olympics the American operation, and Hegyis reluctance to stop them combined to give Hungarian athletes a oncein a lifetime chance to leave for the West. The impact of the defections on the global sport environment cannot be underestimated. Onethird of the Olympic team and over two hundred elite and youth football players, including Ferenc Pusks, did not return to Hungary.50 The brawn drain gifted onequarter of Hungarys top sporting talent and knowledge to the United States and others to Western European countries such as Spain, Switzerland, and Austria.51 While Pusks went to play for Real Madrid, fellow Golden Team footballers Zoltn Czibor and Sndor Kocsis joined their predecessor Kubala at FC Barcelona. Many of the athletes and coaches contributed to Americas sport prowess by working at US universities and club programs. Running coach Mihly Igli and Lszl Tbori 47 Attila ghassi, Egy elmaradt kzfogs t rte kett az lett, Index, August 19 2006, accessed 18 June 2017 ; L dia Dmlky Skovics n, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 April 2015. 48 Nick Martin, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 6 November 2017. 49 Blutstein, Spies, Subterfuge, 197; Tak cs, Szoros Emberfogs 18. 50 International Football Federation (FIFA) to National Affiliations, Information to the National Associations Affiliated to FIFA 17 July 1957, FIFA Archives, Zurich, Switzerland. 51 Minutes of the Emergency Committee Meeting, London, 13 October 1957, 23, FIFA Archives Zurich, Switzerland

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206 resettled not without difficulty and helped turn California into a hotbed for middledistance and marathon running.52 Igli coached several American Olympians, such as Jim Beatty and Bob Schul. Un der Igli in 1962, Beatty broke the twomile world record, and held every American record from the 1500meters to the 5,000meters. He won the coveted James Sullivan Award that year for the nations top amateur athlete. Perhaps more impressively, Schul won gold in the 5,000 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Tbori became a noted coach in his own right, training some of the earliest and fastest female marathoners in the world, such as Jacqueline Hansen and Michiko Miki Gorman. Hansen not only won the Boston Marathon in 1973 and became the first female to run the marathon under 2:40; with Tboris support, she also played a vital role in the 1984 lawsuit against the International Olympic Committee to include the 5,000and 10,000meter races for women at the Olympics. Igli and Tboris impact on American running remains evident today. W hen Shalane Flanagan won the New York Marathon in November 2017, she was the first American woman to win the race since Gorman won it under Tboris coaching in in 1977. Impressive as their successes might be, examining the coaching feats of men such as Igli and Tbori veils the real challenges they and other athletes encountered in the US. These issues helped to motivate some of the athletedefectors to return to Hungary, and many more to stay in the country and not defect to the West later on. 52 See Johanna Mellis, Cold War Politics and the California R unning Scene: The Experiences of Mihly Igli and Lszl Tbori in the Golden State, Journal of Sport History (forthcoming, 2018).

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207 America: The Land w ithout Socialist Opportunities If America was not the land of opportunity that the athletedefectors expected, it took some time for them to realize it. Upon their arrival, the athletes participated in a whirlwind, multi month tour of the US sponsored by Sports Illustrated called the Freedom Tour. The Operation Griffin leaders maintained two goals for the tour: to capitalize on the propaganda opportunity by parading the athletes around the US as symbols of freedom, and to convince universities and sport clubs to help give the athlet es a home so they could train future American Olympians capable of defeating the Soviets.53 The athletes seemed to understand the first goal of the tour;54 they also grasped that the Operation Griffin leaders hoped that they would produce Olympic champions f or the US. Many of the athletes and coaches wanted to do this as well. Yet the athletes arrived in the US lacking an understanding of the differences between the American, capitalist sport culture and the one that they left in Hungary. Although Sports Illu strateds chief correspondent at the Olympics assured the athletes that they would receive help to start a new life in America, neither he nor anyone else specified the kind of help the athletes might receive with their resettlement.55 These factors, along with a lack of English skills, gave the defectors an unclear understanding of the future means at their disposal to achieve the sport aims set before them. 53 Rider, Cold War Games, 123. 54 Water polo player Nick Martin recalled that the Americans, used us for propaganda purposes and they showed us off. Nick Martin, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 6 November 2017. 55 Rider, Cold War Games, 104, 122123; Tbori, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Los Angeles, 5 November 2017; Nick Martin, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Pasadena, 6 November 2017.

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208 At the heart of their struggles lay numerous gaps in knowledge about sport culture and language, as well as of the methods and structures necessary to create American athletes capable of defeating the Soviets. As detailed in the prior chapter, the sport system in socialist Hungary and its neighbors provided most athletes with full institutional, financi al, and material support predicated upon athletes good behavior, athletic success, and other factors. This system left the athletedefectors woefully unprepared to grasp the amateur ideal used by the IOC and sport system in the US. The Western definition of the amateur athlete held that athletes could not receive payment for any kind of sport related endeavors if they wanted to maintain their amateur status and competitive eligibility at the Olympic Games and other competitions .56 The main governing bodies of American sport, namely the US Olympic Committee, the Amateur Athletic Union, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association, all used the amateur ideal in part to control elite sport. Unlike in socialist Hungary, athletes in America needed to be indep endently wealthy, work a full time job, or attend university in order to be eligible to compete domestically and internationally .57 Despite their genuine desires to find an institutional home and train athletes, Igli and Tbori experienced numerous bouts o f near poverty and constantly struggled to make ends meet as a coach and athlete.58 56 O n the concept and development of amateurism, see Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016). 57 Fo r how amateurism was interpreted and implemented in the US, see Joseph Turrini, The End of Amateurism in American Track and Field, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010). 58 For a more detailed account of the pairs trials and tribulations, see Johanna Mellis, Cold War Politics and the California Running Scene: The Experiences of Mihly Igli and Lszl Tbori in the Golden State, Journal of Sport History (forthcoming, 2018).

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209 The athletedefectors faced additional obstacles to resettling in the US. Most of them were barred from competing at future Olympic Games and international competitions for the US as a result of their Hungarian citizenship.59 By the time that they gained US citizenship in the early 1960s, many had aged beyond their competitive peak and/or left sport to seek financial stability in another career. The IOC also maintained a str ict rule about athletes only representing one country in their lifetime at the Olympic Games. Like other refugee and immigrant groups, the way that the American sport community received the defectors impacted the latters experiences trying to resettle. Am ericans expected the refugees to conform and perform certain ideals within the national cultural and political landscape. As defectors who fled communism and used their talents to fight athletically for the US, people believed that the defectors should ope nly express their gratitude and the individualist qualities of a good capitalist, US citizen.60 E ven as designated political refugees, t hey struggled enormously due to the gap between their behaviors and the Americans expectations of them.61 In the early 1960s for example, various articles in sports press described track coach Igli as an autocratic coach who pressed buttons on a machine to train athletes under 59 The International Fencing Federation did not allow Lidia D mlky to compete at their championships because she and other athletes were not without a homeland and because on the basis of the NpSport 19 September 1957, 1; for more about the citizenship issue, see Toby Rider, Cold War Games: Propaganda, the Olympics, and U.S. Foreign Policy (Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2016). 60 The political refugees were not supposed to exhibit the laziness and automatonlike quali ties seemingly endemic to the socialist system. Zahra, The Great Departure, 236237; Carruthers, Cold War Captives, 5963; Tempo, Americans at the Gate, 6. 61 See Anti communist Minorities in the U.S.: Political Activism of Ethnic Refugees ed. Ieva Zake (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009); Simo Mikkonen, Exploiting the Exiles: Soviet Emigres in US Cold War Strategy, Journal of Cold War Studies 14, 2 (Spring 2012): 98127; Vera Sheridan, Support and Surveillance1956 Hungarian Refugee S tudents in Transit to Joyce Kilmer Reception Center and Higher Ed Scholarships in the USA, History of Education 45, 6 (2016): 775793.

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210 backbreaking training methods amidst a Spartan life of punishing severity.62 One article said that in comparison to Iglis athletes who merely obey his orders, those who trained under another famous coach ran with self determination, pride, guts, strength, and instinct.63 These phrases align almost precisely with the stereotypical image of Eastern Bloc coaches and athletes, as depicted perhaps most memorably by the Soviet boxer Ivan Drago in the film Rocky IV. The specific language used to describe Igli underscores the American running communitys unwillingness to view him or his methods as anything other than communist and anti America n Responding to the struggles her brother experienced, Lszl Tbori s sister said: He was deeply depressed, but that should be no surprise because he had everything back home. They enjoyed special treatment. They could travel and admiring fans surrounded them. He got promised the world when he arrived here and six months later he was on his own.64 The difference between the athletes expectations and the realities they experienced in the US proved extremely difficult for some of the defectors to bear, especially compared to the special treatment that they received in socialist Hungary. Athletes like Gyarmati, who returned, knew that their best prospects for sport, status, and material wealth l ay in socialist Hungary. Sport Leaders Changing Tactics The defectors frustrations in the US presented an opportunity for Hegyi and the Hungarian leadership to recoup the damages that 1956 wrought to its sport diplomacy 62 Arthur Daley, Sport of the Times: The Quickening Pace, The New York Times 19 February 1962, 34; How a Man of Spiri t Wrecked Iglis Computer, Sports Illustrated, 3 June 1963, 2629. 63 The other coach was Arthur Lydiard, who is credited with starting the longdistance jogging boom. How a Man, Sports Illustrated. 64 L szl Tbori 103.

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211 goals. Internationally, sport lea ders aimed to rebuild the nation s image as a leading sport superpower that despite the Revolutions violence and terror appeared firmly committed to the Olympic ideal of peace.65 Hegyi already began this process in Melbourne, when he left on good terms wit h the defectors and kept the possibility open for their potential return. His approach in Melbourne appeared to set the tone for how the post 1956 state handled athletes who behaved badly in the wake of 1956. Examining how Hegyi handled the defections com pared to his counterparts in East Germany is instructive here. In East Germany, throughout the period sport functionaries and the secret police typically brought the defectors parents to the individuals new home in the FRG to manipulate and coerce them t o return. The parents sometimes also lost their jobs and found themselves under heightened surveillance after the athlete left the country.66 The GDR defectors acquaintances within sport sometimes found themselves in a show trial, as already mentioned, or banned from sport.67 The reaction towards the mass defection of Hungarian athletes in Melbourne in 1956 thus marks a sharp contrast to what occurred in East Germany. In Hungary, retribution against athletes seemed limited to the requisitioning of the defect ors apartments; yet even then, family members could sometimes remove the individuals personal effects beforehand.68 The Hungarian state security services did collect reports 65 Soviet and Bloc sport lead ers understood that in order to be trusted by the Western, bourgeois members of the Olympic family (and thus able to influence IOC policies), they needed to illustrate their nations commitment to achieving global peace through Olympic sport. For more, see Jenifer Parks, The Olympic Games, the Soviet Sports Bureaucracy, and the Cold War: Red Sport, Red Tape, (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016). 66 Braun and Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors, 15201523. 67 Braun and Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors, 1520, 1523. 68 L szl Tbori 93

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212 on the defectors, fearing that they would convince others to leave. Some defector s reported being approached by an agent the first time that they returned to Hungary a decade or so later.69 The sheer number of athletes who left, combined with the chaotic domestic situation while the post 1956 leadership tried to assert control and punis h revolutionaries, probably limited efforts to enact harsher retribution against the athletedefectors. The repressive retribution of the Stalinist era against the athletedefectors was no longer a top priority.70 The state also required the help of the press in tackling the broader issue of Hungarys massive demographic losses after the Revolution. The nation lost far more than athletes and coaches; the flight of over 200,000 Hungarians between November 1956 and early 1957 created a significant deficit of w orkers and university educated young adults. The dire consequences of the mass exodus on socialist Hungary s industrial and intellectual strength rendered returning athletes stories a valuable propaganda tool for persuading Hungarians to stay. NpSport us ed the stories of returned athletedefectors to exhibit the ills of life under capitalism. After water polo player Gbor Varga returned from Italy in the spring of 1957, NpSport reported Varga saying: Yes, I feel good now. Im home once more, amongst my family, between friends, and I can train at the Sport Pool again. Ive been through a lot during the past few monthseverywhere I felt myself a stranger, without a homeland, an exile. I met many Hungarians, sport people, water polo 69 Nicholas Molnar, a sports reporter and husband of Olympic gymnast Andrea Bod defected with the Olympic team to the US. He recalled being approached by agents when he visited his father in Hungary in 1965. The agents wanted to know about his experiences in the US as related to an Eisenhower scholarship that would enable Hungarian university students to come to the US. Nicholas Molnar, interview with Johanna Mellis, San Francisco, 7 November 2017. 70 Although more serious retributions, against family members for example, might have occurred, there is no concrete evidence of it

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213 players out thereTheir situation is almost hopeless, their future is hopeless. They are left out [of everything]they cannot take on work. I heard this about the Gyarmatis too.71 The piece effectively linked the exile experiences of the athletedefectors with the Hungarian refugees feelings of being a stranger in exile in the West. Conflating the situations showed readers that the defectors trials and tribulations would be their experiences if they too left Hungary. The s port leadership and post 1956 Hungarian state thus saw the willing return of athletedefectors not only as a boon for achieving their international sport diplomacy goals, but also for preventing further demographic losses through propaganda. Hungarys int ernational sport prestige and image, as well as the need to reestablish control and legitimacy over the public, motivated the sport leaderships softening approach towards all athletes who behaved badly, not just defectors. Hegyi began this approach in Melbourne, and continued to allow athletes to decide on their own accord to come back to Hungary. His approach demonstrated to the international sport world Hungary s benevolence after the violence of 1956.72 Athletes who returned willingly would also be more motivated to win gold medals and contribute to sport diplomacy goals, than those who returned under state pressure. These factors ultimately underscore the unique dynamics in Hungary and Hungarian sport after the events of 1956, and the future development of athletesport leader relations. 71 Hat hnap utn ismt a Sportuszodban, NpSport 17 May 1957, 2. 72 The International Fencing Federation did not allow D mlky to compete at their championshi ps for the US because it accepted the Hungarian government s decree that it would allow athletes to return home. Soproni, j csillagok, 1.

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214 Case Studies: Punishments, Athletes, and Sport Leaders a fter 1956 process by which the Revol ution and the mass defections impacted the actions of sport leaders and athletes, and therefore sport policy as well. T he socialist state found each man guilty of committing various crimes for their actions in response to the Revolution. Their crimes ranged from burning newspapers, to criticizing elite sport policies, to applying for asylum in a foreign country. Each action challenged the authority of the state or sport leadership to varying degrees. Influenced by a desire to use athletes to rebuild the nation domestically and abroad the sport leadership cont inued to alter how it handled athletes who behaved badly. For his part, Hegyi weathered the storm of the Revolution and mass defections by worki ng for the new state sport body, the Hungarian Council of Physical Education and Sport (hereafter the MTST). G za Kdas and the Impact of the International Sport World An exemplary athlete before 1956, Gza Kdas fell swiftly from grace following the Revolution.73 Kdas competed on the Hungarian national swi m team from 1946 1954, and won a silver and bronze medal at th e 1948 Olympics. In December 1956, he was arrested for purportedly burning fifty issues of the state newspaper, Npszabadsg, during the Revolution in the northern city of Eger .74 The crime seems insignificant, considering the magnitude of revolutionary activities other Hungarians committed. Since countless Hungarians witnessed Kdas s public participation in the Revolution however, 73 HEOL last modified 6 July 2012, accessed 20 December 2016, geza a gyorsuszobol lett peldakep450770. 74 Nagy, Kdas Gza.

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215 the post 1956 state viewed him as dangerous to its political legitimacy. As a result, he was sentenced to death for counter revolutionary activities like eight hundred of his compatriots .75 By April 1957, news of Kdass situation had spread to the United States through Gyarmatis Sports Illustrated article used at the outset of the chapter. Gyarmati told the magazine that Kdas had been convicted for the minor part he played in the revolution.76 The American magazines dissemination of Kdass story only served to further damage Hungarys image in the international sport community Hungarian sport leaders acted quickly to int ervene on Kdass behalf On May 31, 1957, the Hungarian Swimming Associations General Secretary, Istvn Brny, submitted two letters in support of Kdas. The letters detailed his swimming accomplishments, described him as pldmutat (exemplary), and sta ted how the national sport body had previously awarded him the highly coveted title Outstanding Athlete of the Hungarian Peoples Republic.77 By showcasing Kdass achievements, Brny s letters appear as a legitimate attempt to moderate the athlete s har sh sentence. Coincidentally, t he Hungarian Swimming Federation was in the midst of preparing to host the 1958 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest Hosting major sporting events and championships offered the socialist countries a platform to project the validity of their political system, strength of their sport program, and their 75 Hungarys Negotiated Revolution, 14. 76 For reasons that are unknown, Gyarmati told the magazine that Kdas had been sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Gyarmatis Story, Sports Illustrated, 32. 77 Kdas Gza sporttrsnak, 31 May 1957, 1957 Uszs folder, 105 d. XIX I 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary.

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216 dedication to the Olympic movement.78 Kdass imminent execution did not bode well for the nations international reputation leading up to the event Hegyi met with Bertil S alfors, president of the International Swimming Federation (hereafter FINA) several times between June 8 July 1, 1957 to discuss the upcoming championships.79 On July 5, 1957 the FINA president wrote to Brny, noting that Kdas was, likely to get the death penalty.80 Salfors continued: While FINA does not usually make an attempt to meddle in political issues, in a case like this I personally inform you that it is very bad that the swimmer Kdas is being sentenced to death for the events of last November. It is possible that this may lead to some kind of boycott of next years European Championship, which would be on very unfavorable terms. Therefore, I beg you to please write a recommendation to the Ministry of Sport that he can influence this case. 81 Salforss letter was highly unique. Within the one letter, FINA asserted several bold statements to Brny and the Hungarian Swimming Association. As discussed in Chapter 2, international s port organizations such as the IOC typically maintained an anti interventionist approach to member nations and the latters domestic affairs .82 Salfors first emphasized that FINAs meddling into Hungarys political issues was unusual; this statement implied that because of its uniqueness, Brny needed to take the implications of Salforss threat very seriously. Salfors simultaneously offered a moral judgement of the situation by noting the very bad circumstances of Kdass death 78 Parks The Olympic Games, xiii. 79 It is not clear if Hegyi and Salfors discussed Kdas in their meetings prior to the July 5 letter. 80 Brny Istvn urnak, 5 July 1957, 1957 Uszs folder, 105 d. XIX I 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 81 Ibid. 82 See especially Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves, The Rise and Fall of Olympic Amateurism, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2016).

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217 sentence. The threat that the death s entence would lead FINA to boycott the next years European Championships was an enormous attempt to influence domestic swimming affairs in Hungary. Although Salfors merely requested that the national sport body influence Kdass case, the threat illustrat ed what the sport body might do if the sentence was not altered. If FINA chose to withdraw their attendance, numerous Western countries might have done the same. At the same time, FINA, the IOC, and other bodies were constantly concerned about their image, in terms of spreading their international legitimacy and increasing their participation across the globe. Boycotting a major international competition did not reflect well on FINAs image as an apolitical and peaceful organization. Salfors likely believed that intervening in Hungarys sport affairs by threatening to boycott was the best solution to everyones dilemmas. As for Hungary, a potential boycott would risk more harm to the nations already damaged image within international sport, and therefore weaken the post 1956 governments sport goals. Salforss letter achieved the desired effect: Kdas ultimately did not receive the death penalty, but rather was sentenced to eight years in prison and eventually released in 1961. Like other amnestied individuals, his convict status followed him for the rest of his life. Rather than find work as a swimming coach, like most retired athletes, he toiled as an unskilled laborer.83 By preventing him from coaching younger athletes, he could not influence the political and moral development of the Hungarian sport community. He died destitute in 1979.84 Kdass punishment demonstrates the importance of the 83 This was the only position available to most of the released 1956 prisoners. They faced other forms of discriminat ion after their release, such as not being able to get a passport. Jnos Rainer, The Reprisals, New Hungarian Quarterly 33, 127 (1992): 118127, 122. 84 Nagy, Kdas Gza.

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218 international sport communitys opinion to the leadership of post 1956 Hungary, and the impact of FINAs outside intervention. At the same time, his case points to the limitations of the sport leaderships ability to help athletes who participated directly in the Revolution. In 1956 Kdas did not represent the potential for international success like some of his colleagues. Perhaps if Kdas had been a more prominent and successful athlete prior to or in 1956, sport leaders could have secured a more lenient punishment for him. Gbor Benedek The 1956 Revolution clearly provided some Hungarian athletes a rare opp ortunity to voice their dissatisfaction with the socialist state. Another such athlete was pentathlete Gbor Benedek. He won an individual silver and team gold medal at the 1952 Olympics and earned World Championship titles in 1953 and 1954. A secret polic e report submitted after the athletes defection in 1969 acknowledged how Benedeks talent, modesty, and upstanding behavior made him the preeminent leader of modern pentathlon in 1950s Hungary.85 By all accounts, Benedek obtained enormous privileges before 1956. In 1953, he received a horse for becoming the World Pentathlon champion that year in Santo Domingo, Chile. 86 In 1954, Hegyi and the national sport body helped find him a twobedroom apartment with a bathroom for he and his new 85 Benedek Gbor jelenzse, 1, 13 March 1970, H 45914; Kapitny, 3.1.2 M32615, BTL, Budapest, Hungary. 86 It is not clear whether he received the horse either from the Chilean government, the International Pentathlon Association, or the Hungarian state. Be nedek Gbor jelenzse, BTL, 1, Budapest, Hungary. Gyula Bretz, intervi ew wi th Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 June 2015; Istvn Szondy, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Miklos Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015.

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219 wife.87 Although it is not clear how he felt about the state prior to 1956, the trauma of the Revolution prompted him to act more boldly than ever before. During the Revolution, one of Benedeks close friends and fellow athletes, fencer accidentally shot and killed. When Benedek heard the news, he, started thinking. I belong to the people who seek solutions in symbols, so that they can capture historythe great Sovietsmurdered, killed my friend. My brain was spinning.88 His friends death sparked him to question the states politicization of sport publicly. Benedek reportedly confronted sport leaders at the preOlympic training camp. According to the 1969 secret police report, Benedeks actions comprised a cataclysmic and dangerous reversal in his overall beliefs, specifically from left to right wing.89 While traveling to Melbourne, Benedek declared to his fellow Olympians that he would not shake hands with the Soviet athletes.90 The Hungarian Olympic team also selected Benedek as one of three people to lead their symbolic Revolutionary Committee. His election showed the enormous respect that team felt for him during the tumultuous time.91 Finally, following his return home after Melbourne Benedek criticized the 87 O.T.S.B. Elnksgnek, 1213 January 1954, 1954 doboz, 809 Laksgyek ttel, XIX I 14a, MNL, Budapest, Hungary. 88 gh assi, Egy elmaradt. 89 The secret police report does not state what Benedek said at the Tata training camp. Benedek Gbor jelenzse, BTL, 1, Budapest, Hungary. 90 ghassi, Egy elmaradt. 91 The Committee did not seek to even up old scores or verbalize accusations, but to determine how to compete and act at the Olympics. The Committee was set up ad hoc, just like the Revolutionary Committees that people established throughout the county to take control from the Party over major industries and organizations. Pl Peterdi, Gyarmati sors, avagy egy bal kz trtnete, (Lakitelek: Antolgia Kiad: 2007) 121.

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220 Hungarian Pentathlon Federation for not celebrati ng their arrival and for recent personnel and organizational changes .92 Leaders viewed Benedeks outspoken criticisms and unsportsmanlike behavior towards the Soviet athletes as symbolic of th e spirit of the Revolution. Benedek was banned from all sport related activities in 1957.93 Importantly, he did what many other athletes would do: he contacted Hegyi and asked for help. Benedek explained how, It was not easy for someone to talk to me at that time, as he could count on retaliation. But with his own devices, he did a lot for me.94 Hegyi bought Benedeks horse for 20,000 forints.95 Hegyis assistance to Benedek remained in line with his benevolent approach to defecting athletes in Melbourne. The sport leaders actions illustrate the lengths he was w illing to go to help out certain punished athletes so that they could land on their feet financially. The fact that Hegyi assisted Benedek who, by the athletes admission, could count on retaliation suggests that the impetus to ban Benedek likely came fr om Hegyis superiors, and not the sport leader himself. As a result of Hegyis help, Benedek bought a business permit on the black market to produce and sell soda water.96 In two articles in 1958 and 1959, N pSport explained the reasons for Benedeks bani shment from sport. The first piece specifically described his case as a lesson for 92 The report does not specify what these changes were. B enedek Gbor jelenzse, BTL, 1, Budapest, Hungary. 93 Gyula Bretz, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 June 2015. 94 ghassi, Egy elmaradt. 95 Ibid. 96 Ibid.

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221 athletes. It also stated that he had helped the enemies of the Peoples Republic by slandering the state.97 The 1959 article provided more insight into why the state banned h im: Gbor Benedek was not among the everyday athletes. He helped the Hungarian people and state...He received everything: fame, glory, popularity, recognitionBut Gbor Benedek, who received everything that only a[n]athlete could receive at that time, when it [was] the greatest need to show that he was ready and grateful for the people, for the state for all the good thing[s] they did with him rather, he chose another path. In the darkest days of the 1956 October counter revolution...Instead of [doing] s port, he was at the forefront in the defamation of the Peoples Democracy, of socialist sport, of the Soviet Union.98 The 1959 article focused particular attention on the gap between Benedeks privileged status and his lack of support for the socialist st ate during the Revolution. By portraying the athletes actions in 1956 as demonstrating his ungratefulness for the states support and privileges, the sports press aimed to use him as an example of unacceptable behavior to the public. The second article moreover explained that athletes like Benedek, who lack our moral foundation ( az erklcsi alapjuk hinyzik ) could not be easily forgiven and should not work with young athletes.99 The two articles made it abundantly clear that Benedek erred because he had c hosen the path of the counter revolutionaries, and abandoned the system that gave him enormous privileges. Similar to Kdas, Benedek was barred from working and influencing young athletes. In 1965, the sport leadership decided to bring Benedek back into t he fold. Benedek began coaching part time at Honvd, the A rmy team, so that he could share 97 Egy kizrs s tanulsgai, NpSport, 15 September 1958 3. 98 ghassi, Egy elmaradt; Erk lcsi alap n lk l... Npsport 1 November 1959, 2 99 Erk lcsi alap, Npsport.

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222 his expertise with toplevel athletes. In contrast to Kdas, the socialist state decided to capitalize on Benedeks experience and sought his assistance in train ing the next generation of pentathletes to contribute to Hungarys Olympic medal count Their decision paid off: between 1965 and 1969, he helped coach pentathletes such Olympic champions Ferenc Trk and Istvn Mona. Honvd promoted Benedek to a prestigious p osition as their pentathlon team coach in January 1969.100 The selection showed the athletes successful redemption of his character and status in the eyes of the Hungarian sport leadership. Later in 1969, however, Benedeks daughter became extremely ill. Al though state leaders agreed to let them leave the country to obtain necessary medical treatment, his daughters condition worsened while they awaited the paperwork. They ended up leaving for West Germany illegally, but she died shortly thereafter. Benedek decided not to come home.101 With the help of his fellow pentathleteturneddefector, Istvn Szondy, Benedek coached in Wahrendorf until his retirement. Hungarys best water polo player of all time tested the sport leadership more than anyone else. Unlike Kdas and Benedek, Gyarmati caused significant trouble for the sport leadership before 1956. He first attempted to defect after the 1948 London Olympics. This prompted the secret police to include Gyarmati on their list of flight risks prior to the 1952 Olympics .102 Hegyi saved him each time, wanting to keep Gyarmatis gold medal capabilities in the state. 100 Benedek Gbor jelenzse, BTL, 1, Budapest, Hungary ttusaszakosztlya behozni, NpSport 10 January 1969, 1. 101 ghassi, Egy elmaradt. 102 Blutstein, Spies, Subterfuge, 55.

