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István Bibó (1935)
Grave of István Bibó in Óbuda Cemetery

István Bibó (7 August 1911, Budapest – 10 May 1979, Budapest) was a Hungarian lawyer, civil servant, politician and political theorist.


During the Hungarian Revolution he acted as the Minister of State for the Hungarian National Government. When the Soviets invaded to crush the rebellious government, he was the last Minister left at his post in the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest. Rather than evacuate, he stayed in the building and wrote his famous proclamation, "For Freedom and Truth", as he awaited arrest.[1]

Bibó was arrested on 23 May 1957 and sentenced to life imprisonment on 2 August 1958 but released in the 1963 amnesty.

Bibó received a law degree from the Franz Joseph University and later taught there.[2] He also received a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva.[citation needed]

His worksEdit

  • The Crisis of Hungarian Democracy. Valóság[3] October 1945 (Hungarian)
  • The poverty of Eastern European small states (A kelet-európai kisállamok nyomorúsága, Új Magyarország, Bp., 1946 (in Hungarian)); Misère des petits États d'Europe de l'Est. L'Harmattan, 1986 (out of print); Albin Michel, Paris, 1993, (the current edition). (in French)
  • The Paralysis of International Institutions and the Remedies. A Study of Self-Determination, Concord among the Major Powers, and Political Arbitration. With an Introduction by Bernard Crick. The Harvester Press, Hassocks, 1976. XI, 152 p. (English)
  • Democracy, Revolution, Self-Determination: Selected Writings. Edited by Károly Nagy. Translated by András Boros-Kazai. Columbia University Press, New York, 1991.
  • The Art of Peacemaking: The Political Essays of István Bibó. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.


  • Bibo Prize founded in Boston (1980)
  • 5000 Forint coin issued by the National Bank of Hungary (2011)[4]
  • The Budapest Eötvös Loránd University named a special honors society/extracurricular studies program after Bibo – the Bibo Istvan Szakkollegium. The society is open to students of law or political sciences who pass a rigorous entrance exam. Attaining membership in the society is considered an honor of its own.


  1. ^ Biography Archived 19 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine (in Hungarian)
  2. ^ Tarján, Tamás. "1911. augusztus 7. – Bibó István születése" (in Hungarian). Rubicon Online. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  3. ^ Reality, it is Hungarian journal.
  4. ^ "Hungarian Coin Honors Istivan Bibo". Coin Update. 1 September 2011.

External linksEdit