Nagy, Ferenc (1903–1979)

Smallholder politician. A peasant with a medium-sized holding, Nagy was among the founders of the Independent Smallholders’ Party (FKgP) in 1930 and its general secretary until August 1945. He also edited the party weekly, Független Kisgazda, in 1933–5. He entered Parliament in 1939. He was a founder of the Hungarian Peasants Association and its president in 1941–3. In April 1944, Nagy was arrested by the Gestapo, but the Lakatos government released him after the armistice was announced, and he went into hiding after the Szálasi coup. In April 1945, he became president of the Peasants’ Association, and in August, of the FKgP as well. He re-entered Parliament in April 1945 and became minister of reconstruction on May 11. He became prime minister on February 4, 1946. After the arrest of Béla Kovács, general secretary of the party, Rákosi took advantage of the fact that Nagy was on holiday in Switzerland to accuse him of complicity in the plot. Using blackmail and his child as a hostage, Rákosi forced Nagy to resign on June 2, 1947. He settled in the United States. He was a founder and executive member of the Hungarian National Commission, and its vice-president in 1955–6. He was a founder of the International Peasant Union in 1947, became its vice-president in 1949 and its president in 1964–70. In 1951, he was elected president by the Central-East European Committee formed by emigré politicians. Nagy withdrew from politics in 1970. In 1977, he declared himself in favour of the Hungarian coronation regalia being returned to Hungary by the United States.

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This page was created: Monday, 8-Dec-2003
Last updated: Tuesday, 9-Dec-2003
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