In 1919 the Hungarian National Defence Union has seen no other way out but in
army dictatorship, the democratic parties were hoping for the elections in March, while
the communists wanted the proletarian dictatorship. Károlyi on the other hand was
convinced that only a socialdemocratic government can be effective against dictatorship.
To add to the problems Paris has given a free hand to the Romanians Bucharest was
assured that they had nothing to fear from Hungary. To insure this a 40-50 km zone
was esthablised where the Hungarian Army was not allowed to enter. The Hungarian head of
state was notified of this on March 20 by letter from vice colonel Ferdinand Vix. It is
unclear to this date why came up with this, as there was no reason to doubt in the
humbleness of the Károlyi government. The government found it self in an impossible
situation as to refuse meant war whereas to accept equalled to the extreme hatred from the
people. The cabinet has abdicated the same day, a total socialdemocratic government was
formed with Károlyi still on top. As first step they did refuse the Vix-notes and with
the formerly imprisoned communists they have agreed to the proletarian dictatorship. They
took over the power like a coup d'etat where the army force came from 14000 soldiers of
The Prime Minister was Sándor Garbai, with the actual leading role being in the
hands of the commissary Béla Kun. The Socialist Party of Hungary has been pushed back
more and more. The first deeds of the proletarian dictatorship have been prohibition and
statarium. The majority of the people has supported the regime partly because of
announcing armed resistance and partly as they were hoping for a more just society. On 22
May Kun and his party has declared the willingness of forming a union with the
Soviet-Russia. Vice colonel Vix has quickly left Hungary, which was the sign of nothing
The state regime was leaning on the soviets.
After taking over all political parties and unions were prohibited. The age for election
rights was lowered to 18 and this right was taken away from the rich and from the clergy.
During the elections in April 1919 if no communist won the result was
"corrected" for total victory. The Red Guards were formed under commissaries.
The organ of the red terror has appeared, the so called "Lenin boys", meaning a
brigade of 200 people.
The Economy of The Soviet Republic
The establishment was modelled on Soviet Russia having meant the taking over of
properties, mines, factories, banks etc without compensation, making them state-owned. The
unreal aims were coupled with prohibition, production and material shortages. The
deterioration of work moral has also lead to less production. Strategical industries
(railway postoffice shipping and mining) were placed under the soviets.
There ruled a total financial chaos, the official currency remained "the
blue-note" of the Monarchy and note the crown issued by the new republic. The
country's financial confidence has weakened, there was regular bartering and black
working, the real value being gold and jewels.
The situation was equally bad when it came to agriculture as the huge properties
remained in the so called socialist form. In the beginning of April the Soviet ruled on
middle and big properties, socialising bigger than 75-100 acres. The government has not
allowed the distribution of communised lands, the servants became workers simply. The
agrarian soviet controlled everything.
The majority of peasants however was not ready for this. They were hoping for
ownership of land finally. As this hope was not realised the basis of the whole
proletarian dictatorship has collapsed with the farmers confronting the soviets. The
counterrevolutionary movements of the peasants were violently punised.