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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

"Coup in Dallas" - The Story of a Factoid

I've already reviewed H.P. Albarelli's new book, Coup in Dallas: The Decisive Investigation into Who Killed JFK. The book's section on Permindex is riddled with errors and there is only one footnote for the entire section.

I've continually asked the co-author Leslie Sharp for documentation for the book's claims on Permindex. She has refused. When I wrote the chapter on Permindex in my book, On the Trail of Delusion - Jim Garrison: The Great Accuser, I relied on primary documents from three main sources:

  • The Louis Bloomfield Archive in Ottawa, Canada. Bloomfield was a lawyer who represented several major shareholders in Permindex. All of the outgoing correspondence from his law firm - over ten thousand letters - are in the Archive. There are hundreds of letters from Bloomfield to the management of Permindex.

  • State Department Cables. In 1957-1959 the American consulate in Basel wrote several reports on Permindex and their quest for financing. These cables provide background information on the Board of Directors and management of Permindex.

  • Clay Shaw's Permindex file. Shaw was on the Board of Directors for a short period, and there are several primary documents related to Permindex at the National Archives. I posted most of those documents in this blog post.

It doesn't appear that the authors of Coup in Dallas have any of this material. They don't seem to know who exactly was on the Board of Directors and Leslie Sharp doesn't seem familiar with any of these primary documents.

The President of Permindex, for a short period, was Ferenc Nagy, ex-Prime Minister of Hungary. In 1940, Nagy formed the Hungary Peasant Association which was a social, cultural and economic organization. He helped form the Independent Smallholders' Party in 1930. In 1943, after he called for Hungary to withdraw from the war, the Gestapo imprisoned Nagy for six months when the Germans occupied Hungary in 1944. In May 1945, he was appointed Minister of Reconstruction in the new Provisional government.

After the war, Nagy became President of the Smallholders' Party and won 57% of the votes in the November 1945 election. The Soviet occupation would only allow his party to be part of a coalition with the Communist Party. A Communist was named President, and Nagy became Prime Minister. He had to maneuver between the various factions in the government and he ended up pleasing no one. In May of 1947, Nagy went on holiday to Switzerland, and the Communists accused him of complicity in an alleged plot to overthrow the government. His son was held hostage and to get his release, Nagy resigned his post as Prime Minister. He then moved to the United States and bought a dairy farm in Herndon, Virginia. He died in 1979 of a heart attack in Fairfax Virginia.

Here is what Coup in Dallas has to say about Nagy: (page 400)

As mentioned, Permindex's president Ferenc Nagy had served as Prime Minister of Hungary from February 1946 to May 1947, having been elected in Hungary's first democratic election. He had fought on the side of Germany in World War II and suffered considerably, but in 1944 he was jailed by the Germans. At the end of the war, Mr. Nagy arrived in the United States penniless yet managed to buy a farm at Herndon, Va., where he developed a dairy herd and eventually relocated to Dallas where he was residing on November 22, 1963. Always active in the Presbyterian Church, Nagy assumed a prominent role working with exile groups, as did most emigres in Dallas, to end not only Communist domination of Eastern Europe, but the spread of the scourge to America.

Conspiracy books like to paint Permindex as a fascist organization that was funding extreme right-wing elements in Italy. In fact, Permindex was a failed real estate venture. They couldn't find enough tenants for their World Trade Center in Rome, and they shut its doors in 1962.

Coup in Dallas claims that Nagy "fought on the side of Germany in World War II." I cannot find any evidence to support that.

The autumn of 1941 brought a promising opportunity: Magyar Parasziszovtseg (Hungarian Peasant League) was founded. The chairman of the federation was Ferenc Nagy, an MP of the Smallholders Party, and its secretary, Bela Kovacs, was also a member of the party. The organization had a double aim. On the one hand, they wanted to further weaken the already shaken Arrow Cross positions in the countryside, and, on the other, they wanted to assemble the unorganized peasants -- disappointed by the Arrow Cross movement, and searching for a way to follow --- into an organization led by wealthy peasants that would be capable of limiting the obstacles in the way of both the democratic endeavors of the peasantry and its cooperation with the working class.

Nagy also signed a petition in 1942 against the persecution of the Jews: (page 63)

In December 1942, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky compiled another memorandum which he planned to send to the Governor and the Prime Minister -- with the signatures of anti-Hitler MPs outside the Government Party, members of the Upper House, and the Christian episcopate -- as a novel sign of protest against the persecution of Jews, the situation of soldiers in refractory companies and the Ujvidek events.

As you can see, Nagy was part of a group of anti-Hitler MPs. In addition: (page 65)

During the autumn session of Parliament in 1942, for the first time since the declaration of war, from among the representatives of the Smallholders Party not only Endrew Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, but Tildy and to a certain extent Ferenc Nagy and Bela Varga, too, took a stand against the policy serving the interests of Germany and against the persecution of the Jews. They also protested against public supply shortages, against the burden of delivery obligations afflicting the peasants and against extraordinarily high industrial prices.

