Hungary History: “People’s Democracy” and Communist Rule (1945–1989)

Hungary History: “People’s Democracy” and Communist Rule (1945–1989)

From the eastern Hungarian Debrecen, the provisional government Dálnoki-Miklós set up a new administration in Hungary in the course of the advance of the Soviet troops; Prime Minister Dálnoki-Miklós relied on a popular front alliance that included the Small Farmers’ Party, the Hungarian Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, the National Peasant Party and the Bourgeois Democratic Party under the name of the “Hungarian National Independence Front”. Supported by the President of the Allied Control Commission for Hungary, Soviet Marshal K. J. Voroshilov, the communists had a strong position in this government from the start. On November 15, 1945, the Small Farmers’ Party won an absolute majority in the National Assembly elections with 57% of the votes and appointed the Prime Minister: 1945–46 Z. Tildy, 1946–47 F. Nagy. On February 1, 1946, the National Assembly proclaimed the republic; first president was Tildy (until July 1948). M. Rákosiswitched to the headlines “mobilization of the masses” and “people’s justice”led KP, which had received only 16.9% of the vote in 1945, until the elections in August 1947 the competing parties, v. a. the Small Farmers’ Party, politically equal through compromising and intimidating as well as using open violence; by the summer of 1948 almost all parties were banned or had dissolved themselves. After elimination of all members advocating a politically independent party course, including A. Kethly On June 12, 1948 – under pressure – the Social Democrats united with the Communist Party to form the Party of Hungarian Working People (PdUW; Hungarian Magyar Dolgozók Pártja, MDP; since 1956 Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, USAP; Hungarian Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt, MSZMP). At the head of a Popular Front of Independence (founded in March 1949) that it ruled, it also determined the composition of parliament via a unified list. The Small Farmers’ Party, which with István Dobi (* 1898, † 1968) 1948–52 was the prime minister and 1952–66 the head of state, lost its political weight. The constitution of August 20, 1949 declared Hungary a People’s Republic (VR) based on the people’s democratic model. According to Countryaah, Hungary is one of countries beginning with letter H.

As a result of the land reform of 1945, over 2.8 million hectares were expropriated and 1.6 million hectares were distributed to private individuals, the remainder being incorporated into state property. This began the adoption of the Soviet model of socialism. The currency reform that followed a unique hyperinflation (1946, introduction of the forint), as well as a three-year plan (1947-50), was intended to initiate economic reconstruction and accelerated industrialization in Hungary and adapt the Hungarian economic system to that of the USSR. In 1946/47 the basic industries, banks and large companies were nationalized, in 1948 companies with over a hundred employees. Rákosi ran a campaign against the independent farmers based on the Stalinist model, which was based on class struggle and in part repressivesince 1948 the formation of agricultural production cooperatives on a “voluntary” basis. The collectivization was carried out in several phases and lasted until 1962. In the cultural field, the government nationalized the church and private schools. In order to break the resistance of the Catholic clergy, she organized a show trial of J. Cardinal Mindszenty in early 1949.

The Peace of Paris (February 10, 1947), which essentially restored Hungary’s borders established in the Peace of Trianon (1920), obliged Hungary to pay reparations v. a. to the USSR and confirmed the stationing of Soviet troops in Hungary after the peace agreement. The friendship treaty with the USSR (February 10, 1948) deepened the politico-military, economic and cultural dependence on the USSR. In 1949 Hungary participated in the founding of the Comecon. Against the background of the ideological-power-political dispute between J. Tito and Stalin over the Soviet claim to leadership in the emerging Eastern Bloc (Cominform conflict 1948), Rákosi satthe complete subordination of Hungarian politics to the will of Stalin. In a show trial in 1949 he had inter alia. Sentencing Foreign Minister L. Rajk (leading member of the PdUW) to death on charges of “Titoism”.

Rákosi succeeded in expanding his domestic political power to a personal dictatorship, following the example of Stalin. He relied on a “state security agency” that covered the whole country with its agents. From August 1952 to July 1953 he himself led a communist bloc government as prime minister. After Stalin’s death (March 1953), however, he lost part of his unrestricted position of power; on July 3, 1953 I. Nagy Prime Minister at the head of a people’s democratic bloc government; he proclaimed a policy of the “new course” which was supposed to bring about a general improvement in the standard of living and greater legal certainty (above all, the alleviation of rapid industrialization and collectivization based on violence). In contrast to Rákosi, he had him discontinued in 1955 and replaced by András Hegedüs (* 1922, † 1999). With Hungary’s entry into the Warsaw Pact (1955), the further stationing of Soviet troops in Hungary was re-legitimized (confirmed by a troop contract in 1957).

After the XX. At the party congress of the CPSU (February 1956) and the de-Stalinization he officially initiated, the Soviet party and state leadership (under N. S. Khrushchev) replaced Rákosis (July 1956) as first secretary of the PDU and the appointment of the equally dogmatic Stalinist E. Gerő as his Successor through. Growing dissatisfaction with the dictatorial one-party system, reinforced by the “Polish October”, sparked the Hungarian popular uprising on October 23, 1956, which was violently suppressed by Soviet troops from the beginning of November. Based on this, J. Kádár secured, from the end of October First Secretary of the Central Committee of the newly founded communist USAP, the political-ideological monopoly of his party; as prime minister (November 4, 1956 to January 28, 1958) he initiated severe persecution of those involved in the uprising. In June 1958, the leaders of the popular uprising, I. Nagy, P. Maléter and others, were sentenced to death in a secret trial (rehabilitated on June 16, 1989). With the elimination of the orthodox communists around Jószef Révai (* 1898, † 1959), the political and economic system was subsequently consolidated.

From around 1962/63, Kádár, who himself was Prime Minister again from 1961 to 1966, gradually embarked on a course of internal reconciliation and the integration of Hungary into the »socialist community of states« led by the USSR. led to social improvements and to a certain intellectual and cultural liberalization (“goulash communism”). The governments under Prime Minister Jenö Fock (* 1916, † 2001; 1967-75) and György Lázár (* 1924; 1975-87) – based on a decision of the USAP (1966) – led a v. a. by R. Nyers prepared economic reform, which enabled a more independent production planning of the companies as well as a limited release of prices within the framework of the planned economy (beginning: 1968). The economic reform, which was modified again in 1972, developed the Hungarian economy into the relatively most successful in the state-socialist states.

The reform communist endeavors in Hungary that began before the start of the Soviet policy of glasnost and perestroika (including adjustment of price policy to the price level of the world market in 1980, inclusion of Hungary in the International Monetary Fund in 1982, establishment of a Hungarian-Danish joint venture in 1984) were experienced by MS from 1985 Gorbachev a reinforcement, v. a. Reform of the banking system (on January 1, 1987). With the election of Károly Grósz (* 1930, † 1996) In June 1987 as Prime Minister, the reforms extended to the political field (tax reform on January 1, 1988) and turned into a comprehensive liberalization, which prepared the transition to political pluralism (anchored in law in October 1989) and a market economy. At the same time, a reform movement with its own dynamism developed in the population in 1988, which soon overran the reform communists (citizens’ movement). After Kádár’s resignation as Secretary General of the USAP (May 22, 1988), which was forced to resign during the reorganization of the Politburo, Grósz also took over the leadership of the party as party president, but had to resign his office as head of government to M. Németh on November 24, 1988. In addition to this, v. a. also I. Pozsgay, Member of the Politburo of the USAP and Minister of State (1988/89), leading the reorganization of Hungary on a democratic basis.

Hungary History