January 24th, 2014

Krisztián Ungváry on the German invasion statue controversy

[Editor’s Note: The following is a translation of this much-cited article on hvg.hu by noted historian Krisztián Ungváry on the controversy surrounding the government’s plan to erect a monument to the 1944 German invasion of Hungary. It was initially published earlier this morning on Facebook by translator Gabi N’a-gy.]

On January 17, the Hungarian government decided to erect a monument commemorating the German invasion of Hungary. (…) I would hope that more will be said about the aesthetic qualities of Imre Parkanyi Raab’s work – more precisely, its lack of aesthetic qualities. Here, I am concerned only with how he and the Budapest Gallery is falsifying history to ensure that this … sculpture is erected in a public space. This focus is justified because the government, which commissioned the monument, has omitted to consult any professional historians before selecting the proposed work. I would like to fill the gap left by that lack of consultation.

The artist says his work “uses the methods of art history and evokes figures from cultural history with allegorical forms. (…) Two cultures are represented: one, which thinks itself stronger, and which is certainly more aggressive, towers above a more tranquil and softer-lined figure, that of the Archangel Gabriel, who represents Hungary. Gabriel, in cultural and religious tradition, is God’s servant or God’s power personified.

“On Heroes’ Square, the Archangel Gabriel sits atop a column, among the clouds. In my composition, he has been laid low. … He is depicted as handsome and tranquil. His body is perfect, and there is no fear in his eyes. His face is tranquil, his eyes are closed. The monument explains that his dream will turn into a nightmare. A culture, its wings broken, is being crushed by a greater power: the Third Reich and the symbol that represents it: the Imperial Eagle. The depiction of the eagle is the exact opposite of the Archangel Gabriel’s. The Imperial Eagle is an assemblage of mass produced icons and symbols. It sweeps in flight across the world. Soon it will reach us and engulf Hungary, putting its inhabitants in chains.”

In the view of the sculptors Miklos Melocco and Gyorgy Benedek, the work described above is “unique and outstanding in the way it conveys meanings that go beyond the unmistakable message of the explicit symbolism. … The way it reflects history is also remarkable. … We accepted more than 200,000 Polish refugees. Our country was at peace until 1943. The German army massacred as it arrived, and their Hungarian servants in the Arrow Cross movement murdered the country. At most, they intended to leave behind a few Hungarian slaves, temporarily. This lends a terrifying naturalness to the sculpture’s stylised depiction.”

Their opinion is a surprise, because students have been failed at university for less egregious historical distortions. Not to mention that the symbolism is unfortunate. It has already been pointed out that the “Nazi” eagle is actually a German national symbol – making its use in this monument both artistically and politically tasteless. (…)

But the tasteless execution is as nothing compared to the historical distortions. Let’s take them in turn:

1. The events of 1944 are, to say the least, more complicated than a story of “bad” Germans fighting “good” Hungarians. Eichmann himself was thrilled by his experiences here, observing that the Hungarians must surely be descended from the Huns since nowhere else had he seen so much brutality “in the course of solving the Jewish question.” So much for the “more tranquil, softer-lined figure”.

2. The German invasion did not put the country’s population in chains. Rather, it opened the way for the country’s right-wing elite to redistribute the possessions of some 800,000 people. Very many people received some share of the spoils, and for that reason they are unlikely to have felt oppressed.

3. Not 200,000 but 70,000 Polish refugees arrived in Hungary. This is also a very large number and a positive story, but it has nothing to do with the German invasion.

4. Hungary was indeed an island of peace for many people until 1944, but not for its Jews. Apart from the more than 100 laws and regulations passed against Jews, there were pogroms in several places (in Kisvarda in 1938, and in Munkacs and Maramarossziget in 1942), mass murders (a total of 700 Jews died in Southern Hungary in 1942), the mass deportation of some 17,000 people to Kamenyec-Podolski, continuous deportations of those who escaped until autumn 1942, not to mention inhumanely forced labour, which itself caused the death of more than 10,000 people by 1944. This isn’t as much as the millions of deaths elsewhere, but I wouldn’t call it a small number either.

5. The German army did not commit massacres as it arrived in Hungary. What we refer to as massacres were exclusively planned by the Hungarian authorities and partially carried out by them. Proposals to place the entire Jewish population in ghettos had been floated in Parliament as early as 1941, and it was only the tactical maneuverings of prime minister Miklos Kallay and Miklos Horthy, the head of state, that had stopped the proposals coming to a vote. But by March 1944, Hungary’s state bureaucracy had made the necessary preparations for bringing several hundred thousand people’s lives to a close, making sure that they had fully paid their water, electricity and gas bills before they were loaded into the cattle trucks.

