Miklós Horthy and Viktor Orbán are kindred souls, at least according to George Friedman

I hope I made it eminently clear what I think of George Friedman’s brief description of the role of Miklós Horthy who, he claims, heroically tried to balance between two great powers. Friedman’s knowledge of the period is woefully inadequate. He couldn’t even keep his facts straight, never mind the validity of his conclusions.

On the basis of this inadequate description of what transpired in Hungary between, let’s say, 1933 and 1944, he portrays Horthy as a politician of vision who brilliantly managed to keep Germans and the far right at bay as long as possible. Thereby, he managed to save thousands of lives.

In Friedman’s eyes Prime Minister Viktor Orbán resembles Horthy: he is also trying to steer the ship of a weak and poor country though dangerous waters. Admittedly, he says, times are different, but “circumstances still bear similarities to Horthy’s time.” What, however, we never get any answer to is why Germany is a dangerous enemy of Hungary today. Because Viktor Orbán’s foreign policy is described as a balancing act between a  hostile Germany and a hostile Russia.

Friedman, it seems, envisages a Russia that sooner or later will run down all of Ukraine and thus will become a direct neighbor of Hungary. In the case of Germany, Friedman focuses on the nature of the EU and economics. First, “Hungary is already facing Germany’s policy toward liberal integration within the European Union, which fundamentally contradicts Hungary’s concept of an independent state economy. Hungary is already facing Germany’s policies that undermine Hungary’s economic and social well-being. Orban’s strategy is to create an economy with maximum distance from Europe without breaking with it, and one in which the state exerts its power. This is not what the Germans want to see.” And second, “There is little support from Hungary’s west, other than mostly hollow warnings. He knows that the Germans will not risk their prosperity to help stabilize the Hungarian economy or its strategic position.” Of course, the European Union does try to stabilize the Hungarian economy by pouring billions of euros into it, without which it would have gone under a long time ago.

Be afraid of the future because the past will return / Source: nikotex.blogspot.com

Be afraid of the future because the past will return / Source: nikotex.blogspot.com

And, according to Friedman, there is another similarity between the situations of Horthy and Orbán. Both leaders were faced with a far-right threat. Just to set the historical record straight, Horthy’s success with the extreme right was less than successful, not that he tried very hard. Horthy’s National Army from its birth was a gathering place of extremists. Although he boasted that he could get rid of them at any time, in fact both his administration and the army were full of anti-Semitic extremists who were great admirers of Hitler’s Germany. His friendships with far-right military and political actors in the 1930s dated to 1919-1920 when he was the hope of the extreme right. In the 1920s, Prime Minister István Bethlen managed to keep Horthy away from both his old extremist friends and politics. Once Bethlen was gone, there was no one to keep Horthy in line. He was on his own, with the well documented results.

Friedman sees Orbán just as he imagined Horthy to be: the guarantor of right-of-center politics. The real enemy is Jobbik and, if we didn’t have Orbán, Jobbik today would be the leading political force in Hungary. At least this is what the following muddled sentence indicates: Orbán “constructed a regime that appalled the left, which thought that without Orbán, it would all return to the way it was before, rather than realizing that it might open the door to the further right.” Friedman either doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know the real facts: Orbán has fulfilled several demands of Jobbik in the hope of siphoning off some of its support.

Orbán’s strategy as far as the extreme right is concerned has so far been quite similar to that of the governments between the two world wars. The problem is that the strategy didn’t work then and it doesn’t work now. Jobbik has not lost its appeal. On the contrary, the extreme right has gained ground during the last four years. In 2010 855,436 people voted for Jobbik (16.67%) while this year the number was 1,020.476 (20.22%). It seems to me that Orbán is no guarantee of anything. In fact, with his constant courting of the far right, he only added legitimacy and political heft to Jobbik.

