Hungarian National Socialist Party

The Hungarian National Socialist Party (Hungarian: Magyar Nemzeti Szocialista Párt) was a political epithet adopted by a number of minor Nazi parties in Hungary before the Second World War.

Hungarian National Socialist Party

Magyar Nemzeti Szocialista Párt
Merged intoArrow Cross Party
IdeologyNational Socialism
Hungarian Turanism
Political positionFar-right

Early National Socialist groups

From its early origins up to the eventual fall of the Third Reich Nazism had a profound impact on Hungarian politics and as a consequence several "clone movements" were established in the country during the interbellum period.[1] The initial HNSP was organised in the 1920s, but did not gain any influence. Nevertheless, this incarnation of the party carried on into the 1930s.[2]

A second group, the National Socialist Party of Work, was founded by Zoltán Böszörmény in 1931. The movement soon became known as the Scythe Cross due to its party emblem. The Scythe Cross was fairly small, but it was the first fascist movement in Hungary to directly call for land and social reform for peasants. Many fascist movements afterward, including the Arrow Cross Party, followed this example and gained rural support.[2] The Scythe Cross movement was the most strongly Nazi of the various parties, its manifesto simply being a direct translation of the National Socialist Program whilst it strongly pushed anti-Semitism as a central part of its rhetoric.[3]

Flag of the Arrow Cross Party 1937 to 1942
The Greenshirts were amongst the groups to use the Arrow Cross

The Hungarian National Socialist Agricultural Labourers' and Workers' Party (HNSALWP) was formed in 1933 as a splinter group from the Smallholders Party under Zoltán Meskó. This party appealed specifically to landless peasants. Before long it subsumed the original HNSP and its followers became known as the Greenshirts for their distinctive uniforms. They also adopted the Arrow Cross as their symbol.[2]

Around the same time Sándor Graf Festetics, who had briefly served as Minister of Defence during the government of Mihály Károlyi, set up his own Hungarian National Socialist People’s Party (HNSPP). A rival group, going by the name of HNSP, also emerged under the leadership of Count Fidél Pálffy (who was later viewed by the SS as a candidate to lead the country[4]). This group adopted the swastika as its emblem and the National Socialist Program as its policy document and even attempted to organise their own SA and SS, albeit on a much smaller scale than in Germany. Both of these groups looked directly to Nazi Germany for their inspiration and copied the Nazi Party as much as they could. Both were also banned soon after their formation by the government, although they continued underground.[2]

Attempts at unity

In 1934 the HNSALWP, the HNSPP and Pálffy's HNSP concluded a formal alliance, although before long Festetics was expelled for his perceived 'softness' on the issue of Hungary's Jews. He went on to join another HNSP that was organised in Debrecen by István Balogh. Both Balogh and Festetics were elected to parliament for this group in 1935.[2]

The two remaining parties came together as the National Socialist Party of Hungary in 1935 and before long Pálffy had seen off Meskó as well to leave him as sole leader. As a consequence Meskó re-established the HNSALWP, although it failed to gain much support.[2]

Scythe Cross rebellion

Whilst the various factions had struggled to gain some sort of unity the Scythe Cross movement had remained independent. The group pushed a strong platform of anti-Semitism and anti-communism and, drawing its support from the working classes, soon came to be seen as a potential danger by the government of Miklós Horthy.[5] Support was particularly strong amongst the poor seasonal workers who picked up casual labour on the large estates at harvest time, and when over 100 were arrested they all declared themselves willing to die for the 'Idea' espoused by Böszörmény.[6]

Developing a militia structure, the Scythe Cross opted for insurgency and launched a rebellion of sorts on May Day 1936. A few thousand supporters of the group mobilised with the stated intention of marching on Budapest, with the capital denounced in their rhetoric as "sinful".[7] However the still fairly small and poorly equipped group was no match for the army and it was quickly put down. As a result, the group was banned and suppressed by the government and Böszörmény went into exile in Germany.[8]

