The following extracts are from Domokos Szent-Iványi’s contemporary writings on ‘the Hungarian Independence Movement’, MFM.
And so the activities of MFM started in May 1945 in the following areas: To develop and extend our activities in connection with with information and propaganda; to prepare for the success of the Smallholders’ Party in the approaching elections; and finally, to bring together a very small working group whose task would be carry out direct negotiations in the name of the majority of the Hungarian Party (i.e…. the Smallholders’ Party).
The great question was whether we could win the elections… The differing voting blocks in Hungary at the time were: The agrarian population (peasants, smallholders, farmers,etc.) representing more than 60 per cent of the total; adherents of the Roman Catholic Church; adherents of the Protestant Churches; and the army- soldiers and officers. The combined total of theses groups, the electoral base of the Smallholders, was overwhelmingly superior to that of the workers and Communists which were considered by the Russians and Rákosi as their trump cards. We, the MFM and the Smallholders had much greater influence over the former group than the Russians or the Rákosi-Gerő clique…
As to winning over the Churches, the military and some other groups and organisation… I had long talks with Cardinal Mindszenty, Archbishop Grősz, Bishop Bánás and other Catholic leaders; as to the Protestant churches, I had conversations with Bishops Ravasz and Ordas, Dr László Pap, director of the Hungarian Theological Academy, Elek Boér…
Our conversations, with one single exception, ended in full agreement as to the tactics to be followed at the elections: All forces had to be united and concentrated on assuring an overwhelming victory for the Smallholders’ Party. In view of the composition of the churches, or rather their relative membership sizes, I came up with the idea of having two Roman Catholics… and one Protestant… at the top of the Smallholders’ list and this idea was accepted by Cardinal Mindszenty as well as by other bishops.
As to the military, my view was… that… (it) was the body of officers which the Rákosi-clique considered as one of the most powerful anti-Communist groups… Rákosi… had disenfranchised a very great many of the officers (or rather ex-officers, since those who had shown any opposition to the dictatorship of Rákosi and the Russians, had been, without much ado, dismissed)… their influence was still, at least numerically, significant through their… friends and their family members. It was therefore important to inform them about the situation and to win their support for the Smallholders’ Party… (their) votes played an important part in winning the elections for the Smallholders’ Party. This work of the officers was particularly effective since they themselves felt the pressure applied by the Rákosi clique and suffered the consequences of being discharged at short notice; they carried out their work with passion and wrath.