German-Hungarian cooperation in the destruction of the Hungarian Jewry

Yesterday I wrote about the Orbán government’s bizarre plan to erect a statue to commemorate the occupation of Hungary by the German army. Since then a flash mob was organized on Szabadság tér where the memorial will be placed and several more people expressed their misgivings about the very idea.

Magyar Nemzet was content to republish the official explanation, according to which the monument will pay homage to the spirit of the new constitution’s preamble which points to Hungary’s loss of sovereignty on March 19, 1944. It seems, however, that even this pro-government paper found the explanation meaningless and hence came up with an imaginative headline: “The government honors every Hungarian victim.” That is, if we are to believe Magyar Nemzet, this monument is a gesture to the victims of the Holocaust.

Magyar Hírlap, a paper to the right of Magyar Nemzet, ran a fairly lengthy op/ed piece by Péter Szentmihályi Szabó, a poet and writer of far-right political views. He, as opposed to historians specializing in the period, is certain that “the German occupation eliminated even the appearance of Hungarian independence, made it impossible to sign a separate peace and made the territory of the country a battleground.” According to Szentmihályi Szabó, placing the new memorial on the same square as the monument to the Soviet liberation of Hungary is an excellent idea because it emphasizes the geopolitical impossibility of a good decision on the part of the Hungarian government.

Even without a detailed knowledge of German-Hungarian relations during the 1930s and 1940s it is obvious that Szentmihályi Szabó doesn’t know what he is talking about. We can’t really speak of “occupation” in the classical meaning of the word because, after all, sending German troops to Hungary came about with Miklós Horthy’s consent. No notes were taken of the conversation between Hitler and Horthy in Klessheim, but it can be reconstructed fairly well. Horthy wasn’t threatened as one recent article claimed. And the main topic wasn’t the deportation of Hungary’s Jewry, although Hitler demanded 50,000 men to work in Germany, which Horthy agreed to. As for making a separate peace with the Russians, Szentmihályi should know that this idea was abhorrent to Horthy, who was a fierce anti-communist. He didn’t entertain the idea until the Soviets were on Hungarian soil. As for the German occupation being the reason that Hungary became a battleground, this is also a patent misinterpretation of history. As the Soviet Union moved westward it engaged the remaining members of the Axis powers, which included the Hungarian army.

Hitler and Horthy

Horthy instructed the Hungarian military and public officials to cooperate with the German forces. The Germans couldn’t complain about the Hungarian attitude. Or, if they had any complaint it was about the Hungarian eagerness to get rid of as many Hungarian Jews as possible. Auschwitz wasn’t prepared for the onslaught that Hungarian officials sent. They were ready for one transport of 3,000 a day, but the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior which handled the deportation sent six transports a day. The Germans eventually managed to convince their Hungarian friends to send no more than four transports daily. And the old story that Horthy was so despondent and so discouraged that he completely withdrew from the affairs of state is also inaccurate. There are documents that attest to the fact that on April 13, 1944 he approved sending the 50,000 Jewish workers to Germany as he promised in Klessheim.

The op/ed piece that appeared in HVG yesterday (“Monument to the Hungarian Collaborators”) is pretty close to the truth. Adolf Eichmann’s staff, including even the drivers, was no larger than 60-80 men. They had to rely exclusively on Hungarian cooperation. In fact, Hungary was so well organized that the Germans themselves were surprised. Given the well-oiled machine, the consensus is that the deportation of Hungarian Jews had been worked out in detail ahead of time. The Germans in occupied countries let the local forces do the dirty work, and “solutions” varied from country to country. In Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and France the local authorities chose paths that enabled most of their Jewish population to survive. If the Hungarian authorities had been less eager to get rid of their Jewish compatriots the result might have been very different. Just as in July when Horthy halted the deportation of Budapest’s Jewish population, he could have forbidden it in April with the possible exception of the 50,000 workers he promised to Hitler. Or, if the local authorities had sabotaged or slowed down the process, the number of victims could have been much smaller. But about 200,000 people were obediently working to fulfill the Hungarian plan. Krisztián Ungváry figured out that if the Hungarian authorities had stuck to the quota the Germans wanted (3,000 a day) 267,000 people would have survived the ordeal.

Historians studying the period find that the deportation was welcomed by the overwhelming majority of the Hungarian people. Yes, there were a few people who tried to save lives, but the majority approved the segregation and eventual removal of the Jewish population. In Veszprém the Catholic Church even organized a Te Deum mass to celebrate the deportation. There was wide consensus on the “Jewish question,” especially when it became clear that it was the Hungarian state that was the main beneficiary of the destruction of the Hungarian Jewry. Mind you, eventually some of the confiscated material was destroyed, lost, or stolen.

Hungarian historians have done an incredible amount of research on the subject in the last thirty-forty years, and I’m sure that thousands more articles and books will appear on seemingly every aspect of the question in the future. So, the problem is not a lack of knowledge. The trouble is that that information simply doesn’t penetrate the consciousness of the wider public, most likely because they don’t want to hear about all the horrors that took place in their country with Hungarian complicity. It is easier to say that the Hungarian government and the Hungarian people could do nothing to prevent the German atrocities.

117 comments

  1. @Minusio:

    That’s interesting – our fathers had similar careers.

    Though my father had only 8 years schooling, he started a late career as a policeman and in 1935 when the German military was being built he started there as a Feldwebel/Sergeant – only in war did he advance to Leutnant.
    Just last year I looked again through his papers and found the letter from the French authorities classifying him as a Mitläufer (also ran) – he was no member of the NSDAP.

