Hungarian People’s Republic: the Rákosi Era (1949–1956)

Hungarian Workers' Party General Secretary Mátyás Rákosi.

Hungarian Workers’ Party General Secretary Mátyás Rákosi.

The Hungarian Workers’ Party (HWP) maintained a totalitarian police state in Hungary from 1949 to 1956. This Stalinist state, which came into being with the adoption of a new constitution establishing the Hungarian People’s Republic in August 1949 and ended with the Hungarian Revolution in October 1956, functioned under the direction of HWP General Secretary Mátyás Rákosi and the pervasive surveillance of the State Protection Authority (Államvédelmi Hatóság, or ÁVH). During this seven-year period, Soviet officials exercised a significant influence over political and economic affairs in Hungary.