Two elections in Hungary: 1939 and 2009

Of course, the 1939 election was a national election while in 2009 it was a European parliamentary election, but there is one thing that these two elections have in common: the unexpectedly strong showing of the extreme right. In 1939 there were six parties that could be described as right-radical, and altogether they received more than one million votes. It is true that the traditional government party still got 71.92% of the votes, which meant 187 seats in a 260-member parliament, but the parties of the extreme right received 18% of the votes and could send 46 people to parliament. Even in Budapest where the liberals and the social democrats were traditionally strong, the extreme right gained ground. Four years earlier these small radical parties had received only 50,000 votes. Four years later over one million! One might add that prior to 1939 voting in the countryside was not secret. The 1939 election was the first to have secret ballots everywhere. At the same time Law 1938/XIX increased the minimum voting age and introduced stricter educational requirements. However, it didn't help. Just as István Csurka's MIÉP enjoyed a strong showing in the well-off Buda districts in the 1990s, so the Arrow Cross, the most important extreme right-wing party, was the favorite of the upper middle classes in 1939.

Even then, as now, pundits debated about who voted for these parties. The conservatives gleefully pointed to Red Csepel (a working class district in the southern part of Budapest) that went solidly for the Hungarian Nazis and to their strong showing in mining towns. Western Hungary, an area that remained firmly in the Fidesz camp in the EU election, was an Arrow Cross stronghold in 1939, especially around the city of Keszthely and along the Magyaróvár-Zirc-Enying axis. The extreme right in 1939 was also very popular in central Hungary. In 2009 Jobbik was successful in counties with high Roma populations due to their anti-Gypsy rhetoric while "the Roma question" was a non-issue in 1939.

Several articles appeared lately on the the growth of the extreme right in Hungary. I want to focus on one that I found especially interesting: Andor Ladányi's "Kísért a múlt?" (Élet és Irodalom, July 3). Andor Ladányi as a young historian wrote a little book on the radical youth of the early 1920s which I found particularly useful when I was working on this period. Ladányi, like others then and later, believes that in large part the votes for the extreme right came from the left. In 1935 there were eleven social democratic members of parliament. In 1939 only five. But the smallholders also lost out to the Hungarian Nazis. In 1935 the party had a parliamentary caucus of twenty-two while after 1939 it was reduced to fourteen. In Buda, in the so-called "Christian middle-class" districts, the Arrow Cross party received 32.92% of the votes. Looking at the details of the 1939 election one can safely say that support for the extreme right was wider and deeper than it is for Jobbik today. First of all, the 18% figure is misleading because the radical parties, including the Arrow Cross Party, were unable to compete in every district. In those days there were districts where one could vote only for parties and others in which one could vote for individual candidates. There were thirty-eight districts where one could vote only for parties, and the Arrow Cross Party was on the ballot in only twenty-one of them. But when they were on the ballot, they received 29.35% of the votes. Then there were 135 districts where the electorate voted for individual candidates; here the Arrow Cross Party managed to get on the ballot in fewer than half of them. When they were represented, they received 26.37% of the votes. So, although it's not scientific to extrapolate based solely on these numbers, it's still not difficult to imagine what would have happened if they had been on the ballot in all 173 districts!

Although there are many similarities between the Arrow Cross and Jobbik, there are obvious differences. In those days the extreme right didn't face such issues as globalization or Hungary's relation to the European Union. Rascism was of course present but the "Gypsy question" was not an issue. First of all because the number of Gypsies in those days was much smaller than today, and in the late 1930s this minority group was not really visible. The extreme right found a common cause in anti-semitism, manifested more openly and virulently than today. Or at least in those days it wasn't necessary to use code words. Nationalism was an important component then as now, but irredentism dominated the vocabulary of the extreme right in 1939 in a way that it no longer does. By 1939 German Nazi propaganda exercised a powerful influence on the Hungarian extreme right, and the Hungarian national socialist parties even received financial assistance from Germany. For the 1939 election campaign this financial assistance was substantial. Ladányi believes that Jobbik doesn't receive financial assistance from other European right-wing parties. I might mention here that György Lázár, who often writes from California in Élet és Irodalom, makes a case for Iranian financial support of Jobbik just as an earlier Hungarian right-radical group received generous sums from Saddam Hussein (http://www.es.hu/index.php?view=doc;23303). I don't know where the money for the 2009 election came from, but surely not from the local supporters.