    Btw one of my uncles was a journalist – since he also was no party member he had to go to war (other journalists were “unabkömmlich”) and disappeared near Stalingrad without a trace, not far from where my father was fighting/retreating.

    PS:

    As a Knight’s Cross recipient he was entered in our town’s Golden Book – so after the war he told the mayor, he wouldn’t mind if they deleted him there …

    He also for some time was in the “Führerbegleitbataillon” that secured the outer perimeter of Adolf’s headquarter and told me how the Nazis there indulged on champagne and whisky, jazz music and Hollywood films while the people outside were almost starving …

    He was lucky in a way to be severely wounded in 1944 and sent home – probably would have died in battle or in Siberia …

  2. @wolfi. The French denazification procedure was rather messy, although it should have followed American rules. As a non-party member your father should have been classed as “exonerated” (entlastet”).

    In contrast to many German parents mine did talk about how they experienced the nazi time and the war. What impressed me most was what they reported about the general feeling of fear and suspicion that set in almost immediately after Hitler took over and put his minions in all positions of public life. In this respect not at all unlike Orbán’s accession to unlimited power.

  3. After a long lull I smell a troll. Perhaps it is time to remember Paul’s exhortation: Don’t feed them…

  4. fter being attacked by one of the psychopaths on pol.hu I found this film:
    http://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=0308

    There’s a film our psychopaths should watch, but I can’t access it, so here’s just a synopsis:

    “Hitler meets Admiral Horthy of Hungary; German troops in Budapest: MS then CUs. Admiral Horthy disembarks and is met by Hitler and Von Ribbentrop and others. Lots of handshakes. MS Hitler and Horthy walk into conference room. Hungarian foreign minister Sztojay talks to German officer. Hitler and Horthy walk through room greeting others as camera follows. (Handshaking and bowing among uniformed officers.) German troops roll into Budapest as roadside civilians wave and smile. As tanks and equipment move through streets many civilians seem noncommittal.
    German talks to Hungarian policeman. MS Hungarian children in uniforms shake hands with soldiers on tanks. CU of happy young boys and their caps. Soldiers on tanks speak to civilians from above. More children,
    including Germans pulling children up onto tanks. MS Boy sits astride motorcycle, posing; children on running board of car. CU of soldier signing autograph. MS group of soldiers photograph city across river from bridge. They look down over city

    Production Date:
    1944

    Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, USHMM

    100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW”

    Interesting, isn’t it ?

  5. >”Eva S. Balogh :
    I don’t know where “Eliezer” gets his information but I’m afraid it is no more than a fairy tale version of what happened. For example, there was no military coup in Hungary in July 1944 or truce between Hungary and the Soviet Union on October 15.”

    Maybe Professor of Hungarian history Dr. Balogh will check in Wikipedia to learn that Horthy stopped deportation in July by using the military force and that he made a armistice with the Russians on October 15? I cannot believe she does not know it – so I assume that ideology blinds. Also, she avoided answering a question about Jews survivor rate in case of Horthy’s resignation on March 19th.

    I think I am not interested in future discussion on the ideological level, with such gross neglect to facts.

  6. Another thing I would like to mention.

    By the time the mass deportation of the Jews started in mid-May, 1944, most occupying German troops had been redeployed outside Hungary.

    So if Horthy had forbidden the deportation, it would not have taken place.

  7. How naive has one to be to believe every Wikipedia entry. First it would be important to know who wrote it. For example, most politicians and most economic leaders have their entries written by their PR consultants. If one reads the list of co-authors of articles on history one can only wonder about their number and unknown names.

    To ask a renowned historian to refer to a Wikipedia article is like asking a three-star chef about hamburgers.

  8. @Eliezer

    The Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source. It is edited by people like you or me.

    Horthy did NOT use force when he SUSPENDED the deportations on July 6.
    The deportation of the Budapest Jewry was scheduled for August 25, with
    the Horthy’s CONSENT.

    Most people on this board are not one-dimensional (right or left). Do not accuse
    Prof Balogh or me with such mindset.

    Projections are typical tools of Fideszniks nowadays. 🙂

  9. This is what Horthy told Veesenmayer AFTER he ordered the suspension of the deportations, on the very day of July 6.

    “He is bombarded with daily telegrams by the Vatican, Swedish king, Switzerland, Red Cross.
    He is not a friend of the Jews, but for political reasons he has interfered in the interest of the baptized Jews, the Jewish doctors, and to keep the forced laborers in Hungary if they are needed for the military effort.”

    #692

  10. Horthy could have “interfered” in mid-May to save the Jews of the countryside too, but he chose not to.

    Of course, that was before D-day and the liberation of Rome.

  11. @Bowen:

    Thanks for the links, I already watched the short snippets (fascinating in a way but also horrifying) and posted them to pol.hu for the rightwing loonies to foam over …

  12. >To ask a renowned historian to refer to a Wikipedia article is like asking a three-star chef about hamburgers.

    Or if a three-star chef will use his fame and will serve you a hamburger. Before criticizing, have you checked the story through a more reliable source? Horthy was overthrown on Oct. 16 after he refused to withdraw his truce agreement with the Russians announced on Oct. 15th. Check the story.

    >tappanch
    January 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm | #8 Quote
    @Eliezer
    The Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source.

    True.

    >Horthy did NOT use force when he SUSPENDED the deportations on July 6.

    Wrong. The confrontation took 2 days though apparently without bloodshed. Istvan Deak writes:

    “Persuaded by his conservative friends that the gendarmes and some far right politicians were planning a coup d’état against him, the Regent ordered some armored units to Budapest.

    The smoothness and speed of the deportation of the Hungarian Jews from the countryside was unique in the history of the Holocaust; but so was Horthy’s decision to order military forces to prevent the deportation of Jews. ”

    There are many sources that describe the event.

