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"The Party’s Condolences": Spiegel Cover (November 14, 1956)

In November 1956, immediately after the uprising in Hungary, the Spiegel news magazine launched a comprehensive eleven-part series entitled “‘I’m a Blackguard, Mr. District Attorney’: The Hanged Start a Revolution.” The individual articles examined the Stalinist show trials in the states behind the so-called Iron Curtain and the tokenistic rehabilitation of many of their victims during the process of de-Stalinization. Special attention was given to the trials of László Rajk in Hungary, Traitscho Kostow in Bulgaria and Rudolf Slánský in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, which had culminated in extorted confessions and the execution of the defendants.

The cover of the November 14, 1956, edition of Spiegel features a cartoon entitled “The Party’s Condolences.” It shows representatives of the party and the military with crocodile tears as they offer their condolences to Rajk’s widow, Julia, and son in front of his coffin. It alludes to the state funeral held in Budapest’s central cemetery on October 6, 1956, to publicly rehabilitate Rajk.

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"The Party’s Condolences": <i>Spiegel</i> Cover (November 14, 1956)

© Der Spiegel