|Kingdom of Hungary|
|•||1949–1962||József III (first)|
|•||1962–1989||József IV (last)|
|•||1949–1952||Ferenc Szálasi (first)|
|•||1988–1989||Miklós Németh (last)|
|•||Monarchy restored||20 August 1949|
|•||Hungarian Revolution||23 October 1956|
|•||End of fascism||23 October 1989|
The Kingdom of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyar Népköztársaság) was a fascist state that administered Hungary from 20 August 1949 until 23 October 1989. It was governed by the Party of Hungarian Renewal, which was under the influence of Nazi Germany. The state remained in existence until 1989 when opposition forces consolidated in forcing upon the government to abandon Fascism. Geographically, it bordered Romania and Poland to the east; Croatia to the south-west; Czechoslovakia to the north and Germany to the west.
Formation[edit | edit source]
Following the occupation of Hungary by the Wehrmacht, German military occupation ensued. After seizing most material assets from Austrian hands, the Germans tried, and to a certain extent managed, to control Hungarian political affairs. Using coercion through force, the Wehrmacht set up police organs to persecute the opposition, assuming this would enable Nazi Germany to seize the upcoming elections, in conjunction with intense fascist propaganda to attempt to legitimize their rule. The Arrow Cross Party, despite all the efforts, was trounced, receiving only 17% of votes, by a Smallholder-led coalition under Prime Minister Döme Sztójay, thus frustrating Berlin's expectations of ruling through a democratically elected government.
The Germans, however, intervened through force once again, resulting in a puppet government that disregarded Nagy, placed fascists in important ministerial positions, and imposed several restrictive measures, like banning the victorious coalition government and forcing it to yield the Interior Ministry to a nominee of the Arrow Cross Party.
Fascist Interior Minister Gábor Vajna established the ÁVH secret police, in an effort to suppress political opposition through intimidation, false accusations, imprisonment and torture. In early 1947, Germany pressed the leader of the Arrow Cross, Ferenc Szálasi, to take a "more aggressive line." Szálasi complied by pressuring the other parties to push out those members not willing to do the Cross' bidding, ostensibly because they were "communists." Later on, after the Arrow Cross won full power, he referred to this practice as "salami tactics." Prime Minister Ferenc Nagy was forced to resign as prime minister in favour of a more pliant Smallholder, Lajos Dinnyés. In the elections held that year, the Arrow Cross became the largest party, but were well short of a majority. The coalition was retained with Dinnyés as prime minister. However, by this time most of the other parties' more courageous members had been pushed out, leaving them in the hands of sympathizers.
Having emasculated most of the other parties, the Arrow Cross spent the next year and a half consolidating their hold on power. This culminated in the second half of 1948. In June, the Arrow Cross forced the Party of Hungarian Life to merge with them to form the Party of Hungarian Renewal. Szálasi then forced Sztójay to turn over the presidency to Independent-turned-Fascist Béla Miklós. The process was more or less completed with the elections of May 1949. Voters were presented with a single list of all parties, running on a common programme. On 18 August, the newly elected National Assembly passed a new constitution—a near-carbon copy of the Italian Constitution. When it was officially promulgated on 20 August, the monarchy was restored under Archduke Joseph August of Austria.
The same political dynamics continued through the years, with Germany pressing and maneuvering Hungarian politics through the Hungarian Renewal Party, intervening whenever it needed to, through military coercion and covert operations. Hungary stayed that way until the late 1980s, when turmoil broke out across Europe, culminating with the Fall of nations and the collapse of the Nazi's in Germany.