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223 Gyarmati demonstrated his allegiance to the Revolution in several ways.103 Like Benedek, the Olympic team selected Gyarmati to their Revolutionary Committee. He moreover also refused to shake hands with the Soviet athletes in Melbourne .104 Gyarmatis actions offended the Soviet players. A report from the Australian national security service notes how his refusal created a difficult situation between the two teams. Gyarmatis behavior provoked the Soviet athletes to declare that the Russians would fix the Hungarians on their return .105 Unaware of the Soviet athletes statement, Gyarmati returned to Budapest to reunite with family When th ey arrived at Nyugati train station in December 1956, Gyarmati wore the black Lajos Kossuth badge of the Revolution. Wearing the band demonstrated solidarity with the crushed revolutionaries, many of whom awaited harsh sentences.106 1957 proved tumultuous for Gyarmati A group of Soviets soldiers beat him up in early 1957, ostensibly fulfilling their athletes wishes back home 107 The assault caused Gyarmati to reach his breaking point; he left on February 1, 1957 for Western Europe with his wife, Olympic cham pion swimmer va Szkely and young daughter, future 103 He says he helped pull down a large red star from a building and build a barricade in Budapest. It is not clear if the authorities knew that Gyar mati did these things. Peterdi Gyarmati sors, 118. 104 The Committees main purpose was to determine how to compete and act at the Olympics. It was set up ad hoc, just like the Revolutionary Committees that people established to take control from the Party over major industries and organizations. Ibid, 121. 105 The report says that the Soviet players told the Yugoslav players this. It also says that the one of the Yugoslav players told the Hungarian players about it. I have to thank Harry Blutstein for sharing this document with me. Olympic Games Soviet State Security Colonel to Whom Hungarian State Security Officer(s) Report, 3 December 1956, XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956 Counter Espionage Targets (TS), A6122, 2776, National Archives of Australia (hereafter NAOA), Canberra, Australia. 106 Blutstein, Gyarmati sors 123, 133. 107 Peterdi Gyarmati sors 133.

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224 Olympic swimmer Andrea Gyarmati.108 Interestingly, t wo articles addressed their unexpected departure. One article downplayed the scenario by reporting that the pair simply traveled to Vienna looking for co aching positions, and would return when their contracts expired.109 Another piece bemoaned the loss of Gyarmatis talent, and portrayed his flight as one of the reasons for an ongoing dispute within the Hungarian water polo community.110 The leadership likely believed that by confronting the departure of one of its top athletes directly, the press could control how readers interpreted Gyarmatis actions. The second article depicted his departure as something that continued to harm Hungarian sport, and thereby t he nation. This approach contrasted with the tactics used by the East German press, which portrayed athletedefectors as traitors to the GDR state.111 When Gyarmati and Szkely failed to find coaching positions in Western Europe, they traveled to America in mid March 1957. Within a month, Sports Illustrated published the article with Gyarmati mentioned at the outset of this chapter. In the piece he also declared that, Uprooted and exiled as we are, we are free. We must cherish this freedom, not for any ulter ior or personal sake, but for those who look to us for encouragement or support.112 Sports Illustrated found Gyarmati a job as a clerk at 108 va Szkely, 76. 109 K lf ldre t vozott a Gyarmati h zasp r, Sport 24 February 1957, 3 110 Itt T dor besz k a Sportuszod b l Sport 24 February 1957, 4 111 Braun and Wiese, Tracksuit Traitors, 15191523. 112 Gyarmatis Story, Sports Illustrated, 32.

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225 Chase Manhattan Bank. He admitted to only lasting one day in the position.113 Despite his earlier declarations about the free world, Gyarmati realized that freedom did not entitle them to the best opportunities in sport, nor to a high status and lifestyle. On August 7, 1957, Gyarmati left America in hopes of negotiating his return to Hungary.114 The Hungarian state did not m ake their homecoming an easy one. Initially, the MTST refused to allow them to return. After a series of several negotiations, the MTST allowed the athlete couple to return with full amnesty.115 Yet the states version of full amnesty did not preclude Gyarma ti from further punishment. H e experienced periods of intense interrogation by the state security forces.116 Soon after his return, the press reported Gyarmatis punishment. The MTSTs Di sciplinary Committee found him guilty of applying for asylum in a forei gn country, pursuing a sport activity abroad without authorization, as well as having aggravated the situation by being swayed by hostile sport leaders abroad.117 Interestingly, the article also noted that, because of his witnessed activity at the Melbourne Olympics, it would have been necessary to apprehend him, but because of his merit up to that point, they overlooked it.118 The Disciplinary Committees decision to use Gyarmatis merit as a reason to punish him selectively left the door open for him t o eventually continue his career domestically. 113 Peterdi, Gyarmati sors 140. 114 cited in Peterdi, Gyarmati sors 176. 115 Peterdi, Gyarmati sors 151. 116 Ibid, 155. 117 The article also appeared verbatim in Npsazbadsg s panaszgyi bizottsgnak hatrozatai, NpSport, 24 August 1958, 4. 118 Az MTST, NpSport

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226 Gyarmati stood apart from other athletes in terms of his cultural status With his success and popularity came significant social capital which evidently helped his situation with sport leaders In his memoir the athlete emphasized how he used his connections to persuade several people to pull strings for him. Gyarmatis efforts earned him permission to join the water polo team at Ferencvros Torna Club in early 1960. Although by this point the suspension on his domestic career had expired, his connections convinced Ferencvros to allow the tainted athlete to join the club.119 At his urging, Gyarmatis contacts continued to work on his behalf. Less than a month before the 1960 Rome Olympics began, N pSport announced on the front page how sport leaders had received permission to suspend the ban on Gyarmatis participation in international competitions.120 As a result of his good behavior since the ban, he was brought onto the Olympic water polo team in time t o compete in Rome.121 Once again the athletes merit, status, and behavior helped to influence sport leaders to seek out and obtain permission to change his punishment. Gyarmatis continuous emphasis on the role that his connections played in obtaining items permission, and in alleviating punishments underscores how much his social capital impacted his life. At the same time, as an MTST leader noted in December of 1958, The most important task ahead 119 Gyarmati faced difficulty finding a team that would accept him, probably due to the stigma around his punishment. Novelist and water polo player Ferenc Karinthy thought to contact Jzsef Sndor, a highranking Party member on the Central Committee, about the issue, through Sndors masseuse at the pool. The plan worked. Peterdi, Gyarmati sors 160. 120 Kijel lte a Magyar Olimpiai Bizotts g a r mai olimpi n szerepl magyar versenyz ket, NpSport 27 July 1960, 1. 121 Magyar Olimpiai Bizotts g, NpSport.

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227 of our sport is preparing for success at the Rome Olympics .122 The MTST and Party leadership wanted to win gold medals and show the country and the world that post 1956 Hungary was still a leading sport power. Gyarmatis career and status continued to rise unabated thereafter Upon returning to Budapest from Rome, the state awarded him the medal for Socialist Work for his performances in Rome.123 He continued playing water polo after 1960, and helped the water polo team win a gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The victory brought his Olympi c medal count to thr ee gold one silver, and one bronze medal Gyarmati began coaching in 1966, eventually leading the Olympic team to a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics. Gyarmatis reputation did not falter, as he appeared countless times as a sports commentator from the 1980s until his death in 2013 Even today, Gyarmati is perhaps the most revered water polo player in Hungary. FINA in particular considers him one of the best players of all time.124 cs incident in 1951, compared to the cases of Kdas, Benedek, and Gyarmati demonstrate the overall Stalinist Hungary in the early 1950s. The concerted efforts of the Ministry of Interior and secret police show the states desire to make a lesson of the athlete to his contemporaries. The events of 1956, however, put Hungary under a microscope within 122 Jelents: a Politikai bizottsgnak a testnevelsi 30 December 1958, Imre Ternyi, Adminisztrativ Oszt ly, M KS 288.301958 123 A rmai olimpia tapasztalatainak mlyrehat elemzse NpSport 23 September 1960, 1. 124 Aquatics 19082008: 100 Years of Excellent in Sport ed. Craig Lord (Lausanne: FINA, 2008), 110.

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228 the international sport community Kdass direct participation in the 1956 Revolution identifie d him as someone willing to act out publicly against the state. FINAs letter saved his life, proving that the state cared enough about its sport diplomacy goals abroad to be influenced by external diplomatic pressure. Yet it did not prevent the sport leadership from punishing him in perpetuity Although it was a significant turnaround Kdass experiences illustrate the limits of the states help for less successful athletes Benedeks direct criticisms influenced the MTST to deem him capable of harming other athletes with his right wing beliefs. The body thus ended his competitive career. The sport leadership identified him as a serio us risk to their attempts to stabilize the Hungarian sport system. The MTSTs approach to Gyarmati il lustrates their belief that he offered more to their sport diplomacy goals and efforts to stabilize the post 1956 state immediately following that momentous year than Benedek or the others. For the sport leadership, this mattered more in the long term for Hungarian sport than punishing him more severely. More so than Benedek, Gyarmati decided to do everything in his power to contribute to the states goals after he returned in 1957. Gyarmati emphasized heavily in his autobiography how he used his connections extensively in order to resume his career after being punished. Just as Gyarmati proved willing to adapt and cooperate with the leadership, sport leaders proved willing to stick their necks out and accommodate someone like him. Gyarmati an d sport leaders thus achieved their respective goals by working with one another. Conclusion This chapter showed how Jnos Kdrs 1962 statement underscoring the states attempt to rebuild relations with the public was already the status quo amongst

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229 athletes and sport leaders. The lives examined here illustrate how domestic, international, and personal issues influenced the significant shifts that occurred within sport following the events of 1956. After the violence of the Revolution, the post 1956 state wanted to rebuild its image as a peaceful sporting member of the global sport community. The socialist state thus chose to prioritize more benevolent tactics vis vis athletes than the harsh retribution of the Stalinist era. Importantly Hegyis tactics w ith athletes were not new or innovative after 1956; rather, beginning in Melbourne they comprised a modification of the carrot and stick system of punishments and rewards from the Stalinist era. Fortunately for the sport leaders, many athletes attitudes u nderwent a significant shift as well. The international sport context played a significant role in athletes change of opinion and behaviors in Hungary. As athletes like Gyarmati realized, the United States would never give them what they wanted, nor easil y accept them into the sport community. Only socialist Hungary could offer athletes prized privileges and opportunities that they wanted, contingent as the rewards were upon athletes willing cooperation. This dynamic, combined with the impact of the defec tors on US and Western sport, illustrates how developments in the Hungarian and international sport communities influenced one another within the Cold War context. Gradually and haltingly, members of both groups realized the necessity of adapting and cooperating with one another to reach their respective goals. This does not mean that athletes did not get punished for bad behavior later on. Just as athletes behaved and cooperated to varying degrees until 1989, sport leaders and the state did not always implement measures vis vis athletes in uniform ways. The cases of Benedek and Gyarmati are representative, however, of how the sport leadership and

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230 many athletes worked with one another to achieve the best results on and off the field. Athletes cooperation moreover should not be seen as collaboration, or as a capitulation to the states ends. Depending on their situation, athletes cooperate d as an EigenSinn tactic to achieve the best life within the context of socialist Hungary and international sport. The ir behaviors illustrate how compliance was not always coerced from above.125 The gradual cooperation between athletes and sport leaders contrasts with what we know about their contemporaries in East Germany.126 Some East German athletes likely developed mutual ly beneficial relations with their sport leaders and benefitted from working with the state. The fact that the scholarship continues to focus on the sport systems attempted control of athletes and the latters limited agency, however, positions the East G erman case as an interesting foil to the Hungarian one after 1956. Just as importantly, sport leaders desire to prevent more athletes from defecting through increased material rewards motivated them to protect their state amateur and carrot andstick system from outside scrutiny. This goal helped to undergird the attempts of sport leaders from the middle Bloc countries to work within the IOC to shield their sport systems from the international organizations administrative gaze. The events of 1956 and the changes in athletesport leader relations therefore impacted the nations in teractions with the IOC, and eventually the global governance of Olympic sport. 125 Haraszti, The Velvet Prison, 5; cited from Wat son, Memory, History, 14. 126 Only scholars of East German sport have examined athletesport leader relations in depth.

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231 CHAPTER 5 PERHAPS YOU CAN BE HELPFUL IN THIS SITUATION: EVOLVING TIES BETWEEN THE IOC, HUNGARY, AND THE MIDDLE BLOC COUNTRIES Introduction Upon his death in March 1983, rpd Csandi had served as the IOC member for Hungary for nearly twenty years News of his demise sent ripples of grief throughout the IOC and the international sport world. Monique Berlioux, Director of the IOC from 19711985, wrote a particularly heartfelt statement about her fondest memories of the Hungarian.1 As Director, Berlioux ran the administration of the organizations office in Lausanne, Switzerland and becam e the second most dominant force in the Olympic movement.2 Berlioux expressed how during Csandis tenure on the IOCs Executive board, ...his advice is sought throughout the world; he has become a figurehead of international sport.3 She continued, How could anyone fail to appreciate his intelligence, his loyalty, the reliability of his an alyses, the cogency of his work?4 At first glance, Berliouxs views may not seem so surprising. Csandi served as the Olympic Program director for many years, and then as one of the IOCs top representatives from 1 981 1983 as the Honorary Sports Director. Yet unlike much of the IOCs top administration, he did not hail from the West. Rather, he was someone whom the Hungarian socialist government entrusted to pursue its political objectives within the 1 Joanna Davenport, Monique Berlioux, Journal of Olympic History (formerly Citius, Altius, Fortius ) 4, 3 (Autumn 1996): 1018, 10. 2 D avenport, Monique Berlioux, 13. 3 Monique Berlioux, Article on the late Dr. Arpad Csanadi, 7 June 1983, SD2 Correspondence JuneDecember 1983, D RM01HONGR/004 (Correspondence of the NOC of Hungary), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 4 Ibid.

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232 international sport organization. In light of his background, Berliouxs sentiments illustrate the crucial changes that the IOC and Eastern Bloc sport leaders underwent between the 1950s and the 1980s. As the most powerful woman in sport at the time, Berliouxs recollection also speaks volumes about the extent to which the Hungarian had successfully ingratiated himself as a key and trusted member of the international sport community.5 This chapter explores the conditions and events that enabled Csandi to be come a fi gurehead of international sport by the 1980s. The tensions and politics that characterized IOC Bloc relations in the 1950s, as discussed in Chapter 2 in relation to elationship throughout the Cold War. Fortunately for each group, decisionmakers on each side began to realize the efficacy of developing strong and amicable relations with the other. The IOC leadership, especially thenpresident Avery Brundage, started to perceive its Eastern Bloc members as potential allies for the organization. By the late 1950s, Brundage viewed the middle Bloc representatives as important intermediaries between the organization and newer Communist member nations. Brundage continued to t urn to the Bloc members to help defend the amateur rule against the encroachment of commercial professionalism within international sport. The shift in perceptions and relations was not onesided, however. In the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the brawn drain, and Khrushchevs foreign policy goals, socialist sport leaders focused on strengthening international sport ties as 5 Davenport, Monique Berlioux, 10.

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233 a key component of the Blocs foreign policy.6 These conditions led the IOC and Bloc members to become strange bedfellows in the Olympic movement in the 1960s.7 Due to the role of major countries such as the US, USSR, East Germany, and Britain in shaping Cold War sport politics, most of the scholarship focuses on domestic sport and sport diplomacy policies in these countries during this time.8 This chapter examines the position and role of the IOC member for Hungary, and those of the other middle Bloc countries situated between East Germany and the USSR from the late 1950s 1980s.9 The members for the middle Bloc countries serv ed as important intermediaries between the Westernoriented IOC leadership and the stronger and oftentimes more contentious Bloc countries, such as the USSR, East Germany, and China. The positions that the middle Bloc leaders gradually gained in international sport organizations offered them new leverage to shape international sport policies to benefit their sport systems at home, such as the IOCs amateur rule. Yet the ramifications of the middle Blocs sport diplomacy efforts went further than this. As sm all, seemingly less significant countries during the Cold War, the state amateur systems in these countries received significantly less scrutiny than the larger and more geopolitically important 6 Parks, The Olympic Games, 43. 7 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 117. 8 Peter Beck, Britain and the Cold Wars Cultural Olympics: Responding to the Political Drive of Soviet Sport, 19451958, Contemporary British History 19, 2 (2005): 169185; Edelman, Spartak Moscow 2009; Matthew Llewellyn, Rule Britannia: Nationalism, Identity and the Modern Olympic Games (New York: Routledge Press, 2011); Lindsay Krasnoff, The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France, 19582010 (Lanham, MD : Lexington Books, 2013); Llewellyn and Gleaves, The Rise and Fall 2016; Rider, Cold War Games 2016; Parks, The Olympic Games 2017. 9 Simona Ionescu and Thiery Terrets article on the Romanian sport leader Alexandru is the only analysis of a sport official from a middle Bloc country published in English. Simona Angela Ionescu and Thierry Terret, A Romanian within the IOC: Alexander Siperco, Romania and the Olympic Movement, The International Journal of the History of Sport 29, 8 (2012): 117711 94.

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234 GDR and USSR. I argue that the less strategic positions of the middle Bloc countries, coupled with the efforts of Bloc IOC members such as Csandi, helped to veil the state amateur systems in these countries. These dynamics ultimately helped athletes at home. By ensuring that the IOC did not scrutinize their state a mateur systems, Csandi and his middle Bloc contemporaries protected the privileges and material lifestyle that kept Hungarian athletes satisfied and unmotivated to defect to the West after 1956. It is important to note that the brawn drain was an incentiv e to protect the system that prevented athletes from defecting en masse again. The evolving norms of cooperation between Hungarian sport leaders and athletes thus influence d the improvement of IOC middle Bloc leader relations, and on the development of IOC policy broadly. This analysis thereby illustrates the flow of influence from Hungarian athletes to IOC policies and global sport governance during the Cold War, and therefore how domestic developments helped to shape international ones within elite sport. The chapter begins by exploring the intermediary roles that middle Bloc IOC members played in the late 1950s. The middle position of Polands Jerzy Loth and Bulgarias General Stoychev convinced the IOC to view them as trusted intermediaries between the I OC and more problematic members like China and Cuba. I then examine the shift within the priorities of Brundage and the IOC about the amateur rules, specifically regarding the kinds of violations they believed worth investigating and penalizing. In 1961, t he Brundage organized a meeting designed to seek the help of the Bloc members in counteracting the accusations in the press about the regions state amateur system. The meeting symbolized the IOCs gradual realization of the hopelessness of trying to curb the Blocs state amateur system. By the end of the 1960s

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235 the organization had almost completely shifted away from scrutinizing state amateurism and towards investigating commercial professionalism, or athletes who accepted commercial sponsorships. The IOC member for Romania forcefully inserted himself into a position that played a significant role in helping the IOC change its amateur policies T he chapter thereafter analyzes the case of East German rower Hans Neuling who defected to West Germany in 1962 and submitted a sworn affidavit to th e IOC of his experiences as a paid and doped athlete in the GDR. The incident illustrates the veiled position of the middle Bloc countries and their sport systems in comparison to those of the GDR and USSR. I then explore the long career of rpd Csandi, the IOC member f or Hungary from 19641983. Csandi s ability to become deeply ingrained in the organization serves as a barometer to show the change in the priorities and tactics o f the IOC and the middle Bloc members, and therefore in relations between the two groups. By attaining high administrative positions within the IOC, men such as Csandi and iperco, helped to shape the organization and how it ruled the Olympic movement acr oss the globe. Middle Bloc Leaders as Middle Men: Loth and Stoychev In the years after Stalins death in 1953 and during the rule of Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, the landscape of sporting and diplomatic possibilities opened up for sport offi cials. As a result of Khrushchevs peaceful coexistence with the West, a 1959 decree instructed sport leaders across the Bloc countries to develop and reinforce international sporting contacts.10 Alongside the rhetoric of peacefulness, Khrushchev wanted t he increased international contact and sport exchanges to further 10 Parks, The Olympic Games, xvii, 43.

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236 cement the USSRs status as a global power.11 The 1956 Hungarian Revolution also motivated the Soviet leaders insistence to increase the Blocs interaction with the world beyond the Curtain. S ome Westerners questioned the rationale of maintaining sporting relations with the USSR in the aftermath of the Revolution. FINAs threat of boycotting the 1958 European Aquatics Championships in Budapest shows the pressure that Hungary sport leaders enc ountered after 1956. The USSR also struggled to overcome the backlash in international sport from its actions in Hungary. For example, Swiss gymnastic officials forbade their gymnasts from future sporting contact with the Soviets, and controlled their enga gements with the satellite states from 1957 onwards. The Swiss officials took this stance in support of Switzerlands protest against the Soviet invasion of Hungary when the nation boycotted the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.12 The Soviet and Bloc countries therefore viewed the strengthening of friendship and cultural ties in sport as a key component to rebuilding their image in the aftermath of the violence.13 Fortunately for the IOC Bloc members, Brundage continued to shift his stance towards them in the late 1950s following his successful visits to Budapest and the USSR in 1953 1955. His evolving perception of the region opened the door for some of the IOC members to get a foot in the door diplomatically within the IOC. The 11 Parks, The Olympic Games, 33. 12 Georgia Cervin, et al. Gymnastics centre of gravity: the Fdration Internationale Gymnastique, its governance and the Cold War, 19561975, Sport in History 37, 3 (2017): 312. 13 Parks notes how the sports diplomacy of the Khrushchev era was marked by ambiguity and ambivalence. Yet for Hungarian sport leaders, strengthening and maintaining good relations with the Western organizations remained key to demonstrating the Hungarian st ates benevolence and belief in peace through sport. Parks, The Olympic Games, 35.

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237 org anizations members for Poland and Bulgaria, Jerzy Loth and General Stoychev therefore became intermediaries for the Olympic family partly because Brundage placed them in that position. The IOCs problems with Communist China and the Republic of China in the 1950s provided a perfect opportunity for Brundage to appeal to the middle Bloc members to serve as liaisons for the IOC. In a letter to Stoychev in December 1958, Brundage expressed his frustrations with Communist Chinas efforts to politicize international sport The IOC president explained the position to the Bulgarian, saying: Their position [in China] is quite ridiculous apparently they do not understand that the Olympic movement is not concerned with politics and that we do not deal with Governments but with sportsmen. I have tried to explain it to them a dozen times, but they do not seem to understand.14 Rather than request Stoychevs help immediately, Brundage offered his honest opinion and frustrations with Communist Chinas sport leadership over its attempts to politicize the Olympic movement. Brundage knew that at this point a decade into the Cold War Stoychev and the other Bloc countries understood the IOCs position on politics within the movement. The president continued, Professor Loth had the idea that we might call the other Committee the Formosa and Taiwan Committee. It might be the IOC would agree. Perhaps you can be helpful in this situation.15 Here, Brundage acknowledged that he had already discussed the issue with the IOC memb er for Poland. He showed to Stoychev his diplomatic efforts to include the Bloc members in the discussion about the two Chinas, and that he valued their opinions. Brundage 14 Brundage to General Stoychev, 4 December 1958, SD2 Correspondence 19481968, CIO MBR STOYT Correspondence (Biography and correspondence of Vladimir Stoytchev), IOCHA La usanne, Switzerland. 15 Ibod

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238 moreover illustrated his reliance on Loth and Stoychev to help the IOC reach a peace ful resolution with the two Chinese Olympic organizations at the time. His final appeal to Stoychev reveals the extent to which he sought to rely on these middle Bloc leaders. By suggesting that Stoychev could be helpful in this situation, Brundage demonstrated how he wanted to use the men from the small satellite states as intermediaries Brundage reiterated this again to Stoychev in 1963 in reference to Communist Cuba. The IOC president told Stoychev that, If Cuba intends to use sport as a political w eapon, of course it will be barred from all international competition. Perhaps it would be useful if you would advise Senor Llanusa that the Cubans must conform to the Olympic principles if they expect to stay in the Olympic family.16 The second request for help is equally revealing about Brundages aims. The IOC always expected its new members to conform to the IOCs principles. The IOC used it rules and standards as a way to maintain the white, Western culture of the IOC, which also worked to the detrim ent of nonWestern countries and sport officials who sought to join and work in the organization.17 As with China in 1958, if Brundage expected the Cuban sport leaders to abide by the IOCs rules and cultural practices, he also expected the middle Bloc memb ers to help the wouldbe and newer members make the changes required to join the organization and its established culture. The two letters not only highlight the trust that the IOC placed in the middle Bloc IOC members but also the power that Brundage ceded to them by helping the organization in its sport diplomacy and teaching of the Olympic rules. General Stoychev 16 Brundage to Stoychev, 20 February 1963, SD1 Correspondence January May 1963, A P05/024 (IOC Presidents: Avery Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 17 Keys Globalizing Sport, 4; Llewellyn and Gleaves Rise and Fall, 58

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239 was assuredly a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party The fact that Brundage relied upon and requested Stoychev s help in shaping the behaviors of newer Communist nations shows the broader shift in relations between the IOC members from Eastern Europe and the West by the late 1950s early 1960s. The IOC, the Bloc Countries, and the Amateur Rule As discusse d in Chapter 2, the IOCs efforts to impose its rules and investigate violations were plagued by multiple issues. The organization simply did not have the bureaucratic strength to ensure whether member nations followed its policies or not. Due to the body s small administrative staff, until the late 1960s Brundage himself investigated violations of its policies.18 The IOC moreover did not require extensive documents or evidence from member nations about following its rules. The organization relied to varying degrees upon its members for each country the international sports federations, and the NOCs to police the Olympic rules domestically. The IOC therefore had no way of confirming for themselves whether any of its member countries followed its policies or not, much less the ones in the Bloc. As IOC Chancellor Otto Mayer explained to Brundage in June 1960 regarding their investigations into violations in France and Poland: All this is to prove to you that all the investigations we are making, never give a positive result. Everybody lies, and we have to believe this. I wonder therefore if it is worth going on with our investigations, when we know the result and the answers in advance?19 18 Edstrm, Brundage, and later IOC President Lord Killanin worked from their home countries. Juan Samaranch, who was the IOC president in the 1980s 2001, was the first IOC president to take up residence in the organizations home in Lausanne, Switzerland, and to work directly from the IOC offices. 19 Mayer to Brundage, 24 June 1960, SD3 Correspondence JuneAugust 1960, A P05/022 ( IOC Presidents: Avery Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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240 Mayers frank opinion on the matter exemplifies the IOCs knowledge and la mentations over the futility of their efforts to investigate violations on both sides of the Curtain. Despite his admission, Mayer promised that At any rate, everytime [ sic ] I shall hear something wrong I shall follow our past principle and investigate.20 Brundage confirmed Mayers stance in his response, stating that continuing their efforts keeps our slate clean.21 At the very least, the IOC could honestly say that it followed the bodys rules by doing its best to investigate the rumors of violations. T his realization in the early 1960s did not stop Brundage, Mayer, and the IOC from continuing their attempts to police the amateur rules by sending letters to the members of accused nations. The restrictions on the press behind the Curtain further complicated the IOCs attempts to conduct investigations in the region. Within several years of becoming the organizations president, Brundage realized the severe limitations that hampered his efforts to investigate violations of the amateur rule in the Bloc stat es. Brundage organized a meeting in 1961 with the members for the Eastern Bloc in an attempt to enlist their help in refuting the presss reports about state amateurism. By this point, the Bloc IOC members understood the organizations bureaucratic limits. They learned quickly that they only needed to give the image that they followed the IOC s rules. The IOCs limitations and the Blocs censorship of the press domestically ultimately helped the socialist countries to veil and protect the state amateur syst ems at home. 20 Ibid. 21 Brundage to Mayer, 30 June 1960, SD3 Correspondence JuneAugust 1960, A P05/022 ( IOC Presidents: Avery Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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241 The 1961 Meeting During a meeting of the IOC Executive Board in May 1961 the top IOC leadership arranged for a special meeting with the Bloc members about state amateurism. Yet in the meeting Brundage did not attempt to question or challenge the Bloc members about their sport systems. Rather, the American requested an official statement fr om the Eastern European members. Brundage wanted the statement to clarify once and for all that their systems did not violate the IOCs policies. S uch a statement, the IOC president claimed would be given to the press to help with destroying the existing prevailing impression concerning state amateurs.22 He explained in the meeting that numerous newspaper articles criticized the IOC about how it h andled the issue.23 One of the IOC representative s for the USSR Nikolai Romanov countered Brundages request by asking if the IOC intended to meet with the representatives of other countries who received similar criticisms. Brundage responded by underscor ing the difficulty of his position, as someone who needed to field complaints about Eastern European and American athletes. Brundage also voiced his objections to the university sport scholarship program in the US. Brundages response illustrates his true conundrum: that he and the IOC were more concerned with being embarrassed by the accusations, and their struggles in trying to counter the allegations, than in trying to investigate or force the Bloc countries to change their sport systems. 22 Llewellyn and Gleaves also explore the 1961 meeting, focusing on Brundages navet in the matter, and how the Soviet members turned the tables on the IOC in the meeting. Llewellyn and Gleaves, The Rise and Fall 126; International Olympic Committee Executive Board Meeting, 15 18 June 1961, Athens. 23 In fact, the Western press had been attacking Brundage for years for being a Communist sympathizer.

