Arrow Cross Party

The Arrow Cross Party (Hungarian: Nyilaskeresztes Párt – Hungarista Mozgalom, literally "Arrow Cross Party-Hungarist Movement", abbreviated NYKP) was a far-right Hungarist party led by Ferenc Szálasi, which formed a government in Hungary known as the Government of National Unity. They were in power from 15 October 1944 to 28 March 1945. During its short rule, ten to fifteen thousand civilians (many of whom were Jews and Romani) were murdered outright,[3][4] and 80,000 people were deported from Hungary to various concentration camps in Austria.[5] After the war, Szálasi and other Arrow Cross leaders were tried as war criminals by Hungarian courts.

Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement

Nyilaskeresztes Párt – Hungarista Mozgalom
LeaderFerenc Szálasi
1935–1945
(executed for war crimes)
Founded
  • 1935 (as Party of National Will); banned in 1937.
  • Reconstituted as the Arrow Cross Party on 15 March 1939
DissolvedApril 1945
HeadquartersAndrássy út 60, Budapest
Membership300,000 in 1939[1]
IdeologyHungarism
Political positionFar-right
ReligionRoman Catholicism
ColoursRed, White, Green (from the flag of Hungary)
AnthemAwaken, Hungarian![2]
Party flag
Flag of the Hungarist Movement

Formation

The party was founded by Ferenc Szálasi in 1935 as the Party of National Will.[6] It had its origins in the political philosophy of pro-German extremists such as Gyula Gömbös, who famously coined the term "national socialism" in the 1920s.[7] The party was outlawed in 1937 but was reconstituted in 1939 as the Arrow Cross Party, and was said to be modeled fairly explicitly on the Nazi Party of Germany, although Szálasi often and harshly criticized the Nazi regime of Germany.[8] The iconography of the party was clearly inspired by that of the Nazis; the Arrow Cross emblem was an ancient symbol of the Magyar tribes who settled Hungary, thereby suggesting the racial purity of the Hungarians in much the same way that the Nazi swastika was intended to allude to the racial purity of the Aryans.[9] The Arrow Cross symbol also referred to the desire to nullify the Treaty of Trianon, and expand the Hungarian state in all cardinal directions towards the former borders of the Kingdom of Hungary.[9]

Ideology

Arrow Cross Party
Ministers of the Arrow Cross Party government. Ferenc Szálasi is in the middle of the front row.

The party's ideology was similar to that of German Nazism or Fascism[10], although a more accurate comparison might be drawn between Austrofascism and Hungarian Turanism which was called Hungarism by Ferenc Szálasi – nationalism, the promotion of agriculture, anti-capitalism, anti-communism and a special type of anti-Semitism, called a-Semitism. This term was explained and described in the series of the four books of Hungarism written by Szálasi, it meant they support a society completely absent of Jews - in their interpretation contrary to anti-Semitism, that would nominally allow their existence with limited rights in the society - that should not be confused necessarily with original hatred, but rather their incompatibility to the regional culture, however this view was meant and extended to all the Semitic peoples.[11] The party and its leader were originally against the German geopolitical plans, so it was a long and very difficult process for Hitler to compromise with Szálasi and his party (they introduced the doctrine of connationalism, meaning the support the nationalist movements on their historical territories and influence spheres on the ground of the historical heritage and proven availability of cultural dominance; something that the Germans hardly understood, a kind of combination of nationalism and internationalism, the co-operation of the nations and their nationalist movements). Consequently, the party conceived Jews in racial as well as religious terms as incapable to be integrated into the society outside the place and culture of their historical origin. Although the Arrow Cross Party was certainly far more racist than the Horthy regime, it was still different in some ways from the German Nazi Party. It was also more economically radical than other fascist movements, advocating workers' rights and land reforms.[9]

Rise to power

The roots of Arrow Cross influence can be traced to the outburst of anti-Jewish feeling that followed the Communist putsch and brief rule in Hungary in the spring and summer of 1919. Some Communist leaders, like Tibor Szamuely, came from Jewish families, or like Béla Kun, its leader, who had a Jewish father and a Protestant Swabian mother, were considered to be Jews, and the policies of the Hungarian Soviet Republic came to be associated in the minds of many Hungarians with a "Jewish-Bolshevist conspiracy."

