A critique of a political analysis on Hungary by Stratfor’s George Friedman

In the last few months I have been getting a daily newsletter from Stratfor, a private intelligence and forecasting company. No, I’m not a subscriber, and I doubt that Stratfor has many individual subscribers. Its clients are mostly institutions that feel the need for economic, military, or political analyses and forecasting.

Stratfor’s daily newsletter offers one free analysis chosen by the company. Most of the topics lie outside my field of interest, but today’s “special” aroused my curiosity: “Borderlands: Hungary Maneuvers.” The article was written by George Friedman, founder and chairman of Stratfor. Friedman received his B.A. from the City College of New York and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. For almost twenty years he was a professor of political science at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Then in 1996 he decided to quit academe and become a strategic analyst.

Friedman was born in Budapest to Holocaust survivors, but his parents left the country when he was a small child. What he learned from his parents sitting around the kitchen table was that “except for the Germans, the vastness of evil could not have existed.” In his parents’ lessons Miklós Horthy, the Hungarian regent between 1920 and 1944, pretty much got a pass. Friedman continues to believe the history his parents taught him. To his mind, Horthy was a wily geopolitical strategist who maneuvered between Germany and the Soviet Union for quite a while. Only brute German force, blackmail, and threats against Horthy himself opened the door to mass destruction of the Hungarian Jewry.

The first half of the article tries to convince the reader that his vision of Horthy is the correct one while the second draws parallels between the Hungary of today and the times of Horthy. As he says, Horthy’s “experience is the one that Hungary’s current leadership appears to have studied.”

I will not be able to cover the whole article in this post and therefore will concentrate on Friedman’s account of the Horthy era. The appearance of this “revisionist” appraisal of Horthy is especially ill-timed because it was only a few days ago that historians of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences unanimously declared at a conference that the monument Orbán is erecting, which is supposed to make Germany alone responsible for the destruction of Hungarian Jewry, is a falsification of history. Nothing like lending a helping hand to Viktor Orbán’s project.

Friedman’s Hungary was a small, weak country that helplessly floundered between the Soviet Union and Germany, all the while trying to remain independent. “Horthy’s goal was to preserve its sovereignty in the face of the rising power of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.” Friedman seems to think that Horthy viewed both great powers with equal contempt. But that was not the case. In fact, until the very last moment he refused to turn to the Soviets to declare his willingness to negotiate a separate peace, whereas he was indebted to the Germans for helping Hungary regain sizable territories in Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia between November 1938 and April 1941. (These territories are shown in the Wikipedia map below.)

"Hungary's

As for the Jewish issue, Friedman claims that “Horthy was no more anti-Semitic than any member of his class had to be.” First of all, I’m not sure why Friedman believes there was a social imperative to be anti-Semitic. Members of Horthy’s social class may have been anti-Semitic, but they didn’t have to be anti-Semitic.

Horthy as well as the majority of Hungarian politicians and high officials wanted to rid the country of its Jewish population. Horthy didn’t want an immediate “cleansing” because without Jewish capital and know-how the Hungarian economy would have collapsed. But eventually the Hungarian anti-Semites stripped the Jews of all their worldly possessions and deported them. These Hungarians, including high officials, didn’t particularly care what happened to the Jews once they were deported. There simply had to be “a changing of the guard” (őrségváltás). Non-Jews were to take over positions held by Jews in the professions, business, and manufacturing. None of this seems to have penetrated Friedman’s consciousness.

It is at this point that we reach the crucial date of March 19, 1944, which is described this way: “Horthy fell from his tightrope on March 19, 1944. Realizing that Germany was losing the war, Horthy made overtures to the Soviets.” Let me state right here that Horthy did not make overtures to the Soviets. A small delegation talked to American and British officials in Turkey. They were told to talk to the Russians, something Horthy was reluctant to do.

Friedman’s inadequate knowledge of history is evident in practically all the sentences he writes in this article. According to him, “Hitler forced the Hungarian leader to form a new government consisting of Hungary’s homegrown Nazis, the Arrow Cross Party.” Or, a few sentences later, he writes: “He [Horthy] did not crush the Hungarian Nazis, but he kept them at bay. He did not turn on Hitler, but he kept him at bay. What Horthy did was the dirty work of decency. He made deals with devils to keep the worst things from happening. By March 1944, Horthy could no longer play the game. Hitler had ended it. His choice was between dead sons and the horror of the following year, or living sons and that same horror.” Friedman’s “parents believed that Horthy’s critics were unable to comprehend the choices he had.”

