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Border Guards

Stalin, having lost substantial troops during the war, wished to gain and acquire land in return, for his losses. He did this in the form of leaving troops in what would later become the Eastern bloc countries. In Hungary, as was the case in other Eastern Bloc countries, These troops helped set up the Communist party. In 1946, general elections were held, and a government was founded in Hungary. Its first act was to take part in the reconstruction, part of which was the formation of the Border Guards.

In 1950 the Border guards were reorganized. Governed under Decree 40/1974, it set the policy for how to protect Hungary's borders with non-Warsaw Pact nations.

In 1986 alone, Hungary's border guards checked the papers of 50 million tourists either passing through, or staying in Hungary.

In the late 1980's, there was a dramatic liberalization among the Warsaw Pact countries. In 1989, Hungary began to removing the barbwire fences that encircled the country. According to the Library of Congress in their document "Hungary: Border Guards", the fences were deemed "outdated and superfluous". Non-Warsaw pact countries feared citizens of Eastern-bloc countries would use this as an opportunity to migrate west. Later that year that is precisely what a group of East German Citizens did. In September 1989, Hungary announced it would allow any East German wishing to migrate West to do so through Hungary. By October, more than 35,000 East Germans had migrated to the west. As a result East Germany protested Hungary's actions as a violations of the Warsaw Pact. Hungary countered, stating that is was merely honoring the 1975 Helsinki Accords, and the Border remained open.

Today the Border Guards answer to the Ministry of the Interior. They number around 16,000, operating in eleven districts.




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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:52:53 ZULU