Mitrovics, Gyula (Julius) (Sárospatak, 29 June 1871 - Stuttgart, 17 March 1965) – Esthete, education specialist. He studied at Sárospatak, at the University of Budapest, and the Universities of Vienna and Berlin (1890-1891), finishing with a Ph.D. in Arts (Esthetics, History of Art and Hungarian Literature). From 1893 he taught at the high school of Sárospatak; from 1904 he was Principal of the girls’ high school of Miskolc; from 1909 he lectured at the Reformed College of Debrecen, and from 1914 worked there as Head Librarian. From 1918 he was Professor of Education and, in 1940 and 1941 Vice-Chancellor at the University of Debrecen. He retired in 1941, and moved to Budapest. In 1960, he settled in Stuttgart. He edited the Booklets onEsthetics (Esztétikai Füzetek) (1934-1935), and Esthetics Review (Esztétikai Szemle) (1935-1938). He was President of the Esthetic Society (Esztétikai Társaság) from 1937 until 1945. He was the student and follower of Zsolt Beöthy, the well-known esthete and literary historian. Naturalism and positivism influenced him with a dose of Kantian theory of values and racial myth-ideologies. Later, he turned away and dealt mainly with the history of ideas. His works include The Philosophical Basis of National Mentality (A nemzeti szellem bölcseleti alapjai) (1910); The Basic Principles of Esthetics (Azaesthetika alapvető elvei) (1916); History of Hungarian Esthetic Literature (A magyar esztétikai irodalomtörténete) (1929), and The Outlines of Education (A neveléstudomány alapvonalai) (1933). – B: 1068, 1257, 0883, T: 7456.→Beöthy, Zsolt. Mitterpacher, Lajos (Louis) (Béllye, now Bilje, Croatia, 25 August 1734 - Pest, 24 May 1814) – Naturalist, agronomist. In 1749 he joined the Jesuit Order and studied Mathematics and Theology at the University of Vienna. He was Governor of the Theological Seminary Pázmáneum of Vienna, and Tutor to Count Lajos (Louis) Batthyány. After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order by Emperor József II (Joseph) in 1773 he obtained a Ph.D. in Art. In 1777 he became the first professor of the newly established Department of Agronomy at the University of Buda and continued on when it was moved to Pest in 1784. In addition to agronomy, he taught Geography, Technology and Natural Science. His many-sided, rich literary activity was translated into several different languages. In his textbook on agriculture, he campaigned for the modern crop-rotation method of farming. His works include KurzgefassteNaturgeschichte (1774, 1789); Elementa rei rusticate in usum academiarum regni Hungariae conscripta, vols. i-iii, university textbook (1779-1794; new edition (1816-1817), and also in Italian; Anfangsgründe derphysikalischen Astronomie (1781), Technologia oeconomica (1794), Compendium Historiae Naturalis, university textbook (1799), and Summarium tractatus de vitis cultura (1813), published in Latin, German, Slovakian, Serbian, Romanian and Hungarian during the years 1815 to 1823. Several of his works are still in manuscript form at the National Museum, Budapest. – B: 0883, 1122, T: 7456.→Batthyány, Count Lajos; Pázmáneum. Mizser, Attila (Losonc, now Lucenec, 26 January 1975 - ) – Writer and poet. In 2001, at the University of Miskolc, he received a Degree in Education, majoring in Hungarian Literature. Since 2008, he has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal Palócföld (Palóc-country) in Salgótarján.Mizser is one of the promising young generations of writers-poets. His works include Without Foam (Hab nélkül) poems (2000) and Abduction to an Overcrowded Area (Szöktetés egyzsúfolt területre), novel (2005). – B: 1890, T: 7456.
