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Description de l’éditeur

On December 2, 1944, the Hungarian National Front of Independence stepped in to fill the political void left by the fleeing Nazi regime. The government included members of the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Smallholders Party, the National Peasant's Party, and the Liberal Democratic Party. The Communists held the greatest number of seats, 90 out of 230, in the provisional parliament, a foreshadowing of what was to come, the establishment of a Soviet-sponsored totalitarian regime in Hungary. (2) The precarious political situation in Hungary during the immediate post-World War II era triggered a migration of Magyar politicians to the democratic West. These expatriates encountered suspicion and jealously from Hungarians already living in various host lands as well as prejudice from the indigenous populations. More importantly, the new political evacuees carried with them their ideals, opinions, and conflicts from their homeland, which they would continue to embrace years after they had fled Hungary, causing strife between themselves and established Hungarian immigrant communities in the West. While they all sought to rid their homeland of Soviet domination, factionalism, as much as Cold War politics, (3) squelched their efforts to improve the situation in Hungary. The inimical infighting between the expatriates and their organizations impaired the possibility of a unified movement and affected questions concerning their character and legitimacy with host governments and local Magyars. As historian Thaddeus Radzilowski explains, "... the Cold War brought forth a large number of organizations whose main or even sole function was to fight Communism [which, at times,] ... created odd political alliances. The interests of the ethnic groups ... were sometimes sacrificed to the liberation struggle." (4) Art historian and archeologist Elizabeth Valkenier adds that in several cases, "The[re] was never any unanimity among exiled politicians as to what would constitute an effective liberation." (5)

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