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242 The other IOC member for the USSR, Constantin Adrianov then agreed to supply all the documents which may prove of interest to the IOC in the matter.24 None of the IOC members for the Bloc states denied Brundages claims, nor offered any evidence disproving the allegat ions. The Bloc countries understood that they did not need to defend their systems to Brundage and the IOCs Executive Board. The fact that the IOC did not require them to do so likely confirmed the Blocs realization that image mattered more than reality to the IOC. The special meeting proved instructive for another reason. Armand Massard, the IOC member for France, took the opportunity to point out another issue with the IOC members for the region. Massard declared that at each IOC Session, when the USS R members make a proposal, they are backed by the members of the Eastern European counties who, one after another, raise from their seat to punctuate their assent. 25 Adria nov outright denied the claim. He explained that there was no Eastern block or coal ition because such a block was not necessary.26 Adrianovs point. Interestingly, only two years prior to the 1961 meeting Adrianov submitted a proposal that aimed to drastically reshape the composition of the IOC.27 Adrianov maintai ned two goals for the proposal. First, by changing the composition of 24 International Olympic Committee Executive Board Meeting, 15 18 June 1961, Athens 25 International Olympi c Committee Executive Board Meeting, 15 18 June 1961, Athens 26 International Olympic Committee Executive Board Meeting, 15 18 June 1961, Athens 27 Adrianov proposed that each NOC and International Sports Federation recognized by the IOC be given a representative to the IOC itself. The proposal also positioned the Soviets as a friend to newly independent nation, in hopes of securing their support for future Soviet proposals. Constantin Romanov moreover blended Marxist Leninist rhetoric with Olympic ideology by asserting that the reactionary, political line of the IOC prevented the movement from achieving its goals of creating international friendship and goodwill through sport. Parks, The Olympic Games, 4849.

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243 the IOC representatives he wanted to tip the balance of the IOC more in favor of the socialist world. Soviet sport leaders declared that the IOC gave advantageous conditions for capitali st athletes and showed a disloyal and even hostile position towards socialist countries and their athletes.28 Adrianov moreover hoped that altering the membership of the organization would help to democratize the body and its policies by bringing in members from different class and racial backgrounds, and therefore with different interests than those of the Western leadership. Unsurprisingly, Brundage explained to Adrianov his belief that the proposal would disturb the IOCs independence and impartiality.29 Indeed, one of the organizations issues with the Bloc countries concerned their governments influence in the decisions that the Bloc members supported within the body. Just as importantly, Adrianovs proposal would have deprived current IOC members of t he opportunity to exercise their customary care in selecting new members of the same general type as them.30 Adrianovs proposal was soundly rejected. Massards accusation in 1961 about the Bloc coalition was likely further proof that the USSR and sat ellite countries needed to expand their contacts beyond the socialist Bloc and use more subtle tactics to influence the Olympic movement in ways that suit ed the conditions in their countries. Mayer and Brundage followed up with Adrianov two months later about the official statement addressing the state amateurism rumors. Mayer reiterated the reasons for the statement, saying: 28 Parks, The Olympic Games, 48. 29 Parks, The Olympic Games, 49. 30 Parks, The Olympic Games, 49.

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244 We would be very much thankful to you if you could let us have such a statement which would help us stop all the wrong informations [ sic ] which are given by the Press from time to time, if not periodically. I wish to add that you should write it in such a way that we can publish it widely and forward it to the Press .31 By continuing to portray the request as necessary to defend the socialist countries and the IOC to the press, the IOC hoped to shield itself from further embarrassment and to sustain its power in the midst of reporters criticisms. Brundage and Mayer also deflected attention away from the IOCs attempts to inquire about state amateurism, and therefore smoothed over tensions between themselves and the Bloc countries. It is not clear if the IOC received a response to their second request for a concrete statement. A New Definition of Amateurism: Article 26 In the meantime, the IOC believed it worthwhile to revise its rules about amateurism and Olympic eligibility in hopes of appeasing the organizations many critics.32 In 1962 the IOC introduced a more nuanced explanation of its rules called Article 26. The two main stipulations of Article 26 required that amateur athletes maintain a normal occupation to pay for their current and future livelihood, and that they never receive payment for competitions .33 The revised rules gave some concessions to Olympic athletes. They could r eceive brokentime payments for the time off work spent preparing in the month immediately preceding the Olympic Games, money for traveling 31 Mayer to Adrianov, 18 August 1961, SD3 Correspondence 19611964, CIO MBR ADRI Correspondence (Biography and correspondence of Constantin Adrianov), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland 32 A Swiss IOC represent ative named Albert Mayer led the charge for revision. Mayer believed that the IOCs current rules were so restrictive and arbitrary that average workingclass athletes were forced to either stay at home or completely violate the rules in order to finance t heir Olympic endeavors. Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 128129. 33 58th IOC Session, Athens, 1921 June 1961, Annex 5, IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland; cited in Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 129130.

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245 and per diem expenses, as well as for equipment. The updated version of Article 26 also included a section titled P seudo Amateurs. The section stated that: Individuals subsidized by governments, educational institutions, or business concerns because of their athletic ability are not amateurs. Business and industrial concerns sometimes employ athletes for their adverti sing value. The athletes are given paid employment with little work to do and are free to practice and compete at all times. For national aggrandizement, governments occasionally adopt the same methods and give athletes position[s] in the Army, on the poli ce force or in a government officeSome colleges and universities offer outstanding athletes scholarships and inducements of various kinds. Recipients of these special favors which are granted only because of athletic ability are not amateurs .34 Although the section discussed the problem of commercialized athletes, it devoted considerable space to targeting socialist countries for employing athletes for national aggrandizement in various government branches. It also mimicked Brundages comments in 1953 to at the United States for the scholarships and inducements they offered to outstanding athletes. The section on Pseudo Amateurs highlights the IOCs knowledge that nations on both sides of the Curtain violated the tenets of Olympic am ateurism. It shows that they also sought to identify specific situations in which participating countries defied the rules, regardless of their political orientation. By outlining what Pseudo Amateurs looked like in practice, the IOC appears as an organi zation struggling to regulate and enforce eligibility rules amidst pressure from the competing sides of the Cold War. In the years that followed the IOC continued, half heartedly, to request responses from the Bloc countries regarding accusations of stat e amateurism. Yet there remained 34 Eligibility Rules of the International Olympic Committee, 1964, accessed 15 February 2017, http://www.o Charter/Olympic_Charter_through_time/1964Olympic_Charter_Eligibility_Rules_of_the_IOC.pdf

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246 little that the IOC could do. In the meantime, Brundage grew to resolve his disdain for the socialists state amateurism by viewing its IOC Bloc members as an ally in the fight against another kind of violation of the amate ur rule: commercial professionalism. Here the two sides found an ideological common ground.35 The Shift in Amateurism By the early 1960s, Brundage began changing his tune towards the amateur rule. A few motivations fueled the change in his priorities. He privately acknowledged that while there was some truth to the rumors about Soviet and Eastern European violations, his hands were tied bureaucratically due to the lack of administrative might and the censorship of the press behind the Curtain. Meanwhile, m ore governments became heavily involved in their sport programs, to the extent that governmental encroachment in sport became a global phenomenon.36 Yet investigating cases of state amateurism required the IOC to investigate the domestic sport policies of i ts member nations. Brundage did this while investigating the governments involvement in sport in Argentina, Columbia, France, and Sweden in the midlate 1960s. The investigations revealed the extent to which Western governments increasingly craved Olympic victory and, ironically, moved toward the socialist model of state interference in elite sport.37 Brundages investigations moreover probably threatened to strain relations with the IOC members and NOCs for these countries. Brundage therefore chose to fight the battles he knew he could win and that did not threaten the universal mission of the Olympic 35 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 117. 36 Ibid, 126. 37 Ibid.

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247 movement. C ommercialized athletes thus became the primary violators of the amateur rule.38 Meanwhile, Adrianovs failed 1959 proposal to restructure the IOC reinforced the Bloc members need to use more gradual and subtle tactics to influence the Olympic movement. Increasing their membership in international sport bodies and federations by becoming elected to administrative positions oneby one, and not through a massive restructuring, became one key approach to achieving this aim. For his part, Adrianov was elected to join the IOCs Executive Board in 1962. The sport bodys decision to elect him to the position despite his 1959 proposal and the 1961 meeting illustrates the IOCs broader shift towards incorporating members of socialist countries more deeply into the heart of the Olympic movement. By the 1960s, state amateurs and commercially sponsored athletes filled the Olympic arena.39 Due to the pragmatic shift in his priorities, Brundage began to view commercialized athletes those who received sponsorship deals from commercial entities as more dangerous to the purity of the Olympic movement than state amateurs By investigating the low hanging fruit of the at hletes who received cash payments from corporate entities, the IOC did not need to investigate its members sport systems directly.40 Rather, the organization could focus on the individual athletes in questions and companies who paid them. In 1965 the IOC decided to create an administrative committee to tackle the amateur issue once again, calling it the Eligibility Commission. The charge of t he 38 Ibid, 128. 39 Ibid, 127. 40 Ibid, 118.

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248 C ommission lay in updating the definitions and regulations of the amateur code. It is essential to examine the r ole of the middle Bloc sport leaders in the development of the Olympic familys amateur regulations. The board for the Eligibility Commission consisted solely of members from the Western countries. Yet the Eastern European countries were not to be left out The socialist Bloc opposed any changes to the IOCs rules that could help enable the participation of commercialized athletes.41 At the same time, they wanted to ensure that the status of their athletes and sport systems within the Olympic movement remain ed intact. Alexandru iperco the IOC member for Romania, quite forcefully inserted himself into the ongoing discussions within the IOC about the amateur rule.42 Despite the fact that the Eligibility Commission had already been established to examine the a mateur problem, iperco created an additional ad hoc commission in 1969 to do his own research into the problem, called the Mixed Committee II. The American viewed ipercos overt attempts negatively at first, and tried to dissuade the Romanians efforts. Over time the American grew to tolerate some of ipercos work. He appealed to Siperco due to his position as a member from one of the Bloc nations. The IOC President said as much in 1969 by acknowledging that Siperco had a unique role in the process of shaping the amateur rule since his home country did not entertain commercialized sport.43 Brundage did not support all of ipercos efforts ; for example, he categorically adopted stall anddelay tactics when the Romanian helped to propose 41 Ionescu and Terret, A Romani an, 1183. 42 Ibid, 11831184. 43 Brundage to Alexandre Siperco, 3 November 1969, SD1 Correspondence, 19681969, B ID04ADMIS/018 Eligibility Commission, IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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249 that the IOC distinguish between athletes who received social assistance (i.e. living, training, and traveling support) and those who profited and exploited their sport success.44 Importantly, differentiating between the two kinds of athletes and the support they received would have legalized the state amateur system in the Eastern Bloc. Although Brundages actions helped to prevent the IOC from incorporating ipercos suggestions, he continued to see the Romanian as a valuable player in the amateur issue by requesting ipercos advice about soliciting input from the NOCs through questionnaires.45 The IOC ultimately allowed Siperco to become a member of the Eligibility Commission in 1972. Throughout the 1970s, ipercos repeated proposals to amend Article 26 to favor the Bloc sport systems and athletes were not successfully implemented. But his position as the only Bloc member on the Commission ensured that the socialist IOC members were kept abreast of the devel opments regarding amateurism. He thus served as an important bulwark between the Eligibility Commission and the Bloc states, seeming to protect these sport systems from being heavily scrutinized by the Commission. The Committees Inquiries into Systems o f Material Support In March 1972, the Eligibility Commission sent out notices to the NOCs in Eastern and Western Europe asking for deta ils of their elite sport system. Two goals lay behind the Commissions notices. The Commission claimed it was a genuine attempt to obtain information about the methods of support that athletes received in different countries. The Commission must have known that the IOC members would probably not 44 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 155156. 45 Ionescu and Terret, A Romanian, 1184.

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250 provide truthful accounts of their systems at home. These efforts, then, can also be viewed as an attempt to keep member nations on their toes more broadly. The Commission laid bare these motivations in the letters to the NOCs in question. In a tactic that contradicted Brundages diplomatically worded letters to individual IOC members, the Commissions letter began with what could be perceived as an accusatory statement. The Commission explained in the memo that it had: been informed from various sources that a system of material support is given to the best athletes of your count ry, in order to facilitate and encourage their preparation for the Olympic Games and other important international competitions. In some case this kind of support is called scholarships, and in others, national sport assistance.46 The notice reques ted specific information, such as the highest payments made to athletes, the purpose of the payments, and who or which body paid the athletes. The letter also wanted the NOCs to reflect on the assistance given to athletes by the system in their country, an d how it related to the IOCs eligibility rule. The way that the Hungarian Olympic Committee responded to the information request is interesting for a number of reasons. MOB used the Commissions request as a chance to reaffirm Hungarys dedication to Ar ticle 26 by explaining efforts to inform the sport federations and clubs about the amateur rules. The letter also highlighted how no problems had arisen against a Hungarian athlete in relation to the rule. Without providing specifics, MOB stated that all a thletes maintained private occupations, and how they only received material support during the precompetition training period as specific by the IOCs rules. The letter also explained how athletes received the same 46 The Commission sent the exact same letter to every NOC in question. Takac to the National Olympic Committee of the German Democratic Republic, 23 March 1972, SD1 Correspondence 19691972, D RM01ALLRD/004 (Correspondence of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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251 university scholarships as nonathletes, and that neither the NOC nor the sports federations paid indemnities to athletes on account of wage deductions. Interestingly, the MOB admitted that the employers and schools gave holidays and advantage [ sic ] to athletes.47 It specifically described how, This is the assistance that is undertaken by the state through companies and thus exempts our National Olympic Committee from a serious material obligation.48 MOB thus acknowledged that athletes received additional support from the state through national companies, meaning athletes workplaces. Since the holidays and advantage existed outside the scope of the MOB, the matter as a whole did not fall within the bodys purview. MOB made it clear with this phrasing that if the Eligibility Commission wanted further details about the issue, the Commission needed to address the Hungarian socialist state directly about it. The Hungarian NOC moreover used the letter as an opportunity to assert its opinions about Article 26 and other issues. For example, although the MOB basically agreed to Article 26, the increased competition levels in international sport demanded always greater devotion, efforts and ever more intensive preparation on the part of sportsmen.49 Finally, the NOC hi ghlighted the Commissions reliance on information from various sources about Hungary, and argued that these sources groundlessly and unfairly criticized Hungarian athletes.50 By referencing the exact phrase that the Commission used in its request, Hungar ian sport leaders struck at the heart of the IOC 47 Dr. Istvn Molnr to Hugh Weir, 25 May 1972, SD2 Correspondence 1972, B ID04ADMIS/018 (Eligibility Commission Correspondence, 19681972), IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland. 48 Ibid. 49 Ibid. 50 Ibid.

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252 and Commissions reliance on unspecified information to investigate violations of the amateur rule. Within their response, Hungarian sport leaders proved their systems compliance with the amateur rules wi th only the barest of details, criticized Article 26 for being out of touch with the contemporary needs of athletes, and chastised the Commission for discriminating against Hungarian athletes based on rumors. In comparison, the East German NOC provided ev en less information about their system of support for athletes. The GDR sport leaders first explained how special measures and payments to athletes contrasted with the the basic aims of socialist physical culture and sports in the GDR. The NOC proclaim ed that due to its commitment to keeping clean and preserving the Olympic idea, their ways of acknowledging contributions in sport remained of an ideal nature. Although athletes could receive diplomas, certificates, and decorations, they did not receiv e financial support. Their letter failed to mention anything about athletes jobs, university scholarships, or additional assistance they received from the government through their workplaces. The GDRs NOC also used the letter as an opportunity to express their disappointment that the IOC might take seriously anonymous informations [ sic ] or allegations which is obviously done when the sources from which informations are said to come are not disclosed.51 This statement comprised the greatest point of simil arity between the East German and Hungarian NOCs responses to the Commission, suggesting that the issue was a common directive issued to the Eastern Bloc NOCs. 51 Helmut Behrendt to Artur Takac, 18 May 1972, SD1 Correspondence 19691972, RM01.ALLRD/004 Co r respondence 19691974 IOCHA, Lausanne, Switzerland.

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253 The Commissions request for information marked the IOCs most direct and thorough attempt to obtain a full image of the financial and material means that NOCs and governments awarded athletes. Yet it was also the IOCs last concerted effort to examine government supported sport in member nations as the body transitioned to focusing on commercializ ed sport Two incidents exemplified the international sport organizations struggles with commercialized sport. One issue concerned the ongoing shoe wars between Adidas and Puma. The companies, started by two West German brothers, fought to outfit Olympic athletes with their brandname beginning at the 1956 Summer Olympic Games. The shoe wars reached a new peak at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games.52 In 1971 the Eligibility Commission adopted Brundages idea of making a lesson out of the Austrian skier Kar l Schranz at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. Brundage identified Schranz, who was more notorious for his celebrity status than his athletic skill, as the most egregious offender of the amateur rules by wearing a uniform and skis marked with the name o f his employer. The IOC and Committee vilified and banned the Schranz from Olympic sport at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo.53 In light of these events, the Bloc members found themselves in an opportune position to serve as allies in Brundages charge against commercialized sport. 52 For more about the show wars, see Barbara Smit, Sneaker Wars: The Enemy Brothers Who Founded Adidas and P uma and the Family Feud that Forever Changed the Business of Sports (New York: Harper Perennial, 2009); and Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, especially Chapter 7. 53 To read more about the Schranz case, see Guy Lionel Loew, Karl Schranz and the International Debate on Amateurism, Sapporo 1972, Olympika 17 (2008): 152168; Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 156161.

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254 Bloc Members Help in the Fight Against Commercialized Sport It is important to remember that before the Eligibility Commission conducted inquiries into the government systems of support for athletes, Brundage appealed to the middle Bloc members for help in his fight against commercial professionalism. He wrote the exact same letter to the IOC member for Hungary, rpd Csandi in 1969 that he sent to iperco After becoming the IOC member for Hungary in 1964, the IOC selected Csandi to lead the Olympic Program Committee in the late 1960s. It is thus not surprising that Brundage chose to seek Csandis help; the Hungarian wielded significant influence over the shape of the competitive program for the Olympic Games during this time. In his lett er to Csandi in November 1969, Brundage said that: While it is said that there is no professional sport in Eastern European countries, in the West several sports are very highly commercially developed. These sports have become, in these countries today, more of a business than a sportin some cases players are paid as much as $250,000 a year. It is my opinionthat sports of this kind, with such a highly commercialized development, are impossible to keep amateur on an Olympic level. The only solution, in view of the tremendous sums of money involved, is to drop these sports from the Olympic programme54 Brundage began the letter with an appeal to Csandis unique perspective on the issue due to the absence of commercialized sport in his homeland. This statement effectively communicated to Csandi how the two of them shared common ground in the battle against commercial professionalism in the Olympi c movement. Brundage moreover likely knew that stating the total monetary sum that Western athletes received would attract the attention of the Hungarian and his socialist orientation. The American also 54 Brundage to Csandi, 3 November 1969, SD1 Correspondence 19641970, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), I OCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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255 made it clear what he wanted the Hungarian to do: to drop the offending athletes, and their sports, from the Olympic schedule. Brundage continued the letter by explaining the potential ly dire situation that would emerge if commercially oriented sports remained on the Olympic docket : In my opinion, action of this kind must be taken promptly if we are to save the Olympic Games from disaster and if any such action is taken by the International Olympic Committee many of our problems will be solved. Your report indicates that you have given a great deal of study to the Olympic programme and I trust that you will not fail to give attention to my ideas as expressed above.55 Brundage finished the letter by flattering Csandi for his knowledge and dedication to the Olympic program, and entrusting the Hungarianpressuri ng him, in reality to consider seriously the changes that the American proposed. Brundages wording shows how he sought Csandis help not only because the Hungarian was the president of the Olympic Program Committee. The IOC president approached Csandi due to his position as an IOC representative from Eastern Europe, where commercial sport did not exist. Brundag e therefore viewed Csandi, along with as a key ally in the fight against commercial professionalism. Amateur Rules as a Tool for Leverag e The dev elopments in the IOC illustrate how the leaders of the Olympic movement understood the value of the Bloc states in helping to bolster its amateur policies. Brundage even voiced his concerns about the negative impact of commercialization to Bloc me mbers who did not work within the top IOC administration. For example, in 1971 he addressed the issue with Heinz Schbel, the IOC member for East Germany. 55 Ibid.

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2 56 Brundage expressed how, The rank commercialization of alpine skiing, which is becoming worse and wor se, and the outrageous scandals in this sport during the last 25 years, cannot be ignored. We must not allow the Olympic image to be tarnished by these scandals.56 For the IOC president, the winter Olympic sports provided the organization with some of the most egregious offenders of the amateur rule. Winter sports required expensive equipment and access to equally expensive training centers and camps. The commercially oriented International Ski Federation, the offering of endorsement deals from ski manufact uring companies, and athletes need to support their winter sport endeavors combined to make to create the perfect storm of IOC violations.57 It is therefore no surprise that the first IOC members to criticize the bodys interpretation of the amateur rule after the Second World War came from the Scandinavian countries, whose best athletes participated in winter sports.58 Brundage sought to appeal to Schbel in the same way that he presented the issue to Csandi in 1969. Th e IOC president knew that the Bloc members agreed with him on the issue of commercial professionalism, and hoped to earn their support in the matter. Brundages appeal to Schbel offered the East German a terrific opportunity. By participating in discussions with the IOC president about the issue of amateurism and commercialism, Schbel could simultaneously demonstrate his dedication to the Olympic movement and denigrate the West German NOC and spor t system to the IOC 56 Brundage to Heinz Schbel 20 February 1971, SD1 Correspondence 19661973, CIO MBR SCHOB CORR (Correspondence of Heinz Schbel ), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 57 Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 152153. 58 Ibid, 102103.

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257 In March 1972, Schbel wrote the following to Wi lli Daume, the FRGs IOC member. Schbel also sent a copy of the letter to the IOC: We have come to the knowledge that some companies in the FRG, z. B. Chocolate Factory, B. Sprengel & Co. Hanover, use photographs and the names of Olympic athletes of different countries for advertising purposes, including athletes of the GDRthis happens without our knowledge and without our consent .59 By including the IOC i n the matter, Schbel s letter effectively alerted the Olympic body to violations of the amateur rule and commercialized sport in West Germany. Schbel moreover referred specifically to the conditions of the amateur rule laid out in Article 26. Schbel thus presented himself as a staunch defender of the amateur rule to Brundage and the IOC. The t wo letters between Brundage and Schbel in 19711972 illustrate how on the one hand, the IOC used their relations with the Bloc countries to shore up support for IOC policies. On the other hand, the amateur policy offered the Bloc countries a tool with whi ch to show their dedication to the Olympic movement, improve relations with top IOC leaders, and thus increase their leverage in the organization. The Veiled Position of the Middle Bloc states in the IOC Throughout the Cold War, the biggest and most contentious nations loomed large in the imaginations of Western governments, international organizations, and the press: the Soviet Union and East Germany especially, and China as well. These countries have therefore received the most scholarly attention about their sport systems and sport diplomacy tactics. What is missing, however, is an analysis of the level of attention that the smaller states received from the West, and how this level of attention 59 Schbel to Willi Daume, 29 March 1972, SD1 Correspondence 19691972, D RM01ALLRD/004 (Correspondence of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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258 impacted them. This section examines the kind of scrutiny that the East German NOC endured about its sport system from the FRG and IOC in between 19621964 by analyzing the case of the GDR defector Hans Neuling and the controversy spurred by his affidavit. T he ongo ing political tensions between East and West Germany meant that these countries sought ways to undermine the sporting and international legitimacy of the other. As demonstrated by Schbels report to FRG and Brundage in 1971, representatives from East and West Germany used the IOC to levy allegations against one another and build their credibility within the Olympic movement. The defectors report set off a debate within the top IOC leadership about the efficacy of pursing the matter, as well as a series of letters between the IOC and the East German Olympic Committee. Exploring the detailed affidavit, the ensuing discussion within the IOC leadership, and the organizations attempts to investigate the claims illustrates the GDR NOCs difficult position throu ghout the Cold War. N o other such incident emerged about an athlete and socialist sport system in any o f the other satellite countries, despite the brawn drain of hundreds of Hungarian athletes to the West less than seven years prior to the Neulings defec tion. The lack of comparable scrutiny about reports from defectors in the middle Bloc countries illustrates how these states enjoyed a more protected or veiled status than their larger counterparts in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The Affidavit of Ha ns Neuling The political conflict between the FRG and GDR plagued the IOC for decades. Scholars have examined the tensions that ensued over the control of the combined

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259 German Olympic team, and whether the countries should have separate NOCs.60 The issues d id not end there, however. The flight of East German athletes to the West caused problems for both the GDR and the IOC. The defection of one athlete in particular, a rower named Hans Neuling, was wholly unique because of the fact that Neuling himself likely with help from the FRG gave sworn testimony about his experiences and sent it to the IOC.61 60 For example, see R. Gerald Hughes and Rachel J. Owen, The Continuation of Politics by Other Means: Britain, the Two Germanys and the Olympic Games, 19491972, Contemporary European History 18, 4 (2009): 443474. 61 Matthew Llewellyn and John Gleaves discuss the Neuling case in their monograph. They frame the matter primarily in terms of how it illustrates the limitations on the IOCs bureaucratic and investigative reach, and how the IOC focused on the allegations about the GDRs payment of athletes, and not about doping. Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 125.

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260 Figure 51. The last page of Neulings affidavit with the notary stamp. Hans Neuling, Affidavit for the National Olympic Committee for Germany, 1516 Octob er 1962, SD2 Athlete Testimonials, 19601962 D.RM01.ALLEM/007 (All German Olympic Committee) 19601965 IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. Neuling fled to West Germany in July 1962 and described his experiences as an elite athlete in East German in front of a notary. In the affidavit, Neuling explained that he fled because the political pressure was intolerable and because I demonstratively wan ted to turn away from the sport conditions of that place.62 He described how he, 62 Hans Neuling, Affidavit for the National Olympic Committee for Germany, 1516 October 1962, SD2 Athlete Testimonials, D RM01ALLEM/007 (United German team at the Olympic Games: FRG and GDR: correspondence, minutes, judicial consultation, press cutting and athlete testimonies), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland

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261 got gratifications that are not al lowed comfortably to the Olympic and other appropriate amateur definitions.63 He received cash payments for winning events, such as 2,000 Deutsch Marks for receiving fourth place at the 1960 Olympic Games The ex GDR rower explained how Olympic gold medali sts received 7,000 DM, silver medalists 5,000 DM, and bronze medalists 3,500 DM. A representative of the German Federation for Sports and Gymnastics (hereafter DTSB) personally gave the money to us with duty of secrecy.64 Neuling also reported taking so called artifi cial stimulants prior to races; some them appeared ineffective, while others made him feel able to do something above average.65 He moreover remarked how there was made use of pregnancy interruption with women who needed to compete internationally, a crime which is typically punishable by East German law.66 Neuling also mentioned the political pressure he received to compete successfully and exhibit acceptable behavior. T he United German Olympic Committee forwarded the sworn affidavit to the IOC in late 1962. It is important to remember the wide array of activities and abuses that Neuling testified to in the deposition. 63 Hans Neuling, Affidavit for the National Olympic Committee for Germany, 1516 October 1962, SD2 Athlete Testimonials, D RM01ALLEM/007 (United German team at the Olympic Games: FRG and GDR: correspondence, minutes, judicial consultation, press cutting and athlete testimonies), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 64 Ibid. 65 Ibid. 66 Neuling worded the matter in a way that emphasizes how women did not take the medicine on their accord, but rather were led to t ake it. Ibid.