Mocsár, Gábor (Gabriel) (Nyírmártonfalva-Guta, 24 February 1921 - Debrecen, 3 December 1988) – Writer, journalist. He studied at the Reformed College of Debrecen, and apprenticed in the engine-fitter trade. He worked at Diósgyőr, Budapest and Debrecen. He became a Soviet POW in World War II. On his return from captivity he joined the Communist Party and worked in Debrecen. His writing career started in journalism. His articles and reports appeared in the People’s Newspaper (Néplap), Debrecen, and he became Editor-in-Chief for the County Newspaper in Győr-Sopron (1950-1954). He was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper, Free People (Szabad Nép) (1954-1956). After the 1956 Revolution he worked in Debrecen again (1957-1961). He edited the periodical, Lowland (Alföld) from 1962 until his dismissal in 1964. He moved to Szeged and participated in the editorial work for the periodicals, Tisza-Region (Tiszatáj), and the Tisza Region Sower (Tiszatáj-Magvető) until 1986. He edited the anthology Tisza Region (Tiszatáj). In his works, he represented the popular movements of the time, used sociological and fact-finding methods sometimes in humorous-satirical forms. He also resettled in Debrecen and initiated the extension of the series, The Discovery ofHungary(Magyarország fölfedezése). His works include Burning Gold (Égő arany) reports (1970); From the Beginning (Eleitől fogva) autobiography (1986); Hot Days (Forró napok) novel (1956), and Spirit and Centuries (Szellem és századok) essays (1961). He was awarded a number of prizes, among them the Attila József Prize (1968), the Art Prize of Szeged (1970) and the Literary Prize of the Art Foundation (1985). – B: 0878, 0883, 1257, T: 7103.
Mocsáry, Lajos (Louis) (Kurtány, near Fülek, now Filakovo, Slovakia, 26 October 1826 - Andornak, 7 January 1916) – Politician. He completed his university studies in Pest. During the 1848-1849 War of Independence from Habsburg rule, he was abroad at the health resort, Gräfenberg, due to an illness. In 1851 he married the widow of Miklós (Nicholas) Wesselényi. As a member of the Party of Representation (Képviseleti Párt) he continued to demand the restoration of the 1848 Acts of Parliament, starting with the 1861 Diet. In 1868 he joined Kálmán (Coloman) Tisza and, as one of the leaders of the Freedom Party, he took a stand against the approval of the 1867 Compromise with the Austria (led by Ferenc Deák). In these years, Mocsáry’s policy endeavored to prevent a fusion between Deák’s Party and Kálmán Tisza’s Party. Adhering to the policies of Lajos (Louis) Kossuth, he demanded the equitable and exact carrying out of the 1868 Nationality Law. He represented the idea of a personal union but opposed the policy of Austrian-Hungarian common businesses. He sympathized with the federative aspirations of the Czechs and Poles within the Habsburg Monarchy, and he considered their autonomy necessary for the retention of Hungary’s independence. In the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, he supported France, and opposed the Monarchy’s expansionist policy toward the Balkans. He opposed the Austrian government’s efforts to centralize the public administration. He represented a fair nationality policy that supported the preservation of the unity of Historic Hungary, including the whole Carpathian Basin, and would allow relatively extensive use of various administrative and cultural languages. He took a stand against the Hungarian Government’s magyarizing policy, hence by 1888 he was completely isolated in his own party and the impatient, chauvinistic general atmosphere forced him to withdraw from active political life in 1892. In his own Independence Party, he represented the liberal attitude of the medium landowners. His name became symbolic for the appeasement between Hungarians and other nationalities. His works include Nationality (Nemzetiség) (1858); Question of Questions (Kérdésekkérdése) (1866), and The Independence Party (A Függetlenségi Párt) (1890) – B: 0883, 1257, T: 7456.→Tisza, Count Kálmán; Deák,Ferenc; Kossuth, Lajos.
