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1. Accelerated criminal proceedings, Legal decree No. 4/1957, which entered into force on January 15, 1957, instituted accelerated criminal proceedings, designed to pass swift, severe sentences on those accused of 'counter-revolutionary crimes'. For instance, it allowed proceedings to begin without a formal indictment. According to legal decree No. 5/1957, 'the punishment for those convicted of crimes by accelerated proceedings is death,' which could be commuted at the court's discretion. However, the decree did not live up to expectations, even though it allowed the death sentence to be carried out even on young offenders between the age of 18 and 20, which had been banned in 1950. It was rescinded on June 15, 1957, under legal decree No. 34/1957, which established the people's courts.
2. Administrative methods/measures, This euphemism for coercive measures taken by the authorities was applied, for instance, to criminal proceedings against those late with their work or producing sub-standard goods, or in the countryside, peasants failing to supply their assigned quantity of produce.
3. Akadémia utca party centre, The country was essentially run from Akadémia utca 17 (5th District), where the central organizations of the HWP were housed. Initially, Prime Minister Imre Nagy worked from Akadémia utca as well, but on 29 October, he moved his offices to Parliament, in nearby Kossuth tér, which replaced the party centre as the country's political headquarters.
4. Allied Control Commission, The victors in the Second World War set up an Allied Control Commission in each country formerly allied to Hitler's Germany, as an international body to implement the armistice agreement and monitor the conditions required for concluding a peace treaty. It was chaired by a representative of the country that had commanded the wartime military operations on the territory of the country concerned. In Hungary's case, the Soviet mission was accompanied by smaller, less influential British, American, Czechoslovak and Polish missions. The ~ also acted as the highest organ of political and economic decision-making and indirectly helped the Hungarian Workers' Party (MDP) to assume power.
5. ÁVH (previously the ÁVO), The State Security Office (ÁVH) was set up in September 1948, under the control of the Interior Ministry. Its legal predecessors were the Political Security Department (PRO, 1945) and the State Security Department of the Interior Ministry's State Police (ÁVO, 1946), which had been headed by communist officials even in the coalition period. The PRO's main task had been to purge Hungary of the remnants of Nazism. Its brief was extended after the November 1945 general elections to waging a struggle against 'reactionary elements'. Its headquarters were at Andrássy (later Sztálin) út 60 (6th District), which had earlier been the 'House of Fidelity' where Ferenc Szálasi's fascist Arrow-Cross Party had been based. Later it moved to the tower block in Jászai Mari tér (5th District), popularly known as the 'White House'. The ÁVO and later the ÁVH played a decisive part in preparing and conducting show trials during the struggles accompanying the communist take-over. Its activity was supervised and controlled by members of the Soviet state security service, the NKVD (later the KGB), acting as advisers to its leaders. After the communists took power in 1948, the ÁVH was treated as the army or 'fist' of the ruling HWP. The ÁVH at the peak of its power (1949-53) functioned as a separate authority formally responsible to the Council of Ministers (government). However, its sole chief in reality was the party general secretary, Mátyás Rákosi. Apart from the security police, the ÁVH included an 18,000-strong Army Border Guard (the 'Green ÁVO') and the military intelligence. It also contained an Internal Force, a corps for keeping order within the service, established after the Soviet pattern. The ÁVH assumed the task of guarding important party and state buildings and several forced-labour and internment camps, including Recsk and Kistarcsa. Between 1950 and 1953, the ÁVH took proceedings against about 650,000 people. The dreaded Gábor Péter, who headed the organization from 1945 until his arrest in January 1953, carried out faithfully every order from Rákosi. In 1953, Imre Nagy's first government attempted to place the ÁVH under Interior Ministry control again. During the 1956 revolution, the deep antipathy for the Stalinist system felt by Hungarian society manifested itself most of all in hatred of the ÁVH and the lynching of some 'ÁVO' men. Some ÁVH units and officers fought against the rebels alongside the Soviet troops. The Nagy government fulfilled one of the main demands of the revolution on October 28, 1956 by disbanding the ÁVH. This was confirmed on 7 November by the Kádár government in an Interior Ministry order, although most of its members continued to work for the state-security (later the political investigation) department of the police until 1961.
6. Bolshevik, Bolshevism, Bolshevik (derived from the Russian word for majority) was the term applied to the revolutionary, communist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and its members. The Bolsheviks under Lenin gained a majority over the Mensheviks (minority) during a debate over the party's statutes, at its second congress in London in 1903. Bolshevik was included in the official name of the Soviet Russian communist party from 1918 to 1952. Bolshevism was used up to the Second World War to denote the theory of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of revolutionary workers' and communist parties.
7. Border zone, A strip of land, usually 50-100 metres deep, on the inward side of the country's border, in which special administrative regulations applied. Entry, exit or residence in ~s was restricted or subject to a special permit. As the international situation became tenser, Hungary equipped its Austrian and Yugoslav ~s with a cleared strip of land, barbed wire fences and other physical obstructions such as minefields and fences incorporating an alarm device (sealed border).