Coup in Dallas also makes an ominous claim about Nagy: (page 400)

Mr. Nagy arrived in the United States penniless yet managed to buy a farm at Herndon, Va., where he developed a dairy herd and eventually relocated to Dallas where he was residing on November 22, 1963.

Is it nefarious that Nagy might have lived in Dallas on November 22, 1963? Does that tie him to the assassination? Even if he did live in Dallas on that date, so what?

In fact, Ferenc Nagy did not move to Dallas. He stayed in Virginia until his death in 1979.

Here is a letter that Louis Bloomfield wrote Nagy in 1961:

Bloomfield wrote him again in 1962:

Here is an short notice from 1963:

Virginian-Pilot, January 20, 1963

Here is an article from late 1963:

Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 29, 1963

Did he perhaps move back to Virginia right after the assassination?

And here is an article form 1966:

Charlotte Observer, February 21, 1966

Nagy became a lecturer and writer. He documented his life and political career in The Struggle behind the Iron Curtain, which was published by MacMillan in 1948. Royalties from the best selling book helped him buy a farm on the outskirts of Herndon and the 12-room house on Elden Street.

Here is the plaque on his house:

Coup in Dallas is not the only book to claim that Nagy lived in Dallas. Here is an excerpt from Jim Garrison's On the Trail of the Assassins: (pages 88 - 89)

Perhaps because of its Montreal origin, the Centro aroused the interest of a Canadian newspaper Le Devoir. Referring to Ferenc Nagy, one of the Centro's directors, it wrote in early 1967: "Nagy ... maintains close ties with the C.I.A. which link him with the Miami Cuban colony." Nagy subsequently emigrated to the United States, making himself at home in Dallas, Texas."

The article in Le Devoir did not actually link Nagy to the "Miami Cuban colony." It only claimed that Nagy's links with the CIA were similar to the links between the CIA and the Cubans from Miami. Here is the actual text in French:

The translation: "Ferenc Nagy, exiled leader of the Hungarian peasant party, who maintains links with the CIA similar to those maintained by the Cubans in Miami,"

Paris Flammonde in his book The Kennedy Conspiracy also said that Nagy lived in Dallas: (page 217)

Certainly one is led to wonder why, of all the hundreds of nations on earth, Nagy ended up in the United States; and why of all the thousands of cities in the United States, Nagy ended up in Dallas.
CMC had been formed in 1961, one year after Kennedy was elected. Its principals had worked with fascist networks established after World War II. The board of directors numbered Ferenc Nagy, a former Hungarian premier who led that country's Anti-Communist Countrymen's Party in exile. J. Edgar Hoover brought Nagy to the United States, where there were numerous Gehlen-supported emigre organizations. On August 18, 1951, the Saturday Evening Post pictured Nagy with Czech, Pole, Hungarian and Russian exiles under the heading: "They Want Us To Go to War Right Now." On November 22, 1963 Nagy was living in Dallas.
Ferenc Nagy, at the end of WWII, after fleeing to Budapest, actually did take refuge in the US, precisely in Dallas, where he was still a resident when JFK was murdered.

None of these authors provide a source for the claim that Nagy lived in Dallas.

So where did this all come from?

The origin of this belief that Nagy had moved to Dallas comes from Paese Sera, the communist-controlled newspaper in Rome that ran a series of articles on Clay Shaw after his arrest.

I wish Garrison's markings didn't cross out part of the section. It appears to say "(the ex-premier of Hungary who, contrary to the opinion of some, is alive and living in Dallas)"

Why is any of this relevant?

The Paese Sera series of articles on Clay Shaw and Permindex/Centro Mondiale Commerciale are the source for the spurious allegations that the organization was funneling money to right-wing extremists. In fact, the articles are full of errors and supposition.

This is just one small example of an error that has been repeated by conspiracy theorists.

I challenge the writers and supporters of Coup in Dallas to provide evidence that Ferenc Nagy was fighting for the Germans and that he lived in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts

Was Montreal lawyer Louis Bloomfield running an assassination bureau?

Louis Bloomfield was a good man who raised a lot of money for Canadian charities. Unfortunately, conspiracy theorists have linked him to the JFK assassination.

Clay Shaw was on the Board of Directors of Permindex. Here is his file.

If Jim Garrison wanted to learn more about Louis Bloomfield, all he had to do was pick up the phone or go to Montreal.

Revealed for the first time.

Yes, a conspiracy book actually makes this claim.

Revealed for the first time.

They were involved!

George Mantello was a hero.

Conspiracy theorists mislead people on Permindex/CMC.


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