We who are more familiar with the real story realize that the account Friedman heard from his parents in addition to bits and pieces he remembers from Horthy’s memoirs have nothing to do with reality. But Friedman cannot be deterred from his preconceived notions of German-Hungarian relations and the Hungarian Holocaust. He keeps going: “Once the Wehrmacht, the SS and Adolf Eichmann, the chief organizer of the Holocaust, were in Budapest, they found the Arrow Cross Party to be populated by eager collaborators.” Of course, this isn’t true either. The eager collaborators were in fact members of the Hungarian government appointed by Horthy.

The point of this hopelessly inaccurate history is to reframe the present debate about Viktor Orbán’s governance. On the one hand are people like his parents, who blamed the Germans “for unleashing the brutishness in the Hungarians.” On the other hand are nameless people who were harsher on Horthy. This debate, he writes, “has re-entered history through Hungarian politics. Some have accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of trying to emulate … Miklós Horthy…. This is meant as an indictment. If so, at the university of our kitchen table, the lesson of Horthy is more complex and may have some bearing on present-day Hungary.”

I suggest that George Friedman take a refresher course.

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88 comments

  1. Not too much OT – the German media are full with unconventional Royal news:

    Prince Charles has sensationally likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

    In a withering verdict on the actions of the Russian president in Ukraine, he told a woman who lost relatives in the Nazi Holocaust: ‘And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2634400/Putin-behaving-just-like-Hitler-says-Charles-Princes-controversial-verdict-Russian-leaders-invasion-Ukraine.html#ixzz32NEvwPQK

  2. Re: Jónás comment on the EU. This statement from Jónás, “the EU has not failed, as it cannot, it really is only a market place. It is just that a lot of countries unfortunately cannot compete,” takes a far too benign perspective of the EU. The greatest beneficiaries of the EU were and have been its instigators. As we know Winston Churchill’s 1946 call for a “United States of Europe” becoming was part of the foundation of the EU idea, in 1949 the Council of Europe was established as the first pan-European organization. In the year following, on 9 May 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a community to integrate the coal and steel industries of Europe. Out of this grew the European Economic Community (EEC) and eventually the EU. It is really not unfair to say that the UK, Germany, and France created the EU and it is also not unfair to say that rules they have established for free trade benefit developed European nations more than underdeveloped ones.

  3. George Friedman pretends to know something about Hungarian History. He writes in his “borderland” text: “Hungary did not join Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union until months after it had started,”

    Fact is Hungary declared on June 27,1941 war on the Soviet Union, just five days after the Germans did.

    Friedman is as far as Hungarian History is concerned an ignoramus.

  4. @ kommentelo

    Man, you’re a card. I loved this piece of brainwork:
    “So far I have seen no evidence that money had anything do…”

    No evidence. Yeah.

    And brilliant Orban gave out the Azeri axeman for nothing other than out of the kindness
    of his heart, and some brilliant strategic/economic considerations of his multi-talented brain
    trust like Matolcsy and Szijarto, yes? Absolutely no money changed hand because, you “have seen no evidence”.

  5. I am grateful to Eva for her objective analysis on Hungary.

    To save Hungary, all useless supporters of Orban must turn away from this not so great egomaniac Horthy restaurateur.

    So much, even reverends and anti-communist conservatives can do if they are ready to open the aging eyes.

  6. I must quote Horthy himself – avalaible to me unfortunately only in Hungarian – stating his position vis-a-vis the Jews and anti-semitism. This is an exerpt of a letter he wrote to Pál Teleki, prime minister of Hungary at the time: “Ami a zsidókérdést illeti, én egész életemben antiszemita voltam, zsidókkal sohasem érintkeztem. Tűrhetetlennek tartottam, hogy itt Magyarországon minden-minden gyár, bank, vagyon, üzlet, színház, újság, kereskedelem stb. zsidókezekben legyen, és hogy a magyar tükörképe – kivált külföldön – a zsidó. Azonban, minthogy a kormányzat egyik legfontosabb feladatának az életstandard emelését tartom, tehát gazdagodnunk kell, lehetetlen a zsidókat, kiknek minden a kezükben volt, egy-két év leforgása alatt kikapcsolni, és hozzá nem értő, leginkább értéktelen, nagyszájú elemekkel helyettesíteni, mert tönkre megyünk. Ehhez legalább egy emberöltő kell. Én hirdettem talán először hangosan az antiszemitizmust, azonban nem nézhetek nyugodtan embertelenségeket, szadista, oktalan megaláztatásokat, mikor még szükségünk van rájuk.”
    Letter by Miklós Horthy addressed to Pál Teleki, dated October 14, 1940.

