Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016

The Holocaust Memorial Society will continue to bring attention to a Holocaust perpetrator who did not meet justice for his crimes against the Jewish people in areas under the Hungarian occupation.  Moreover, the rehabilitation of Miklos Horthy, Hungarian regent in World War II, is well underway in spite of the fact that he was the first European statesman to extend a hand to Hitler (in the name of “greater Hungary”).

In his quest for ethnically pure greater Hungary, Horthy had to get rid of other ethnic communities in the areas under his occupation.  His genocidal and Holocaust actions affected parts of modern Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia and Ukraine, within the territories Hungary gained from Hitler as award for for entering the Reich’s power block.  Three-years occupation of Romanian Transylvania brought deportation of 150,000 Jews to Auschwitz, as well as 15,000 murdered and over 280,000 evicted Romanians.  Three-and-a-half years occupation of Backa, a region in north Serbia, was marked by a steady extermination of Serbs, Backa’s ethnic majority, and local Jews who numbered about 16,000.  In January 1942, Horthy’s troops tossed over 5,000 Serbs and Jews into frozen Danube in Novi Sad.  The surrounding villages were also ethnically cleansed of the Jews and numerous Serbs.

In March 1944, Horthy agreed with Hitler to place 100,000 to 300,000 Jews in Hungary proper at disposal for “war production” in Germany.  In April of the same year, the remaining Jewish population in northern Serbia was deported to Nazi death camps.

To this day, there has been no international document condemning Horthy for the acts of Genocide and Holocaust.  The book “Genocide Revealed” (www.genociderevealed) is an indictment against both Horthy and indifference to his crimes that never met justice.  As this Holocaust and Genocide perpetrator has never been internationally condemned, his current supporters in Europe have a legal ground to fully rehabilitate him.

“GR” author nominated for an award

Each year  the municipal authorities of Novi Sad, Serbia give “October Award” to a merited citizen to commemorate October 1944, when the city was liberated from Hungarian occupiers.  In 3.5 years occupation of Novi Sad and northern Serbia, the attempt was made to create ethnically pure Hungarian state.  Thus gruesome acts of Genocide (against the Serbs) and Holocaust of the Jews occurred in the region.  Veljic’s book Genocide Revealed documents those crimes which prompted a local journalist Tomislav Lovrekovic  to nominate him the the award.  The nomination was submitted to appropriate Committee which decides who gets the award.  The Committee is composed of representatives of the ruling local parties.  The nomination of Veljic is explained as follows:

Amidst the current flood of false authorities, mediocrities in the field of science and politically approved expounders of historical truths, as well as the activists who make living out of their activism, only one has stood out as being different.  To the shame of Novi Sad, one sole activist stands out from the rest.  By “different”, I mean a genuine one.  It is tragic that being honest has become a synonym for being different in our society. 

In short several years, Aleksandar Veljic has succeeded to achieve what no historian has done in the last 75 years following the World War II.  His dedicated, conscientious work is being done with modest technical opportunities, very limited finances at his disposal, and against incessant sabotages and distractions that come his way.  Isn’t that something?  This popular writer, historian and true activist reveals the truth about Razzia 1942 (a genocide of Hungarian occupiers) and proves Miklos Horthy (Hungarian regent and Hitler’s ally in World War II) to be a genocide perpetrator.  He has brought to light all the details of Horthy’s gruesome crimes against civilians.  At the same time, Veljic has been educating people on ecological issues as he stands against the GMO threat, Chemical spraying and other experiments on the population.  He has gained the name, reputation and respect of honest and honorable individuals and has been crucified by those who share no such virtues (yet has maintained a dignified approach to the latter). 

The fruits of Veljic’s labor certainly deserved the highest municipal recognition at all times.  His merits exceed the work of all the political protegees (who are usually awarded)…  The main traits in Aleksandar Veljic’s character is honor – that by itself is a sufficient argument for this Committee’s positive response of this Committee to this nomination”.