    >The deportation of the Budapest Jewry was scheduled for August 25, with
    the Horthy’s CONSENT.

    True. Resumption of deportation. Of course, Eichmann would do in July, if not Horthy’s order to halt. But by August he somewhat recovered his spirits and demanded to resume. The Jewish Council made a conspiration with Horthy to give Eichmann their consent. Then Horthy again assembled some enough military power, he INVITED the diplomatic pressure and used it as an excuse to cancel his consent. By that time Himmler himself ordered the cancellation but Eichmann tried to hide this order and still to deport.

    it is described in the memories of Sumy Stern, a chairman of the Jewish Council.

    You may refer on the diplomatic pressure but may I ask: if this pressure was effective in July-August, why it did not help in May-June? All the story on this pressure is to deprive Horthy of what he really did.

    One of many sources that describe the limits of Horthy’s power in the start of occupation:

    Istvan Lazar, Hungary – A Brief History:
    “In March 1944, while Horthy was conferring at Hitler’s general headquarters, a small German army occupied Hungary. Horthy settled for a preservation of appearances, a tremendously limited sovereignty.”
    http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/lazar/zar15.htm

    Hungary is sick today with this story. Theoretically Horthy’s image could be used for national reconciliation but it is as improbable as a peaceful treaty on Transylvania in 1930ths.

  13. @Eliezer

    Horthy is also responsible for

    1. the White terror in 1919-1920
    2. the Feudal State in 1920-1944
    3. class warfare against the poor
    4. executions in the consolidated early 1930s
    5. lack of democratic elections during his rule
    6. entering a war that caused the deaths of hundred of thousands of non-Jewish Hungarians too and the destruction of half of the assets of the country.

    THere cannot be reconciliation with such a mass murderer cum stupid politician.

  14. Eliezer must be the son of a sentimental Hungarian father.
    What Kipling said, can be applied to Hungary:
    Why has Hungary failed,
    Because fathers lied.

  15. Eva S. Balogh :
    @Marcel Dé. Actually, the gendarmes were called to Budapest in preparation for the deportation of the Jewish inhabitants of Budapest. No coup, no nothing. Just lately there was a discussion of this incident by three historians, including Sándor Szakály who is by now the head of the Veritas Historical Institute. The proceedings were published in Népszava. (…)

    As a follow-up, I found this well-argued and sourced piece from August 2012 by László Karsai about why Horthy shouldn’t be rehabilitated. The ‘Baky puccs’ theory is indeed seriously challenged, among other things…

    http://mozgovilag.com/?p=5761

  16. Bowen :
    @ Wolfi:
    The videos you’ve referenced can be seen here:
    http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675038840_Adolph-Hitler_Admiral-Horthy_Occupation-of-Hungary_Hungarian-Foreign-Minister-Sztojay
    and
    http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675038841_German-troops_Danube-river_German-military-tanks_Budapest-locals_military-motorcycle

    Thanks for the links to the Critical Past site, it’s a marvellous repository. The edit facility is handy too, as there are some real howlers in the descriptions of footage, such as ‘Hitler visiting Hungarian Nazi leaders in Budapest in 1944’. That was news to me. Of course, it was Szalasi calling on Hitler in Berlin.

  17. Eliezer must be the son of a sentimental Hungarian father.

    This “Thousand Years of Sadness” surely does not expect that I’ll convert her (or him?) into “999 years” but telling my detailed biography? No, my father did not lie to me, and all my life experience long ago turned me into as staunch anti-communist (in addition to being anti-fascist) as Horthy was or probably stronger. I consider communism being the largest killing machine in the world’s history. Fascism existed only 12 years and, in general, has been ideological failure although it cannot be forgiven that they managed to invent and to succeed in industrialization of killing and killing just because somebody is different. On the other side, the communist ideology is alive in one form or another.

    Reading about Horthy, I have come to conclusion that you, people, will never forgive him the White terror though in this way he saved Hungary from the Soviet fate 26 years earlier than that fate eventually fell on her. Bela Kun was a maniac killer and he managed to kill in Crimea around 52 thsd people in 1920-21 (together with two other organizers). He was a major culprit of Hungary turned so antisemitic: only a slim minority of the Jews supported him but his government was almost entirely Jewish, and they were most visible.

    Matias Rakosi after his coming to power arrested 100-250 thsd people and executed around 1000-7000 (you see how dramatically numbers can differ in such cases). So you can project what would happen to the nation, if Bela Kun kept his power in 1919.

    Therefore, I see White terror as a response to the Red terror, and Horthy as a savior of the nation at that period, and do not buy at all his guilt in this story.

    I have come to this site a month ago just to look for numbers in the White Terror, and found the numbers scientifically researched and trustworthy. Looking the story of Dr. Eva Balogh who left Hungary in 1956, I assumed I found a trustworthy centrist, non-biased, site and not left-wing. I am flabbergasted by what I am reading during the last 3 days.

  18. Eliezer, you don’t know what you are talking about. Horthy did nothing to evict Béla Kun. The Romanian army did.

    As for Rákosi’s arresting 100-250 thousand people is also mistaken. The highest number I heard was 40,000. And the number of executed was also nowhere the numbers you offer here.

  19. @Eliezer. Fascism lasted longer than 12 years, it began in Italy and was virulent in Spain and Portugal before it was perfected in Germany.

    It is difficult to share your admiration for Horthy. So let’s change the subject: What do you think about European integration and Hungary’s role in it? What do you make of the Hungarian policy towards the Roma and the unemployed?

