Holocaust day

Oh, well, today it’s a Holocaust remembrance day.  There’s so much talk about this genocide  (see http://holocaustmemorialyear2014.gov.hu/ ) that actually I’m wondering which day isn’t a Holocaust remembrance day this year…

Politicians seems to compete hard who is capable of saying the most bizarre and bombastic thing.

Zoltán Pokorni, a Fidesz leader who belongs to the “liberal” wing of the centre-of-right party  Fidesz I support,  bent over backwards, too, to say something “big” and he managed to utter that

The Holocaust is our cause because the killers and the victims were Hungarians, too.


Using his logic, he might have said equally that “the Holocaust is our cause because the killers and the victims were Jews, too”.  (For the sake of this parallel logic argument let’s disregard for a moment that the killers were Germans.) But let’s analyze this sentence a bit more…

Everybody knows that the term “Holocaust” means a particular 20th century genocide committed by Nazi Germans against Jews in Europe.  So if the victims were Hungarians, and not Jews, then perhaps we shouldn’t talk about “Holocaust” at all, should we?

It’s a well-known historical fact that there were no death camps in Hungary. It’s also well-known that neither the Hungarian authorities or the Jewish victims themselves, including the members of the “Jewish Council”,  knew when the deportations  started, and one must stress that happened  only after Hungary’s occupation on the 19th of March, 1944 that the physical extermination of the deported ones was the  goal of the Nazi.

It’s really high time to stop trying to shift blame from Nazi Germany  to Hungary .  For the record,  the Holocaust was planned and carried out by Nazi Germany. Hungary did ally herself with Nazi Germany in the hopes of regaining the lost territories in the Dictat of Trianon, but in contrast with other countries allied with Nazi Germany,  the deportation of Jews from Hungary started only after Nazi Germany occupied Hungary militarily.  In fact it was the foot-dragging policies of Governor Horthy which made it possible to avoid Hungary’s military invasion by Nazi Germany already at the beginning of World War Two, that is several years earlier than the March of 1944.  That would have meant, of course, the complete annihilation of all Jews in Hungary, just like it happened in Poland.   After the Hungarian authorities learned what was happening in Auswitz  from the Auschwitz Protocols , Governor Horthy personally gave the order to stop the deportations on the 8th of July, 1944 and this order was carried out by Colonel Ferenc Koszorús and his brave  troops.  This event is commemorated on a plaque in Dohány utca in Budapest where you can visit the largest synagogue in Europe.

In memory of Col. Ferenc Koszorús and his brave soldiers who prevented the deportation of the Budapest Jewry on the 5th and 6th of July, 1944.


In fact the Jewry in Budapest, which is one of the largest in Europe, should be very thankful indeed to Governor Horthy.  Instead they keep besmirching him, and Hungarians, too, day and night.

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  1. Steve

     /  23/04/2015

    It’s a bit more complicated. Horthy did take some actions which delayed and minimized the deportation of the Budapest Jews especially, for which he deserves credit, but his regime (even under partial occupation) did not do much to prevent deportation of Jews from the provinces, who were less valued, nominally for labor, but by 1944 it was well enough known at higher levels that many Jews were being killed, if not necessarily at Auschwitz. It had been going on across eastern Europe since 1941 at least, and not just at the hands of the Germans. Even the Hungarian labor units in which many Jews were conscripted were a one way ticket for many. So whilst Horthy and his regime can’t be described as clear and willing participants in the Holocaust as such, neither were they free of all blame for related actions or lack of them, and he had presided over the ‘White Terror’ long before in which some Jews were killed (after Kun’s Red Terror). As for his earlier policy, Hungary was not under threat of German invasion ‘at the beginning of WW2’, Nazi Germany had no dispute with Hungary, whether or not they collaborated over the Trianon territories, and Hitler did not view Hungary as a territorial objective. The later occupation was in a situation of the looming advance of the mighty Red Army, and the possible defection of Hungary from the Axis camp. So, by all means point out Horthy’s defensible actions, but don’t imagine he was a spotless figure either. He did a fair bit that was creditworthy, but not as much as he might have, on behalf of the Jews. And, the Arrow Cross and some others were willing helpers to get rid of Jews, at least a substantial portion of them.


  2. Angela Bogaczy

     /  16/04/2014

    Leto, have you read Prof. Szakály Sándor’s, Trianon, honvédség, háború sport (2003)? I’ve just ordered it, but it won’t be here for another week. I’m very keen to know what he has to say on this subject.


    • No, I haven’t. I’m going to a big bookshop tomorrow and I’ll have a look if it’s on sale.


      • Angela Bogaczy

         /  17/04/2014

        I ordered mine from Antikvarium. It does not appear to be short of (new) copies.



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