(This is an updated column, adding new comments)
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife Columns)– OK. Some 600,000 Hungarian Jews were massacred along with others the Nazis didn’t like. Hungary’s wartime leader Miklós Horthy knew this would happen when he allied the nation to Nazi-Germany. His noisy friend, Adolf Hitler, often promised the Holocaust as a Final Solution. “So what?”, Hungary seems to think these days.
By supporting the Nazis, Horthy ensured that Hungarians received back lands that were taken after World War One. That’s why the anti-Semite should be praised, believes the right-wing Hungarian government and its ruling Fidesz party. No wonder Fidesz supporter and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Sándor Lezsák attended last month’s ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of Horthy’s reburial on Hungarian soil.
“The reburial was a historic compensation,” the Fidesz politician said. “But we cannot stop there.” Ofcourse not. In the new Hungary of the Horthy-admiring-government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a recently unveiled Horthy statue, a marble Horthy plaque, and a Horthy Square are part of the re-emerging Horthy cult.
“Even after 20 years we must say that the hypnotic Socialist-Communist four decades of toxic lies is not a thing of the past,” Lezsák hastened to add. No Horthy never lied.
Lezsák recalled the horse-riding admiral-without-a-navy as a hero. Horthy stood up against the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, which forced Hungary to give up two-thirds of its territory to neighboring countries. European leaders were “shamefully cynical” for not disowning Trianon, Lezsák exclaimed.
With Hitler at his side, Horthy wanted to overcome that injustice. Land was more important than Hungarian Jews. The Hitler-Horthy relationship was rooted in anti-Semitism. Even before they became bedfellows, Horthy oversaw the White Terror of post-World War I violence which claimed many Jews as its victims.
And Horthy helped introduce Europe’s first anti-Jewish laws. They limited the number of Jewish students in universities, prompting intellectuals to emigrate, including scientist Edward Teller, who left Hungary in 1933. As cream on the cake, Horthy’s last law in 1941 banned sexual intercourse between Jews and non-Jews.
These measures contributed to an atmosphere of hatred in which the Holocaust could thrive. Under Horthy, thousands of Jewish men died in forced labor for the Hungarian army, historians say. Many were reportedly shot dead by their own officers or forced to march through minefields to clear them. Horthy also deported about 20,0000 Jewish refugees who were then killed by the Nazis.
He was also notorious for his inaction during the first stage of the Holocaust. Many Jews were deported to Nazi death camps from Hungary’s returned territories and the countryside. Horthy’s Gendarmerie and other Hungarians enthusiastically hunted Jews, including women and children, forced them into ghettos and onto the death trains, or shot them near the Danube river.
“Hungarians pushed us on the train in May 1944 and we were transported as cattle in an overcrowded train from the town of Nyíregyháza to Auschwitz-Birkenau,” said Nikolaus (Miklós) Grüner, 84, in a recent interview with BosNewsLife.
His mother and younger brother were gassed immediately in the day-and-night working ovens of the Nazi-run complex in Nazi-occupied Poland. Grüner’s father worked himself to death.
Critics say, Horthy only protected Jews in Budapest when he was told through intermediaries that if the deportations continued he would be prosecuted for war crimes. “The blueprint for the Holocaust was prepared under Horthy”, an Israeli embassy representative said.
Twenty-first century students wondering why the Holocaust was necessary may find ‘answers’ in the government’s controversial national curriculum for Hungarian schools. Among required readings are the writings of Hungary’s pro-Nazi regime author József Nyírö and Albert Wass, who was sentenced to death in absentia in Romania for war crimes before he died in the United States in 1998.
Yet, the current Hungarian government tries to convince the international community — needed for financial aid and investments — that it seeks to tackle hatred towards Jews. The Orbán administration even supported an international conference on anti-Semitism in Parliament last week, featuring the widow of late U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, among others.
Deputy Vice Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics told the captivated audience that he now realized the Hungarian state was responsible for the mass killings during the Holocaust. His boss, Viktor Orbán, wasn’t there to apologize. The prime minister declined the invitation due to a knee injury following a weekend of football playing, his favorite hobby.