  7. I concur with Karl Pfeifer; as far as Hungarian history is concerned, Friedman is an ignoramus.

  8. You, Mr. or Ms. GW (if that is rweally your name), wrote an excellent summary of what real democracy is, and you happy to listen all the opinions, except… those that not agree with you – those you call:

    “being paid to write for it, except perhaps those commenters coming from either the Prime Minister’s office in Budapest or the FSB who, like you,”

    Great logic and great understanding of freedom!

  9. >muttdamon

    >Can you please stop making us Hungarians look like fascists? Thank you!

    If this is a response to me, can you, please, show me ONE MY WORD that has caused this your reaction? Also, are you a Hungarian or a Jewish Hungarian?

  10. I think we should simply ignore Eliezer Rabinovich, or whoever he may be. Don’t feed the troll!

  11. >Judith
    >May 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm
    >I must quote Horthy himself – avalaible to me unfortunately only in Hungarian…

    I’ll be happy to provide you with the English text:

    As regards the Jewish problem, I have been an anti-Semite throughout my life. I have never had contact with Jews. I have considered it intolerable that here in Hungary everything, every factory, bank, large fortune, business, theater, press, commerce, etc. should be in Jewish hands, and that the Jew should be the image reflected of Hungary, especially abroad. Since, however, one of the most important tasks of the government is to raise the standard of living, i.e., we have to acquire wealth, it is impossible, in a year or two, to replace the Jews, who have everything in their hands, and to replace them with incompetent, unworthy, mostly big-mouthed elements, for we should become bankrupt. This requires a generation at least. I have perhaps been the first to loudly profess anti-Semitism, yet I cannot look with indifference at inhumanity, senseless humiliation, when we still need them. In addition, I consider, for example, the Arrow Cross to be far more dangerous and worthless for my country than I do the Jew. The latter is tied to this country by interest, and is more faithful to his adopted country than the Arrow Cross, who, like the Iron Guard, with their muddled brain, want to swing the country into the hands of the Germans.
    (Raphael Patai, pp. 545-546.)

  12. Eliezer Rabinovich
    May 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    >muttdamon
    >Can you please stop making us Hungarians look like fascists? Thank you!

    If this is a response to me, can you, please, show me ONE MY WORD that has caused this your reaction? Also, are you a Hungarian or a Jewish Hungarian?

    Eliezer, you have the nerve…. I guess there is a good reason why you defend Horthy. You also want to separate the Jews from the Hungarians.
    Talking about fascism. Fascism is the creation of conflicts between nations and races. Welcome to the club of fascists Eliezer.

  13. Karl Pfeifer
    May 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    George Friedman pretends to know something about Hungarian History. He writes in his “borderland” text: “Hungary did not join Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union until months after it had started,”

    Fact is Hungary declared on June 27,1941 war on the Soviet Union, just five days after the Germans did.

    Friedman is as far as Hungarian History is concerned an ignoramus.

    Was this after or before good Horthy declared war on the USA?
    Never mind. I found it: Hungary severed relations with the U.S. on the December 11, 1941, when the United States declared war on Germany. Two days later, on December 13, Hungary declared war on the United States.

  14. Judith and Karl are right. The man is an ignoramus. I just didn’t have enough time to point out all the wrong facts but there is a staggering number of them in the article. While talking about March 19 he keeps mentioning events that occurred on October 15. The result is that the whole story of Horthy’s responsibility in the Holocaust is completely distorted.

  15. Stalin probably wanted to show his generosity to the than Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Nagy, who later escaped to Switzerland with his wife and resigned when Rakosi agreed to release his son and his Zis car, a present from Stalin. Zis was a 100% perfect copy of the pre-war Packard.
    The Americans were probably influenced by Montgomery, who was a friend of Horthy while in Hungary as Ambassador.

  16. Some1
    May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Eliezer Rabinovich
    May 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    Welcome to the club of fascists Eliezer.