Mócsy, János (John) (Kalocsa, 30 November 1895 - Budapest, 16 August 1976) – Veterinarian. He obtained his Veterinary Degree from the Veterinary Department of the University of Budapest (1918), and his Ph.D. from the same University (1921). He worked at the Bacteriological Section from 1918 to 1921 and, from 1921, in the Department of Internal Medicine. He studied in the USA on a Rockefeller scholarship in 1926. Two years later (1928), he became an honorary lecturer, from 1935 associate professor and, from 1940 professor, and was Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (1949-1950), at the University of Budapest. From 1964 he was a member of the editorial board of the journal, Hungarian Science (Magyar Tudomány). His field of research was Pathology of Domestic Animals, but was also active in bacteriology and internal medicine of domestic animals. He was successful in using contact poison, applied through the mouth, for healing skin diseases among animals. He was also interested in numismatics and was President of the Hungarian Numismatic Society (1970-1973). His collection had some famous Greek and Roman medals and coins. His works include Spezielle Pathologie und Therapie der Haustiere,I-II, with other authors (1938), translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian and Chinese), and Internal Medicine of Veterinary Science vols. i, ii (Állatorvosi belgyógyászat I-II), with R. Manninger (1943). He was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (corresponding 1941, ordinary 1946) and, from 1954 to 1956, Secretary; from 1967 to 1970 he was President of the Veterinary Committee of the Academy. He received an honorary doctorate from Humboldt University of Berlin. He was awarded the Kossuth Prize (1952) and the State Prize (1970). Also a János Mócsy Prize was established and his Bust is in Budapest. – B: 1730, 1160, T: 7456.→Marek, József;Manninger, Rezső. Mód, Aladár (family name Oszkó) (Krakow, 20 August 1908 - Budapest, 21 November 1973) – Historian, writer. He studied at the University of Budapest, where he obtained a Degree in Latin and Hungarian Literature. From 1932 he was member of the Communist Party (Kommunisták Magyarországi Pártja). Between the two World Wars, he published articles, studies and essays in the leftist media, such as the Thought (Gondolat), People’s Word (Népszava), and Free Word (Szabad Szó). Under the pen- name, Aladár Oszkó, he edited the periodical Freely (Szabadon) (1931-1932). In 1932 he was arrested for distributing flyers and was in custody for 4 months. He took part in the fight against Fascism. He was imprisoned in 1941. After his release, he worked for a partisan group in Újpest (a northern suburb of Budapest). After the war, he filled various important positions in the Communist Party. From 1954 until his death he chaired the Deparment of Scientific Socialism at the University of Budapest. His works include Materialist Ontology (Materialista lételmélet) (1943); Marx und die ungarische Geschichte (in Acta Historica, 1954); 1849 and its Political Heritage (1849 és politikai öröksége) (1949); Marxism and Patriotism (Marxizmus és hazafiság) (1956); Fate and Responsibility(Sors és felelősség) essays (1967), and Nation and Socialist Nation (Nemzet és szocialista nemzet) essays (1974). – B: 0883, 1257, T: 7103.
Modern Hungary – After the disastrous battle against the invading Turks at Mohács (1526) Hungary broke into three parts. The middle area was under Ottoman Turkish occupation for 150 years; Northern Hungary or Upland (Felvidék, now in Slovakia) and certain Western parts were in the hands of the Habsburgs; while the Eastern part, Transylvania (Erdély, now in Romania) soon gained semi-independent Principality status. In the meantime the Reformation Movement was fully on the side of progress. Later on, however, its main branches integrated into the existing social and political order and became their defenders. In Hungary, the Habsburg Kingdom and the higher aristocracy supported the emerging Counter-Reformation. Thus all attempts at gaining independence from Habsburg rule appeared in conjunction with religious demands. Frater György (George) Martinuzzi, the creator of the independent Principality of Transylvania, was the first to attempt the unification of the three parts of Hungary; but his attempt failed (1551) due to the Habsburg policy that was directed toward the subjugation of Transylvania. However, the Transylvanian National Assembly enacted the Freedom of Religion at Torda in 1568 – the first in the world. Turkish forces captured several Hungarian cities and some smaller fortresses; only Eger was successful in defeating the Turkish siege in 1552. In 1566 at Szigetvár, Count Miklós (Nicholas) Zrinyi stopped – at the cost of his life – the Turkish army’s advance to Vienna. The soldiers of the fortresses, defending the borders of Royal Hungary, came mostly from the lower social classes, including escaped serfs, members of the lesser nobility, who had lost all their possessions in the Turkish wars, and the free peasants, called Hajduk. In the territories occupied by the Turks (called Hódoltság), the numerous taxes, the frequently occurring military campaigns, and the lack of personal and economic security delayed economic development for decades.
The fifteen-year war, between 1591 and 1606, caused serious damage in other parts of the country without achieving lasting results against the Turks. In the end it was the Peace Treaty of Vienna of 1606 that ended the István (Stephen) Bocskai insurrection against the oppressive policies of the Habsburgs and brought peace with the Turks. It granted freedom of religion and also ensured the recognition of Hungary’s ancient Constitution and the independence of Transylvania. After the death of Bocskai, the increasing power and activities of the Counter-Reformation and the return of the Habsburgs’ tyrannical policies led to renewed armed conflicts under the leadership of the princes of Transylvania. Prince Gábor (Gabriel) Bethlen, relying on the internal resources of the Principality, made alliances with the anti-Habsburg Protestant powers but, since he received no material or military support from them, he could only achieve partial results. He prevented the total incorporation of Royal Hungary into the Habsburg Empire, preserved the relative independence of the Principality, and obtained assurances for the preservation of religious freedom, though the latter largely remained on paper. After the Thirty Years War, to compensate for their losses in the West, the Habsburgs were looking for economic advantages in the East.