  20. Eliezer :
    [Béla Kun] was a major culprit of Hungary turned so antisemitic: only a slim minority of the Jews supported him but his government was almost entirely Jewish, and they were most visible.

    The only culprits for antisemitism are the antisemites.

    Staunch political antisemitism in Hungary didn’t start in 1918, but as soon as 1875. Some reading about the KuK period seems necessary, here’s as a starting point a link to a communication made by Árpád Welker a dozen years ago (in English):

    Click to access 02_welker.pdf

  21. Eliezer :
    I have come to this site a month ago just to look for numbers in the White Terror, and found the numbers scientifically researched and trustworthy. Looking the story of Dr. Eva Balogh who left Hungary in 1956, I assumed I found a trustworthy centrist, non-biased, site and not left-wing. I am flabbergasted by what I am reading during the last 3 days.

    Eliezer, you certainly barking at the wrong tree here.

    For awhile I tried to figure out, what is it really, what you want, because reading your posts I pictured a fairly informed person, who will exchange views, broaden horizons and so on, instead I’ve found someone with preset agendas and coloured facts, who has problem to accept, that even someone who left Hungary in ’56 can have only one obligation, and this is to her/his conscience, and not toward any political “side”.
    I was also surprised, how vehemently you argued over historical facts – as in dates and such – as it would make any difference, whether it was in june, july or whenever, regarding the role of the late Admiral. I would say rather try to accept the fact, that nobody here place him any higher just because he was in charge at the time the killing of the communists happened – aka white terror – just because those who perished were communists, horrible dictu even Jews.
    Those were all Human Beings, and Hungarian ones for that, and in my book there is no excuse for it for any reason, you like it or not. To me one killer never better than the other, regardless whom he/she killed.
    In short, Horthy will never ever be accepted, let alone respected or/and honoured by me, and I hardly think that by anyone else around here, get used to it.

    So, why don’t we talking about the wether instead, it’s damn’ cold, isn’t it..?

  22. Your link mentions that Horthy consented to the German occupation. As if he had a choice. Facing a country which was defeated only by the joining forces of the worlds three most powerful militaries, the Russian winter, the productive capacity of the United States, and a military idiot ( Adolf Hitler) at the helm. My father mentioned a saying in Hungary at the time, probably not true but it sums up the facts quite well. Hitler tells Horthy that he wishes that the German army should occupy Hungary. Horthy, biding his time, asks him how long it would take. Hitler responds that it would take two weeks. Horthy then asks; what if we do not consent? Hitler replies; then it will take us three days.

  23. The real Truth
    Horthy was in March 1944 still convinced that a German victory is possible. He and his Administration did everything in their power to deport those Hungarians who were qualified by the Hungarian racial laws (enacted before the German occupation) as Jews.
    When in August 1944 Horthy became convinced that the Germans will loose the war and he changed the prime Minister and let go others of the extreme right.
    The fact that he still believed in March 1944 for a German victory is evidence that he had no clue about the realities of the war.

  24. I just read up on Eliezer’s comments and found:
    ” If Vienna conference of 1815 resulted in peace for 100 years”

    What kind of nonsense is this ?

    Between 1815 and 1914 there were so many wars in Europe – I can’t list them all, just the Prussian/Austrian and the German/French which were the most important …

  25. wolfi :
    I just read up on Eliezer’s comments and found:
    ” If Vienna conference of 1815 resulted in peace for 100 years”
    What kind of nonsense is this ?
    Between 1815 and 1914 there were so many wars in Europe – I can’t list them all, just the Prussian/Austrian and the German/French which were the most important …

    there was a war between the Habsburg monarchy and Italy. And another one between Prussia and the Habsburg monarchy. There were also Balkan wars just to name a few.

  26. >I just read up on Eliezer’s comments and found:
    ” If Vienna conference of 1815 resulted in peace for 100 years”
    What kind of nonsense is this ?

    I thought I will no need to explain Of course. But the Napoleonic wars were a kind of World war. The war of this dimension that involved everybody did not occur for another 100 years. In opposite to this, many statesmen in 1920 thought that the Paris conference reached just a truce not a real peace. And they saw correctly.

    Am I wrong?

  27. The real Truth :
    Your link mentions that Horthy consented to the German occupation. As if he had a choice.

    Of course he had a choice. Not to flirt with Mussolini & Hitler from 1935 on, not to claim annexions at the Vienna Award in 1938, not to join the Axis in 1940…

    All this casuistry reminds me of one definition of chutzpah: ‘Sure, your Honor, I killed both my parents – but have mercy for a poor orphan!’

  28. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    The real Truth :
    Your link mentions that Horthy consented to the German occupation. As if he had a choice.

    Of course he had a choice. Not to flirt with Mussolini & Hitler from 1935 on, not to claim annexions at the Vienna Award in 1938, not to join the Axis in 1940…
    All this casuistry reminds me of one definition of chutzpah: ‘Sure, your Honor, I killed both my parents – but have mercy for a poor orphan!’

    Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :

    The real Truth :
    Your link mentions that Horthy consented to the German occupation. As if he had a choice.

    Of course he had a choice. Not to flirt with Mussolini & Hitler from 1935 on, not to claim annexions at the Vienna Award in 1938, not to join the Axis in 1940…
    All this casuistry reminds me of one definition of chutzpah: ‘Sure, your Honor, I killed both my parents – but have mercy for a poor orphan!’

    He had no choice, due to treaty of Trianon, which was an illegal act.

    minority rights and laws were existed only in Austria and Hungary in pre-WW1 Europe!

    The first minority rights were invented firstly in Hungary in Europe in July 1849! But these were overturned after the Russian and Austrian armies crushed the Hungarian Revolution. When Hungary made a compromise with the dynasty in 1867 one of the first acts of the restored Parliament was to pass a Law on Nationalities (Act Number XLIV of 1868).