    *********************************************************************
    I have noticed long ago that you permit yourself any nonsense and slander without much thinking. Surely, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” is an empty sound for you. But it is not an empty sound for G-d to whom you will once need to report.

  17. Why is it that if one’s views do not agree with yours or Some others in a posting, Some people are inclined to question the politics or nationality or mental capacity of someone who does not share your views. There is no need to call someone either a fascist or a communist or use any other offensive label. This blog is not a Hungarian forum, but a forum about the Hungarian Spectrum and we need not to get into name calling as is customary in some Hungarian forums.

  18. Eliezer Rabinovich under the guidance of Horthy, with the participation of about 200.000 Hungarians more than half a million Hungarians (Jewish or qualified by the Hungarian Racial Law of 1941 as such) were deported in the spring of 1944 from May 15 until the beginning of July 1944.
    Would you pardon a hold-up murderer who robbed and killed 50 hostages because he spared 25 and just robbed them and did not kill them?

  19. steve397 said: “we need not to get into name calling as is customary in some Hungarian forums.”

    I agree, up to a point. When someone, such as this Rabinovich person, makes clearly anti-Semitic statements such as “are you a Hungarian or a Jewish Hungarian?”, I am well within my rights to label him or her as such. “Name-calling”, per se, is not the problem, it’s using terms that are hyperbolic or unsupported by the statements of the person being called them. I will not call people fascists until they clearly advocate fascism, though I will assume that some of them have those leanings, at the very least.

    Besides, just pointing out the telling statements is enough, and as for Rabinovich, he or she has made it clear that he or she is not an earnest, humane person interested in honest debate, so there’s no need to argue with him or her any longer.

  20. Istvan said: “It is really not unfair to say that the UK, Germany, and France created the EU and it is also not unfair to say that rules they have established for free trade benefit developed European nations more than underdeveloped ones.”

    I disagree wholeheartedly. Even if the EU weren’t pouring billions of euros into the “underdeveloped” countries, the common market allows Hungary, especially, to have access a large amount of foreign investment and good quality jobs that it wouldn’t otherwise have had. As evidence, I point to all the “underdeveloped” countries in the region who have been working very hard just to get a promise of eventual EU membership, at the cost of great national sacrifice. The list is very long, starting with Turkey (which has changed its mind, but was never really given a decent chance to get in), continuing through Serbia (giving up Mladić and Karadžić may have been the hardest thing for a Serbian government to do in generations, but tacitly accepting Kosovan independence is one for the ages), and now Ukraine (not likely to get in for at least 20 years, yet over 100 people died for the idea of an “association agreement”).

    Every study I’ve heard of has said that Hungary has greatly benefited from EU membership, and not just economically. There seems to be only one other alternative in Europe, and that is subjugation by Russia. Hungary is not Switzerland, so studied neutrality is not an option (though Switzerland will probably remain a de facto EU country, despite the recent referendum). The Russian model is not very attractive to non-Russian speakers, so the EU is the best bet, economically and politically.

  21. >steve397
    >May 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    >Why is it that if one’s views do not agree with yours or Some others in a posting, Some people >are inclined to question the politics or nationality or mental capacity of someone who does not >share your views.

    Thank you, Steve, for a kind of support, but this site is clearly not a place for an unbiased debate with its intolerance to the views of others – not only me.

  22. Karl Pfeifer
    May 22, 2014 at 2:03 am
    Eliezer Rabinovich under the guidance of Horthy, with the participation of about 200.000 Hungarians more than half a million Hungarians…

    ***************************************************************
    Mr. Pfeifer, I think we discussed the issue with you couple months ago. The thing that I deny is that the deportations were “under the guidance of Horthy” – he firmly tried to stop them before July but he was neglected. On July 3d he received “The Vrba-Wetsler Report” and understood he will not be obeyed unless he finds a loyal army unit. He found one on outskirt of the city, it entered the city on July 5th, and on the 6th the deportations stopped (more or less).

    I read that you know many languages but apparently not Russian. Magazine ‘Evreiskaya Statrina” published in May my 100 pages’ article on the topic on
    http://berkovich-zametki.com/2014/Starina/Nomer1/ERabinovich1.php

    It has an English Title, Summary (pasted below) and the Table of Contents that you can read. I am in the process of its translating into English. Is it correct that you were on of 50 children who left Hungary under Lutz-Horthy program that was stopped after March 19, 1944?