During the rule of Lipót (Leopold) I (1654-1705) Count Miklós (Nicholas) Zrinyi worked out a political program for the restoration of Hungary’s independence. Unfortunately, his outstanding military and political activities were terminated by his sudden death. Even before his death, in 1664, the Viennese Court signed the Peace Treaty of Vasvár with the Turks, thereby nullifying the victory of the battle of Szentgotthárd and the successes of Zrinyi’s military campaign. The nationwide anger and resentment, following the unfavorable peace treaty, resulted in an anti-Habsburg organization led by Count Ferenc (Francis) Wesselényi. After its discovery, a revenge of terror and tyranny followed. The fugitives, soon to be called Kuruc, fled to the Partium, an area of Hungary at the western edge of Transylvania, and renewed the struggle against the Habsburgs alone, since they could no longer rely on the Principality of Transylvania (Erdély) that had weakened in the meantime. In 1678, Count Imre (Emeric) Thököly, a Protestant aristocrat fleeing from the danger of Habsburg capture, accepted he leadership of the Kuruc insurrection and, after significant militarysuccesses, created the Principality of Northern Hungary (Felvidék, now Slovakia). His further successes were, however, prevented by his Turkish-oriented foreign policy. Most of the Kuruc soldiers joined the Austrian Imperial Army in 1683 that, with Western European support, recaptured the castle of Buda from the Turks in 1686 and, by 1699 expelled the Turks from the territory of Hungary, except for the Temesvár region. The Viennese court considered the liberated parts of Hungary as occupied territory and distributed large areas of it to foreign nobles as a reward for their services to the court. The Viennese Court forced the recognition of the Habsburgs’ eternal right to the Hungarian throne, incorporated Transylvania into the Habsburg Empire as a Principality, and again challenged the Protestants’ right to practice their religion freely. The Austrian armies wreaked havoc in the country, eventually causing an armed rebellion by the serfs against the Habsburgs and the higherr nobility supporting them.
The failed insurrection in northeastern Hungary in 1697 was a prologue to the wide-scale insurrection by the Kuruc that was to follow, whose leader, Tamás (Thomas) Esze and his companions, succeeded in gaining the support of Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II. The Rákóczi insurrection of 1703-1711 began with the slogan “For the homeland and for freedom!” (Pro patria et libertate!) and, at first, the peasantry and deserting soldiers from the Imperial Army mainly supported it. Later on, the majority of the anti-Habsburg lower nobility and some members of the aristocracy joined them. At the beginning, the insurrection achieved great successes against the Imperial Army and the pro-Habsburg Hungarians (called Labanc) fighting alongside them, and a large section of the country became unified under Rákóczi’s rule. However, low level of discipline in the infantry units, the lack of sufficient artillery and the absence of the promised foreign help led to the eventual defeat of the insurrection. In the 1711 Peace Treaty of Szatmár, the landed aristocracy, in order to preserve their privileges, made a compromise deal with the Habsburgs. During the rule of Károly (Charles) III (1711-1740), the colonial imperialist policy of the Habsburgs came to full fruition in Eastern-Central Europe. They considered Hungary to be one of their provinces, and Southern Hungary, as a Military Frontier Area, was taken under Austrian military administration. In the mostly uninhabited areas, liberated from Turkish rule, they created a considerable new land-owning class loyal to Vienna, by granting large land-holdings. The new settlers, especially Germans, were given preferential treatment over Hungarians wishing to re-settle from the central plains. By strengthening the privileges of the Catholics, they limited the religious and political rights of the Protestants. Thus the Carolina Resolution of 1731 barred the Protestants from holding public offices. In the counties, besides the newly endowed foreign landowners, the Hungarian aristocracy, having made a deal in the Peace Treaty of Szatmár, also became willing servants of the Viennese court. The excise duties made Hungary into the provider of raw materials for Austrian industry, thereby significantly hindering the development of industry in Hungary. The increasing exploitation by the state led to peasant rebellions between 1735 and 1753, and between 1763 and 1765.
