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Zoltán Tildy (Hungarian: [ˈzoltaːn ˈtildi]; 18 November 1889 – 4 August 1961), was an influential leader of Hungary, who served as Prime Minister from 1945–1946 and President from 1946 until 1948 in the post-war period before the seizure of power by Soviet-backed communists.

Zoltán Tildy
Tildy Zoltán-MTI 1946.jpg
Zoltán Tildy in 1946
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
In office
15 November 1945 – 1 February 1946
Monarchvacant
LeaderHigh National Council
Preceded byBéla Miklós
Succeeded byFerenc Nagy
President of Hungary
In office
1 February 1946 – 3 August 1948
Prime MinisterFerenc Nagy
Preceded byHigh National Council
Succeeded byÁrpád Szakasits
Minister of State
In office
27 October 1956 – 4 November 1956
Prime MinisterImre Nagy
Personal details
Born(1889-11-18)18 November 1889
Losonc, Austria-Hungary (today Lučenec, Slovakia)
Died4 August 1961(1961-08-04) (aged 71)
Budapest, People's Republic of Hungary
NationalityHungarian
Political partyIndependent Smallholders' Party
Spouse(s)Erzsébet Gyenis
ChildrenZoltán Tildy, Jr.
Erzsébet
László
ProfessionMinister

Contents

BiographyEdit

Early life and familyEdit

 
Grave of Zoltán Tildy and his wife, Erzsébet Gyenis in Budapest.

Zoltán Tildy was born in Losonc (Lučenec now in Slovakia), in the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the family of a Hungarian official in the local government. He took a degree in theology from the Reformed Theological Academy in Pápa, afterwards spending a year studying at Assembly's College, Belfast, in Ireland. Tildy served as an active minister of the Reformed Church beginning in 1921, and edited the daily paper of the Reformed church in Hungary, the Keresztény Család (Christian Family), as well as other periodicals. In 1929, Tildy joined the Independent Smallholders' Party (FKgP) with other noted Hungarian political figures, including Ferenc Nagy. He became executive vice-president of the organization soon afterwards.

He married Erzsébet Gyenis (1896–1985) in 1916 and had three children: Zoltán Tildy, Jr. (1917–1994), Erzsébet Tildy (1918–2012), and László Tildy (1921–1983).

Political career and later lifeEdit

 
Tildy palace - Andrássy avenue 96

Tildy was elected to the Hungarian parliament in 1933, being reelected in 1936 and 1939. He put pressure on Horthy's government to pull out of the Second World War. After Hungary was occupied by the Germans, Tildy was forced into hiding. After the Soviets occupied Hungary and drove out the Germans, Tildy became leader of the FKgP. Tildy became Prime Minister of Hungary, serving from November 15, 1945 until February 1, 1946, when Tildy was elected President of Hungary. He was an ex officio member of the High National Council from December 7, 1945 until February 2, 1946.

Tildy served as the first President of the Republic of Hungary until July 31, 1948, when he was forced to resign after allegations emerged about his son-in-law being arrested for corruption and adultery. Tildy was held under house arrest in Budapest until 1 May 1956. He was appointed to the position of a state minister in the coalition government during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. He was eventually arrested by Soviet forces after the revolution was crushed by Warsaw Pact intervention. On June 15, 1958, Tildy was sentenced by the Supreme Court to six years' imprisonment, in the trial of Imre Nagy and associates. However, he was released under an individual amnesty in April 1959 in view of his advanced years (in fact due to illness). He then lived in complete retirement until he died in Budapest on August 4, 1961.

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