Hungary Table of Contents
The Workers' Guard, a paramilitary organization directly controlled by the HSWP, claimed to have 60,000 members in 1988. Possessing only small arms, its mission was officially limited to protecting the population and state property in times of war or unrest. In fact, the Workers' Guard assisted the National Police and army during events that required crowd control. The guard wore its own distinctive gray uniform.
Directly controlled by a permanent department of the HSWP's Central Committee, the Workers' Guard was, in effect, the party's private army, and the overwhelming majority of the guard were party members. Founded in 1957 shortly after the revolution, this organization became the chief protector of the newly formed Kadar regime.
In June 1989, the government announced that in the future it, not the party, would have control over the Workers' Guard and that many of the functions of this paramilitary organization would be eliminated. An interministerial committee of the government was formed to examine the mission and activities of the guard and perhaps even to rename it.
Data as of September 1989