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262 Figure 52. The four copies of Neulings report that the IOC received in 1962 and are held in its historical archives today. Hans Neuling, Affidavit for the National Olympic Committee for Germany, 1516 October 1962, SD2 Athlete Testimonials, 1960 1962 D.RM01.ALLEM/007 (All German Olympic Committee) 19601965, IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. Responses: The IOC and GDR Sport Leaders The IOC immediately wrote to East German sport leaders requesting a response. Brundage explicitly told Schbel, the East German member of the United German Olympic Team, that if the reports were true, of course, all your athletes will be ineligible for Olympic competition.67 GDR sport officials sent two notarized affidavits to 67 Brundage was also referencing reports in newspaper accounts in this statement. Avery Brundage to Heinz Schbel, 26 January 1963, box 62, IOC Members, folder Schbel, Heinz, Brundage Archives, Chicago, IL; cited in Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 125.

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263 the I OC in early 1963.68 The first one was written by the DTSBs President Manfred Ewald, who orchestrated the well known statesponsored doping program. Ewald only offered vague assurances about how they followed the lofty ideals of the Olympic movement. He used language similar to that used by the GDRs NOC about their system of support for athletes in 1972. Ewald described how their work, cultivates and demands the Olympic idea and contributes to bringing its high ideals of humanism, popular support and peace into the hearts of all gymnasts and athletes and is ground in amateur sport.69 His wording exemplifies how IOC members for the Bloc incorporated the organizations language to defend their positions within and influence the Olympic movement.70 Another affidavit came from the president of the East German Rowing Association, who tackled the allegations and categorically denied all of Neulings claims. He specifically stated that neither they nor the DTSB gave athletes means of development ( Aufbaumittel ) or drugs, nor paid financial benefits to athletes.71 IOC Chancellor Otto Mayer sent the GDRs two responses to Brundage in March 1963 an d offered his usual candid thoughts on the matter. In fact, Mayer appeared so preoccupied with his personal interpretation of the situation that he promptly ignored the 68 The IOC did not accept two German Olympic Committees until 1966. At the time of the Neuling case, a United German Olympic Committee administrated sport for both nations. 69 Ewald Manfred to the IOC, 1 March 1963, SD1 Correspondence 19631964, D RM01ALLRM/015 (Recognition request of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic: correspondence and statutes), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 70 Parks, The Olympic Games, xx. 71 Karl Nagel to the IOC, 21 January 1963, SD1 Correspondence 19631964, D RM01ALLRM/015 (Recognition request of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic: correspondence and statutes), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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264 denial from the GDR Rowing Federation. Using emphatic language, he expressed his frustr ation about the GDRs supposed refusal to answer their inquiry saying: It is of course not at all what we asked for. We wanted to have a reply from what was said by that East german [ sic ] rowing man before notary in Hamburg. What they give, is a general statement, before notary of course, saying that they respect their rules which are so and so! It is a way to get out of the question.72 Mayer believed that this would be the extent of the response from East Germany, and expressed to Brundage that he thought it best not to push the matter further with the GDR. According to Mayer, I suggest that we consider this as settled otherwise we shall never finish. They shall anyhow do as they wishas it is done in other parts of the world!73 Mayers last comment portrays the IOCs frustrations with member nations from all geographic and political positions who ignored the organizations policies. Mayer also took it upon himself to explain his opinion to an East German sport leader saying, I have taken good not e of your explanations, and as you rightly say, it would be best if that matter could be settled, as I have suggested to President Brundage, by the way.74 Mayers inclination to taking action without obtaining Brundages approval, as demonstrated here, bec ame one of the primary issues that caused tensions between the men and led to Mayers forced resignation in 1964.75 72 Mayer to Brundage, 11 March 1963, SD1 Correspondence January May 1963, A P05/024 (IOC Presidents: Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland 73 Ibid. 74 Mayer to H. Behrendt, 19 March 1963, SD1 Correspondence 19631964, D RM01ALLRM/015 (Recognition request of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic: correspondence and statutes), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 75 Davenport, Monique Berlioux, 11.

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265 Brundage was of a different mind than Mayer about the situation. The IOC President wanted to continue pursuing Neulings statements with the East Germans. He told Mayer to: acknowledge the receipt and remind them that they did not reply to the specific allegations in the affidavit from Hamburg. As you say, they will probably do as they please, but nevertheless, we should let them know that we are not deaf and blind both.76 The Americans last point shows his desire to flex what little muscle the IOC had and show that the organization was not deaf and blind both to the East Germans, the FRG, and the rest of the Olympic family Brundages conc erns about the image of the IOC mimics his desire to obtain a firm statement f rom Adrianov and the Eastern B loc at the 1961 joint meeting. In that situation, Brundage also worried about the international press and Western critics of the IOC, who attacked t he American for his soft and seemingly sympathetic approach to the Eastern Bloc. One thing is clear about Brundage and the IOC: the organizations leadership as a whole remained worried about the image of the IOC, in terms of the external perceptions of it s strength as an institution. A few weeks after his first letter to Brundage about the matter, Mayer acknowledged the East German Rowing Federations denials about Neulings claims to the IOC. Mayer opined that the denials, means also that they dont rec ognize as being true the Hamburg affidavit.77 He persisted in trying to conv ince Brundage to drop the issue. Mayer explained how the West German NOC had not mentioned anything further 76 Brundage to Mayer, 26 March 1963, SD1 Correspondence January May, A P05/024 (IOC Presidents: Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 77 Mayer to Brundage, 29 March 1963, SD1 Correspondence January May, A P05/024 (IOC Presidents: Brundage: correspondence), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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266 about the matter; moreover Mayer believed that they shall never know the truth.78 Mayers response, then, illustrates his resignation about the difficulties inherent in investigating allegations of violations behind the Curtain. It also demonstrates his recognition and acceptance of the IOCs bureaucrati c limits. Brundage was not deterred. He wrote to Schbel in November 1963 in sear ch of an answer. Tellingly, in the letter Brundage only mentioned Neulings allegation that East German athletes received payments. The IOC president said absolutely nothing a bout the doping allegations.79 This shows how Brundage and the IOC broadly focused more on the issue amateurism and violations of the eligibility rule than the proliferation of performanceenhancing drugs in the early 1960s.80 Brundage wrote to Schbel again in January 1964, elaborating on why he sought a more concrete reply from the East Germans : As we have reported to you before, we are subject to much criticism because of articles that frequently appear in the newspapers of various countries relating to th e Olympic eligibility of East German athletes so far as I know, we have never had a reply from you to the allegations made in a sworn affidavit a year or so ago in Hamburg by an ex German athlete. Matters of this kind you must realize are very embarrassing and we should have an official reply from the East German Olympic Committee.81 78 Ibid. 79 Copies of this letter were also sent to Mayer and the FRGs IOC member, Willi Daume. Brundage to Heinz Schbel 20 November 1963, SD1 Correspondence 19631964, D RM01ALLRM/015 (Recognition request of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic: correspondence and statutes), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 80 Thomas Hunt, Drug Games: The International Olympic Committee and the Politics of Doping, 19602008 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2011), 910. 81 Brundage to Schbel 13 January 1964, SD1 Correspondence 19631964, D RM01ALLRD/015 (Recognition request of the NOC of the German Democratic Republic: correspondence and statutes), IOCHA Lausanne, S witzerland.

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267 Here Brundage revealed more explicitly why exactly he vi ewed the matter as problematic: because the allegations embarrassed the IOC. The same sentiment influenced Brundage to ob tain a statement from the Eastern Bloc about their sport systems in 1961 The press reports revealed to onlookers the limits of the IOCs power, and thus the organizations weakness. Schbel sent one final response to Brundage soon after receiving the above message from the American. Mimicking the Soviets methods of silence, feigned ignorance, and denial, Schbel replied that Neulings allegations were not in accordance with the truth.82 This is the last letter about the Neuling case. Brundage likely re alized that this was the East Germans final response to the matter, and ended his investigative efforts. The matter of Neulings sworn affidavit shows how East Germany and its athletes garnered a significant amount of attention and scrutiny from the pre ss and other NOCs. There is no evidence that the USSR experienced a similar incident with one of its athletes who defected. Mayer, Brundage, and other IOC leaders, however, received a considerable number of press reports throughout the Cold War about Sovie t violations of the IOCs amateur regulations In contrast, the archival holdings at the IOC Historical Archives contain only a handful of letters between the IOC and the Hungarian members regarding reports about violations in Hungary. From this perspectiv e, the fact that Hungary experienced significantly less scrutiny regarding its sport system than its East German and Soviet counterparts shows how the Hungarian sport system flew under the 82 Heinz Schbel to Avery Brundage, 24 January 1964, box 62, IOC Members, folder Schbel, Heinz, Brundage Archives, Chicago, IL; cited in Llewellyn and Gleaves, Rise and Fall, 125.

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268 radar of the Western press and IOC This dynamic afforded Hungary and the other middle Bloc states a larger degree of freedom in their sport systems and in th e way they treated their athletes. For Hungary, this enabled the sport leadership to dole out privileges and rewards to its athletes without a reasonable fear of discovery after 1956. Moreover, the absence of reports and rumors about violations in the middle Bloc countries further boosted the middle nations credibility within the IOC. Brundage and other IOC leaders could trust and elect people like Csandi into the higher echelons of th e organizations administration. A F ig urehead of International S port: rpd Csandi The career of Hungarian rpd Csandi in the IOC demonstrates the changing relationship between the Olympic movement and organizations leaders for the middle Bloc countries. Just as the IOC grew to trust som e of their socialist colleagues, the middle Bloc members successfully ingratiated themselves within the Olympic administration and family. As a former football player, coach, physical educator, and Party member Csandi was the perfect candidate for the MKP to nominate as their He was also an ideal candidate for the IOC at the time The IOC officially elected him as its IOC mem ber for Hungary in January 1964. Despite being the first socialist IOC member for Hungary, within a few short years the top members of the Olympic movement identified Csandi as someone whom they could trust to work for the organizations administration. In 1968, he became the president of the Olympic Program Committee. In this role, he presided over the analysis and decisionmaking efforts regarding which sports and events to include in the Olympic program for the Winter and Summer Olympic Games. The importance of this role should not be underestimated. The ability to lead

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269 the negotiations over the kind and number of sports in the Olympic Games offered a significant opportunity for the Bloc states to influence their athletes opportunities for success at the Olympics. As illustrated by Brundages letter to the GDRs Schbel about the rank commercialization of alpine skiing in 1971, the IOC wanted to garner the support of the Eastern Bloc countries in the fight against commercial professionalism in sport Brundage sent the same exact letter to Csandi in 1971.83 This suggests that the IOC president used the letter to solicit the other Bloc IOC members support for his position on the amateur rule. Yet many of the Eastern European countries, such as the USSR and Czechoslovakia, excelled at winter sports like hockey and ice skating. Csandi was thus well poised to ensure that the sports and events in which socialist athletes succeeded remained on the Olympic program. After his appointment to lead the Olympic Program Committee, Csandi continued to demonstrate to the IOC that he was more than just an Eastern Bloc sport leader. The language he used in correspondence with Brundage and other top IOC mem bers evinced a respect for and dedication to the core values of the Olympic movement. His letters also illustrate how his personality, namely his amicability and diplomatic manner, enabled the Olympic family to trust him. While reporting to Brundage on a r ecent meeting of the Olympic Program Committee, Csandi explained that: We went throughin a relatively very short timea rather strenuous agenda, requiring concentration and marked sense of responsibility. This was dueI believe to the fact that the Members of this small group, which we call the Board, are both specialists and very good friends, which 83 Brundage to rpd Csandi, 20 February 1971, SD2 Correspondence 1971, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland.

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270 enables them to reduce the time of discussion and to make concessions whenever necessary .84 By highlighting the responsibility, specialized knowledge, and friendly relations within the board of the Olympic Program Committee, the Hungarian showed considerable deference and complimentary sentiments towards his fellow Committee members. He thus demonstrated his ability to work amicably and productively with them. Csandi ended the letter by showing considerable reverence to Brundage, saying I wish to thank you for your valuable support once more on behalf of the Members present at the Meeting in Budapest.85 Csandi deftly demonstrated his respect for his fellow colleagues, the close working relationship that he enjoyed with them, and for Brundages help in supporting the Hungarians Olympic duties. Csandis position as president of the Olympic Progr am Committee also afforded him access to and knowledge about the other IOC committees work. For example, Csandi was kept upto date about meetings of the IOC Medical Commission. He not only knew when the meetings would occur, but attended them, and thus was kept abreast of the topics to be discussed. In March 1971 Artur Takac, the IOCs member for Yugoslavia and president of the Technical Committee, described to Csandi how the Medical Commission would discuss the instructions for the doping and sex contr ol at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.86 Being privy to these conversations undoubtedly 84 Csandi to Brundage, 5 March 1971, SD2 Correspondence 1971, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi) IOCHA Lausanne, Switzer land 85 Csandi to Brundage, 5 March 1971, SD2 Correspondence 1971, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi) IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland 86 Although Yugoslavia is considered a special case and not technically part of the Eastern B loc after the Stalin Tito split, the fact that he had a highranking position and was well respected in the IOC administration illustrates similar details about his relationship with the top IOC leaders as does Csandis

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271 allowed the Hungarian to pass along the necessary information to his colleagues at home in the Hungarian Olympic Committee and the MTST. Even though Csandi and other Eas tern European IOC members gained influence within the Olympic family, their positions did not shield them or their NOCs from being scrutinized by the IOC. For example, then IOC President Lord Killanin wrote to Csandi in March 1979 about how the Hungarian Olympic Committee failed to follow proper IOC procedure in electing Istvn Buda to president of the MOB Killanin explained how according to the MOB s meeting minutes, In your case, Mr. Buda was co opted by the Presidency and not elected by the general as sembly and then again appointed President by this restricted body. This constitutes a double derogation from the said byelaw [ sic ] .87 The infringement enabled Buda to be appointed by a select committee likely under orders from the top Party leadership and not by a larger, potentially less controlled general assembly of the MOB Killanin continued, It seems that the infringement of the Olympic Charter stems from articles III and IV of your Statutes and it is essential that these articles should be amended to comply with the Olympic rules.88 Killanin finished the letter with a friendlier tone, noting We are of course at your disposal to assist the Hungarian NOC in bringing its statutes into line with our Charter, especially as these Statutes require the IOCs approval.89 Killanins letter illustrates how the IOC members served as middle men between the IOC and the position. Artur Takac to Csandi, 2 9 March 1971, SD2 Correspondence 1971, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi) IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 87 Michael Killanin to Csandi, 5 March 1979, SD2 Correspondence 19791980, CIO MBR CSANACorrespondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 88 Ibid. 89 Ibid.

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272 NOCs The incident also demonstrates the IOCs attempts to ensure that even its most trusted members followed the rules of the Olym pic movement. The incident over the noncompliance of the MOB s bylaws did not influence the Olympic familys opinion of Csandi. People continued to hold enormous respect for the Hungarian. I ndividuals within the international sport community requested hi s help with navigating the sport bureaucracy in Hungary. In 1981 Arne Molln, chairman of the Norwegian NOC, requested Csandis assistance in obtaining permission for a Hungarian canoer to work as a coach for the Norwegian Canoeing Federation. Molln aske d for the Hungarians support in getting the formalities in order.90 The Norwegian continued his appeal to Csandi by using the Olympic movements language of global peace through sport, explaining that, I consider this to be a way of making good the relationship between our sportsmen from our two countries even better.91 Molln finished the letter, saying Dear Arpad, I hope you do not mind my bothering you with this problem, but as an old friend I thought I could try to involve you in the matter.92 Th e reference to Csandi as an old friend harks back to the Westernoriented old boys network in the IOC discussed in Chapter 2. Molln s letter illustrates the Norwegians attempt to appeal to Csandi by acknowledging the Hungarians accep tance into the IOCs exclusive club. 90 Arne Molln to Csandi, 20 February 1981, SD1 Correspondence January August 1981, CIO MBR CSANA Correspondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland 91 Arne Molln to Csandi, 20 February 1981, SD1 Correspondence January August 1981, CIO MBR CSANA Correspondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland 92 Arne Molln to Csandi, 20 February 1981, SD1 Correspondence January August 1981, CIO MBR CS ANA Correspondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland

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273 When the organization appointed Csandi as the IOCs Honorary Sport Director in late 1981, it represented a significant step for the Hungarian. In this role, Csandi accompanied thenIOC president Juan Samaranch to nume rous meetings and acted as a top representative for the organization. The appointment reflected the great trust that Samaranch and other top members held for him to the extent that they believed Csandi to be a capable and worthy representative for the IO C in meetings with sport leaders worldwide. The Hungarian gained even more international and public exposure than before. People thus continued to turn to him for help with different problems. In August 1982, he received a confidential request from a member of the US Olympic Committee, Nina Pappas. Pappas explained that a delegate from the Olympic Academy had submitted an application for a position in the IOC. She explained, I hope you will not be upset with me for taking the liberty to comment on this. B ecause you are a friend of mine, I feel the obligation to caution you not to offer this young man a position. He is very self serving, being loyal only to himself. This was discovered when he was a volunteer for Lake Placid. Also, not too many people like him .93 Pappas continued, saying, I only offer this information to help you make the correct choice. Please, please keep this letter confidential and do not make reference to it in any communication with the young man. The repeated pleas for confidentialit y, and Pappass bold request for Csandi to prevent a self serving man wh om not too many people like from working for the IOC shows the respect and trust that even American sport leaders felt for the Eastern Bloc member. When combined with his appointm ent to the prestigious IOC position, Pappass remarks demonstrate how Csandi was not 93 Nina Pappas to Csandi, 21 August 1982, SD2 Correspondence July December 1982, CIO MBR CSANA Correspondence (Correspondence of Arpad Csanadi), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland

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274 viewed at least not entirely by people within and outside of the top brass of the IOC as a socialist . Rather, he was referred to as a friend and entrusted to handle iss ues ranging from bureaucratic approvals within the Hungarian state, to the confidential matters of the IOCs administrative personnel. The fact that Pappas, who represented an NOC from the other side of the Cold War, approached Csandi for help in safeguar ding the integrity of the Olympic family reflects greatly on the Hungarians esteem within the movement. In late 1982, Csandi fell ill and died in early 1983. The outpouring of heartfelt condolences and grief from the Olympic family and international sport leaders was immense. It is worth drawing attention to these reactions to Csandis death. The letters illustrate just how much people revered Csandi, his expertise, and friendly persona. Monique Berlioux, who was the Director of the IOC from 1971 until 1985, wrote a lengthy and touching report about her memories of Csandi. Berlioux was a tour de force within the administration of the Olympic movement. During her time as the Director, she increased the IOCs admi nistrative staff from a haphazard group of six to thirty five.94 At a time when very few women occupied leadership positions in international organizations, she handled a tremendous number of duties; her work included following up on the IOCs decisions, handling correspondence, managing the budget, helping to negotiate TV contracts, serving as an IOC spokesperson on certain matters, and giving press conferences.95 Considering her experience in Olympic 94 Davenport, Monique Berlioux, 12. 95 Davenport, Monique Berlioux, 1213.

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275 administration and her countless interactions with male s port leaders from around the globe, her assessment testifies to Csandis impression on her. Berlioux called the Hungarian, A man of high athletic stature, elegance and efficiency, in both body and soul. Arpad Csandi had class.96 She said that as a membe r of the IOCs Executive Board, he has become a figurehead of international sport. 97 She continued with more personal remarks about her impressions of him throughout the years : He used to say to me, I want to be positive. He was essentially so. What ma ttered to him was to convince or be convinced, and then to act accordingly. When he maintained his optionshe never sought to impose them, but rather to demonstrate patiently their validity, and he took all the time that was needed .98 The language used by B erliou x speaks volumes about the Hungarians character and how it contradicted the image of the rigid, Eastern Bloc bureaucrat. She illustrated this by describing how he never imposed his beliefs on others, but instead patiently showed their legitimacy when trying to convince others. Her remembrances suggest that in his service and achievements within the Olympic family Csandi successfully crossed the barrier from being a Bloc member to an essential and highly revered figure in the Olympic movement. Conclusion This chapter demonstrated several key points about the IOC, its members for Hungary and the other middle Bloc countries, the role of athletes in shaping Olympic 96 Berlioux, Article on the late Dr. Arpad Csanadi, 7 June 1983, SD2 Correspondence JuneDecember 1983, D RM01HONGR/004 (Correspondence of the NOC of Hungary), IOCHA Lausanne, Switzerland. 97 Ibid. 98 Ibid.

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276 policies, and the relationship between the IOC and authoritarian states. By the la te 1950s, the tide had begun to turn within the IOC in terms of how its leaders perceived the role of the middle Bloc countries within the Olympic family. The unique position of the IOC mem bers for Hungary and the other middle Bloc members afforded them th e opportunity to become trusted members of the movement. Whether Brundage needed their help teaching new, more assertive socialist member s the rules of the game, or in reaching a compromise, Brundage tested the waters and learned that he could trust Polands Loth and Bulgarias Stoychev to aid him and the IOC. T he IOC thereafter began focusing more on investigating commercial professionali sm, and not state amateurism in Eastern Europe. The changes within the IOC were aided by Bloc members such as Romanias Alexandru iperco who created a space for himself within the core members charged with revamping the amateur rules and investigating vi olations It also helped that Csandi was privy to developments in the IOCs policies, which enabled him to keep the MOB abreast of upcoming changes. Brundage simultaneously began relying on Csandi and other Bloc leaders to support his increasingly conser vative views on amateurism. This in turn gave the Bloc members more influence within the Olympic movement. The changes in the amateur rules helped to shield the increasing violations in Hungary. At the same time, the mass defections in Hungary indirectly i mpacted the IOCs amateur policy changes, as the events of 1956 convinced sport leaders to redouble its efforts to turn the IOCs attention away from their state amateur system. The Hans Neuling case demonstrates the special status of East Germany and its sport system, and contrasts significantly with the veiled position of the middle Bloc

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277 nations. By virtue of its proximity and geopolitical importance within the Cold War, the East German sport system remained under a spotlight from the media, the IOC, and perhaps mos t critically, its arch opponent West Germany. No other case like the Neuling one exists in the IOC Historical A rchive s. This may seem surprising, considering Neuling was the only athlete to defect in this situation compared to the many Hungarian athletes who defected after 1956. The politicization of Neulings case through the sworn affidavit brought the IOC into the matter. Although Brundage wanted to show that the IOC was not blind and deaf to the systems behind the Curtain, ultimately there was little that he could do. In comparison, violations of the amateur rule were rife in socialist Hungary and only got worse with each passing decade. But with no similar affidavit, and no opposing nation who sought to uncover H ungarys violations, the nation and its middle Bloc neighbors enjoyed a more protected status with which to reward its athletes. The career of rpd Csandi demonstrates how much had changed within the dynamics of the Ol ympic family by the mid 1960s. Brundage and his successors understood that they needed to do more than simply wo rk with the members of the Bloc. Brundage especially knew that he needed their support for his version of the IOC and its policies. He learned to select those whom the Western IOC leaders trusted to appoint to administrative positions within the organization. Csandis amicable and dedicated character worked to his benefit and helped him ingratiate himself within the Olympic family. The recollections of Monique Berlioux illustrate the extent to which the IOC leadership had accepted Csandi as one of their men by the 1980s Csandi thus

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278 exemplified the extent to which the IOC members for the middle Bloc countries incorporated the emerging norms of cooperation in international sport to great effect.

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279 CHAPTER 6 SZOCIALISTA SSZEKTTETSEK: CONNECTIONS AND SMUGGLING IN THE SPORT WORLD OF LATE SOCIALISM Introduction When asked about bringing goods home from his trips abroad for competitions in the 1950s Olympic champion pentathlete Istvn Szondy replied, Well certainly. It was like a relay race. And they knew the places...It was at Uncle Schwar zs, where we could always buy the nylon stockingseveryone starting from [Gyula] Grosics. Well this was the place [to buy them].1 Szondys portrayal of smuggling as a relay race underscores how the activity required information, contacts, goods and money to be passed from handto hand, like a baton. Sharing knowledge with one another and using the same selection of vetted contacts decreased their chances of getting caught with goods by the customs officials at the border .2 According to Szondy, everyone within the Hungarian sport community worked with Uncle Schwartz in Vienna, even Gyula Grosics, the goalkeeper of Hungary s Golden Team Independently of Szondy and without being prompting during the oral history national team footballer Klmn Ihsz named Uncle Schwartz as the contact in Vienna from whom Ihsz bought windbreaker jackets and Cornavin watches.3 Ihsz played football from 19581973 and helped the Olympic team win a gold medal in 1964. Lastly, in their interviews both Szondy and Ihsz explained how when it came to their smuggling, sport leaders seemingly szemt hunytk r, or 1 Istvn Szondy, co interview Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015. 2 Obtaining goods to smuggle from unofficial, vetted contacts helped athletes avoid attracting the scrutiny of the foreign country. For a fascinating account of a Soviet athlete who was caught shoplifting in 1956 and how the Soviets and British decided to c ompromise on the matter, see Robert Edelman, The five hats of Nina Ponomareva: sport, shoplifting and the Cold War, Cold War History 17, no. 3 (2017): 223239. 3 Klmn Ihsz, co interview Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 17 January 2015.

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280 turned a blind eye to it. D espite lacking a direct connection between them, information flowed across Szondy and Ihszs different circles so that they used the same information and contact in order to smuggle goods between the 1950s early 1970s. Their experiences illustrate how eac h athlete developed connections that enabled them to use shared information and contacts within the Hungarian sport world and beyond in order to smuggle goods and improve their standard of living before and after 1956. Szondy and Ihszs stories are familiar ones within the Hungarian sport community .4 While abroad for competitions athletes frequently used their connections to bring hard currency and/or goods with them from home, or items smuggled from other countries, which they traded or sold for other goods or hard currency.5 Athletes smuggling ranged from bringing prized goods back for themselves and close family members and friends, to earning significant side income by arranging to buy and sell items all over the world.6 Athletes were not t he only ones taking goods across borders, nor in developing and utilizing connections to improve their lives; under socialism, ones status and standard of living was measured in the types and degrees of privileges the 4 F or an examination of Soviet athletes smuggling of goods, how these activities were increasingly regulated and monitored in late socialism, and how it contributed to the athletes adapted to these changes for the purposes of economic circulation, see Sylv ain Dufraisse, Des sordides actes de spculation: traces de circulations conomiques dans les dlgations sportives sovitiques (19671982), Hypoth ses 18, 1 ( 2015): 165178. 5 Some athletes pooled as much hard currency, usually American dollars or West German marks, from their friends and families, and bought a bigticket item like a vacuum cleaner or television (although it is not clear how they were able to bring back such big items). The issue is hard currency more broadly will not be discussed at length here. Finally, while a few athletes abstained from using their traveling privileges to obtain goods, most seem to have participated in smuggling in some form. 6 Some scholars have written about the subject of shopping tourism, which is defined as t raveling abroad with the specific aim of buying goods that are unavailable or difficult to find one his or her home country. But since athletes almost always traveled under the pretense of a competition, their activities cannot be categorized within this notion. Anna Wessely, Travelling People, Travelling Objects, Cultural Studies 16, 1 (2002): 6.

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281 state made available to them, namely access to goods and opportunities like traveling.7 Party officials, lawyers and workers alike all established contacts with one anot her in order to obtain hardto find goods, luxury items, and career and leisure opportunities. As a result of being elites in socialist society however top level athletes enjoyed more traveling opportunities than most of their compatriots, as well as access to higher ranking sport leaders and sometimes even leaders of government Ministries. This chapter uses athletes smuggling stories a s a lens to examine the role and type s of connect ions in their lives, as well as the cultural behaviors that athletes adopted in order to create the best lifestyle under socialism. First and foremost I explore their connections with sport leaders in order to portray how athletesport leader relations continued to evolve in the decades that followed the events of 1956. As Szondy and Ihszs experiences show, they also developed close relations with many other people: their teammates and other members of the Hungarian sport community, local businessmen, as well as with athletes and entrepreneurs outside of Hungary and beyond the Nyl on Curtain. Studying their smuggling and the connections that undergirded them illustrates the blurring of two different kinds of relations under socialism: patronclient, and the socialist connections ( szocialista sszekttetsek in Hungarian) used in the phenomenon known in the Russian and Soviet context as blat Patronage assumes a significant power differentiation existed between the client requesting the favor and the patron who facilitated it. B lat constituted the act of pulling favors from socialis t connections of equal or near equal social status.8 Sheila Fitzpatrick 7 Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism, 13. 8 Alena Ledeneva, Russia s Economy of Favors: Blat, Networking and Informal Exchange (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 1; Valuch, Kz kezet mos , 76.