As for the sorry state of Hungarian democracy, Friedman whitewashes Orbán’s domestic policies. “Internally he is increasing his power constantly, and that gives him freedom to act internationally.” Or, “Orbán is trying to do what Horthy did: strengthen his power over the state and the state’s power over society. He is attacked from the left for violating the principles of liberal democracy and Europe.” But, as Friedman explains, all this is necessary because of the external and internal threats Hungary faces.

In many ways George Friedman and Viktor Orbán see the world similarly. Both consider the European Union a massive failure. Moreover, in Friedman’s view, Orbán doesn’t want “to continue playing the German game in the European Union because he can’t. As in many European countries, the social fabric of Hungary is under great tension.”  So, the general portrait of Orbán that circulates at home and abroad as a man who wants to reap the benefits of the European Union but refuses to abide by its rules is all wrong. If we were to believe Friedman, Orbán is doing all this for the higher purpose of saving his country from the Russian bear and the German imperial eagle. He is the hero of the nation, and we are all too short-sighted to realize his true aim.

This particular construct, I’m afraid, is the work of Friedman’s imagination. Orbán’s policies are largely guided by his insatiable desire for power. He whips up nationalist and anti-European sentiments in order to bolster his popularity with Fidesz and Jobbik voters. At the last election, although more than half of the population wanted to see Orbán go, with help from clever mathematicians who managed to construct an electoral system that could produce a two-thirds majority from 44.87% of the votes cast for Fidesz, he managed to stay in power for another four years. After that, apparently he has another plan. Just like his friend Vladimir Putin, he is planning to move on to the presidency. Admittedly, right now the Hungarian president doesn’t have much power, but Orbán with his two-thirds parliamentary majority can easily change the Hungarian constitution to transform Hungary’s parliamentary system into a presidential one. If this happens, Orbán will be a major political figure in Hungary until at least 2022!

The real moving force of Orbán is his personal power and his inability to cope with any authority above himself. The rest is just talk.

I could wrap up my critique here, but I feel I should give a few more examples of the author’s wanton disregard for facts and the unsupported “grand theses” in this article. Here are a few examples. “The great depression in Mediterranean Europe, contrasted with German prosperity, is simply the repeat of an old game.” What old game? Or, Hungary allegedly lies between Russia and “the European Peninsula.” European Peninsula? Or, “the Ukrainian crisis can only be understood in terms of the failure of the European Union.”‘ In what way?

If this article had been published by a run-of-the-mill journalist I would be less appalled. But it was written by a former academic who is supposed to be an expert on international affairs and geopolitical strategy. Based on this piece, I think we can safely exclude from his areas of expertise Hungarian history and politics.


  1. Karl Pfeifer
    May 23, 2014 at 8:21 am
    I guess Eliezer Rabinovich is a penname. He is no Rabbi but a troll out of Orbanistan.

    And before that – “impostor”. Mr. Pfeifer, you are very easy on guessing and insults when you have nothing to say in essence. I read the entry about you in Wikipedia, and I want to be as far from you as possible. Now it is an open field for you: you may write what you wish – I will not notice and react.

  2. @Rabinovich:

    I read your crap here, and I want to be as far from you as possible – and that probably goes for most other readers and commenters here too. Anyway you’re repeating yourself and your stupid lies – just like that “expert” Friedman!

    And once again (I’ve said this so often …): It really doesn’t matter whether it was Horthy or some one else who made these “Jewish laws” that made the Hungarian Jews’ life impossible and later loaded all those people into the cattle cars – it were Hungarians and not “the German occupiers” as you want us to believe.

  3. @Eliezer Rabinovich@, you do not answer my questions and you do not answer the questions asked by others. According to you, some posters who do not share your revisionist view and Horthy-apology are anti-Hungarian. Therefore, do not pretend to be offended.
    I based my accusation on the fact, that you pretend to be a historian but in reality, you peddle the lies and half-truths about Horthy as is now mainstream in Orbanistan.
    Now George Friedman is – as the evidence shows – an ignoramus, you are different. You post under a Jewish pen name. I suspect you are not Jewish.

