Transcript: Istvan Deak on Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna | Mar 05, 2005

Istvan appears on screen on stage in a conference. Next to him, a wall screen shows the picture of a map.

Istvan says MY PURPOSE
TODAY IS TO DISCUSS A BRIEF
MOMENT IN THE LONGIV O
THREE GREAT CENTRAL EUROPEAN
CITIES, BUCHAREST, BUDAPEST AND
VIENNA.
THAT BRIEF MOMENT STRETCHE
FROM AUGUST 31st 1944 WHEN THE
RED ARMY MARCHED INTO BUCHAREST
TO APRIL 13, 1945 WHEN THE LAST--
AND S.S. UNITS FLED FROM VIENNA.

He’s in his fifties. He has short grey hair and is clean-shaven. He wears glasses, a brown velvet suit, white off shirt and pale yellow patterned tie.

Istvan continues
DURING THE STRUGGLE FOR
LIBERATION OR THE SOVIET
OCCUPATION OF THE THREE CITIES
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS DIED AND
AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PROPERTY
WAS DESTROYED HOWEVER THE
DEVASTATION VISITED ON THE
THREE CAPITALS WAS VERY UNEVEN.
WHY THE LOSSES AND DAMAGES WERE
SO UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED WILL BE
ONE OF THE MAIN SUBJECTS OF MY
TALK.

A caption reads "István Deák. Columbia University." Next, it changes to "Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna: Three Capitals on the Itinerary of the Soviet Red Army, 1944-1945. Munk Centre for International Studies. November 10, 2004."

Istvan says AT THIS POINT I
WOULD LIKE YOU TO NOTE THAT I
WILL BE USING THE TERMS
LIBERATION AND OCCUPATION
HAPHAZARDLY.
WHAT WAS LIBERATION FOR SOME
WAS PERCEIVED AS ONEROUS
OCCUPATION BY OTHERS.
OFFICIALLY OF COURSE IN THE
POSTWAR PERIOD THE TERM TO BE
USED WAS LIBERATION IN ALL
THREE COUNTRIES. HOWEVER IN
PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS IT WAS
EASY TO RECOGNIZE A PERSON'S
POLITICS BY THE TERMS HE OR SHE
EMPLOYED TO DESCRIBE THE
ARRIVAL OF THE RED ARMY.
THESE DIFFERENCES UNFORTUNATELY
EMPHASIZE THE GREAT GULF
SEPARATING LEFT WINGERS AND
JEWISH SURVIVORS IN ONE CAMP,
RIGHTIST CONSERVATISTS,
CHRISTIANS IN THE OTHER CAMP.
NOW WHAT ELSE BESIDES THE
UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF
DESTRUCTION I WOULD LIKE TO
EMPHASIZE IN MY TALK.
TWO OTHER THINGS FIRST, THAT
THE FIGHTING ARMIES GERMAN AND
SOVIET SHOWED BOTH DECENCY AND
HEROISM AS WELL UTTER
DEPRIVATION AND A LACK OF
DISCIPLINE IN THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
SIMILARLY, THAT WHILE THE ARMY
HIGH COMMAND DEMONSTRATED
OCCASIONAL GREAT SKILL ON BOTH
SIDES, IN HINDSIGHT IT IS ALSO
CLEAR THAT THE LEADING GENERALS
COMMITTED VERY GREAT MISTAKES.
AT NO TIME WILL I BE DISCUSSING
STRATEGY OF WHICH I KNOW NEXT
TO NOTHING.
THE SECOND OR THE THIRD POINT I
WOULD LIKE TO EMPHASIZE IS I
WILL TALK ABOUT AN
EXTRAORDINARY PHENOMENON,
NAMELY, THAT NUMERICALLY MORE
JEWS SURVIVED THE WAR IN
BUCHAREST AND BUDAPEST, THE
CAPITALS OF TWO COUNTRIES
ALLIED TO GERMANY WITH LEADERS
KNOWN FOR THEIR PASSIONATE
ANTI-SEMITISM THAN IN ANY OTHER
CITY IN NAZI DOMINATED EUROPE.
ON THE OTHER HAND, FEWER JEWS
SURVIVED IN VIENNA, THE SO-
CALLED FIRST VICTIM OF NAZI
GERMANY AGGRESSION THAN EVEN IN
BERLIN, THE CAPITAL OF THE
THIRD REICH.
LET ME NOW OUTLINE BRIEFLY HOW
THE RED ARMY GOT TO BUCHAREST
IN AUGUST 1944 AND HOW THE
LIBERATION OF THE CITY CAPITALS
TOOK PLACE.
ROMANIA AS MANY OF YOU, MOST OF
YOU KNOW ENTERED THE WAR
AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION
PRACTICALLY AT THE SAME MOMENT
AS THE GERMAN ARMY, THAT IS ON
JUNE 22nd, 1941.
THE MAIN REASON BEING THE
SOVIET SEIZURE OF BESSARABIA
AND NORTHERN BUCHARINA IN 1940
AT THE TIME THE SOVIETS WERE
ALLIES OF NAZI GERMANY AND WHEN
HITLER ALLOWED THE HUNGARIANS
TO RE-ANNEX NORTHERN
TRANSYLVANIA.
IN GENERAL THE COMPETITION
AMONG HUNGARIANS, SLOVAKS,
CROATS AND ROMANIANS FOR THE
FAVOUR OF NAZI GERMANY WAS THE
MAIN REASON FOR THIS COUNTRY
GOING TO WAR AGAINST THE SOVIET
UNION IN 1941.
HUNGARY AND ROMANIA WERE
ESPECIALLY BITTER ENEMIES EVEN
THOUGH THEORETICALLY THEY
FOUGHT SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AS
THE SAYING WENT AGAINST BOLSHEVISM.
THERE ARE MANY ANECDOTES AND IF
WE HAVE TIME THEN MAYBE I WOULD
TELL YOU ANECDOTES ABOUT
HUNGARY WERE BOTH ENEMIES AND
ALLIES AT THE SAME TIME.
UNDER THE A FIELD
MARSHAL JAN ANTONESCU, ROMANIA
CONTRIBUTED MORE THAN HALF A
MILLION SOLDIERS TO THE FRONT
FAR SURPASSING THE HUNGARIAN,
FINNISH, ITALIAN, SPANISH,
FRENCH, SCANDINAVIAN AND OTHER
CONTRIBUTIONS.
THE ROMANIAN SOLDIERS WERE
POORLY EQUIPPED BUT NOT AS
POORLY AS THE HUNGARIANS WHO
HAD NO OPPORTUNITY TO RE-ARM
DURING THE YEARS.
THE ROMANIANS FOUGHT FAIRLY
WELL IN THE EASTERN CAMPAIGN
AND JUST AS ALL OTHER ARMIES IN
THE EAST THEY COMMITTED
HORRIBLE ATROCITIES ESPECIALLY
AT ODESSA WHERE THEY MASSACRED
30,000 JEWS.
RECKONING CAME IN THE WINTER OF
1942-43 UNDER THE
VOLGA AND THE CAUCUSES.
TWO ROMANIAN DIVISIONS WERE
ENCIRCLED AND WIPED OUT AT
STALINGRAD.
OTHER TWO ROMANIAN ARMIES WERE
ENCIRCLED AND WIPED OUT AT
STALINGRAD.
OTHER ROMANIAN FORCES WERE
DRIVEN BACK IN UTTER DEFEAT
FROM THE DON AND FROM FURTHER
SOUTH.
THE SOLDIERS SUFFERED TERRIBLY
IN OFTEN MINUS 40 DEGREES
CELSIUS TEMPERATURE.
THE LETTERS HOME CONTRIBUTED
SIGNIFICANTLY TO A CHANGE IN
ROMANIAN PUBLIC OPINION
REGARDING THE WAR.
KNOW THAT ROMANIA JUST LIKE
HUNGARY AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES
WITH ARMIES AT THEIR FRONT WAS
ABLE TO MAINTAIN A CONSIDERABLE
DEGREE OF INDEPENDENCE DURING
THE WAR.
THESE COUNTRIES WERE ALLIES AND
NOT THE SATELLITES OF NAZI
GERMANY.
I THINK IT'S A GREAT MISTAKE TO
CALL THEM SATELLITES AS BRITISH
AND AMERICAN PROPAGANDA CALLED
THEM.
THERE WERE UNFORTUNATELY AND
SADLY TO SAY THEY WERE QUITE
INDEPENDENT IN THEIR DECISIONS.
IT WAS THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT
THAT DECIDED TO JOIN THE
CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE SOVIET
UNION.
IT WAS THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT
IN 1943 DECIDED TO WITHDRAW ITS
DEFEATED ARMIES FROM THE FRONT.
IT WAS MARSHAL ANTONESCU IN THE
SPRING OF 1944 RECOMMITTED 23
ROMANIAN DIVISIONS, ONE HALF OF
GENERAL TO THE FIGHT
AGAINST THE RED ARMY.
FINALLY, IT WAS THE KING OF
ROMANIA WHO IN THE SUMMER OF
1944 TURNED ROMANIA AGAINST
NAZI GERMANY.
EARLY IN AUGUST 1944 THE
SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH
UKRAINIAN ARMY GROUPS CALLED
FRONTS, IT'S A DIFFICULT, IT'S
A LITTLE BIT CONFUSING WHEN
THEY TALK ABOUT SORT OF SOVIET
FRONTS WE TALK ABOUT ARMY
GROUPS NOT A GEOGRAPHIC ENTITY.
FRONTS NEARLY A MILLION SOVIET
SOLDIERS AND 1400 TANKS WERE
POISED ON THE BORDERS OF OLD
ROMANIA THAT IS ON THE BORDER
OF THE--
ON AUGUST 20th THIS IMMENSE
FORCE BROKE THROUGH THE GERMAN-
ROMANIAN LINES.
THREE DAYS LATER THE ROMANIAN
ARMY TURNED SIDES AND JOINED
THE SOVIET UNION IN THE FIGHT
AGAINST GERMANY. HOW THIS
INCREDIBLE DEVELOPMENT TOOK
PLACE IS ONE OF THE LESS WELL
KNOWN STORIES OF WORLD WAR 2.
WE CANNOT GO INTO DETAILS HERE.