In the period of enlightened despotism, Empress and Queen Maria Theresa (1740-1780) introduced several progressive reforms in the areas of education and health care. Her son, József II (Joseph) (1780-1790) attempted to put into practice certain ideas of the enlightenment. However, his aggressive policies, aiming at the incorporation of Hungary into the Habsburg Empire, and his program of Germanization, resulted in widespread opposition to and a failure of his policies even before his death. The 1784 Language Decree, regarding the compulsory use of German was actually the main catalyst in the resurgence of the Hungarian language. The first large-scale reform program was designed by Count István (Stephen) Széchenyi, who introduced and implemented many of them himself. The leading members of the opposition, demanding significant socio-economic reforms, united under the leadership of Ferenc (Francis) Kölcsey, Miklós (Nicholas) Wesselényi and – later on – Lajos (Louis) Kossuth, whose vision for the social, economic and political transformation of Hungary was fully embraced by the group.
The 1848 Revolution in Paris (February) and in Vienna (March) pushed into focus and sharpened the debate concerning the demanded reforms. The tensions from the long-existing demands for change and the lack of positive response from Vienna erupted in a revolution on 15 March 1848, in Pest as well. Being threatened by the various rebellions and revolutions in the Empire, the Habsburg government was forced to make concessions. On 7 April 1848 King Ferdinand V (1835-1848), appointed the first independent Hungarian ministry, the Battyány Government, and approved the liberation of the serfs that had been passed by the Hungarian Parliament early in April. Immediately after these forced concessions, the Viennese Court began to take counter-measures. On 11 September 1848, Count Josip Jellachich, the newly appointed Croatian Bán (viceroy), relying on the Croatian troops of the Military Frontier, began his attack against the Hungarian insurrection. The national – Honvéd – army, created virtually within days, defeated Jellachich’s army on 29 September at Pákozd. From this time on, the national uprising became a War of Independence. During the year, the ethnic minorities were incited by Vienna, while Austrian troops conducted numerous attacks against Hungary. At the end of February 1848, the Honvéd army went on a counter-offensive and, during the course of the glorious spring campaign it expelled the enemy troops from most of the country. On 14 April 1849, the Hungarian Parliament, in its Declaration of Independence, abrogated the right of the House of Habsburg to the Hungarian throne and elected Lajos Kossuth as Governing President. Due to the successes of the Honvéd army, Franz Joseph (Ferenc József), the new Habsburg King, asked for the Russian Czar’s help to defeat the Hungarian Revolution. The Russian attack began in mid-June and, in a few months its overwhelming force pushed the Honvéd army back to the line of the River Maros. Seeing the hopelessness of the situation, the Hungarian commander-in-chief, General Arthur Görgey, surrendered to the Russians on 13 August 1849 at Világos. A cruel revenge followed the shameful failure of the Habsburgs, who could only defeat the Hungarian Revolution with Russian assistance. Under Baron Julius Haynau, a merciless military terror followed. The first phase of despotic rule, initiated by Austria, was called the ‘Bach Period’ after the Austrian Minister of the Interior. The country was divided into districts, controlled by the military and administered by a bureaucracy, under the direction of Vienna. The aim was to incorporate Hungary, both militarily and economically, into the Habsburg Empire. German became the official language, resulting in widespread resistance to the regime, despite the brutal persecution of secret organizations striving for independence. However, by the end of the 1850s, mainly due to failures in Austrian foreign policy, accompanied by military defeats, Habsburg despotism was beginning to weaken. Thus, in 1860, the Habsburg Empire restored Hungary’s ancient constitution. However, in 1861, the Hungarian parliament refused to accept the concessions of the “October Diploma” and insisted on the restoration of the laws of 1848, whose major provision, the abolition of serfdom, remained in effect even under the despotic system following 1848. Due to the internal and financial difficulties faced by the Habsburg government and the loss of the war against Prussia and Italy in 1867, the Austrian government made the Compromise Agreement with Hungary.
According to the terms of the Compromise Agreement, the Habsburg Empire was transformed into the dualistic Austro-Hungarian Monarchy with two centers of power and Franz Joseph had himself crowned King of Hungary. Though the Compromise Agreement allowed for a faster pace of economic development, it retained many out-of- date regulations and practices, hindering development, and it failed to solve many social problems that came to the fore in 1848. The foundation of a modern manufacturing industry was laid, but its growth was handicapped by the competition of its stronger Austrian counterpart and the lack of sufficient internal markets. Still, with the economic development of the country, changes for the better did occur in the social sphere as well. However, the international agricultural crisis had a severe effect in Hungary also and led to the mass emigration of impoverished smallholders and renters to the New World, at the turn of the 19-20th centuries.
