The aim of this study is to present the Hungarian Gypsy policies of the Socialist era based on sources from the archives, contemporary period studies written by clerks, and academic literature published after the regime change. In my article I mainly focus on summarizing the data, as in my view, it would take further research to evaluate the era’s Gypsy policies in a concise way. Already in the early years of the Socialist era the government forbade any and all individual initiatives or ideas going against the regime’s official narrative and ruling ideology. Centralization, and increasing governmental censorship popped up in various areas of life, such as in industrial and agricultural collectivization. From this none of the ethnic communities could be exempt, thus shortly – though it took a decade – the isolation of the Gypsy community caught the authorities’ eye; they were reined in under the same laws and regulations together with other people. The regime wanted to make Gypsies into socialist men and women with socialist ethics by forbidding their culture and language; to this end Lenin himself once gave several instructions to the authorities (e.g. unconditional acceptance of Marxism-Leninism, loyalty to the Party, partaking in class war, communist consciousness), of which the one outstanding honor was organized work for the community, while the biggest sin was individualism.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 49-87
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.