SUFFICE TO SAY
THAT BY THE SUMMER OF 1944 THE
ENTIRE ROMANIAN LEADERSHIP
INCLUDING MARSHAL ANTONESCU HAD
BEEN PLANNING TO SUCCEED FROM
THE WAR.
THE QUESTION WAS ONLY UNDER
WHAT CONDITIONS THAT WOULD
HAPPEN AND WHETHER ROMANIA
SHOULD SURRENDER TO THE SOVIET
UNION OR ONLY TO THE WESTERN
ALLIES BECAUSE ANTONESCU WAS
WILLING TO SURRENDER TO THE
SOVIETS, JAN KING
TOOK MATTERS IN HIS OWN HANDS.
BY AUGUST THE KING AND HIS
CONSERVATIVE ARISTOCRATIC
ADVISORS HAD BEEN
SYSTEMATICALLY PURGING THE ARMY
OF HIS PRO-GERMAN GENERALS.
THOSE NOW IN COMMAND OF THE
ROMANIAN FORCES WERE ALL
UNCONDITIONALLY LOYAL TO THE
KING.
IN A MOST BLATANT INTELLIGENCE
FAILURE, THE GERMAN
(Unclear) POTENTIALLY BUCHAREST
KNEW NOTHING OF ALL THIS RATHER
HE KEPT REASSURING HITLER THAT
ROMANIA WAS SOLID AS A ROCK ON
THE NAZI SIDE.
ON AUGUST 23, LATE IN THE
EVENING THE KING ANNOUNCED ON
THE RADIO THAT HE HAD ACCEPTED
AN ARMISTICE, THAT HE HAD
DISSOLVED HIS ALLIANCE WITH
GERMANY.
HE WAS AN 18 YEAR OLD BOY AND
THAT HE ORDERED ALL OF HIS
TROOPS TO STOP FIGHTING.
BY THEN ANTONESCU HAD BEEN
LOCKED UP SAFELY IN THE KING'S
SAFE.
SOON HE WOULD BE HANDED OVER TO
THE ROMANIAN COMMUNISTS.
OTHER PRO-GERMAN GOVERNMENT
MINISTERS WERE ALSO ARRESTED.
A NEW PRIME MINISTER, GENERAL
CONSTANTINE (Unclear) WAS
APPOINTED AND THE ROYAL
COALITION WITH THE UNDERGROUND
COMMUNIST WAS CREATED.
NOTE HERE THAT THE COMMUNIST
PARTY IN ROMANIA WAS A VERY
SMALL GROUP MAYBE 1,000 PEOPLE
BUT SOMEHOW THEY WERE ABLE TO
MOBILIZE MASSES OF PEOPLE IN
THE STREETS OF BUCHAREST ON
AUGUST 23rd.
THE NEXT DAY GERMAN AIRPLANES
BOMBED THE CAPITAL CAUSING
MINOR DAMAGE AND ENABLING THE
KING TO DECLARE WAR ON HIS
FORMER ALLIES.
EVERYWHERE TROOPS LOYALLY
OBEYED THE KING'S ORDERS.
(Unclear) THE AMBASSADOR
COMMITTED SUICIDE.
THE GERMAN COMMANDER OF THE
CITY WAS CAPTURED BY THE
ROMANIANS TOGETHER WITH THE
(Unclear) BY AUGUST 29 ROMANIAN
AND SOVIET FORCES HAD KILLED
150,000 GERMANS THEY HAD
CAPTURED AND ANOTHER 100,000.
ON AUGUST 31st, THE RED ARMY
MARCHED INTO FREE BUCHAREST
AMIDST GENERAL JUBILATION.
OF ALL EUROPEAN CAPITALS
BUCHAREST ALONE HAD LIBERATED
ITSELF ENTIRELY BY ITS OWN
EFFORTS.
I THINK THIS IS REALLY
EXTRAORDINARY.
AND ALL AWAITED THE VICTORS
WILL FLAGS FLYING AND THE
MASSIVE ARMY AT THE DISPOSAL OF
THE NEW GOVERNMENT.
HOW DO THEY EXPLAIN THIS?
FIRST, ROMANIA COULD THANK ITS
EXISTENCE TO FRANCE AND NOT TO
GERMANY.
SECOND, THE OFFICER CORP HAD
BEEN TRAINED BY THE FRENCH.
THIRD, THE OFFICERS WERE
FURIOUS AT THE GERMANS FOR
HANDING OVER NORTHERN
TRANSYLVANIA TO THE HUNGARIANS
AND FOR ALLOWING THE SOVIETS TO
SEIZE BESSARABIA AND THE FOURTH
REASON WAS THE OFFICER'S
MONARCHY LOYALTY.
WHEN WE SEEK AN EXPLANATION WHY
ROMANIA SUCCEEDED TO TURN SIDES
IN 1944 AND HUNGARY DID NOT
SUCCEED THEN WE SHOULD CONSIDER
THAT IN HUNGARY THE CONDITIONS
WERE EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.
THE COUNTRY OWED ITS
INDEPENDENCE TO BISMARCK AND
NOT TO NAPOLEON THE THIRD.
ITS SOLDIERS HAD FOUGHT ON THE
GERMAN SIDE IN WORLD WAR 1 AND
NOT ON THE BRITISH FRENCH SIDE
AND THE REGENT ADMIRAL VICTOR
(Unclear) DESPITE ALL HIS GLORY
AND PRESTIGE, WAS NO KING BUT
BASICALLY A USER (Unclear)
THE IMPORTANCE OF ROMANIA
CHANGING SIDES IS DIFFICULT TO
OVERESTIMATE.
THE GERMAN FRONT COLLAPSED IN
THE REGION.
GERMANY WAS THE VITAL OIL FIELD.
BULGARIA HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO
SUCCEED FROM THE WAR AND THE
GERMAN ARMIES IN THE BALKANS
WERE PUT IN GREAT DANGER.
THE ROMANIAN (Unclear) COST THE
GERMANS MORE IN SOLDIERS AND
MATERIAL THAN STALINGRAD HAD.
BEFORE THE WAR, BUCHAREST HAD
ABOUT 800,000 INHABITANTS OF
WHOM WELL OVER 100,000, 14 PERCENT OF
THE TOTAL WERE JEWS.
NOW I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE
JEWS OF BUCHAREST.
THE RULING ELITE WAS
TRADITIONALLY ANTI-SEMITIC AND
SO WAS THE PEASANTRY WHICH FELT
RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY THAT THEY
WERE BEING EXPLOITED BY JEWISH
TENANT FARMERS, MONEYLENDERS
AND INNKEEPERS.
THIS LED TO GOVERNMENT
ORGANIZED PROGRAMS BUT WHEN
THERE WERE NO PROGRAMS AND NONE
TOOK PLACE AFTER 1941 JEWS
LIVED IN BUCHAREST IN RELATIVE
PROSPERITY AND SAFETY.
IT WAS LESS EASY FOR THEM TO
FORGET THAT IN SUCH OTHER
ROMANIAN PROVINCES AS
BESSARABIA, TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF JEWS HAVE BEEN BURNED ALIVE
OR TORTURED TO DEATH BY THE
SAME SOLDIERS AND
WHEN BUCHAREST PREVENTED A
FASCIST FROM ENGAGING
IN FURTHER ATROCITIES.
THERE ARE ALL THESE PARADOXES
IN EASTERN EUROPE THAT I NEVER
CEASE TO EMPHASIZE AND MARVEL
AT.
BUCHAREST SURVIVED THE WAR AND
THEIR CITIES WERE RELATIVELY
UNSCATHED.
THERE WERE TROUBLES
EVEN THOUGH ROMANIANS AND
SOVIETS NOW FOUGHT SIDE BY
SIDE, THE SOVIET LEADERSHIP
DELAYED THE SIGNING OF THE
ARMISTICE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 12th.
MEANWHILE, THE RED ARMY
CAPTURED 120,000 ROMANIAN
SOLDIERS.
TO COMPOUND THE MISERY THE
GERMAN ARMY ALSO CAPTURED TENS
OF THOUSANDS OF ROMANIANS.
UH, I WAS IN TRANSYLVANIA IN
THE SUMMER OF 1944 AS PART OF A
LABOUR COMPANY, A FORCED LABOUR
COMPANY AND WE WITNESSED THE
WITHDRAW, THE RETREAT OF THE
GERMAN ARMY AND TWO THINGS I
WANT TO MENTION ABOUT.
ONE WAS REALLY
AN UNBELIEVABLE SIGHT OF A
DEFEATED ARMY.
UNTIL THEN WE HAD ONLY SEEN
GERMANS IN BEST UNIFORMS, IN
BEST FORM, ARROGANT.
LOOKED VERY
CIVILIZED AND CLEAN AND
TRIUMPHANT AND ALL WE SAW THEM
SPILLING OUT OF THE TRAINS, WE
WERE BUILDING A RAILROAD LINE,
SPILLING OUT OF THE TRAINS,
RUNNING INTO THE FIELDS TRYING
TO FIND SOMETHING TO EAT MOSTLY
SUNFLOWER SEEDS. ALSO AIRMEN, NAVY
MEN, INFANTRYMEN, STARVING UH,
WOUNDED, THAT'S WHEN ONE HAD
UNDERSTOOD THAT THE GERMANS HAD
LOST THE WAR BUT WHAT WAS A
VERY PARADOXICAL INTERESTING
ABOUT IT WAS MEANWHILE THEY
WERE DRIVING ROMANIAN PRISONERS
WITH THEMSELVES SO SOME OF THE
ROMANIAN PRISONERS, THOUSANDS
OF THEM MARCHED BACK WITH THE
GERMANS, THOUSANDS OF OTHER
ROMANIAN PRISONERS WERE
MARCHING TOWARDS SIBERIA UNDER
SOVIET CONTROL AND THOUSANDS OF
