The Weidemann case, 1961 Cover Image

A Weidemann-ügy, 1961
The Weidemann case, 1961

Sports, power and state security service in the early years of the Kádár-regime

Author(s): Tibor Takács
Subject(s): Criminology, Post-War period (1950 - 1989)
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: On 2 November 1961, the vice president of Ferencváros Sports Club (FTC) and party secretary of the society, Károly Weidemann was arrested on suspicion of subversion of the democratic state order and other crimes. We will use the process to present how the political police treated FTC, which had been a symbol of opposition both for the fans (the “people”) and the authorities (the “power”) since the end of the 1940s. Though after 1956, the club could retain both the name and the club colors restored during the revolution, and it did not have to give up its best players either, the state authorities continued to regard Ferencváros as the meeting place of “reactionary” and “fascist” elements. The secret police suspected hostile political intent behind any expression of “fradista” identity, and regarded the scandals accompanying the matches as premeditated actions organized and secretly controlled by the enemy forces clustered around the sports society. It was in the beginning of 1961, at the latest, when the secret police turned its attention to the person of Weidemann, after receiving intelligence of his presumptive “fascist” past and subversive statements. On the basis of these, they thought Weidemann must have played the role of organizer and leader. Moreover, his person could explain why the secret police had failed before to identify the man actually responsible for the disturbances, as Weidemann could use his position in the club leadership and in the party to cover up his doings. An open investigation was launched with the consent of the top party leadership, but it failed to yield the expected results. As they considered the disturbances premeditated provocations, the investigators were looking for organized groups among the fans, but they lost traces of the FTC supporters sitting together on the stand as soon as they left the stadium. The only organized group was the Circle of Fans, but Weidemann was on openly bad terms with them. The investigation was a total failure: not even did they manage to document the manifestations of subversive political intent by the fans of Ferencváros. Though the party leadership of the capital declared the “FTC problem” resolved in the April of 1962, this failure must have played a part in why FTC continued to remain in the focus of political police activity targeting sports and especially football even in the following years.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 5-21
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Hungarian