In the 1920s, paramilitary violence was an almost
natural phenomenon in Hungary, like in many other countries of Central Europe.
After the dissolution of the Austro Hungarian Empire the new right-wing
government, establishing its power with the help of the Entente powers, could
difficulty rule the quasi anarchistic conditions. In 1920 to 1921, Hungary was
terrorized by irregular military formations that were formally part of the National
Army, and radical right wing soldiers committed serious crimes frequently by
anti-Semitic motivations. Although paramilitary violence ceased in 1921, the
militia movement lived on in the form of secret paramilitary organizations. The
government used up these units, since the right-wing elite was afraid of
another communist takeover, using them as auxiliary police forces, and they
also wanted to circumvent the limitations of armament of the Treaty of Trianon,
also aiming to cooperate with Austrian and German radical-right paramilitary
groups including Hitlers National Socialist movement as well. Irregular
soldiers became concerned in political terrorism, several bomb outrages.
Although the police did its best to investigate the cases, most perpetrators
interestingly were not sent into prison. The age of the bomb raids, as the press
of the opposition called this period, finally ended with the fact that
murderous, anti-Semitic terrorists remained at large, and found their places in
the authoritarian conservative regime of Hungary of the 1920s. The
article, as an extract of a long monograph published in Hungarian by the
author, briefly reconstructs certain political crimes committed by the members
of irregular military formations based on archival records of criminal suits.
Furthermore, beyond the analysis of the individual cases of three different,
but interrelating bomb outrages, it intends to draw general conclusions about
the controversial and complex relationship between the early Hungarian
paramilitary radical right wing movements and the government, considering that
several paramilitary commanders operated as influential radical right-wing
politicians as well.