    The situation of minorities in Hungary were much more better than in contemporary Western Europe. Other highly multinational countries were: France Russia and UK.

    See the multi-national UK:

    The situation of Scottish Irish Welsh people in “Britain” during the English hegemony is well known. They utmost forgot their original language, only english language cultural educational institutions existed. The only language was English in judiciary procedures and in offices and public administrations. It was not a real “United” Kingdom, it was rather a greater England.

    See the multiethnic France:

    In 1870, France was a similar-degree multi-ethnic state as Hungary, only 50% of the population of France spoke the French language as mothertongue. The other half of the population spoke Occitan, Catalan, Corsican, Alsatian, West Flemish, Lorraine Franconian, Gallo, Picard or Ch’timi and Arpitan etc… Many minority languages were closer to spanish or Italian language than French) French governments banned minority language schools , minority language newspapers minority theaters. They banned the usage of minority languages in offices , public administration, and judiciary procedures. The ratio of french mothertongue increased from 50% to 91% during the 1870-1910 period!!!

    What about Russia?

    Russian Empire was a similar multiethnic state as Hungary, without the existence of minority rights. The forced russification is also well known

    Shocking data from the 1910 census: 40% of the total population pre WW1 Kingdom of Hungary didn’t know the Hungarian language (due to the fact they did not need to know Hungarian language in local offices of public administration & tribunals , and they had own media, newspapers too.)

    About trianon:

    The people’s self determination idea of president Wilson did not happend in Kingdom of Hungary, because: The successor states (romanian czech serbian politicians) protested against the helding of democratic referendums (universal suffrge secret ballots) about the disputed areas and borders. (perhaps the leader elite of the surrounding successor states did not trust in their own ethnic groups???)

    The treaty of Trianon did not based on the people’s volition, therefore the Treaty hadn’t legitimacy behind it. The decision-making of Paris treaties were remindful of early-modern era primitive Peace of Westphalia, rather than a modern 20th century democratic decision.

    Shocking data from the 1910 census: 40% of the total population pre WW1 Kingdom of Hungary didn’t know the Hungarian language (due to the fact they did not need to know Hungarian language in local offices & tribunals , and they had own media newspapers too.)

  29. >Spectator:I was also surprised, how vehemently you argued over historical facts – as in dates and such – as it would make any difference, whether it was in june, july or whenever, regarding the role of the late Admiral.

    I understand that it is a response by Dr Balogh herself. This is the first time that I see an author and a professor who is not careful with the facts as a matter of principle, and is not interested in them being correct.

    >I pictured a fairly informed person, who will exchange views, broaden horizons and so on

    I do not see that you are interested to have “a fairly informed person” on board.

    The exchange of our views on weather is not very productive because it is so changeable. And I have the weather channel on my TV.

    It is your blog, and you surely should not have unpleasant visitors in it. So, happy New year and good-bye.

  30. Real Truth: “He [Horthy] had no choice, due to treaty of Trianon, which was an illegal act.” This is utter nonsense. It wasn’t an illegal act. It may have been unwise but not illegal. Moreover, there is such thing as political wisdom which was lacking in Hungary. After the First Vienna Award there was a good chance of retaining some of the regained territories. Great Britain indicated that much to Budapest because the British government for some time had second thoughts about the viability of the Czechoslovak state. The Soviets sent messages to Hungary that after the war they would support reasonable Hungarian territorial claims against Romania if Hungary remains neutral. Yet, the Hungarian governments went ahead and allowed the Germans to go through Hungarian territory to attack Yugoslavia, declared war on the Soviet Union and the Allies and thus completely ruined all chances of territorial revision.

  31. even Pál Teleki admitted that Hungarians became like vultures in 1941 when they broke their Agreement with Yugoslavia.

    I am just reading a Hungarian “Nemzeti” Hirlap of 1944. The most frequent word ís
    zsidóvagyon. In order to rob the “Christian” Regime of Horthy was sending half a Million of its citizens to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

  32. @Eliezer. This view is generally called revisionist. What is true is that the peace treaties hammered out and signed in and around Versailles were not always regarded as fair and thus carried the seed for WW II. But since 1945 it is internationally no longer regarded as acceptable to change borders by force. Or how to you imagine to change Trianon? (This is also a peace treaty, not a truce. And don’t forget the forced “Magyarisation” that enlarged Hungary in the first place.).

    BTW, I have an original copy of the Reichs-Gesetzblatt, Jahrgang 1919, Nr. 140; “Gesetz über den Friedensschluss zwischen Deutschland und den alliierten und assoziierten Mächten. Vom 16. Juli 1919.”

    This is indeed a peace treaty that had to become law in Germany to be valid. What’s unique for an official gazette of a single-language country like Germany is that the text of the peace treaty is printed in three languages (French, English and German – in that order; the German text was marked as “Translation”) and in two different fonts. It shows that until then the French still managed to dominate international negotiations although they hadn’t won a war for more than a hundred years. It also shows the French will to humiliate Germany. But Bismarck – in contrast to his former moderate peace treaties – had humiliated the French first (Alsace-Lorraine).

    I believe that the European consensus not to allow for any wars anymore generally holds. The Balkans had to catch up but seem to be on a promising way – finally.

    P.S. You haven’t answered the questions about Hungary and European integration.