  4. wolfi
    May 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    >it were Hungarians and not “the German occupiers” as you want us to believe.

    Would you, please, find one word of mine, where I wrote something like this? It is completely, fully, 100% opposite to what I think.
    >It really doesn’t matter whether it was Horthy or someone else who made these “Jewish laws” that made the Hungarian Jews’ life impossible…
    It really does not matter to you? Does not matter who REALLY did it and who REALLY resisted? What I think and wrote in my article is:

    “Hungary in a certain period of her history had become madly anti-Semitic. She had a Parliament, where the country, using legal democratic procedures, prepared herself for a terrible crime. Germany that pressed on Hungary and was ready to pay for the deportation of the Jews and to provide the technical side of the crime.” (I created a calendar of almost daily pressure on them from inside and outside the country.) “A market of the Hungarian politicians suitable to be prime-ministers consisted almost entirely of anti-Semites.

    And there were THREE men – Miklos Horthy, in cooperation with Miklos Kallay and Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer – who firmly said: ‘No. We will not do it. This is against the Hungarian character. This is against humanism. Against honor. This will be the annihilation of OUR nation.’ They were not particular Jew-lovers but they took God seriously. They were not saint, and they did not succeed in everything: Kamenetz-Podolsk and killings in Novi Sad (Serbia) were not noticed by them in time to stop the crimes. They did not manage to stay out of the war. They did not manage to avoid sending the troops to Russia to be destroyed. Being against the anti-Jewish laws, they could not stop them.

    But it is breathtaking to see how much they did succeed to accomplish! Hungary remained an island where “in March 1944, 95 percent of the Hungarian Jews and the thousands of Jewish refugees from abroad were still alive” [Istvan Deak, Essays on Hitler’s Europe, pp. 154-55]. The Jews continued to trust to their government.

    Just think how easier it was for them to take a different course! Kallay could reject the appointment; Horthy had no firm necessity to replace Bardossy who had been rather popular in the governmental party. Bardossy would fire Keresztes-Fischer and agree to deport the Jews in 1942-43. Horthy could respond by abdication or by public removal himself from the governing. After the war, none of the three would be tried, and Bardossy was shot anyway – he would not be shot twice. Almost none of the Jews would survive.

    But Horthy took a different course.

    And on March 19th, 1944, the Admiral remained alone. Completely alone. He was told to stay away of interference into governing, especially in the Jewish matters. In his 77 years, he could easily to simulate dementia and to accept a purely symbolic role. Those who compare his position with that of the Danish King, forget that the Danes did not succeed in avoiding deportation; non-anti-Semitic population smuggled 8 thousand Jews to Sweden. Can you imagine something similar in Hungary without Horthy?

    Deportations in Hungary started in the middle of May, but already in the beginning of June the Regent demanded to stop them. There was a strong outside pressure. The Americans bombarded Budapest on July 2nd. Still Eichmann had not yielded. Sztójay and his three murderers had not yielded. They politely listened to the Regent but had not changed their ways. His Chief of the general Staff had not helped. I cannot imagine how he, practically alone, found a loyal military unit and stopped the deportations! Too late? I would like to see who else could do it more effectively.

    The following conclusions are obvious. If Regent Horthy had not remained in his position at a period from March 19th tp October 15th, 1944, then:

    1. About a quarter million of the Jews of Budapest would not survive until Ocober 15th. There was nobody else in the Holocaust history that had saved so many Jews;
    2. The activity of the diplomats and the righteous people (Wallenberg and others) in the Arrow Cross government’s period were useless – there would not Jews remained to save;
    3. The majority of the Budapest Jews would not survive the war.

    All of the leading historians agree. Above I quoted what Istvan Deak wrote about the early period. Horthy’s biographer Thomas Sakmyster agrees (p. 400):

    “So strong was pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic sentiment in the civil service, officer corps, and parliament that a decision by Horthy in 1942 or 1943 to accede to the German demand for deportation of the Jews would surely have meant the annihilation of the entire Hungarian Jewish community. But Horthy did not do this, for he believed that “inhumanity is alien to the Hungarian character.”… It was largely through his influence that in early 1944 Hungary was such an anomaly: an island in the heart of Hitler’s Europe where a semblance of the rule of law and a pluralistic society had been preserved in a sea of barbarism. And this was the basis of Horthy’s most important legacy to Hungarian history”.

    Laszlo Karzai:

    “Until 1944, the lives of the great majority of Hungarian Jews were not directly in danger… (p.64) Until 1944, Horthy and his advisors, out of moral and humanitarian considerations, among others, would not hand over the Hungarian Jews to the Nazi mass murderers.”

    Sakmyster writes about the occupation period (p.389-90):

    “Horthy might, of course, have taken Kallay’s advice in late March to retire to his estate… Had he done this, the Regent’s 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, including those of Budapest… No other European leader caught in such a dilemma, with the military equation so heavily in Germany’s favor, had ever defied Hitler so directly.”

    Again Deak, Hitler’s Europe:

    “Miklos Horthy was neither a fascist nor a dictator; he was not an evil man, but he was not a humanitarian either. Although he claimed to have been a life-long anti-Semite, under his reign more Jews survived the Nazi terror than in any country in Hitler’s Europe except Romania. Horthy was no more shallow and muddle-headed than Petain or Franco, and he was certainly less brutal that the Romanian dictator Ion Antonescu.””

  5. Come on “Eliezer Rabinovich”, you absolve Horthy from responsibility for the deportation of more than half a million Hungarian citizens. If you would be a judge, would you acquit a hold-up murderer who took 75 hostages, robbed, murdered „only“ 50 hostages, and spared the life of 25 whom he robbed before?
    I see another problem for Hungarians. A serious change in German and later in Austrian political culture happened only when Germans and Austrians confronted the dark past of their society.
    The “postcommunist maffiastate” is not interested in an honest confrontation with the dark past of Hungarian society; it wants to deflect attention from its own dark present with a monument and with the falsification of history.

  6. @Karl Pfeifer:

    It’s obviously totally useless to try to reason with “Rabinovich”!

    He totally ignores the 20 years of antisemitism under Horthy and the Jewish laws and especially the labour camps that started in 1940.

    PS and OT:

    This evening we talked with a friend about a retired German general (!) who gave a talk on the Jewish soldiers in Germany in WW1!

    If you’re interested, I’ll try to get the text for you.

  7. If you click on Eliezer Rabinovich, you go to his Facebook profile. I believe he is a real person.

    But I’d like to ask a question that I suspect has been debated at length. It seems to me that much of the West had tremendous sympathy for Hungary after 1848, and that sympathy dissipated. Hungary used to be a proud member of Central Europe, but it ended up a Soviet backwater, and now it’s some sort of odd duck. If you ask Western Europeans where they have travelled, many have them have been to Austria, the US, Turkey, Thailand, some to Senegal, but probably not Hungary.

    It seems like this dynamic started under Horthy. Disregarding Horhty’s responsibility towards the Jews in WWII and his diplomatic successes and failures regarding Trianon, did he preside over a historic downturn in Hungarian culture?

  8. Gardonista,

    Do you want us to believe that the whole world is against poor innocent Hungary?

    your assumption, that Western Europeans did (do not) visit Hungary is not based on facts, for Hungary became during the Kádár period beginning from the early 60ies one of the favorite countries for western tourists, especially for Germans who could meet their relatives from the GDR.
    I guess today many more West Europeans visit Hungary than Senegal. Moreover, western European Tourist flock to Hungary because thanks to the “unorthodox economy” of Orbán-Matolcsy the Forint became much cheaper.
    As far as culture is concerned, one can say that Horthy and mainstream anti-Semitism has contributed to the murder of poets like Miklós Radnóti, writers like Károly Pap,.Antal Szerb, Jenö Rejtö,György Bálint, the painter Imre Amos.
    The semi feudal autocratic Horthy System did prefer writers like profascist Cecile Tormay and the forgotten Ferenc Herczeg and it did not like Attila József.

