Edith Bone

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Edith Bone (1889–1975), originally Edit Olga Hajós, was a medical professional, journalist and translator who later became a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Born in Hungary, Hajós married Béla Balázs in 1913. She lived in Berlin, Germany from 1923 to 1933. She married Gerald Martin in February 1934. In 1936, during the Spanish Civil War, Bone was involved with the establishment of the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC) in Barcelona, Spain.


In 1949, Bone was acting as a free-lance correspondent in Budapest, affiliated with the London Daily Worker. She was accused of spying when leaving Hungary, arrested by the State Protection Authority (AVH) and detained in solitary confinement without trial or a prisoner identification number for seven years. During her detention, Bone managed to avoid the mental instability or insanity that typically accompanies isolation. She developed a series of mental exercises, including reviews of geometry, language and vocabulary. She was verbally aggressive and progressively won minor victories against her jailers; she used these projects to maintain a stable identity during her long period in prison.

Bone was released during the last days of the revolutionary Nagy Government in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. A student group had seized control of the Budapest political prison where Bone was held, and processed political prisoners for release.

In an interview in Britain, following her release from prison, Dr. Bone was asked if she still believed in the benefits of Communism. She replied, "Alas, no!" And went on to describe how it failed the very people it claimed to serve: the workers.


Bone wrote a book about her experiences in 1957 called Seven Years Solitary.


  1. Bone, Edith. Seven Years Solitary, Hamish Hamilton, London: 1957.
  2. Bone, Edith. Hét év magánzárka Budapest: 2007.