Paramilitary Extremism in Interwar Hungary and its Anti-Jewish Argumentation
The article explains the rise of popular extremism in post-World War I Hungary through the story of Iván Héjjas and the Ragged Guard/Rongyos Gárda. This interwar militia is responsible for anti-Jewish and anti-Communist atrocities in 1919-1923, and it was also deeply involved in the spreading of the anti-Semitic sentiment in the Hungarian countryside. Its case is particularly interesting because of its rejuvenation in 1938, when the Hungarian government relied on the militiamen in a secret mission in the Sub Carpathian borderlands against the integrity of Czechoslovakia. The paper also investigates the background of some common anti-Jewish accusations the Rongyos Gárda members propagated, and it tries to understand these arguments in a power framework.