Constantine’s anti-Jewish Sunday law

On this day (March 7th) the Roman Emperor Constantine enacted his law which obliged all the citizens of the Roman Empire to keep the “venerable day of the sun”. The practice of some third century Christians to keep Sunday, the first day of the week, gave the idea to the Roman emperor to use that custom to seal unity within the empire. He retained the old pagan term in his law – ‘Dies Solis” (in Latin “the day of the sun”, or “Sunday”) – which came into force on March 7, 321 A.D. Constantine’s Sunday law stipulated the following:

“On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost”.

Constantine’s ecclesiastical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. abolished both the apostolic day of rest Sabbath and Passover. Constantine describes his motives behind such a decision:

“ it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast (Easter) we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul. … Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Savior a different way”.

Church historian Moshaim writes that fourth century superstitions gradually supplanted true piety. He attributes the shameful transformation of Christianity into paganism to a crazy drive to blend pagan rites with Christianity. Thus, beginning from Constantine, a new religion emerged of which “neither Jesus nor Paul were the founding fathers”. “As a completely new religion in the Roman Empire, Christianity came as the result of later interpretations of the original traditions about Christ’s life, teachings, death and resurrection”. [1]

Constantine built “St. Peter’s” basilica in Vatican on an ancient pagan cemetery. He died before completing the Church of the Twelve in Constantinople, where he planned his tomb surrounded by the tombs of the apostle. “The first Christian Emperor” dreamed to rest forever amidst the remains of the Twelve not like one of them, but as a symbol of their leader. [2]

1 Milan Vukomanovic, Early Christianity – from Jesus to Christ, Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1996, 19.

2 William Steuart McBirnie, The Search for the Twelve apostles, Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers Inc., 2004, 18-19.

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

The town victim of a Nazi Genocide remembers the victims of Hitler’s ally

The town victim of a Nazi Genocide remembers the victims of Hitler’s ally

On November 24, 2015, the first ever lecture entitled “Genocide committed by Miklosh Horthy“ was held in Serbia, in the town of Kraljevo.  The local museum cherishes the memory of the victims of October 1941 German Nazi Genocide against the local Serbian population.  This was the first occassion that Kraljevo public was introduced to the crimes committed by Horthy’s regime in northern part of Serbia.

The above mentioned lecture is a good opportunity to clarify the Genocide and Holocaust committed in Serbia by the Nazi occupiers and their collaborators as those facts are not all that known.  On April 6, 1941, the Serbian capital Belgrade was bombed by the German forces without the announcement of war.  In just a few days, Serbia was occupied and partitioned.  Hitler was furious over the fact that on March 27, 1941, the demonstrators in Belgrade toppled the government which signed the pact with him.  Fuming with rage, Hitler took revenge.  Belgrade was to be destroyed first.

Soon after the occupation of Serbia, the northern Serbian province of Srem was allotted to Vatican-created Independent State of Croatia which aspired to that territory.  In the course of the Second World War, Croatian Nazis (called „Ustashi“) committed many crimes against the Serbs and exterminated the local Jewish population.  The most horrific was the Croatian death camp Jasenovac, where the crimes were so horrendous that the words are not sufficient to describe them.

The northern Serbian province of Bachka was alloted to the Hungarian regent Miklosh Horthy. In the course of his 3.5 years rule, Horthy exterminated half of the local population, primarily those of theSerbian and Jewish descent. The most gruesome act of Genocide and Holocaust sanctioned by the Hungarian government was carried out in the freezing January 1942, when thousands of innocent civilians were tossed under the ice of the freezing rivers Tisa and Danube!  The main purpose of those horrible acts was to exterminate the Serbian and Jewish populations.

The northern Serbian province of Banat was densely populated by the ethnic Germans.  Almost 100 per cent of those ethnic Germans aligned with the Nazis.  As soon as Serbia was occupied, the local Germans imposed the anti-Jewish regulations even stricter than those in Germany.  Four months later, in August 1941, the entire Banat Jewish community was deported to Belgrade and later exterminated in the Nazi-run camp of Sajmiste (women and children) and Topovske supe (men).

The southeastern part of Serbia proper was allotted to Bulgarian Nazi collaborators.  They committed various acts of genocide against the Serbian population.  In March 1943, all the Jews in Bulgarian occupation zone were deported to German Nazi death camps.