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282 and others have shown how people used a blend of these relations in order to obtain hardto find goods, opportunities, and sometimes to receive protection primarily in the USSR.9 Most of the scholarship on interactions between cultural figures and the state, however, views patronage as the factor that determined how artists, intellectuals, and musicians received material goods and opportunities.10 Other scholars have demonstrated how state society relations changed in the 1970s and 1980s when the states tried to meet citizens traveling and material demands in order to keep them satisfied and apolitical, and how citizens adapted to these changing policies by seeking ways to improve their daily lives, lifestyles, and traveling opportunities.11 A small but growing literature focuses on the phenomenon of tourist smuggling and related activities, albeit not typically within the framework of the connections that facilitated 9 Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). For another everyday life s tudy that incorporates peoples use and perception of these relations, see Donald Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers: An Oral History of Russias Cold War Generation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) 10 Kiril Tomoff, Most Respected Comrade: Patrons, Cl ients, Brokers, and Unofficial Networks in the Stalinist Music World, Contemporary European History 11, 1 ( Feb. 2002): 3365; Barbara Walker, Kruzhok Culture: The Meaning of patronage in the Early soviet Literary World, Contemporary European History 11, 1 (Feb. 2002): 10712. 11 Turizm: The Russian and East European Tourist Under Capitalism and Socialism, eds. Anne Gorsuch and Diane Koenker (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006); Natalya Chernyshova, Soviet Consumer Culture in the Brehznev Era (Abington: Routledge, 2013); Communism and Consumerism: The Soviet Alternative to the Affluent Society eds. Timo Vihavainen and Elena Bogdanova (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2015), especially Chapters 13; Diane Koenker, Club Red: Travel and the Soviet Dr eam (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013); Mary Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013) ; Beth Greene, Selling Market Soci alism: Hungary in the 1960s, Slavic Review 73, 1 ( Spring 2014) : 108132. On the perspective and actions of citizens, see Communism and Consumerism: The Soviet Alternative to the Affluent Society eds. Timo Vihavainen and Elena Bogdanova (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2015), especially Chapters 46; on the fetishization of material goods, see Andrew Chapman, "Trofeinost' and the Phantasmagoria of Everyday Consumption in Late Soviet Culture, Studies in Slavic Cultures 11 (2013): 2449 ; Patrick Hyder Patterson, Bought and Sold: Living and Losing the Good Life in Socialist Yugoslavia (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011); Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) ; Lewis Siegelbaum, On the Side: Car Culture in the USSR, 1960s 1980s, Technology and Culture 50, 1 (Jan. 2009): 1 13.

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283 those endeavors.12 M y analysis threads these literatures together by showing how Hungarian athletes adapted their cultural behaviors to sport leaders relaxed policies after 1956 by using both patronage and szocialista sszekttetsek in order improve their lifestyles through the buying, transporting, and sometimes sale of goods. By exploring athletes smuggling activities from the 1960s 1980s this chapter highlights many facets about their evolving relationship with sport leaders, as well as athletes abilities to improve their lifestyles after the events of 1956. After the Revolution and mass defections, athletes held more power over their lives than before. Although many of them knew that the West could not give them the careers and lifestyle that they desired, athletes continued to defect in small numbers. Beginning in the 1960s the threat of defection afforded athletes more power than before 1956 in their relationship vis vis sport leaders such as Hegyi and Istvn Buda, the top sport leader from 19781985. Athletes experiences trying to profit from smuggling goods illustrates the improved relations and decreased power differentials between the two groups. This does not mean that athletes and sport leaders were equal, nor that sport leaders overtly approved of or consistently helped athletes succeed in smuggling. The smuggling stories demonstrate how athletes continued to learn the tacit rules of sport leaders evolving carrot andstick system, and how athletes sometimes pushed the limits of their increased privileges beyond where sport leaders could help them. I argue that aid ed by 12 Livia Chelcea examines the role of personal relations in the cross border exchange of goods. Livia Chelcea, The Culture of Shortage During StateSocialism Consumption Practices in a Romanian Villag e in the 1980s, Cultural Studies 16, 1 (2002): 1643. Other works on tourist smuggling and trader tourism include Jerry Kochanowski, Pioneers of the Free Market Economy? Unofficial Commercial Exchange between People from the Socialist Bloc Countries (1970s and 1980s), Journal of Modern European History 8, 2 (2010): 196220; Mark Keck Szajbel, Shop Around the Bloc: Trader Tourism and Its Discontents on the East GermanPolish Border, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger (Ox ford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

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284 a mix of patron client relations and socialist connections in blat in Hungary and abroad, many athletes illustrated significant ingenuity in devising ways to improve their standard of living and enjoy the socialist good life. The memories I that expl ore in this chapter moreover highlight how these privileges and relationships were not limited to toptier, Olympic athletes, but to secondtier ones who traveled abroad for competitions but never competed at the Olympic Games. Hungarian athletes experiences in continuing to cooperate with the state, improving their relations with sport leaders, and smuggling goods underscore their attempts to expand their opportunities and influence the shape of their lives. The way that my research developed in Hungary and the source material at my disposal helped to influence the structure of this analysis. For several reasons, oral histories comprise the foundation for much of this chapter .13 Regardless of those reasons, the human nature and emotions bound up in my narr ators perceptions of each other and in their smuggling stories could not be expressed without the oral histories. S ome of them evinced a sense of moral judgement over the act of smuggling, as well as a hesitation in discussing the nature of patronage and socialist connections in their lives. I n order to establish trust with them, I therefore tried to allow these topics to arise naturally and did not press them about their use of connections. Analyzing the nature of their connections within the smuggling st ories is also difficult because of the 13 The archival collection on the Hungarian national sport bodies did not contain many traces of athletes smuggling activities. S port leaders conducted much of their help over the phone, such as when requesting the cus toms authorities to not examine athletes bags. Moreover, since I did not experience the snowball effect with the oral histories until the last few months of my research stay I only encountered most of the smuggling stories at the end of the year. This limited my ability to follow the stories threads in the respective archival collections (the judiciary, customs authorities, etc.). When I returned to conduct follow up research, the main building of the National Archives was closed as the archivists we re relocating most of the archive the materials to a new location.

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285 slipperiness of the categories of patronage and blat and the meanings behind them. The fact that these relations contain an individuals personal details, and point to the subtle meshing of affective and economic/political relations, makes it challenging for people to speak about and clarify them.14 Their hesitation points to the broader issue of viewing patronage and socialist connections as part of the center of systemic corruption that permeated life in the 1970s and 1980s especially.15 Yet using a label with such a negative connotation as a blanket term veils the other perspective on the matter: the important ways that people creatively made ends meet and even profited from the use of networks and other unofficial activities. I therefore view athletes pulling of connections along a continuum of informal practices that allowed them to assert agency under socialist system, influence their lives, and enjoy the socialist good life.16 Connections and Access in Everyday Life : Patronage and Blat Under socialism, the state was the de facto owner and distributor of all goods, modes of production, and services Due in part to issues with inefficient planning, distribution, and the states prioritization of industrial over consumer concerns, endemic shortages for basic foodstuffs and clothing characterized life for many citizens in the 1950s and sometimes later as well. During the socalled era of the economies of 14 Barbara Walker, (Still) Searching for a Soviet Society: Personalized Political and Economic Ties in Recent Soviet Historiography. A Revie w Article, Comparative Studies in Society and Hi story 43, 3 (July 2001): 631642, 635, 640. 15 Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers, 230. 16 Julie Hessler, review of Russias Economy of Favours: Blat, Networking, and Informal Exchange, by Alena Ledeneva, Journal of Modern History 72, 2 (June 2000): 581583, 582.

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286 shortage, access to goods or loopholes through which people could obtain them seemingly dominated the lives of socialist citizens.17 Hungarians and their Eastern European neighbors found ways to improv e their access largely by using two different types of connections. The first type of relations, and the one most commonly associated with the period of Soviet and socialist rule, is patronclient relations, or the notion of patronage. Socialist connections, or szocialista sszekttetsek in Hungarian, comprises the other. These connections lay at the heart of what is called blat in the Russian and Soviet context. Typically translated as pull in English, blat entailed the process of using socialist contac ts of equal or near equal status in order to obtain goods and services. Patronage and blat related activities therefore can be viewed as the counterpart to the centralized, inefficient socialist center.18 In the 1950s people developed a combination of these networks in order to obtain essentials like meat, milk shoes, and small scale services like tailoring clothes. From th e mid 1960s onwards Hungarians pulled their connections in order to obtain both ordinary and luxury items and services such as Western j eans, move up on the list to buy a car, or to gain a spot on a travel tour abroad. Smuggling constituted another way to get products, and peoples connections often facilitated their ability to receive information, contacts, money, and the goods necessary for smuggling. 17 For a thorough examination of the shortage economy, see Jnos Kornais Economics of Shortage ( Amsterdam: NorthHolland Publishing Company, 1980 ). In her Russianlanguage study, Elena Osokina focuses on the how ones access was the key to privilege on Soviet type systems. Consumption, and not production, therefore was the basis of social stratification under socialism. Scholars like Fitzpatrick and Julie Hessler have also discussed these ideas extensively. See Elena Osokina, Hierarchies of Consumption: Li fe Under the Stalinist Rationing System, 19281935, Moscow: Moscow Open State University Press, 1993 (in Russian only). 18 Ledeneva, Russias Economy, 3.

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287 Unlike the socialist connections in blat power characterized the nature of patronclient relations.19 At the top of the hierarchy stood the patron. In the socialist context, the patron was usually a politician whose power originated from hi s proximity to the apex of the Party.20 The sociali st bureaucracys representatives occupied the middle position in the order of power. Their administrative power was based on the authority invested in them by more powerful patrons, as well as the regulatio ns of their institutional bodies. Sport leaders such as Hegyi and Buda generally occupied a middle position. They sometimes served as brokers who intervened by using their connections to higher leaders to facilitate access to resources, opportunities, and protection when possible.21 The clients typically laid at the bottom of the pyramid, with seemingly little or none of the political or institutional power enjoyed by their superiors.22 Within the cultural realm, prominent musicians, artists, intellectuals and of course athletes functioned 19 Numerous scholars have written about socialist paternalism within Soviet style systems. Jnos Kornai argues that the states position as the controller and top distributor of goods underscored the nature of state paternalism, such that citizens depended on the goodwill of the state to receive those goods. Katherine Verdery builds on Kornais ideas by defining socialist paternalism as the culture of relations between society and the state. The relations undersc ored a familial like dependency and constituted a moral tie between the two groups, upon which the state allocated shares of its production to t he subjects. Lewis Siegelbaum also uses the notion of socialist paternalism to describe the state of affairs between workers and the Soviet state in the 1930s. For more, see Jnos Kornai, The Socialist System: the Political Economy of Communism ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992 ) ; Katherine Verdery, What Was Socialism and What Comes Next ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996) 63; Lewis Siegelbaum, Dear Comrade, You Ask What We Need,: Socialist Paternalism and Soviet Rural Notables in t he mid1930s, in Stalinism: New Directions ed. Sheila Fitzpatrick ed. ( New York: Routledge, 2000): 231232. 20 Tomoff, Most respected comrade, 38. 21 Brokers and patrons could help protect people who were arrested or under attack. Tomoff, Most respec ted comrade, 38, 55, 6263. 22 The client might also show deference in the form of gifts and/or respectful language to the patron. T he gift is symbolic, and not meant to actually repay the patron for his or her help or service Ledeneva, Russias Economy, 53. Lewis Siegelbaum devoted an entire article to discussing the deferential language that many winners of a Soviet cow milking contest used in their letters to superiors in the 1930s. See Lewis Siegelbaum, Dear Comrade, 231255

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288 as clients.23 Since the smuggling stories emerged mainly from the oral histories with athletes, it is oftentimes difficult to ascertain which actor was responsible for fulfilling a favor or request. For example, Buda portraye d himself as someone who made things happen for athletes.24 Yet situations undoubtedly arose when he needed help from superiors to secure an opportunity or protect someone. Social relations and capital formed the foundations for the socialist connections in blat .25 The Russian sociologist Alena Leden e va emphasized the human nature of blat networks, whereby people formed connections with family members, friends, and acquaintances.26 P eoples szocialista sszekttetsek remained friendly ones; athletes also stressed the positive, friendly circumstances that surrounded their connections with people who helped them obtain things or services. The friendliness that characterized peoples connections seems to differentiate the process from the more negative exchange and power in patronclient relations. Yet others have highlighted the negative and even repugnant perceptions of blat relations.27 They point out the inequality that arose from pulling ones connections to receive something, and the shame that someone could feel if they did not enjoy the same level of connections as someone 23 Tomoff, Most respect ed comrade, 38. 24 The fact that he explained how he felt like an unwanted person in Hungarian sport after 1989 lends further proof to the belief that he overestimated his role in helping athletes in certain situations. At the same time, several athletes testified to the fact that he did assist them when they were athletes. Istvn Buda, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013. 25 Valuch, Kz kezet mos , 76. 26 Ledeneva, 39. Malgorzata Mazurek studies the use of family based r elations on Poland to procure resources thr ough alternative economies. S he surveys blat but does not use it as a framework for her analysis. See Malgorzata Mazurek, Keeping it Close to Home: Resour cefulness and Scarcity in late Socialist and Postsocialist Poland, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburg er ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012): 299. 27 Raleigh, Soviet Baby Boomers, 229.

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289 else.28 None of my narrators outwardly exhibited negative feelings about patronage or the use of szocialista sszekttetsek For those who did v iew either process critically, perhaps they simply did not voice their sentiments during the interview. Due to the notoriety of patronclient relations and the relative unfamiliarity of the concept of blat I will discuss the contours of the latter phenom enon in more detail than the former. The essence of socialist connections and blat lay in peoples understanding of several factors. First, the recipient of the favor did not need to repay the giver by a definitive deadline. People hoped that by scratching your back, you will scratch mine at some point in the future. These connections also often formed circular chains, as the recipient of the favor may repay the giver by helping out the givers friend in a different situation. And while repayment could co mprise any form, participants also needed to understand that repayment for the favor may not even take place at all.29 Finally, unlike bribery, a blat favor did not typically involve an exchange of money. Money did sometimes help to grease a connections hands at times; yet the use of bribery did not imply or engender trust and sustained continuity between participants, which lay at the heart of blat relations.30 Unlike the overtly negative undertones to bribery and patronage, Eastern Europeans and Soviets te nded to perceive blat as more acceptable within their moral code because it seemed more altruistically as friendly help.31 The assumption of reciprocity at a later date sealed the deal, and not money. 28 Ra leigh, Soviet Baby Boomers, 229. 29 Ledeneva, Russias Economy, 3840. 30 Many people viewed also bribery as distasteful, which may have prevented them from participating in it. 31 Ledeneva, Russias Economy, 42.

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290 Perhaps in an effort to humanize and highlight the positive attributes of socialist connections, some scholars have created concrete distinctions between blat and patronage. Patronage is sometimes defined as related strictly to politics and garnering political support, while some characterize blat as being used for the consumption of goods, experiences, and opportunities.32 Yet as Kiril Tomoff has shown with respect to Soviet musicians, cultural figures requested the patronage of administrators in the music realm or higher leaders specifically when they needed help with material needs such as housing.33 Hungarian athletes acted similarly; when it came to requesting help with obtaining an apartment, they often requested the assistance of people such as Hegyi, Buda, or other sport leaders. The creation of official instit utions such as the OTSB and its successor bodies seemingly legitimized the act of patronage. The fact that sport leaders also asked their superiors for support in obtaining assistance for an athlete further entrenched the patronage system within the sport community. Athletes and other cultural figures used a mix of both relations during the socialist era, such as when smuggling. They relied on sport leaders help and patronage to instruct the customs officials to turn a blind eye to their bags wh en crossing the border. As Szondy and Ihszs experiences illustrate d at the outset of the chapter, athletes used szocialista sszekttetsek within and outside the sport community in order to find information, vetted contacts, and the goods. Within the ac t of smuggling then, athletes utilized both relations in order to avoid discovery and punishment. 32 Ledeneva, Russias Economy, 55. 33 Tomoff, Most respected comrade, 4851.

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291 It may appear that peoples patronclient relations and use of blat connections ran counter to the state. But since Party and government officials held the k eys to the production and distribution of goods, people developed useful ties with officials in order to be come better connected to the socialist state, its officials, and resources.34 Eastern Europeans in the 1950s survived the harsh shortage economies par tly as a result of using their well honed connections. To a certain extent then citizens established closer relations with the socialist state, even if in roundabout or unofficial ways in order to obtain promised goods. These ties illustrate how patronage, blat and the activities facilitated through both systems could not exist without the involvement of the state. Connections in Hungarian Sport Life Before and After 1956 Top athletes typically enjoyed highranking contacts as a result of their elite stat us. These connections ranged from fellow athletes and coaches at home and abroad, to sport administrators in the national sport body, a government ministry, or even at an international sport organization like FIFA.35 In the 1950s in particular, only Party e lites and other cultural figures like writers and musicians attained a similar or higher status and level of privileges to athletes. Average Hungarians like industrial workers, farmers, and even doctors did not always have direct access to a Party or 34 Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism, 1 2 35 In Spartak Moscow Robert Edelman offers the best treatment thus far of the extent of contacts that athletes could develop (and sometimes did enjoy, if they were talented athletically and socially), and the potential rewards that they could reap. His analysis of the fate of the Starostin brothers in the Soviet Union illustrates the instability inherent in athletes position as cultural heroes under socialism. He describes Nikolai Starostins ability to develop and use contacts to further the financial interests of the team (and his own) specifically as blat in nature. The concept is one of many ways that Edelman shows how the legendary status of the Starostin brothers influ enced people to support the Spartak Moscow football club, and use their fandom as a small way of saying no to the Soviet state. See Robert Edelman, Spartak Moscow: A History of the Peoples Team in the Workers State ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009 ) especially chapters 23.

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292 gover nment official with or from whom they could establish relations and receive favors. Regardless of their status, Hungarians of all levels did their best to develop contacts with people of equal and higher stature. As for athletes, their role in the states sport diplomacy goals and status in society shaped the nature of their networks. Athletes and sport leaders benefitted substantially from their relationship with one another throughout the socialist period. Chapter 2 illustrated how s port leaders gave athletes access to the best possible privileges that came with their status as sport heroes, such as the ability to buy a car, obtain a flat, travel abroad, and sometimes smuggle goods.36 In return, sport leaders expected athletes to win Olympic and World Championship gold medals. If a leaders athletes won medals, it demonstrated to the Party the administrative and managerial merits of the leader. The athletes gold medals helped achieve the states goals in illustrating to the West the superiority of the socialist system. Each side consistently performed a favor that served in the best interest of the other. While athletes wanted a higher standard of living and the ability to travel abroad, sport leaders job security depended on the performance of their athletes. The types of relations between athletes and sport leaders and administrators, and particularly with Ministry leaders, cannot always be neatly categorized. The greatest power differential between athletes and sport leaders existed in the 1950s before the Revolution. During this time, Hegyi and other s followed the Stalinist orientation of their 36 The housing shortage after World War II continued into the 1960s, which made procuring a onebedroom flat for a newly married couple extremely difficult. As for the car shortage, even after putting down a deposit, Hungarian s waited on lists for an average of fiveten years before being able to receive their car. The deposits usually comprised onethird of the total cost of the car. For an example of Poles appealed to the Council of Ministers for the chance to purchase and obtain a car, see Mariusz Jastrzab, Cars as Favors in Peoples Poland, in The Socialist Car: Automobility in the Eastern Bloc, ed. Lewis Siegelbaum ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010), 30 46.

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293 superiors and believed that punishments in the carrot and stick system most effectively motivated athletes and kept them in line. Patronage therefore by and l arge characterized athletesport leader relations in the 1950s. Despite the difference in power and position between the two groups, the relationship between top sport leader Hegyi and Hungarian athletes was not necessarily antagonistic. Runner Lszl Tbori described Hegyi as a nice man who was a Communist on the outside, but not on the inside. 37 Considering that Tbori showed his dissatisfaction with the socialist system by defecting to America in 1956, his assessment should be taken seriously. Follow ing the Revolution and mass defections, athletes held more power over their lives than before. The defections illustrated to Hegyi and others that athletes would leave for the West if sport leaders continued to resort to the heavy handed punishments in the carrot and stick system from the early 1950s. Although in reality many athletes knew that the West could not give them the careers and lifestyle that they desired, some of them continued to defect in small numbers. The threat of defection therefore still lingered as a potential problem for the sport leadership. The issue of defection ultimately afforded athletes more power in their relationship vis vis sport leaders late 1950s early 1960s highlighted how athletes and the sport leadership and post 1956 state gradually began working with each other more to achieve their respective goals. The decreased power differentials and improved relations between athletes and sport leaders after 1956 blurred the lines of the patronage that characterized their interactions in the earlier years. Athletes attempts to smuggle goods illustrates this 37 Lszl Tbori, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Toby Rider, Los Angeles, 5 November 2017.

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294 dynamic. This does not mean that athletes and sport leaders were equal or that their relations qualified as the socialist connects in blat Sport leaders never overtly approved of or consistently helped athletes succeed in smuggling ; they also continued to dole out punishments to athletes who pushed the limits of their privileges too far. Yet sport leaders reliance on athletes goodwill to stay in Hungary and win gold medals inherently introduced elements of blat into the two groups interactions. Buda discussed at length the ways that he pulled his connections on behalf of athletes, such as in hel ping them avoid getting punished or obtaining a job after retiring from sport.38 Several athletes corroborated Budas recollections; they remembered him fondly and mentioned Buda by name without any prompting in the interviews. Olympic champion sprint canoeist Istvn Vaskuti and pentathlete Attila Csszri both remembered how Buda looked out for them.39 None of the athletes described their relationship with Istvn Buda or his predecessor Gyula Hegyi as being one of equals. Yet the ways that the athletes and Buda spoke of one another and the stories of how Buda helped them obtain or enjoy their privileges points to a level of trust and reciprocity that suggests that elements of szocialista sszekttetsek existed between toplevel athletes and sport leaders.40 38 Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013. 39 For example, Istvn Vaskuti described how Buda personally intervened when his old sport club tried to prevent him from transferr ing to another one Istvn Vaskuti, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 21 October 2014. 40 If a male athlete had ever worked as a sport administrator or leader at any point in their lives, or if he knew that Buda had done a special favor for him, the athlete was more likely to view Buda positively than someone in the opposite situation. Interestingly, the only narrator who explicitly expressed her dislike for Buda was a female basketball coach who was denied the title of master coach by Buda the firs t time she applied for it. This suggests that female coaches could experience gender related discrimination through the sport leaderships unwillingness to approve their promotion in sport. Katalin Bild, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 21 April 2015.

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295 Despite the continued difference in power between the two groups, their relations included a significant element of reciprocity similar to socialist connections in blat The difficulty in pinpointing the exact nature of their connections from the 1960s 1980s is complicated by factors such as sport leaders caseby case approach with athletes and athletes individual sport success. By examining a wide variety of smuggling c ases later in the chapter, I will highlight the contours of their changing relations and the various factors that influenced them. The smuggling stories demonstrate how athletes continued to learn the tacit rules of the evolving the carrot andstick system and how they sometimes pushed the limits of their increased privileges beyond where sport leaders could help them. The changes in each groups priorities and sport policies helped decrease the differences in power and altered the nature of their relations with respect to connections and favors. State Society Relations and Consumption in Post 1956 Hungary One of the main reasons for the mass participation in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 lay in the states inability to provide the basic standard of li ving that it promised. Even the Hungarian working class, upon whose support General Secretary Mtys Rkosi and other leaders relied most heavily, participated in the revolt in surprisingly high numbers.41 The 200,000 Hungarian refugees who fled to the West after the Soviets crushed the Revolution also helped to drive home the socialist states lack of legitimacy. Fortunately for the Hungarians who remained at home, the suppressed Hungarian Revolution of 1956 gradually became a springboard for reforms. 41 Mark Pittaway uses industrial workers frequent strikes in the early mid 1950s to show that the states legitimacy rested on shaky ground even during the Stalinist period. Mark Pittaway, The Workers State: Industrial Labor and the Making of Socialist Hungary, 19441958 ( Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012)

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296 In an attempt to prevent another revolt and gain some semblance of legitimacy amongst the Hungarian public, General Secretary Jnos Kdr struck an unofficial deal in the mid 1960s with the Hungarian public:42 In return for the publics apoliticism and passive t olerance of the post 1956 socialist state, Kdr focused on providing Hungarians with the higher standards of living and the increased travel opportunities that they desired.43 This compromise, known also as a social contract, set the stage for the nature of socialist Hungary in the later decades.44 The state also curbed its repressive policies and relaxed its political and cultural policies, most notably by granting amnesty in 1963 to those imprisoned for participating in the Revolution. For many Hungarians, the most important part of the social contrac t in the governments promise lay in providing the conditions for a socialist consumer society. Most Hungarians did not feel the full impact of the Revolution and the social contract that followed until after the Partys implementation of the economic reforms in 42 The deal, or the social contract, is not that dissimilar to the Leonid Brezhnevs Little Deal that he implemented in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. Wit h the Little Deal, reform and change remained limited, and only amounted to increased political and economic freedom within close kinship and friendship networks blat networks. It also included greater tolerance of petty private enterprise. James Millar, The Little Deal: Brezhnevs Contributi on to Acquisitive Socialism, Slavic Review 44, 4 (Winter, 1985): 694706, 695. 43 Hungarians also had to accept the socialist states portrayal of 1956 as a counter revolution, and not a real, legitimate revolt against the system. There is an extensive literature in both English and Hungarian on the memory(ies) of the 1956 Revolution, from the 1950s until today. For more, see Karl Benziger, Imre Nagy: Martyr of the Nation ( Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2008) ; Istvn Rv, Retroactive Justice: A Prehistory of Post communism ( Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005) ; Gbor Gyni, Memory and Discourse on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and its Legacy, EuropeAsia Studies 58, 8 (Dec. 2006): 11991208. 44 Interestingly, the terms of the soc ial contract, also called the Great Compromise, have not received much attention in the liter ature. Most of the historiography focuses on the economic reforms implemented between 19681972, and not on how Hungarians experienced or interpreted the reforms themselves. Terry Cox, Reconsidering the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, in Hungary 1956 For ty Years On, ed. Terry Cox ( London: Routledge Publishers, 2014) 8.

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297 1968.45 The New Economic Mechanism (hereafter NEM) ultimately affected millions of Hungarians.46 The economic reforms cited profits, and not strictly centralized planning, as the states main economic go als. In order to allow for increased profits to enter the Hungarian economy, the state reduced its role in the central planning of production and investment. This gave enterprises more liberties, such as the ability to participate in foreign trade. The ref orms also established distinctions between which consumer goods could be sold at different prices, such as fixed and market drive prices.47 In sum, the NEM allowed for the formation of small businesses, a more flexible price system for goods, and increased international trade. As part and parcel of the social compromise, the post 1956 state sought to expand citizens freedoms, improve their living standards, and transform them into specifically socialist consumers.48 The Hungarian state hoped that by embracing the idea of socialist consumption they could shape the ways in which citizens bought and consumed goods.49 As the smuggling stories will show, the state constantly struggled to 45 Ivan Berend, Central and Eastern Europe 19441993: Detour from the Periphery to the Periphery ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) 158. 46 Romsics compares this number to the th ousands impacted by the retributions following the Revolution. Ignc Romsics, Economic Reforms of the Kdr Era, The Hungarian Quarterly 48, 187 (Autumn 2007): 72. 47 Finally, workers pay scales grew more closely attached to merit based performance, and less tied to political viability. Romsics, Economic, Reforms, 6979, 75. 48 For more, see Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc eds. David Crowley and Susan Reid, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2010) ; Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism After the Prague Spring ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010) ; Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) ; Mary Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012) ; in the Hungarian context, see Beth Greene, Selling Market Socialism: Hungary in the 1960s, Slavic Review 73, 1 ( Spring 2014): 108132. 49 Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger discuss the Czechoslovak and Bulgarian states role in instructing and advertising acceptable consumption habits to the public. Bren in particular views this as the states intrusion into people (womens) private and domestic lives. Paulina Bren, The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism After the Prague Spring ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010) ; Mary

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298 determine and instruct the public on acceptable (versus unacceptable) types and limits of consumption habits. During this period, many Hungarians shopped in department stores and earned considerable extra income through side jobs than in the 1950s. From the mid1960s onwards other groups of people gradually received traveling pri vileges besides athletes: first academics and doctors, and then everyday people and students by the mid1970s could travel once every three years. But if the states priorities for Hungarian society shifted, the opposite occurred as well. The resulting ref orms sparked a never ending desire for more consumer goods and freedoms amongst the populace. If Hungarians utilized contacts in order to obtain hardto find items in the scarcity of the Stalinist era, they used them even more after the post 1956 relaxation of policies and economic reforms.50 Indeed, the ten years between the mid1950s mid 1960s saw most of the Soviet Bloc nations implement some level of social and economic reform.51 Socialist leaders embrace of higher standards of living in turn influence d, and seemingly legitimized, peoples efforts to pull connections with the specific goal of obtaining better quality goods and services. Hungarians felt a greater impetus to use Neuberger, Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria ( Ithaca: Cornell University Pr ess, 2012) 50 For an example of how Hungarians used connections in 1950s Hungary, see Karl Brown, The Extraordinary Career of Feketevg r : Wood Theft, Pig Killing, and Entrepreneurship in Communist Hungary, 19481956, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuberger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). 51 The only socialist states who did not institute reforms at this time were Romania and Albania, Yugoslavia had started reforming in the mid1950s, after the Tit Stalin split, after which Yugoslavia is generally not considered one of the Bloc countries.

