Szilárd Németh, state secretary at the defence ministry, on Friday attended a commemoration marking the anniversary of the Hungarian Army’s defeat in battles with Soviet forces at the River Don in 1943.
The historic defeat, commonly referred to as the Don Disaster, offers a lesson to the army’s current re-organisers, Németh said, insisting that
Hungarian soldiers must never be sacrificed to the interests of foreign powers”.
“A Hungarian soldier must serve national interests only,” Németh said, adding that “the government holds soldiers protecting the homeland in great esteem”.
Govt Official: Don Disaster ‘Black Day of Hungarian Army’
The Soviet Union’s Red Army launched an attack on the 2nd Hungarian Army at the Don Bend on January 12, 1943. According to various estimates, 50-75 percent of the 207,000 Hungarian soldiers never returned from the Don battles. The majority of some 40,000 people, mostly Jews, who had been enrolled in the army to do forced labour service, also perished.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Vasvári/MTI