The International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016


We find it urgent to appeal to our friends and sympathizers worldwide to press for an international condemnation of the Hungarian regent Miklosh Horthy, whose rehabilitation is being underway in his country. Several decades of silence about this man, as well as the fact that he evaded international justice after World War II, have pushed his crimes into the oblivion.

Miklosh Horthy also orchestrated Genocide against Romanians in Transylvannia and Serbs in Backa. In three years of Horthy’s occupation of Transylvania, at least 15,000 Romanians were murdered in the most brutal fashion, over 280,000 Romanians were evicted and about 150,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz.

The most gruesome genocidal and Holocaust acts committed by Horthy’s army and gendarmerie occurred in January 1942 (so-called Razzia or Raid) against the Serbs and Jews in south Backa, the Serbian province occupied by Hungary from April 1941 to October 1944. In January 1942, the Jewish community of south Backa, around the Serbian city of Novi Sad, had been exterminated and tossed into frozen river Tisa. One fourth of Novi Sad Jewish community was tossed into icy Danube.

На обали Дунава
In March 1944, Horthy agreed with Hitler to place 100,000 to 300,000 Hungarian Jews at disposal for “war production”.

No international document has ever condemned Miklosh Horthy, a Holocaust and Genocide perpetrator. Therefore, he can legally be rehabilitated in Hungary at any point.
Horthy’s crimes have been documented in “Genocide Revealed” ( It is an indictment of a kind against one of Hitler’s closest allies.

Aleksandar Veljic, president  of  The Holocaust Memorial Society

Newly Unlocked UN Archive Confirms Horrors First Exposed in “Genocide Revealed”

Newly Unlocked UN Archive Confirms Horrors First Exposed in “Genocide Revealed”

After 70 long years, scores of UN files on Hitler’s collaborators have been made accessible to the public. These files are a thunderous echo and corroboration of the charges previously laid out in careful detail in my book, Genocide Revealed.

hitler and horthy

Adolf Hitler greets his ally, Miklos Horthy.

The most prominent name on the UN list is Hitler’s first European ally, Miklos Horthy. As exposed in Genocide Revealed, Horthy was the first European leader to break sanctions against the Nazi regime. He extended a friendly hand to Hitler in the hopes of creating an ethnically pure Greater Hungary and restoring his country’s pre-World War I glory.

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted in 1948, while Horthy was still alive and well. However, just like his faithful companions Shandor Kepiro, Chatary, and scores of others, Horthy was never held accountable for his crimes against humanity. He died in 1957 in his exile in Portugal. Article 4 of the UN Convention states that war criminals are liable “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.“ In Horthy’s case, he was a high profile statesman who remained a faithful ally to Hitler to the very end, while exterminating non-Hungarian populations in the areas which he occupied under Hitler’s auspices: southern Slovakia, Romanian Transylvania, the Ukrainian Carpathian region, northern Croatia (Medjimurje), part of Slovenia (Prekomurje) and northern Serbia (Bachka region).

Horthy’s evasion of international justice violates a precedent to UN Convention, the Moscow Declaration, signed on October 30, 1943 by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.genocide revealed The Declaration ruled that Nazi war criminals were to be sent back to the countries in which they committed their crimes, in order to be tried and punished according to the laws of those countries. But Horthy was never sent back to the scene of any of his war crimes.

This tragic fact was the driving force behind the publication of Genocide Revealed two-and-a-half years ago. The book was a bold precedent to the recent UN release, and served as an indictment against Horthy for his gruesome transgressions. While the UN documentation remained closed to the public, the Holocaust Memorial Society in Serbia searched far and wide for every shred of evidence of Horthy’s crimes, even as a memorial was being built for Horthy in his home country. The content of Genocide Revealed was based on over seven years’ worth of this research, which was pulled from primary sources across Europe.

serbian holocaust victims

Every last member of the Davidovac family from Churug, Serbia was exterminated in January 1942.