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299 connections of all kinds to obtain what they wanted. Only by pulling their networks could citizens feasibly attain the socialist good life in late socialist Hungary.52 Comparing the timelines of the shifts in relations between athletes and sport leaders, and the state and society, illustrates two important points. First, the changes that occurred for athletes and sport leaders and in the Hungarian sport community in the late 1950s preceded the broader ones that followed for the Hungarian state and public in the 1960s At the same time, the implementation of NEM created the unprecedented possibility for athletes to obtain a business permit and operate their own store. NEM and the business permit provided sport leaders with a way to help athletes achieve financial stability after retiring from sport. Sport leaders could then cont inue to use athletes as models of the ideal socialist citizen for the public. The permit simultaneously offered athletes an unparalleled chance to combine their smuggling endeavors with a legal and legitimate business venture that aided their ability to at tain the lifestyle they desired under socialism. The Role of Connections in Smuggling When discussing blat relations and activities scholars do not typically include smuggling.53 Yet this activity constituted one of the primary ways that Hungarians and their socialist neighbors obtained certain items. Hungarians from all walks of life were connected to some sort of smuggling endeavor at one time or another. The increase in the gen eral populations freedom to travel abroad in late socialism increased average Hungarians opportunities to bring in what they could not enjoy during the Stalinist 52 Pleasures in Socialism: Leisure and Luxury in the Eastern Bloc David Crowley and Susan Reid, eds. ( Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press 2010 ) 53 Two exceptions are Livia Chelcea, The Culture of Shortage; and Anna Wessely, Travelling People.

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300 period. Rather than work through middle men or other contacts, Hungarians and their socialis t neighbors benefitted from the chance to smuggle on an individual basis, particularly if they lived close to one of the borders.54 In order to benefit from bringing in goods, citizens needed to develop relations with people they could trust completely, na mely the socialist connections in blat In the 1950s and early 1960s, Hungarians often used their blat ties to find people who traveled abroad.55 Even though Hungarians could travel during late socialism, they still needed to use their connections to obtain information. Truck drivers and train conductors remained the only nonelites who travel ed abroad with any frequency even in the 1970s .56 The average Hungarian typically could not leave the country until the early 1970s. Even then, the late socialist state only allowed ordinary Hungarian citizens to travel to the West and Yugoslavia once every three years.57 Hungarians who wanted to smuggle needed to become informed about the circumstances with the customs 54 See Liviu Chelcea, Culture of Shortage. 55 During this time the most popular items to smuggle back to Hungary included ordinary goods like ny lon stockings and ballpoint pens, and some luxury goods such as brandname watches The small size of these items made them easier to hide from the customs officials while crossing the border. From the mid1960s onwards, Hungarians smuggled in more consumer based, luxury/Western items like fox fur, gold and jeans, as well as electronic gadgets such as pocket radios, and later stereo equipment and computers. Fortunately for Hungarians, their increased traveling opportunities in the 1970s and 1980s enabled th em to take apart some of the larger electronic equipment and bring it back piecemeal with family members and/or friends. Hammer A Gasoline Scented, 113114. 56 For comparison amongst other top cultural figures, Hungarian pianist Annie Fischer was one of the few, if not the only, musician allowed to travel and perform abroad before 1956. While internationally renowned academics like historians Ivn Behrend and Gyrgy Rnki could travel abroad for conferences in the mid1960s. For more about truck drivers, see Ferenc Hammer, A Gasoline Scented Sinbad: The Truck Driver as a Popular Hero in Socialist Hungary, in Cultural Studies 16, no. 1 ( 2002): 80126. 57 Hammer, A Gasoline Scented, 111112.

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301 authorities at the borders, as well as the supply and demand of products in Hungary and abroad.58 Some Hungarians hoped to earn money from their endeavors and did not simply smuggle items for personal use.59 Hungary and other Bloc countries actually encouraged this kind of exchange, but primarily only if citi zens sold their foreign goods to one of the statecontrolled commission stores. In Hungary the Company of Commission Stores (BV) then sold the items, such as rubber boots and gym suits, to customers at cheaper prices than could be found in other shops.60 B ut Hungarians also sold smuggled goods on their own terms to independent stores, such as at an electronics store. They typically visited the store prior to their trip specifically to find out what to buy at their destination. Upon their return, the store bought the item(s) from the Hungarians, earning the smuggler a considerable profit.61 As with other exchanges, Hungarians could not simply walk into an electronics store and begin asking the store owner or manager these kinds of questions. They received information from their 58 Ibid, 117. Tibor Dessewffy s talk about the calculations necessary for strategizing how to return home with zero balance between the spending and traveling for shopper tourists who traveled solely for the purpose of bringing back goods to sell domestically. Tibor Dessewff y, Specul ators and Travelers: T he Political Construction of the Tourist in the Kdr Regime, Cultural Studies 16, 1 (2002): 58. 59 Although I only heard stories about athletes who sold smuggled goods at home, nonelites most likely did it too, although on a smaller and less frequent scale. For stories on how Poles, after buying and smuggling goods from East Germany in the 1970s, sold them at home in Poland, see Jonathan Zatlin, Scarcity and Resentment: Economic Sources of Xenophobia in the GDR, 19711989, Central European History 40 (2007): 690691. 60 BV stands for Bizomny ruhz Vallalat, directly translated as the Company of Commission Stores. Dessewffy, Speculators and Travelers, 57. 61 This type of exchange and interaction, specifically over the smuggling and sale of electronic equipment, was mimicked all over the Eastern Bloc. For more on electronic smuggling in the German Democratic Republic, see Mike Dennis and Norman LaPorte, State and Minorities in Communist East Germany ( New York: Berghan Books, 2011 ), 1 03104.

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302 contacts about which store and owner to approach about the transaction. Hungarians therefore relied heavily upon their blat networks to receive this kind of information. Although travel grew more common in late socialism, people continued to value the opportunity travel beyond the nations border. Part of this was due to Hungarians increasing thirst for consumer items from the West.62 Citizens therefore still associated traveling abroad as part of attaining the socalled good life. Nearly every narrator counted the ability to travel abroad as either the top factor that motivated their athletic achievements, or the privilege that they enjoyed the most during that time. Sport Leaders Stance on Smuggling Sport leaders awarded numerous privi leges and opportunities to athletes once they achieved enough success to compete abroad on the international stage. Many athletes took advantage of their traveling opportunities by bringing hard currency and goods in and out of Hungary for personal use and/or for profit. Athletes traveling privileges thereby helped to facilitate their ability to achieve their desired s tandard of living. For some of the athletes who tried to smuggle for profit the activity became a sport in and of itself.63 Sport leaders throughout the entire period understood athletes desire to smuggle; they therefore tacitly allowed athletes particip ation in it to a certain level, while also ensuring that athletes did not abuse the privilege. 62 Hammer, A Gasoline Scented, 8090. 63 Many smuggling stories from the 1950s continue to circulate the Hungarian sport world today, particularly in connection to the escapades of the famous soccer team the Aranycsapat or Golden Team. The stories and myths of the Aranycsapat s smuggling endeavors caught the imagination of younger athletes, ranging from water polo players to competitive shooters. These myths in turn inspired many within the younger generation to smuggle on large scales after 1956 Athletes also used these stories to justify their own smuggling endeavors. L dia Dmlky Skovics, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 April 2015; Lszl Hammerl, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 27 February 2015.

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303 T he national sport bodies and sport leaders maintained an ambiguous stance towards smuggling. Officially Hegyi, Buda, and others discouraged the practice, in part because smuggling incidents required them to negotiate with various government officials and organs about athl etes and potential punishments. Some athletes contended, however, that Buda and other leaders understood the importance of smuggling to athlete s. Buda in particular seemed to view smuggling and the additional income that it provided as two of the special perks that athletes could enjoy once they achieved a certain level of success. Olympic champion pentathlete Ferenc Trks explained this perspective. Trk said that the state: paid as much as it could, but they were also aware that it [their salary] was a small amount, they turned a blind eye to the level that athletes themselves complimented their income in thi s way [with bringing in goods].64 Even if sport leaders viewed the matter this way, the outward approach that sport leaders adopted vis vis athletes smuggling ranged from approval and even outright facilitation of their endeavors, to helping to punish athletes. If caught and punished, a thletes typically received a suspension of oneto two years from competing internationally and therefore from traveling abroad. Athletes themselves struggled to ascertain sport leaders attitude and behavior towards it. Golden Team goalie Grosics provided the most concrete interpretation of the matter: Of course we smuggled like everybody out of the Iron Curtain. It was also known by the Party leadership. And Minister [of Defense] Farka s himself told us that they cannot honor the kind of joy that we give to this people, 64 Trk, Ha kell, 99.

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304 but [they] let us bring valuable things home, sell it, and we will not be hurt.65 According to Grosicss statement, the top Party leadership admitted to allowing and protecting athletes ability to smuggle and profit, or at least that of prized footballers. Yet Grosicss assessment should not be taken at face value. In 1955, the MTST and the OTSB suspended Grosics for one year.66 According to a Hungarian newspaper report at the time, Grosics and two other athletes abused the honor given to nati onal athletes.67 They had used their national and international performances for purposes that are incompatible with the laws and morals of the state and unworthy of national athletes.68 Although international news articles explained that Grosics and th e other athletes were accused of smuggling nylon stocking and other materials, the Hungarian report did not mention these activities.69 The Hungarian reports reference to the athletes use of their international competitions for immoral and illegal purposes, however, suggests that the men were likely caught trying to smuggle goods. Grosicss own capture and punishment therefore demonstrates that athletes smuggling did not typically receive the full support from the top Party leadership that he maintained. Although sport leaders sometimes called in favors and asked the customs officials to look the other way when sports teams crossed the border, athletes could not 65 Elhunyt Grosics Gyula, HVG 13 June 2014, accessed 15 May 2018, 66 The newspaper report says that the OTSB approved of the MLSzs decision to suspend the players. Grosics, Gell r, s Kov cs eltilt sa, N pSport 23 January 1955, 1 67 Ibid. 68 Ibid. 69 Hungarians Suspended: Two Goalkeepers, The Glasgow Herald, 24 January 1955, 9.

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305 always rely on sport leaders to aid their smuggling efforts. Officials at the border did some times conduct careful inspections of athletes bags. At other times, the y simply did not have the time or desire to make careful searches of athletes luggage. As a result of the unclear rules, athletes struggled to determine the seem ingly arbitrary policies of the sport leadership and c ustoms authorities When asked if he could ever predict the kind of inspection he and his teammates might receive at the border, football player Klmn Ihsz stated how: We were never sure. Much less [sure] if we went by bus. And it was such a stress while we went over the border. It was [more certain] when we went by trainbut most of the time we went by busthey came up and looked at twothree bagsthere were onetwo players who got caughtbut after they [officials] wrapped up, what we brought in was such a thrill.70 Even Ihsz, who played on the goldmedal winning football team at the 1964 Olympics, approached the customs officials at the border with apprehension because he could not judge when he would receive a str ong inspection. The differences between the two mens understanding of how sport leaders approached the issue exemplifies sport leaders ambiguity toward the issue, and how the Hungarian sport community struggled to determine the sport leaderships attit ude towards and limitations on their help. Another athlete, pentathlete Istvn Szondy, explained how as long as athletes smuggled demurely, sport leaders turned a blind eye to it.71 Szondys assertion underscores that at the very least, sport leaders w ould ignore athletes participation in the activity as long as they only tried to transport and sell 70 Klmn Ihsz, co interview with J ohanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 17 January 2015. 71 Istvn Szondy, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 9 June 2015.

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306 a modest amount of goods. For athletes who sought to profit and improve their standard of living through smuggling, determining the quantity of a modest am ount of items proved challenging. The C ustoms Office maintained specified limits on the monetary value of the goods that Hungarians brought back to Hungary. As of October 1960, people convicted of participating in unauthorized merchant activity paid a fine up to 3,000 forints if they were discovered with goods over 1, 000 forints.72 According to the decree implemented in 1960, smuggling caused significant disruption in supply and law enforcement difficulties. In 1961 the Criminal Code stated that individuals who pursued a commercial activity or a business without a proper license, traded economically in goods or traded in another way with a price expansion or profit would be imprisoned for three years.73 In the 1980s, the customs authorities allowed Hungarian citizens to bring between 1 000 5 000 forints about $18$100 at the timeworth of goods into and out of Hungary without risk of punishment.74 If the goods ranged from 5 000 10,000 forints, or $100$200, they considered it a misdemeanor offense.75 Any thing exceeding 10,000 forints, or $200, was punished as a serious crime.76 Yet the customs officials themselves only intermittently enforced those limits ; the Customs Authorities coul d not always put smugglers behind bars partly because the BV stores needed the 72 A magnkereskedelem tevkenysge s a KISOSZ munkja, File of the Ministry of Commerce, 7. d., XIX G 4 zz. MNL, Budapest, Hungary; quoted in Valuch, Kz kezet mos , 80. 73 Ibid. 74 168 ra Interview 13 October 1984, Subfond 40, Series 1, Box 5, Records of Radio Free Europe 300, T he Open Society Archives (hereafter OSA), Budapest, Hungary. 75 Ibid. 76 Ibid.

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307 smugglers activities to continue their own sales.77 They moreover did not consistently enforce the limits because the customs and currency regulations made every good t ourist (anyone who went abroad specifically to tour the sites) into a de facto smuggler, and a potential criminal .78 It remained in the best interest of the sport leadership that athletes smuggling activities remained under the radar. P olitical and sport leaders realized from the riots in 1954 foll owing the World Cup loss that the legitimacy of the socialist state rested partly on the continued success and image of athletes. Socialist sport fans tended to support athletes who succeeded on the pitch and appeared to symbolize values with which they, a s workers and fans, resonated.79 Maintaining athletes continued success, as well as their reputation and status in the public eye, therefore grew increasingly important under socialism after the Revolution. Sport leaders such as Hegyi and Buda wanted to sustain athletes careers as long as possible, and avoid losing out on their investment in elite sport. If several members from a national team received suspensions at the same time, it moreover threatened to destabilize Hungarian athletes success at the Ol ympics and other major international competitions. In the event that an athlete became embroiled in smuggling cases, the press might need to address the matter publicly and use the case as an example of immoral behavior. The newspaper reports about Grosics s suspension in 1955 illustrated this point. Sport leaders ability to portray athletes as ideal socialist 77 Dessewffy, Spectators and Travelers, 57. 78 Ibid, 57. 79 By supporting the peoples team, and not the team who received the most financial and political backing from the state (Dynamo Moscow), Spartak Moscow fans used their fandom as a small wa y of saying no to the Soviet regime. For more, see Robert Edelman, Spartak Moscow: A History of the People s Team in the Workers State ( Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009)

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308 citizens to society therefore could be impacted negatively if athletes got caught and their cases reached the public eye. The state did not want the broader public to mimic athletes smuggling and patterns of consumption. If the socialist states stability rested partially on Hungarian athletes, then sport leaders management of the sport system did as well. The Golden Plane Opportunity The most cons istent way that sport leaders helped athletes smuggle occurred after the Olympic Games when they allowed gold medal athletes to return home on the aranygp, or the golden train or plane. In this situation, athletes ability to bring an unlimited amount of goods hinged exclusively on their achievements at the Olympics. Pentathlete Ferenc Trk explained this special opportunity in depth, referring to his experience after winning gold at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games : Free customs that meant that I could bri ng in anything with out the customs inspection, but just after the Olympics! One sat on the airplane, we moseyed on out, there sat the customs authorities, and they said, Comrades, everyone goes, where everyone sees, and this is our gift. A whole country is a fan of the good results, so the public consensus was that, we are not confiscating [from you], boys. We did not wait for any kind of return, and neither did we try to corrupt them .80 Trk s description highlights how both sport leaders and athletes understood that the absence of an inspection by the customs authorities constituted a special gift for the gold medal athletes. Four time Olympic water polo player Istvn Szvs Jr corrobor ated Trk s recollection with his experiences.81 Szvs Jr .s description carries additional weight 80 Trk, Ha kell, 109. 81 Istvn Szvs Jr ., co interview with Johanna Mellis a nd Mikls Zeidler Budapest, 16 April 2015.

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309 because of the experiences of his father, Istvn Szvs Sr. The elder Szvs helped the Olympic team win a silver and two gold medals in water polo at the 1948, 1952, and 1956 Summer Olympics Games respectively. The younger Szvs most likely learned a great deal about how to navigate life as an athlete under socialism from observing his fathers experiences. Attila Csszri, who attended the 1980 Moscow Olym pics as an alternate for the pentathlon team also explained that bypassing the customs inspection allowed athletes to bring heaps of goods back home, such as jeans, electronic equipment and foreign currency.82 The combination of the mens experiences and recollections illustrates how the sport leadership gifted this opportunity to Hungarys gold medal winning athletes from 19481980 at the very least. Sport leaders likely continued the practice until 1989. Inconsistent Help from Sport Leaders Outside o f the golden plane after the Olympic Games, sport leaders by and large only sporadically offered their connections and help to athletes in facilitating their smuggling endeavors. Although Buda did not discuss the golden plane specifically, he mentioned how he oftentimes requested the customs officials to ignore players bags and materials.83 Buda recalled how with football players he simply called the customs authorities and spoke to its former leader, Andrs Terpitk. Terpitk would run down to the customs station, and Buda, knew that the boys would be OK.84 Priors to Budas tenure as president of MOB and the OTSH from the late 1970s mid 1980s, Terpitk 82 Attila Csszri, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 20 May 2015. 83 Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013. 84 Ibid.

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310 served as president of the Hungarian Football Ass ociatio n from 1970 1974. Terpitk undoubtedly unders tood Budas desire to protect the football players from smuggling related punishments. Yet Buda discuss ed this specific example only with respect to football players He did not specify helping athletes from other sports in this way, or under which circumstances he made this request.85 At the very least, Budas admission points his efforts to extend his connections and help facilitate the smuggling activities of some football players in the 1970s and 1980s. The stories of athletes unlimited smuggling after the Olympic Games and Budas use of connections to help football players stand in stark contrast to the anxiety and fear that other athletes evinced in their interviews. Beyond the golden plane, the sport leadership did not seem to work from a calcu lated plan with the customs officials in terms of when to protect (or not protect) their athletes. S port leaders such as Buda seemed to decide on a caseby case basis when to request help from the customs authorities with the returning athletes. By ensur ing that athletes remained unaware of how strictly they would be checked by the border officials, sport leaders kept athletes on their toes and constantly fearful of punishment Budas plan worked: almost every narrator who smuggled described a tangible f ear of the customs authorities when returning from trips abroad outside of the Olympic Games Fencer Gbor Sometimes the [customs] inspectors controlled. Sometimes they were strict, sometimes not. But you have to writewhich goods you hadI [would] say it is 10 liter of tie material, and it was 20. [Laughs]. 85 Discussing the special position of football in socialist Hungary is beyond the scope of this work. Yet the special position of football in Hungary as a result of the Golden Teams enormous international success in the 1950s prior to the Revolution helped to shape the football communitys fate with regard to smuggling and many of the other extraordinary privileges that they received, as opposed to athletes in other sports.

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311 And they have not enough time to examine. But sometimes they controlled, and sometimes you have to pay, sometimes one sportsman had to give back his passport. It was not very dangerous, but it was dangerous .86 s explanation highlights the uncertainty that most athletes faced when crossing the border and encountering the customs authorities with smuggled goods. M ost athletes understood that they needed to underestimate the pri ce of their goods so that they did not exceed the limits in the Criminal Code. oftentimes overestimated the price of peoples goods, for example at 1,0003, 000 forints more than their actual value.87 As a result, athletes needed to calculate beforehand how much the customs authorities were likely overestimate their smuggled goods, so that they could exceed the limit without getting in trouble. They undoubtedl y relied on tips and information from fellow athletesmugglers, who constituted important members of their blat network. Getting caught could be dangerous because it hampered an athletes ability to travel and smuggle for a period of time. If an athlete su pported his or her familys lifestyle in part through profits from smuggled goods, such as the prospect of losing ones traveling privileges jeopardized their standard of living. Unlike some of my other narrators, was a secondtier athlete who traveled frequently for international competitions during his career from 19641985, but did not compete at the Olympic Games. He therefore enjoyed fewer connections, less help and protection from top sport leaders, in addition to a lower salary and no Olympic medal lump sum in comparison to people such as Grosics and Szvs Jr. 86 interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 11 July 2013. 87 Ibid.

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312 The story of Grosicss 1955 suspension illustrates, however how sport leaders did not always lend their help to toptier athletes. Even four time Olympian and water polo legacy Szvs Jr. could not predict when the sport leaders would instruct the customs authorities to look the other way. He recalled how, If we played well, at the border they allowed it to some degreeBut if we played badly, then the Customs Authoritieswell we needed to play well.88 Szvs Jr.s remark highlights an important facet of sport leaders use of connections and assistance with athletes smuggling: the role of their success at international competitions. His recollection corroborates sport leaders gifting of the golden plane and unlimited smuggling to athletes as a result of winning gold medals. It is no wonder, then, that Szvs Jr. pointed to success as a determining factor for sport leaders caseby case approach towards smuggling. Many athletes therefore needed to learn how to hide or shield their goods when they crossed the border and encountered the customs authorities. Sport leaders such as Buda tended to o ffer their connections and assistance to athletes whose achievements directly contrib uted to the Hungarian states larger sport diplomacy goals. In granting the best athletes the privilege to smuggle, Buda reciprocated athletes for their sport success. By instructing the customs authorities to turn a blind eye to the smuggling endeavors o f Olympic athletes, the Hungarian national body of sport used its own connections to circumvent socialist systems rules on smuggling and consumption.89 Bypassing the customs control enabled the best 88 Istv n Szvs Jr ., co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler Budapest, 16 April 2015. 89 Narcis Tulbure discusses similar the webs between complicit officials and ordinary citizens in Romania with regards to alcohol. Narcis Tulbure, The Socialist Clearing House: Alcohol, Reputation and Gender in

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313 athletes to avoid the anxieties about punishments with a suspension that would limit their ability to profit from smuggling goods for at least the next year Strategies for Success in Smuggling for Profit Outside of winning Olympic gold medals, Hungarian athletes needed to learn what kinds of goods where and f rom whom to buy them, how much they could safely bring in at one time, and how to best hide the items from the customs officials. As demonstrated by Szondys recollections at the beginning of the chapter, athletes relied upon their blat networks within th e sport community to receive this information. They sometimes also continued to benefit from the help of sport leaders. The time and effort that athletes needed to spend planning their smuggling endeavors also needs to be highlighted. Considering their amount of training, the year around competition schedules, and the pressure to achieve success on the fieldespecially when their smuggling privileges depended on it the fact that some athletes devoted significant attention to transporting goods and profiting from them illustrates the importance of the activity in their lives. T he extent to which a sport leader helped athletes depended on the athletes past, current, and future potential for success in the sport arena. The golden plane for the Olympic gold medal winners exemplifies this criterion. Yet sport success also depended on many factors outside of their control, such as the level of training and preparation of athletes from other countries The world beyond Hung arys borders, meaning the international sport community within the context of the Cold War, therefore Romanias Second Economy, in Communism Unwrapped : Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 ): 256.

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314 directly impacted athletes lives much more so than the average Hungarian. Athletes status and privileges were thus far more fluid and unstable than that of the ir compatriots .90 At the same time, Hungarian athletes enjoyed much higher financial and institutional support than other Hungarians, and certainly significantly more than many athletes in America and the West. In order to exert a measure of control over the precarity that they faced, athletes needed to act, train, compete and develop the right connections in and outside of socialist Hungary. To succeed in profiting from the sale of smuggled goods, they also needed to exhibit a considerable amount o f ambition and ingenuity, and sometimes experience oldfashioned luck. Ambitious athletes constantly sniffed out the goods in the greatest demand in each country and at home, how to obtain them, and from whom and/or where.91 According to the narrators the most common goods that they brought into and/or out of Hungary included nylon stockings, jeans, Gillette razor blades, electronics like radios and TVs, Hungarianmade sausages, and Soviet epe swords.92 In his autobiography 1964 Olympic gold medal pent athlete Ferenc Trk described when bought pocket radios at a Sanyo factory in Japan: 90 Within the communist context, elite athletes can be compared on some level to the Stakhanovite workers. Workers productivity levels at competitions (and thus the probability that they would win a prize and the privileges that came with it) depended on the quality of the machines and overall work environment, which were not always favorable. Athletes under communism can be compared to athletes from minority communities in the United States. Similar to AfricanAmericans in particular, sport was one of the few ways that Hungarians and their socialist neighbors could achieve social mobility under communism. For more on the conditions and privileges from during the Stakhanovite movement, see Lewis Siegalbaum, Stakhanovism and the Politics of Productiv ity in the USSR, 19351941 ( Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1988) 91 Trk, Ha kell, 109. 92 For a detailed list on the most frequent consumer items broad into Hungary from abroad between 19561989, see Hammer, A Gasoline Scented, 113116.

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315 In Japan it w as possible to obtain [them] for 10 dollars apiece, and at home [they] could sell for 15 dollarswith a water polo buddy of mine, we gathered ten dollars. We decided to go out to Yokohama, a Sanyo factory, to see if we could try to get them at factory prices. We arranged it by telephone beforehand, that we would like to see the factory. There they greeted us warmly, showed us everything, and asked what more th ey could do for us. Then we were upfront: these radios are really pleasing to us, and we would like to buy it from them, but found many [with] the retail prices. Oh well, it is not a problem, they could give two to us as a gift. We thanked them profusely, but we would prefer to buy them, if we can get them at factory prices. OK, said our guide, so $9.50 per piece. And how much would it be, if we could buy 5?....At the end...we bought 250 radios per head, at $5 apiece 93 The fact Trk and his fellow athletes took the initiative to arrange the factory visit and bargain their way to buying twohundredand fifty pocket radios in order to sell them at home is nothing short of impressive. Szondy was the only other narrator who described visiting a factory in another country to buy goods from their site of production. While in Moscow for a competition in early 1956, Szondy went to a blade factory with Soviet champion pentathlete Igor Novikov, who worked there.94 Szondy described trading threehundred pairs of nylon s tockings and underwear for pe swords and three jars of caviar from Novikov.95 Whereas Szondy visited the factory as a result of his socialist co nnection with Novikov, it is not clear how Trk discovered the factory, conducted the phone call, or arranged the visit. He most likely used a connection to serve as an interpreter for the entire exchange. Trk and Szondy therefore both learned about the 93 Trk Ha kell, 111. 94 Like his Hungarian counterparts, Novikov probably enjoyed a special sport job at the factory, and did not actually work there. For more on the nature of the sport jobs, see the previous chapter. 95 According to Szondy, the Russians had never seen so many pairs of nylon stockings, which were a very stylish and rare item in Eastern Bloc at that time. Szondy did not specify how many swords he received. He also did not state whether he received these items individually, or if he and his teammates brought the stockings together and then split the haul from Novikov amongst themselves. He also did not say if he sold the swords back home or kept them for himself. Istvn Szondy co interview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapes t, 9 June 2015.