Navracsics performance raised doubts about the government’s sincerity. Horthy memorials were still seen at the time the conference began, Holocaust survivors noted. .”I lived ofcourse under Horty’s rule in Hungary,” said Annette Lantos, the widow of Tom Lantos, the first Holocaust survivor to be ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She narrowly survived Jews-hating Hungarian fascists.
“I have seen how Horthy sold out to the Nazis in 1944,” when most Hungarian Jews were massacred, she told BosNewsLife. “He did not retire and did not renounce what was happening. So in view of his record and the way he totally sold out Hungary, the efforts to rehabilitate Horthy are deplorable,” she added.
Her daughter, Katrina Lantos Swett, has little patience with those claiming that Horthy tried to regain confiscated territories by cooperating with the Nazis. “Hungary really lost a small of part of its soul when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were send to their death. That is a terrible stain and in no way could such a trade-off be justified to regain lost territory. It is simply a bargain with the devil and a bargain with the devil never leaves you with clean hands,” she said.
The world may be forgiven for being confused about Hungary’s crocodile tears over the Holocaust.
(Stefan J. Bos is the founder and chief international correspondent of BosNewsLife. BosNewsLife Columns are presenting opinionated columns and commentaries on key issues impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals. They do not necessarily reflect the views of online news agency BosNewsLife or its parent company).
You do not have the foggiest idea about 1944, when Horthy was removed from Budapest by Hitler allowing the German Army to occupy Hungary. After learning about Auswitz, Horthy prevented to deportation of the Jews from Budapest and ordered Eichman out of the country. In 1944 Spring “war crimes” or “war criminals” were unknown definitions. By the way Horthy was summoned to Nurnberg as a witness, and never charged.
It would help you to study history.
Dear Mr. Nicholas Molnar,
You say “It would help you to study history”, and that the “Spring war crimes” or “war criminals” were unknown definitions in 1944. Tell that to Annette Lantos or Nikolaus (Miklós) Grüner, who narrowly survived the Holocaust and witnessed first hand what happened.
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
Dear Mr. Nicholas Molnár,
You must have enjoyed seeing a full troop of CSENDŐR marching in the procession led by Peter Erdő on 20th August.
In case you haven’t noticed, Hungarians and the world are sick and tired of the “holocaust,” especially when the murderous and guilty commie scum are still roaming our streets and receiving generous retirements from their victims taxes.
Who will these hateful, grudge-bearing jews go after, when the last 90+ year old national socialist dies?
Oh, Stefan, you “christian,” remember revenge is the mental illness of today’s jews.
Dear Stefan J. Bos,
Please don’t “shake off the dust from your feet” (Matt. 10:14). because of the Molnár-like Orbán idolisers wanting to provoke you – Samuel Johnson was right: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” As a Roman Catholic I turned in despair to someone I trust and got this answer within a few hours:
“Tisztelt Hohlbaum Úr!
Köszönöm bizalmát, aggályainak leírását. Meg kell írnom őszintén, hogy
magam is kétségek és gyötrelmek között nézem környezetemben mindazt,
amiből jó nem származhat sem egyházunknak, sem magyar társadalmunknak.Az
imádság hatalmas eszközén kívül nincs beleszólásom dolgainkba. Ha
szólnék, csak bajt okoznék, gondolkodásomat a magas papság annyira
kiközösítette, hogy csak hallgatással tehetek jót.Persze ez nem jelent
pesszimizmust, kedvetlenséget, csak azt, hogy a józanságra még várni
kell. Korszerütlen magyarság-,és egyházképpel élünk, tisztázatlan
fogalmainkból és vízióinkból tisztátalan cselekedetek fakadnak.
Bocsásson meg, hogy nem tudok vigasztalóbbat írni, csupán benyomásait
erősítem meg. Napról napra rosszabb a helyzet, mindent a beteges
politika jár át és dönt el. Majd csak vége lesz ennek is, jön
Tisztelettel és szeretettel köszöntöm.”
I left his name deliberately off – but he is one of the “magas papság”.