ROMANIAN SOLDIERS WERE FIGHTING
ON THE SIDE OF THE SOVIET
UNION.
ROMANIA CONTRIBUTED 28
DIVISIONS, 540,000 MEN TO THE
WAR AGAINST GERMANY AND
HUNGARY.
THIS HAD BEEN THE SECOND
LARGEST ARMY ON THE GERMAN
SIDE.
NOW IT WAS THE FOURTH LARGEST
ON THE ALLIED SIDE MUCH LARGER
THAN FOR INSTANCE THE FREE
FRENCH ARMY.
IN THE ANTI-FASCIST WAR,
ROMANIA SUFFERED 170,000
CASUALTIES.
A BIG NUMBER STILL IT WAS
SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN THE
CASUALTIES THE COUNTRY HAD
SUFFERED IN THE ANTI-BOLSHEVIK
WAR.
ALL THIS IN ORDER TO RECOVER
NORTHERN TRANSYLVANIA BECAUSE
BESSARABIA OF COURSE THE
RUSSIANS DIDN'T RETURN TO THEM.
NOW I'M TURNING TO THE NEXT
ITEM WHICH IS THE MARCH TO
BUDAPEST AND THEN THE SIEGE OF
BUDAPEST.
AFTER AUGUST 23rd RAPID ADVANCE
OF THE SOVIET, ROMANIAN,
RUSSIAN ARMY
WITHDRAWAL OF THE GERMANS.
I WAS PART OF THIS RAPID
WITHDRAWAL.
WE WERE TRAVELLING ON TOP OF A
TRAIN AND UH, IT WAS A GREAT
ADVENTURE AT THE AGE OF 18 BUT
I GUESS TODAY I WOULDN'T ENJOY
IT AS MUCH THAN AT THAT TIME
AND MOSTLY WE WERE MOVING
TOWARD BUDAPEST THAT IS HOME.
LET US STOP HERE AND ASK
WHETHER IT IS CORRECT TO TALK
ABOUT THE GERMAN-RUSSIA WAR AS
PEOPLE ALWAYS REFER TO.
THEY HAVE SEEN THAT THERE WERE
ALSO HUNGARIANS AND ROMANIANS,
NOT ONLY GERMANS.
THE RUSSIAN ARMY OR THE SOVIET
ARMY ITS COMMANDERS YES, THEY
WERE MAINLY RUSSIANS AND
UKRAINIANS IN YOUR LIST YOU
HAVE MARSHAL TORBUCHIN
AND ONE OF THEM IS
UKRAINIAN BUT AMONG THE RANKIN
FILE THERE WERE HUNDREDS OF
NATIONALITIES FROM (Unclear)
FINNS TO NORTHERN SIBERIAN.
THE EAST EUROPEANS WERE
CONVINCED THAT MORE SOVIET
SOLDIERS ARRIVING IN CENTRAL
EUROPE WILL MONGOLS.
THAT'S ALWAYS REFERRED
AS THE MONGOLS.
SO THEY'RE RECREATING THE
CHIMERA OF THE TARTAR INVASIONS
AND THE YELLOW THREAT BY THE
KAISER'S YELLOW THREAT.
THIS OF COURSE WAS NOT TRUE.
MONGOLS WERE A VERY SMALL
MINORITY AMONG THE ASIATICS WHO
THEMSELVES FORMED THE MINORITY
IN THE RED ARMY.
IN REALITY THE RED ARMY WAS A
COMPLETE AMALGAM WHICH
TOLERATED NO NATIONAL UNITS
ALTHOUGH UNRELIABLE MUSLIM
NATIONALITIES WERE OVER
REPRESENTED IN THE CONSTRUCTION
OF THE ITALIANS BUT WHAT WE
HAVE IS HUNDREDS OF
NATIONALITIES AMONG THEM CAUSED
A VERY LARGE CONTINGENT OF
RUSSIANS.
THE DISCIPLINE AMONG THE
RUSSIANS AS EVERYBODY KNOWS WAS
A HUGE PROBLEM.
THE REASONS FOR THAT WERE UTTER
EXHAUSTION.
IMAGINE THAT THESE SOLDIERS,
SOME OF THESE SOLDIERS HAD BEEN
MARCHING FOR THOUSANDS OF
KILOMETRES.
LACK OF SUPPLIES, THE ARMY
LIVED ON THE LAND.
THEY WERE RECEIVING ONLY FLOUR,
OIL, A FEW OTHER THINGS FROM
THE ARMY HEADQUARTERS, FROM THE
SUPPLY UNITS.
THE REST THEY HAD TO FIND ON
THE LAND WHICH MEANT
REQUISITIONING AND
REQUISITIONING AMOUNTS TO
HIGHWAY ROBBERY.
SO IT CORRUPTS THE MORALE OF
SOLDIERS.
FURTHERMORE, THESE SOLDIERS
WERE WITHOUT ANY NEWS FROM
HOME.
MANY DID NOT KNOW WHETHER THEIR
FAMILIES EXISTED AT ALL.
THE ARMY HIGH COMMAND DID NOT
STOP SQUASH LOOTING OR RAPE.
STALIN PERSONALLY IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS WITH SUCH
STATEMENTS AS "BOYS WILL BE
BOYS" WE'LL HAVE TO FORGIVE
THEM.
THERE'S A FINAL REASON IN SOME
UNITS, UP TO ONE HALF
OF THE SOLDIERS WERE
INHABITANTS OF FORMERLY GERMAN
OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, RUSSIAN
TERRITORIES.
MANY HAD FOUGHT IN THE
NATIONALIST GUERRILLA MOVEMENT
OFTEN AGAINST THE RED ARMY.
COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS THE
WESTERNERS OR VERY OFTEN AS
IT WAS A UKRAINE AND
NATIONALIST FIGHTING AGAINST
THE COMMUNISTS AND AGAINST THE
NAZIS UH, THEY WERE DISLIKED IN
THE ARMY AND THEY THEMSELVES
CERTAINLY HAD NOT BEEN TRAINED
TO BE UH, LIKE THE OTHER SOVIET
SOLDIERS WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO
BE AND WERE NOT EITHER.
THIS EXPLAINS INCIDENTALLY,
MIGHT EXPLAIN THE OCCASIONAL
OUTBURST OF ANTI-SEMITISM AMONG
SOVIET TROOPS.
NOR WAS THE GERMAN ARMY PURELY
GERMAN.
IN FACT, MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
WAS THAT THERE WERE HARDLY ANY
GERMANS IN THE GERMAN ARMY BUT
BY FAR, IT INCLUDED
EVERY CONCEIVABLE NATIONALITY
FOR INSTANCE, IN BUDAPEST THERE
WERE MANY SCANDINAVIAN
VOLUNTEERS.
THERE WERE FRENCHMEN, THERE
WERE BELGIANS AND MANY OTHERS.
UH, THERE WERE ONE MILLION
SOVIET CITIZENS SERVING THE
GERMANS DURING WORLD WAR 2 AS
MEMBERS OF THE ARMY UKRAINIANS,
MEMBERS OF THE BALTIC
COUNTRIES.
CAUCASIANS, CRIMEAN
TARTARS, COSSACKS, WE SAW --
WHEN WE FINALLY SAW THE
RUSSIANS COMING THEY SEEM TO BE
ALL SITTING AS SMALL HORSES AND
EVERYBODY REFERRED TO THEM AS
COSSACKS WHETHER THEY WERE REAL
COSSACKS I DON'T KNOW.
UH, MANY GERMANS INCIDENTALLY,
OFTEN THE MAJORITY UH, WERE
IMPRESSED INTO THE S.S.
SOME OF THESE GERMANS INDIA
SAYS AND THAT AGAIN IS
PERSONALLY EXPERIENCE SPOKE NOT
A WORD OF GERMAN BUT THEY WERE
OFFERED INTO THE S.S.
OR THEY SPOKE
INCOMPREHENSIBLE OLD DIALECTS
SAXON FOR INSTANCE THAT OTHER
GERMANS DID NOT UNDERSTAND SO
THESE TWO ARMIES WERE TOWERS OF
BABBLE.
OF COURSE THE RAPID ADVANCE OF
THE SOVIET AND ROMANIAN TROOPS
WHICH STOPPED FOR A WHILE AT
THE BATTLE WHICH
IS EAST OF BUDAPEST WHICH WAS
ONE OF THE BIGGEST TANK BATTLES
OF WORLD WAR 2.
THE RUSSIANS WON IT OF COURSE
AND UH, ON OCTOBER 22nd, THAT
IS TWO MONTHS AFTER THE
SURRENDER OF THE ROMANIANS AND
THE CHANGE OF SIDES STALIN
ORDERED MARSHAL MALINOVSKY TO
TAKE BUDAPEST IN FIVE DAYS
WHICH WAS STILL 100 MILES AWAY.
THIS IS WHAT EXPLAINS
INCIDENTALLY THE STALIN ORDER,
THE FOLLOWING EVENTS AND RATHER
TRAGIC FOLLOWING EVENTS.
THIS WAS A POLITICAL DECISION
ON THE PART OF STALIN.
IT WAS CONSIDERED TERRIBLY
IMPORTANT ON HIS PART THAT THE
CITY BE TAKEN AND THEREFORE HE
FORCED THE SECOND FRONT ABOUT A
HALF A MILLION SOLDIERS TO
ATTACK DIRECTLY TO BUDAPEST UM,
I CAN PRODUCE THIS MAP.
SO THEY ARE ATTACKING FROM
ABOUT THE EDGE OF THIS MAP TO
WHERE BUDAPEST DIRECTLY AND UH,
THEY WERE TURN BACK.
MEANWHILE HOWEVER THE THIR
FRONT, THAT IS THE SEVERAL
HUNDRED THOUSAND SOLDIERS OF
MARSHAL MALINOVSKY ATTACKING
THE SOUTH AND ACROSS THE DANUBE
FROM THE SOUTH.

Istvan moves to the map to point out some of the geographic references.

He continues
WHATEVER HUGE LOSSES NOW
MALINOWSKI FOR INSTANCE IN
ORDER TO KEEP UP WITH THE
TROOPS, IN ORDER NOT TO LOSE
FACE AND NOT TO LOSE THE TRUST
OF STALIN ALSO FORCED THE
CROSSING IMMEDIATELY SOUTH OF
BUDAPEST WHICH CAUSED HIM HUGE
LOSSES.
THIS IS VERY TYPICAL OF THE
SOVIET ARMY.
IT WAS ALWAYS ALSO THE CASE
NEAR BERLIN WHEN THE
ARMIES WERE COMPETING EACH
OTHER AND WHO WILL TAKE BERLIN
AND THE RESULT WAS UH, UH,
CONSIDERABLE LOSSES BUT WE MUST
ADMIT THAT THE MISTAKES OF THE
GERMAN COMMANDERS WERE FAR MORE
DEVASTATING.
THEY ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE
CAUGHT IN THE HUNGARIAN
CAPITAL.
THEY OBEYED HITLER UNDER ANY
CONDITIONS AND HITLER OF COURSE
HAS ALWAYS SAID NOTHING, NOT
EVEN A BLOCK SHOULD
BE GIVEN UP.
THEY OBEYED HITLER WHEN HE
ORDERED HUGE ARMED FORCES FROM
THE WEST, FROM THE (Unclear)
OFFENSIVE, AND FROM THE NORTH
FROM THE WARSAW AREA TO HUNGARY
THERE WERE BY FEBRUARY, BY
JANUARY 1945 HALF THE TANKS OF
THE GERMAN ARMY IN THE EAST
WERE IN HUNGARY.
WHICH IS REALLY A SECONDARY
FRONT AND THEREFORE THE AREA
AROUND WARSAW WAS DELUDED.
THE SOVIET ARMY WHICH HAD BEEN
SITTING THERE SINCE AUGUST
WAITING FOR WARSAW TO BE
CRUSHED.
THE WARSAW UPRISING TO BE
CRUSHED BY THE GERMANS ATTACKED
IN JANUARY AND FOUND ALMOST NO
POSITION BECAUSE THE GERMAN --
THE BEST GERMAN FORCES, THE
FORCE FOR INSTANCE
WERE ALREADY IN HUNGARY AT THAT
TIME AND THEN LATER THERE WERE
EVEN MORE FORMING THE FAMOUS
SIXTH PANZER ARMY IN HUNGARY
WHICH COUNTERED ATTACK AGAIN
AND AGAIN IN AN ATTEMPT TO
RETAKE BUDAPEST.
BY LATE NOVEMBER THE SOVIETS
WERE IN THE SOUTH-EASTERN
OUTSKIRTS OF BUDAPEST.
THE GUNFIRE WAS EASY TO HEAR.
STILL LIFE CONTINUED.
THIS IS ONE OF THE GREAT
ANOMALIES OF I GUESS ANY PLACE
UNDER SIEGE.
THEATRES WERE OPEN, SHOPS WERE
OPEN, MOVIE HOUSES WERE OPEN,
NIGHTCLUBS WERE OPEN.
THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL OF
LUXURY.
THERE WAS ADEQUATE FOOD SUPPLY
UNTIL ABOUT MID OR LATE UH,
DECEMBER, OF COURSE (Unclear)
RICH PEOPLE EVEN JEWS WHO WERE
SUCCESSFUL IN HIDING HAD GOOD
PAPERS AND HAD SOME MONEY LIVED
A GOOD LIFE.
IF ANY OF YOU HAS BY ANY CHANCE
LED -- READ THE MEMOIRS OF
GEORGE FATHER, HE DESCRIBES IN
ESPERANTO HE, WROTE IT BY THE
WAY IN THE 1960s AND WAS
TRANSLATED AND LATER RELEASED
AND RECENTLY PUBLISHED IN
ENGLISH.
IT WAS A JEWISH FAMILY AND YET
HAD SUBSCRIPTION TO
THE HUNGARIAN NATIONAL OPERA
AND THE HUNGARIAN NATIONAL
THEATRE AS LATE AS DECEMBER
1944 AND THEY LIVED IN HOTELS
AND WENT TO THE SWIMMING POOL
EVERYDAY.
SO THERE WERE AGAIN THIS --
TODAY INCONCEIVABLE SITUATIONS
WHICH AT THAT TIME PEOPLE DID
NOT CONSIDER SO UH, SO
INCONCEIVABLE.
MEANWHILE ALSO THERE WERE
DEPORTATIONS OF JEWS WHO WERE
NOT ABLE TO HIDE AND THEY WERE
MARCHED TO WESTERN HUNGARY AND
AUSTRIA WHERE MANY PERISHED BUT
THE MAJORITY REMAINED IN
BUDAPEST OR RETURNED TO
BUDAPEST OR WAS RETURNED TO
BUDAPEST AND THE DANUBE
WAS TURNED INTO A
SHOOTING GALLERY
WHERE THEY WERE
SHOOTING JEWS WHEN THEY WERE
TAKING OFF IN THE SO-CALLED
PROTECTED HOUSES.
THE HUNGARIAN -- LET ME SAY A
FEW WORDS ABOUT HUNGARY.
EXTRAORDINARY SITUATION.
HERE'S A COUNTRY THAT IS
BASICALLY, PHILOSOPHICALLY,
POLITICALLY,
COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY.
WHICH IS HARD TO GOVERN NOT A
SINGLE MINDED FORCE BUT AN
UNEASY COALITION OF
CONSERVATIVES AND FASCISTS.
THE CONSERVATIVES WERE ANTI-
NAZI AND PRO-BRITISH.
THE FASCISTS WERE PRO-GERMAN.
VAGUELY SOCIALISTIC IN STATUS.
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR THEY HAD
WAS ANTI-BOLSHEVISM AND ANTI-
SEMITISM BUT THE CONSERVATIVES
WERE AGHAST AT THE SIGHTS OF
THE EMPTY JEWISH BRUTALITIES OF
THE FAR RIGHT.
THERE WAS ALSO A RIGHT WING BUT
VERY SMALL AND THIS FORMED THIS
RIGHT WING -- LEFT WING THAT
VERY FEW MEMBERS OF THE
RESISTANCE WERE RECRUITED.
UNTIL 1944 HUNGARY HAD A
PARLIAMENT IN WHICH THEY
(Unclear) EVEN MEMBERS OF THE
SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY THEN IN
MARCH 1944 UH, THE GERMANS
ENTERED HUNGARY TO PREVENT
HUNGARY FROM SUCCEEDING FROM
THE WAR AND TO SOLVE THE JEWISH
QUESTION.
THERE WERE 825,000 PEOPLE IN
HUNGARY WHO ACCORDING TO THE
LAW WERE JEWS.
UH, ON MARCH 18, THAT IS ONE
DAY BEFORE THE GERMANY
INVASION, I AS A YOUNG BOY WAS
INVITED TO A SUMPTUOUS BIRTHDAY
PARTY AT THE WEALTHY JEWISH
FAMILY.
AMONG THE GUESTS WERE ARMY
OFFICERS AND UH, STATE
FUNCTIONARIES.
YOU COMPARED THAT SITUATION TO
THAT OF POLAND WHERE ALMOST
EVERY JEW HAD ALREADY BEEN
GASSED COMPARATIVE TO SLOVAKIA,
NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY OR AUSTRIA
WHERE MOST JEWS HAD BEEN
ALREADY TAKEN AWAY TO THE GAS
CHAMBERS. HUNGARY WAS
REALLY AN ISLAND FROM THIS
POINT OF VIEW ALMOST AN
INCOMPREHENSIBLE ISLAND BECAUSE
MEANWHILE THE GOVERNMENT IS
ANTI-SEMITIC, INTRODUCING ANTI-
SEMITIC LAWS BUT DOES NOT
SURRENDER THE JEWS TO THE
GERMANS. NOW EVERYTHING
CHANGES ON MARCH 19th COMES THE
GERMAN INVASION AND
SUBSEQUENTLY AND THE HUNGARIAN
CIVIL SERVICE DEPORTS ALMOST
HALF A MILLION JEWS.
EVERY HUNGARIAN AUTHORITY,
EVERY HUNGARIAN CIVIL SERVANT
COOPERATED IN THEIR DEPORTATION
OF THE JEWS DOWN TO MIDWIVES
WHO WERE ALSO ASKED TO GO TO
THE RAILROAD STATIONS AND
SEARCH WOMEN FOR HIDDEN JEWELS.
THIS IS AGAIN THE
INCOMPREHENSIBLE BEHAVIOUR OF
THE HUNGARIAN LEADERSHIP WHICH
UNTIL 1944 PROTECTS THE JEWS
AND AFTER MARCH 1944, IT'S THE
SAME ENTHUSIASM ONE WOULD SAY
PARTICIPATES OR ORGANIZES THE
DEPORTATION BUT NOT ALL WERE
DEPORTED.
MEN IN LABOUR SERVICE WERE NOT
DEPORTED.
THE ARMY WANTED THEM, NEEDED
THEM SO VERY AWKWARDLY THE
ARDENT ARMY WHICH HAD BEEN MUCH
MORE ANTI-SEMITIC THAN THE
CIVIL LEADERSHIP BEFORE 1944
NOW BECOMES THE SAVIOUR OF THE
JEWISH MEN BETWEEN 18 AND 48
AND THE JEWS OF BUDAPEST WERE
NOT DEPORTED EITHER BECAUSE
WOULD NOT ALLOW IT.