Horthy’s crimes in the former Yugoslavia were so gruesome that a recent Haaretz article made a particular note of the extermination of innocent Serbian and Jewish civilians. The crimes detailed by Haaretz (and in many other major news outlets) have been vividly portayed in Genocide Revealed: an unprovoked invasion of the former Yugoslavia (Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia) in 1941 and ensuing “massacres, murders and torture.” The concentration camps that Horthy’s Nazi Hungarian state established for Serbs and Jews have been listed by name, particularly Sharvar death camp, which claimed over 8,000 Serbian lives. The book also describes the treatment of Serbs and Jews in so-called “labour battalions,” in which they were sent to the Eastern front to aid in Hitler’s onslaught against the Soviet Union and perished in large numbers. Deportation notices sent to the remaining Jews in April 1944—effectively death warrants that landed them in Nazi death camps—were also published in Genocide Revealed as corroborative evidence, along with various other documents and photographs that had never before seen the light of the day.

deportation of novi sad jews

The deportation of Novi Sad Jews (April 26, 1944).

Another event in the UN documents garnering international attention is the Novi Sad massacre of January 1942. The documentation describes scores of people stranded along the Danube river as they were shot and thrown under the ice. Genocide Revealed was the first book in English with such detailed accounts of the Novi Sad genocide, including names and photographs. The identities of the victims in Novi Sad and surrounding villages compiled during the book’s research were sent to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where they remain filed as evidence against Horthy and his genocidal troops. Also quoted in the book is a letter from Hungarian legislator Endre Baychi Zhilinsky to Horthy, in which the former points out the consequences of the “Great Raid“ and claims that Hungarian state organs, the gendermerie and military, were responsible for this ethnic cleansing. Horthy ignored the letter.

novi sad massacre

Massacre victims line the Novi Sad streets (January 23, 1942).

Genocide Revealed rightly published that Horthy’s troops murdered over 4,000 individuals, though the Holocaust Memorial Society suspected that the number of victims was higher. Its suspicions were validated when, last year, a long-lost piece of evidence was discovered. The evidence, a book published by the Novi Sad Museum, reported that around 5,000 Novi Sad residents were brutally murdered in January 1942, while the January Great Raid in the surrounding villages claimed around 20,000 victims. This new evidence corroborates Genocide Revealed, which claimed that at least 12,763 victims perished during the Raid’s bloodbath along the Danube and Tisa rivers.

victims of the novi sad massacre

A pile of corpses at the Orthodox cemetery in Novi Sad (January 23, 1942).

Describing the Novi Sad massacre, a document in the UN archive says, “Among the victims were a great number of children, even babies, whose mothers held them firmly to their breasts in the hope of protecting them from death and from the cold.” The names of those children have been registered along with the names of their murdered family members by the Holocaust Memorial Society in Serbia. The Society will send those lists to the UN to complement the newly revealed files.

In researching and writing Genocide Revealed, I was particularly touched by the fate of innocent children. The book is dedicated to them, along with all victims of genocide. While nothing can undo the terror of their final moments, the victims of Horthy’s genocide have been given some small measure of justice by the revelation of their fate to the public. The evidence, now in plain view both in my book and in the UN archive, delivers an unassailable worldwide verdict against one of the most gruesome murderers in the history of humankind, Miklos Horthy.

The Dark Legacy of Hungary’s Turanian Hunters

The Dark Legacy of Hungary’s Turanian Hunters

Soon after the end of World War I, the Treaty of Trianon—named after the castle in Versailles, France, where it was signed on June 4, 1920—sealed the demise of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In the former two-partite empire, Hungary had controlled parts of modern Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia (Vojvodina), Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania (Transylvania), and Austria (Burgenland). Considered a defeated enemy with minority populations in these regions, the Hungarians were forced to relinquish their control as the treaty established new borders.

post-trianon hungary

As soon as the Treaty of Trianon was signed, the majority of Hungarian politicians declared it unjust. Overt attempts to revise the treaty ensued in the period between the world wars. Such a tendency was unfounded, because the majorities of the populations in these so-called “separated areas” were not Hungarian. It is interesting to note that during Austro-Hungarian rule, Hungary granted privileges to those Jews who opted to declare themselves as Hungarians of the Jewish faith. However, with the upsurge of German Nazism in ‘30s, Hungary joined the Central powers in treating its Jewish citizens as unwanted burdens. 

