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I am not an expert on Horthy, but I personally believe he was not a coward, and he was unwaveringly anti-nazi. He was more the old school, right wing, nationalistic, staunchly anti-Bolshvic and mildly anti-semitic type of politician you could find in multitude in post World War I Europe.
I think he was not "undecided" on the issue of pro- or anti-nazi (Germany would be a more appropriate word here). Classifying him as either pro- or anti-nazi would be an over-simplification of a complex historical period and personality.
Hungary as it stood between the two world wars was devastated by the WWI, the Trianon, the Kun Communist Red Terror, and subsequently thoroughly looted by Rumanian Army at the instigation of France. The popular sentiment of the Hungarian people at that time was a paradoxical "we want our lost territory back, but we cannot afford to be involved in another war!"
So Horthy had to play intricate balancing diplomacy here. Before the annexation of Austria he carefully played Musollini to restrain Hitler, with some success. After Italy's disastrous North Africa adventure and its subsequent alliance with Germany, Hungary knew he has to ally with Hitler too, otherwise he could not be able to take back Transylvania from Rumania.
Hungary had always been Germany's most reluctant ally, it is the twisted fate of history that made it the only axis country to fight on the German side until the very end. This history is too complicated for me to explain it clearly in a few paragraphs here, it is also off topic in this thread. Suffice it to say that Horthy never believed that the Germans could win the war, and did a lot under table to negotiate with the Allies in order to save Hungary. On the other hand he obviously could not openly defy too much of Hitler's will, that would not be brave, but only be idiotic and foolhardy, and be irresponsible to the Hungarian people under his leadership.
The above is only my 2 cents, and other people would have some totally opposite opinion. That would be fine except this discussion here is of topic. So I suggest if you really want to know more or to hear other people's informed opinion, you should start a separate topic in a proper section of this forum.
Thank you and My Best Regards!
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I think that the expression coward can not be applied to someone who was in a very difficult position at the time that Alm. Horthy was in charge to rule the destiny of Hungary.
You can be right that he was not able to decide early to leave the join effort whith Germany, but I have no elements to be more specific on my judgement.
To be able to maje judgement of persons at that difficult time I presume one should be expert on the biography of the person in question.
Please have in mind, that Hungary was the country who suffered the largest loose in terms of his territory as the result of the WW I, and at the time the WWII started, the dream to recover the lost land was a very strong feeling in the heart of most Hungarians.
By the way, I leave also in Brazil, more precisely in Holambra at the state of Sao Paulo, I'm at your disposal to explore more subject about Hungary, as I am Hungarian born in 1944.
Cordially, Geza Arbocz (in our western form)
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Someone will tell you his name soon, the medals and awards tell me he HAD a name! (with 'vitéz' in the beginning)
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Thanks a lot
Eravamo 30 d'una sorte, 31 con la morte (Gabriele d'Annunzio).
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