The screen shows two black and white pictures with Hitler and Nazi soldiers.

Istvan continues
UH, HE PUT HIS FEET DOWN WHEN
HE CAME TO THE DEPORTATION OF
THE BUDAPEST JEWS.
HERE I WOULD LIKE TO...
UH, THIS IS A PICTURE OF
HE IS VISITING HITLER
IN ONE OF HIS PERIOD -- THIS IS
IN 1943.
I THINK THIS IS 1943 VISIT WHEN
HE RESISTED HITLER'S DEMAND
THAT THE JEWS BE DEPORTED.
A YEAR LATER HE APPOINTS A
GOVERNMENT THAT PROCEEDS TO DO
THE DEPORTATION.
THE MAN BELOW IS THE HEAD OF
THE ARROW CROSS.
HE WILL BECOME HIS (Unclear) ON
OCTOBER 15 1944 WHEN (Unclear)
IS DEPOSED BY THE S.S. AND THIS
MAN IS UH, PUT IN
POWER BY A NOMINAL POINT
POWER, HE IS GREETED HERE BY
TWO GERMAN PARACHUTISTS.
UH, I HAVE SOME OTHER PICTURES
VERY QUICKLY ABOUT THE UM, WELL
KNOWN PICTURE ABOUT THE WOMAN
WEARING THE YELLOW STAR.
THIS IS THE DEPORTATION.
THE YELLOW STAR WAS INTRODUCED
IN APRIL 1944 MUCH LATER THAN
SOME OTHER COUNTRIES, MUCH
LATER THAN IN BULGARIA WHICH
WAS IN 1939.

A new picture appears on the screen. It’s a woman with his head covered by a black scarf who dresses a dark coat with a star pink on the right lapel.

Istvan explains
SHE'S IN THE DEPORTATION TRAIN.
YOU SEE THE BOXCARS INTO THERE
BETWEEN 80 AND 100 PEOPLE WERE
CRAMMED AND OF COURSE SINCE SHE
WAS OLD THERE IS NOT THE
SLIGHTEST DOUBT THAT EVEN IF
SHE SURVIVED AS FAR AS
AUSCHWITZ, SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN
GASSED WITHIN AN HOUR UH, AT
THE ORDERS MOSTLY OF DOCTOR
MANGALIN WHO WAS THE CHIEF
PERSON TO RECEIVE THE
DEPORTEES.
I HAVE ONE MORE PICTURE.

A new picture shows a group of men workers dressed in military uniforms walking in line.

Istvan says
THIS IS A TYPICAL SCENE OF THE
HUNGARIAN FORCED LABOURERS.
THE HUNGARIAN ARMY GAVE THEM AT
LEAST A UNIFORM CAP.
THEY'RE WEARING THE CAP OF THE
HUNGARIAN SOLDIERS BUT THEY ARE
IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES AND INSTEAD
OF WEAPONS THEY HAVE SHOVELS
BUT UH, FAIRLY WELL DRESSED.
THEY HAVE BOOTS AND UH, YOU CAN
SEE THEIR ARM BANDS, IT'S
DIFFICULT TO TELL THE COLOUR.
JEWS OF JEWISH RELIGION HAD THE
YELLOW ARM BAND.
JEWS OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION AND
THERE'S ABOUT ONE OUT OF EIGHT
JEWS IN HUNGARY WERE BAPTIZED
HAVE A WHITE ARMBAND AND JEWS
OF VERY HIGH DECORATION FROM
WORLD WAR 1 HAVE A RED, WHITE
AND GREEN ARM BAND SO THAT THEY
COULD'VE BEEN MISTAKEN FOR A
RUSSIAN FOR INSTANCE BECAUSE
THE RUSSIANS WERE NOT USUALLY
DRAFTED IN THE HUNGARIAN ARMY
BUT WERE DOING LABOUR SERVICE
AND THAT OF COURSE MADE THEIR
LIFE A LITTLE BIT EASIER.
UM, NOW WE ARE COMING TO THE
SIEGE OF BUDAPEST WHERE I MAKE
THE USUAL MANOEUVRES.

A blueprint pops up next on screen. It shows the territory’s division with a darker path highlighted right in the center.