The Serbian province of Kosovo was allotted to the ethnic Albanian collaborators.  Besides numerous crimes against the local Serbian population, the Kosovo Albanians aided German Nazis in deporting the local Jewish population to death camps.

The rest of Serbia proper was ruled by the occupation German Nazi forces.  Due to Serbian resistance in October 1941, several reprisals took place.  Those retributions have the proportions of a genocide since the Nazi occupation authorities murdered 50 civilians for one wounded Nazi soldier, and 100 for each murdered Nazi soldier.  Kraljevo was the first victim of Nazi reprisals in mid October 1941, when the local resistance movement almost succeeded to liberate the town. Kraljevo has the strategic geographic location and the Nazis were willing to defend it at all cost and even to exterminate the local Serbian population to that end.  Soon after the same reprisals occurred in the Serbian city of Kragujevac.

March of the Living 2015 Remembers Victims of Novi Sad Raid

March of the Living 2015 Remembers Victims of Novi Sad Raid

15_Суза у реци која је текла сузамаIt has been 73 years since the pogrom named “Razzia” (Raid) by its perpetrators took place in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad.  In January 1942, the Hungarian occupation forces, which had been present in the region for 10 months following the invasion of that part of Serbia, committed gruesome war crimes. The Raid of January 1942 remains the most atrocious barbarity committed by Hungarian soldiers and gendarmerie in the region.

Months prior to January 1942, Hungarian authorities as well as ethnic Hungarians, who have never been either persecuted or wronged before the Second World War, spread rumors that January would be a bloody month for the civilian population, mainly Serbs.  The Jews were also stigmatized as supposedly helping plan the Serbian uprising against the occupiers.  Of course, none of this was true.  The main idea of Miklos Horthy in Hungary was to decimate the numbers of the majority Serbian population and obliterate all the Jews, and then loot their property. Doing so would change the ethnic configuration that would be more favorable to the Hungarian minority.

11_Наша сећања неће однети ДунавThat January of 1942, the Raid was carried out against the civilians in the surrounding villages.  It started on Sunday, January 4, 1942.  The Hungarian state first annihilated all the intellectuals — both Serbian and Jewish — in the villages nearby Novi Sad.  Then they turned against other civilians, mostly tradesmen and farmers.  Entire families were murdered in cold blood and thrown under the ice of the river Tisa.  The temperature those days fell to 30 below zero Celcius, so the Genocide perpetrators used mines to create a hole in the ice into which they tossed civilians, either dead or alive.  This massacre lasted for two weeks until January 19, 1942.  Once it was over in the countryside around the city, where the small Jewish community was annihilated and the Serbian population terribly decimated, the culprits designed carrying out the Genocide in the city itself.

On January 20, 1942, the city of Novi Sad was cut off from the rest of the world.  Nobody was able to leave the beleaguered settlement.  The next morning, Hungarian patrols composed of gendarmes and soldiers inspected houses and personal documents.  The same occurred the following day.  The leading officers were dissatisfied about the results.  Checking documents was not enough.  They wanted a pogrom — rivers of blood on the streets.  That is what they demanded happen on the third day.  And so it was.  The terrible January 23, 1942 was the day when a wholesale genocide was unleashed in the city.6_Ема Мереи Зађва

The temperature was around -30° Celcius.  In order to conceal the total count of those who were destined to perish, the occupation troops broke the thick ice on Danube surface at the river beach named Strand and placed a wood plank leading to the hole.  The ordinary citizens, mostly Serbs and Jews, were driven to the plank and thrown alive under the ice.  The small children were tossed into the air to fall on the bayonettes and then be pushed into the freezing water.  This was done in the sight of the parents because the perpetrators drew great pleasure in watching the suffering of the powerless parents.

Meanwhile, the unleashed Hungarian troops raged in all corners of the city leaving the dead in the streets, in the yards and in private homes.  Later they sent trucks around the city to pick up the bodies and transport them to Strand Beach.  Overnight the bodies were dumped into the river.  All the documents were destroyed, bodies were disposed of and no trace of crime remained other than deserted homes and quarters in the city.

