Mátyás Rákosi [ˈmaːcaːʃ ˈraːkoʃi] (9 March 1892 – 5 February 1971) was a Hungarian communist politician. He was born Mátyás Rosenfeld in Ada (then in Austria-Hungary, and in present-day Serbia). He was the leader of Hungary's Communist Party from 1945 to 1956 — first as General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party (1945–1948) and later holding the same post with the Hungarian Working People's Party (1948–1956). As such, from 1949 to 1956, he was the de facto ruler of Communist Hungary. His rule was aligned with USSR politics during Joseph Stalin's government. American journalist John Gunther described Rákosi as "the most malevolent character I ever met in political life."