    Rescue of the Budapest Jews: Miklós Horthy, March 17 to October 16, 1944; Diplomats,
    1942-1945 г., And Many Other Righteous Hungarians

    Eliezer M. Rabinovich

    “Everyone knows about the efforts of diplomats like Carl Lutz and Raoul Wallenberg in saving the Jews of Budapest after the Germans occupied Hungary on March 19, 1944. Almost no one, however, knows that their undertaking would have been entirely impossible if the Jews had not first been saved from deportations by the Hungarian Regent Miklos Horthy. Deprived of real power by the occupation, the 77 year old Horthy found a loyal armored unit, took back partial power and forbade further deportations, thus preserving about a quarter of a million of Budapest’s Jews to be cared for by the diplomats after he was overthrown. His biographer Thomas Sakmyster wrote that if Horthy retired after the occupation his “historical reputation might have been enhanced, but the only practical result in Hungary would likely have been a more rapid deportation and annihilation of the Jews… He acted in a forceful and courageous way that protected the Jews of Budapest. No other European leader… had ever defied Hitler so directly”. “This world would be a better, more decent place,” – wrote the US pre-war ambassador John F. Montgomery, – “if the leaders of the English- speaking nations developed a tiny part of the courage shown at that time by Admiral Horthy.”

    Nobody else in the world saved as many Jews as Horthy did. None of the major historians of the Hungarian Holocaust desputes the facts, but Horthy has never been given proper recognition because of his strong anti-communist stance during his entire political life.”

  23. Eliezer Rabinovich
    May 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm
    Some1
    May 21, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    Eliezer Rabinovich
    May 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    Welcome to the club of fascists Eliezer.

    *********************************************************************
    I have noticed long ago that you permit yourself any nonsense and slander without much thinking. Surely, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” is an empty sound for you. But it is not an empty sound for G-d to whom you will once need to report.

    First of all, do not “bear false witness” as you said. So, why did you drag out my quote without context? Are you a false witness or a lier? Or a fascist or all? Let’s just see the whole conversation here without your lies. OK
    YOU, in order to set the stage, tried to hint that Hungarians with Jewish heritage has some reason to attack the “true Hungarians”.
    Did you write the following to Mutt: ” Also, are you a Hungarian or a Jewish Hungarian?”
    I simply stated the following: “You also want to separate the Jews from the Hungarians.
    Talking about fascism. Fascism is the creation of conflicts between nations and races.”
    Would you agree with my definition of fascism? Yes or No? If not, what is your definition?
    If you agree with my definition, would you agree that asking someone in the context you did if he is a Jew form Hungary (not a Hungarian Jew) would qualify as separating nation and race?
    I am sorry, but in my book you in fact did try to make a point by showing a “conflict” between race and nation. In my book you qualify.
    As far as GOD goes. My conscience is clear, and how is yours after trying to justify hate and murder? How do you feel when you try to put down Hungarian Jews as jews but not Hungarians?
    Are you at all who you pretend to be? Many of us use pseudonyms here for a reason or other. If you are who you pretend to be, shame on you for justifying the actions of a person who sent thousands to their death. If you are not who you pretend to be.. What the heck is wrong with you?

  24. steve397
    May 21, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    Why is it that if one’s views do not agree with yours or Some others in a posting, Some people are inclined to question the politics or nationality or mental capacity of someone who does not share your views. There is no need to call someone either a fascist or a communist or use any other offensive label. This blog is not a Hungarian forum, but a forum about the Hungarian Spectrum and we need not to get into name calling as is customary in some Hungarian forums.

    I highly respect your opinion. AT the same time, please read my reply above. I will call a spade a spade. Let me quote again ” Fascism is the creation of conflicts between nations and races.” would you agree with that? Would you agree that the person above did just that? If you can convince me that (s)he did not try to point of the conflict between Mutt being Jewish and being a Hungarian, I will apologize.

  25. Eliezer M. Rabinovich you write: “he firmly tried to stop them before July but he was neglected”
    You show not to know much about Hungarian History. It was Horthy who nominated primeminister D.Sz. on March 23, 1944 and it was Horthy who decorated the same D.Sz az “vitéz” (hero) on June 23, 1944. It was Horthy who nominated the chief executors of Hungarian Holocaust László Endre and László Baky. And never once before the beginning of July 1944 did he try to stop deportation. Nobody in Hungary neglected Horthy before October 15, 1944.
    I recommend the books of Krisztián Ungváry, László Karsai.
    And of course you are wrong again. There were only 2 youth groups leaving Budapest, in January 1943 and February 1943.
    I do not remember that a person named Rabinovich has ever discussed something with me, tell us the URL of that discussion.

