Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for :

  • "peasant survival techniques" x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All

Already in the last years of the Second World War the peasantry of the Homokhátság region between the Danube and Tisza Rivers on the Great Plain had to activate some of their survival techniques. Some of these were rooted in past peasant skills (e.g. methods of hiding belongings and produce), while others were various adaptation techniques developed in response to the war conditions (e.g. black marketeering, barter trade). This defensive reaction of peasant society was evoked by the introduction of restrictive economic measures by the state (compulsory delivery of produce, system of public supply), then by the fighting and the advancing armies, and inflation.After 1948 there was a radical change in relations between the authorities and the villages. The communist party-state launched an attack on multiple fronts against village society and traditional peasant farming. The method of income withdrawal through compulsory delivery of produce was a minor irritation compared to the attacks on private property. Nevertheless, the compulsory deliveries were one of the factors that gave new strength to the defensive reflex of the peasantry. Between 1948 and 1956 the peasant population of the villages studied responded to actions by the state against the villages with varied and new adaptation techniques. All strata and members of the local peasant society had to resort to these methods.The attempt made by the party-state to divide rural society failed in practice to achieve the goal expressed in propagandistic terms: to turn the kulaks (more prosperous peasants) and the “working peasantry” against each other. Despite all the efforts by the authorities the patron-client relations linking the different strata of peasant society did not disappear, in fact, they were strengthened and served as a frame for the survival techniques.

Restricted access