8. Borsod County Workers' Council (Borsod Megyei Munkástanács), This formed on October 25, 1956 in Miskolc, the county seat, under the leadership of Miklós Papp and Attila Nagy, while Rudolf Földvári and the Dimávag engineering factory delegation were negotiating with Imre Nagy in Budapest. The founding meeting, in the university quarter of the city, gave immediate support to the strike. It decided to establish a workers' guard of 150 men to strengthen public security, and called for workers' councils to be established in factories. Consequently, workers' councils took over the running of factories and of many communities across Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County in the next few days. After the capture of the police headquarters on 26 October, the county workers' council moved into the premises of the county council, an action symbolizing that power had been taken over by the local forces for the revolution. Although the workers' council immediately set about organizing security forces, it was unable to prevent a second outbreak of mob violence on 27 October, after which several members resigned. The Dimávag delegation arrived back from Budapest on the same day. Having learnt of the events in the city, they met in the assembly hall of the factory the next day, where they re-elected the county workers' council. Further members were co-opted on 29 October to the workers' council that had been elected on 25 October and formed on 27 October at a meeting in the Dimávag cultural hall. The workers' council controlled the county administrative apparatus and adopted the local workers' 21 points as its programme. On November 5, the workers' council had fruitless negotiations with the commanders of the Soviet forces occupying the city. They were all arrested and deported to Subcarpathia, over the Soviet border. Local HSWP rule was re-established under Károly Grósz (who was to become prime minister in 1987-8 and the last general secretary of the HSWP in 1989-90.) However, the general strike caused the party to backtrack. The arrested members of the workers' council were released in mid-November and some even brought into the running of the city and council. The local HSWP began its final reckoning with the workers' council after an activists' meeting on 9 December.
9. Cadres, This military term is usually applied in communist parlance to young workers or peasants brought to work outside their trade in the communist-party bureaucracy or state apparatus, and therefore strongly dependent on the party for their livelihood. This made ~ averse to reforms and strongly supportive of the existing party leadership. For the party, ~ became all-purpose officials ready to accept any post to which they were assigned. They would often serve successively in the state apparatus, in production and in the party apparatus. They provided one of the broadest and most important bases for the communist party.
10. Class aliens, class enemies, Class aliens were those deemed to be 'alien and opposed' to the working classes. The practice between the end of the 1940s and 1962 was to rank former landowners, aristocrats, factory and company owners and rentiers (according to their occupation and property status in 1938) as class aliens. The category also included war criminals, those convicted of political crimes, those branded as kulaks, former gendarmes, former holders of official political or high state functions, former police and military personnel not transferred to the new forces, workshop owners and traders who employed two or more people for an extended period after the war, and clergy who failed to cooperate with the system. An HSWP Central Committee resolution of 1957 also categorized as class aliens those who had been convicted for their part in the 'counter-revolution'. Class aliens and those of class-alien descent could not hold certain jobs or leading positions, and were excluded from higher education. Being a class alien was an aggravating circumstance in a criminal trial. Class enemies included class aliens and all those who opposed the dominant ideology, irrespective of their class status.
11. Cold War, The specific situation that developed after the Second World War brought two superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States, along with their spheres of influence into an extended period of tense antagonism that fell short of open warfare. The ~ was accompanied by a constant arms race, restrictions on economic relations between the two blocs, few scientific contacts, and minimal diplomatic relations. The two power systems fought a ceaseless propaganda war. The ~ was relieved by intervals of détente at certain stages, during which some nuclear arms limitation agreements could be reached. The ~ came to an end after 1989 with the dismantling of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of successive communist regimes, culminating in the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
12. Collectivization, According to Lenin's ideas, the peasants, on seeing the superiority of the 'socialist' system over the capitalist, would voluntarily pool their land in a collective, cooperative farm (kolkhoz), which they would farm in common. This they were expected to do out of economic self-interest. In the event, the Soviet Union began a process of forcible collectivization of land, against the will of the majority of peasants. Those who opposed the process strongly were branded along with richer peasants as kulaks. Precisely the same process of forcible collectivization occurred in Hungary after 1948, although the preferred terms were 'cooperativization' and 'agricultural cooperative'. This was halted by Imre Nagy's reforms in 1953, but resumed under the Kádár government in 1959. Collectivization also entailed a consolidation of the fragmented peasant land holdings into larger fields. This was in theory designed to allow the land to be used in a more rational, planned way, so that large-scale farming methods could be used. In practice, it was often used as a disciplinary measure, with worse land being awarded to recalcitrant peasants in exchange for better.
13. Comecon, The Council of Mutual Economic Assistance was an international body formed under Soviet leadership and insistence on January 25, 1949 in Moscow. The original members were Albania (until 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union. East Germany joined in 1950, followed by Mongolia (with observer status), Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos and Mozambique. The main bodies were the Council and its Supreme Committee. Mutual assistance in practice meant subservience to the dominant will of the Soviet Union. The Comecon mechanism contributed to the disintegration of the system of relative values, which led member-countries to seek advantages at each others' economic expense. Burdened with internal disputes, ~ broke up as market economies began to develop again in its member-countries after the change of system. A protocol dissolving it was signed in Budapest on June 28, 1991.
