On Christmas Eve in 1944 the Soviet troops encircled Budapest, and the siege commenced a few days later, on 30 December. The fighting that went on for months caused enormous suffering and destruction, and became part of Hungary’s collective memory forever.
On 15 October 1944, Horthy made an unsuccessful attempt to exit the Second World War. The operation failed due to a number of reasons: the resistance of some officers of the Royal Hungarian Army, organisational mistakes and pre-emptive actions by the Nazi secret service. Horthy was soon forced to resign.
Hungary is not the only country in East-Central Europe that sees unwanted commentary and meddling by Russia with regard to interpretations of its history. The periods the evaluation of which is the most frequently contested by Russia are the Cold War era and World War II. While Russia glorifies the USSR’s effort to defeat Nazi Germany, CEE countries, including Hungary, highlight the 45 years the Red Army spent in Central Europe as an occupying force after the end of World War II.