Wasn't there any Hungarian resistance movement against Nazi?

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Kim Sung
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Wasn't there any Hungarian resistance movement against Nazi?

Postby Kim Sung » 11 Aug 2005 11:29

About 20 years ago, when I was an elementary school boy, I saw a movie about a female Hungarian resistance fighter who fought against Germany and was killed. I don't remember the details of the movie.

It's quite surprising if there was anti-Nazi movement in Hungary which fought along with Germany to the end and, after the defeat, suffered plundering and rape of the red army. Do you have any info about this movie or any other Hungarian(not Jews, Gypsies, ethnic Romanians or Poles within Hungary) resistance movement?
Last edited by Kim Sung on 11 Aug 2005 12:42, edited 1 time in total.

Larry D.
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Postby Larry D. » 11 Aug 2005 12:31

Hungarian resistance fighters??

Hungary was an ally of German throughout the war. It was "German-free" until Horthy was arrested on 18 Mar 44 and the Germans occupied the country on 19 Mar 44. The Hungarians continued to run the country until 15 Oct 44 when a German-engineered coup threw out the regime and replaced it with a vicious fascist government headed by Ferenc Szalasy. By then, eastern and central Hungary had already been gobbled up by the advancing Red Army.

So where do these "resistance fighters" fit into the picture? I have never heard of them. There may have been a few pro-Allied intelligence gathering cells that operated in Hungary between Oct 44 and Mar 45, but they were very few and far between, poorly organized, essentially unarmed, and probably operated by the OSS or the Soviets. I've read a lot of books about Hungary during World War II, but I don't recall seeing anything about "resistance fighters."

--Larry

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Csaba Becze
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Postby Csaba Becze » 12 Aug 2005 07:40

Probably you heard the story of Hanna Szenes (1921-1944). She was a Jewish girl from Hungary, who went to Palestina, joined to the British army, was dropped over Yugoslavian territory by the OSS and was captured in the Hungarian border area (wanted to go back to Hungary as a secret agent) She was executed on 7 November, 1944.

There were some resistances against the Germans (sporadic partisan movements, firefights on 19 March, 1944 and 15 October, 1944 also, the Germans suffered casualties both days, etc)

Many Hungarian volunteers fought agains the Germans during the siege of Budapest also (approx 600 killed, there were extremely fierce battles).

On 22 December, 1944 a "new" Hungarian government (which was formed in the Soviet occupied town Debrecen) declarated the war against Germany but their forces never fought officially against the Germans.

So, it's a long story but I have no time now to explaining a lot...

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 13 Aug 2005 11:56

Thank you for your information~!

Maybe she is a Hungarian equivalent of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya. Now I remember her name even though I watched the film on her more than 20 years ago. I think it was a American film. Do you know the title of that film?


My God, My God, that it won't ever end,
The sand and the sea,
The rush of the waters,
Sky's lightening,
Man's prayer.

אלי, אלי, שלא יגמר לעולם
החול והים
רישרוש של המים
ברק השמים
תפילת האדם


http://www.hannahsenesh.org

http://www.hannahsenesh.org.il
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sylvieK4
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Postby sylvieK4 » 13 Aug 2005 13:21

Do you know the title of that film?


"Hanna's War" 1988. See: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095275/ A number of familiar names are in the cast (e.g Ellen Burstyn, Anthony Andrews, David Warner (who played Heydrich in the 70's television miniseries "Holocaust") Donald Pleasance plays the first Hungarian interrogator. In spite of the experienced actors, the film has a great many inaccuracies and a Hollywood spin that - for historians and serious viewers - is difficult to watch.

IMHO, the truth about Hannah Szenes is far more interesting, compelling and inspiring than this action/drama. She was a very brave young woman.

Szenes in Budapest before the war and in British uniform, Yugoslavia, 1944. http://www.ushmm.org , http://galim.org.il/times/history/new.php3?id=17
Image .. Image

Her grave in Jerusalem:
Image

With regard to Hungarian anti-Nazi resistance movements, there were a number of officers (many proteges/ partisans of Bajcsy-Zsilinszky) who attempted acts of resistance to the pro-German regime installed after March 1944, and particularly the Arrow Cross regime after October 15th. They were nationalist Hungarians: anti-Nazi, but also anti-Communist. They believed in a sovereign Hungarian government. Unfortunately for this band of officers, many of them were arrested, tortured and tried under the Fascist Arrow Cross system. Among the more prominent of these was Jozsef Kovago. (In 1946, Kovago served as the first post-War Mayor of Budapest. He was later unseated by the Communists and - for the second time of his life - was arrested, tortured and tried by the government - this time by the Communists.)

See: Emlékezés a náci-ellenes magyar katonai ellenállásra 1994

http://www.bibl.u-szeged.hu/bibl/mil/ww ... 55779.html
Image

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 13 Aug 2005 14:17

Thank you for your precious info. I like such a type of woman who is intelligent, brave and passionate.

