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.[1] After the war, he was tried and executed by the Hungarian court for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during World War II.

Ferenc Szálasi
Ferenc Szálasi
Leader of the Nation
(Head of State of Hungary)
In office
16 October 1944 – 28 March 1945
Prime Ministerhimself
Preceded byMiklós Horthy
as Regent of Hungary
Succeeded byHigh National Council
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Hungary
(de facto)
In office
16 October 1944 – 28 March 1945
Monarchvacant
Leaderhimself
Preceded byGéza Lakatos
Succeeded byBéla Miklós
(In opposition, then officially)
Personal details
Born6 January 1897
Kassa, Kingdom of Hungary (now Košice, Slovakia)
Died12 March 1946 (aged 49)
Budapest, Hungary
Political partyArrow Cross Party
Spouse(s)Gizella Lutz
ProfessionSoldier, Politician
Awards3rd Class, Order of the Iron Crown
Military service
Allegiance Austria-Hungary
 Kingdom of Hungary
Branch/service Austro-Hungarian Army
 Royal Hungarian Army
Years of service1915–1935
RankMajor
Commands1st Honvéd Mixed-Brigade
Battles/warsWorld War I

Early life

Ancestry

Born the son of a soldier in Kassa, Abaúj-Torna County, Kingdom of Hungary (now Košice, Slovakia) of mixed Armenian (the surname of his great-grandfather was Salossian),[2][3][4] German, Hungarian (one grandparent), Slovak and Rusyn ancestry. His Armenian ancestors settled down in Ebesfalva, Transylvania during the reign of Prince Michael I Apafi. Szálasi's grandfather, who participated as a honvéd in the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, married a German woman from Vienna, and their son, Ferenc Szálasi, Sr. (born 1866) attended a military cadet school in Kassa and later became an official in the Honvédség. Szálasi's brothers, Béla, Károly and Rezső also served in the army.

Szálasi's mother was the Greek Catholic Erzsébet Szakmár (born 1875), who had Slovak and Rusyn roots. She provided religious education to her sons. Szálasi once said "I received the power of belief and faith in God through breast milk. My mother made to drink faith through and through me". Ferenc Szálasi lived with his mother until 1944.[5]

Military career

Szálasi followed in his father's footsteps and joined the army at a young age. He finished elementary studies in his birthplace, then attended the military academy in Kőszeg, Marosvásárhely (now Târgu Mureș in Romania) and continued studies in Kismarton. Finally, he finished his military education in the Theresian Military Academy of Wiener Neustadt, where he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1915.

He eventually became an officer and served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I. He served on the frontline for 36 months. At the end of the war, he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was involved in the 2nd regiment of k.u.k. Tyrolean Rifle Regiments, widely known as Kaiserjäger. He stationed near Merano and Lake Garda in the Italian Front. Later the regiments were ordered to the north to Verdun at the last days of the war. For his service, he was honored with Third Class of the Order of the Iron Crown. Returning to Hungary, Szálasi performed courier service for the newly formed Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the Aster Revolution in November 1918.

Upon the dissolution and break-up of Austria-Hungary after the war, the Hungarian Democratic Republic and then the Hungarian Soviet Republic were briefly proclaimed in 1918 and 1919 respectively. The short-lived communist government of Béla Kun launched what was known as the "Red Terror" and ultimately involved Hungary in an ill-fated war with Romania. In 1920, the country went into a period of civil conflict with Hungarian anti-communists and monarchists violently purging the nation of communists, leftist intellectuals, and others they felt threatened by, especially Jews. This period was known as the "White Terror" and, in 1920, after the pullout of the last of the Romanian occupation forces, it led to the restoration of the Kingdom of Hungary (Magyar Királyság) under Regent Miklós Horthy. During that time, Szálasi was still an apolitical person, and he did not involve himself in events beyond the general interest.

In 1920–21, Szálasi finished non-commissioned officer training school in Hajmáskér; following that, he served in the 13th Infantry Regiment in Miskolc. In 1923, he enrolled to the General Staff officers' training course at the Ludovica Military Academy. For his outstanding achievements, he was promoted with priority to Captain in 1924. In 1925, Szálasi entered the General Staff of the restored Kingdom. He fulfilled his mandatory field-grade task in 1929 at the 11th Infantry Regiment in Debrecen as a company commander. According to some memoirs by former subordinates, Szálasi was a popular and beloved superior among the infantry. His fellow officers acknowledged his military skills and literacy, but some others thought Szálasi was pedantic and autonomous. According to his future Minister of Defence, Károly Beregfy, "Szálasi's name among the General Staff was a concept of excellent hunting and tactics, but also a concept with the regards of honesty, truthfulness and Puritanism." By 1933, Szálasi had attained the rank of Major and became Chief of the 1st Honvéd Mixed-Brigade's General Staff in Budapest.