Istvan says THIS IS A MAP ABOUT THE
ACTIVITIES.
WHAT COMES HERE AND YOU HAVE TO
KEEP THIS IN MIND LATER THERE
IS A GHETTO AS YOU SEE, THE
FAMOUS GREAT GHETTO WAS SET-UP
IN NOVEMBER 1944, THE ONLY
WORKING GHETTO IN EUROPE AT
THAT TIME HAD SET-UP AT THAT
TIME UH, BY THE ARROW CROSS
GOVERNMENT ACTUALLY AND TO THE
NORTH OF IT, THE NORTHWEST ON
THE DANUBE ARE THE HOUSES THAT
ARE PROTECTED BY FOREIGN
EMBASSIES OR FOREIGN LEGATIONS,
THE SWISS, THE VATICAN, THE
SWEDISH, THE SPANISH LEGATIONS.
ACTUALLY, THOSE JEWS, AND THOSE
WERE USUALLY THE BETTER OF THE
WEALTHIER JEWS WERE FAR WORSE
OFF THAN THE JEWS IN THE GHETTO
BECAUSE THE GHETTO WAS
PROTECTED BY POLICEMEN WHEREAS
THOSE JEWS WERE UNDER THE
PROTECTION OF OTHERS BUT DIDN'T
EVEN WANT A PISTOL AND
THEREFORE OR MAYBE HE HAD A
PISTOL AND SO THE RESULT WAS
WHEN THE ARROW CROSS WANTED TO
KILL JEWS AS FROM TIME TO TIME
THEY FELT LIKE IT, THEY WENT
INTO THE BUILDINGS ON THE
NORTHWEST AND UH, WITHOUT UH,
DIDN'T HAVE TO WALK FAR TO THE
DANUBE SHORE AND SHOT HUNDREDS
OF PEOPLE, ACTUALLY, PROBABLY
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE INTO THE
DANUBE BUT WE ARE NOT YET THERE
YET AND WE ARE STILL TALKING
ABOUT 1944 WHEN UH, 14, OCTOBER
15 TRIES SURRENDER FOLLOWING
THE GERMAN EXAMPLE BUT
EVERYTHING WENT WRONG.
THE GERMANS WHO WERE ALERTED TO
THIS HAD LEARNED THEIR LESSON
IN BUCHAREST.
THEY WOULD NOT GIVE UP HUNGARY
FOR THEN THEY WOULD HAVE TO
DEFEND VIENNA.
THEY PREPARED THEIR OWN COUP
D'ETAT AND THE OFFICER CORP
DISOBEYED THE SUPREME COMMANDER.
THE ARMY REMAINED ON
THE GERMAN SIDE ALTHOUGH MOST
OF THE UNITS WERE WORTHLESS AND
BECAME LESS AND LESS WORTHY.
LOYAL OFFICERS WERE PURGED,
MANY WERE TAKEN TO
CAMP BY THE GERMANS BUT THE END
RESULT IS THAT HUNGARY WAS AND
REMAINED THE LAST ALLY OF THE
GERMANS.
NOW THE FASCISTS THAT WERE PUT
IN POWER UNDER (Unclear) TERROR
REGIME AND TOTAL MOBILIZATION A
LAST MINUTE ATTEMPT TO RID
HUNGARY OF THE REMAINING JEWS
BUT THEY DID NOT SUCCEED.
SO WHEN THE SIEGE
CAME THERE WERE ABOUT 70,000
JEWS IN THE MAIN GHETTO.
25,000 LIVED IN
HOUSES MORE OR SUCCESSFULLY
PROTECTED BY THE CONSULATES OF
NEUTRAL COUNTRIES AND MAYBE
25,000 WERE HIDING WITH
CHRISTIAN FAMILIES.
ALTOGETHER MAYBE 100,000
120,000 SURVIVED -- JUST ABOUT
120,000 SURVIVED IN BUCHAREST
WHICH I THINK IN BOTH CASES NOT
UNIQUE.
SO NOW HERE WE HAVE THIS VERY
ATTRACTIVE CITY ACROSS THE
DANUBE AND THE CENTRE WAS
BOMBED BY THE AMERICANS IN THE
SUMMER BUT EXCEPT FOR SOME
INDUSTRIAL AREAS AND RAILROAD
STATIONS IT WAS STILL
ESSENTIALLY INTACT.
UM, HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE CAUGHT
IN THE SIEGE OF BUDAPEST?
WELL, IN 1941 THERE WERE ONE
MILLION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE
THOUSAND HUNGARIANS -- PEOPLE
IN BUDAPEST.
THOUSANDS HAD FLED TO THE WEST
AND THOUSANDS OF MEN WERE ON
MILITARY DUTY OR WERE DOING
LABOUR SERVICE UH, BUT THE CITY
WAS ALSO SWELLED BY REFUGEES
FROM THE EAST ESPECIALLY FROM
TRANSYLVANIA WHICH ACTUALLY
JUST A SAD NOTE WAS THE
SALVATION OF THE JEWS BECAUSE
IN HIDING COULD ALWAYS CLAIM
THAT THEY WERE ALWAYS
TRANSYLVANIAN REFUGEES AND
FRIENDS OF THEM GAVE THEM
PAPERS.
DURING THE SIEGE LASTING FOR
TWO MONTHS LESS THAN A MILLION
PERSONS IN THE HUNGARIAN
CAPITAL WERE HIDING IN THE
CELLARS.
IN ADDITION TO THIS 800,000,
900,000 MAYBE A MILLION PEOPLE,
NOBODY KNOWS EXACTLY WHO WERE
LIVING IN THE CELLARS FOR TWO
MONTHS, THERE WAS ABOUT 70,000
HUNGARIAN AND GERMAN SOLDIERS
NOW UH, VERY TYPICALLY FOR THE
WAR AND THE SOVIET PROPAGANDA
THEY ALWAYS TALKED ABOUT
300,000 GERMANS AND HUNGARIANS
CAUGHT IN BUDAPEST BUT NOW IT
HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THERE WAS
NOT MORE THAN 70,000 ABOUT HALF
GERMAN, HALF HUNGARIAN.
MOST OF HUNGARIANS WERE
WORTHLESS EXCEPT FOR THE
UNIT SO MOST OF THE
FIGHTING WAS DONE ON THE AXIS
SIDE BUT ABOUT 35,000 GERMANS
AND A FEW THOUSAND HUNGARIAN
VOLUNTEERS.
WHAT KIND OF UNITS THESE
GERMANS WERE LIKE AT THE
BEGINNING I SAID MANY OF THEM
WERE NOT GERMANS.
THE 22nd CAVALRY DIVISION FOR INSTANCE A
MARY TERESA THEY WERE
FROM SERBIA, NORTHERN UH,
SOUTHERN HUNGARY, THERE WAS THE
EAST DIVISION WAS ALSO
HUNGARIAN. THERE WERE SOME
HUNGARIAN DIVISIONS WHICH WERE
PART OF THE S.S. THE BRATISLAVA
DIVISION.
THEY WERE SCANDINAVIANS THERE
WERE SOME OTHER NATIONALITIES
IN HUNGARY.
MANY OF THEM WERE YOUNG BOYS I
MET UH, THE LAST DAYS BEFORE
THE SOVIET, RUSSIAN TROOPS
ARRIVED I NEXT -- I WAS IN THE
NEXT BUILDING WERE SOLDIERS OF
THE DIVISION.
THIS WAS THEORETICALLY A S.S.
DIVISION BUT IN REALITY THEY
WERE VERY MUCH SOLDIERS AND
THEY WERE DRAFTED.
THEY WERE MOSTLY 16 AND 17 YEAR
OLD BOYS FROM WESTERN GERMANY.
SOME OF THEM TOLD ME THAT THEY
HAD LOST THEIR PARENTS IN THE
BOMBING OF COLOGNE.
ON DECEMBER 24 THE CITY WAS
SUDDENLY SURROUNDED
INTERRUPTING WHAT I WOULD CALL
A CHRISTMAS ATMOSPHERE.
PEOPLE WERE STILL SHOPPING ON
THAT DAY.
NOT TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THAT
THE CITY IS SURROUNDED AND HERE
MAYBE I CAN SHOW YOU THIS MAP,
THE ARMY OF (Unclear) ARRIVED
TO THE WESTERN PART OF
BUDAPEST.
THERE IS ALSO ALREADY RIGHT IN
DECEMBER THEY WERE IN THE WEST
OF BUDAPEST.

A new map appears on screen. This time, a blue water line crosses the territory cutting it in half.

