Why were Hungarians dissatisfied with life under Mátyás Rákosi?



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The main reason that Hungarians did not like the rule of Mátyás Rákosi was that Rákosi was a staunch Communist who led according to the principles of Joseph Stalin, who used military power, fear, and propaganda to control his people instead of leading them in equality. Like Stalin, Rákosi used his military power, as well as the force of his personality, to destroy political enemies; he portrayed them as aligned with fascism, causing their parties to expel them and ally themselves with Rákosi's own Communist ideals. Rákosi referred to this as Salami Communism, comparing the systematic removal of enemies to selective slices of salami. This led to the use of secret police to discover and incriminate political rivals and enemies; it is estimated that 350,000 "enemies" were killed during this time. Rákosi's adoption of Stalin's particular brand of "Communist" dictatorship caused him to be extremely unpopular even as his cult of personality grew; it was dangerous to oppose him, so he ruled unopposed until his removal from office in 1956.


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