George Paloczi-Horvath was born in 1908 into the feudal nobility of Hungary. Despite his privileged background, he came to realize that his family's wealth was based on the exploitation of a brutalized peasantry. By the 1930s he was an active anti-Nazi; in 1941 he was forced to flee the country. Returning after the war as a dedicated communist, he was nevertheless arrested, tortured and imprisoned by the communist regime. He spent 1,832 days in prison, many of them in the solitary confinement of underground prison cells. Here he discovered the reality of a Hungary ruled on the Stalinist principles of fear, betrayal and face-saving double-think. In 1954 he was released, but after the failure of the Hungarian Revolution he escaped with his wife and baby to Britain.