6. Here it’s worth recalling that Hungarian authorities were not just implementing ideas they had got from the Germans. Some anti-semitic measures were enacted over the protests of the Germans, as with the deportations to Kamenyets-Podolski, where in their eagerness, Hungarian authorities caused a humanitarian catastrophe by sending 10,000 robbed and starving Jews to an already devastated area. Some of them were immediately killed in ‘amateur’ pogroms carried out by local Ukrainian anti-semites. It was only after this that the Germans decided to kill the Jews in order to ensure there was enough food for the local Ukrainian population, reduce the risk of an epidemic and to further their own anti-semitic programme. This was the first mass murder in the history of the Holocaust whose number of victims ran into five digits. But the Hungarians behind the deportation had known from the outset that their actions would result in mass death. Miklos Kozma, government commissioner for the Lower Carpathians, the man principally responsible for the action, wrote as early as 1940 in his diary that “Himmler, Heydrich and the radicals are doing what they want to do. In Poland, people are being exterminated … The Polish Jewish ghetto near Lublin is partially solving the Jewish question, so vast is the scale of the deaths.” In July, news arrived of executions, but this did not stop the perpetrarors – symbolised in the present monument by the Archangel Gabriel – from carrying on.

7. The “Arrow Cross servants” had nothing to do with the German invasion. A coalition government was formed in Hungary after the invasion, in which the former government party played a central role alongside Bela Imredy’s Hungarian Renewal Party and a smaller national socialist party. But the Arrow Cross was NOT part of the government. Indeed, Szalasi, the Arrow Cross leader, criticised the deportations of the Jews, saying it was a waste of the nation’s labour reserves. One current ruling party politician has said that the Hungarian state’s sovereignty was limited at this time because “a large part of the cabinet had been arrested.” Let’s count: two members of the Kallay government were arrested by the Gestapo – the prime minister himself and the interior minister. Nine ministers were not just free, but members of the new government. Put it differently: there were only two members of the new, post-invasion government who had not been ministers before 1944. To be sure, one of the exceptions was the Dome Sztojay, the new prime minister, but both exceptions had been part of the pre-1944 Hungarian upper elite. Hardly “a large part of the cabinet”.

8. Eliminating the Hungarian nation did not feature among the goals of the German invasion or even long-term Nazi plans. The claim that they would have “temporarily left behind a few enslaved Hungarians” is completely wrong. The Nazis intended to exterminate Slavs and Jews, not others.Finally, it is exceptionally sneaky to argue that the monument “is dedicated to the memory of every victim,” as government party politician Antal Rogan has claimed. The German occupiers were responsible only for a relative handful of victims. Easily 99 percent of the deaths were caused by the Hungarian authorities who enthusiastically deported the Jews, and it was also the Hungarians that profited. When the unfortunates finally arrived in Auschwitz, everything had already been taken from them, including their wedding rings.

It is very wrong to try and pretend that both victim and murderer were on the same side. But this is what is being done. Authorities didn’t even consider building a central Holocaust memorial – and that’s no coincidence, since it would then be necessary to discuss Hungarians’ roles in all this. It would be very noble if someone whose grandfather died as a soldier on the banks of the Don river or had been killed while carrying out forced labour, were to mourn alongside someone whose grandfather had been driven out in 1944 and then been killed by German or Hungarian authorities. But this monument excludes that possibility by showing no empathy for a group of victims in whose death Hungarian authorities played a central role.

If anybody thought this monument is a one-off slip-up – I have bad news for them. It is a logical consequence of the deceitful preamble to the new constitution, part of the national lie that wants to commemorate 1944 as “the year of saving lives” while remaining silent about the question of who did the killing. It is part of the same government tactic that hands millions of euros to historical research centres without asking the views of real historians.

Perhaps I can end with a modest proposal. Officially, not a single woman was deported from Hungary without being subjected to a vaginal examination, to ensure that no national asset of value left the country. We have very precise records of the work carried out by the women who did the cavity searches. We also know that, in order not to waste the nation’s money and for the sake of speed, these women did not change their rubber gloves: they used one glove all day without disinfection. The Archangel Gabriel does not accurately symbolise this. But if authorities do nonetheless want to build a monument, then let them build one to the women who carried out those cavity searches. The location, on Szabadsag ter, is perfect, because it’s right in front of the National Bank of Hungary, and so it would serve as a fine reminder of the symbolism of that concern for the nation’s assets. Better yet: instead of wasting money, the people who are trying to whitewash our country’s dishonour should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • MagyarViking

    I love this part of the artist Imre Parkanyi Raab’s own description:
    “there is no fear in his eyes. His face is tranquil, his eyes are closed”

    Yes, we can actually see nothing in his eyes, then they are closed…

  • MagyarViking

    It has already been pointed out that the “Nazi” eagle is actually a German national symbol

    Yes, I did that here:
    http://www.politics.hu/20140122/budapest-5th-district-gives-approval-for-memorial/#comment-1211794962

  • MagyarViking

    WoW!
    That was an article worth its money
    The best I ever read on this site, but then Krisztián Ungváry is one of the few Hungarian Giants

    • Ricsi

      And I am sure you will say the same about the ISRAELI jew who sent the terror death threat to the Hungarian team going to Sochi. You naive little would be cigarette seller.

    • Aloof

      Couldn’t agree more, certainly much closer to the truth than anything I’ve ever seen on this site.

      • 1Magyar

        I guess, if partial truths are your bag.

        • MagyarViking

          Feel free to point out the ‘rest of the truths’ that
          Krisztián Ungváry left out
          As an academic I think he will be happy to be enlightened with some hard and non-refutable evidence

          • 1Magyar

            Others like Ungvary or myself doing your homework for you isn’t going to make you more educated. Ill cut and paste from a similar discussion with “kapolch”. Just a tiny fragment from the other side of the coin:

            “Adolph Eichmann began his emigration plans using the Judenrate and Dr.Lowenherz in Vienna, the Nazis used the Jewish leaders in most European cities and the ghettos of the Eastern Occupied Territories and Poland to provide a census of their Jewish populations. These Judenrate were also required to provide lists of names — Jews to be transported to the death camps — and to provide Jewish police to enforce the collection of their people. It would not have been possible for the Nazis to have killed so many Jews in such a short time without the co-operation of the Junderate…………….. According to Baron Philip von Freudigen of Budapest, a past member of the Budapest Judenrate who testified at Eichmann’s trial, if the Jews had not followed the advice of their Jewish councils, about half of the Jews who were exterminated during the war could have saved themselves.”

          • MagyarViking

            How does the role of the Judenrat and kapos change the guilt? The planning, ordering, performing, rounding up and killing the Jews, Roma and others were still the work of the Nazis and in Hungary with the excellent help of many Hungarians
            If some Jews were involved does not change anything

            As it does not change Stalin’s responsibility that the Gulags were full of kapos who, for better food and treatment, abused their fellow Hungarian comrades. Or you are blaiming the Hungarians for the bad treatment Hungarians got in Stalin’s Gulags also?
            Using “same of kin” in oppressing their own kin, is a well-kown act of crushing any resistance and hey, do you think the brutal guards are any language geniuses?

          • 1Magyar

            This is great! To start with, I never disagreed with statements like Aders or Ungvarys, so pushing that agenda is futile as we both seem to agree on the article and on Aders latest admission. In fact not only do I agree I think it has been so overstated that it is blinding the full truth. You are doing the same thing the other extremists are doing just from the other side. You defend and justify the horrible actions of your “people”, “side”, “faction”, whatever you want to call it, by saying the same things you yourself criticise others of saying……..oh the others did much worse so my side is less to blame etc……

            The fact is without the cooperation of many in Hungary including the jewish leadership, the deportations as they happened would not have been possible.

            You have not refuted the judenerate’s existence which leads me to believe you are aware of this fact. Playing the “others were worse” card doesnt work as I believe you yourself (could have been another extremist on this site, if it was I take it back but its still not a valid argument) have discredited that line of thinking, so why not have an open fully engaged discussion instead of trying to shove a very overplayed agenda down peoples throats.

          • MagyarViking

            Are you claiming that Jews are responsible for the Nazi initiated and performed genocides of Jews, Roma, handicapped and Slavs?

          • 1Magyar

            Only if your claiming that all Jews were innocent bystanders and all Hungarians were aggressive murderers. In which case both our arguments turn to mush and the only way to resolve that impass is war. See what I’m saying? Your extremism is not leading to a good place

            BTW I do blame all involved for the situation under Stalin it would not have been possible without complicity and/or complacency from all involved. I also thank the magnanimous western powers for being such stand up world citizens and helping us out with that little massacre. That is another story however.

          • MagyarViking

            “Only if your claiming that all Jews were innocent bystanders and all Hungarians were aggressive murderers”

            Who ever claimed that?
            Care to point to ANY statement supporting your claim?

            Do you, or do you not, agree with Fidesz Rubberstamp, the Whorbanistani President in:
            “Seventy years ago, following the German occupation of our country in 1944, the will of Hitler’s Nazi Germany seemed to be fulfilled by the Nazi governors and the Hungarian state authorities collaborating with them. Within barely half a year they mercilessly executed their program of creating ghettos and deported the entire Hungarian Jewry living in the countryside.

            We shall never forget that in that tragic year seventy years ago, an endless convoy of death trains left the Hungarian territories for Nazi concentration camps. We shall never forget either that several hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens herded into ghettos would have also suffered the same fate, had the war evolved according to the intents of Hitler’s Germany and its Arrow Cross puppets”

            Note that Krisztián Ungváry deepens our understanding of that period in time and the extent of these “Hungarian state authorities collaborating with them” in:
            “5. The German army did not commit massacres as it arrived in Hungary. What we refer to as massacres were exclusively planned by the Hungarian authorities and partially carried out by them. Proposals to place the entire Jewish population in ghettos had been floated in Parliament as early as 1941, and it was only the tactical maneuverings of prime minister Miklos Kallay and Miklos Horthy, the head of state, that had stopped the proposals coming to a vote. But by March 1944, Hungary’s state bureaucracy had made the necessary preparations for bringing several hundred thousand people’s lives to a close, making sure that they had fully paid their water, electricity and gas bills before they were loaded into the cattle trucks”

          • 1Magyar

            “Are you claiming that Jews are responsible for the Nazi initiated and performed genocides of Jews, Roma, handicapped and Slavs?”