  33. Eliezer :
    >Spectator:I was also surprised, how vehemently you argued over historical facts – as in dates and such – as it would make any difference, whether it was in june, july or whenever, regarding the role of the late Admiral.
    I understand that it is a response by Dr Balogh herself. This is the first time that I see an author and a professor who is not careful with the facts as a matter of principle, and is not interested in them being correct.
    >I pictured a fairly informed person, who will exchange views, broaden horizons and so on
    I do not see that you are interested to have “a fairly informed person” on board.
    The exchange of our views on weather is not very productive because it is so changeable. And I have the weather channel on my TV.
    It is your blog, and you surely should not have unpleasant visitors in it. So, happy New year and good-bye.

    Oh man, you are a way out!
    Why couldn’t you just try to imagine, that there are people out there, who think with his/her own head?
    If nothing else, you should check on my limping grammar – never been educated in English in case you wonder.
    Otherwise I never argued with what you wrote, It’s out of my league an I know it.
    I just don’t see the point in defending a dictator with – mildly put – questionable pedigree, that is. The pacifist view entirely my own, I don’t accept force as solution, probably it’s a leftover from ’68.

    Have a nice trip anyway!

  34. @The real Truth.
    The English seems to be closely related to that of Eliezer.

    But whoever is behind it, try to understand this Roman saying: “Vae victis!” To start or join a war and lose it is not supposed to be fun.

  35. @The real Truth

    Somebody with the name ‘Walkstone’ posted here the exact same pseudo-historical junk last june.

    https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/a-short-history-lesson-about-1918-1919-in-hungary/comment-page-1/#comment-59536

    It was crap then, and is still crap today. For instance, French has been the only language of the French administration since… 1539. I don’t know where you guy(s) find your copy/paste material, but I suggest you ask for a refund.

  36. I think you all should be more patient with Eliezer. I happened to know that he is not a Hungarian and thus any knowledge he gained was through the testimony and possible experience of others and his own diligent reading of matters associated with the subject of Hungary, Horthy and the Jews. He read Ambassador Montgomery’s Memoirs from the 1930’s, Kallay’s memoirs written in America and even Horthy’s own memoirs (in which he omitted to repeat that he always was an anti-Semite). That these three sources of his knowledge are tainted, seem to be of little consequence to his admiration of Horthy. He is also a reader of Wkipedia and any other matter which may be on the Web. I believe he visited Hungary or Budapest at least once and he assumed that Hungarian Jews and especially those who survived in Budapest were not sufficiently grateful to the old Admiral, who saved them. Add to this Elizier’s disgust of Bela Kun, who murdered not only thousands of Hungarians during the Communist period in Hungary, but went on a murderous rampage in the Crimea before he himself became a victim of Stalin.

    The problem with Eliezer is that he made up his mind about Horthy being as great as any friend of the Jews could have been under the circumstances and of this opinion he will not budge. It matters not how many oppose his views, he will argue, Such minor matters as the White Terror, the first ever of altogether four anti-Jewish laws his governments proposed and he approved, the persecution of Jews by the national and local Governments in Hungary between 1920 and 1944, the death of thousands in labour battalions in Poland and Russia during the times when Horthy was the “legfelsöbb Hadur” or the Highest of military authority, the expulsion in 1941 of 18,000 Jews who were killed, erc. etc. are not to be taken as a sign of Horthy being anything other than the benefactor of Jews, because having opposed the Baky putsch (which would have overthrown and endangered him) the Jews of Budapest in the Ghettoes have eventually benefited later, by which time he was kept in Ostmark. He also stopped the deportations in July 1944, admittedly only after some 480,000 Jews were sent for extermination to Auschwitz by his Government and his Gendarmes. That Horthy must have known that babies and old people are not going to work and having had his Army in the occupied territories of Poland and Russia, he must have also known about the way the Germans have been murdering Jews in the millions.

    The fact that Himmler has ordered that the Ghetto of Budapest is not to be destroyed and that in any case the Szalasi Government acknowledged the International and the Main Ghetto (and guarded it), that the German General in charge of the Budapest defense refused to have anything to do with the Ghettoes does not seem to change anything. For Eliiezer it was Horthy who saved the Jews of Budapest and he thinks that there is insufficient thanks being given to his memory or whatever.

    So let’s be charitable to this gentleman. After all, he has enabled you and I to be stirred up and make our opinions known. Maybe this is his purpose.

  37. @Steve:

    I answered one of the loonies on pol.hu who reasoned along similar lines to Eliezer, that Hungarians should then be even more grateful to Stalin – because he only had deported and/or killed about 500 000 Hungarians and let more than 9 million live …

  38. wolfi :
    @Steve:
    I answered one of the loonies on pol.hu who reasoned along similar lines to Eliezer, that Hungarians should then be even more grateful to Stalin – because he only had deported and/or killed about 500 000 Hungarians and let more than 9 million live …

    No real discussion is possible with people like Eliezer, who only has read some very partial literature and who is naming Wiki as a reliable source.

  39. I think Wikipedia is very good, as long as you take into account that maybe one of the contributors may have a bias, but for dates and many other information it cannot be bettered, – at least not by an amateur like me.

  40. Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10) :
    @The real Truth
    Somebody with the name ‘Walkstone’ posted here the exact same pseudo-historical junk last june.
    https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/a-short-history-lesson-about-1918-1919-in-hungary/comment-page-1/#comment-59536
    It was crap then, and is still crap today. For instance, French has been the only language of the French administration since… 1539. I don’t know where you guy(s) find your copy/paste material, but I suggest you ask for a refund.

    French is an artifically government spreaded and enforced minority language in an extremly multiethnic country. It was called as the “king’s language”.
    In 1539, less than 10% of the population speak the language of Île-de-France (the direct ancestor of royal language, which is now known as French..