Unity under Szálasi

Whilst this was going on Ferenc Szálasi had emerged as a strong leader of his own Party of National Will (later the Arrow Cross Party). This group soon became the focus for unity, absorbing first Balogh's group in 1937 before adopting the HNSP moniker for his own group that same year. Before long Szálasi had brought all the main talent bar Festetics, who was closer to the aristocracy despite his flirtation with Nazism, under his umbrella.[9]

War-time experience

The Arrow Cross was banned when war broke out and as a result Szálasi found unity difficult to maintain. Pálffy joined with László Baky to relaunch the HNSP almost immediately and this group had 15 deputies by 1940 when it once again merged into Szálasi's group. This merger was not to last however as in 1941 they broke away to form Hungarian Renewal - National Socialist Party (HRNSP), which had as many as 44 deputies.[10] Supported by the German-funded newspaper Magyarság, the party made little headway, although it was one of the few allowed to continue after the German invasion and played a minor role in the government of Szálasi.[11] The HRNSP was officially merged into the Arrow Cross in 1944, although separate organisations largely continued to function until the end of the war.[12]

None of the various claimants to the title of Hungarian National Socialist Party survived the Second World War.

Electoral results

National Assembly

Election Votes Seats Rank Government Leader of the
national list
# % ±pp # +/−
1926 1,118 0.1% Increase0.1
0 / 260
Increase 11th in opposition
1935 57,544 3.9% Increase3.9
1 / 260
Increase 5th in opposition
1939 10,872 0.7% Decrease
0 / 260
Decrease 14th in opposition


  1. ^ Steven Bela Vardy, Historical Dictionary of Hungary, Scarecrow Press, 1997, p. 327
  2. ^ a b c d e f Payne, p. 270
  3. ^ Carsten, pp. 173-174
  4. ^ R. Braham,'The Politics of Genocide - The Holocaust in Hungary' Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ 'Hungarian Fascism'
  6. ^ T. Brass, Peasants, Populism and Postmodernism: The Return of the Agrarian Myth, p. 60
  7. ^ Carsten, p. 174
  8. ^ Payne, p. 271
  9. ^ Payne, pp. 273-4
  10. ^ Payne, pp. 415-6
  11. ^ Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, László Baky entry
  12. ^ Payne, p. 419


1939 Hungarian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Hungary on 28 and 29 May 1939. The result was a victory for the Party of Hungarian Life, which won 181 of the 260 seats in Parliament. Pál Teleki remained Prime Minister. It won 72 percent of the parliament's seats and won 49 percent of the popular vote in the election. This was a major breakthrough for the far-right in Hungary.

Arrow Cross Party

The Arrow Cross Party (Hungarian: Nyilaskeresztes Párt – Hungarista Mozgalom, literally "Arrow Cross Party-Hungarist Movement", abbreviated NYKP) was a far-right Hungarist party led by Ferenc Szálasi, which formed a government in Hungary known as the Government of National Unity. They were in power from 15 October 1944 to 28 March 1945. During its short rule, ten to fifteen thousand civilians (many of whom were Jews and Romani) were murdered outright, and 80,000 people were deported from Hungary to various concentration camps in Austria. After the war, Szálasi and other Arrow Cross leaders were tried as war criminals by Hungarian courts.

Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890

The Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890 is a reference book by Philip Rees, on leading people in the various far right movements since 1890.

It contains entries for what the author regards as "the 500 major figures on the radical right, extreme right, and revolutionary right from 1890 to the present" (publisher's blurb).

It was published, as a 418-page hardcover, in New York by Simon & Schuster in 1990 (ISBN 0-13-089301-3).

In the introduction Rees discusses his criterion for inclusion in the book. He describes the extreme right as "opposed to parliamentary forms of democratic representation and hostile to pluralism."(xvii)

Among those it covers are Argentinian nationalists, Mexican sinarquistas, American nativist demagogues, Brazilian Integralists, German National Socialists, Portuguese National Syndicalists, Spanish Falangists, and Belgian Rexists.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Eidgenössische Sammlung

Eidgenössische Sammlung (German; literally "Confederate Collection") was a Swiss political party, founded in 1940 by Robert Tobler as a successor to the recently dissolved National Front.The party demanded an adjustment in Swiss policy to favour the Axis powers. This was particularly important as, after June 1940 the country was surrounded by fascist and Nazi states. It was open in its loyalty towards Nazi Germany.The Eidgenössiche Sammlung was closely supervised by the state because of its origins and so could not develop freely. In 1943 the police finally cracked down on the group and it was outlawed along with all of its sub-organisations as part of a wider government initiative against the National Front and its offshoots.