4_Габона чита поему ДУНАВIt is estimated that over 5,000 citizens were brutally murdered in the so-called Razzia.  Their homes were looted, their earrings and rings were cut off of their hands and ears and pieces of bodies, hair and pools of blood remained on the snowy streets.  The world has never seen such an atrocity before.  If the massacre continued, the entire Novi Sad would have been annihilated.  It remains unclear as to why the sudden order to stop it arrived.  Some ascribe it to energetic protests by a Hungarian MP Endre Baychy Zhilinsky.   Or perhaps the head of the Hungarian occupation police (which for the most part did not participate in the atrocities other than inspecting the houses for illegal weapons) protested against the “incidents” committed by unleashed Hungarian military and gendarmes?  Also, Horthy’s god-son Nikola Dragoylov was murdered on the street.  Could it be that he received the news about that and his stale conscience was awakened?  Whatever the case might be, the pogrom was stopped.  But the objective had been reached: the number of Serbs was drastically lowered since they had always been the ethnic majority in the city, unlike the ethnic Hungarian minority.  Also, the Jewish community had been decimated.  Besides this, the anti-Nazis of Russian, German, Hungarian and other descent were also obliterated (Novi Sad has always been an ethnically mixed city).

5_Дунав нас њиховим очима гледаFollowing World War II, the facts related to Razzia 1942 have been systematically marginalized and deprived of context.  For the majority of citizens this was just a tragic event, but without awareness of the causes and perpetrators.  The book “Genocide Revealed” has aimed to set all those records straight and has come as the result of a long-term battle against oblivion and marginalization of the victims.  For that reason, a group of citizens in Novi Sad, led by the author of the aforementioned book and students, organized The March of the Living under the motto “Danube looks at you through their eyes”.

The marchers arrived at Strand beach on January 23, 2015, around the time when the order came for Razzia to stop.  The participants said The Lord’s Prayer and the Jewish prayer Kadish, and then the president of the municipal chapter of the Holocaust Memorial Society, Aleksandar Gabona, read the poem “Danube”.

Following that, the president of the Society and author of “Genocide Revealed” called on gathered participants to pronounce a verdict against the main perpetrator Miklos Horthy, Hungarian regent — since no institution has ever proclaimed him guilty.  The verdict was then pronounced by that one-of-a-kind court made up of ordinary citizens.    The verdict is based on five points describing all the crimes that Horthy had committed in the region during World War II, namely:

  • The Pogrom in April 1941, when Hungarian occupation troops murdered 8,500 peaceful citizens;
  • 8,021 innocent lives claimed by the concentration camp for Serbs “Sarvar”;
  • Countless dead Serbs and Jews who were sent to the Eastern front as “labor battalions” to aid Hitler’s war campaign against the Soviet Union;
  • The death of 42,000 Serbs deported to the Croatian death camp Jasenovac;
  • The January Razzia 1942.
  • The total count of civilian losses in the Serbian region of Backa, which Horthy occupied in World War II, amounts to around 100,000.

7_Кобиларов намешта транспарентThe verdict also established that the Hungarian regent was responsible for the death of over 3,000 Serbs in Novi Sad Razzia 1942, as well 1,363 Jews, 56 Hungarians, 31 Croats, 23 Germans, 22 Russians, 21 Slovaks, 8 Ruthenians, 5 Czechs, 4 Slovenians, 1 Bulgarian, 1 Greek, 1 Italian, 1 Romanian and 1 Muslim.  The verdict says that it is not against the Hungarian people.  Rather, it has individualized the crime and has pointed out the main perpetrator whose speedy rehabilitation has been going on unabated in Hungary.  If this verdict had not been passed this year, Horthy would have most likely remained a war criminal with no sentence in the post-World War II history.


= = =



Aleksandar Veljic was born in Belgrade and graduated from Sixth Belgrade High School with a librarianship major. He has lived in London, studied at Francis King School of English and attended Ambassador College in the United States, majoring in English literature. Alexander returned to Serbia Genocide Revealedin 1996 and embarked on a close examination of the little-known World War II crimes committed by the Nazi Germans and their allies in the former occupied Yugoslavia. His painstaking research has resulted in several works on the genocide against Serbs, Jews, Roma, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Slovenes, Russian emigrants, and anti-Fascists of German, Hungarian, and other descent.


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…