  26. Turkey seemed to be heading to EU membership, but with the accession of Islamist Erdogan to the leadership it died. His suppression of speech, anti-Christian and anti-other Muslim groups but his own, and Morsi-like style doomed Turkey’s chances. No one wants another tyrant!

  27. I agree with every word of our friend Albert!

    “Rev. Albert W. Kovacs – UCC
    May 22, 2014 at 11:49 am
    Turkey seemed to be heading to EU membership, but with the accession of Islamist Erdogan to the leadership it died. His suppression of speech, anti-Christian and anti-other Muslim groups but his own, and Morsi-like style doomed Turkey’s chances. No one wants another tyrant!”

    Why can’t Albert realize with his vast knowledge the our Rakosis, Kadars, Orbans and Horthys are our Erdogans?

  28. Karl Pfeifer
    May 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
    Eliezer M. Rabinovich you write: “he firmly tried to stop them before July but he was neglected”
    You show not to know much about Hungarian History.

    ***********************************************************************

    Mr. Pfeifer, I wanted to stop the discussion on this site but am answering out of respect to your past. Giving you a reference to my article, I thought that you, as minimum, will not write: “You show not to know much about Hungarian History” to the person who have just written a 100 pages’ article on the topic with 75 references (including Krisztián Ungváry, László Karsai, also Eva Balogh). I regret that you choose to blame people who disagree with you with insufficient knowledge.

    You write:
    “It was Horthy who nominated prime-minister D.Sz.”

    Don’t you know that he had no choice after the occupation? He surely could “choose” between Imredy and D. Sz.! And it was D. Sz. who nominated Endre and Baky, even if the nominations were formally approved by Horthy.

    You write:
    “And never once before the beginning of July 1944 did he try to stop deportation.”

    Really? What about him shouting at the Government’s meeting on June 26 (as quoted by R. Braham Randolph L. Braham, The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary, p. 161):

    “I shall not tolerate this any further! I shall not permit the deportations to bring further shame on the Hungarians! Let the Government take measures for the removal of Baky and Endre! The deportation of the Jews of Budapest must cease! The Government must take the necessary steps!”

    He also confirmed that statement in writing:

    “Dear Sztójay:
    I was aware that the Government in the given forced situation has to take many steps that I do not consider correct, and for which I cannot take responsibility. Among these matters is the handling of the Jewish question in a manner that does not correspond to the Hungarian mentality, Hungarian conditions, and, for that matter, Hungarian interests. It is clear to everyone that what among these were done were done by Germans or by the insistence of the Germans was not in my power to prevent, so in these matters I was forced into passivity. As such, I was not informed in advance, or I am not fully informed now, however, I have heard recently that in many cases in inhumaneness and brutality we exceeded the Germans. I demand that the handling of the Jewish affairs in the Ministry of Interior be taken out of the hands of Deputy Minister László Endre. Furthermore, László Baky’s assignment to the management of the police forces should be terminated as soon as possible.”

    Mr. Pfeifer, I do not believe I’ve convinced you in anything, and I think we’ll be better served by stopping the dispute.

