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Military Industry versus Military-Related Firms in Socialist Hungary: Disintegration and Integration of Military Production during the 1950s and Early 1960s

  • Pál Germuska

The article presents some new evidence concerning the conversion program in Socialist Hungary that constituted an exceptional case not only in the Socialist Bloc, but also in the early period of the Cold War. The Hungarian military industry—step by step—was reintegrated into the civil economy between 1953 and 1961. The war plants developed a dual production structure, which helped them stand the storms of the lengthy transitional period. Companies with a double profile diversified their production with a wide scale of civilian goods, new constructional and R&D departments were established. The article examines at the firm level the strategies, the changes in behaviours of the top-managers, and the consequences—what did the switch-over have for Hungarian society, to what extent contributed the increase in consumer goods to political stabilization of the system.

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