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International Journal of History

2021, Vol. 3, Issue 2, Part B

Radical right-wing, quasi-state paramilitary formations in Hungary, 1919–1924 an outline


Author(s): Balázs Kántás

Abstract: In the 1920s, paramilitary violence was an almost natural phenomenon in Hungary, like in many other countries of Central Europe. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire the new right-wing government, establishing its power with the help of the Entente powers, could difficulty rule the quasi anarchistic conditions. In 1920–1921, Hungary was terrorized by irregular military formations that were formally part of the National Army, and radical right-wing soldiers committed serious crimes frequently by anti-Semitic motivations. Although paramilitary violence ceased in 1921, the militia movement lived on in the form of secret paramilitary organizations. The government used up these units, since the right-wing elite was afraid of another communist takeover, using them as auxiliary police forces, and they also wanted to circumvent the limitations of armament of the Treaty of Trianon, also aiming to cooperate with Austrian and German radical-right paramilitary groups including Hitler’s National Socialist movement as well. Irregular soldiers became concerned in political terrorism, several bomb outrages. Although the police did its best to investigate the cases, most perpetrators interestingly were not sent into prison. The age of the bomb raids, as the press of the opposition called this period, finally ended with the fact that murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists remained at large, and found their places in the authoritarian conservative regime of Hungary of the 1920s. The article, as an extract of a long monograph published in Hungarian by the author, briefly reconstructs certain political crimes committed by the members of irregular military formations based on archival records of criminal suits. Furthermore, beyond the analysis of the individual cases of three different, but interrelating bomb outrages, it intends to draw general conclusions about the controversial and complex relationship between the early Hungarian paramilitary radical right-wing movements and the government, considering that several paramilitary commanders operated as influential radical right-wing politicians as well.

DOI: 10.22271/27069109.2021.v3.i2b.107

Pages: 74-84 | Views: 12 | Downloads: 5

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How to cite this article:
Balázs Kántás. Radical right-wing, quasi-state paramilitary formations in Hungary, 1919–1924 an outline. Int J Hist 2021;3(2):74-84. DOI: 10.22271/27069109.2021.v3.i2b.107
International Journal of History