  41. Minusio :
    @Eliezer. This view is generally called revisionist. What is true is that the peace treaties hammered out and signed in and around Versailles were not always regarded as fair and thus carried the seed for WW II. But since 1945 it is internationally no longer regarded as acceptable to change borders by force. Or how to you imagine to change Trianon? (This is also a peace treaty, not a truce. And don’t forget the forced “Magyarisation” that enlarged Hungary in the first place.).
    BTW, I have an original copy of the Reichs-Gesetzblatt, Jahrgang 1919, Nr. 140; “Gesetz über den Friedensschluss zwischen Deutschland und den alliierten und assoziierten Mächten. Vom 16. Juli 1919.”
    This is indeed a peace treaty that had to become law in Germany to be valid. What’s unique for an official gazette of a single-language country like Germany is that the text of the peace treaty is printed in three languages (French, English and German – in that order; the German text was marked as “Translation”) and in two different fonts. It shows that until then the French still managed to dominate international negotiations although they hadn’t won a war for more than a hundred years. It also shows the French will to humiliate Germany. But Bismarck – in contrast to his former moderate peace treaties – had humiliated the French first (Alsace-Lorraine).
    I believe that the European consensus not to allow for any wars anymore generally holds. The Balkans had to catch up but seem to be on a promising way – finally.
    P.S. You haven’t answered the questions about Hungary and European integration.

    Just look the contemporary pre WW1-era Europe:
    Magyarization was not so Harsh as western European situation, because the minorities were defended by minority rights and laws. Contemporary Western Europe did not know the minority rights, therefore they covered up their minorities. Were there state sponsored minority schools in Western European countries? NO. How many official languages existed in Western-European states? Only 1 official language! Could minorities use their languages in the offices of public administration in self-governments , in tribunals in Western Europe? No, they couldn’t. What about minority newspapers? etc.. etc…

    We have many example, and the right of SELF DETERMINATION, which based on democratic referendums.

  42. Karl Pfeifer :

    No real discussion is possible with people like Eliezer, who only has read some very partial literature and who is naming Wiki as a reliable source.

    All his facts are wrong. See Horthy’s “overthrow” of Béla Kun’s Hungarian Soviet Republic. Not even Wikipedia claims that it was Horthy who over throw his regime.

  43. @Steve@ nothing can replace the books/articles of serious historians.
    One cannot discuss about the extermination of half a million Hungarian citizens only quoting those who are co-responsible for this and Wiki.
    Therefore people like Eliezer try only to waste our time, by giving us the often repeated revisionist version of Hungarian History.

  44. @The real Truth, Walkstone etc.

    Shouldn’t you first admit that the sentence you pasted: “[From 1870] They banned the usage of minority languages in offices , public administration, and judiciary procedures.” was just BS?

    Then, and only then, could we eventually discuss the rise of Public education in France from the 1860s against the Catholic Church private schools network (a large part of which used regional languages in elementary classes). I’m ready to acknowledge the mistakes and excesses of the French 3rd Republic, particularly when it comes to its jacobinism or colonialism… but I won’t do it with a troll.

    By the way and to get back on topic, in France those days are over and nobody wants them back. Why should any Hungarian keep looking back by attempting to whitewash Horthy’s record?

  45. Eva S. Balogh :

    Karl Pfeifer :

    No real discussion is possible with people like Eliezer, who only has read some very partial literature and who is naming Wiki as a reliable source.

    All his facts are wrong. See Horthy’s “overthrow” of Béla Kun’s Hungarian Soviet Republic. Not even Wikipedia claims that it was Horthy who over throw his regime.

    Same goes for “real truth”. Our subject matter are not the minority rights in the Habsburg Monarchy Hungarian part. However Ivan Berend has written and documented the real truth:
    “In 1870, although 60 percent of the population of Transsylvania was Romanian, only one-third of the officials were ethnic Romanians, a proportion that had declined to 6 percent by 1891.”
    source: Ivan T. Berend: History derailed: Central and Eastern Europe in the long Nineteenth Century, p. 270

  46. More fun with the troll… The Nobel Prize in Literature was attributed in 1904 to the French poet Frédéric Mistral, who wrote in Provençal (a dialect of the Occitan language) all his life. As the press of the times attests, the French then were very proud of him, and they still are today.

    Imre Kertész is Hungarian, he writes in Hungarian – but are the hortycultists proud? Quite the contrary.

  47. Steve:
    I very much hope that it is a pure coincidence that you wrote this piece after I had announced my departure from the site. Still I am surprised. While you helped me very much in my writing (never agreeing with me) and have deserved my thanks at the end, I thought that you know better than to write such declaration:

    “He read Ambassador Montgomery’s Memoirs from the 1930′s, Kallay’s memoirs written in America and even Horthy’s own memoirs (in which he omitted to repeat that he always was an anti-Semite). That these three sources of his knowledge are tainted, seem to be of little consequence to his admiration of Horthy. He is also a reader of Wkipedia and any other matter which may be on the Web.”

    Have not you received from me, during our correspondence, quotes from many other sources? Have not you sent me several Wikipedia references yourself? As a result of your demarche, Mr. Karl Pfeifer wrote:

    “No real discussion is possible with people like Eliezer, who only has read some very partial literature and who is naming Wiki as a reliable source.”

    I need to explain for the benefit of other participants. I just wrote a big article on Hungary and Horthy for a Russian-language (Germany-based) Internet magazine. I will probably shorten it for translation into English. I am not knew to controversies – I left Russia 40 years ago to be free from any censorship including public opinion censorship, – and while people frequently argue with me, nobody has ever accused me in superficiality or poor command of the facts.

