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Kálmán Darányi de Pusztaszentgyörgy et Tetétlen (22 March 1886 in Budapest – 1 November 1939 in Budapest) was a Hungarian politician who served as Prime Minister of Hungary from 1936 to 1938. He also served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of Hungary from 5 December 1938 to 12 June 1939 and from 15 June 1939 to 1 November 1939. Darányi was associated with the radical right in Hungarian politics, and although not sympathetic to the Hungarian fascists, pursued an increasingly authoritarian policy at home, and an alliance with the fascist powers Germany and Italy abroad.

Kálmán Darányi

de Pusztaszentgyörgy et Tetétlen
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-E05367A, Johann von Daranyi.jpg
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
In office
6 October 1936 – 14 May 1938
MonarchMiklós Horthy
as Regent
Preceded byGyula Gömbös
Succeeded byBéla Imrédy
Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
5 December 1938 – 1 November 1939
Preceded byGyula Kornis
Succeeded byAndrás Tasnádi Nagy
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
31 January 1927 – 1 November 1939
Personal details
Born(1886-03-22)22 March 1886
Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died1 November 1939(1939-11-01) (aged 53)
Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary
Political partyUnity Party, Party of National Unity, Party of Hungarian Life
Spouse(s)Márta Szemere

Early lifeEdit

His parents were Béla Darányi and Antónia Nagy. His uncle was Ignác Darányi who served as Minister of Agriculture during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Darányi started his civil service career in 1909 at Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun County. After the revolutions of 1918–1919 he served as commissioner then ispán (or official) of Győr County, Komárom County and Győr. Darányi became a member of the Hungarian Diet in 1927. Gyula Gömbös appointed him Minister of Agriculture in 1935. In addition to his political activities he played a directing role in the agricultural class movement. He also took part in the life of the Calvinist Church as a member of the Universal Convent and synod.

Prime Minister of HungaryEdit

He substituted the ailing Gyula Gömbös. After the Prime Minister's death the Regent Miklós Horthy appointed Darányi to Gömbös' successor on 12 October 1936. Darányi wanted to recur to basis of István Bethlen with the program of the conservation of the constitutional order, but he did not want to turn sharply against Gömbös' political testament. He maintained the promise of the secret suffrage, but first of all he wanted to increase the gubernatorial jurisdiction and the House of Magnates' role.

He delimited himself from the right- and the left-wing extremes equally in the initial period of his prime ministership. On April 1937 he banned the Party of National Will, which was the predecessor of the Hungarian National Socialist Party and the Arrow Cross Party. Ferenc Szálasi, the leader of the party, was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for three years. But the March Front (founded on 15 March 1937), which wanted to create the peasant-civil democracy, was also not able to obtain considerable influence either at the same time.

Darányi and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kálmán Kánya made an attempt at the strengthening of the contacts being connected with the United Kingdom and France because of the cumulative pressure of Nazi Germany. However the western powers did not show great receptivity for these endeavours. The Hungarian foreign policy cultivated the friendship with a big trouble between Hungary and Italy at the same time. The thought of the cooperation between Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland was resumed in Rome.

During his term the gubernatorial jurisdiction was expanded again (this was the fourth occasion). From this the Regent could delay the bills begun with a year, and the Parliament could not call him to account anymore. The law took action on the National Council's erection during a case of the vacancy of the gubernatorial seat. Furthermore, the House of Magnates' jurisdiction was also expanded: the upper house could send back the laws to discussion twice.

He accepted the law of suffrage, which was advanced by Gyula Gömbös yet, in 1938. This modified the earlier provision in two concerns: it abolished the open vote but narrowed the suffrage rights. The new law reduced the number of the entitled voters with 250 – 300 000. Men only could vote above 26 (regional) and 30 years (constituency), while 30 years were the women's age limits uniformly. He introduced the agricultural employees' obligatory old-age insurance. For the civil servants must had work 44 hours per a week and for the industrial workers 48 hours per a week.

The Hungarian military force's state was catastrophic. That's why Darányi published the Győr Program which was drawn up by Béla Imrédy. The aim of the program was the army's equipment and its modernisation. The government intended one billion pengős for the program. This sum was earmarked for five years, but they made use of it under two years. The 60% of the program's budget was used for the development of the army while its 40% was for the infrastructure. Despite of thing this program's economy activating effect was really considerable.

The change took place after the Anschluss in his politics. Hungary became neighbour of Nazi Germany on March 1938 and vigorous Nazi propaganda began in the country at this time. Darányi selected the shiftings towards the right due to these threats. He appointed Germanophile politicians to his government and from this he regularly expressed the importance of the German contacts. Darányi began secret negotiations with Kálmán Hubay with the intention of sharing the right extremist forces. With whom he came to an agreement about the Arrow Cross Party members may secure parliamentarian mandates, but the right extremist politicians must respect the lawful way. The conservatives received this activity of his distrustfully. Horthy also expressed his discontent, that is why Darányi resigned on 11 May 1938. He was followed by Béla Imrédy in the position.

Later lifeEdit

Promoting the First Anti-Jewish Law and its preparation are connected to his name yet. This bill was introduced to the parliament during his prime ministership, but it already became law during reign of Imrédy. Kálmán Darányi served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from 5 December 1938 until his death.


  • Magyar Életrajzi Lexikon
  • Jenő Gergely – Lajos Izsák: A huszadik század története. [History of the twentieth century.] Annonica Kiadó, 2000. (Magyar századok) ISBN 963-9252-13-1
  • Mária Ormos: Magyarország a két világháború korában 1914–1945. [Hungary during the two World Wars 1914–1945.] Csokonai Kiadó, Debrecen, 1998. (Történelmi kézikönyvtár) ISBN 963-260-115-7

External linksEdit