Let’s hope he is right…but this was about 11 years ago…
Judging from their comments Mr Nicholas Molnár and Mr. J. Barath have the IQ of any members of the goj Professzorok Batthyány Köre (would you expect a Nobel prize of any of them?) rogues gallery: http://www.bla.hu/profs/pbk_tablo.php
This is arguably one of the more ignorant articles which can be found on the Internet today. You have absolutely no knowledge on what really happened. If you took that extra minute to research the facts, you’d know that Hitler and Horthy were far from being “married”. I genuinely don’t know how you earned the ‘chief international correspondent’ title, as 90% of the ‘facts’ you stated in this article are false. Then again, you’re the founder, so I guess it couldn’t be that difficult… I don’t know if you’re actually ignorant, or you’re simply provoking.
Imagine this; all your neighboring countries are being invaded, but the invader says that as long as you simply stay out of the way and send troops to fight COMMUNISTS, you’ll be fine. Let’s also not forget that your country is tiny while this invader has the most advanced European military at the time. What would you do? If Hungary would’ve said no, it would’ve been invaded immediately like Denmark, which declared neutrality.
While the ‘anti-Semite’ Horthy was in power, Jews fled TO Hungary during the war, as it was a haven for them. Yet few of them seem to admit to that today. How weird is that! The deportations only began AFTER Horthy was REMOVED and a puppet government was installed.
One more thing about the ‘marriage’: Hitler had Horthy’s son’s plane sabotaged and the young man crashed and died. Such good relationship they had.
So please, spare us the lies…
another high IQ-d Orbán intellectual called Okay lectures us: “The deportations only began AFTER Horthy was REMOVED and a puppet government was installed”
As it happens, Hitler puppet Horthy resigned, i.e. “was removed” on the 16th October 1944 and Szálasi took over. By that time, in the summer of 1944 437,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz. Most were killed on arrival. This could not have happened without the willing assistance of the Horthy headed Hungarian state, especially the brutal Gendarmerie, who rounded the Jews up, forced them into ghettos and onto the trains – only the Budapest getto survived until LIBERATED by the Allies. This is well known history, witnessed by me as a Hitler Jugend, my father Otto Ubald Hohlbaum serving as a Wehrmacht soldier at the ASTORIA HQ. and seved jewish lives by the co-operation of the Wehrmacht in our flat Szent István krt. 27 II/3 – now I live not far from Lewes where the grandson of Horthy lives and is disgusted by approaches of the types Molnár, barath and Okay represent.
It’s a joy to see these “jöttment” Okay, barath and Molnár type’s noses rubbed into their own dirt by Orbán deputy Navracsics for whatever transparent reason.
It’s unfortunate to see another drug addict on the web. It’s no excuse for your idiocy, however. October?? The Germans came in on March 19 and immediately appointed a new government! What could Horthy do since the Allies didn’t bother with him and Hitler was enraged?! You have absolutely no respect for historical interpretations (regardless whether you lived through these times – so did I). If you really want to throw personal stories in there: I knew tens of Jewish families who fled from Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, the what you describe as “liberator” USSR. And those were just families I personally met. There were tens of thousands.
If you’d employ an ounce of logic, you’d realize that if Horthy would want to get rid of the Jews in Hungary, he wouldn’t let tens of thousands in in 3 years. But that doesn’t matter to you; you probably found your proper place as a III/I in the new order…
You conveniently overlook that under Horthy Europe’s first anti-Semitic laws were introduced as well as his record of crimes against Jewish people. Oh, and while he was just a “witness” at the Nurenberg trials, in exchange for avoiding prosecution himself, that does not exonerate him from overseeing what was clearly an anti-Semitic regime. I have no reason to believe that Mr. Tori Hohlbaum is addicted to drugs. His sentences are very coherent and to-the-point. But because his words don’t fit your selective memory of history, you call him an addict.
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife
“Never argue with idiots because they will lower you to their level and beat you with experience.” Woody Allen?
in Hungarian: “Hülyével sohase vitatkozz, mert lesüllyeszt a saját szintjére, és legyőz a rutinjával” (Woody Allen)
Well said Tori!
Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife