On 1st of September 1939 the Second World War broke out in Europe as Nazi Germany launched a military invasion against Poland. Although formally Hungary could avoid to become a state at war until 1941 and the devastating Eastern front reached the country only in 1944, the causalities of the war by 1945 were beyond imagination.
For a country the size of Hungary, the losses were tremendous: approximately 300,000 Hungarian soldiers and more than 600,000 civilians died during World War II, including among them at least 450,000 Jews and 30,000 Roma. Many cities were damaged, most notably the capital of Budapest. From the start of the German occupation of Hungary in 1944, Jews and Roma were deported to concentration camps, where most of them were destroyed. Moreover, Hungary’s borders were returned to their pre-1938 status after its surrender. More than 3 million Hungarians found themselves in foreign countries again, this time in a seriously revengeful atmosphere.
As the war ended in spring 1945, the Red Army occupied Hungary, which was forced to become a Communist puppet dictatorship for more than four decades. Besides the the Soviet troop’s notorious looting and aggression against civilians in 1944-1945, it is estimated that up to 200,000 Hungarians were captured and deported as forced labor to the Soviet Union. Commemorating all the Hungarian victims and heroes of the Second World War, Hungary Today has created this picture gallery via archive photo portal fortepan.hu.
via multkor.hu, rubicon.hu and wikipedia photos: fortepan.hu