Finally, Ladányi recalls that in 1939 the extreme right won votes from the opposition parties (social democrats, smallholders, and liberals). The "government party" MÉP (Magyar Élet Pártja) actually gained voters. MÉP had more than a two-thirds majority in parliament. Prime Minister Pál Teleki and Interior Minister Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer immediately distanced themselves from the extreme right, and the policies of the government were in no way influenced by the presence of a fairly large national socialist group in parliament. The situation is somewhat different today. Fidesz's attitude toward Jobbik is ambivalent, making it more difficult to marginalize the Hungarian neo-Nazis.

As opposed to Ladányi I still don't believe that the majority of Jobbik's voters came from the left. The Progresszív Intézet came out with a new study that is very similar to the early Medián poll. See here: http://nol.hu/belfold/20090710-fokent_a_fidesz_szavazoibol_toltekezett_a_jobbik But to me even more telling is that half of Fidesz voters are opposed to the court's decision to ban the Hungarian Guard, and we know from other sources that one-third of them actually want cooperation between Fidesz and Jobbik. See http://nol.hu/belfold/20090709-nem_az_egyenruha_teszi And, as we know, the pollsters expected Fidesz to do much better in the EU parliamentary election than their final  56.36% figure. All in all, I believe that the majority of the Jobbik voters came from first-time voters and former Fidesz supporters.

The real question is whether Jobbik will make further strides and receive an even greater number of votes next year or whether the same thing will happen now as happened after 1939. The right radical groups splintered and again became insignificant. It was only after October 15, 1944, that Ferenc Szálasi, the head of the Arrow Cross Party, gained power, but only as Germany's puppet. Today I think a lot will depend on how the government handles the situation. From today's news it looks as if at last they decided to be courageous and take steps against any future activities of the Hungarian Guard. Meanwhile I wouldn't like to be in Viktor Orbán's shoes. His situation is very difficult given the presence of Jobbik sympathizers among Fidesz voters. But I don't think that ignoring the problem is the right answer to the problem.

