The personal data of around 420 000 Hungarian soliders who became prisoners of war during the Second World War have been unearthed by Hungarian researchers in Russia, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog announced to journalists yesterday following a meeting of the Gulag Memorial Committee in Budapest.
Mr. Balog, who is also chairman of the Memorial Committee, the organisation charged with organising the memorial year to political prisoners and and forced labourers deported to the Soviet Union, added that the committee is also financing the digitalisation of the recovered documents to enable easier access for researchers.
Speaking at the press conference: Zoltán Balog, Hungary’s Minister of Human Capacities (photo: kormany.hu)
Also speaking at the press conference, Tamás Vargha, parliamentary state secretary at the Ministry of Defence, explained that around 500 000 Hungarian soldiers were captured in the Soviet Union during World War II. While the personal information of the 48 000 of them who died as prisoners of war can be found in the archives of the Institute and Museum of Military history, documentation of the 420 000 who returned to Hungary has so far been imperfect.
The minister also revealed that 232 applications were submitted to the four tenders called by the committee last December. Of these, the organisation has granted support totalling HUF 116 million to 125 entries.
The funds will finance research activities and the publication of their findings, exhibitions, memorial plaques and uncovering the personal stories of political prisoners and forced laborers deported to the Soviet Union.