Hungarian Press Roundup: Responsibility of WW2 Allies in Hungary’s Nazi Occupation
Hungary Today 2019.03.21.
In the leading online news site, a historian accuses a colleague of trying to whitewash Hungarian leaders of responsibility for the Holocaust, by suggesting that the occupation in March 1944 was provoked by the Allied powers in clear disregard for the fate of Hungarian Jews. Another young historian calls for a more nuanced and less politicized interpretation of the 1944 events.
On Index, Ferenc Laczó, a historian at Maastricht University accuses László Borhi of trying to acquit the Hungarian authorities of their responsibility for the deportation and murder of at least 400 thousand Hungarian Jews. Laczó finds Borhi’s claim (see BudaPost March 20) that the Western allies provoked Hungary’s 1944 invasion by Nazi Germany a tendentious misinterpretation of facts. He acknowledges that the Allies put their military interests before helping Jews, but this, Laczó believes, is business as usual in times of war. He accuses Borhi of trying to reduce the role the Hungarian state played in the murder of Jews, by suggesting that the Allied powers share responsibility for the Hungarian Holocaust. While the deportation of Jews happened under the Nazi occupation, Hungarian authorities actively participated in the persecution of Jews, while the US and Great Britain had no such role, Laczó argues.
In Magyar Nemzet, László Bernát Veszprémy calls for thorough historiographic research to go beyond the highly politicized myths concerning Hungary’s 1944 occupation by Nazi Germany. The conservative historian writes that the Left likes to interpret Hungary’s invasion as if it was welcomed by the whole country, while the Right wants to blame all responsibility for the Holocaust on the German invaders. Veszprémy thinks that most Hungarians were passive bystanders rather than actively protesting or welcoming Hungary’s occupation. Hungary lost its sovereignty on March 19, 1944, he writes, and the majority of Hungarian Jews were taken away when Regent Horthy was still in office, and before the Arrow Cross movement took power.