16 November marks the day when Rear Admiral, and later Regent, Miklós Horthy marched into Budapest in 1919, symbolically ending the Hungarian Soviet Republic. This remains a controversial event to this very day: while on the one hand, it ended a period of chaos and dictatorship, on the other hand, it bolstered the so-called White Terror.
Pál Teleki, prime minister of Hungary in the interwar era, was probably one of the most tragic figures of twentieth century Hungarian history. He was torn between his conscience and geopolitical reality, a tension he could only resolve by ending his own life as a shocking act of protest.
This is not the first instance of the ambassador offering an unsolicited opinion about Hungary’s past. Last year, he published a message regarding the 1956 revolution, drawing parallels with the Russo-Ukrainian war, and this spring he lauded the Soviet Red Army that occupied Hungary in 1945.
The Germans had demanded the deportation of the Hungarian Jewry long before the German occupation. A note in October 1942, in which German Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Luther summarised his negotiations with Sztójay, the Hungarian ambassador in Berlin at the time, openly mentions the German demand and the fact that it had come directly from Adolf Hitler. According to the text, the ‘handling’ of Jews in Hungary is ‘urgent’.