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?