I didn't know there were considerable number of Hungarian resistance fighters. Cheers for Hannah and brave anti-Nazi Hungarians!

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Acolyte
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Postby Acolyte » 14 Aug 2005 18:06

Larry D. wrote:Hungarian resistance fighters??

Hungary was an ally of German throughout the war. It was "German-free" until Horthy was arrested on 18 Mar 44 and the Germans occupied the country on 19 Mar 44. The Hungarians continued to run the country until 15 Oct 44 when a German-engineered coup threw out the regime and replaced it with a vicious fascist government headed by Ferenc Szalasy. By then, eastern and central Hungary had already been gobbled up by the advancing Red Army.--Larry


All true except that the retired military officer who was elected prime minister on 16 Oct 1944 was called Szálasi and not "Szalasy" - I'm saying only because the common practice in Hungary was that only members of the nobility had surnames ending with an "y" and Szálasi was not a nobleman (actually he had Armenian blood).

The Red Army has trained a small number of Hungarian communists and Soviet collaborators in partisan warfare in late 1944. These small units operated in Carpatho-Ukraine without much of a public support. Later communist propaganda asserted that there was widespread partisan activity, supported by the local population, all around the country, but in fact nothing could be further from the truth. There was a political joke in the years of communist dictatorship that read thus: "The population of Hungary was 30 million in 1944: there were 10 million partisans, 10 million collaborators were hunting them and 10 million civilians were supporting them".

The army leadership was staunchly pro-German practically since the beginning of the 20th century, the police and state officials were pro-German and in the face of the Soviet offensive in 1944 the majority of the civilian population was pro-German. No massive partisan movement can flourish in such circumstances.

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Postby Larry D. » 14 Aug 2005 19:08

Szálasi and not "Szalasy"


Yes, that's right. English language sources frequently take "liberties" with some Hungarian names to facilitate pronounciation. Sorry about that!

--Larry

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DenesBernad
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Pro-German attitudes in the Honvédség

Postby DenesBernad » 19 Aug 2005 16:28

Acolyte wrote:The army leadership was staunchly pro-German practically since the beginning of the 20th century, the police and state officials were pro-German and in the face of the Soviet offensive in 1944 the majority of the civilian population was pro-German.

That's highly inaccurate and simplistic.
The version closer to reality is that many Hungarian officers were pro-German, but definitely not all, or most. The same is valid for the population, too.

However, we can say that most Hungarian officers were anti-Soviet/Russian (due to historical causes - 1849, 1919).

Dénes

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Acolyte
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Re: Pro-German attitudes in the Honvédség

Postby Acolyte » 20 Aug 2005 08:13

DenesBernad wrote:That's highly inaccurate and simplistic.
The version closer to reality is that many Hungarian officers were pro-German, but definitely not all, or most. The same is valid for the population, too.

However, we can say that most Hungarian officers were anti-Soviet/Russian (due to historical causes - 1849, 1919).

Dénes


Um, I said the army leadership (the high command) was pro-German, not ALL army officers. And I wrote "the majority of the population", not ALL of them were pro-German. I suppose we meant to say the same things, so I think you're also right.

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CB1
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Budapest resistance

Postby CB1 » 06 Sep 2005 17:09

Hi,

This comes from Ungváry Krisztián: Budapest ostroma (Siege of Budapest), publ. 2005, Budapest

compiled from pages 255-266

OSS sent Pál Kovács to Hungary in early October. He was to setup a spy ring and resistance group. He was arrested on 5DEC44
After the arrow cross takeover, on 9NOV44 the resistance (i.e. various legal and illegal organizations, parties and individuals) formed a committee (Magyar Nemzeti Felkelés Felszabadító Bizottsága – Liberation Committee of the Hungarian National Uprising or whatever) chaired by Bajcsy-Zsilinszky. Many high-ranking and staff officers joined this undercover movement. The plan was to open up the front somewhere and let the Russians through while initiating an uprising in Budapest to tie up German forces. Thus the capital would not be besieged. The committee made contact with the commander of the Hungarian 10th Infantry Division and many KISKA units (KISegítõ Karhatalmi Alakulat – Auxiliary Law Enforcement Unit: something like Volkssturm). On 13NOV a representative (a staff officer) of the committee flew over to the Russians. He took the complete documentation of the fortification and AA positions of Budapest with him. The committee was betrayed and on 22NOV many were arrested.

Capt. Zoltán Mikó avoided being arrested. He was a staff officer originally responsible for organizing KISKA units. At the end of November he was ordered to form groups for special operations. Officially these were arrow cross units but they were formed from resistance elements. They carried out sabotage and attacked arrow cross men. He had some 800 men under his command (Görgey Battalion). He tried to make contact with the Russians but he failed. Late December he tried to open the front in the Northern part of Buda but also failed and fled. The Russians arrested and executed him.