Political career

First steps in politics

Around this time, when Gyula Gömbös came to power, Szálasi became fascinated with politics and often lectured on Hungary's political affairs. By this time, the hitherto apolitical Szálasi was a fanatical right-wing nationalist and a strong proponent of "Hungarism," advocating the expansion of Hungary's territory back to the borders of Greater Hungary as it was prior to the Treaty of Trianon, which in 1920 codified the reduction in the country's area by 72%. In 1933, to summarize his views, he published his 46-page pamphlet with the title A magyar állam felépítésének terve ("Plan for the Building of the Hungarian State") and sent his work to several politicians. Soldiers and military officers were banned from politicizing, thus Szálasi was sentenced to twenty-day detention and expelled from the General Staff by a military court. After his release, Szálasi was ordered to the 14th Infantry Regiment in Eger, where served as staff officer then first adjutant. Szálasi gradually became disillusioned with the army and requested resignation from that in October 1934.

On 1 March 1935, Szálasi left the army in order to devote his full attention to politics, after which time he established the Party of National Will, a nationalistic group. It was eventually outlawed by the conservative government for being too radical. Unperturbed, Szálasi established the Hungarian National Socialist Party in 1937, which was also banned. However, Szálasi was able to attract considerable support to his cause from factory workers and Hungary's lower classes by pandering to their aggrieved sense of nationalism and their virulent antisemitism.

After Germany's "Union" (Anschluss) with Austria in 1938, Szálasi's followers became more radical in their political activities, and Szálasi was arrested and imprisoned by the Hungarian Police. However, even while in prison Szálasi managed to remain a powerful political figure, and was proclaimed leader of the National Socialist Arrow Cross Party (a coalition of several right-wing groups) when it was expanded in 1938. The party attracted a large number of followers, and in the 1939 elections, it gained 30 seats in the Hungarian Parliament, thus becoming one of the more powerful parties in Hungary. Freed due to a general amnesty resulting from the Second Vienna Award in 1940, Szálasi returned to politics. When World War II began, the Arrow Cross Party was officially banned by Prime Minister Pál Teleki, thus forcing Szálasi to operate in secret. During this period, Szálasi gained the support and backing of the Germans, who had previously been opposed to Szálasi because his "Hungarist" nationalism place Hungarian territorial claims above those of Germany.

Way to power

Following the Nazi occupation of Hungary in March 1944, the pro-German Döme Sztójay was installed as Prime Minister of Hungary. The Arrow Cross Party was then legalized by the government, allowing Szálasi to expand the party. When Sztójay was deposed in August, Szálasi once again became an enemy of the Hungarian government and Regent Miklós Horthy ordered his arrest. In the meantime the Germans had become concerned that Horthy (who had enough sense to recognize that the war was totally lost) would succeed in surrendering to the Allies. They had, however, waiting in the wings, a perfect ally in Szálasi. When the Germans learned of the Regent's plan to come to a separate peace with the Soviets and exit the Axis alliance, they kidnapped Horthy's son, Miklos, Jr. and threatened to kill him unless Horthy abdicated in favor of Szálasi. Under duress, Horthy signed a document announcing his own abdication and naming Szálasi prime minister–effectively giving "legal sanction" to an Arrow Cross coup. In his memoirs, Horthy contended the appointment of Szálasi was invalid, saying, "A signature wrung from a man at machine-gun point can have little legality."[6] The Germans then pressured Parliament to install Szálasi as Prime Minister and Head of State.

National leader

Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-680-8284A-37A, Budapest, Ferenc Szálasi
Ferenc Szálasi in Budapest, October 1944.

Szálasi's Government of National Unity turned the Kingdom of Hungary into a puppet state of Nazi Germany formed on 16 October 1944 after Regent Miklós Horthy was removed from power during Operation Panzerfaust (Unternehmen Eisenfaust) [2].