16 comments

  1. “Of course, the 1939 election was a national election while in 2009 it was a European parliamentary election, but there is one thing that these two elections have in common: the unexpectedly strong showing of the extreme right.”
    I’m very pleased that the question of comparison between these two elections has been raised. There are parallels and significant differences. I’ve spent a lot of the past two years studying this period in western Hungary at the local level, and the 1939 elections figure prominently.
    Before we go into this further one can’t really divorce the upsurge in far right activity from the international context. In 1939, Nazism was at its high watermark, and its prestige extended beyond those who were drawn to the far right. Its descisive anti-Semitic measures and its territorial revision met with considerable approval from supporters of the ruling party as well. This is a huge difference with today. The second relates to the electoral process – inter-war elections in Hungary were not free and fair in the sense that those are in Hungary today. This was not because of the franchise – and the institution of the secret ballot did help. It was instead because the administration acted as an arm of the ruling party. It banned one incarnation of the Arrow Cross months before the election, later allowing it to re-found in order to disrupt its election preparations. Opposition parties were subject to harassment, both by local officials and the gendarmerie. Because the votes cast were not cast in a fully free and fair election, we should be wary of taking them too literally.
    “In Buda, in the so-called “Christian middle-class” districts, the Arrow Cross party received 32.92% of the votes.”
    Could you perhaps say a little bit more about your source for these figures? I ask because the official results by constituency of the 1939 election are available online as a result of the elections’ history project run by the Politikatörténeti Intézet (the figures are available here: http://www.vokscentrum.hu/valaszt/index.php?jny=hun&mszkod=111000&evvalaszt=1939), and your figures here just don’t look accurate. The districts you talk about were covered by the Buda list constituency, where the governing party polled 40.64% and the Arrow Cross only 27.43%.
    “Even then, as now, pundits debated about who voted for these parties. The conservatives gleefully pointed to Red Csepel (a working class district in the southern part of Budapest) that went solidly for the Hungarian Nazis and to their strong showing in mining towns.”
    This is undoubtedly true, and it wasn’t just in Csepel. In the Budapest-Környék list constituency, which included all the industrial towns part of the Budapest connurbation that were incorporated in 1950, the Arrow Cross topped the poll with 35.37%, the governing party won 27.47%, and the Social Democrats only 17.13%. In fact in the industrial areas where they were able to stand one feature of the 1939 elections was that the far right did well.
    The Vokscentrum site has some useful maps that show some of the geographical breakdown of support ( http://www.vokscentrum.hu/valaszt/terkep.php?mszkod=111201&evvalaszt=1939&jny=hun). There are some continuities (high votes in parts of what is now Pest, Szolnok, and Szabolcs), and some divergence (western Hungary). I’d make two points about that. Firstly, archivist Zoltán Paksy has been working on the electoral support for the far right in western Hungary. He argued that it drew most of its support from small-scale property holders, and those sections of the rural poor who were part of the electorate – in other words the far right vote was a vote for reform. Secondly, in much of the north-western corner, ethnicity, and the political behaviour of ethnic Germans was crucial. In Magyaróvár German voters were radicalized as a result of Austria’s incorporation into Germany, and thus abstained rather than support the local candidate of the governing party. This allowed the far right candidate to mobilize a cross-class coalition that included workers, and local businessmen (mobilized by the promise of discriminatory measures against the Jewish competition) to take the seat.
    “Rascism was of course present but the “Gypsy question” was not an issue.”
    I can simply tell you from my own research that this is not true. Though it was not apparent from election results, the tactics used by Jobbik in areas with high Roma populations are incredibly close to those used seventy years ago.
    “Prime Minister Pál Teleki and Interior Minister Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer immediately distanced themselves from the extreme right, and the policies of the government were in no way influenced by the presence of a fairly large national socialist group in parliament.”
    Well, the first part of your sentence is true. The second part I find alarming. Teleki’s second premiership was associated with the governing party, if anything, accelarating its appropriation of the agenda of the radical right that came from both within its ranks, and among the national socialist opposition. Certainly they denounced the Arrow Cross as “Bolsheviks”, but – especially in so far as anti-Semitism and territorial revision was concerned – appropriated their agenda.
    “The real question is whether Jobbik will make further strides and receive an even greater number of votes next year or whether the same thing will happen now as happened after 1939. The right radical groups splintered and again became insignificant”
    The police reports on radical right activity in western Hungary that I’ve seen are fairly clear that radical-right activism fell back from a peak in late 1940, largely as a result of the unpopularity of the Second World War. I think (hope) that these circumstances are not going to be repeated!
    “The Progresszív Intézet came out with a new study that is very similar to the early Medián poll.”
    And it seems to have all of the same methodological flaws.

  2. “The Progresszív Intézet came out with a new study that is very similar to the early Medián poll.”
    Well, even at the left exists a “Nézőpont Intézet”… Good for us! The most important methodological problem is that in Hungary phone polls are highly unreliable. (Although in this case the methodological data was really not given in the article, unlike the Medián one! But I suspect it was a phone poll, as it is cheaper than making face-to-face surveys with hundreds of commissioners…)
    “MÉP had more than a two-thirds majority in parliament. Prime Minister Pál Teleki and Interior Minister Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer immediately distanced themselves from the extreme right, and the policies of the government were in no way influenced by the presence of a fairly large national socialist group in parliament.”
    I can only aggree with Mark on this point, although the bulk of the Arrow Cross was considered as coming from the mob and representing the mob, Teleki’s agenda was a reform agenda, in many ways overlapping with extreme rightist proposals. Moreover the government party was divided, Teleki has a very small group of followers, as the list of candidates consisted followers of the late Gömbös and was influenced by his predecessor Imrédy, who at one point in 1940 break away from the MÉP. Although he was not capable to drew the support he hoped for (at one point his political dinners was attended by more than 50 MPs, but only a bit more than a dozen followed him) his ideas remained popular in the circles of the MÉP parliamentary caucus. (That was the reason behind the importance of the co-opted MPs from the reattached territories and it was certainly a factor behind the prorgation of the Parliament in 1943.)
    There was a certain ideological continuum from the MÉP to Imrédy and to the extreme right and to parts of the populist movement, with an underlying common idea of an organic national community, from wich every “foreign” element should be excluded in one way or in other… It is not far from today’s situation…

