Added to this treatment, which was due to wartime agreements by the French and British with minority dissidents of Austria-Hungary and would take effect over a couple of years, in the immediate aftermath was internal disorder as the disease of communism, first unleashed in Russia, spread rapidly to the west. With the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary being forced to leave, the government proved totally incapable of maintaining order. A communist revolution erupted and seized power in March of 1919. It would not escape the notice of Pal Pronay that the dictator of the newly proclaimed Hungarian Soviet Republic was a Soviet Russian trained Jew named Bela Kun. Nor did it escape notice that all but one of the leaders of the communist revolution in Hungary were Jewish.
In Hungary, Bela Kun only managed to hold on to power for a matter of months but it was a brutal period. Bully boys, trussed up in leather outfits assaulted and murdered hundreds of people in what became known as the Red Terror (and just about every country that has had an experience with communism has had a Red Terror). They targeted class enemies, landlords, Catholic clerics and anyone they considered counter-revolutionary, such as monarchists, but also anyone with whom they happened to have a particular grudge. This Soviet regime was, in the end, brought down when their antics sparked the intervention of the Kingdom of Romania and so it was that, after participating in their crushing defeat during the war, Hungarians had to endure the humiliation of watching their former defeated foes of the Romanian army march down the streets of Budapest. A new government was formed led, oddly enough in what was now a land-locked country, by former Admiral Miklos Horthy who called for officers to join in forming a new Hungarian National Army. Pal Pronay was quick to come forward and for a time even commanded Horthy’s bodyguard.
It is also worth repeating that not all of those who fell prey to Pronay and his troops were Jews. This was retribution against all those who had been communists, revolutionaries or enemies of the traditional Kingdom of Hungary. The extent to which Jews were targeted was because of the preponderance of Jews in the leadership of the communist takeover and not simply for being Jews. Again, three out of the four top leaders of the communist coup were Jews and the leadership overall was up to 75% Jewish and because of that, few of the counterrevolutionaries were very willing to give any Jew the benefit of the doubt. It was not, however, a purely racial or religious matter but was the effect of actual facts about who had perpetrated the communist takeover, the Red Terror and the subsequent humiliation of having the Romanian army march into Hungary. Pronay was not alone in what he did though he was probably the most zealous and the least inclined toward any pity or compassion on anyone he thought associated with the enemies of the old Kingdom of Hungary. His goal was to see the Kingdom of Hungary fully restored and to, as he put it, “restore the traditional good relations between the landlords and estate servants,”.
Officially, the country was the Kingdom of Hungary and officially the Emperor of Austria, Blessed Charles I, was still King Charles IV of Hungary, however the King was away in exile and Horthy ruled on his behalf as regent. In 1921 the Kaiser-Kiraly (Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary) made two attempts to regain his throne. The first was more of a false start, while the second was more serious. Neither Pronay or any other Hungarian monarchist had much chance to support the first attempt but in the second Pronay was able to at least take to the field somewhat and wanted nothing more than to see King Charles IV restored to the throne and Admiral Horthy sent packing. The effort, as we know, did not succeed and this represented the final break between Horthy and Pronay (though undoubtedly the King would have been horrified by Pronay’s actions more than anyone). His battalion carried on for a short time under a new commander but was itself dissolved in 1922.