Miklós Horthy

Miklós Horthy

As a result of revisionist tendencies in the Hungarian society, the Turanian Alliance of Hungary was formed in 1920 (also known as the “Turanian Hunters”). This association was founded by the racist Gyula Gömbös, who also served as Miklós Horthy’s defense minister from 1929 to 1932 before dying in 1936 while serving as the Hungarian prime minister. Horthy, an admiral in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, was picked by this obscure group as a leader who would “return” Hungary to its former glory by reintegrating the lands that were taken from it by the Treaty of Trianon. The Turanian Alliance became an elite gendarmerie unit in service to the Hungarian regent Horthy.

In 1936, the Turanian Alliance numbered 6,000 members, a number which doubled by 1942. In January of that year, horrible war crimes took place in occupied northern Serbia. Hungarian soldiers and gendarmes, aided by Turanian Alliance members, tossed around 25,000 civilians into freezing rivers. Most of the victims were Serbs. Six Jewish communities were obliterated in that outburst of Holocaust and genocide.

Hungarian ethnic minorities in northern Serbia were taken in by Hungarian Nazi propaganda claiming a glorious, restored Hungarian state was coming. Thus, ethnic Hungarians in northern Serbia hailed the occupation troops. The below photo, taken in 1941 in the town of Vrbas, shows Hungarian intellectuals welcoming Horthy’s occupiers:

Hungarian intellectuals welcome Horthy’s occupiers.

In the photo, we see Magdalena Seidl, daughter-in-law of Vrbas Turanian Hunter Tibor Kish, an engineer at the Vrbas sugar refinery. Seidl fled northern Serbia prior to its liberation from Hungarian occupation. Her daughter, Magdolna Kish, has filed a rehabilitation request at the court in Novi Sad, Serbia, claiming her grandfather was murdered by Serbian partisans, even though evidence of Tibor Kish’s criminal record and the circumstances of his death has been presented by Dr. Tibor Zagyva, including the photo. Tibor Kish committed individual crimes against a local Serbian family. In April 1944, he actively participated in the deportation of Vrbas Jews to Nazi death camps. He planned to escape from Hungary just prior to the arrival of the liberating Serbian partisans but was prevented by a fellow Turanian Hunter, who murdered him out of jealousy.

Turanian Hunters parade through Novi Sad in March 1942.

Turanian Hunters parade through Novi Sad in March 1942.

Turanian Hunters usually had civilian professions. Membership in the Turanian Alliance was based on free will and usually motivated by racist and chauvinist objectives. The U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual, Volume 9: Visas, lists “Turanian Hunters” as a Nazi formation from World War II because of its war crimes against civilians in countries occupied by Horthy’s Hungary. Organized, state-sponsored genocide was a part of the Turanian program, which consisted of four basic premises:

  1. “Liberation” of Hungarians who had been “enslaved” following the Treaty of Trianon
  2. Defending the independence of Greater Hungary
  3. Establishing internal peace and order
  4. Strengthening of Hungarian “identity”

The present-day Hungarian Jobbik party has adopted the same approach in resolving the “Hungarian question.” Has history been repeating?




Novi Sad Razzia (Raid) is a genocide committed in January 1942, by occupation Hungarian forces in the Serbian city of Novi Sad.  Serbs and Jews were the primary target of the genocide.  In a three day massacre, over 4,000 Novi Sad victims were tossed into the freezing Danube by Horthy’s army and gendarmerie.


Following is an excerpt from Marianne Biro’s interview given on October 4, 2011 in Leura, Australia.  Marianne was interviewed by Lucy Chipkin and Jacqui Wasilewsky.  Here are the details in the interview as related to Novi Sad Razzia 1942.


