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Horn, Gyula

Gyula Horn, 1932–2013, Hungarian political leader, b. Budapest, grad. Don Rostov College, Russia. In 1956 he joined Hungary's Communist party and helped crush the anti-Soviet uprising. He worked in the finance and then (1959) the foreign ministry, was a diplomat in Bulgaria and Romania, and became foreign minister in 1989. A pragmatic reformer, Horn worked throughout the 1970s and 80s to liberalize the Communist party. In 1989 he and his Austrian counterpart cut the barbed-wire fence on their countries' border, a televised act that encouraged East Germans to flee to West Germany via Hungary and Austria and contributed to the collapse of Communist rule in Eastern Europe. Horn helped transform Hungary's Communist party into the Socialist party and became party leader in 1990. A member of parliament from 1990 to 2010, he was prime minister of a coalition government from 1994 to 1998 that embraced free-market policies.

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