  9. Eliezer Rabinovich,

    I should probably not respond to you, but I can’t let your obvious mistakes/lies stand.

    You wrote: “And there were THREE men – Miklos Horthy, in cooperation with Miklos Kallay and Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer – who firmly said: ‘No. We will not do it. This is against the Hungarian character. This is against humanism. Against honor. This will be the annihilation of OUR nation.’ ”

    As far as Horthy, his own writings (the relevant quotations I and others have already written here) betray this expression of his beliefs as wrong. He may have believed that it would be bad for his nation in the short term, but he gave not a fig for humanism, as the establishment of the anti-Jewish laws show, and he clearly intended to, at a minimum, expel the Jews from all positions of power and wealth in the country, and probably physically eject them from Hungarian lands.

    I should not discourage you from writing here, since you do more damage to the sanctification of Horthy than I could, but I will continue to point out your obvious fallacies, at least for the benefit of other readers.

  10. Karl Pfeifer,

    You wrote: “There can be no justification for uncivilized behavior.”

    I completely agree, but if one is to fight this behavior in Slovakia, one must address the root causes. In order to do that, one must understand where the anger comes from, and use empathy to pinpoint the source. In this case, the source is certainly Hungary, Jobbik and company specifically. We can complain about such behavior and even protest it through official channels, but people will act this way as long as they feel fear or hate. The only way to stop it is to find a way to make them stop fearing and hating Hungary. Putting an end to the inflammatory rhetoric coming from Hungary will help a lot.

    I have been to Slovakia many times, including Bratislava, and spoken Hungarian there with a shopkeeper (I don’t speak Slovak). I have Slovak friends, from both major ethnic groups. I knew a Hungarian Slovak from Bratislava, so they do live there, but I don’t know if he spoke Hungarian on the streets of the city or not. When my wife and I were there, we spoke Hungarian, and did not suffer for it. I believe that such incidents are isolated, as are the episodes of right-wing thugs attacking dark-skinned foreigners and beating them at bus and metro stations here in Budapest. It’s very telling how those who complain about the rare anti-Hungarian attacks in neighboring countries never mention the attacks by Hungarians against foreigners, unless the perpetrators are Roma (which, in their minds, means the attacks were not made by Hungarians).

  11. We’ve only been to Slovakia once, but it was a nice experience in Komarno. We went there to bring an USB-stick ( computer part) to our son’s Slovakian boss and he recommended the city center to us for a walk. So we went there and when we got thirsty came to the terrace of a cafe/bar where the waitress immediately addressed me in German …

    My wife asked her something in Hungarian and she immediately switched to that language after having talked to other guests in Slovakian – no problem for her!

    The nicest thing then happened when we asked about Slovak Euros – Slovakia had just introduced the € at the beginning of the year. I wanted to know if she knew whether banks offered a set of the new coins because a German friend of ours collects these from every country and she said, probably not.

    But when it was our turn to pay the waitress proudly presented a handful of the new shining Slovakian €s and Cents and of course she got a good tip for that effort.

    PS and OT:

    The interesting thing is that after some time you’ll find in your purse € coins from all countries – they get mixed very fast!

  12. @Eliezer Rabinovich@: ” “And there were THREE men – Miklos Horthy, in cooperation with Miklos Kallay and Ferenc Keresztes-Fischer – who firmly said: ‘No. We will not do it. This is against the Hungarian character. This is against humanism. Against honor. This will be the annihilation of OUR nation.’ ”

    I’ve posted on January 4,2014: “Two years before the German occupation one could read on the front page of a “christian national” (Orbáns ilk also call themselves “Christian”):

    “Primeminister Miklós Kállay:
    There is no other final solution than the expulsion of 800.000 Jews”
    Györ, “Nemzeti Hirlap”, “Christian national daily 21 April 1942”

    Györi Nemzeti Hirlap
    Kállay Miklós miniszterelnök:
    Nincsen más végleges megoldás mint a 800.000 zsidó kitelepitése

    Nem kényszerböl megyünk a háborúba…


  13. Gardonista
    May 23, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    It seems like this dynamic started under Horthy. Disregarding Horhty’s responsibility towards the Jews in WWII and his diplomatic successes and failures regarding Trianon, did he preside over a historic downturn in Hungarian culture?


    First of all, we cannot disregard the Jews and WWII. All the first half of the 20th century passed under genocides and democides of Stalin’s and Hitler’s regimes, and all considerations of culture, economy and tourism pale in comparison. Horthy was surely not saint and probably not the most effective ruler but for me nothing is more important than the obvious fact that a quarter million of the Jews survived due to his courageous actions.

    I think that the major reason of a poor situation that Hungary found herself between the two wars was more a result of the stupidity of Trianon and of the action of Bela Kun and his revolution than of action of Horthy and his governments. Also, the situation was probably not so bad. Historian Istvan Lazar wrote (Hungary – a brief history, http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/lazar/index.htm):

    “In the mid-1920s, Hungary was a bourgeois state living in relative peace, with a functioning parliament. The Communist Party was illegal. The Social Democratic Party, in order to be able to function in the cities and among the workers, renounced, in a pact, agitation among the majority agrarian population. The nation’s social structure contained numerous obsolete accessories and irritating features; these were distributing factors, but they did not obstruct some modernization in the spirit of conservatism and liberalism. Public education and public health improved and there were many technical courses offered in the villages; an extensive network of marketing cooperatives developed under the name of Hangya (Ant).”

    One of the contributors to this site, Steve Colman (Comment #11 on Jan. 10, 2014, on site: https://hungarianspectrum.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/the-hungarian-holocaust-year-and-the-reaction-of-jewish-organizations/#comments), confirms:

    “…It is a fact that after the 1919 disastrous Kommune there was a period when the population’s life improved, industries developed and employed more as well as agriculture and exports. (Never mind that Jews might have been involved in Industry and Banking, as complained by a certain Admiral.) Even ‘though there was no political freedom it was a controlled “democracy”.”

    Besides, Hungary is not doing badly as a present tourist destination. I think Budapest is only second to Prague in the number of tourists in the entire Central and Eastern Europe.

    This is probably my last comment – I wrote almost all that I wanted to say, and no sense to continue in such a hostile environment. If you have questions to me personally, please write me on emrabin41@hotmail.com, and after that I’ll give you my major e-address.

  14. Eliezer Rabinovich or whoever you are, you are wrong if you want to relativize the Hungarian Holocaust with mentioning Hitler and Stalin. Every tenth victim of Holocaust came from Hungary and Horthy is corresponsible.
    You seem to be advocating the myth of Judeo-Bolshevism. The friend of Orbán the late István Csurka blamed “Jewish” Stalinists for having destroyed the self-esteem of the Hungarian people. He contemptuously dismissed the liberal Hungarian president Árpád Göncz for being a puppet in the hands of “Jews, Bolsheviks and world bankers”.
    Post-communist anti-Semitic discourse in Hungary is focused its attack on liberal Jews as the promoters of globalization, the new world order. Many Hungarians believe that there is a US-Israeli-Jewish axis of evil.
    Your excuses for Horthy are in line with such beliefs, for you want us to believe that the Hungarian Holocaust was just revenge for Béla Kun “forgetting” Horthy pogroms against Jews and leftwing people in Hungary.
    You “Forget” that long before 1919, there was a ritual murder accusation against Jews in Tiszaeszlár (1882), there was an anti-Semitic Party in Hungary and Bishop Ottokár Prohászka incited against Jews well before 1919.

