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Magyar Állam
Hungarian State
Puppet state of Nazi Germany

1944–1945
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem
"Himnusz"
Capital Budapest
Language(s) Hungarian
Religion Roman Catholic
Government Single-party state,
Autocratic Fascist Dictatorship
Leader of the Hungarian Nation
 - 1944 - 1945 Ferenc Szálasi
Historical era World War II
 - Established October 16, 1944 1944
 - Surrender of Germany May 8, 1945 1945
Currency Pengő

The Hungarian State (Magyar Állam) was a short-lived client state of Nazi Germany. The state was formed on 16 October 1944 after Regent Miklós Horthy was removed from power during Operation Panzerfaust (Unternehmen Eisenfaust) [1]. This new state replaced the Kingdom of Hungary (Magyar Királyság) which had preceded it for almost a thousand years.

Contents

Hungary splits in two

Hungarian soldiers in Budapest, October 1944.
Arrow Cross members marching in Budapest, October 1944.

The Arrow Cross leader and Hungarian National Socialist Ferenc Szálasi became the de facto Prime Minister and the "Nationleader" or "Leader of the Nation"" (Nemzetvezető) of the new state. Szálasi was an ardent fascist, and his "Quisling" government had little other intention or ability but to maintain fascism and to maintain control in Nazi-occupied portions of Hungary as the Soviet Union invaded. He did this in order to reduce the threat to Germany.

On 21 December 1944, with the approval of the Soviet Union, Béla Miklós was elected as the Prime Minister of a "counter" Hungarian government in Soviet-controlled Debrecen. Miklós was a former commander of the Hungarian First Army. He had failed in his efforts to convince many of the men under his command to switch sides. The government that Miklós oversaw was an "interim government" and was replaced by the Second Hungarian Republic. The "Debrecen Government" of Miklós maintained control in the Soviet-occupied portions of Hungary.

History

Jews being rounded up in Budapest, October 1944.
Doctors and patients slaughtered by fascist Arrow Cross members at the Maros Street hospital in 1945.

Upon the dissolution of the Kingdom of Hungary and the total Nazi and Fascist takeover, Hungary faced impending occupation by the Soviet Union which resulted in German armed forces destroying Hungarian infrastructure as the Red Army closed in.

In cooperation with the Nazis, Szálasi restarted the deportations of Jews, particularly in Budapest. Thousands more Jews were killed by Arrow Cross members. Of the approximately 800,000 Jews residing within Hungary's expanded borders of 1941, only 200,000 (about 25%) survived the Holocaust.[1] Several thousand Roma people were also killed as part of the Porajmos. Anne McCormick, a foreign correspondent for the The New York Times wrote in defense of Hungary as the last refuge of Jews in Europe, declaring that “as long as they exercised any authority in their own house, the Hungarians tried to protect the Jews.”[2]

In December 1944, the Battle of Budapest began. Fascist forces loyal to Szálasi and the badly damaged remnants of the Hungarian First Army fought alongside German forces. They fought against the Red Army to no avail. By 13 February 1945, all of Budapest was under Soviet control.[2].

In March 1945, during Operation Spring Awakening (Unternehmen Frühlingserwachen), Fascist Hungarian forces of the Hungarian Third Army fought alongside German forces in the last major offensive in Hungary against the Soviet forces. For ten days the Axis forces made costly gains. However, within twenty-four hours, the Soviet counterattack was able to drive the Germans and Hungarians back to the positions they held before the offensive began.

Between 16 March and 25 March 1945, the remnants of Hungarian Third Army was overrun and virtually destroyed. By the end of March and into April, what remained of the Hungarian armed forces were put on the defensive during the Nagykanizsa–Kermend Offensive and were then forced into Slovakia and Austria as Soviet forces occupied all of Hungary. Nazi Germany itself was on the verge of collapse.

The Ferenc Szálasi regime, which had fled Hungary, was dissolved in 1945 after Germany's surrender. Szálasi was captured by American troops and returned to Hungary, where he was tried for crimes against the state, and executed.

See also

References

  1. ^ Victims of Holocaust - Holocaust Memorial Centre.
  2. ^ Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick, The New York Times of July 15, 1944. Original context: "It must count in the score of Hungary that until the Germans took control it was the last refuge in Central Europe for the Jews able to escape from Germany, Austria, Poland and Rumania. Now these hopeless people are exposed to the same ruthless policy of deportation and extermination that was carried out in Poland. But as long as they exercised any authority in their own house, the Hungarians tried to protect the Jews." See: http://historicaltextarchive.com/books.php?op=viewbook&bookid=7&cid=8

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