After the communist regime was crushed in August 1919, conservatives under the leadership of Admiral Miklós Horthy took control of the nation. Many Hungarian military officers took part in the counter-reprisals known as the White Terror – some of that violence was directed at Jews, simply because they were Jewish.[9] Although the White Guard was officially suppressed, many of its most prevalent members went underground and formed the core membership of a spreading nationalist and anti-Jewish movement.

During the 1930s, the Arrow Cross gradually began to dominate Budapest's working class district, defeating the Social Democrats. The Social Democrats did not really contest elections effectively; they had to make a pact with the conservative Horthy regime in order to prevent the abolition of their party.

Azertis
A World War II propaganda poster for the party – the text reads "Despite it all..!"

The Arrow Cross subscribed to the Nazi ideology of "master races",[9] which, in Szálasi's view, included the Hungarians and Germans, and also supported the concept of an order based on the power of the strongest – what Szálasi called a "brutally realistic étatism". But its espousal of territorial claims under the banner of a "Greater Hungary" and Hungarian values (which Szálasi labelled "Hungarizmus" or "Hungarianism") clashed with Nazi ambitions in central Europe, delaying by several years Hitler's endorsement of that party.

The German Foreign Office instead endorsed the pro-German Hungarian National Socialist Party, which had some support among German minorities. Before World War II, the Arrow Cross were not proponents of the racial antisemitism of the Nazis, but utilized traditional stereotypes and prejudices to gain votes among voters both in Budapest and the countryside. Nonetheless the constant bickering among these diverse fascist groups prevented the Arrow Cross Party from gaining even more support and power.

The Arrow Cross obtained most of its support from a disparate coalition of military officers, soldiers, nationalists and agricultural workers. It was only one of a number of similar openly fascist factions in Hungary but was by far the most prominent, having developed an effective system of recruitment. When it contested the May 1939 elections – the only ones in which it participated – the party won 15% of the vote and 29 seats in the Hungarian Parliament. This was only a superficially impressive result; the majority of Hungarians were not permitted to vote. It did, however, become one of the most powerful parties in Hungary. But the Horthy leadership banned the Arrow Cross on the outbreak of World War II, forcing it to operate underground.

In 1944, the Arrow Cross Party's fortunes were abruptly reversed after Hitler lost patience with the reluctance of Horthy and his moderate prime minister, Miklós Kállay, to toe the Nazi line fully. In March 1944, the Germans invaded and officially occupied Hungary; Kállay fled and was replaced by the Nazi proxy, Döme Sztójay. One of Sztójay's first acts was to legalize the Arrow Cross.

During the spring and summer of 1944, more than 400,000 Jews were herded into centralized ghettos and then deported from the Hungarian countryside to death camps by the Nazis, with the willing help of the Hungarian Interior Ministry and its gendarmerie (the csendőrség), both of whose members had close links to the Arrow Cross. The Jews of Budapest were concentrated into so-called Yellow Star Houses, approximately 2,000 single-building mini-ghettos identified by a yellow Star of David over the entrance.[3]:578 In August 1944, before deportations from Budapest began, Horthy used what influence he had to stop them, and force the radical antisemites out of his government. As the summer progressed, and the Allied and Soviet armies closed in on central Europe, the ability of the Nazis to devote themselves to Hungary's "Jewish Solution" waned.

Arrow Cross rule

Holocaust-ArrowCross-DohanySynagogue
Jewish victims of Arrow Cross men in the court of the Dohány Street Synagogue

In October 1944, Horthy negotiated a cease-fire with the Soviets and ordered Hungarian troops to lay down their arms. In response, Nazi Germany launched Operation Panzerfaust, a covert operation which forced Horthy to abdicate in favour of Szálasi, after which he was taken into "protective custody" in Germany. This merely rubber-stamped an Arrow Cross takeover of Budapest on the same day. Szálasi was declared "Leader of the Nation" and prime minister of a "Government of National Unity".

Soviet and Romanian forces were already fighting in Hungary even before Szálasi's takeover, and by the time the Arrow Cross took power the Red Army was already far inside the country. As a result, its jurisdiction was effectively limited to an ever-narrowing band of territory in central Hungary, around Budapest. Nonetheless, the Arrow Cross rule, short-lived as it was, was brutal. In fewer than three months, death squads killed as many as 38,000 Hungarian Jews. Arrow Cross officers helped Adolf Eichmann re-activate the deportation proceedings from which the Jews of Budapest had thus far been spared, sending some 80,000 Jews out of the city on slave labor details and many more straight to death camps. Virtually all Jewish males of conscription age were already serving as slave labor for the Hungarian Army's Forced Labor Battalions. Most of them died, including many who were murdered outright after the end of the fighting as they were returning home. [12][13]

Red Army troops reached the outskirts of the city in December 1944, and the siege action known as the Battle of Budapest began, although it has often been claimed that there is no proof that the Arrow Cross members and the Germans conspired to destroy the Budapest ghetto.[12] Days before he fled the city, Arrow Cross Interior Minister Gabor Vájna commanded that streets and squares named for Jews be renamed.[3]:586

As control of the city's institutions began to decay, the Arrow Cross trained their guns on the most helpless possible targets: patients in the beds of the city's two Jewish hospitals on Maros Street and Bethlen Square, and residents in the Jewish poorhouse on Alma Road. As order collapsed, Arrow Cross members continually sought to raid the ghettos and Jewish concentration buildings; the majority of Budapest's Jews were saved only by fearless and heroic efforts on the part of a handful of Jewish leaders and foreign diplomats, most famously the Swedish Raoul Wallenberg, the Papal Nuncio Monsignor Angelo Rotta, Swiss Consul Carl Lutz, Spanish Consul Ángel Sanz Briz and the Italian Cattle trader Giorgio Perlasca.[3]:589

The Arrow Cross government effectively fell at the end of January 1945, when the Soviet Army took Pest and the fascist forces retreated across the Danube to Buda. Szálasi had escaped from Budapest on December 11, 1944,[8] taking with him the Hungarian royal crown, while Arrow Cross members and German forces continued to fight a rear-guard action in the far west of Hungary until the end of the war in April 1945.

Post-war developments

Hungary-0042 - Shoes on the Danube - my thoughts.... (7263567112)
The "Shoes on the Danube Bank" is a memorial in Budapest, conceived by film director Can Togay with sculptor Gyula Pauer to honor the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II.

After the war, many of the Arrow Cross leaders were captured and tried for war crimes. In the first months of postwar adjudication, no fewer than 6,200 indictments for murder were served against Arrow Cross men.[3]:587 Some Arrow Cross officials, including Szálasi himself, were executed.

A memorial created by Gyula Pauer, Hungarian sculptor, and Can Togay in 2005 on the bank of the river Danube in Budapest recalls the events when the Budapest Jews who were shot by Arrow Cross militiamen between 1944 and 1945. The victims were lined up and shot into the river. They had to take their shoes off, since shoes were valuable belongings at the time.[14]

In 2006, a former high-ranking member of the Arrow Cross Party named Lajos Polgár was found to be living in Melbourne, Australia.[5] He was accused of war crimes, but the case was later dropped and Polgár died of natural causes in July of that year.[15]

The ideology of the Arrow Cross has resurfaced to some extent in recent years, with the neofascist Hungarian Welfare Association prominent in reviving Szálasi's "Hungarizmus" through its monthly magazine, Magyartudat ("Hungarian Awareness"). But "Hungarism" is very much a fringe element of modern Hungarian politics, and the Hungarian Welfare Association has since dissolved.[16]

Electoral results

National Assembly

Election Votes Seats Rank Government Leader of the
national list
# % ±pp # +/−
1939 530,405 14.4% Increase14.4
29 / 260
Increase 29 3rd in opposition Ferenc Szálasi

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ungváry Krisztián: A politikai erjedés - az 1939-es választások Magyarországon". web.archive.org. 21 November 2001. Archived from the original on 30 November 2002. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Szálasi Induló - Ébredj Magyar!". YouTube. 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e Patai, Raphael (1996). The Jews of Hungary:History, Culture, Psychology. 590: Wayne State University Press. p. 730. ISBN 0-8143-2561-0.
  4. ^ Historical Dictionary of the Holocaust, Jack R. Fischel, Scarecrow Press, 17 Jul 2010, pg106
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Chris (2006-02-16). "War Crime Suspect Admits to his Leading Fascist Role". The Age. Archived from the original on 17 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  6. ^ Frucht, Richard C. (2005). Eastern Europe: an Introduction to the People, Lands, and Culture. 376: ABC-CLIO. p. 928. ISBN 1-57607-800-0.
  7. ^ Miklos Molnar, 'A Concise History of Hungary
  8. ^ a b "Amerikai Népszava Online". Nepszava.com. 2015-03-23. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  9. ^ a b c d e Moshe Y. Herczl (1993). Christianity and the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry. NYU Press. pp. 67, 70, 233. ISBN 0814773206 – via Google Books. A considerable portion of the media in Hungary described the swastika as a symbol of the forces defending European Christian culture, struggling bravely against the danger of Red expansion from the east and against the Bolshevik-Jewish Weltanschauung. It served as a source of inspiration for the various cross movements, including the Arrow-Cross party.
  10. ^ Payne, Stanley. "Fascism." Comparison and Definition, Madison (1980): 7.
  11. ^ Retkes Tamás, A katonai akadémiától a bitóig - Szálasi Ferenc élete, 2007. - Tamás Retkes: From the Ludovica Academy to the gallows - The Life of Ferenc Szálasi
  12. ^ a b "Szita Szabolcs: A budapesti csillagos házak (1944-45) | Remény". Remeny.org. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2013-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ Stephanie Geyer. "Shoes on the Danube, Budapest". Visitbudapest.travel. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  15. ^ Lack of political will over Polgar, says Holocaust Centre Archived September 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Australian Jewish News, July 13, 2006
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-01-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

External links

Media related to Arrow Cross Party at Wikimedia Commons

Andor Jaross

Andor Jaross (May 23, 1896, Komáromcsehi, – April 11, 1946, Budapest) was an ethnic Hungarian politician from Czechoslovakia and later from Hungary and collaborator with the Nazis.

Born in Komáromcsehi, in the Komárom County of the Kingdom of Hungary (present-day Čechy, Slovakia) he became general secretary of the United Hungarian Party, a group that sought to unite parts of Czechoslovakia with Hungary. As national chairman of the party he sought to forge a united Hungarian identity, claiming in his inaugural address that 'every member of the Hungarian minority should take a united stand on the issues of today and tomorrow'. Although effectively subordinate to János Esterházy in the party, Jaross became a well-known international figure, notably accepting an invitation to London from the Hungarian Committee of the House of Commons to present Hungarian grievances along with fellow United Hungarian Party MP Géza Szüllő.Moving to Hungary in 1938 he joined the government of Béla Imrédy as Minister for Regained Territories and was one of the 18 deputies who formed the Party of Hungarian Renewal in 1940 (a far right dissident group of the governing party). After the Nazi regime invaded Hungary in March 1944 and raised Nazi sympathizer Döme Sztójay to the Prime Minister's post, Jaross was put in charge of the Interior Ministry. From that position, he took charge of the country's Jews and, with his deputies László Endre and László Baky, was responsible for circumventing Miklós Horthy's plans by arranging their deportation. During this time Andross, Endre and Baky ran the Interior Ministry as a personal fiefdom and used it to eliminate their enemies, whilst also keeping Sztójay at arm's length in favour of German influence. The ghettoes were inspected in August 1944 by Adolf Eichmann and Dieter Wisliceny and, although the Jewish Council sent appeals for better treatment direct to Jaross and Eichmann, the extermination proceeded. A growing figure in Hungarian public life, Jaross even became president of football club Ferencvárosi TC in 1944.Removed from his position in August 1944 (after appropriating much Jewish property) he made a brief return in October 1944, after the Nazis deposed Horthy and installed the rabidly anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party to head the government under Prime Minister Ferenc Szálasi.

After the war, Jaross was tried by the Hungarian authorities and executed by firing squad.

András Kun

Father András Kun, O.F.M. (9 November 1911 – 19 September 1945 in Budapest, Hungary) was a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order. During The Holocaust in Hungary, Fr. Kun was also the commander of an Anti-Semitic death squad for the Arrow Cross Party. After the Second World War, Father Kun was prosecuted for war crimes by the Communist People's Republic of Hungary. He was convicted and hanged.

Arrow Cross

A cross whose arms end in arrowheads is called a "cross barby" or "cross barbée" in the traditional terminology of heraldry. In Christian use, the ends of this cross resemble the barbs of fish hooks, or fish spears. This alludes to the Ichthys symbol of Christ, and is suggestive of the "fishers of men" theme in the Gospel.In modern use, the symbol has become associated with extremist organisations after the Arrow Cross (Nyilaskereszt) symbol was used in Hungary in the 1930s and 1940s as the symbol of a Hungarist political party, the Arrow Cross Party. The symbol consists of two green double-ended arrows in a cross configuration on a white circular background. The arrow cross symbol remains outlawed in Hungary.A similar symbol, the Crosstar, is used by the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group based in the United States.

Béla Jurcsek

Béla Jurcsek (30 August 1893 – 1945) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of Agriculture in 1944 and Minister of Welfare between 1944 and 1945.

He was born into a landowner family. He attended secondary school in Nagykároly and studied economy in Debrecen. Then he travelled abroad and also worked briefly in Germany. After the First World War he took part in the political life of Fejér County. From 1916 he was a member of the county's municipality and became chairman of the Alliance of Social Associations' group in Sárbogárd. He founded furthermore local organization of the Revisionist League. After that he went to abroad again (Austria, Italy, Germany). He became chairman of the Party of National Unity (NEP) in Sárbogárd. He was elected a member of the National Assembly in 1935 and 1939 as a representative of the NEP.

In the Parliament, he gave speeches mainly in agricultural and social policy issues. He was a member of the party's committee which examined the Jewish question and of the special delegation which smoothed the differences between the House of Magnates and the House of Representatives in connection with the second Jewish law. From June 1940 to February 1941, he served as governor of the agricultural processing and marketing. Jurcsek also served as state secretary of the Ministry of Welfare between 1942 and 1944. He devised a scheme of delivery system which later was called after him as Jurcsek system. This program tried to improve the deteriorating situation because of the Second World War. The problem had also appeared and experienced during the First World War, Jurcsek wanted to eliminating of the black market and hiding.

After the Nazi occupation of Hungary (Operation Margarethe) in the cabinet of Döme Sztójay, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture. He also held this position in the next Géza Lakatos government. After the Arrow Cross Party's coup d'état (Operation Mickey Mouse), he served as Minister of Welfare. He has set up the delivery system which served the needs of the German Army to the detriment of the Hungarian Army and population. He escaped to Austria. When the Soviet Red Army arrived at Zell am See, he committed suicide. The delivery system was also used after World War II.

Ferenc

Ferenc (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈfɛrɛnt͡s]) is a given name of Hungarian origin. It is a cognate of Francis, Francisco, François, Frank and Franz. People with the name include:

Ferenc Deák, Hungarian statesman, Minister of Justice

Ferenc Mádl, Hungarian legal scholar, politician, professor

Ferenc Kölcsey, Hungarian poet, literary critic, orator, politician

Ferenc Erkel, Hungarian composer and conductor

Ferenc Berényi, Hungarian artist

Ferenc Fricsay, Hungarian conductor

Ferenc Gyurcsány, Hungarian Prime Minister

Ferenc Karinthy, Hungarian writer and translator

Ferenc Liszt, Hungarian composer and conductor

Ferenc Molnár, Hungarian author

Ferenc Paragi, Hungarian track and field athlete

Ferenc Puskás, Hungarian footballer

Ferenc Szekeres, Hungarian long-distance runner

Ferenc Szálasi, Hungarian politician, the leader of the Arrow Cross Party

Paul Ferenc, fictional character in Far Cry 2.

Ferenc Szálasi

Ferenc Szálasi (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈfɛrɛnt͡s ˈsaːlɒʃi]; 6 January 1897 – 12 March 1946) was the leader of the Arrow Cross Party – Hungarist Movement, the "Leader of the Nation" (Nemzetvezető), being both Head of State and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary's "Government of National Unity" (Nemzeti Összefogás Kormánya) for the final six months of Hungary's participation in World War II, after Germany occupied Hungary and removed Miklós Horthy by force. During his brief rule, Szálasi's men murdered 10,000–15,000 Jews. After the war, he was tried and executed by the Hungarian court for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during World War II.

Fidél Pálffy

Count Fidél Pálffy de Erdőd (6 May 1895 Svätý Jur – 2 March 1946 Budapest) was a Hungarian nobleman who emerged as a leading supporter of Nazism in Hungary.

Government of National Unity (Hungary)

The Government of National Unity (Hungarian: Nemzeti Összefogás Kormánya) existed during the occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany between October 1944 and May 1945. Formed by the Nazi Arrow Cross Party, it was established on 16 October 1944 after Regent Miklós Horthy was removed from power during Operation "Panzerfaust" (Unternehmen "Eisenfaust"). Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szálasi became Prime Minister and, as "Nation Leader", the head of state. During the government's short period of rule, ten to fifteen thousand Jews were murdered in Hungary and around eighty thousand Jews, including many women, children and elderly Jews, were deported from Hungary to their deaths in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Gábor Vajna

Gábor Vajna (4 November 1891 – 12 March 1946) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of the Interior from 1944 to 1945.

Hungarian National Socialist Party

The Hungarian National Socialist Party (Hungarian: Magyar Nemzeti Szocialista Párt) was a political epithet adopted by a number of minor Nazi parties in Hungary before the Second World War.

Imre Oltványi

Imre Oltványi (20 February 1893 – 13 January 1963) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of Finance in 1945 in the Interim National Government. He studied at the University of Budapest. Between 1920 and 1921 he was the secretary of the National Agriculture Association. He was a founding member of the Smallholders' Party. Towards the end of the Second World War he participated in resistant movements against the Arrow Cross Party government.

After the war he was appointed head of the National Bank of Hungary. After his short ministership he served in this position again. Oltványi was member of the National Assembly between 1945 and 1947. He served as ambassador to Switzerland between 1947 and 1948. After that he was the director of the Hungarian National Museum until 1950 and of the Museum of Fine Arts until 1952.

József Gera

József Gera (24 October 1896 – 12 March 1946) was a Hungarian physician and politician of the Arrow Cross Party.

He fought in the First World War and he was honoured. After the war he practised as a paediatrician in Makó. He had been a member of the Arrow Cross Party - Hungarist Movement since 1939. From 1944 he was responsible for the organizing of the party. Gera was elected to a member of the Regent Council, replacing Ferenc Rajniss, in March 1945.

After the Second World War he was sentenced to death by the People's Tribunal in Budapest. He was executed on 12 March 1946, along with Ferenc Szálasi, Gábor Vajna and Károly Beregfy.

Károly Beregfy

Károly Beregfy (12 February 1888 – 12 March 1946) was a Hungarian military officer and politician, who served as Minister of Defence in the 1944–45 Arrow Cross Party government.

He was born as Károly Berger in Cservenka (Crvenka). He fought in the First World War where he was seriously injured. Then he joined the Hungarian Red Army to fight against the rebel nationalities. Between 1939–41, he was commandant of the Royal Military Academy.

He fought in the Second World War from 1941 as commander of the VI Corps, and later commanded the Third Army and the First Army. In April 1944 he suffered a serious defeat by the Red Army. The commission examining the reasons of the defeat established Beregfy's personal responsibility, so he was dismissed from his field command.He sympathized with the Arrow Cross Party from the beginning, although he could not join since under Hungarian Army regulations the members of political parties could not be officers in the Hungarian Army. After Operation Margarethe Arrow Cross leader Ferenc Szálasi sought him out and asked him to assist in a coup if Miklós Horthy tried to negotiate a surrender.

After the Arrow Cross Party's coup (15 and 16 October 1944) the new Prime Minister Szálasi appointed Beregfy as Minister of Defence. He also served as Chief of Army Staff. Beregfy declared Hungary a manoeuvre area on 30 October and subordinated all attainable human and economical resources to the war.On 30 April 1945 he was captured by U.S. Army troops. Brought to trial before the People's Tribunal he denied his guilt throughout. The court did not accept his arguments (Beregfy referred to disability and compulsion) and sentenced him to death. He was hanged on 12 March 1946, along with Ferenc Szálasi, Gábor Vajna, former Interior Minister in the Arrow Cross Party's cabinet and József Gera, who was a Hungarist ideologist.

Lajos Polgár

Lajos Polgár (1916 – July 12, 2006) was a Hungarian official and member of the Arrow Cross Party of Hungary. Polgár led the Arrow Cross Party for two months in Budapest before moving to Melbourne, Australia in 1949. Polgár was indicted in February 2006 by the Australian government for war crimes committed as a member of the Arrow Cross Party, but the charges were dropped upon his death in July 2006.

Lajos Reményi-Schneller

Lajos Reményi-Schneller (15 March 1892 – 24 August 1946) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of Finance between 1938 and 1945. He started his career in 1923 as the director of the Hungarian Exchange Bank. He became representative in 1935. Kálmán Darányi appointed him Minister of Finance, Reményi-Schneller held this position until the end of the Second World War. His assignment was Minister of Economic from the Pál Teleki cabinet until the Miklós Kállay administration. He pursued Germanophile politics extremely, he regularly informed the Germans about the Hungarian political developments. During his ministership Reményi-Schneller significantly furthered the country's economic delivery with his function for the Nazi Germany.

After the fall of Budapest he tried to escape into Western Europe but the arrival American troops captured him with other members of the Arrow Cross Party's government. He was tried by the People's Tribunal in Budapest in open sessions and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason. Reményi-Schneller was hanged in 1946 in Budapest.

László Budinszky

László Budinszky (24 October 1895 – 9 March 1946) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of Justice between 1944 and 1945. He prepared the proposal about the formation of the Leader of the Nation position. He also ordered that the political convicts should be handed over to the Nazi authorities. After the fall of Budapest he tried to escape into Western Europe but the arrival American troops captured him with other members of the Arrow Cross Party's government. He was tried by the People's Tribunal in Budapest in open sessions and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason. Budinszky was hanged in 1946 in Budapest.

Occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany

Occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany may refer to

Operation Margarethe, the occupation of Hungary by German forces on 19 March 1944

Operation Panzerfaust, military operation to occupy Hungary in October 1944

Government of National Unity (Hungary), puppet government formed by the Arrow Cross Party on 16 October 1944

Unity Party (Hungary)

The Unity Party (Hungarian: Egységes Párt) was a Hungarian political party founded in 1921. The party was founded by Prime Minister István Bethlen and shortly afterwards won a majority of seats in the Hungarian parliament in the 1922 elections. On 27 October 1932, the party was renamed National Unity Party (Hungarian: Nemzeti Egység Pártja), while since 2 February 1939 the name was Party of Hungarian Life (Hungarian: Magyar Élet Pártja).

The party was sometimes nicknamed "the Government Party," since it was the governing party of Hungary for its entire existence. The party, initially more agrarian and conservative, grew similar to fascist movements, establishing a militia. The trend toward fascism came under Gyula Gömbös, who was Prime Minister from 1932 to 1936. Gömbös declared the party's intention to achieve "total control of the nation's social life". In the 1935 Hungarian Election, Gömbös promoted the creation of a "unitary Hungarian nation with no class distinctions".The party won a huge majority of the seats of the Hungarian parliament in the Hungarian election of May 1939. It won 72 percent of the parliament's seats and won 49 percent of the popular vote in the election. This was a major breakthrough for the far-right in Hungary. The party promoted nationalist propaganda and its members sympathized with the Nazi Arrow Cross Party.A faction of the most pro-Nazi members led by the party's former leader Béla Imrédy split from the party October 1940 to form the Party of Hungarian Renewal (Magyar Megújulás Pártja) that sought to explicitly solve the Jewish Problem.

Zsigmond Perényi (1870–1946)

Baron Zsigmond Perényi de Perény (25 November 1870 – 18 March 1946) was a Hungarian politician, who served as Interior Minister in 1919. During the Hungarian Soviet Republic, he was arrested by the communists. He was the governor of the Governorate of Subcarpathia (Kárpátaljai Kormányzóság) between 28 June 1939 and 12 September 1940. As Crown Guard, he was a member of the House of Magnates, later Speaker of this assembly. In 1944, he resigned because of the appointment of the cabinet of Ferenc Szálasi's Hungarist Arrow Cross Party).

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