Fidél Pálffy

Count Fidél Pálffy de Erdőd (6 May 1895 Svätý Jur – 2 March 1946 Budapest) was a Hungarian nobleman who emerged as a leading supporter of Nazism in Hungary.

István Balogh (politician)

Father István Balogh (30 March 1894, Budapest – 20 July 1976) was a Hungarian Catholic priest and anti-communist politician who later tolerated the rule of the Hungarian Communist Party.

Initially associated with the Independent Smallholders Party he became a supporter of Nazism for a time during the 1930s and from his base in Debrecen formed a version of the Hungarian National Socialist Party. Both he and Sándor Festetics were elected to Parliament for this group in 1936. He was part of the Hungarian provisional government established in 1945 and travelled to Moscow to sign the 1945 armistice.After the war Balogh led the Independent Hungarian Democratic Party (FMDP), a minor opposition group which was largely controlled by the government. His list captured 5.2% of the vote in the 1947 election although his opposition soon died down and he effectively co-operated with the communists despite his personal reservations. Although seen as a potential focus of dissent Balogh stayed away from any direct involvement in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

List of fascist movements by country G–M

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

László Baky

László Baky (September 13, 1898 in Budapest – March 29, 1946) was a leading member of the Hungarian Nazi movement that flourished before and during World War II.

A military academy graduate, he came to prominence in Szeged in 1919 for his violent counterrevolutionary work and rose through the ranks to become one of the leading figures in the Gendarmerie. A member of several far right groups he finally left the gendarmes in 1938 (as a major-general) to join the Hungarian National Socialist Party, and passed through a number of incarnations of this fluid movement. He was elected as a deputy in 1939 and sat as a member of a Nazi coalition group. Close to Nazi Germany, he was appointed editor of the German-funded newspaper Magyarság. He soon became a close ally of Fidél Pálffy and the two united with the followers of General Ruszkay and Ferenc Szálasi to form a wider coalition of pro-Nazi conservatives and military men.After the Nazi invasion and occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Baky was elevated to state secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, under Andor Jaross. Along with his fellow state secretary, László Endre, Baky eagerly accepted responsibility for deporting the country's Jews to the extermination camps. Soon after his ascension, he wrote in a letter to Jaross, "The Royal Hungarian Government will soon have the country purged of Jews. I order the purge to be carried out by regions. As a result of the purge the Jewry - irrespective of sex or age - is to be transported to assigned concentration camps." On 4 April he chaired a meeting attended by senior members of Adolf Eichmann's commando unit, as well as Endre and gendarmerie commander Lieutenant-Colonel László Ferenczy in which it was agreed that Jews, having first had their possessions seized, would be moved into urban ghettos before deportation to Germany. Under the direction of Eichmann Baky began the process of rounding up Jews in the eastern provinces of the country two days later.Baky was removed from his positions during the summer of 1944 and was then arrested after conspiring, unsuccessfully, to lead a coup against Miklós Horthy, who also ordered Edmund Veesenmayer to stop the deportation of Jews. However Baky would return to prominence that October after Szálasi and the Arrow Cross were put in power by the Germans. Under the Arrow Cross he continued his labors in deportation and mass murder. He fled the country in 1945 but was arrested in Austria and returned to Budapest. In early 1946 Baky, Endre and Jaross were all tried, found guilty of crimes against the state and sentenced to death. Baky was hanged by way of the Austro-Hungarian pole method on March 29, 1946.

László Endre

László Endre (January 1, 1895, Abony – March 29, 1946) was a Hungarian right-wing politician and collaborator with the Nazis during the Second World War.