14. Consolidation, Consolidation was the term used during the 1956 revolution for the period between 28 October and dawn on 4 November, when armed combat had ceased and life had returned to normal, after the political demands of the rebels (and the Hungarian nation) had been met. The Kádár government that gained power after November 4 applied the same term to the period up to about 1963. This period, marked by terror and reprisals against those who had taken part in the revolution, allowed the Kádár government to cement its initially tenuous hold on power, with the military help of the Soviet Union.
15. Corvin köz group, Armed civilians in the Corvin Cinema and surrounding buildings began to fight with the Soviet armoured forces as early as the night of October 23-4, 1956. Taking advantage of the area's excellent strategic conditions, the rebels of Corvin köz (Corvin Passage) soon became the biggest and most important armed revolutionary group. Their valour was a decisive factor behind the favourable turn of events on 28 October. The group's commander-in-chief was László Iván Kovács and later Gergely Pongrátz. Representatives of the Corvin köz group negotiated several times with national political and military leaders during the ceasefire, and their influence on armed groups in their neighbourhood increased. The Soviet forces began to attack the group with large forces on the evening of 4 November. However, the defenders managed to hold their positions until the following afternoon, when the Soviets followed up an artillery bombardment with a further strong attack. The surrounding buildings were seriously damaged and the cinema caught fire. This caused the group to abandon its base, but some members continued fighting in other parts of the city for several days. Others retreated into the cellars of the buildings until they were crushed by the superior forces.
16. Council of Ministers (Minisztertanács), This was the official name for the government. When Imre Nagy became prime minister for the first time in 1953, one of his first organizational moves was to replace the Presidium and Bureau of the Council of the Ministers with a Secretariat. This was the prime minister's personal policy and advisory apparatus, whose responsibilities included the administrative tasks associated with the Council of Ministers. In March 1954, Prime Minister Nagy formed the Information Bureau of the Council of Ministers, headed by Zoltán Szántó. It controlled the press, Hungarian Radio and the official Hungarian news agency MTI, provided newspapers and periodicals with paper, and so on. Its foundation supplied a government counterpart to the Agitation and Propaganda Department of the HWP.
17. Counter-revolution, In Western political parlance, a revolution is the abrupt overthrow of a political system, by force rather than constitutional means. Communist terminology adds to this definition a direction: a revolution is 'progressive', inasmuch as it moves a country along a sequence of development predicted by Marx, from feudalism through bourgeois society to socialism and ultimately communism. An abrupt change of system that moves the country in the opposite direction, away from socialism, was therefore reactionary-a counter-revolution, not a revolution. The thinking behind the term is exemplified by the definition found in Lexicon of Labour-Movement History by Henrik Vass, a standard work in the Kádár period. Counter-revolution is 'a reactionary turn in the nature of political power or a collective action that aims at this. Behind it, there always lies the vested interest of classes and social strata intent on impeding social progress. Its classic form is when the state power of the class representing the historically most progressive socio-economic system is overturned with the purpose or restoring the previous social formation (for instance, the defeat of the Hungarian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic in 1919) or an attempt is made to do this (for instance, by the Russian counter-revolutionaries between 1918 and 1921).'
18. Debrecen Socialist Revolutionary Committee (Debreceni Szocialista Forradalmi Bizottmány), Local party and council leaders in Debrecen reached agreement with representatives of the revolutionary organizations, students, workers and soldiers during overnight talks on October 25-6. The events were classified as a socialist revolution, and it was decided to establish the Debrecen Socialist Revolutionary Committee as a new local authority. This summarized its demands under 26 points, which were published in the local Néplap (People's Paper) on 27 October. The chairman was Lieutenant-Colonel László Csorba, commander of the local guard. The committee took power on 27 October. The council offices and departments remained, but control of them passed to elected revolutionary bodies, headed by the committee. It ceased activity on 4 November, after the Soviet intervention.
19. De-Stalinization, Stalin's death on March 5, 1953 was followed by a process of eliminating the blatant, crude illegalities in the communist system associated with Stalin (show trials, labour camps, the personality cult etc.), without altering its essentials. Curiously, those aspiring to lead the de-Stalinization in several Eastern European countries and the Soviet Union were themselves much to blame for the excesses of the Stalinist period. They were induced to refine the methods employed by fear of a social explosion. For some, the motive was to stabilize their own power or bolster their political position. De-Stalinization was not carried out consistently in any country. In each case, it stalled on the way (except in Albania, where it never started.)
20. Dictatorship of the proletariat, According to communist ideology, this was to be a temporary form of government during the transition to communism, in which the power of the working class (proletariat) - dictatorship of the majority - would be attained. Subsequent development of the ~ would ultimately turn 'socialist people's unity' into a 'universal state of the whole people'. In practice, the ~ gave dictatorial power to a narrow communist elite that claimed to represent the working masses. Characteristics of the system included the abolition of parliamentary democracy, the amalgamation of legislative and executive power, expropriation of the means of production, and intimidation of the masses.
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