Because of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand (Ferenc Ferdinánd), the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo, a month later, on 28 July 1914, the Austrian Foreign Minister, despite the objections of the Hungarian Prime-Minister, István (Stephen) Tisza, declared war on Serbia, thus World War I began. Although the country achieved military successes during the war, by 1918 the people wanted peace. This desire for peace was derailed by the victory of the Russian Socialist Revolution toward a similar revolution in Hungary. The Democratic Revolution in October 1918, led by Count Mihály (Michael) Károlyi, abolished the institution of Kingdom on 16 November 1918 and formed the Hungarian Republic. Power soon slipped from Károlyi’s Republic to the Communists returning from Moscow who, on 21 March 1919, declared Hungary to be a Council (Soviet) Republic. This alien form of government could only maintain itself by dictatorial methods and terror that was met with wide resistance among the people. At the end, after 133 days in existence, this regime collapsed at the demands of the Entente Powers.
On 1 March 1920 the Hungarian National Assembly restored the institution of Kingdom in Hungary and named Rear-Admiral Miklós (Nicholas) Horthy as governing Regent of Hungary. The Peace Treaty of Versailles-Trianon, signed on 4 June 1920 deprived Hungary of two-thirds of her territory, one third of her Hungarian ethnic population and of almost all of her natural resources. When the provisions of the Treaty of Trianon were executed on the western border, an insurrection broke out in Western Hungary against the concessions of certain areas to Austria. The Venetian Agreement, brought about by Italian mediation, resulted in a plebiscite in the disputed area. As a consequence, Sopron and its surroundings remained part of Hungary. With the loss of two-thirds of the country and most of the natural resources, and facing a large reparation payment for the loss of the war, the revival of economic activity faced almost insurmountable obstacles. Further difficulties arose from the Habsburg restoration putsch attempts in 1921. To help re-start the economy, the country received loans from the League of Nations that placed the economic development largely under Western control. The desire to regain the lost territories led to several revisionist movements. The 1929-1930 Depression had a grave effect on Hungary’s industrial and agricultural production. One third of the industrial workers became unemployed and, in the mid-1930s, the number of unemployed professionals was over 25,000. After Adolf Hitler came to power, Germany succeeded in regaining some of her lost territories by diplomatic means. To decide on the return of her territories, Hungary asked for a four-power conference (England, France, Germany and Italy); but England and France refused to participate. In 1938, on the basis of the First Vienna Award, Hungary – after bilateral negotiations and mutual agreement with Czechoslovakia – regained the purely Hungarian-inhabited strip from southern Slovakia. Then, when Czechoslovakia fell apart later in 1938, Hungarian troops re-annexed Sub-Carpathia or Ruthenia (Kárpátalja), located in the northeastern border region of Historic Hungary, and Slovakia became an independent state. In 1940, the Second Vienna Award, after bilateral negotiations and an agreement, Romania returned to Hungary the northern parts of Transylvania and the Szekler districts with a large Hungarian population. After Germany attacked Yugoslavia in 1941, it fell apart, with Croatia becoming an independent state. Hungarian troops entered the mostly Hungarian inhabited Baranya Triangle and the Bácska area, because they were harassed by Serb partisans and, at the request of the local population, the region of the River Mura as well. On 27 June 1941, in response to a Russian air attack on the city of Kassa (now Košice, Slovakia), the circumstances of which continue to remain unclear, Hungary joined in the war against the Soviet Union. Thus Hungary entered World War II on the side of the Axis Powers.
