Zoltán Tildy

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Zoltán Tildy
Zoltán Tildy 1914 cropped.png
Zoltán Tildy in 1914.
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
In office
15 November 1945 – 1 February 1946
Preceded by Béla Miklós
Succeeded by Ferenc Nagy
1st President of the Second Hungarian Republic
In office
1 February 1946 – 4 August 1948
Preceded by Ferenc Nagy
Lajos Dinnyés
Succeeded by Árpád Szakasits
Personal details
Born (1889-11-18)18 November 1889
Losonc, Austria-Hungary
Died 4 August 1961(1961-08-04) (aged 71)
Budapest, Hungary
Nationality Hungarian
Political party Independent Smallholders' Party
Spouse(s) Erzsébet Gyenis
Profession Minister
Religion Reformed Church in Hungary
The native form of this personal name is Tildy Zoltán. This article uses the Western name order.

Zoltán Tildy (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.


Early life and family[edit]

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 the Belfast Assembly College 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 life[edit]

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 liberated Hungary from 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.


Political offices
Preceded by
Béla Miklós
Prime Minister of Hungary
Succeeded by
Ferenc Nagy
Preceded by
High National Council
President of Hungary
Succeeded by
Árpád Szakasits