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9 Making Peace in the Shadow of War: The Austrian-Hungarian Borderlands, 1945–56

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Chapter Summary

During spring 1946, Hungary's popular front regime, created as a consequence of the Red Army's occupation of the country that had ended the Second World War, proceeded with the deportation of an ethnic German minority that it held partly responsible for the country's tragic entanglement in that conflict. This chapter shows that the reception of the projects of national and international actors at the local level played a central role in their success or failure in constructing legitimate state authority. The post-war Hungarian state's failure to do so helped to determine the local dynamics of the country's slide into dictatorship, and the consequent intensification of despotism in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Austrian state's relative success aided its consolidation and the population's pacification. They also textured the local experience of the Early Cold War in the borderland.

Keywords: Austrian; despotism; German; Hungarian; Second World War



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