triotic People's Front, that the system had to be changed. What they did not realize, however, was that the Kadar regime could not be reformed. It was from this meeting that the Hungarian Democratic Forum eventually emerged two years later.
Bruszt Laszlo, and Stark David, "Remaking the Political Field in Hungary: From the Politics of Confrontation to the Politics of Competition," in Ivo Banac, ed. Eastern Europe in Revolution ( Ithaca, NY, 1992); Swain Nigel, Hungary: The Rise and Fall of Feasible Socialism ( London, 1992).
Elections of 1945. During the autumn of 1945, elections were to be held in Hungary. At the insistence of the Communist and Social Democratic parties, municipal elections were to be held first. These two parties reasoned that the city workers would vote for them, and they would gain the majority in the industrial centers. The national elections would, therefore, be influenced by the municipal elections, providing a good chance for the two parties to gain a majority in parliament. But the leaders of the two parties were disappointed.
The Smallholders party, considered by the majority of the population to be the strongest bulwark against communism, won 51 percent of the votes in the municipal elections. The Social Democratic party and the Communist party, running on a joint ticket, won only 39 percent of the votes cast. The National Peasant party, a surrogate for the communists in the countryside, received 7.1 percent, and the rest of the ballots were shared by smaller parties.
Before the elections, the Soviet chairman of the Allied Control Commission in Hungary, Kliment Voroshilov, pressured the leaders of the Smallholders party to agree to the continuation of the coalition government regardless of the outcome of the elections. The Smallholders agreed. In the national elections, the Smallholders received the absolute majority of the votes, 57 percent. The Communist party, now running on its own, received seventeen percent. The Social Democratic party gained 17.1 percent, and the National Peasant party received 6.8 percent. In the new government, 50 percent of the ministerial posts were given to the Smallholders party, but the ministries of the interior and of justice came into communist hands. This ensured the eventual Stalinization of Hungary.
Fejto François, A History of the People's Democracies ( London, 1971); Nagy Ferenc, The Struggle Behind the Iron Curtain ( New York, 1948).
Erdei, Ferenc (1910-1971). Erdei was born into a peasant family and he absorbed his father's political ideas. He grew up in opposition to the interwar Hungarian regime and acquired an innate hatred for middle-class society. He was able to attend university studies and grow into a scholar. His books about the history of peasant society became standard works on the subject.
In 1939, Erdei was among the founders of the National Peasant party. He gravi-