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316 factories and arranged to visit them as a result of their international connections through sport The stories also demonstrate athletes efforts to obtain and sell goods across the world. illustrates the shifting dynamics of Hungarys post 1956 system of rules and priorities vis vis athl etes and the broader public. His escapades also highlight how athletes blat contacts with Western and Eastern European athletes when he first began traveling abroad with his sport clu b Vasutas (Railroad Workers Club) and the Hungarian national fencing team in the midthe fencing and the smuggling 96 He stressed more than any other athlete the extent to which he viewed his sport career and si de endeavors (including smuggling) in equal terms. This does not mean that he was not serious about fencing; in fact, he fenced at the international level for over twenty years and continues to fence in Hungary today. His statement instead illustr ates his understanding that his ability to profit from smuggled goods depended on his continued sport success. It also shows the importance of his smuggling activities during his career as an active sportsman. of sought after goods from West to East. When he fenced against the Soviets, he traded Western European received $30 from the West Germans. He then spent the $30 on Italian goods in Milan, 96 interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 11 July 2013.

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317 which he subsequently sold for $60 in Hungary.97 how, I have said that the three goods which I have not had any activity [with] are arms, drugs and girls. But all others [goods]. 98 His endeavors point more broadly to a continental community of connections that he developed through blat with other athletes while and work beyond the Cold War divide between East and West. international smuggling network and expertise, the fear of discovery always loomed over his activities. On the train ride home from a twoweek compartment and hid thirty wigs in there until after they passed the customs officials. about their father losing his job with the Planning Office if they were caught with the extra wigs.99 remaine d the only narrator who described worrying about a family member facing retribution as a result of his activities as an athletesmuggler. s experiences and memories as an athletesmuggler and entrepreneur stand out above all the other ones I gathered in the oral histories. This is not only because of the international web described above, nor his removal of the train compartment ceiling to hide wigs. also obtained a highly coveted business permit and used his small store as a way to legitimize his efforts to profit from the crossborder transport of goods. Perhaps more than anything else, his experiences 97 Ibid. 98 Ibid. 99 Ibid.

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318 were unique because he conducted these activities and enjoyed the opportunities in spite of his status as a secondtier, non Olympic athlete. Other athletes who received small business permits included Grosics and Andrs Sallay, both of whom won Olympic medals. Although he achieved significantly less athletic success than Grosics and Sallay, received the permit in 1971 and operated a clothing store with his wife. Upon obtaining the permit, he smuggled a few sewing machines home and used them to produce the sweaters that he sold in the store.100 He continued to use his opportunities to travel abroad for competitions to bring home the material necessary to make the sweaters. By receiving official permission to sell the materials he brought home from abroad, the permit essentially legitimized his smuggling endeavors. The fencer admitted that he partly continued his fencing careers which last over twenty years as a result of the traveling and smuggling opportunities that it afforded him .101 operating the store after he retired from fencing and did not close it until the system change in 1989. I would be remiss not to mention another key reason why s memories stand out within my collection of oral histories. The fencer probably felt more comfortable sharing these stories with me than most of my other narrators because of our connection through Edit Nagy, who incidentally is my Hungarian language teacher and s daughter in law. Nagy personally introduced us when I conducted preliminary research in Budapest in 2013. She described my project at length to and suggested that I would be interested in hearing his smuggling stories. He was also 100 Ibid. 101 He paid a tip to the tax inspectors This enabled him to report lower profits to the state than his store actually made. Ibid

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319 the first person that I interviewed for this research. My connection to through Nagy undoubtedly laid the foundation for a relaxed interview environment, and for a trusting relationship wherein he felt comfortable sharing these memories with me. An incident that Olympic pentathlete Attila Csszri experienced at the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games illustrates how sport leaders sometimes literally turned a blind eye to their smuggling activities.102 At the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, Css zri served as the alternate for the Hungarian pentathlon team. Since he did not need to compete, Csszri s teammates task ed him with selling the large number of Hungarian Trapper blue jeans that the four memb er team brought with them to Moscow .103 While di viding up the profits amongst his teammates at the hotel, Buda happened to walk in the door. Fortunately for Csszri and his teammates, Buda simply asked for a drink and told them that they clearly did not need the per diem that he planned to give them.104 Incidents l ike this demonstrate the toler ance that sport leaders sometimes displayed towards athletes smuggling, particularly if they competed at the Olympic s. Although people such as h a highly developed skill set anyone who smuggled also relied upon a significant amount of luck Two time Olympic silver medal canoeist Tams Wichmann encountered an incident where he escaped discovery 102 Although Liviu Chelcea discusses smuggling in the sense of trader tourism in a Romanian town that borders Hungary, she categorizes the three types of trader tourists as profit seeking, householdoriented, and leisureseeking trader tourists. While the f irst two categories contain similarities with the athletesmuggler busin the terms do not quite fit the athletesmuggler phenomenon as a whole. Liviu Chelcea, A Culture of Shortage, 26. 103 For a fascinating piece on why blue jeans carried connotations ranging from privilege, sex appeal, authority and freedom, see Ferenc Hammer, Sartorial Maneuvers in the Dusk: Blue Jeans in Socialist Hungary, in Citizenship and Consumption, eds. K. Soper and F. Trentmann ( London: Palgrave M acmillian, 2008 ): 6061. 104 Attila Csszri, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 20 May 2015.

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320 and punishment only as a result of luck. Wichmann described how a $20 American bill fell out of his shir t pocket just as a customs official turned away to speak with someone else. Fortunately for Wichmann, he snatched it up in time and was not penalized for his actions.105 He recalled feeling an enormous sense of relief, and shuddered as he shared the memory. also explained the role of luck in escaping punishment in his twenty years as an athletesmuggler businessman. careful, and you must be lucky. And I was lucky.106 Since Olympics, he did not e njoy the same level of privileges as other top athletes like to five year passport suspension, therefore halting his chance at athletic success, his smuggling activities and hurting hi s small business factor in the relationship between athletes and sport leaders under state socialism: the more successful an athlete proved on the field, the more privileges and leniency that he or she typically enjoyed from the state through sport leaders Without protection from Finally, it is worth pointing out that some athletes did not share their stories of bringing goods ac ross borders with the same enthusiasm as and the others For example, Olympic gold medal canoeist Istvn Vaskuti described bringing jeans and Hungarianproduced kayak and canoeing paddles with him abroad and selling them to other canoeists, such as i n the Soviet Union.107 But he deemphasized his smuggling 105 Tams Wichmann, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, 11 November 2014. 106 interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 11 July 2013. 107 I nterestingly, most female athletes gave responses similar to Vaskuti, claiming that they did not make smuggling a business; unlike Vaskuti however, on the whole female athletes only seemed to smuggle on a very small scale, in that they simply brought bac k items to their families. Out of the nine female

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321 endeavors and differentiated between his activities and those of the football and water polo players, who did serious business.108 He regaled how the water polo team brought back so many jeans after capturing the 1976 Olympic gold medal that the plane could barely take off.109 Interestingly, Vaskuti ended this part of the interview by saying that these were all stories. The meaning behind Vaskutis comment is not entirely clear. At the very least, it im plies a certain defensiveness or wariness on his part about the subject of smuggling.110 Vaskutis phrasing illustrates that on some level, the stories of the water polo players smuggling helped to shape Vaskutis memories and presentation of his past activ ities during the interview. The stories also influenced Vaskutis current conceptualization of what did and did not constitute serious smuggling in that time.111 athletes interviewed, only one of them shared smuggling stories that were similar to the mens. In her case, Tungsram basketball player Anna Molnr discussed selling chewing gum in Moscow, and bringing back electronic equipment in the midlate 1980s. Molnr is a close friend, so perhaps she felt more comfortable sharing her stories with me than other women. Istvn Vaskuti, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 21 October 2014; Anna Molnr, co interview wi th Johanna Mellis and Dorka Timr, Szentendre, 12 April 2015. 108 Istvn Vaskuti, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 21 October 2014. 109 Ibid. 110 A few people in the sport community avoided smuggling altogether, such as competitive shooter Lszl Hammerl and womens basketball coach Lszl Killik. Both men explained that that sort of activity was not for them. Lenke Kiss, who played for Killik on the national basketball team in the 1970s and 1980s, described how Killik did not tolerate smuggling and activ ely tried to dissuade his athletes from doing it. Compared to their contemporaries, Hammerl and Killiks position on smuggling seemed to stem from their personalities. They believed that smuggling distracted athletes from their main purpose: to train and perform to the best of their ability. Lszl H ammerl interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 27 February 2015; Lszl Killik, co interview with Johanna Mellis, Anna Molnr, and Andrs Timr, Budapest, 8 July 2013; Lenke Kiss, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 8 April 2015. 111 Several other athletes referenced the 1976 Olympic water polo players and smuggling jeans, which helps to confirm at least some of Vaskutis story. Yet as with the tales surrounding the Aranycsapat s smuggling, whether Vaskutis story of the water polo pl ayers is true or not does not diminish the significance of Vaskutis testimony. It remains interesting that in their memories, Vaskuti and other athletes used seemingly larger thanlife smuggling stories to differentiate their activities, and their

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322 Discovering the Limits and Getting Caught Although it proved in nearly everyones best interest i f athletes smuggling remained unchecked and below the radar, instances arose in which the opposite occurred. The following analysis explores four cases in which either domestic or foreign authorities caught athletes trying to transport or sell goods w hose value exceeded the legal limit. Athletes who were caught received a range of punishments, although it typically amounted to a suspension from international competitions and travel for oneto five years Examining the incidents chronologically from 1963 1988 underscores a wide range of changing dynamics with the Hungarian sport community, the politics of Eastern Bloc sport, the portrayal of athletes as role models, and the necessity of computer equipment in late socialism Unfortunately for some of the best athletes, their connections within the sport l eadership could not help them if their crimes proved especially serious. The Case of the Pentathletes in 19631964 One of the most severe athletesmuggl ing cases concerned three of Hungarys best pentathletes of all time: Andrs Balcz, Ferenc Trk and Istvn Mona. Hungarian pentathletes as a whole achieved incredible success during the 1950s 1970s. In particular, Trk Balcz, and Mona dominated the international pentathlon stage from 19601972 by winning three individual and two team Olympic gold medals during this time frame. Unlike the other athletes in this analysis, Balcz and Mona were apprehended while trying to sell smuggled goods by the foreign authorities in Romania. identit ies as well, from those of other top athletes. Istvn Vaskuti, Istvn Vaskuti, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 21 October 2014.

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323 The fact that the crime occurred outside of Hungary seemed to push the issue beyond where Hungarian sport leaders or the state could help stave off their eventual punishment. While traveling to the 1963 World Championships in Switzerland, the three a thletes brought working capital with them in order to buy goods in Vienna on the journey home.112 While Trk used his money to buy a car, Balcz and Mona bought clothes with the intent of selling them in Romania.113 Unfortunately for Balcz and Mona, the Romanian authorities caught them trying to sell the smuggled clothing.114 Trk indeed proved lucky, since purchasing the car on the 1963 trip left him without enough money to buy clothes in Vienna to sell in Romania. What followed constituted a bold and seem ingly counterintuitive move by the Hungarian sport leadership and state : Balcz and Mona were banned from competition for one year, including from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. T h e two athletes had just won a combined individual gold and silver and a team gold medal at the 1963 World Championships; it is therefore highly plausible to assume that they would have compete d well in Tokyo. The decision to ban Balcz and Mona clearly hurt the Hungarian Olympic teams chances for success at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hu ngarian sport leaders typically tried to protect athletes from punishments like this. It 112 Trk, Ha kell, 79. 113 Ferenc Trk, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 8 June 2015. 114 Som fencer respectively, both said that Balcz and Mona had smuggled and tried to sell watches in Romania, and not clothes. Although neither of them were present for the incident (at any point), both claimed to be close friends with Balcz. This raises the issue of whether who misremembered the story: Balcz, Trk or Balczs friends. Gyula Bretz, interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 1 June 2015; i co interview with Johanna Mellis and Jlia Tth, Budapest, 5 May 2015.

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324 appears that in this case, since the incident occurred in a foreign country and not on home soil, the OTSH and state could not protect them entirely from punishment. M ost of the potential explanations for the mens suspension 1964 hinge on the fact that the y were apprehended by foreign authorities The Romanian government and authorities might have pressured their Hungarian counterparts to discipline the athletes with a serious punishment. This perspective falls in line with the Romanian governments desire to pursue a national road to socialism from the mid1950s onwards. During this time, Romanian socialist leaders implemented policies that they believed would benefit their foreign policy and public image in the eyes of Romanians and Westerners alike. Romanian sport leaders enjoyed a history of using its diplomatic prowess to influence sport decisions that boosted the states goals.115 By pressuring the Hungarians to sus pend the athletes, the Romanian leadership ensured that their pentathletes would be one step closer to Olympic success in Tokyo. Yet the Soviets also stood to gain on the Olympic podium by forcing the Hungarian sport leaderships hand with the pentathletes In fact, the Soviets and H ungarians consistently fielded two of the top four strongest pentathlon teams at every Summer Olympic Games between 19561972. Trk himself advocated this theory in his memoir.116 Considering the Olympic medal winning potential o f Soviet athletes in the event that some of the Hungarian pentathletes could not compete, Trk s contention holds significant weight. 115 Mihaela Wood, Romania at the Olympics: Women Gymnasts as Ambassador s in Sportswear, 1950s 1970s, Revista Arhivelor 84, 34 (2007): 373381. 116 Trk, Ha kell, 80.

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325 When Trk met with Istvn Kutas, thenpresident of the Hungarian Pentathlon Association, following the incident, Kutas explained that his hands were tied in the matter. Kutass role in the affair deserves exploration. The Hungarian sport leadership sent warnings to athl etes in the form of punishments in order to send a message about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.117 Trk described how prior to the 1963 World Championships, Kutas warned all three of them that they needed to cease their smuggling. Uncle Pisti, as Trk a ffectionately referred to Kutas, reportedly told them that if they did not heed the warning, Kutas would give them the boot.118 Perhaps Kutas wanted to follow through on his threat and assert his authority on the matter. Trk, however, described how Uncle P isti quivered while telling Trk that the athlete was lucky to have been left out of the hoopla.119 This suggests that Kutas was most likely not solely responsible for the decision. The current national sport body, the MTST, might also have wanted to send a message to the Hungarian sport community about the dangers of smuggling activities abroad. T hat most of the fencers and pent athletes interviewed during my research knew about the pentathletes smuggling scandal in Romania testifies to the impact of the message to the sport community at large. The scandal indeed was infamous, as athletes did not 117 Evelyn Mertin compares two Soviet athletes in terms of how their attitudes and behaviors helped shape their interactions with the state (and how the state attempted to mold their public images). Evelyn Mertin, Presenting Heroes: Athletes as Role Models f or the New Soviet Person, The International Journal of the History of Sport 26, 4 ( March 2009): 469 483. 118 Trk, Ha kell, 79. 119 Trk said that for Kutas, athletes results, were more important than such petty reprisalsand he really loved the sport, so he was not likely to sabotage himself. Ibid 80.

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326 mention another smuggling case regarding athletes being caught in a foreign country in their interviews. Without Balcz and Mona, Trk remained the top hope for Hungary to win gold in modern pentathlon in Tokyo. Kutas told Trk that he would give Trk every possible support method to prepare effectively, specifically at the training camp in the months before the Tokyo Olympics.120 Kutas may not have been able t o help Balcz and Mona avoid punishment. Yet Trk recalled in unspecified terms that Kutas helped him obtain everything he needed. Trk also remembered how Kutas told him that he had to win in Tokyo. They put such a burden on me, Trk recounted.121 Other athletes re called feeling pressure to win at the Olympic Games.122 Fortunately for Trk, the pressure from Kutas did not deter him. Trk won the individual gold medal at the 1964 Olympic Games. The suspension of the two pentathletes illustrates the li mits of the sport leaderships ability to help save athletes in event that they were apprehended in a foreign country for smuggling. Since Trk did not detail the assistance that Kutas offered him to prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games, it is difficult to ascertain the kind of help he received and how much it aided his victory. In light of Kutass trembling reaction to the athletes suspension and the pressure he placed on Trk to win gold, Kutas likely did offer the pentathlete significant aid in his pre parations. The sport leader probably suffered under significant pressure to produce an Olympic victory after the 120 Ibid. 121 Ferenc Trk, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Mikls Zeidler, Budapest, 8 June 2015. 122 Zoltn Magyar, cointerview with Johanna Mellis and Zoltn Pl, Budapest, 27 April 2015.

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327 debacle in Romania. Despite the pressure Trk experienced from Kutas, the incident illustrates the power that athletes could wield vis vis sport leaders who were desperate for Olympic victory. The Troublesome Gyula Grosics The footballer Gyula Grosics seemed to be a constant thorn in the sport leaderships side. Within the first seven years of socialist rule, Grosics developed quite a track r ecord. The secret police apprehended him in 1949 trying to defect to the West. Then in 1955 he received a oneyear suspension, ostensibly for smuggling goods. In the months following the 1956 Revolution, Grosics stayed abroad with his fellow teammates and played exhibition games in South America. He hoped to find a professional team abroad but after being suspended by FIFA for one year, he returned home sometime in the late 1950s .123 Unfortunately for the leadership, Grosics continued to push the boundaries o f his privileges even after retiring from sport. Grosicss experiences in the 1970s illustrate the continued limits of the sport leaderships help for Olympic gold medalists, even when an incident occurred on home soil in late socialism. In the 1970s, his wife received a permit to open a boutique in downtown Budapest.124 When discussing the Grosics incident, Buda remarked how the footballers wife received the permit when it was not able to be done.125 Buda who only allowed my cointerviewer to ask a handful of questions during the nearly fivehour 123 International Football Federation (FIFA) to National Affiliations, Information to the National Associations Affiliated to FIFA 17 July 1957, FIFA Archives Zurich Switzerland. 124 More research is necessary to determine when Grosics wi fe received the stor e permit and when Grosics was punished for smuggling in computers. 125 Istvn Buda, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Emese Ivan, Budapest, 12 July 2013.

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328 interview did not elaborate on why this permit proved so unique. The fact that Grosicss wife obtained it, and not the athlete himself, is probably the reason. Under the guise of his wife s shop Grosics used the s tore to sell his plunder from abroad.126 At first he sold smuggled items such as jeans, sport outfits and trinkets, and he sometimes coordinated with the younger football players to sell the items that they smuggled for him. None of these activities appear ed to pose a problem for Buda when the former sport leader recalled the story. Budas willingness to call Terpitk to request his assistance with footballers at the border underscores the sport leaders willingness to help and protect athletes when it came to certain kinds of smuggling. B uda thereby relied on his bureaucratic connections in order to protect his athletes eligibility and reputation, and his sport goals more broadly. According to Buda however, Grosics began to play the game of smuggling on a bigger scale that pushed the matter beyond the limits of Budas help. While using his connections as a former athlete and a store owner, Grosics started selling smuggled computer equipment in his shop. With the sale of smuggled computers Grosics crossed the metaphorical line. Computers were a prized possession in the socialist states; the Western nations kept the item on the official COCOM list of goods that they could not sell legally to the Eastern Bloc countries.127 According to Buda, the fact that Gros ics specifically sold smuggled Western computers pushed Grosicss case beyond the point where Buda could help him.128 Buda described Grosics s attempts to sell the smuggled 126 Ibid. 127 COCOM stands for Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls. 128 Ibid.

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329 computer equipment as greedy 129 Grosicss punishment was likely meant to be an example to warn others not to behave similarly. His wife likely lost the business permit and store. It is not clear what kind of punishment Grosics himself received. But according to Buda, the punishment proved severe enough to convince Grosics that the Hungari an state held a vendetta against him.130 As discussed with pentathletes Balcz and Mona, perhaps the state sought to use Grosicss punishment as an example for the broader Hungarian sport community. Despite being a member of Hungarys best football team in history, Grosics pushed the limits of his sport connections too far. At that point, neither his status nor connections at the OTSH could save him. Sndor Wladr as a Lesson in the 1980s The case of swimmer Sndor Wladr illustrates the lengths the sport leadership sometimes went to portray an athletes smuggling and capture as a lesson to the Hungarian people about the states expectations regarding proper behavior. The incident moreover demonstrates the impor tance of perceived intent and character for athletes who participated in smuggling, even if they only did it for personal reasons. Prior to the incident, Wladr appeared as the epitome of the young star athlete in late socialist Hungary. He won gold in th e 200 meter backstroke at the 1980 Mos cow Olympic Games. In August 1984, the customs authorities caught Wladr bringing art work to West Germany. Unlike most of the other cases in this chapter, the Wladr incident reached the public eye. The afternoon radio program 168 ra ( 168 Hours ) discussed the incident publicly. The first few minutes of the program included an 129 Ibid. 130 Ibid.

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330 interview with Wladr by well known sports reporter Lszl Radnti Wladr said that the customs officials overestim ated the value of the pict ures, which s also discussed as a typical tactic in his interview Perhaps it was simply a common excuse that athletes and Hungarians more generally used when caught at the border with questionable goods. The assessment points to the circulation and sharing of knowledge (and excuses) in Hungary through socialist connections. The program host moreover interviewed the General Secretary of the Hungarian Swimming Association (hereafter the MUSz ), Jzsef Ruza, about the affair on the program.131 During the in terview Ruza recounted Wladrs explanation that he brought the art to his godmother in Bonn as a gift.132 The customs authorities estimated the total worth of Wladrs thirty pictures as 8, 650 forints, or $166 USD. Ruza explained that the estimated value o f the pictures was above the standard amount of 1, 000 5 000 forints that customs officials allowed Hungarians to bring in at that time. The estimated value of the pictures instead fell within the category of misdemeanor offenses.133 T he General Secretary of MUSz explained his belief in Wladr s innocence since the swimmer seemed to take the pieces out of Hungary without self interest.134 The program host and Ruza both agreed that Wladr possessed a high moral character, even for a champion swimmer.135 The cu stoms authorities initially charged Wladr with 131 168 ra Interview 13 October 1984, Subfond 40, Series 1, Box 5, RFE 300 OSA, Budapest, Hungary 132 Ibid. 133 Ibid. 134 Ibid. 135 The discussion of Wladrs case appears similar to the lifestyle debates that occurred in Hungarian newspapers over issues such as whether citizens should have another child or buy a car. See Tamas Dombos and Lena Pellandini Simanyi, Kids, Cars, or Cashe ws? Debating and Remembering

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331 a misdemeanor. The investigation concluded that Wladr acted in or good faith, largely because the individual pictures were not highly valuable.136 The court ultimately struck down the charges, and Wladr reportedly promised to refrain from similar activities in the future. Two factors clearly mattered to the court and state officials in the case: what people intended (or appeared to intend) to do with smuggled goods and maintaining the moral character of popular figures in socialist society. It is not entirely clear why the court did not pursue Wladrs case further. Perhaps the court simply believed Wladrs testimony. It is more likely however that his connections, either through MUSz, the O TSH, or his sport club worked to smooth out the situation and depict the case as a lesson to the public As an Olympic gold medalist with a promising career ahead of him, Wladrs sport connections ensured that he could continue his career and contribute t o Hungarys sport diplomacy goals. He therefore enjoyed a level of connections on par w ith athletes such as Gyula Grosics and Istvn Szvs Jr. Wladr also experienced significantly more success than fencer Gbor who did compete on the Olympic team. The sport leadership seemed much more willing to intervene with the help of their connections in cases with Olympic gold medalists, particularly if the person was still active in elite sport. Ruza and the program host discussed several additional issues t hat speak to the differences in the experiences between Wladr and average citizens, and the role of the sport leadership and the state in the swimmers case. Ruza acknowledged how listeners Consumption in Socialist Hungary, in Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe, eds. Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012): 325350. 136 168 ra Interview 13 October 1984, Su bfond 40, Series 1, Box 5, RFE 300 OSA, Budapest, Hungary

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332 might react to the story and simply think that he received special treatment as an athlete. He admitted that listeners were, not swimmers, they are such state citizens who think that they are, punished much more unfairly than Wladr.137 Ruza did not elaborate on this statement. Perhaps he sought to appeal to listeners who might view the incident as another attempt by the state to use a case of a prized cultural figure whose conditions surely would not apply to them as average people as a lesson for them about appropriate behavior. The program host Katalin Rangos asked the swimming leader two surprisingly pointed and difficult questions about the case. Rangos boldly asked if Ruza, permitted, contributed or perhaps ordered photographs of the case to be released to a TV news station .138 Ruza simply explained th at there wa s no alliance between the [swimming] association and the TV station.139 She moreover questioned him about the connection between this incident and another case regarding Wladr, and if his suspension and court trial were revenge for his troubles.140 Rangos did not explain further about the swimmers troubles. She likely referred to the fact that Wladr quit training with his coach, Tams Szechy in 1983. Szechy was one of Hungarys most successful swimming coaches of all time, leading many other Hungarian s wimmers to win Olympic 137 megbntettl, mint Wladrt. Ibid 138 Ibid. 139 Ibid. 140 Although more research into the issue is necessary Wladr also hoped to come to the US to train at an American university in the early 1980s.

