Postwar Hungary

Deborah S. Cornelius

in Hungary in World War II

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233434
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241767 | DOI:

Series: World War II: The Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension

Postwar Hungary

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German occupation, Arrow Cross rule, and Soviet occupation, had destroyed the structure of the Hungarian state. The flight of half a million people to the West, elimination of “war criminals” through People's Courts, and a radical land reform further transformed Hungarian society. Yet the overwhelming victory of the Smallholders Party in the elections of November 1945 gave reason for hope. But the Soviet demand for a coalition government granted the Communists the means to force concessions from their opponents. In early 1947 the Paris Peace Treaty not only re-established the Trianon borders but also permitted Soviet troops to remain in Hungary, greatly enhancing the position of the Communists. The use of clever salami tactics to liquidate their political opponents led to the demise of the democratic coalition, and by early fall of 1948, Hungary was firmly established in a Soviet-style totalitarian system.

Keywords: People's Courts; land reform; Smallholders Party; Communists; peace treaty; salami tactics; totalitarian system

Chapter.  14228 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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