            You posed that ridiculous question to me after I stated clearly before that I agreed with ungvarys article and Aders admissions. My follow up was meant to be just as ridiculous.

            You have a very selective understanding of the written word it seems.

            I never once blamed the Jews exclusively for their plight just as I never shirked the role other Hungarians played in the ww2 events. What I have always stated is that it is not one sided as you would claim and that Jews along with Hungarians and other nationalities involved need to accept the roles they played in the persecution.

          • MagyarViking

            “What I have always stated is that it is not one sided as you would claim and that Jews along with Hungarians and other nationalities involved need to accept the roles they played in the persecution”

            So what role did the Jews play in the persecution of them?
            Were they victims or not?
            600.000 of the Hungarian Jews were transported away by official; Hungarian forces co-operating with a handfull of German SS-troops, how did the Jews become anything else but victims in that process?

          • 1Magyar

            OK I’ll walk you through it.

            What you left out of your above statement is : …….along with the help and cooperation of the influential leaders of the Jewish community known by the Nazis “the judenerate” such as Baron Philip von Freudigen ………

            According to this Hungarian Jewish mans official testimony, half of the victims could have saved themselves.

            Just like not all Hungarians are liable for the victimization, not all Hungarian Jews are victims. Better yet all Hungarians are victims as are all Hungarian jews. As its been documented without the help of members of the Jewish populace as well as the non Jewish populace what happened and the way it happened could not be possible.

            If we are going to be grotesque and divy up the blame its 50/50. Of course this would again be too simplistic and the full picture would involve an examination of the judenerates motivations and the intense pressures on them as well as the situation that a newly formed impoverished decimated country like Hungary was in and the pressures it was under post ww1 among many other relevant facts. This is my point. Its not as simple as to state – Hungarians bad, Jews victims. I’m pretty sure that’s what enrages the extremists on the other side and without an open honest discussion about the full story the device will grow and fester. Eventually it has to express itself in some way and according to past presidenc it will be a violent expression since that’s what humanity is prone to.

          • 1Magyar

            Read the article in the Walrus by Joseph Rosen. No its not just about Zionism in Israel, it relates to our discussion on a broader scale.

          • MagyarViking

            Whenthe Jews had been collected into the Budapest Gettho. there was no escape, except working to be selected last
            Much of this selection-order was done by this type of Judenrat, but if any of its members denied anything the Germans and Hungarians official wanted, they were on the next train, regardless they were on the list or not

            The members of the Judenrat were victims also, even if I understand that some of them were killed after the war by Jews that had survived
            It is the phsycology of oppression to create kapos then that removes you from much of your own feeling of guilt

            And now you are flaming that feeling, claiming that the victims should be responsible for their own killing
            If you did not get it, when there were no one else to deport, the Judenrat was on the last train out…

          • 1Magyar

            Dialogue is a good thing. I’m glad were having some of it. Quoting things that I already acknowledged is a bit of a waste however. Let’s start by first admitting and acknowledging the full truth of the situation. Then we can discuss the details.

          • MagyarViking

            Pls describe “the full truth of the situation”?
            Is it that the Jews were responsible for their own killing?
            You know a bit like rape-victims – challenging/provocative dress, spoke with men in public places, did not cover her body, etc…

          • 1Magyar

            That’s not really helping the dialogue is it? Save the inflammatory simple minded rhetoric for the extremists.

          • MagyarViking

            So, the Judenrat were not victims, even if everyone knows that if they opposed anything, they were on the next train out and in the end, when all others had been shipped out, the Judenrat was on the very last train

            So how can the Judenrat become not victims?

          • 1Magyar

            Some of them did oppose the Nazis. Some of them did everything they could to minimize the damage. Some of them were shipped out. Just like some gentiles resisted ,tried to minimize the damage and were also killed, The fact remains that without the complicity and assistance of the judenrat who didn’t resist, half (I say half but many is just as good as we have no way of knowing for sure) of the jews that were killed would have lived. That half of the deaths by accounts (some of which I have stated above) is directly attributable to the judenerate by their own admission.

            This is not news just because it is not widely discussed.

            Its interesting how the benefit of the doubt is always given to certain factions that were involved in these events but never to the others.

            The judenerat were scared, pressured, intimidated by a power greater then them that they had no control over. Some were motivated by money others by power (I can back that up but look into it), yet others by the desire to help and to easy the pressures. Not all were bad yet again the fact remains they were responsible for jewish deaths. Scale that up to a national macro level and you have a very similar situation in Hungary itself. NO I am not saying Hungary was an innocent bystander and that there were not any gung-ho kill em all types as there always are before you go on that tangent. I am saying its complicated and your boiling it down to pointing fingers.