The Hungarian parliament approved the formation of a Council of Regency (Kormányzótanács) of three. On 4 November, Szálasi was sworn as Leader of the Nation (nemzetvezető).[7] He formed a government of sixteen ministers, half of which were members of the Arrow Cross Party. While the Horthy regency had come to an end, the Hungarian monarchy was not abolished by the Szálasi regime, as government newspapers kept referring to the country as the Kingdom of Hungary (Magyar Királyság, also abbreviated as m.kir.), although Magyarország (Hungary) was frequently used as an alternative.[8][9]

Arrow Cross Party
The Government of National Unity headed by Ferenc Szálasi (sitting in the center).

Szálasi was an ardent fascist and his "Quisling government" had little other intention or ability but to maintain fascism and to maintain control in Nazi-occupied portions of Hungary as the Soviet Union invaded. He did this in order to reduce the threat to Germany. Szálasi's aim was to create a one-party state based on his "Hungarist" ideology.

Under his rule as a close ally of Germany, the Germans, with the assistance of the Szálasi government, recommenced the deportation of the Jews, which had been suspended by Horthy. He organised the so-called International Ghetto. During that time some diplomats like Raoul Wallenberg gave protective passports to some Jews, which protected them from deportation. Germans argued they weren't valid according to international law, but Szálasi's government accepted them nevertheless.[10] His government promoted martial law and courts-martial, and executed those who were considered dangerous for the state and the continuation of the war. During Szálasi's rule, Hungarian tangible assets (cattle, machinery, wagons, industrial raw material etc.) were sent to Germany. He conscripted young and old into the remaining Hungarian Army and sent them into hopeless battles against the Red Army.

Szálasi's rule only lasted 163 days, partly because by the time he took power, the Red Army was already deep inside Hungary. On 19 November 1944, Szálasi was in the Hungarian capital when Soviet and Romanian forces began encircling it. By the time the city was encircled and the 102-day Siege of Budapest began, he was gone. The "Leader of the Nation" (Nemzetvezető) fled to Szombathely on 9 December. By March 1945, Szálasi was in Vienna just prior to the Vienna Offensive. Later, he fled to Munich.[11]

Trial and execution

The Arrow Cross Party's cabinet, which had fled Hungary, was dissolved on 7 May 1945, a day before Germany's surrender.[12] Szálasi was captured by American troops in Mattsee on 6 May[12] and returned to Hungary on 3 October. He was tried by the People's Tribunal in Budapest in open sessions begun in February 1946, and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason. Szálasi was hanged on 12 March 1946 in Budapest, along with two of his former ministers, Gábor Vajna and Károly Beregfy, and the party ideologist József Gera.

The method of hanging was unusual. A large post had a rope attached to a hook at the top. Szálasi was marched up steps, placed with his back to the post, his legs and arms were tied, the noose placed around his neck, the rope tightened, and the steps were removed. With the post only leaving a couple feet between Szálasi and the ground it is likely that he died slowly due to strangulation rather than being instantaneously rendered unconscious and dying shortly after as would happen when utilizing the standard drop. This would also explain why his arms and legs were bound as to prevent struggle during the process.[13]

Thirty-two photos of the hanging were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.[13] Other photographs of the execution are on display in the Holocaust Room of the Budapest Jewish Museum.

On 13 March 1946, the day after Szálasi's death, The National Council of People's Tribunals discussed the convicted politicians' plea for mercy and recommended its refusal to Justice Minister István Ries, when Szálasi and his ministers were already executed. Ries forwarded the decision to President Zoltán Tildy, who subsequently approved the death sentence and execution on 15 March 1946.[14]

Szálasi was buried in Rákoskeresztúr New Public Cemetery in the Budapest Capital District, Budapest, Hungary, plot 298. In 2008, historian Tamás Kovács claimed the Political Department of the Hungarian State Police (PRO; predecessor of the feared secret police State Protection Authority) falsified his name and birth certificate, and buried him as "Ferenc Lukács" in section 298 of the New Public Cemetery.[15] Other historians, however, rejected this claim, since no written source could be found.

See also

References

  1. ^ Patai, Raphael (1996). The Jews of Hungary:History, Culture, Psychology. 590: Wayne State University Press. p. 730. ISBN 0-8143-2561-0.
  2. ^ Terence Ball. The Cambridge history of twentieth-century political thought. Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-56354-2. p. 140:"Szalasi was descended from an eighteenth-century Armenian immigrant named Salossian"
  3. ^ Ferenc Szalasi Archived 9 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Martin Kitchen. Europe between the wars. Pearson Education, 2006. ISBN 0-582-89414-X. p. 456 "Major Ferenc Szalasi, whose father was Armenian and whose mother was of Slovak-Magyar origin..."
  5. ^ Sipos Péter: Nemzetvesztő nemzetvezető – Historia.hu.
  6. ^ Horthy:, Admiral Nicholas (2000). Admiral Nicholas Horthy Memoirs. Nicholas Horthy, Miklós Horthy, Andrew L. Simon, Nicholas Roosevelt (illustrated ed.). Simon Publications LLC. p. 348. ISBN 0-9665734-3-9.
  7. ^ Hungary: Notes - archontology.org
  8. ^ Budapesti Közlöny, 17 October 1944
  9. ^ Hivatalos Közlöny, 27 January 1945
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Thomas, The Royal Hungarian Army in World war II, p. 24
  12. ^ a b Gosztonyi, Péter (1992). A Magyar Honvédség a második világháborúban (in Hungarian) (2nd ed.). Budapest: Európa Könyvkiadó. pp. 275–276. ISBN 963-07-5386-3.
  13. ^ a b Ruane, Michael E. (9 February 2018). "Thirty-two frightening snapshots of a hanging. And no one knew who the victims were – until now". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  14. ^ Karsai, Elek; Karsai, László: A Szálasi-per, Reform Lap- és Könyvkiadó Rt., 1988, ISBN 963-02-5942-7
  15. ^ Nemzeti emlékhelyen nyugszik Szálasi? – FigyelőNet, 2008-02-08.

Sources

  • Fiala-Marschalkó: Vádló bitófák. London: Süli, 1958
  • Thomas, Dr. Nigel, and, Szabo, Laszlo Pal (2008). The Royal Hungarian Army in World war II. New York: Osprey Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-84603-324-7.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Miklós Horthy
(as regent)
Leader of the Nation
1944–1945
Succeeded by
High National Council
Preceded by
Géza Lakatos
Prime Minister of Hungary
(de facto)
1944–1945
Succeeded by
Béla Miklós
Preceded by
Ferenc Rajniss
Minister of Religion and Education
Acting

1945
Succeeded by
Géza Teleki
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.

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, and 80,000 people were deported from Hungary to various concentration camps in Austria. After the war, Szálasi and other Arrow Cross leaders were tried as war criminals by Hungarian courts.

Béla Imrédy

Béla vitéz Imrédy de Ómoravicza (Hungarian: Vitéz ómoraviczai Imrédy Béla; 29 December 1891 in Budapest – 28 February 1946 in Budapest) was Prime Minister of Hungary from 1938 to 1939.

Born in Budapest to a Catholic family, Imrédy studied law as a young man before he started working for the Hungarian Ministry of Finance. Eventually becoming a skilled economist and financier, Imrédy was made Director of the Hungarian National Bank in 1928. In 1932, he was appointed Minister of Finance under the fascist Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös. After resigning in 1935, Imrédy became President of the Hungarian National Bank. Extremely ambitious, Imrédy was known to hold right wing views on matters of domestic and social policy. On matters of foreign policy, Imrédy was pro-British, a sentiment which was to help him gain the position of Minister of Economic Coordination under Prime Minister Kálmán Darányi. When Darányi resigned in May 1938, Imrédy was appointed prime minister by Regent Miklós Horthy. Imrédy’s attempts to improve Hungary’s diplomatic relations with Britain initially made him very unpopular with Germany and Italy. Imrédy realized that he could not afford to alienate the two fascist powers on a long term basis, however, and from the autumn of 1938 onward his foreign policy became increasingly pro-German and pro-Italian. Imrédy also worked to gain a base of power in Hungarian right wing politics, founding the Movement of Hungarian Life. He was quick to suppress any rivals in his quest for power, and influential fascists such as Ferenc Szálasi were harassed by Imrédy’s administration. As Imrédy drifted further to the right, he proposed that the government be reorganized along totalitarian lines and enacted legislation that restricted the freedom of the press and caused many Jews to suffer economically.

In February 1939, Imrédy’s moderate political opponents, angered at his growing compliancy to Germany and Hungary’s right wing, presented evidence to Regent Horthy that suggested Imrédy's great-grandfather was Jewish. When Horthy confronted Imrédy with the evidence, Imrédy could not deny the claims about his heritage and resigned the premiership on 13 February 1939. Imrédy served in the Hungarian Army for a time in 1940, and in October of that year he founded the pro-fascist, Anti-Semitic Party of Hungarian Renewal. When German troops occupied Hungary in 1944, Imrédy was German Plenipotentiary Edmund Veesenmayer’s top choice to replace Miklós Kállay as prime minister. Horthy could not be swayed to accept the idea, however, and Döme Sztójay was made prime minister instead. Imrédy became Sztójay’s Minister of Economic Coordination in May 1944, but he was forced to resign in August. After German forces were driven out of Hungary, Imrédy was arrested and tried by a People’s Tribunal in November 1945. Found guilty of war crimes and collaboration with the Nazis, he was sentenced to death and executed by a firing squad in the courtyard of the Marko jail in Budapest in 1946.

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 Farkas de Kisbarnak

Ferenc Farkas de Kisbarnak (Hungarian: vitéz kisbarnaki Farkas Ferenc; May 27, 1892 – April 14, 1980) was Chief Scout of the Hungarian Boy Scouts, commanding officer of the Royal Ludovica Military Academy, the country's officer training school, and General of the Hungarian VI Army Corps during World War II. He served under several political regimes including that of Charles IV King of Hungary, Regent Miklós Horthy, Prime Minister Pál Teleki, and Arrow Cross Party leader Ferenc Szálasi. His service through the end of the World War II resulted in controversies within Hungary that followed him until his death.

Ferenc Rajniss

Ferenc Rajniss (born Rheinisch) (24 July 1893 – 12 March 1946) was a Hungarian journalist, socialite and fascist politician. He belonged to the pro-Nazi Germany tendency within Hungarian politics.

Gizella Lutz

Ferenc Szálasiné (née Gizella Lutz or Lucz; 21 October 1906 – 1992) was the longtime companion and, for a brief time, wife, of Ferenc Szálasi who served as Leader of the Hungarian Nation and de facto Prime Minister of Hungary at the end of the Second World War. They were married on 29 April 1945, on the wedding day of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. She was captured by the United States Army on 3 July 1945 and transferred to Hungary. Her husband was executed on 12 March 1946. She was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on 3 December 1953. She was released in 1958.

Gizella Lutz was interviewed about her husband and their relation in 1989. She was asked whether she believed in Szálasi, to which she answered: "Of course I did, because the woman ought to believe in whom she loves." Contrary to her statement, Ferenc Szálasiné made his role as husband less of a priority to fulfill his political responsibilities.

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.

Géza Teleki

Count Géza Teleki de Szék (also known as Géza von Teleki, 27 November 1911 – 5 January 1983) was a Hungarian politician and field hockey player who competed in the 1936 Summer Olympics. He was born in Budapest, the son of Pál Teleki.

Hungary in World War II

During World War II, the Kingdom of Hungary was a member of the Axis powers. In the 1930s, the Kingdom of Hungary relied on increased trade with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany to pull itself out of the Great Depression. Hungarian politics and foreign policy had become more stridently nationalistic by 1938, and Hungary adopted an irredentist policy similar to Germany's, attempting to incorporate ethnic Hungarian areas in neighboring countries into Hungary. Hungary benefited territorially from its relationship with the Axis. Settlements were negotiated regarding territorial disputes with the Czechoslovak Republic, the Slovak Republic, and the Kingdom of Romania. In 1940, under pressure from Germany, Hungary joined the Axis powers. The following year, Hungarian forces participated in the invasion of Yugoslavia and the invasion of the Soviet Union. Their participation was noted by German observers for its particular cruelty, with occupied peoples subjected to arbitrary violence. Hungarian volunteers were sometimes referred to as engaging in "murder tourism."While waging war against the Soviet Union, Hungary engaged in armistice negotiations with the United States and the United Kingdom. Hitler discovered this betrayal, and in March 1944, German forces occupied Hungary. When Soviet forces began threatening Hungary, an armistice was signed between Hungary and the USSR by Regent Miklós Horthy. Soon afterward, Horthy's son was kidnapped by German commandos and Horthy was forced to revoke the armistice. The Regent was then deposed from power, while Hungarian fascist leader Ferenc Szálasi established a new government, with German backing. In 1945, Hungarian and German forces in Hungary were defeated by advancing Soviet armies.

Approximately 300,000 Hungarian soldiers and more than 600,000 civilians died during World War II, including among them more than 400,000 Jews and 28,000 Roma. Many cities were damaged, most notably the capital Budapest. Most Jews in Hungary were protected from deportation to German extermination camps for the first few years of the war, although they had for a longer period been subjected to a series of anti-Jewish laws which imposed limits on Jewish participation in Hungary's public and economic life. From the start of the German occupation of Hungary in 1944, Jews and Roma were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp. By the end of the war, the death toll was between 450,000 and 606,000 Hungarian Jews and an estimated 28,000 Hungarian Roma. Hungary's borders were returned to their pre-1938 lines after its surrender.

International Ghetto

International Ghetto was a historical tetragonal region in Pest (Budapest) bounded by Pozsonyi út, Szent István park, Újpesti rakpart, Sziget út for diplomatically protected Jews during World War II. It was established by the government of Ferenc Szálasi, Leader of the Hungarian Nation, after his rise to power on 15 October 1944.

István Győrkös

István Győrkös (born 20 November 1940) is a Hungarian far-right political figure, founder and leader of the Hungarist and neo-Nazi paramilitary movement Hungarian National Front (MNA) since 1989. He had been a leading and prominent figue in Hungarian extremist and neo-Nazi politics in the 1990s. In 1995, he proclaimed himself the sole leader of the Hungarist movement under the title Vezető ("Leader"), a term similar to Duce (Italian) for Benito Mussolini, Führer (German) for Adolf Hitler and Nemzetvezető (Hungarian) for Ferenc Szálasi.He reportedly shot a police officer to death during a perquisition at his property in Bőny, Győr-Moson-Sopron County on 26 October 2016.

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.

Kingdom of Hungary (1920–1946)

The Kingdom of Hungary (Hungarian: Magyar Királyság), sometimes referred to as the Regency, existed as a country from 1920 to 1946 under the rule of Regent Miklós Horthy. Horthy officially represented the Hungarian monarchy of Charles IV, Apostolic King of Hungary. Attempts by Charles IV to return to the throne were prevented by threats of war from neighbouring countries and by the lack of support from Horthy.

Some historians consider that the country was a client state of Germany from 1938 to 1944. The Kingdom of Hungary under Horthy was an Axis Power during most of World War II. In 1944, after Horthy's government negotiated secretly with the Allies, and also considered leaving the war, Hungary was occupied by Nazi Germany and Horthy was deposed. The Arrow Cross Party's leader Ferenc Szálasi established a new Nazi-backed government, effectively turning Hungary into a German-occupied puppet state.

After World War II, Hungary fell within the Soviet Union's sphere of interest. In 1946, the Second Hungarian Republic was established under Soviet influence. In 1949, the communist Hungarian People's Republic was founded.

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.

Levente (organization)

Levente Associations (Hungarian: Leventeszervezetek) or simply "levente" were paramilitary youth organizations in Hungary in the interwar period and during the Second World War. It was established in 1921 with the declared purpose of physical and health training. Since mid-1930s they have de facto become an attempt to circumvent the ban for conscription imposed by the Treaty of Trianon and over the time it had openly become a pre-military organization under the leadership of veterans. Since 1939, by the Act of Defense, all boys of ages 12–21 were required to take part in levente.It is usually compared to Hitler Jugend of Nazi Germany and Opera Nazionale Balilla of Italy. While having a common trait of military training with the latter two, levente was neither openly fascist nor particularly politicized, although it was not isolated of political influences of the time.Levente had also a smaller female branch, Leventelányok ("Levente Girls") initiated as a voluntary association in June 1942. Under the rule of Ferenc Szálasi installed by Nazis in Hungary in October 1944 obligatory levente duties were imposed unto girls of ages 12–19 despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church. However the latter was not actually implemented because of the advance of the Red Army.By the end of World War II Levente members had to actually serve in auxiliary forces.

During the Soviet occupation many levente activists were tried by Soviet tribunals, convicted of "anti-Soviet activities" and deported to the Soviet Union for penal labor.

Records of Prime Ministers of Hungary

Records of Prime Ministers of Hungary from 1848 to the present.

Árpád Henney

Árpád Henney (Hennel; 24 September 1895 – 21 May 1980) was a Hungarian politician and military officer, who served as Minister without portfolio between 1944 and 1945, in the Nazi-dominated Ferenc Szálasi cabinet. After the Second World War he emigrated to Austria. He was a leading and prominent member of the immigrant Hungarist movement until his death.

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