Varga, Yevgeni Samoilovich

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VARGA, YEVGENI SAMOILOVICH (1879–1964), economist. Born to a poor family in Hungary, he became a shop assistant, studied in his free time, and obtained a degree. In 1906 he became associated with the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, and from 1914 was a member of its central executive. Appointed professor of economics at the University of Budapest during the 1918 revolution, he attached himself to the Communists and became finance commissar under Bela *Kun. After the regime's fall, he fled to the Soviet Union. In 1922 he was sent to Berlin as head of the Soviet Foreign Trade Mission and from 1926 to 1932 he served as editor of Inprekorr Internationale Presse-Korrespondenz, where his analyses of the foreign economics attracted attention. On his return to the Soviet Union he took charge of the newly formed Institute of World Economy and World Politics, and after its merger in 1936 with the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Varga headed the academy's department of law and economics. His main achievements were his analyses and forecasts on which the Soviet Government widely relied for their information and orientation. Despite his erudition and industry he did not make an independent contribution to economics, mainly because he frequently saw the need to adjust his theories to the political exigencies of the day. However, in 1946 he surprised the public when he warned that an imminent crisis in the Western world – similar to the slump of 1929 – was unlikely. The Stalin regime removed him from his post and virtually impounded his book, but he lived to see his views come true. The Khrushchev regime officially vindicated his opinions and used them as the basis for its policy of peaceful coexistence.

Besides his many monographs and his articles in Inprekorr, he published his major study in 1946 under the title of Osnovnye voprosy ekonomiki i politiki imperializma posle Vtoroy mirovoy voyny (1946; Problems of the Post-war Industrial Cycle…, 19572).


New York Times (Oct. 9, 1964), 39.

[Joachim O. Ronall]

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Varga, Yevgeni Samoilovich

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