          • MagyarViking

            Pls give some real, hard fact evidence on what one member of the Judenrat in Budapest was saying – that half of the Jews would have been saved if they had not followed the Judenrat’s decision

            Before that, just contemplate the following:
            a) There was a ship-out plan that x amount of Jews should be shipped out every day. The German knew the approximate total numbers of Jews in the ghetto so, it was just a question to putting names to the list

            b) The Hungarian Authorities had already prepared everything, so no Jew left without having paid all the domestic bills…there was a big Hungarian bureaucracy behind this enourmous shipment of Jews in such a short time. Everything was already prepared. All Jews had been identified and accounted for already before the Germans arrived

            c) What was the alternative – Uprising like in ghetto in Warsaw?
            The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany’s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp. It was the largest single revolt by Jews during World War II
            “13,000 Jews were killed in the ghetto during the uprising (some 6,000 among them were burnt alive or died from smoke inhalation). Of the remaining 50,000 residents, most were captured and shipped to concentration and extermination camps, in particular to Treblinka”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising

            Is this what you demand of the Hungarian Jews, for you to regard all those 600.000 shipped out as victims?

          • 1Magyar

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-life-in-europe-dying-a-slow-death/

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/dont-fear-hungarys-radical-anti-semitic-party-jewish-mp-urges/

            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hungholo.html

            Dont forget about the article by joshen Rosen titled “the Israel Taboo. Read the full article at a friends but heres a link to it – http://thewalrus.ca/the-israel-taboo/

            http://www.timesofisrael.com/hungary-to-resume-reparations-payments-through-claims-conference/

            These are some of the recent articles I have read and base some of my statements on. Im sorry, but if your looking for me to spoon feed you, I would like to but cannot. A lot of what I am saying is hard to find on-line and I only found in the university library so to get you the exact documentation I would have to spend time which I will not do as I have very little of it. Not a big hidden mystery though. A lot of what your basing your arguments on are the same documents. Not sure about others but what I mean by “history is written by the victor” is not necessarily that its all lies and omissions but rather truths that are taken out of context and singularly highlighted and accentuated to the detriment of the rest of the facts.

          • MagyarViking

            I really do not understand what point you are trying to make

            3 links (timesofisrael) are about current happening and has no relevance to what we have been discussing – your attempt to make the Hungarian Jews responsible for their own genocide

            The 4th link is very good and describes much of the things that Krisztián Ungváry pointed out. For completeness I repeat that link:
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/hungholo.html

            It does not mention Judenrat or kapos or anything, so I do not understand why you use it as part of your argumentation of the guilt of the Judenrat…but it mentions what was new for me until Krisztián Ungváry’s article:
            “Dozens of survivors recalled after the war instances of the brutality of the gendarmes. An extreme example of this was that, in the days before the deportation, Jewish women were stripped and submitted to bodily search (per inspectionem vaginae) in search of hidden valuables by midwives and doctors, often in the presence of men who were not medical personnel”

            Also the reason for Horthy stopping the deprtation of Jews is given:
            “Regent Horthy had the deportations stopped on July 6, 1944 only, as a result of foreign pressure in particular by King Gustav of Sweden, President Roosevelt, and Pope Pius XII. His decision was also motivated by the success of Operation Overlord in Normandy and the successful summer offensive of the Red Army. Besides, he may have been afraid that if the Jews were to be deported from Budapest as well, the Allies would carpet-bomb Budapest. In spite of this, the collection camps in the country were all emptied by the German and Hungarian authorities by July 9, 1944.”

            So in the end of the day, the self-admitted anti-semite Horthy thought that keeping a few Jews around made for a good bomshelter…

          • 1Magyar

            http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/e/eichmann-adolf/transcripts/Sessions/Session-052-04.html

            The above is another attempt to walk you through it. Take what you will from it. The nizkor project is a great resource BTW def explore it if you haven’t already. Bottom line line is no one gas a definitive history book for you that has all the answers. You have to explore a lot of avenues and turn over rocks no matter how much it goes against your beliefs and for me anyway the more I read about it the less clear cut these events are. That’s not to take away from the tragedy.

            Good luck fighting extremism with extremism.
            Oh also Hanna Ardent is regularly cited and her book on the Eichmann trial is a worth a read from what I remember of it.

          • MagyarViking

            Yes, it is an intersting story “Witness Freudiger” tells, even if much is hearsay and not firsthand
            It does though not claim that the Judenrat in Budapest should be guilty of the killing of Jews, which is your argument I have argued against

          • 1Magyar

            First off what I actually said was:

            “What I have always stated is that it is not one sided as you would claim and that Jews along with Hungarians and other nationalities involved need to accept the roles they played in the persecution”

            Don’t interpret that to mean anything else.

            Second, I will give you this on a platter once again since you dont do your homework:

            http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/r/rose-martin/p2wc.html

            Make sure you press “next” on the bottom. Better yet go to the beginning of the link and read the whole thing. Great stuff about Hungary…also Romania (interesting how Romania gets away scot free….yes yes its the “hes was worse argument”, just saying)

            Third, in regards to your “interesting story” and “hearsay and not first hand” comment, you do realize the major body of any history book that deals with the holocaust is based on these and the Nuremburg trial testimonies right? What you are saying is exactly what the right wing extremists claim as their major point. Its all hearsay and BS. So which is it? Are the history books wrong and are based on hearsay or are they right and there is more to the story then is highlighted and touted in wikipedia and popular western media for example?