Q: You have told us that you have already done a Shoa interview and we are basically, for the purpose of this interview, going to be talking about the Razzia that occurred in Novi Sad on the 23rd of January 1942.  Before we get there, I just want to ask you about how big was the Jewish community in Novi Sad?

A: Not enormous, no.


Q: Did you grow up with a sense of being Jewish?

A: Yes, yes.


Q: Did you mix with people who weren’t Jewish?

A:  Yes.


Q: So your life wasn’t just living within the Jewish community?

A: No, definitely not.


Q: You said your parents were divorced when you were a baby and then you were brought up by your father’s parents in Novi Sad?

A: Yes.


Q: So you lived with them.  Did your father live with them also?

A: No, he was a bachelor.  He lived on his own.


Q: Then he was remarried and had two more children.  Did you live with that fmily then when he was remarried?

A: Yes.


Q: And your mother moved back to Budapest.  So you would see her family on school holidays when you went to Budapest?

A: Yes, she used to come down to Novi Sad and we used to go, when I was bigger, for holidays together.


Q: What are some of your early memories of growing up in Novi Sad?

A: I don’t think about it that much, but it was nice; pleasant, peaceful.


Q: It was a peaceful town?

A: Yes.


Q: And peaceful relationship between the Jews and non-Jews?

A: Oh yes, definitely.


Q: So you didn’t feel…

A: Ostracized?  No, no, definitely not.


Q: So how old were you when the war broke out?

A: I was maybe 14, I think.


Q: Let’s then move on to what we are going to talk about today, which was the Razzia, the raid that happened.  The first raid, I think, was on the 21st of January 1942.  Did you know the reasons for the raid?

A: Yes, somewhere in one of the smaller villages or something there was a clash between the Partisans and the Hungarians, and the Partisans have killed I don’t know how many Hungarian soldiers and that was after Reprisal.  It wasn’t only for Jewish people, it was Serbians and I think it was a willy-nilly thing; they went into streets and demolished streets.  My aunt and her husband and her daughter; and living in the same house was her daughter and son-in-law who was Hungarian, I would say a Nazi in a way, but they took them to the Strand and they shot them, all of them.


Q: What were their names?

A: He was Gelb.  Bela and Josephine and Mira, that was my younger cousin, and Lily was the older one, married to Jerome.


Q: And they took all of them, including the Nazi sympathiser?

A: Yes.


Q: Was that on the same day that you were taken?

A: No, it must have been the day – I don’t know, we were living apart and when we were taken my father was a fairly prominent businessman and they came actually to pick us up.


Q: Who came to pick you up?

A: A car and a driver and a soldier and they just came into the unit where we were living and to take us by name and actually my stepmother’s mother was living with us and they wanted to take her too, but my father said that she’s our housekeeper, so they left her behind.  So they took my step-mother, my father, me and Paul  was only two or three years old, I don’t remember exactly how old.


Q: They took you in the car?

A: They took us in the car and they took us down to the Strand, to the Danube, and there were millions of people, rows, and they took us to the front of the row and they left us there and then they took us inside already and we saw what was happening there, and then a plane came and we were the last to sort of stay, and then when they took us out again we had the fear that they were going to kill us because we saw what was happening.  But they didn’t, they collected us all and took us back into the city, into the hall, one of the government halls, and they left us there and in the end they said because we behaved very well and we were good, we were at liberty to go home.

As it happened, whoever stopped the plane, Colonel Barta was his name, and they were here in Australia, became very good friends with the daughter and the father and she had a brother.  They were in Canberra actually.  But (Barta) was my friend and he ws the one who stopped the killing.


Q: And he was a Hungarian politician?

A: Colonel.  No, he was an Army man.


Q: And he stopped the killing?

A: Well his group, they stopped the killing and Zoldessy, who was the instigator who did it – I saw him hanging actually – ordered the killing. (Marianne is referring to Marton Zoldy, the military commander of the massacre).


Q: When you were taken by the driver and the soldier to the Danube, what did they tell you?