  3. I think that the treating of the “where did the Jobbik voters came from” issue highlights almost every problem and weakness with the Hungarian politology as a social science and with the polituical analysis. Insitutes are stating the obvious, making unnecessary surveys that will yieled only results in line with one could have had relying on his or her common sense (Jobbik drew voters from a broad social spectrum and from those who never voted earlier etc.) This is not too much for so much money, while they are not adressing the methodological problems. (How reliable can be the statement of the surveyed on their vote in 2006? If they sum it up how far is it from the actual election result? What about phone polls etc.?)
    But the real problem is, that nationwide surveys simply veil the political problem. You can argue on the basis of such opinion polls that either Fidesz voters or Mszp voters, or first-timne voters were the reason behind the unexpected success of Jobbik, but it is redundant, as you can’t adress the regional differences. Why should one accept that Jobbik’s voter base is a homogenous one? (It is a possible implicit suggestion of national level surveys.) This way you can try to circumvent he fact that Jobbik has overtaken the socialists in many of their core constituencies and it would be hard to attribute this fact to mysterious Fidesz voters suddenly emerging from their hidings of the basements and proudly voting for Jobbik, but the political problem for the socialists remains: they can’t relly hope even a moderatley decent showing at next year’s election if they are not capable to attract a part of this group. And that is why insisting on the idea that Jobbik’s voters came from Fidesz is not helping to make a viable political startegy, it rather blocks it. (Or, put it more directly from another perspective: if it is right, than the political left and liberalism is extinct in Hungary. 75% percent of the countries voters prefer the political right in one or in other form. Maybe it is true, but in that case it should be admitted.) Even though Jobbik attracted Fidesz voters, the socialists – especially as they remained no real chance to win next year – has to deal with their own problems and not taking delight from Fidesz’s mysery. It won’t bring them any electoral reward or ease.

  4. Gábor: “There was a certain ideological continuum from the MÉP to Imrédy and to the extreme right and to parts of the populist movement, with an underlying common idea of an organic national community, from wich every “foreign” element should be excluded in one way or in other… ”
    It is very clear that when one looks at local political dynamics (and indeed the pro-government press at local level) the years 1938 to 1940 witness a real radicalization in the base of the governing party. While Teleki was a complex figure politically (though the “racial” nature of his anti-Semitism suggests that much of the rehabilitation of Teleki is unwarranted), I think the differences by 1939-40 between MÉP and the Arrow Cross at least in so far as building the “pure” national community were concerned were ones of emphasis rather than a fundamental ideological divide. One of the areas in which there is a parallel between 1939 and now is in the symbiotic and problematic relationship between the mainstream and the extreme right.

  5. Mark: “Could you perhaps say a little bit more about your source for these figures?”
    Perhaps I didn’t make it clear but I’m here simply summarizing Ladányi’s article. I write a blog almost every day and it would be impossible to do independent research on every historical topic. I did consult Földes-Hubai, Parlamenti választások Magyarországon, 1920-1998 and noticed that the number of mandates each party received was different from some of the others in secondary sources. I’m grateful for the link to vokscentrum.
    As for the influence of the 1939 elections on governmental policies the opinion expressed is not mine but Ladányi’s.

  6. Mark: “I think the differences by 1939-40 between MÉP and the Arrow Cross at least in so far as building the “pure” national community were concerned were ones of emphasis rather than a fundamental ideological divide.”
    But Mark, don’t you think that one can say the same about Fidesz and Jobbik?

  7. Éva: “But Mark, don’t you think that one can say the same about Fidesz and Jobbik?”
    Yes, I think that is precisely the point, and it is what I’ve been getting at for a while. What the European elections show us is that the political divides of the 1930s are being reproduced in the circumstances of seventy years later: so, a dominant, hegemonic right-wing party with at best an ambiguous relationship to the far right, flanked by the remains of the left, and far right radicals. The context is very different, but one doesn’t have to take the parallels too far to realize this is a dangerous situation.

  8. Éva: “From the name of the URL one can guess the results.”
    I don’t care much who does it, but I’m pleased to see that someone has subjected the actual votes to proper statistical analysis, even if they’ve adopted a “lazy” way of managing some of the complexities of comparing two sets of elections where the electoral administration was different. This is at least a defensible approach methodologically, and maybe Medián and the Progresszív Intézet could take up the challenge, refine the algorithim, deal with the data a little differently, and produce a better analysis! That having been said, the four conclusions seem sound to me, but then they are in line with what I would expect see.