            Fourth, dont let Leto see what you have said, Im sure he’d have a field day with it. Also keep searching dont get fed the the easy stuff, always find the other side and make up your own mind.

          • MagyarViking

            “need to accept the roles they played in the persecution”
            I still fail to see why Jews in general should make any excuses for their role as victimes being killed off…
            Your argument is nothing else BUT claiming Jews should be to some extent responsible for the WWII genocide
            You even mentioned a 50/50% responsibility between the Jews and Hungarians…

          • 1Magyar

            LOL!!! WHAT??? I give you that and this is your response?? Wow. Just sticking to the old guns eh? Im going to assume your joking and you just need to take more time to go through and digest that and read up on the ssubject on a more in-depth basis. I’m going to give this to leto see what he does with it if he doesn’t have it already. Hopefully it’ll be more interesting then your response.

            In the mean time I will resort back to simple one liners, insults, and zingers as that seems to be the only legit discourse around here.

            I apologize for having wasted your time. Thank you for indulging me. May you find peace.

          • MagyarViking

            Where did I miss you revoked your claim that Hungarian Jews were 50% responsible for their own killing?

          • 1Magyar

            I understand the the English language may not be your first language but taking a quarter of a sentence out of context doesn’t count as discourse in any language. If your trying to be obtuse, congratulations, you succeeded. For the record I was commenting on Freudigers testimony and how he himself claimed that half of the Jews could have saved themselves had they not listened to their Jewish leaders. Not my opinion or conjecture just the a minor excerpt from the trial of Eichmann. You can believe what he says or not but the fact is he did say it.

            A question you may want to contemplate is why would he lie? Must be that old Hungarian conspiracy theory right?

          • MagyarViking

            If you now claim that it was not your aim to minimize the Jews as victims of the WWII genocide, but to point out one single perifer statement, stated by a person who had all the reason to defend his own doings in a better light, blaiming others for his shortcomings (“the Jews should not have listen on me”-typ of arguments), then I beleive you have so far failed to do that

            If that is now your current opinion, I am willing to accept that, as interesting as Budapest Judenrat member Freudiger’s statement

          • 1Magyar

            So to be clear freudinger was actually not defending himself when he was stating that the judenrat were part of the problem as he was one of them. He also had no rason to put Horthy in a good light by saying that he went against Eichmann’s orders.

            All snide comments aside you are the only one from your side to actually engage in a discussion which I respect. That said you must realize there is more out there then you initially thought. The freudinger testimony is a tiny bit of that. Whether you choose to take that into account on its own merits is up to you but that is not the only thing thats out there. I gave you some good resources as a starting point but you can’t expect me to do your truth finding for you at every step. You need to educate yourself more on the subject as do most people. I continue to myself. If you wish to continue to enquire re this topic with me I would be happy to join you but you have to catch up with the rest of the story. To show that you have made the same effort for me that I have for you, show me a legitimate documentation that backs up Freudinger or Horthy. It is out there. Then we may continue to explore this complex time in history together. Until then its just back to one liners, and inflammatory statements as they areless time consuming and much easier.

          • MagyarViking

            “He also had no rason to put Horthy in a good light by saying that he went against Eichmann’s orders”

            Of course Horthy went against Eichman’s order
            Horthy wanted to keep over 100.000 Jews as Human Shields for the defense of Budapest against Allied bombings

          • 1Magyar

            So what your telling me now is that you think Horthy tried to save the Jews??

          • MagyarViking

            The usage of Human Shields was not limited to Hungary in WWII, as can be seen here:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_shield#World_War_II

            Saving lives in this context is a bit streching it

          • 1Magyar

            Oh I’m aware of what human shields are. Not sure where in that Wikipedia example it gives Horthy as being someone that used that strategy but that’s OK. We can go with that.

            In order to have any meaningful discussion it is important that both parties have a clear and mutually agreed upon start point, so am I correct in my assumption that you believe the following statement to be true:

            Horthy as the head of the Hungarian government tried to save Jews during his reign as leader of the Hungarian government thereby defying Eichmann for the purpose of using said Jews as human shields against allied attacks.

            Please revise or correct the statement as you see fit to resemble a starting statement for our further discussions.

          • MagyarViking

            I think the story goes like this:
            “Just before the deportations began, two Slovakian Jewish prisoners, Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler, escaped from Auschwitz and passed details of what was happening inside the camps to officials in Slovakia. This document, known as the Vrba-Wetzler Report, was quickly translated into German and passed among Jewish groups and then to Allied officials. Details from the report were broadcast by the BBC on 15 June and printed in The New York Times on 20 June.World leaders, including Pope Pius XII (25 June), PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt on 26 June, and King Gustaf V of Sweden on 30 June, subsequently pleaded with Horthy to use his influence to stop the deportations. Roosevelt specifically threatened military retaliation if the transports were not ceased. On 2 July, Allied bombers executed the heaviest bombings inflicted on Hungary during the war. Hungarian radio accused Jews of guiding the bombers to their targets with radio transmissions and light signals, but on 7 July Horthy at last ordered the transports halted”
            ‘Horthy tried to save Jews defying Eichmann for the purpose of using said Jews as human shields against allied attacks’