A: They didn’t tell us anything.  They just said that they had instructions to bring us to a certain spot, but we had no idea.  I mean, we knew for two days already because no one was allowed to go out, so we knew that things are happening and they were collecting Serbians, Jews, whoever, indiscriminately and they took them but obviously a few people like us – they had orders to take us.


Q: They were the regular Hungarian soldiers who were taking people?

A: Well, yeah.  Well, whatever the – I don’t know what you call regular, but…


Q: They were the Hungarian Army soldiers?

A: The Army, yeah.


Q: When they took you to the Danube, what did you see there?  You said there were lots of people there.

A: We were taken inside and there was a cubicle where, in normal times, like a kiosk-type thing with lots of clothes and things there.  We heard shooting and that’s all that we saw, but it was pretty obvious what was happening.


Q: And that is when the action was stopped?

A: Yes, when all the people who were in the queue there, they were stopped.  But we didn’t know then that my aunty and cousins were taken.  We only found that out the following day.


Q: Did you see any people being shot?

A: No, we just heard shots, but…

Q: And then you were taken from the kiosk back to town?

A: It wasn’t the town hall, it was more like a sports hall.  We were there sitting on the floors and it was bitterly cold.  It was very unpleasant few hours, not knowing what’s going to happen.


Q: How many of you were there?

A: Oh, hundreds.  Whoever wasn’t shot but was taken there.


Q: And you were all mixed?  There were Jews and there were non-Jews.

A: Yes.


Q: Can you remember how you felt at this time?  Were you in shock?

A: Yes.  Scared more than anything and not knowing what’s going to happen.


Q: What were your parents saying to you to make you feel better?

A: Well, no, they didn’t know themselves.  I remember in that car going down, it was a really small car and my step-mother had boots on and one of the soldier’s bayonettes or something went into her boot and she said, „It’s very uncomfortable“ and he said, „Don’t worry, it won’t be long.“


Q: What did you understand from that?

A: Nothing.  We had no idea what’s going to happen.  It’s only when we got to the Strand and we saw that long queue of people there, then it sort of dawned on us what’s happening.


Q: And you went back home?

A: Yes, we went back to the apartment and, of course, my stepmother’s mother was there.  But we didn’t know actually until the next day who is alive and who isn’t and my mother at that time was in Novi Sad and funnily enough she was in the same street where our apartment was, with another quite prominent family but they didn’t harm them, they didn’t do anything to them.  So she didn’t know whether we’re going to be alright or not.


Q: Did she know that you’d been taken?

A: No, not until the following day.


Q: Then what happened to you after that?

A: We actually left, then we went to Hungary for a while and stayed in Budapest.  It was 1942, and then we went back to Novi Sad again and then we left again permanently.


Q: In Novi Sad, were you feeling unsafe?  Is that why you went to Budapest?  Did you think yu would be safer in Budapest?

A: Of course, yes.


Q: That man you saw hanging, where did you see him hanging?

A: In Novi Sad.


Q: So that was at the end of the war, there was  trial held and he was…

A: Yes.


Q: Was he the only person who was hanged for that?

A: No, there were others too.  I don’t remember their names…  We went back (to Novi Sad) in 1945 and we sort of stayed there for a little while and then, because my father was born where he was born, that became Hungary, we sort of repatriated to Hungary and went to live in Budapest.  Well, I emigrated from there and they just stayed.  They went back (to Novi Sad) eventually.


Q: Can I just ask you one question, which is going back?  The next day after the massacre when you were home and you started to find out what had been happening, what was the feeling of the people in your area – the people that you knew?  Were they very afraid?  Were they very…

A: Well, it was an apprehension because no one knows what’s going to follow.  It was pretty quiet to a certain extent.  It’s like after a storm.  Sort of we didn’t really know what’s going to happen.


Q: Did you know why it stopped?

A: It was, I think, the higher ranking didn’t actually know to what extent, or what was happening, and that’s why this Colonel Barta and his group were then told by probably the higher people to stop it because – I don’t know why they stopped it…