Istvan says
THIS AS YOU SEE SHOWS THE EMPIRES OF
BUDAPEST.
THE DIFFERENT LINES SHOWING HOW
THE GERMANS AND THE HUNGARIAN
TROOPS MOVED BACK AND THE
SMALLER AND SMALLER AREAS BUT
THE CITY, PEOPLE IN BUDAPEST
BEHAVED AS IF NOTHING HAD
HAPPENED AND THEN SUDDENLY FROM
ONE DAY TO ANOTHER ON DECEMBER
24th THE RUSSIAN TROOPS ARRIVE
IN BUDA, THAT IS THE WESTERN
HALF OF THE CENTRE HALF MORE OR
LESS OF WHAT YOU SEE THERE.
THAT'S HOW THEY
GOT AND THERE THEY STOPPED AND
DIDN'T MOVE ANY FURTHER UNTIL
FEBRUARY 13th.
PEOPLE WERE CAUGHT ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE FRONT
WOULD MAKE TELEPHONE CALLS AND
CROSS THE LINES AND
WOULD PICK UP THE TELEPHONE AND
PEOPLE SAID IVAN IS HERE.
THAT'S RUSSIANS ARE HERE, THE
RUSSIANS ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE
AND THEN GRADUALLY EVERYTHING
COLLAPSED.
THERE WAS NO MORE FOOD, NO MORE
ELECTRICITY, NO MORE GAS, NO
WATER BUT BECAUSE BUDAPEST WAS
IN MANY WAYS STILL AN OLD-
FASHIONED PLACE THERE WAS
OCCASIONALLY WEALTH, ONE
DISCOVERED WEALTH IN THE
CELLARS.
WOOD AND COAL WAS KEPT IN THE
CELLARS.
TWO OR THREE BAKERIES WERE KEPT
OPEN AND IF YOU HAD FLOUR THEY
WOULD BAKE SOMETHING -- WOULD
BAKE BREAD FOR YOU AND BUT THE
MAIN SOURCE OF FOOD WAS
SLAUGHTERED HORSES.
THE GERMAN ARMY AND THE
HUNGARIAN ARMY STILL TRAVELLED
EITHER ON FOOT OR ON PULLED BY
HORSES AND THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF MISERABLE HORSES
WERE CAUGHT IN THE STREET, WERE
SLAUGHTERED BY THE POPULATION
AND WE ALL ATE HORSE MEAT
DIRECTLY FROM THE STREET.
UM, HITLER AS I SAID FORBID UH,
BREAKOUT AND SO ONE HAD TO
FIGHT, THE RUSSIANS HAD TO
FIGHT AND THE ROMANIANS STEP BY
STEP.
I FOR INSTANCE WAS IN SORT OF
DING IN NORTHEAST BUDAPEST.
I WAS LIBERATED ON JANUARY
14th.
MY PARENTS WERE A LITTLE BIT
FURTHER INSIDE ON JANUARY 16
AND BUDAPEST WAS COMPLETELY
FREED ON JANUARY 18 SO IT TOOK
ONLY A FEW DAYS.
I IMMEDIATELY WENT, TRIED TO
FIND MY PARENTS.
IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT BECAUSE
THE ARTILLERY WAS STILL
SHOOTING DOWN THE STREET WHERE
I WAS LOOKING FOR THEM.
UM...
THE RUSSIAN BEHAVIOUR THERE WAS
CERTAINLY NOT AS BAD AS IN THE
COUNTRYSIDE.
STILL THERE WERE QUITE A FEW
ACTS OF VIOLENCE.
JANUARY 18 THEY OCCUPIED THE
DANUBE SHORE AND THE
GERMANS BLEW UP ALL THE
BRIDGES, THE MAGNIFICENT
BRIDGES OF BUDAPEST, ALL SIX
BRIDGES WERE BLOWN UP.
THE SIEGE IN BUDA WENT ON -- IT
WENT UNTIL FEBRUARY 13th SO
AGAIN WE HAVE AN INCREDIBLE
SITUATION THAT WHILE
THE FIGHTING IS GOING ON ROOM
TO ROOM ON THE BUDA SIDE AND
THE OTHER SIDE, PEST IS ALREADY
BEGINNING TO LIVE.
MOVIE THEATRE WAS OPEN.
I WENT TO THE MOVIE
HOUSE WHERE THEY WERE
SHOWING THE FIRST SOVIET FILM,
"THE BATTLE OF OREL."
IN WHICH ONE SAW NOTHING BUT
TANKS SHOOTING, FIRING AT THE
NAZIS AND I CAME OUT AND I
SAW RUSSIAN
PLANES FIRING AT THE NAZIS BUT
NOT AT OREL,
BUT ON CASTLE HILL.
UH, ALSO, ALSO SOME DRAMATIC
EVENTS TOOK PLACE.
THE PEOPLE'S COURTS BEGAN TO
OPERATE AND AN OCTAGON WHICH IS
A VERY IMPORTANT PLACE IN PEST
TWO HUNGARIAN WAR CRIMINALS
WERE HANGED IN PUBLIC UH, AND
EVERYBODY COULD SEE THEM AND I
WENT THERE TO SEE THEM ALSO.
COMMUNIST PARTISANS
MATERIALIZED FROM NOWHERE AND
WE LEARNED THAT THERE WAS A
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN UH,
IN EASTERN
HUNGARY GOVERNMENT WHICH
INCLUDED THREE GENERALS OF THE
ARMY SO IT LOOKED AS
IF IT WOULD BE A GREAT
COALITION AND DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENTS.
ON FEBRUARY 13 OR FEBRUARY 11
ACTUALLY, THE GERMANS BEGAN TO
BREAK OUT, WELL, I DON'T HAVE
THE MAP ANYMORE TOWARDS THE
WEST AGAIN WHICH WAS A HORRIBLE
MASSACRE WHICH I DIDN'T SEE
BECAUSE I WAS IN PEST BUT WHEN
I WENT OVER ONE STILL COULD SEE
GERMAN AND HUNGARIAN CORPSES.
THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS WERE
KILLED.
THEY NEVER SURRENDERED.
THEY ATTEMPT TO BREAK OUT AND
OUT OF ALL THE WHOLE GARRISON
MAYBE 30,000 PEOPLE, SOLDIERS
WERE LEFT, 700 I THINK MADE IT
TO THE GERMAN LINES WHICH WERE
ABOUT 20 MILES AWAY.
THE OTHERS WERE KILLED ON THE
WAY.
THE GHETTO WAS OPEN.
THE YELLOW STARS WERE THROWN
AWAY WHEN THE RUSSIANS ARRIVED
BUT ONE HAD TO LEARN THAT IT
WAS NO ADVANTAGE TO BEING A
JEW.
NO HINDRANCE ALSO, NO, NO
PROBLEM EITHER.
UM, WHAT MADE LIFE SO DIFFICULT
AS MANY OF YOU MUST KNOW UNDER
THE SOVIET WAS THAT THEY WERE
LYING TO THEIR SUPERIORS ALWAYS
ABOUT THE NUMBER OF ENEMIES SO
THEY ALSO HAVE TO LIE ABOUT THE
NUMBER OF PRISONERS.
SINCE THEIR REPORT
THAT 300,000 PRISONERS AND THEY
HAD ONLY ABOUT 30 OR 40,000
THEY HAD TO TAKE CIVILIANS FROM
THE STREET AND THEREFORE LIFE
BECAME EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS FOR
BOTH JEWS AND NON-JEWS,
CIVILIANS BECAUSE OF THE
POSSIBILITY THAT THE SOVIETS
WOULD TAKE YOU, THE RUSSIANS.
THEY MIGHT TAKE YOU FOR AN
HOUR'S WORK, AS THEY CALLED IT OR
THEY MIGHT TAKE YOU FOREVER AND
YOU WILL NEVER COME BACK FROM
SIBERIA.
IT WAS VERY HARD TO KNOW.
NOBODY EVER SAID ANYTHING IN
FACT, NOBODY KNEW ANYTHING BUT
WE ALSO LEARNED THAT THE SOVIET
SOLDIERS NEVER KNEW THEMSELVES.
WHERE THEY WOULD BE GOING,
WHERE THEIR FAMILIES ARE, WHY
THEY WERE HERE, WERE
THERE IN THEIR PAST.
IT WAS A SOCIETY THAT WAS VERY
DIFFICULT TO START IN.
THE CITY WAS TERRIBLY DAMAGED.
NOT AS MUCH AS STALINGRAD BUT
STILL VERY SERIOUSLY AND YOU
HAVE SOME STATISTICS WHICH I
HANDED OUT.
NEVERTHELESS THE REVIVAL WAS
VERY RAPID BECAUSE IT TURNED
OUT THAT THE COUNTRYSIDE HAD A
LOT OF FOOD WHICH IMMEDIATELY
POURED INTO BUDAPEST SO WITHIN
A FEW DAYS ONE COULD ALREADY
FIND FOOD.
YOU HAD TO HAVE GOLD UH, GOLD
POWDER, GOLD DOLLARS, WHATEVER
YOU HAD, IF YOU HAD IT IF YOU
DIDN'T THEN YOU HAD TO FEND FOR
YOURSELF SOME OTHER WAY.
PEOPLE FOUND WAYS AND UH,
WITHIN A FEW WEEKS THE BAKERIES
WERE WORKING, THE STREETCARS
BEGAN TO OPERATE WITHIN A MONTH
OR TWO AND LIFE BEGAN AGAIN.
UM, THE REASON FOR THE SUCCESS
BY THE WAY, ASIDE FROM THE
VITALITY OF THE POPULATION IS
THAT THE COMMUNISTS WHO WERE
REALLY IN POWER ALTHOUGH THERE
WAS A COALITION GOVERNMENT THEY
VERY WISELY CONCLUDED A SORT OF
TEMPORARY ALLIANCE WITH
CAPITALIST ENTREPRENEURS FOR
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE
COUNTRY ONCE IT WAS
RECONSTRUCTED OF COURSE THEY
CONFISCATED EVERYTHING
NATIONALIST.
UM, NOW THE ROAD TO VIENNA UH,
THIS IS A SLOW TRAVEL BECAUSE
OF THE CONSTANT SOVIET
COUNTERATTACKS.
I'M SORRY, FOR THE CONSTANT
GERMAN COUNTERATTACKS.
UM, AND UH, HERE I UH, THE
THEY TOOK CERTAIN
PARTS OF HUNGARY CAUSING
INCREDIBLE SUFFERING FOR
INSTANCE WHICH WAS TAKEN AND
RETAKEN BY THE GERMANS AND
SOVIETS SEVERAL TIMES.
THE GERMANY WAS TO RECOVER THE
WESTERN HUNGARIAN OILFIELDS OR
TO KEEP THEM ALSO TO RE-CONQUER
BUDAPEST AFTER INITIAL
SUCCESSES HOWEVER THERE WAS A
COMPLETE DEBACLE, EVEN THE BEST
DIVISIONS BECAME UNRELIABLE.
MOST OF THE HUNGARIANS
SURRENDERED BUT NOT ALL.
HALF A MILLION HUNGARIANS AMONG
THEM SEVERAL HUNDRED THOUSAND
SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS FLED
HUNGARY TO GERMANY AND MANY OF
THEM NEVER RETURNED.
NOW ABOUT AUSTRIA WE HAVE TO
MAKE IT VERY SHORT AND HOW
DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY THE AUSTRIAN
POPULATION WAS TO SEE THE
GERMANS SURVIVE NEVERTHELESS ON
NOVEMBER 1st 1943 THE GREAT
ALLIES PROCLAIMED AUSTRIA THE
FIRST VICTIM OF HITLER'S
AGGRESSIVE POLICIES AND
PROMISED TO RECONSTITUTE IT AS
AN INDEPENDENT STATE.
SO THEORETICALLY THE RED ARMY
ENTERED AUSTRIA AS
INTO AN ENEMY COUNTRY BUT AS A
COUNTRY THAT HAD BEEN
VICTIMIZED BY THE GERMANS.
IT DID NOT NECESSARILY HELP THE
POPULATION BECAUSE THE SOLDIERS
DID NOT TREAT THE AUSTRIANS AS
FRIENDS.
AND THEY COMMITTED JUST AS MANY
ATROCITIES THERE AND RAPED AS
IN HUNGARY. BUT OVERALL
AUSTRIA WAS AGAIN VERY
SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE ITS FUTURE
WAS CLEAR.
IT WOULD NOT BE OCCUPIED
COMPLETELY BY THE SOVIETS AND
IT WOULD NOT BE TREATED AS AN
ENEMY COUNTRY.
MARCH 1945 WHEN
THE RUSSIANS ENTER AUSTRIA IS
CHOCK FULL OF AUSTRIAN AND
GERMAN TROOPS ALSO A
CITIZENS MILITIA AND
INNUMERABLE OTHERS.
THERE WERE HUNGARIAN JEWISH
DEPORTEES WHO HAD BEEN TAKEN
THERE.
700,000 FOREIGNERS WHO WERE
WORKING IN AUSTRIA PLUS AT
LEAST A HALF A MILLION
HUNGARIAN, CROATIAN REFUGEES.
SO IT WAS A MOSAIC OF PEOPLE
LIKE ALL OTHER PARTS OF EUROPE.
UM, THE GERMANS WERE DETERMINED
TO SLOW DOWN THE SOVIET ADVANCE
EVEN THERE AND THEY WERE
DETERMINED TO DEFEND VIENNA SO
NOT ONLY THAT THEY DID NOT
SPARE BUDAPEST WHICH THEY
PROCLAIMED THEIR FORTRESS BUT
THEY DID NOT SPARE THEIR OWN
CITIES EITHER.
UM, IT HAD CLOSE TO TWO MILLION
INHABITANTS AT THE BEGINNING OF
THE WAR.
IN 1945 THIS COUNTS HUNDREDS OF
THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS SERVING
AT THE FRONT OF THE S.S.
UH, THIS COUNT OF THE REFUGEES
FROM THE WEST, THE POWs AND
OTHERS BUT ADD THE OTHER
REFUGEES AND FOREIGN WORKERS SO
AGAIN THERE ARE TWO MILLION
PEOPLE IN VIENNA.
AS I SAID OF THE JEWS ALMOST
NONE BECAUSE MANY HAD MANAGED
TO EMIGRATE OF THE 200,000 JEWS
BUT OTHERS WERE MERCILESSLY
BY THE GERMAN
AUTHORITIES AND BY THE VIENNA
POPULATION ITSELF.
SO THAT BY 1945 UNLIKE IN
VIENNA AND UNLIKE IN VIENNA AND
BUCHAREST IT SEEMS THERE WAS
ONLY 400 JEWS IN VIENNA.
UH, A FEW JEWISH OFFICIALS.
A NUMBER OF LABOURERS, LESS
THAN 100 DISABLED WORLD WAR 1
WAR HEROES WHO WERE MARRIED TO
CHRISTIAN WOMEN AND A FEW DOZEN
PEOPLE HIDING WITH CHRISTIAN
FAMILIES.
THE DIFFERENCE IN BUDAPEST AND
BUCHAREST HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
HAD SUFFERED FROM ALLIED AIR
RAID SINCE LATE 1944 BUT THE
DAMAGES WERE LESS EXTENSIVE
THAN IN GERMANY MAINLY BECAUSE
VIENNA WAS ATTACKED BY U.S.
DAYTIME BOMBERS AND NOT BY THE
BRITISH.
EARLY APRIL SO IN EARLY APRIL
THE SOVIETS SURROUNDED VIENNA
AND I SHOW YOU JUST VERY
QUICKLY TWO MAPS AND THIS IS
THE END OF MY DEMONSTRATION
ALSO.