            Horthy was never formally the Head of the Hungarian Government. He always had a Prime Minister for that

            With the preceeding quote lifted from Horthy’s english wiki-page, I think it gives a good description on what happened Spring/Summer 1944 in Budapest
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikl%C3%B3s_Horthy#Occupation

          • 1Magyar

            Wikipedia is a third party info source. The first source is from original documentation such as testimonies (eg: freudinger) second is the books and articles based directly on those original documents. Third are the excerpts taken from those books that are picked over and deemed valuable by many different people and entities and assembled in articles news papers or in this case Wikipedia.
            I do not slag you for your use of Wikipedia and I do not slander Wikipedia and its usefulness but it is a snapshot of some of the facts only, in an attempt to give one a full picture that is impossible to do in such a format. I would prefer to use first source info when possible to give our discussion unbiased validation among other reasons.
            On a side note if you read the whole Wikipedia entry you can find many differing things about Horthy such as his distaste for communism and his outright hatred for the far right arrow cross whose leader he imprisoned many times and whose follower was chocked by Horthy at an opera. So was Horthy a communist or Fascist or what? Anyway not the point right now.

            So aside from the fact that you seem to agree with that particular quote from wikipedia, and you did not amend my starting statement, what do you yourself beleive is a true statement about horthy during this period keeping in mind that your above quote verifies the fact that horthy did indeed stop the deportation of jews. Can we agree that horthy did indeed stop the deportation of jews from hungary for a start?

          • MagyarViking

            “Can we agree that horthy did indeed stop the deportation of jews from hungary for a start?””
            No, Horthy stopped the deportation of Jews from BUDAPEST, even after Horthy’s order Jews were continously being deported from outside Budapest, until no Jews were rounded up anymore, then there were no left

          • 1Magyar

            So you choose to omit clear facts as you see fit? The documentation about Horthy personally ordering the train from Kistarcsa has never been disputed by any historian. Neither has is unwillingness to follow German directives re the deportations before the invasion of German troops when he was still in power. Are you now disputing these facts and with what evidence?

            I have to be honest I don’t follow your line of thinking. First you say Hungary tried hard to deport all the Jews and were super aggressive and efficient at doing so. Then you agreed that Horthy tried to stop the deportations but only to use Jews as human shields. I must say that the documentation is clear about many Jews being killed by the allied bombing. Not an effective shield. So logically if one was hell bent on deporting the Jews but kept them around just as a shield and the shield failed, wouldn’t deporting them all immediately after their use as a shield failed make the most sense? That’s not what happened. Horthy ordered the kistarcsa train turned around after the bombing that killed many Hungarian Jews as well as other Hungarians.

            I posited a few simple starting statements I though both of us could agree on. Now I ask you to as mine were lacking. Can you or is it too complicated of a situation to sum up that simply?

          • 1Magyar

            Also please provide valid documentation supporting your contention that Horthy ordered only Jews in Budapest not be deported. That is unless we are just making it up as it suits our arguments.

          • 1Magyar

            Hey Viking just to put you at ease I’m not looking for an “AHA!” moment so I can berate you or something. Just looking for a mutually recognized starting statement based on simple facts as a basis for further clear discussion.

          • 1Magyar

            Before you pick on the less clear comment, what is less clear is not what happened but how it happened.

          • MagyarViking

            Or, I can just let Fidesz Rubberstamp, Whorbanistani President Áder say it:
            “Seventy years ago, following the German occupation of our country in 1944, the will of Hitler’s Nazi Germany seemed to be fulfilled by the Nazi governors and the Hungarian state authorities collaborating with them. Within barely half a year they mercilessly executed their program of creating ghettos and deported the entire Hungarian Jewry living in the countryside.

            We shall never forget that in that tragic year seventy years ago, an endless convoy of death trains left the Hungarian territories for Nazi concentration camps. We shall never forget either that several hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens herded into ghettos would have also suffered the same fate, had the war evolved according to the intents of Hitler’s Germany and its Arrow Cross puppets.

            The tragedy of Hungarian Jews is the pain and the irreplaceable loss of our entire political nation”

    • pantanifan

      “The best I ever read on this site”

      Just wait till you see Ádám Ferenczy’s response 🙂

      • wolfi

        What about leto and szebb***?

        • pantanifan

          I’m not sure about the exact figures, I guess it depends on definitions and interpretations, but I think Hungary has always had a strong nationalistic bent. There are some things I can appreciate and understand, like being the first country to revolt against Stalinism and also the fear of being “swallowed up” by larger nations (especially as their own nation has been made smaller, whether you regard this as justifiable or not*) or fear of losing the individuality of the Hungarian language/culture, etc.

          And Hungarians also have much to be proud of…

          The danger of course is that loving your own country can easily be substituted by disliking/hating others. And I guess that’s where it becomes a problem.