“Táncsics Mihály” Battalion was 350-400-strong and formed of university students. Officially they were also arrow cross. They issued forged IDs to deserters, Jews, communists and attacked arrow cross and German forces.

The municipality of Budapest cooperated with the 6th district KISKA company. They had links with the resistance in the MÁVAG (heavy industry firm) and were to receive PaKs produced there. They planned to take over the phone exchange, power plant supplying electricity and other key buildings. They were arrested by the arrow cross on 19NOV.

The Social Democratic Party operated an illegal radio transmitter and printed underground newspaper. The printing press was dismantled and 24 died in the ensuing firefight on 25DEC.

The illegal communists had small groups (Szir, Marót, Laci) who carried out attacks (6OCT Marót blows up the statue of Gömbös (ex prime minister); 22NOV Szír bombed the Metropol Hotel, the residence of German police; 3DEC Szír blew up City Theater where the arrow cross congress was held; 6DEC communists stormed an arrow cross party house in Csepel to free captives; communists blew up the acp house in Rákoskeresztúr). They also incited people against the arrow cross. They managed to prevent the evacuation of Csepel and its factories on 4DEC. The Army units took side with the protesters. Arrow cross arrested the mayor but people stormed the building and the arrow cross withdrew. A German soldier shot at the crowd and on 6DEC the Army started to distribute weapons among people as a response. To prevent the situation from deteriorating further the arrow cross postpones evacuation. Same thing happened in Pestszentlõrinc. The communists stole Army supplies (uniforms, weapons etc.) and formed fake KISKA and arrow cross units. The group in Újpest saw action in 53 cases. They saved the water tower in Újpest (took away the explosives). On 8JAN45 a group entered the Apollo house (arrow cross center in Újpest) and demanded that all captives are to be handed over for execution. They saved 48 men. Next day they returned and left a package for the local arrow cross head. It contained the explosives from the water tower. The explosion killed 28 arrow cross activists. Ironically most of these resistance people were arrested by the Russians and were taken to the Gulag.

Jewish resistance mostly dealt with forging documents but Hashomer Hatzair carried out a couple of armed actions as well (dressed up as arrow cross they liberated prisoners, killed real arrow cross men etc.)

Many KISKA units took part in the resistance. The 13th district company under the command of res. Lt. Lajos Gidófalvy saved the Ferdinánd bridge (took away the explosives), prevented the dismantling of various factories and confronted arrow cross activists. They were arrested on 8JAN.

There were other groups and units as well...




IMHO the resistance in Budapest was mainly dealing with hiding and forging documents for persecuted people (be it a Jew or a deserted SS soldier). There was no unified command and the small groups lacked hitting power thus the military actions were only small-scale skirmishes and bombings often senseless (One of my friend's grandfather was a KISKA man. He told that once they stormed a building where the arrow cross held Jews. They were veterans of the Eastern front the AC men were only big-mouth thugs who ran after a few shots. When they entered the building and found the Jews they told them: "Run. Hurry. You are free. Get out of this building." The Jews did not move and said there was nowhere to run. The grandfather was so frustrated of this answer that he grabbed one of the Jews and threw him out of the window. Some liberation.). The planned uprising, like the one in Warsaw, was irreal and could have not been executed. Their power was so limited that they could not even direct their actions against Germans only ACP.

Bye,
Krisz

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Kim Sung
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Postby Kim Sung » 06 Sep 2005 17:12

Thank you for information!

Larry D.
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Postby Larry D. » 06 Sep 2005 17:19

That's a great contribution, Krisz. Your command of both Hungarian and English is envious. I learned some things from your post and for that a big "thanks"!

--Larry

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Postby Phil Bishop » 22 Oct 2005 22:27

Try "In the name of the working class" by Sandor Kopacsi who was a member of the resistance. Gives a facinating view of early post war Hungary also.

Publisher Fontana - ISBN 0 00 637410 7

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Géza Árbocz
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Hungarian Resistance against German troops in WWII

Postby Géza Árbocz » 02 Nov 2005 10:48

I recently found at the site http://mek.oszk.hu/00000/00062/html/szocikk/m1.htm a notice about a Hungarian note about this subject called
Irodalom: Magyar szabadságharcosok a fasizmus ellen. (Szerk.: VARSÁNYI János.) Bp. 1969. - Az Ideiglenes Nemzetgyűlés almanachja 1944-1945. Bp. 1994.
what means: Written: Hungarian freedom fight against the fascismus ( author Jano Varsany - Budapest 1969 - from a Review 1944-1945 (maybe the other Hungarian fellows can give a better translation for this note).
As part of this group was Makay Miklos, who was a Director at the Nitrokemia company, who later at 1950 started a chemical and explosive company here in Brazil where my father and 2 eldest brother worked with him.


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