Women in poverty during the socialist era in Hungary

Ibolya Czibere

A typical feature of the early socialist sources demonstrating the pauperdom of the agrarian and industrial Hungarian society before 1945 is that though they proved to be really thorough and can be utilized well even today, most of them were written as a form of political propaganda highlighting the peculiarities of the capitalist suppression before 1945 while ignoring the survival of poverty into the times following 1945. Considering these sources it may seem that the political and economic transition after 1949 at once solved the uncertainties of social deprivation, however they suppressed the facts that the governments in the period following the World War II could not manage the excessive poverty developed between 1900 and 1945. 

Tabooing the characteristics and proportions of poverty prevented the era from facing the problem. According to Szalai (1998) the events following the World War II give dual explanation to the two foremost dilemmas of the social development preceding the war period. Through those events „the pre-war exhaustion of the capitalistic modernization” and „the desintegrational crisis” present in the „semi-feudal, semi-civil” milieu of the 1930s and the 1940s can be interpreted.