At first, the Hungarian military leadership accepted only a policing role in the areas behind the German lines. However, after the Germans lost the battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, Hitler demanded more participation in the war from Hungary, and the 2nd Hungarian Army was sent out to the front lines along the River Don. Since the army lacked proper heavy weapons and winter clothing, and since the promised modern weaponry never materialized from the Germans, in the January 1943 great Soviet offensive, most of the 200,000 men of the army were killed or captured and only a fraction made it back to Hungary. When the Germans learned of Hungarian plans for a separate peace, they occupied Hungary on 19 March 1944. In October 1944 the Hungarian Government turned to the Allied Powers seeking a separate peace but its request was rejected. At the same time, the organization that planned armed resistance against the Germans was discovered and its leaders were captured and executed. When, after these events, on 15 October, Regent Miklós Horthy sought a separate peace with the Soviets, the Germans forced him to appoint the leader of the Hungarian Nazi Arrow Cross Party, Ferenc (Francis) Szálasi, as the new Prime Minister. Horthy was taken – as a prisoner – to Germany and kept there under guard until the end of the war. Until October 15 1944, the Hungarian Jews were somehow protected, their deportations started only under the new regime. The Soviet army, after heavy battles lasting 6 months, including the siege of Budapest, captured Hungary and remained there as an occupying force for more than 40 years, until 1991. During this time, the so-called “Soviet advisors” controlled in reality the main aspects of the country’s political, economic and cultural life.
After World War II, the Treaty of Paris, on 10 February 1947, while Soviet Military forces kept Hungary under occupation, re-established Hungary’s Trianon borders as they had been in 1938 with some additional losses of Hungarian territory and obliged Hungary to pay 300 million dollars in compensation On 21 December 1944, in the Soviet-controlled eastern town of Debrecen, the Provisional National Assembly, with the approval of the commander of the Soviet occupation forces, formed a so-called “Provisional National Government”, while, in the larger, German controlled part, a government approved by the Germans was still in power. The new Provisional Government declared war on Germany (though it never entered into an actual state of war) and on 20 January 1945, signed the Moscow Armistice Agreement with the Soviet Union. The Provisional Government initiated a land reform, nationalizing the large land-holdings over 100 acres but leaving the ‘kulak estates’ (well-to-do peasants) intact up to 200 acres. On 1 January 1946 the mines were nationalized, and on 1 February 1946, the Hungarian Republic was declared. Within a three-year plan, a clearing of war ruins and the rebuilding of the country began. At the end of 1946, the largest industrial plants were nationalized. From 1947 began the so-called anti-republican conspiracies that reflected a popular opposition against the newly forming Soviet type regime. In 1947, first the large banks, then industrial enterprises employing more than 100 workers were nationalized. The oppression of the well-to-do peasants (in Communist phraseology: kulaks) followed. Their land was confiscated and, together with their children, they were barred from any but the most menial of occupations. 1948 was called the year of the turning point because in this year – supported by the Soviet troops – the Communists gained overwhelming power in the new Government. About 50 years after the Commune of 1919 the Communists again set up a dictatorship of the proletariat in Hungary. Despite wide opposition, forced collectivization of agriculture followed, including the small land-holdings distributed in the land reform of 1946. On 20 August 1949, Hungary’s New Constitution was ready and the country became a People's Republic. Municipal governments were also altered to match the Soviet pattern of having a ‘freely elected’ council that – in reality – was appointed by the local Communist Party organization. By the end of 1949, the Communists nationalized all manufacturing enterprises employing more than 10 workers, rental apartments and church schools. They also dissolved all non-Communist oriented organizations or associations.
The first five-year plan was announced in 1950. Its purpose was to lay down the basis of a socialist economic system and, first of all, to push for an accelerated rate of development in heavy industry. After the first year of the five-year plan, grossly overestimating the results and ignoring the country’s limited resources, the Communist Party drastically increased production quotas for the plan, resulting in a severe decrease in the standard of living. Though, under the plan, new industries and new industrial cities were developed, the fast rate of development caused serious raw material and energy shortages. The building of housing was neglected and the production of consumer goods was insufficient to supply even the peoples’ basic needs. Years after World War II, food ration coupons were introduced and villagers had to go to the cities to get bread. The peasants were obliged to hand in most of their produce to the State at artificially low prices and thus resentment toward the Communist system ran high in the countryside. The grave errors committed in the economic sphere were closely connected to the personality cult that emerged around the person of Mátyás (Matthias) Rákosi, chief secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party. The personality cult not only made possible, but in fact encouraged the violation of legality and the conviction of innocent people on false charges and directly led the country to the 23 October 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight.