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333 and World Championship medals in the 1980s and 1990s.141 Wladr became Szechys first swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal. In 2013 Wladr spoke publicly about why he left Szechy in 1983. Importantly, the swimmer recalled how their rel ationship deteriorated in 1983 because Szechy tried to terrorize, humiliate [me] in front of others, and this was hard to endure at the age of twenty.142 Considering the issues that surrounded the swimmer at the time, MUSz likely decided to show leniency t owards him to ensure that Wladr continued competing internationally for Hungary. They perhaps also pursued this route as a concession to secure the swimmers willing cooperation with them in sport. Ruza also repeatedly explained that he remained responsible for suspending Wladr from sport until after court made their decision.143 Ruza thus maintained his role in the decision, hoping to counter the assumption that his superiors instruct ed him to do it. The program aimed to uncover the connections between the state, sport leadership, and the press in the situation. Wladrs case and the interview on 168 ra is almost entirely unique. M ost smugglingrelated cases with athletes never reached the public eye ; if they did, they were not discussed at length in the media. The interview and publicizing of Wladrs experiences served several purposes. First, it affirmed Wladrs high status and exceptional opportunities as an Olympic champion athlete. Ruzas responses in 141 These swimmers included Jzsef Szab, Tams Darnyi, Attila Czene, Andrs Hargitay and Zoltn Verraszt. The successes of Dvid Verraszt and Dniel Gyurta have also been linked to Szechy. 142 Magyar Hirlap, 10 May 2013, accessed November 15, 2015, sandor adossagaegyre no es no. 143 According to the interview, a TV news station obtained photos of the artwork that Wladr has tried to bring to Bonn. Ruza said that there was no alliance between the [swimming] association and the TV station. 168 ra, Interview, 13 October 1984, Subfond 40, Series 1, Box 5, RFE 300, OSA Budapest, Hungary

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334 particular appeared to cater to possible complaints about the case and athletes special privileges more broadly. His remarks also indirectly warned listeners about the dangers of smuggling significant quantities of goods for ordinary nonelite Hungarians. Moreover, Ruza and the Hungarian court did not depict Wladr as a criminalized athlete, as the leaders in the 1950s might have done; rather, the late socialist state sought to save Wladrs reputation as an at hletehero in Hungarian society and overruled the customs authorities smuggling charges. The lack of consensus between the customs officials and sport leaders highlights an interesting aspect of their working relationship: while the two bodies largely worked together to spare top athletes from punishment, sometimes they did not. Perhaps their lack of solidarity or cooperation explains why the case reached the public eye Despite his insistence to the contrary, Ruzas calculated responses suggest that the MUSz and OTSH most likely coordinated how to use the incident to their advantage. In lieu of attempting to retroactively cover up the scandal, sport leaders and the court sought to maintain Wladrs reputation in the face of public scrutiny. It proved more instructive for public opini on to send a warning about Wladr, and use him as a lesson about both the dangers of smuggling for average people Sport leaders moreover smoothed over the situation in order to enable the swimmer to keep competing, and perhaps to coopt him to conti nue working with the sport leadership towards their sport diplomacy goals. Anna Molnr and Computer Technology in Late Socialism The experiences of Anna Molnr further highlight the limits of sport leaders help and connections, as well as athletes persi stence with smuggling and use of connections outside of sport. Molnrs capture and punishment for smuggling moreover remained the only one I discovered that involved a female athlete. The female narrators

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335 proved much more likely to downplay and/or explici tly denigrate the act of bringing goods in and out of Hungary for profit. Most of them only shared one or two short examples of items they transported back for personal or family use. Molnrs situation was also unique because of her role in my research. I met her and her family through a close academic mentor who introduced us specifically so that Molnr and her husband could help me find people for the oral histories. Unlike most of my other narrators, I first heard about her stories at an informal dinner I conducted an oral history with her almost two years later. In the year prior to the interview, my husband conducted private English lessons with her once a week. Therefore when I interviewed Molnr with her daughter in April 2015, I knew about which st ories to ask. Importantly, she also trusted me wholeheartedly to share these memories. Molnr played for the Tungsram Sport Club basketball team but never on the national team. In 1985 she traveled to Belgium for her first sport relat ed trip abroad and tr ied to bring back a Hi Fi stereo system with her teammates.144 They believed that by separating the parts of the system, they would not exceed the maximum value of goods that an individual could bring back into Hungary.145 After being caught by the customs of ficials, the OTSH revoked Molnrs sport passport for one year. Without the sport passport Molnr could not travel with the team when they played abroad, thus curbing her smuggling activities as well.146 If Molnr had be en an Olympic level athlete and 144 Molnr had traveled abroad before with her family. Her f ather operated an insect extermination company, and he took the family on trips to the West, such as to Spain, when Molnr was a young teenager. Anna Molnr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Dorka Timr, Budapest, 12 April, 2015. 145 While Molnr thinks that she and her teammates might hav e been set up to be punished, I ha ve not been able to confirm it. Ibid. 146 Although Molnr only lost her traveling privileges for one year, it remained a formative experience for her. She recalled the anxiety and nervousness she felt when the officials questioned her and her three

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336 enjoyed highlevel connections perhaps the OTSH could have shielded her from the yearlong suspension. The incident did not deter Molnr from smuggling in the future, however. After the suspension ended she quickly resumed her endeavors. From 19861989, she freq uently coordinated her smuggling efforts with local small businesses. Once or twice a year before traveling abroad for a competition, Molnr visited an electronics store. After telling a salesperson her destination, the store employee would write down the brand name and type of product that he or she wanted Molnr to bring back. Molnr needed to use her own money to buy the product, usually in the form of dollars or West German Marks.147 If Molnr succeeded in smuggling the item past the customs officials, the store owner bought the product from her, giving her a sizable profit in return. For example, Molnr once bought a computer related item in Vienna for 4,000 forints, which comprised one months salary from her sport club. She sold it to the electronics store for 10,000 forints and pocket ed a profit of 6,000 forints.148 Molnr knew that the multi step smuggling process could bring a significant dividend of oneand a half times her monthly salary. But only if she remained careful when passing the customs office. The United States and Western nations typically did not take issue with Eastern European and Soviet citizens who smuggled mundane, harmless items back to their teammates and when she went to the OTSHs headquarters in downtown Budapest to return her passport. Interestingly, in the early 2000s Molnr received a job working for the Ministry of Sport, which operated in the same building as its predecessor, the OTSH. The apprehension that she felt upon returning to the OTSHs former offices, which she had not visited since the 1985 incident, symbolizes the power of and fear she felt towards the OTSH and customs officials back then. It also signifies the incidents impact on her life, even after 1989. Ibid. 147 Ibid. 148 According to, in January of 1986 6000 forints was equivalent to about $131 USD. Ibid.

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337 home countries. In fact, this activity helped to prove the superiority of the lifestyles and consumer culture that Western nati ons provided for their citi zens in comparison to the Bloc states. But the Americans and their allies viewed electronics and computer related equipment quite differently during the Cold War. Beginning in the late 1940s, the United States aimed to stop the Soviet Union and the satelli te states from obtaining the necessary components for building highspeed computers through the development of the COCOM embargo list known. The Americans feared that the Soviets and their allies would use the computers to improve their military capacity, particularly as it related to the design of weapon and delivery systems and antiballistic missile systems.149 One of the ways that the socialist nations over came the hurdle posed by COCOM and obtaining the Wests technological and scientific secrets lay in industrial espionage.150 The extent to which the Hungarian state security services used people with extensive traveling privileges like athletes to acquire technological information and equipment is unclear.151 the state security services in the late 1970s to gather intelligence from his brother in West Germany. His brother, who defected to the FRG immediately after the 1956 Revolution, 149 Frank Cain, Computers and the Cold War: Restrictions on the Export of Computers to the Soviet Union and Communist China, Journal of Contemporary History 40,1 (Jan. 2005): 143. 150 Kristie Macrakis argues that when it came to industrial espionage the East ern Bloc countries mainly wanted to use it to invigorate or support their faltering economies rather than for national security reasons. See Kristie Macrakis, Espionage and Technology Transfer in the Quest for Scientific Technical Prowess, in Science Under Socialism: East Germany in Comparative Perspective eds. Krist ie Macrakis and Dieter Hoffmann ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999): 82. 151 Jonathan Zatlin discusses the ineffectiveness of the East German secret police forces in terms of in dustrial espionage. While GDR agents sometimes obtained highly advanced pieces of technology, the secret police went to great (and absurd) lengths to verify the political reliability of the agent who gathered the item, which hampered their use of the equipment. Moreover, sometimes the GDR also lacked the available facilities, personnel and components to utilize he illegally obtained items. Jonathan Zatlin, Out of Sight: Industrial Espionage, Ocular Authority and East German communism, 19651989, Contempor ary European History 17, 1 (Feb. 2008): 48.

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338 the state security servi ces left him alone after he declined to help deliver the information that they requested.152 His experience demonstrates that while the Hungarian security services tried to use athletes with traveling privileges and useful connections abroad for technical es pionage, athletes could and did refuse to help them. Some athletes did aid the Hungarians in obtaining computer related equipment during the Cold War. Grosics and Molnrs experiences demonstrate how some athletes realized the financial potential of partic ipating in smuggling technological products. In addition to working with a Budapest electronics store, she also received information through her socialist contacts within sport. Molnr recollected learning from her team masseuse about the financial opportunity that could arise from smuggling back a computer mouse. Interestingly, Molnr was confused, because she did not know what a mouse was.153 Molnrs interactions with the masseuse demonstrates the friendly help that typically constituted blat relations. According to Molnr, the masseuse offered the information freely and did not expect to be paid in return. Just as importantly, athletes participation in the buying, smuggling and domestic sale of computer related equipment constituted one of the ways th at the socialist countries like Hungary worked around the Cold War COCOM list. Although the Hungarian state did not directly participate in the exchange between athletes and electronics store, it certainly benefitted from these illicit exchanges of compute r technology between people like athletes and stores. 152 interview with Johanna Mellis, Budapest, 11 July 2013. 153 Anna Molnr, co interview with Johanna Mellis and Dorka Timr, Budapest, 12 April 2015.

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339 Conclusion Hungarian sport leaders struck a fine and often indecipherable line with athletes in regards to smuggling. The sport leaders only followed a loose set of rules when pulling their connections for athletes. They routinely worked with the customs authorities in order to allow Olympic gold medal athletes to bypass the border controls altogether after their Olympic wins with the golden train and/or plane. Budas recollections about Terpitk suggest that he also used his power and contacts to enable some footballers to bring goods freely across the border. In many ways, the sport leadership and sport c ommunity benefitted if athletes did not get caught and punished for smuggling. The cases of Grosics in 1955, and Balcz and Mona in 19631964 illustrate how athletes punishments for smuggling could hurt the nations chances of Olympic success. Kutass anx ieties over Trks performance at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games illustrates the pressure that sport leaders felt to produce success for their own superiors. Although Kutas redirected this pressure to Trk, the incident also demonstrated how sport leaders implicitly relied upon athletes to achieve gold medals and further the states sport diplomacy goals. Enabling athletes to smuggle maintained the cycle of reciprocity within the carrot andstick system that governed athletesport leader relations. The act ivity added to athletes unique privileges and helped to satisfy the desire to improve their lifestyles despite the restricted economy at home. Athletes endeavors also brought in various rare and/or unavailable consumer goods into the Hungarian economy and society at little to no cost to the state. A thletes therefore became conduits who transported consumer items to Hungarian society on a small, semi controlled scale. These smuggling stories therefore illustrate the increasing entanglement of athletes and sport

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340 leaders in the decades after 1956. The events of 1956, athletes knowledge about conditions in the West, and threat o f future defections continued to influence members of both groups to work together to reach their respective goals The smuggling cases highlight how sport leaders and athletes continued to push the limits of their relations with one another. Their evolvin g connections and interactions contained elements of patronage and blat and indeed likely existed somewhere in the middle of the two. Outside of the golden plane and Budas assistance to footballers, sport leaders only used their connections selectively to facilitate athletes participation in smuggling. Incidents in which athletes were captured and punished served as a message to others to be more careful and do less.154 Their seemingly haphazard approach made it difficu lt for athletes to predict with any certainty when and why the OTSH used their connections to either aid or show tolerance for their activities. This explains the anxiety and nervousness that athletes regularly felt when crossing the border. From an outsid ers perspective, it may seem that athletes fear of the customs authorities may have been more perceived than real; it may also appear as though athletes did not stand to lose as much by getting caught as they expressed in their interviews. From their st andpoint however, they had every reason to fear the officials every time they crossed the border with smuggled goods. Receiving a oneyear suspension hurt their chances at continuing their sport success and reaching the Olympic team. An athletes inability to compete at the Olympics impacted their potential future careers in sport, their smuggling opportunities, and the ability to achieve financial and material stability after retiring from sport. Less successful athletes did not enjoy the same protection a nd help 154 Istvn Vaskuti, interview with Johanna Mellis, Bud apest, 21 October 2014.

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341 incredible exploits, some secondtier athletes pursued their privileges with significant ambition and creativity. His experiences underscore the depth of opportuni ties available to nonOlympic athletes in late socialism, and how some took advantage of every possible opportunity to achieve the best standard of li ving during this time.

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342 CHAPTER 7 CONCLUDING REMARKS I will end this work by returning to the ind ividual wh o opened it : Attila Csszri. Csszri has led an extraordinary life. He grew up in a poor family and a fter reaching moderate success as a swimmer in the early mid 1970s, Csszri switched to modern pentathlon. He went to the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games as t he fourth and alternate member of the silver medal winning Olympic pentathlon team. Hungarys boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games prevented him from attempting to achieve his own Olympic medal. He retired in 1985 and soon thereafter became the General Secretary of the Hungarian Pentathlon Association. In 1988 he slowly began working with Adidas Hungary and became well known for his ability to connect Hungarian sport to Western businesses and sponsorships. Csszri weathered the regime change in 1989; alongside his business pursuits, he served on the International Pentathlon Federations Technical Committee, and also as president of the European Pentathlon Federation. Csszris experiences illustrate the peak of what Hungarian athletes could achiev e under socialism and even after 1989. The opportunity to interview Csszri emerged from my relationship with the basketball player Anna Molnr and her husband Andras Timr. Timr worked with Csszri in the late 1980s 1990s on a sport business endeavor and the couple remain friends with him today My ability to interview Csszri was thus predicated on the conditions of my network more akin to the socialist connections of blat than patronagewithin the Hungarian sport community. After months of expressing my interest in interviewing Csszri, Molnr and Timr arranged for us to meet at a basketball tournament series that Timr organized and that Adidas Hungary sponsored.

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343 My initial meeting with Csszri lasted no longer than a few minutes; he was al ways surrounded by other people and participated in several photo opportunities for the event. Finally, I briefly introduced myself and we shook hands. He agreed to an interview but explained that he was busy and could only give me one hour.1 He reiterated his time constraints when we arranged it over the phone. I approach ed the interview apprehensively, as he seemed to be doing it primarily as a favor to his friends. I could not be sure what he would be willing to share. After introducing himself and offering a brief summary of his background, Csszri took control of the interview. Before I could ask follow up questions about his family and childhood, h e explained that, In general, when I learned about your topic, then I wanted to start with my personal opinion.2 Csszri launched into his interpretation of why the socialist countries prioritized elite sport. In his view, considering the relative weakness of the socialist states economies their leaders viewed sport as a relatively cheap way to illustrate t heir power and strength to the world. Using Hungarys neighbor as an example, he declared that success through elite sport was, the only way to show that Romania is existing on the international stage.3 While I consistently asked the narrators to explai n in their own words the Hungarian states reasons for supporting elite sport, I also always aimed to ease the narrator into the interview with more comfortable questions about their family and upbringing before tackling the more difficult topics His insistence on the onehour timeframe and 1 The interview typically ranged from 90 minutes to two hours. Several lasted much longer, and only two interviews went for an hour. 2 Attila Csszri, interview with Johanna Mellis Budapest, 20 May 2015. 3 Ibid.

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344 approach to the interview likely related to his preconceived notions about what I wanted or needed to hear from him about the nature of the socialist sport system. Fortunately, Csszri gradually let his guard down. In fact, during the onehour andthirty eight minute interview he offered some of the most honest perspectives out of all of my narrators about Hungarian sport under socialism. For example, Csszri described how as a young athlete he developed a clear pic ture in his mind about the role that sport could play in advancing his life and career.4 He also understood that r eaching the Hungarian national pentathlon team meant that he would be among the best in the world, since Hungary was a global leader in the sport Csszri moreover emphasized his recognition of the possible career benefits available to him: If I looked around at the former successful modern pentathletes, it was easy to realize that if you have a membership, being on the national team, its automatically a guarantee for you, for your life, to be a good businessman, a doctor, a teacher, or a lawyer, because there was a wide list of former modern pentathletes in leading positions. So, one in one hundred had a bad career after the modern pentathlon.5 Every athlete might not have viewed their sport careers and the socialist sport system in such pragmatic and career oriented terms. Yet his recollection of the opportunities he saw available to him highlight many of the core features that undergirded the sport system in socialist Hungary, especially in the decades following the Revolution. When discussing the privileges that they received as elite athletes, most of the narrators seemingly divorced the sport system and community from that of the broader socialist political system in Hungary. Once I noticed this trend, I began trying to prod 4 Ibid. 5 Ibid.

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345 athletes to address directly how the socialist state impacted their lives. Csszris response below reveals many of the dynamics discussed in the previous chapters about athletes privileges and their relationships with sport leaders. I t also shows how some of them indeed viewed the sport system and the community as distinct or at least on some level different from the broader socialist government. Johanna Mellis: W hat role did it [the socialist system] have in your life as an athlete? Attila Csszri: An athleteluckily, I had personal relations with the representatives of the socialist country, like Istvn Buda, other leaders in this court. Istvn Kutas. Theyhad good personalities. So its strange to say that Im not angry for [at] Istvn Buda. But he made that decision [to boycott the 1984 Olympics]. Or he knows, that he was convinced by the political leadership. But at the same time, he was a kind person, it was good to sit together and discuss. So the general message of socialism with these kind of sport ambassadors, was more much digestible [ sic ] than to see the politicians, in those yearsSo for me, the sport environment in socialism was much more digestible, acceptable, sometimes giving some advantages, than the form of the political I was more, how can I say, I was more open to accept ot her political acts and behavior.6 Csszris response pinpoints how many Hungarian athletes from the 1960s 1980s grew willing to accept or at least tolerate the socialist systems political acts and behaviors as a result of their relations with Buda and other leaders, who served as middle men for the state. The combination of this statement and the prior one underscore two of the most important issues that motivated athletes to cooperate with the more digestible sport leadership. And finally, the way that he viewed the sport system as different or separate from the political government confirms other comments he offered in the interview. Csszri explained how sport served as an oasis in the 6 Ibid.

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346 desert and allowed him to survive that terrible period of the socialist era. 7 These beliefs point to C sszri s attempts to distance his sport life from the political system that in fact laid the foundation for his past and current success. They moreover highlight his discomfort with the privileges he received from the socialist system as an elite athlete. By portraying his experiences as an attempt to survive that terrible period, he downplayed his privileged life in order to reconcile and fit his memories within the Hungarian collective memory of suffering and victimhood during this time. Csszri s int erpretation illustrates how many Hungarian athletes continue to grapple with their memories of privilege that do not easily conform to the dominant memory of the socialist period in Hungary, nor to the Western narrative of the abusive and totalitarian soci alist sport systems. Athletes in Socialist Hungary and Today Regardless of the political situation, toplevel athletes always live precarious lives. Governments, sports teams, commercial entities, and fan bases all over the world rely heavily on sport success and perceptions of athletes for their identities, profita bility, and power. Athletes behavior on and off the field therefore comes under enormous scrutiny. The ongoing controversy over the kneeling of athletes like Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem has renewed the debate over sport and politics in American society, as well as the position of the athleteactivist. Within the debate, people view athletes actions in stark and binary terms such as good or bad, and resistant or submissive. As Primo Levi has noted, history and sport are both particularly w ellsuited to being reduced to simplistic categories; people who view the two dynamics in 7 Ibid.

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347 simplistic terms shun half tints and complexities in their desire for clear cut winners and losers.8 Viewing their behaviors within these black and white categories, however, veils the complicated and sometimes ambiguous political, socio economic, racial, and/or cultural factors that may influence or motivate athletes behaviors. The tendency to view athletes from the socialist countries of Eastern Europe within a binary framework is especially strong. The stories of helpless victims and valiant resistors overwhelmingly dominate peoples perc eptions of Eastern B loc athletes. These images are supported by different but similar stories. The most commonly used ones inc lude East Germanys forced doping of unsuspecting athletes, Hungarys blood in the water match against the Soviet water polo team in 1956, and ring the Soviet anthem at the 1968 Olympic Games Each incident underscores different sides of the same message: that the Bloc states and sport leaders victimized athletes for political gain during the Cold War, and athletes had no viable recourse other than public displays of apparent or real def iance. My analysis illustrated how after the events of 1956, Hungarian athletes could pursue courses of action that stood between total submissiveness to state goals and subtle (and outright) resistance. Many of their behaviors existed in the complicated grey region in the middle of the two sides.9 From a Westerners perspective, our narrative of Cold War triumphalism can make it difficult to understand their grey and seemingly 8 Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved, trans. Raymond Rosenthal (Summit Books, 1988), 37. 9 Primo Levi famously discussed the concentration camps as an arena in which everyones behavior existed in a complex gray zone. In the poorly defined gray zone, the two camps of masters and servants diverged and converged and had an incredibly complex internal structure partly as a result of the restricted access to power within the camps. Levi, The Drowned, 42 42.

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348 ambiguous actions. Only by deconstructing the complex issues and desires of athletes within the context of the evolving socialist systems can we understand their behaviors. Athletes chose to cooperate and contribute to the socialist states sport diplomacy goals and therefore to the domestic legitimacy and international reputation of the state not out of ideological conviction, nor necessarily out of fear of retribution. Many athletes chose this path as a result of everyday and personal concerns related to their careers, financial stability, and material goals. This research shows how listening to and incorporating the voices of the athletes themselves can enable us to move beyond our own ingrained perceptions of the Cold War and sport, and understand their human concerns. Highlighting the athletes perspectives brings to light the com plex range of ways that people asserted agency and tried to influence the course of their lives within the framework of Cold War sport specifically and under socialism more generally. Their experiences more broadly speak to the issues that cultural figures face even in contemporary democratic societies, and the complicated choices that they make. Authoritarian Systems and Cultural Policies In light of the resurgence of authoritarianstyle governments especially in the former socialist states the evolution of sport leader athlete relations in Hungary illustrates two important elements about authoritarian systems and their sociocultural policies. The Eastern Blocs belief and emphasis on sport success to build domestic and international political legitimacy and sometimes nationalism as well, made sport and the domestic sport community an inherent weakness for the states. Sport leaders reliance on the athletes performance and behavior was a vulnerability for them. The concerted efforts of the athletedefectors to leave in 1956 showed sport leaders just how much their goals depended upon the athletes themselves. The possibility of future defections

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349 influenced sport leaders to exhibit more f lexibility in their tactics as a way to address this weakness. These developments within Hungarian sport immediately after 1956 demonstrates the limitations and vulnerabilities that can exist within an authoritarian states cultural policies more broadly. Hungarian sport leaders, however, proved extremely adept at adapting their policies vis vis athletes after 1956. Sport leaders shift in policies also speaks to authoritarian systems willingness to demonstrate flexibility when forced to ( re ) build domes tic and international legitimacy. The smuggling cases in Chapter 6, for example, demonstrate the small amount of effort required on behalf of sport leaders in order to allow athletes to achieve their own goals and contribute to the states sport success and sport diplomacy objectives. The changes within the Hungarian sport community under socialism therefore show how state officials can successfully modify their policies in order to coopt cultural figures into cooperation. These lessons are worth bearing i n mind when examining how authoritarianstyle leaders govern cultural spheres with the aim of using cultural figures to build and reaffirm their domestic and international legitimacy. Hungary in the International Community My analysis of the evolving rel ations between Hungary, the other middle Bloc countries, and the International Olympic Committee offers insights that can also help us understand how authoritarian states today may seek to use international organizations to their advantage. Within the sphere of Cold War sport, the sport leaders from Hungary and its neighbors learned the rules, culture, and how to play the diplomatic game within the sport organization. They successfully grasped how the IOC began to view them as potential allies and capitalized on the IOCs changing internal dynamics in

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350 ways that benefitted the Bloc and their athletes. Both the former socialist states and the IOC continue today to rely on the skills and perspectives vis vis one another from the pre 1989 era. Russ ias succ essful bid for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is perhaps the best example of this. Vladimir Putin borrowed his Soviet predecessors tactics of demonstr ating the nations devotion to Olympic values in order to win the bid to host the Winter Olympics. P utin also maximized his personal authority within the international sport community and positioned himself like them: a sportsman and sport enthusiast committed to upholding the ideals of Olympism.10 At the same time, the IOCs willingness to allow a sign ificant number of Russian athletes to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after the recent Russian doping scandal points to the IOCs continued reliance on the athletic power and drama that these nations bring to the movement. These dynamics underscore h ow the two opposing poles of the Olympic movement the internationalist and nationalist impulses continue to reinforce the power of one another. This study also demonstrates how small states can capitalize on the constraints of international organizations. Hungarys current position within the European Union offers an interesting comparison to the socialist states relationship with the IOC. Differences certainly exist between the two situations, such as the EUs political underpinnings and its dispersal of significant funds to the former Eastern Bloc member nation for domestic projects. Yet the EU shares a fundamental quality with the IOC: the internationalist desire as a governing body to obtain the highest possible level of participation from nations, alb eit within the European continent. The EU therefore 10 Parks, The Olympic Games, 178.

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351 similarly maintains it power and legitimacy as a result of its members willingness to accept and abide by its rules. Since his return to power in 2010, Hungarys Prime Minister Viktor Orbn has learned how to take advantage of the limitations on the EUs ability to enforce its values and rules without severely endangering the nations authority status and funds that it receives from the organization. His more recent efforts include the inflammatory and racist rhetoric about the refugee crisis and American Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, and his successful efforts to funnel EU money to the companies of close friends. Yet when necessary, Orbn knows how to give the appearance of playing by the EUs rules in Brussels. This is because like the IOC and the socialist state, the EU and Orbn need to continue maintaining this precarious balance in order to sustain their respective power and legitimacy. Conclusion From the beginning of this research, athletes served as the driving force for the questions and sources that I pursued. Their smuggling stories immediately captured my attention in large part because they provided the initial window into how athletes attempted to influence their lives under social ism. The experiences and memories that I explored here demonstrate how individuals at different levels of society can obtain power and influence over their lives by cooperating with higher and sometimes lower ranked people. Admittedly, the meanings and types of power, influence, and cooperation that people can pursue depend on their specific political, racial, gendered, etc. circumstances; citizens in East Germany, for example, did not enjoy access to the same kinds of power and cooperative tactics as their counterparts in West Germany. As shown with Hungarian athletes, power and influence can be obtained by means other

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352 than outright resistance. This is important in the context of socialist Eastern Europe, but also within many other political and cultural sy stems. At the same time, cooperation did not mean blind collaboration. Everyday cooperation is an inherently difficult practice to trace, similar to the slipperiness of patronage and blat (which both contribute to cooperation). The acts of cooperation exp lored here often consisted of cautious and pragmatic acts. These actions deserve to be examined because of how they contributed to athletes ability to assert agency and influence their everyday lives. As exhibited by my interview with Csszri, the oral h istories provided another opportunity for the narrators to assert agency over their past experiences and how they might be interpreted by others in history. In order for the narrators to influence history however, they needed to cooperate with my research goals. I simultaneously and purposefully worked with their goals for the interview in order to facilitate their level of comfort, trust, and sharing of their memories. Both the narrators and myself therefore were occupied with perceptions of power and coop eration. The perception or image of these issues proved just as crucial to the athletes, sport leadership, and the top leaders of the IOC in this work. Ultimately, it is crucial to remember that considering all of the power differentials between the narrat ors and myself, and within the context of international sport during the Cold War athletes formed the fulcrum upon which both axes turned.

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353 LIST OF REFERENCES Abrams, Lynne. Oral History Theory S econd edition. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2016. Aczl, Tams and Tibor Mery. The Revolt of the Mind: A Case Study of Intellectual Resistance Behind the Iron Curtain. New York: Praeger, 1958. Aquatics 19082008: 100 Years of Excellent in Sport Edited by Craig Lord. Lausanne: FINA, 2008. Berend, Ivan. Central and Eastern Europe 19441993: Detour from the Periphery to the Periphery Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. Beyond the Divide: Entangled Histories of Cold War Europe. Edited by Simo Mikkonen and Pia Koivunen. Oxford: Ber ghahn Books, 2015. Blaschke, Anne. The Dulles Doctrine on Love: Immigration, Gender, and Romance in American Diplomacy, 19561957. Journal of American Studies 50 (2016): 397417. Booth, Douglas. Sites of Truth or Metaphors o f Power? Refiguring the Archive. Sport in History 26, no. 1 (2006): 1 1 9. Blutstein, Harry. Cold War Games: Spies, Subterfuge, and Secret Operations at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games Richmond, Australia: Echo Press, 2017. Braun, Jutta and Ren Wiese. Tracksuit Traitors : Eastern German Top Athletes on the Run. The International Journal of the History of Sport 31, n o. 12 (2014): 15191534. Bren, Paulina. The Greengrocer and His TV: The Culture of Communism After the Prague Spring. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010. Cain, Frank. Computers and the Cold War: Restrictions on the Export of Computers to the Soviet Union and Communist China. Journal of Contemporary History 40, n o. 1 (Jan. 2005): 131147. Carruthers, Susan. Cold War Captives: Imprisonment, Escape, and Brainwashing. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Caute, David. The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War London: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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363 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Johanna Mellis grew up in Midlothian, Virginia, where she swam competitively for Poseidon Swim Club from ages 818. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. Throughout her studies she swam for the Colleges Division I team from 2004 2008, specializing in the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley. In 2006 she became the first and only College of Charleston swimmer to claim an event at the Colonial Athletic Associations conference championships, when she won the 400 IM. With the help of several Foreign Language and Arear Studies fellowships from the University of Florid as Center for European Studies, Johanna received her Master of Arts in History from the University in 2012 under the direction of Alice Freifeld. She has received numerous awards for her research, including a Fulbright IIE grant, a North American Society for Sport History Dissertation Grant, and an Olympic Studies Centre PhD grant. Alongside her research and undergraduate teaching, in 2016 she pursued her interests in oral history at the Universitys Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP), under direc tor Paul Ortiz and Associate Program Director Ryan Morini especially. While at SPOHP, she coled two oral history internship programs and collections, titled Craft Beer in the Sunshine State and Sport at UF respectively. In 2016, Johanna coauthored w ith the Center for European Studies the successful grant proposal Freedoms Fury : The 1956 Hungarian Revolution as Reflected in Sport for the Hungary Initiatives Foundation. As part of this project she collected oral histories in south Florida of Hungari anAmericans who came to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution and resettled in Florida. She is also currently collaborating with California State University Fullertons Toby Rider on the grant funded

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364 Cold War AthleteDefectors in CA oral his t ory project. S he and Rider are interviewing Hungari an athletes who fled to America following the Revolution and settled in California. The collection will be housed at the LA84 Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Johanna received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in the summer of 2018. Beginning in summer 2018, Johanna joined the Editorial Board of the Oral History Review journal. In fall 2018, she will moreover begin a position as a 2year Visiting Assistant Professor of European and World History at Ur sinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.