    My article that gives a review of the Hungarian history from the beginning of the 20th century (because my reader knows very little of this) is 82 pages long plus photos and contains 56 references (yes, somewhat 15 of them are on Wiki articles), includes references to the sources that you mentioned plus to your, Steve, book, to couple article of Dr. Eva Balogh, books and articles by Patai, Lazar, Karzai, Istvan Deak, Braham, T.Snyder, Kinga Frojimovics, minutes of pre-trial interrogations of Eichmann and of interrogation of witnesses and so on. Besides, I had personal communications with several professors and couple of survivors, Steve being the major source among them.

    So, Mr. Pfeiifer, are you satisfied with my source base? Being a scientist, though in a completely different area, I know a thing or two about what the source is and how to evaluate it critically. I am not sure that historians are able to objectivity without ideological bias. I read in several papers that a new research has shown that Horthy knew about gas chambers as early as in 1942, not since July 3d, 1944. I have not found any proof, and when I asked personally, I received no reply. Do you know the proof?

    My article considers Hungarian military crimes, her rather stupid entrance into the war, has a special chapter on Horthy’s anti-Semitism. It has a chapter on the “alternative history” and a sort of a hypothetical trial.

    “Spectator” wrote here – what is a difference when it happens – June, July or August? Do you really think that history may be written in this way? If we speak about March 19th, 1944, do you know what happened in the morning and what in the evening? And about that evening – what happened in the early evening and what in the late evening? That is the way how you tell the story if you really serious about history. Do you know by days Kallay’s correspondence with the Germans about the Jews? Do you know how he and Horthy danced between domestic pressures and pressures from outside? Steve gave me a gift: an expression “Kallai-Kettos”, and I used it as a name of one of my chapters, taking Steve’s explanation as an epigraph.

    I regret that while I found a lot to agree with Steve’s brilliant book written 30 years ago, his present views have become much less flexible by now.

    Dr. Eva Balogh did not found it necessary to withdraw her wrong statement that there was no agreement with the Russians announced on October 15th, but she twice or thrice repeated my alleged mistake:

    “All his facts are wrong. See Horthy’s “overthrow” of Béla Kun’s Hungarian Soviet Republic. Not even Wikipedia claims that it was Horthy who over throw his regime.”

    Really ALL my facts wrong? And where did I write that Horthy overthrew the Soviet republic? Nowhere. I wrote to “Spectator”:

    “Reading about Horthy, I have come to conclusion that you, people, will never forgive him the White terror though in this way he saved Hungary from the Soviet fate 26 years earlier than that fate eventually fell on her. Bela Kun was a maniac killer and he managed to kill in Crimea around 52 thsd people in 1920-21 (together with two other organizers). He was a major culprit of Hungary turned so antisemitic: only a slim minority of the Jews supported him but his government was almost entirely Jewish, and they were most visible.”
    None above on this site that “Horthy overthrew”, right? In my article I wrote (I translate):
    “Soviet republic existed 133 days. It started to lose public support after loss of June rebellion by social-democrats and execution of 590 rebels. The Red terror started in the country. Part of the country was occupied by the Romanians. In July they overthrew the communists and occupied Budapest.”

    “Such minor matters as the White Terror” – Steve write. I reject the White terror as an accusation and a crime, and Dr. Balogh showed it was was much less severe than generally accepted. I think it saved the country from the re-establishment of Soviet republic. The Jews overwhelmingly supported its defeat. All other “minor” things that Steve mentioned found a detailed discussion in my article, partially because of his prodding.
    Steve continues:

    “The problem with Eliezer is that he made up his mind about Horthy”.

    Yes. Made up. Unexpectedly for myself and starting from a completely opposite view. Are you ready to make revisions of your views? Or are you just as frozen in your views as Steven accuses me to be?

    Steve requests you to be charitable to me. Thank you, Steve. Maybe I’ll manage without with my level of knowledge?

    “So let’s be charitable to this gentleman. After all, he has enabled you and I to be stirred up and make our opinions known. Maybe this is his purpose.”

    No, my purpose was to try to encourage you to rethink things. I am convinced that a quarter million Jews were not alive in 1944 if not Horthy saved them. I have failed to convince you? So may be the next generation will be more receptive. Probably I really have nothing more to say on this site.

    About Wikipedia I completely agree with Steve’s evaluation:
    “I think Wikipedia is very good, as long as you take into account that maybe one of the contributors may have a bias, but for dates and many other information it cannot be bettered, – at least not by an amateur like me.”

    I am really surprised by the success of this project, and it is really a very good source – on condition that you work with it as a scientist and know how to check it critically. For example, articles on Hungary and on the siege of Budapest, obviously written by different persons, give different numbers of survivors in Budapest after the Soviets entered. So I used other sources and my own calculations to come to estimations, very approximate, of course.

    Mr Wolfi:
    “I answered one of the loonies on pol.hu who reasoned along similar lines to Eliezer, that Hungarians should then be even more grateful to Stalin – because he only had deported and/or killed about 500 000 Hungarians and let more than 9 million live …”

    I am not responsible for what other people write. Stalin, Hitler, Himmler initiated crimes on an unbelievable scale. If Himmler stopped something (and I do not think many Jews benefited from his stoppage in August-September 1944), it does not reduce the crime. Horthy really stopped a crime committed not by him but by other people, Germans or Hungarians, but not by him. He stopped it in the courageous action against his own government, with a military force.

    Minusio :
    …P.S. You haven’t answered the questions about Hungary and European integration.”

    Mr. or Ms. Minusio is eager to show that I am a man of limited knowledge, and he/she wants me to disclose it openly. I AM a man of limited knowledge. I may discuss things that I know little about only if I start as a listener.

    Thank you for your attention.
    Eliezer

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