  9. Mark: “Éva: “From the name of the URL one can guess the results.”
    I don’t care much who does it, but I’m pleased to see that someone has subjected the actual votes to proper statistical analysis…
    You’re not equally skeptical about this analysis as those others? I’m. No statistical analysis will ever tell us what actually happened. I think it was the director of Szonda Ipsos who admitted that so-called “proper” analysis is impossible. We don’t know who went and voted and who didn’t. We don’t know for sure whether people are telling the truth about their votes either now or three years ago.
    Having said that, I still sympathize with Zoltán Somogyi’s observation that while all polls indicated the very poor showing of MSZP and therefore the results didn’t surprise anyone that wasn’t the case with Fidesz. And of course in the case of Jobbik and MDF. So those missing numbers from Fidesz (three of them) most likely went to Jobbik and MDF.

  10. Éva: “You’re not equally skeptical about this analysis as those others?”
    I’m much less sceptical – which isn’t to say I don’t have criticisms. This is really because the technique allows them to make detailed comparisons of the geographical spread of votes using data collected at a very local level (the polling place). It doesn’t depend on the problems of opinion surveying about past voting intentions, but uses a set of statistical techniques widely used across the social sciences and beyond. It is widely used to explain movements of votes between elections in Hungary’s neighbours. For a basic explanation of the method and information on how it has been used in Austria see: http://www.sora.at/de/start.asp?ID=3 (in German), and http://www.sora.at/en/start.asp?ID=428 (in English).
    My two criticisms are:
    1. I think they needed to find a way of separating new voters from non-voters in 2006, and therefore setting the beaviour of new voters as a question in their analysis. I can see why they didn’t do this as it requires an analysis of the numbers of registered voters by polling place, and some information on demographic trends. I don’t think it would have changed much in their assessment of the relative shifts of votes between parties, but it would have been interesting.
    2. I think their solution to the problem of where polling places are not directly comparable across the two elections was a bit crude, and they could have found a better one.
    But, as I said before, at least they have done it! And if Medián and the Progresszív Intézet think they can do better, then I’d like to see their analysis.

  11. I do not know when the Hungarian elections of 1939 were held. If they were held before September in of that year, then Europe was at peace if it was after September then Europe was involved in a war.
    We therefore cannot compare the situations in 1939 and 2009.
    In 1939 the countries then under National Socialist rule appeared powerful and successful. This would not have gone unnoticed by the Hungarian population many of whom would have wished that their country was also powerful and success. At that time, I believe, Hungary was known as a land of a million beggars. People blamed the banks and bankers for this problem. In their minds all banks were run by Jews and therefore many of the country’s ills of the blamed upon the Jews. (This of course was not true.) Ferenc Szálasi, and the Arrow Cross Party were very anti Semitic and must have played on this. From what my late wife told me, the membership of the Arrow Cross Party was mainly of Swabian origin. It would be interesting to compare the voting patterns in 1939 with the majority ethnic grouping in the various constituencies.
    In 2009 Jobbic played the race card for all it was worth. From what I can see and understand Jobbic gathered most of their votes in those areas which had a high Roma population. Such areas tend to be rather poor, but in poor areas there are very often some people have a lot of money. In the United States at the turn of the last century a few very rich people live cheek by jowl with a great number of very poor people. An example of this can be found in the old U.S. ‘Cotton Belt’. The second point to consider is that many of the richer Jobbic supporters come from the young moneyed classes. These people, who are very often bored, wish to recover what they see as the ‘Glory Days’ of Hungary.
    Finally there are those people who dream of a Messiahanic leader. With such a leader all of the country’s ills will be fixed (including grandma’s bunions).
    By the way there are six nations in Europe which are bound by treaty to prevent any recurrence of National Socialism

  12. Odin: “I do not know when the Hungarian elections of 1939 were held. If they were held before September in of that year, then Europe was at peace if it was after September then Europe was involved in a war.”
    May 25-26.

  13. Odin: “From what my late wife told me, the membership of the Arrow Cross Party was mainly of Swabian origin.”
    I think you need to be careful with this, in that it bears the traces of the ways in which the MÉP used an Arrow Cross proposal (the so-called Hubay-Vágó amendment)on the rights of minorities to discredit the far-right as unpatriotic.
    My impression is somewhat different. In 1938-9 the growing prestige of Nazi Germany produced a sharp turn to the right – a belief that social reform combined with racist measures against Jews and Roma would solve Hungary’s problems. This trend produced different results in different communities. In ethnic German villages in western Hungary it produced a radicalization of that minority that served as the basis for Volksbund activism. Elsewhere it produced an upsurge in support for the Arrow Cross – often, especially in the western border regions, the Arrow Cross could organize on the basis of Magyar fear of incorporation into Germany, while the Volksbund could advance on the basis of ethnic German reaction to the Arrow Cross organizing. It is quite interesting to note that villages which had functioning Volksbund organizations during the early 1940s generally didn’t have any Arrow Cross organization, and vice versa.