          *I’m not talking here about parts of the empire, which never really had a Hungarian majority, such as parts of Croatia, etc., but areas in which Hungarians would have been in the majority at one time, depending on where and when the borders were drawn

          • wolfi

            “being the first country to revolt against Stalinism”
            Even that isn’t true – East Berlin had its revolt on June 17 in 1953 – but that was on a smaller scale and easily crushed by the communists …
            That day btw was a National holiday in West Germany – until reunification when that became a “positive” holiday which sure is better than having a “negative” holiday …

            PS:

            It’s interesting that “the usual suspects” have been quiet here on this thread – they’re probably feverishly trying to find something negative to say about Ungvari, maybe a small factual error or the usual kindergarden logic will arrive soon:
            The other child did something worse some time – so why am I being punished?

    • 1Magyar

      Not sure how much you paid for it, I got it for free and it was barely worth that.

  • patent kaplocs

    Congratulations and thanks to Krisztian Ungvary for expressing with utmost clarity the outrageous distortions and lies put forward as “history” by the present Hungarian government. The proposed stautue is a disgrace for Hungary but especially it is a disgrace for those distorting history to justify its erection. Shame, shame, shame!

    • Hungarian

      You are a disgrace for Hungary.
      Your visa should be revoked at once, and deported back to north Africa on the first train through Syria.

    • thebetterview

      The Parkanyi-Raab work is beautiful. The great eagle is magnificently executed, and the conception and composition are both brilliant. Poor old Ungvary is cracking himself up as an art critic only to give background to the hitherto-unrestricted lying that has been posing as history since 1945. But the VERITAS group of history researchers is in place and working very productively. Ungvary knows that the era of lies has come to a close. He is cornered, rat-like and belligerent still. He will soon be a public laughing stock — more so than he is at present.

  • procastinator

    Probably the best article I have read on this site, thanks E

  • 1Magyar

    Here we go again. Another article about how terrible the Hungarians were/are. I’m not sure who in the government is arguing against Ungvarys points I’m not, in fact its been agreed on over and over again for years and years and years and years…….. we as a nation have been mae culpa-d to death. Taxpayers to this day pay millions in reperations to ww2 victims books are published to attest to the culpability, monuments are made etc etc….this is not because Hungary as a nation doesn’t recognize its faults so enough with the flogging already. I dont really see the artist vision but if a large enough contingent of the population wants to commemorate something that really did happened in the past then so be it. Why are the rest of the people so angry, you got a statue or a monument to something you wanted so ease up.

    My personal opinion is that between the financial cost of ww2 reperations to the allies, reperations to the victims the cost of communism not to mention the hundreds of millions spent in “reperations” to the Russians after they left all their “infrastructure” behind after 1990 its a wonder there is still money around for any monuments at all. If anything we should get one for the taxpayers who pay for any of these monuments or reperations.

    • John Smith

      Drewpblz, I enjoyed your presentation, thank you. I am not Jewish, neither I hope anti-Semitic. The problem of the Juderate is one of such profound and dark suspiciousness , because it points to what we all sense we would be capable of given the wrong circumstances.
      Just as the Old testament has been distanced as far as humanly possible from the 1940s Holocaust, so too the Judenrate issue to the Holocaust receives the same treatment as the Old Testament (which supplies minute descriptions and detail of the appalling results of the controversy G-D has with his apostate people) .
      Thanks largely to secularism , the above is buried way out of sight and has been replaced with an ever determined Humanism.

  • MagyarViking

    For those who missed the PutinPutaleto’s view on this article it is here:
    http://www.politics.hu/20140124/kim-lane-scheppele-on-the-april-election/#comment-1215440740

    “I know exactly what such disgusting anti-Hungarian scum would say without reading it…”

    So one of the most merited contemporary Hungarian scholars in Hungarian History is a “disgusting anti-Hungarian scum”…
    Yes,
    Fidesz-supporters like PutinPutaleto are really the gravediggers of the
    Hungarian Nation, just let them organise their pro-Putin “Peace
    Marches” as the small-minded Kadarists they are

  • Corrigator

    How about this – The Jews, the ATV with Klubradio and Ungváry will go to commemorate WW2 at the Soviet Liberation memorial, the rest of the country will visit the new one.

  • Hungarian

    You guys forgot to pay your last gas bill!

  • Not funny

    I am amazed how the Hungarian left wing is able to pick and choose its sensitivity of the day. This time a left-wing historian is shedding crocodile tears over the German Imperial Eagle used as a symbol of Nazism, whereas it is a “German national symbol”. I would be very curious to know whether he is willing to make the same fine distinction regarding the ancient red-white striped Hungarian flag, which has been a Hungarian national symbol since the Middle Ages (and is still part of the Hungarian coat of arms) and which is denounced by most left-wingers as a “fascist symbol”. I don’t care what your position is, but you ought to be consistent!

  • Gabi Nagy

    Thanks for the link and source indication. Let me highlight again, it is not my product. A friend of mine, who wishes to remain unknown, translated this article. I only shared it and made it available for anyone interested.

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