National Socialist Bloc

National Socialist Bloc (in Swedish: Nationalsocialistiska Blocket) was a Swedish national socialist political party formed in the end of 1933 by the merger of Nationalsocialistiska Samlingspartiet, Nationalsocialistiska Förbundet and local National Socialist units connected to the advocate Sven Hallström in Umeå. Later Svensk Nationalsocialistisk Samling merged into NSB.

The leader of the party was Colonel Martin Ekström. The party maintained several publications, Landet Fritt (Gothenburg), Vår Kamp (Gothenburg), Vår Front (Umeå), Nasisten (Malmö) and Riksposten.

NSB differentiated itself from other Swedish National Socialist groups due to its liaisons with the Swedish upper class. NSB was clearly smaller than the two main National Socialist parties in Sweden at the time, SNSP and NSAP. Gradually the party vanished.

National Socialist Flyers Corps

The National Socialist Flyers Corps (German: Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps; NSFK) was a paramilitary organization of the Nazi Party that was founded 15 April 1937 as a successor to the German Air Sports Association; the latter had been active during the years when a German air force was forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. The NSFK organization was based closely on the para-military organization of the Sturmabteilung (SA). A similar group was the National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK).

During the early years of its existence, the NSFK conducted military aviation training in gliders and private airplanes. Friedrich Christiansen, originally a Generalleutnant then later a Luftwaffe General der Flieger, was NSFK Korpsführer from 15 April 1937 until 26 June 1943, followed by Generaloberst Alfred Keller until 8 May 1945.

National Unity Party (Canada)

The Parti National Social Chrétien (English: National Social Christian Party) was a Canadian political party formed by Adrien Arcand in February 1934. The party identified with antisemitism, and German leader Adolf Hitler's Nazism. The party was later known, in English, as the Canadian National Socialist Unity Party or National Unity Party.


The Ossewabrandwag (OB) (Ox-wagon Sentinel) was an anti-British and pro-German organisation in South Africa during World War II, which opposed South African participation in the war. It was formed in Bloemfontein on 4 February 1939 by pro-German Afrikaners.

Otto Strasser

Otto Johann Maximilian Strasser (also German: Straßer, see ß; 10 September 1897 – 27 August 1974) was a German politician and an early member of the Nazi Party. Otto Strasser, together with his brother Gregor Strasser, was a leading member of the party's left-wing faction, and broke from the party due to disputes with the dominant "Hitlerite" faction. He formed the Black Front, a group intended to split the Nazi Party and take it from the grasp of Hitler. This group also functioned during his exile and World War II as a secret opposition group.

His brand of National Socialism is now known as Strasserism.


Strasserism (German: Strasserismus or Straßerismus) is a strand of Nazism that calls for a more radical, mass-action and worker-based form of Nazism—hostile to Jews not from a racial, ethnic, cultural or religious perspective, but from an anti-capitalist basis—to achieve a national rebirth. It derives its name from Gregor and Otto Strasser, the two Nazi brothers initially associated with this position.

Otto Strasser, who opposed on strategic grounds the views of Adolf Hitler, was expelled from the Nazi Party in 1930 and went into exile in Czechoslovakia, while Gregor Strasser was murdered in Germany on 30 June 1934 during the Night of the Long Knives. Strasserism remains an active position within strands of neo-Nazism.

The Immortals (neo-Nazis)

The Immortals (German Die Unsterblichen) was a neo-Nazi organization based in Germany that uses flash mobs to coordinate, gather and demonstrate. The members wear black clothing with white facial masks and carry torches when they march.

United Hungarian National Socialist Party

The United Hungarian National Socialist Party (Hungarian: Egyesült Magyar Nemzeti Szocialista Párt, EMNSP) was a far-right political party in Hungary during the late 1930s.

Zoltán Meskó

Zoltán Meskó de Széplak (12 March 1883, Baja – 10 June 1959, Nagybaracska) was a leading Hungarian Nazi during the 1930s. He led his own Nazi movement during the early 1930s but faded from the political scene when Hungary became a member of the Axis powers.

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