  14. Odin: “From what my late wife told me, the membership of the Arrow Cross Party was mainly of Swabian origin.”
    Yes, as Mark already noted, this is rather a political spin in order to discredit the Arrow Cross and the Germans at the same time. But while many politicians and mainly intellectuals were suspicious regarding the Germans in Hungary (inculding prominent figures from the populist movement) and to portray the Arrow Cross as a mere tool of Germany’s imperial inerest was seen as a clever action against both of them, Szálasi himself was an admirer of the Fuhrer but never thought of simply imitating him, nor an unconditional submission to Germany’s will. Rather he was sure of himself as an equal of Hitler, he always considered his movement as the rightful leader of Hungary and the Carpathian Basin, withouth any direct influence of Germany. Even though – in the light of the events – it seems ridiculous, he tried to negotiate with Hitler in December, 1944 quite confidently, firmly believeng in his own mission. (I suppose this is behind the “great discovery” a year or two ago presented by László Karsai: Szálasi was not eager to provide the remaining Jews to Hitler. He treated them as belonging to Hungary, not to Germany and he was sure that it is a rightful claim…)
    Otherwise, there was no clear ethnic pattern in the Arrow Cross votes in 1939. Strange situatuons occured, for example in a constituency in Baranya the Arrow Cross candidate won against a Volksbund candidate (supported by the government party as well), but it is hard to tell whether it was a result of an ethnic vote against the Germans, or resulted from a cross-vote of the ethnic groups or Germans voting for the Arrow Cross. Moreover, many the best Arrow Cross (more precisely extreme right) results were achieved in the middle of the country, in the “Kiskunság” “Jászság”, Southern-Heves and the party fared well in the south-western Nógrád region as well, an area dotted with poor and small villages. A somewhat similar charactersitic can be observed in the Western-Hungarian regions, many of wich earlier were safe hunting ground of political catholicism.

  15. Gábor: “Otherwise, there was no clear ethnic pattern in the Arrow Cross votes in 1939. Strange situatuons occured.”
    One has to remember that electoral behaviour was conditioned by the role of elections within the political system. Hungary in 1939 was not a democracy, but an authoritarian state which allowed manipulated, yet competitive elections. The ruling party and the state apparatus were tightly integrated; they set the rules, and pulled out all the stops to ensure that their candidates were elected. In short, it was more comparable to the situation in contemporary Iran or Belarus, in that there was never any danger – whatever the level of support of an alternative – that the ruling party could be removed.
    Outside Budapest and the big cities this meant that the contests were strongly conditioned by local circumstances. The attitudes of the local officials – either at county level, or that of főszolgabiró (some of whom sympathized with the Arrow Cross)- could be crucial in ensuring that a candidate got on the ballot; that the gendarmerie would not arrest a party’s activists for distributing leaflets; or that it could hold campaign meetings. Much might depend on the stance of local landowners.
    Getting to the bottom of the “strange situations” requires quite a lot of painstaking (and possibly frustrating) local archival work (some of which I’ve done – but only in the far west).
    There are some patterns to far right support, as far as I can see:
    1. The core of Arrow Cross organizations seem to have been “Christian” merchants and artisans, who stood to benefit from radical anti-Semitic legislation. In urban areas especially this membership was often quite large.
    2. As Gábor hints small property owners were attracted to the far right because they saw them as offering the best prospect of radical land reform. In a situation of agrarian crisis this was clearly appealing. Though this is not clear from the votes, I would have said there is quite a lot of evidence from gendarmerie reports on local Arrow Cross organizations that they were capable of winning support among manorial servants and agricultural labourers.
    3. Working-class support. Miklós Lackó, in an article on the workforce in Kispest’s Hoffer Tractor Factory suggests that this had a strong, generational dimension. The far right were attractive to working-class youth, for whom the left were simply not credible or relevant. This is also reinforced by work I did in mining areas (I was focussed on a later period but the 1930s kept coming up again and again).

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