Towards the end of 1946, ominous events in the satellite countries foreshadowed the coming of a turn of line. In November, the Rumanian elections, so long delayed as a compromise between Allied insistence upon a free poll and communist intentions to make them a sham, were carried through under terrorist pressure. As a result, Maniu and the Liberals withdrew their representatives from the government, which thus, in view of the nullity of the socialists, became, for all practical purposes, a one-party communist government. Thus Rumania was now aligned with Bulgaria. Soon, the peasant leaders saw themselves compelled to attempt their flight from the country. But some of the most important ones were apprehended, were indicted together with Maniu and, in the autumn, received life sentences.
In Poland, elections delayed for the same reasons were held in the same way in January 1947. As in Rumania, socialists and communists had appeared on one list; as in Rumania the peasant party, the only opposition, received a derisory vote as a result of terror and fraud. Then, as in Rumania, the extermination of the peasant party started. In November, Mikolaiczyk succeeded in escaping.
The most significant events occurred in Hungary, apparently because in that country, in contrast to Poland, which was an Ally, and to Rumania, which was treated as an annexe of the USSR, the impending peace treaty had real significance. If the Red Army left Hungary without leaving a communist régime behind, Russia might well lose control of the country. Therefore in December 1946 there was a sudden increase of terrorism. About Christmas higher officers and diplomats were arrested on charges of a conspiracy against the régime. Confessions were obtained by torture. Then member after member of the Peasant Party was dragged into the net, until the MVD proceeded to extort confessions from