  29. Mr. Rabinovich, you are correct! – Hungary Got It Right! – German boots trampled Hungarian soil on March 19, 1944. At first the Nazis didn’t control the government and Budapest, still under the official control of Horthy and staunch loyalists, but the vise got tighter for Horthy. – – – xxx – – – One of the teenage Jews caught in the capitol was TOM LANTOS, who survived and became a U.S. Representative (D-CA). He told the story to his colleagues in the “House” about the heroic Col. Ference Koszorus and “one of the most remarkable examples of bravery and courage of the time. (Congressional Record, May 26, 1964 (Plaque Dohany Street Synagogue, Budapest) – – – “By June 11944, the Nazis had incarcerated and liquidated most of the Jewish population of Europe. In the capital of Hungary, Budapest, there remained approximately 250,000 Jews still alive. … He learned that Laszlo Baky, Secretary of State and director of all the security forces, with the exception of the army, had planned a coup d’état to install a police force completely subservient to the Nazis. … With the help of the Gestapo, Baky formed several battalions of ‘gendarmerie’ forces loyal to him. Orders from the Regent to disband the gendarmerie went unheeded. Col. Koszorus controlled the last remaining active army unit in Hungary. Realizing the severity of the situation, Colonel Koszorus consulted with the Regent and began preparations on his own to stop Baky and the genarmerie battalions. On July 5, 1944, at 1:30 p.m., Koszorus ordered the units of the 1st Armored Division to stake up positions at strategic points in Budapest, sealing off all roads leading into the city. … Colonel Koszorus informed Baky that if his gendarmerie did not leave and disband they would be destroyed. On July 7, 1944, Baky capitulated and evacuated his forces. . . . As a result of his extraordinarily brave efforts, taken at great risk in an extremely volatile situation, the eventual takeover of Budspest by the Nazis was delayed by 3-1/2 months. This hiatus allowed thousands of Jews to seek safety in Budapest, thus sparing them from certain execution. It also permitted the famous Raul Wallenberg, who arrived in Budapest on July 9, 1944, to coordinate his successful and effective rescue mission.” – – – xxx – – – The ‘British Society for International Understanding’ wrote in its “British Survey – Hungary,” in December 1946, ” On October 15, 1944, the Regent the Regent suddenly proclaimed that he had asked Armistice terms from the Allies and ordered the Hungarian army to ‘cease fire.’ No sooner did this happen than the Germans and their Quisling henchmen, in the party known as the ‘Arrow Cross,’ occupied Budapest, carried off the Regent and reversed the order given to the army. The Arrow Cross leader, Szalasi, took over and ruthlessly attempted to suppress all resistance. The Germans, in the meantime, looted everything they could lay their hands on and sent it back to Germany.” – – – xxx – – – With the Nazi sympathizers in control, the Gestapo had a free hand in rounding up the Jews throughout the land an d did so in earnest lest there be any at the impending end of the war. (The Arrow Cross would rear its venomous head again in later years.)

  30. Eve, did you watch this movie review with Holocaust survivors?

    It’s a queasy clichè galore unfortunately. There are better uses of your 10 bucks. It’s a big box office flop by the way. It made only 350k in the US. I bet Kingsley’s cameo as Horthy probably costed more.

    It’s a catnip for Horthy maniacs and anti-Semites because the regent is touted as a saint who wanted to save the Jews.

  31. Reverend,

    The regent ordered the suspension (not the stopping!) of the deportations on July 6th. By this time the majority of the Jews were transported to Auschwitz. After his order another 50,000 (!) was sent to the death camps. Something doesn’t add up to me …

  32. Eliezer Rabinovich
    You seem to be an impostor. I could not find one academic publication of yours about Hungary:

    Academic
    Results for “Eliezer Rabinovich Hungary” in All Fields of Study
    We did not find any result related to “Eliezer Rabinovich Hungary”.
    http://65.54.113.26/Search?query=Eliezer%20%20Rabinovich%20Hungary

    You wrote something in Russian, which I cannot check, because I do not understand Russian.

    If google is right, you are a rabbi born in Hungary.

    So Horthy said something and wrote something late in June 1944. The question is, if he could suspend deportation in July, why did he not do that before?

    There was another rabbi, a chief rabbi of Israel, one Yona Melzer. From Ferenc Kumin, state secretary or undersecretary for propaganda:

    October 25, 2012 (4:41 pm)
    A “Magnificent Relationship”

    In case you missed it, last week Prime Minister Orbán received a letter from Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger. It was a remarkable note. The Chief Rabbi expressed his “great appreciation” to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the Hungarian Government for the “magnificent relationship” fostered with Jews in Hungary….
    http://ferenckumin.tumblr.com/post/34297046301/a-magnificent-relationship

    Moreover, here we have another piece of news about this token Jew of Orbán:
    Israel Hayom Newsletter Wednesday February 12, 2014

    “Police recommend standing former chief rabbi to trial

    Police suspect Rabbi Yona Metzger received millions of shekels in bribes during his 10-year term • Police claim Metzger participated in Warsaw uprising memorial to pocket funds.

    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=15441

    If you are an Israeli rabbi giving Horthy a teudat kashrut (whitewash Horthy) I can only say jemach shimcha.

  33. Let me ask Rabinovitch once more:
    Would you agree that fascism is the creation of conflicts between nations and races?

    Would you agree that you tried to point out that Mutt’s opinion should be looked in context of him/her being a Hungarian with Jewish heritage not as a “Hungarian”?

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