Count István Tisza was the prime minister of Hungary between 1903 and 1905, and from 1913 to 1917, and he was assassinated in October 1918. The original statue was erected in 1934 and it was destroyed by the Communists after WWII.
Read more about Count Tisza here:
although Count István Tisza considered himself liberal, today’s history and political philosophy think of him as a conservative political figure. This is partly due to István Tisza’s traditionalist and religious personality. However, the tendency which was strengthened mostly by the left-wing intellectuals also contributed to another characterisation of Tisza: this tendency aims to equal conservatism with old-fashioned ideas and by that discredits Tisza as the need for “progress” is the opium of “modern age”. According to our association, István Tisza was never an old-fashioned conservative, but a sober politician respecting human and social peace and values. Construed by Marxist historiography Tisza was considered a politician “who did not understand necessity”.
The liberal views of Tisza differed from today’s liberalism in Hungary on some important issues among which the most important one is his liberalism filled with nationalism. He wrote about this as follows: “There is an underlying difference between Hungarian liberalism and continental liberalism. Hungarian liberalism is not based on classes but on our nation’s political character and is connected to our national improvement. It is nation and state which dominate Hungarian liberalism, it aims to satisfy the needs of national and state life; it is characterized by active, self-sacrificing patriotism. Furthermore, Hungarian liberalism is above class struggles and has always refused the narrow-minded politics of economic one-sidedness.”
According to Tisza, the contemporary “progressive” groups started to divert liberalism from national ideas even in his era. “We fully confess: in our views, liberalism is based on nation. According to hypermodern people, we are nationalist. They do not speak about national aspects, but only about nationalist prejudices. These prejudices saturate us. We cannot deal with the prosperity of mankind if it is not connected to the well-doing and success of the Hungarian nation”.
Today’s Hungarian liberalism is based on the views of Mihály Károlyi (who had rather communist views in his old age) and the First Republic (officially called People’s Republic) founded by Károlyi rather than by István Tisza who consistently represented national liberal politics and had conservative personal qualities.
The Communist regime erected a statue to Tisza’s archenemy, Mihály Károlyi, the “Red Count” as he was known as, and this statue was removed from Kossuth square a few months ago. Though the killers of Count Tisza were never found but Károlyi may well have had a hand in the murder.