Due to the provocative intervention of the organs of the Államvédelmi Hatóság – ÁVH (State Security Police), the peaceful demonstration of 23 October 1956 changed into an armed uprising. The population of the country unanimously supported the participants, mostly university students and young industrial workers. Frightened by the anger of the masses, the Government and the leaders of the Communist Party, essentially the same people, citing the terms of the 1955 Warsaw Agreement, called on the Soviet Union for armed support. The victory of the 1956 Freedom Fight was short-lived (from 23 October to 4 November). The promised western military help did not materialize, consequently, in a few days, the newly invading, overwhelming Soviet tank, artillery and air attacks crushed all significant resistance. The new Government of János (John) Kádár, formed with Soviet backing began the so-called Kádár Period lasting until 1988. In retaliation for the Revolution, the leaders and hundreds of young revolutionaries were executed and thousands deported to Soviet labor camps and some 200,000 Hungarians emigrated to western countries.
Learning from its mistakes, the Government decided to focus on the general economic improvement of the country, when it launched the second three-year plan in 1957. It discontinued the previous system, under which the peasants were obliged to hand over to the state most of their produce at nominal prices, and introduced a market approach by allowing more equitable pricing and even small private plots. This practice was significantly different from the agricultural practices in the Soviet Union at that time. The government, however, re-established the socialist collective farms, spontaneously disbanded under the Revolution, although they continued to function at a loss. Due to her relative prosperity in the Communist world, within about 15 years, Hungary became known as the place of Gulyás Communism. However, since this prosperity was largely due to foreign loans, by the end of the 33-year-long Kádár regime, the country was increasingly under economic pressure by the dangerously mounting foreign debt, totaling some 22 thousand million USD.
In 1989, in the first free election, the Soviet style government system was replaced by a freely elected government with József (Joseph) Antall as Prime Minister. Hungary became a democratic republic, but it was difficult to get rid of the residue of 45 years of Soviet occupation and Communist rule. For some years, the country’s economy was still significantly connected to that of the Soviet Union, and following its dissolution, to those of its successor states. Another problem was that a large section of the new middle-class, who grew up and developed their careers under the Communist system, still harbored Communist ideas. This is why, in the 1994 (second) free elections the remnants of the so-called Reform Communists united in the Socialist Party and managed to gain power with Gyula (Julius) Horn as Prime Minister. However, economic difficulties grew steadily. To curb them, the government introduced the so-called ‘Bokros Package’ that caused further troubles. At the election in 1998, a center-right coalition won, with Viktor Orbán as Prime Minister. They turned around the economy and, with ambitious projects they started to modernize the country. They extended helping hands to 2.7 million ethnic Hungarians in the neighboring states, who had been neglected and badly treated in the previous 45 years. Their number dwindled from 3.2 million at the time of the 1920, Trianon Peace Treaty to 2.7 million. By introducing the so-called ‘Status Law’, they were declared members of the Hungarian nation, despite separating borders drawn artificially by peace dictates. In the election of 2002, however, the Socialist Party-led coalition returned to power with a slight majority. In the election campaign they promised a better, prosperous life, although it was soon obvious that this could not be achieved. On 1 May 2004 Hungary became a member of the European Union. In the fall of 2004, Prime Minister Péter (Peter) Medgyessy was replaced by Ferenc (Francis) Gyurcsány, and the country sank deeper into national debt. On 5 December 2004, a plebiscite was held and lost on the issue of “dual citizenship” for Hungarians living outside the country.
This caused a deep frustration among the 2.5 million Hungarians living in the detached territories. As the election of 2006 approached, the governing coalition was abundant in promises but, after having won the election, the new Gyurcsány government announced a stern economic policy, with increasing taxation, privatization of hospitals, schools, industries, etc., that resulted in more difficulties, socio-political tension, protests and frustration. On May 26, 2006, in a speech in Balatonöszöd, Gyurcsány admitted that he had lied to the people in order to be re-elected, and the population became increasingly frustrated with the Government and the Prime Minister. The Alliance Free Democrats (Szabad Democrata Párt – SZDSZ) left the governing coalition on 30 April 2008, and, in March 2009 Gyurcsány declared that he would resign. He left the country in a financial crisis. Gordon Bajnai succeeded Gyurcsány as Prime Minister by. At the 2010 elections a Fidesz-KDNP coalition won with more than 2/3 majority. The 2nd Orbán Goverment started to rebuild Hungary after three terms of devastating MSZP-SZDSZ reign. – B: 1133, 1020, 7103, T: 7665, 7103.→Hungary, History of; Most of the persons and events have their own entry.