  15. @Eliezer Rabinovich@ The historical facts remain that during the crucial months of April-July 1944, when the ghettoization and deportation of the provincial Jews had taken place, Horthy did very little, if anything, on behalf of those citizens of Hungary. In addition, as the events of July-October amply demonstrated, he could have done much to alleviate their sufferings had he possessed the will or the courage to act.
    Given the political and military realities of 1944, it is safe to assume that the Germans would have been satisfied with the delivery of 100,000 Jewish workers, whom they needed desperately for their high-priority armaments projects. If Horthy and the Sztójay Gov. had followed the example of their counterparts in Denmark and Italy, or even in Bulgaria and Romania, they could have resisted the total solution of the “Jewish Question”, which the Germans and their over-enthusiastic Hungarian henchmen, László Baky and László Endre, of course preferred. But important as the “Jewish Question” was in the Nazis’ overall program, the first and foremost objective of the Germans in Hungary in 1944 was to keep the Hungarians in line and to exploit to the maximum the country’s military and economic resources in the Reich’s struggle with the Allied.

  16. I found on Mandiner amid many anti-Semitic postings the following:

    “I hope we can read shortly in english the book of
    Eliezer M. Rabinovich: „RESCUE OF THE BUDAPEST JEWS”
    (Miklós Horthy, March 17 to October 16, 1944;
    Diplomats,1942-1945 г., And Many Other Righteous Hungarians)

    The introduction of 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 disputes the facts, but Horthy has never been given proper recognition because of his strong anti-communist stance during his entire political life. …”



    Until now Eliezer M. Rabinovich has not published on Hungary in English

    Rabinovic has written a review on Amazon:

    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody saved more Jews than Horthy did, October 25, 2013
    E. Rabinovich
    This review is from: Admiral Nicholas Horthy: Memoirs (Hardcover)
    Reading a lot about Horthy during recent months I have come to the shocking and unexpected conclusion: there was nobody in the entire world who saved more Jews (more than 200 thsd.) than Miklos Horthy did. If he followed his first thought or advice of his prime-minister Kallai and resigned his office in March 1944, the entire Jewish population would be wiped out, and Raul Wallenberg had nobody to save.

    Horthy was deprived from power by Hitler and his representative Vessenmeyer. Still, he organized good communication with the Jewish community through his son and his daughter in law countess Ilone Bowden. Yet before July he ordered prime-minister Sztójay to stop deportations but in vain. On July 3d Mrs. Bowden received the so-called “Auschwitz Notebook” with detailed description of what was going on there including drawings of the gas chambers. She immediately showed the papers to Regent. The next day he found an armored military division hidden from the Germans in outskirts of Budapest under command of Colonel Koszorus and ordered him to enter the capital and to stop all deportation action. On July 5th the Division entered the city, an all deportation actions of the gendarmes under command of Laslo Baku were stopped. Raul Wallenberg arrived on July 9, and on July 29, 1944, he reported to his government:

    “His (Horthy’s) position is illustrated by the very real fact that the deportations were canceled per his order, but also by a number of smaller interventions. Among them, two verified instances of trains loaded with prisoners being ordered to turn back just before reaching the border.”

    On August 24th Horthy made a coup and replaced the prime-minister with anti-Nazi general Geza Lakatos. On October 15th Horthy declared peace with the Russians, was overthrown, and the fascist Arrow Cross government resumed massacre of the Jews strongly resisted by Raul Wallenverg.

    It is utterly unjust to blame Horthy for what he did not done while failing to notice how many people he did save. The only reason is that: he was conservative and strong anti-communist, and the left people cannot forget this even today.

    I have asked Eliezer M. Rabinovic: “If you would be a judge, would you acquit a hold-up murderer who took 75 hostages, robbed, murdered „only“ 50 hostages, and spared the life of 25 whom he robbed before?”

    If E.M. Rabinovic would be a judge, he would acquit the hold-up murderer.

    Rabinovic was not satisfied with his life as a retired natural scientist and looks for a new career as charlatan historian and token Jew in Orbanistan. I guess no respectable editor will publish his concoction.

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