As he speaks, he continues to show on screen the maps the describe the division of the different areas in the region.

Istvan says THIS IS THE ARMY
AGAIN COMING FROM THE SOUTH AND
SURRENDERING -- SURROUNDING
VIENNA FROM THE WEST AND HERE
IS ANOTHER MAP IT'S MORE OR
LESS THE SAME THING, THIS IS
ALSO VIENNA.
UM, SHOWING MORE OR LESS THE
SAME MOVEMENT.
I THINK THIS IS CORRECT.
YES, THAT'S CORRECT AND UH,
FINALLY JUST A SCENE FROM
VIENNA.

The screen shows the picture of soldiers in Vienna along with the remains of the centre of the city that is completely destroyed.

Istvan continues
SOVIET SOLDIERS, RED ARMY
SOLDIERS ADVANCING ON THE
CENTRE OF THE CITY.
UH, WHAT IS INTERESTING, A FEW
OTHER WORDS ABOUT VIENNA, WHAT
IS INTERESTING THAT THERE WAS A
RESISTANCE MOVEMENT AND SOME
GERMAN ARMY SOLDIERS WHO WERE
AUSTRIANS ATTEMPTED TO
SURRENDER VIENNA TO THE SOVIETS
THAT FAILED.
MANY OF THEM WERE CAUGHT
BY THE S.S. AND
THEY WERE KILLED, THEY WERE
HANGED.
IN GENERAL THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE
AUSTRIAN NAZI OFFICIALS WERE
ABSOLUTELY ALMOST AGAIN
INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
THEREIN WAS AND THESE WERE
AUSTRIANS AND IT WAS TO PREVENT
THE RECONSTRUCTION OF AUSTRIA
AFTER THE WAR SO THAT WHEN
SYSTEMATICALLY AFTER PEOPLE WHO
COULD BE SUSPECTED OF BEING
USEFUL IN THE RECONSTRUCTION OF
AUSTRIA AND I MEAN, ONE
PRISONER FOR INSTANCE THEY WENT
TP PRISON, THE AUSTRIAN
S.R. WENT THERE AND KILLED 250
PRISONERS, OTHER PRISONERS,
POLITICAL PRISONERS WERE KILLED
ELSEWHERE, THESE WERE NOT JEWS.
THESE WERE POLITICAL PRISONERS
AND THEY EVEN KILLED THE
DIRECTOR OF THE PRISON AND
FEDERAL GUARDS WHO WERE NAZIS
THEMSELVES BUT OBJECTED TO THE
EXTERMINATION OF THE POLITICAL
PRISONERS AND THE SLOGAN WAS NO
ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REBUILD
AUSTRIA.
UH, STILL THESE WERE ISOLATED
INCIDENTS AND ON APRIL 13 THE
LAST GERMAN TROOPS FLED NORTH
AND WEST AND STALIN ORDERED 24
SALUTES BY 124, 324 GUNS UH,
LIBERATION OF VIENNA WAS
CELEBRATED AS A MAJOR STRATEGIC
VICTORY IN THE BATTLE FOR
VIENNA 19,000 GERMANS AND
18,000 SOVIETS SOLDIERS
PERISHED.
OVERALL THE CITY FARED BETTER
THAN BUDAPEST AND MUCH BETTER
THAN BERLIN, DRESDEN OR WARSAW.
MAY 9 A MILLION GERMAN SOLDIERS
SURRENDERED IN AUSTRIA.
ALSO 160,000 CROATS AND OVER
100,000 OTHERS WERE CAPTURED
MOSTLY BY THE AMERICANS. THE CITY
AND THE COUNTRY AS YOU KNOW WAS
DIVIDED INTO FOUR PARTS
PLUS VIENNA ITSELF WAS DIVIDED
INTO FOUR PARTS PLUS THE FIRST
DISTRICT BECAME AS OWN
CONTROLLED BY ALL THE FOUR
OCCUPYING POWERS THE FAMOUS
FOUR MEN IN A JEEP
CONTROLLED THAT
CITY WHICH THEY ARE BASED ON
THE FILM THE CERTAIN MAN IS
BASED AND ALL SORTS OF STORIES
OF AUSTRIA BEING AN
EXCITING PLACE.
JUST ONE MORE WORD, THE
AUSTRIANS IS NOT QUITE TRUE
THAT THE AUSTRIANS WERE NOT
INTERESTED IN PUNISHING THE WAR
CRIMINALS AFTER THE WAR
PEOPLE'S COURTS BEGAN TO
OPERATE AND UH, 30 PEOPLE WERE
HANGED MOSTLY FOR KILLING
HUNGARIAN JEWISH DEPORTEES BUT
OVERALL THE AUSTRIANS NEVER
EXPERIENCED COMMUNISM NO MATTER
WHAT THE GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA
HAS TOLD US LATELY.
UH, NOT EVEN IN THE SOVIET
OCCUPATION ZONE HAS NEVER
BECAME A COMMUNIST PLACE AND
AUSTRIAN BECAME THE SHANGRI-LA
AND VIENNA THE CITY OF
BEETHOVEN AND MOZART.
NOW WHAT TO CONCLUDE AFTER THE
WAR THE SOVIET RED ARMY WAS
MOST UNPOPULAR IN EASTERN
EUROPE.
THE SOLDIERS WERE REMEMBERED AS
WATCH THIEVES AND AS RAPISTS OF
WOMEN AND NO DOUBT THE SOLDIERS
COMMITTED TERRIBLE ATROCITIES
AND RAPED MANY WOMEN REGARDLESS
OF THEIR NATIONALITY, RACE,
LOOKS OR AGE BUT THE SOLDIERS
WHO COMMITTED THESE CRIMES HAD
BEEN FIGHTING UNDER ATROCIOUS
CONDITIONS FOR MANY YEARS.
OFTEN THEIR FAMILIES HAD BEEN
KILLED THE GERMANS AND THE
ALLIES OF GERMANY ROMANIANS OR
HUNGARIANS.
THE SOLDIERS WERE ALSO
DESPERATELY POOR A WATCH OR A
BICYCLE DID APPEAR TO THEM A
SUPREME LUXURY AND MOST OF THEM
HAD NEVER SEEN A BICYCLE OR
WATCH.
THE TROUBLE WAS THAT THE ARMY
HIGH COMMAND COULD BARELY
ENFORCE EVEN A MINIMUM OF
DISCIPLINE AND THAT MEANWHILE
SOVIET PROPAGANDA PRESENTED
THESE SOLDIERS AS FOREMOST
REPRESENTATIVES OF MISSIONARIES
OF A SUPERIOR CIVILIZATION AS
OF A NEW AND BETTER WORLD.
EVERYWHERE THERE WERE POSTERS
TALKING ABOUT THE SOVIET MEN AS
A SUPERIOR HUMAN BEING.
AS FOR THE THREE CITIES WE HAVE
BEEN DISCUSSING THERE WAS A
GREAT DEAL OF SUFFERING BUT
MORE SUFFERING WAS UNJUSTLY AND
UNFAIRLY DISTRIBUTED BUT WE
SHOULD NOT LOOK FOR HISTORICAL
JUSTICE WHEN THIS IS THE RAREST
OF ALL COMMODITIES.
THE MOST IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT
IS WHAT I CANNOT TALK ABOUT THE
ETHNIC CLEANSING THAT RESULTED
FROM THE WAR.
THE ELIMINATION OF THE JEWS AND
THE POSTWAR EXPULSION AND
TRANSFER OF GERMANS AND OTHER
MINORITY POPULATIONS BUT AS I
SAID THIS IS ANOTHER STORY.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR
ATTENTION.

(The audience cheers)

Watch: Istvan Deak on Bucharest, Budapest, Vienna