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Launch of the book titled "July 1944: Deportation of the Jews of Budapest Foiled"

10/2017 - AHF is proud to announce the launch for the book titled "July 1944: Deportation of the Jews of Budapest Foiled", edited by Géza Jeszenszky, and published by Helena History Press. We'd like to give special thanks to The Hungary Initiatives Foundation for providing a generous grant to help make this possible!

The goal of the project was to contribute to the publication of a scholarly volume titled "July 1944: Deportation of the Jews of Budapest Foiled". The purpose of the book is to advance scholarship and Hungarian historiography in the English language relating to how the Jews of Budapest escaped deportation in the month of July 1944 a pivotal pivotal time in World War II as a result of a Hungarian military officer's courage, loyalty, and humanitarian character.

The translation from German to English of cables between the German embassy in Hungary and Berlin contributes to a better understanding of the history of Hungary in this tragic and dark period and enable scholars to conduct additional research.


Available on Amazon


July 1944: Deportation of the Jews of Budapest Foiled

With the Nazi occupation of Hungary on 19 March 1944, the deportation of 800,000 Hungarian Jews to the German-run concentration camps commenced. By the end of June, with the supervision of Eichmann, the authorities of the puppet government of Hungary transported half a million Jews to Auschwitz. The aim of this volume is to shed light on a little known controversy about this tragedy: did a unit of the Hungarian army prevent the deportation of the remaining close to 300 000 Jewish Hungarians, living in Budapest, to the Nazi death camps? That raises the more important question: was the Regent, Admiral Horthy a complice in the murder of half a million Hungarian Jews, but also the savior of the remaining 300 thousand?

Lieutenant Colonel Ferenc Koszorús used the 1 st Hungarian Armored Division under his command to force the removal of the gendarmerie loyal to the pro-Nazi puppet government and ready to carry out the deportation of the Jews from Budapest. By that time Horthy, under international pressure and also learning from the Auschwitz Protocol of what was in store for the deported Hungarian nationals, ordered the ending of the deportations. There were rumors in town that the pro-Nazi and rabidly anti-Semitic State Secretary Baky was planning a coup to remove the Regent and to continue the deportations. A large number of gendarmerie was collected in Budapest, to carry out the quick round-up and deportation of the last intact Jewish population in Europe. Lt-Col. Koszorús, having acquired a command from Horthy, entered Budapest with his troops and sent a courier to Baky threatening him with military action unless the gendarmerie is evacuated. Baky had no alternative but to comply. This action foiled both the coup (if that was really planned) and the continuation of the deportations.  The Jews of Budapest were thus temporarily saved and Wallenberg and others could help them to survive the war until the Soviet army occupied Budapest and expelled the Germans by February 1945.

The late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA) called Col. Koszorús a "Hero of the Hungarian Holocaust" as entered in the Congressional Record on May 26, 1994, reproduced in this book. In his introduction, Mr. Lantos said, "I rise today to recognize one of the great heroes of the Hungarian holocaust. Ferenc Koszorus, who at great personal sacrifice to his own life, saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from deportation to Nazi death camps."  Contributors to this volume include its editor, Géza Jeszenszky, Col. Attila Bonhardt, head of the Military Archives in Budapest, journalist and author Charles Fenyvesi, historians Suzanne Berger, Vadim Birstein, Deborah Cornelius, István Deák, Tamás Stark, the son of Lt. Colonel Koszorús, Ferenc Koszorús Jr, and the late renowned Hungarian historian György Ránki. The Appendix includes translations of archival documents from the German Foreign Office related to Hungary's role in World War II and specifically on the deportation of its Jewish population.

July 1944: Contributor Bio's:

Géza Jeszenszky (b. 1941) is a retired professor of history at Corvinus University of Budapest, as well a politician and diplomat. Instrumental in the transition of Hungary into a democracy in 1989, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the first freely elected government (1990-94) after the fall of communism. From 1998 to 2002 he served as the Hungarian ambassador to the United and States and to Norway and Iceland from 2011 to 2014. He was visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in Warsaw, Poland, and in Cluj/Kolozsvár in Romania. He is the author of a large number of scholarly publications, his latest book in English is Post- Communist Europe and Its National/Ethnic Problems (Budapest, 2009). His memoir and analysis of Hungary's relations with its neighbors during the years of the regime change (in Hungarian) came out in 2016.

Charles Fenyvesi: A student of Central European history, Charles Fenyvesi was born in Debrecen in 1937. Joined the revolution of 1956, then fled to Austria in December of 1956. He won a full scholarship to Harvard and received a BA (cum laude) in 1960 and won a graduate fellowship to study philosophy at the University of Madras, India and received an MA ( first class) in 1962. From 1970 to 1979 he served as editor of the National Jewish Monthly. In 1979 he joined the Washington Post as a staff writer, later garden columnist and frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page and Outlook section. From 1985 to 1997 he was a columnist for the U.S. News & World Report. Since then he has been a free-lance wrier, in 2000 he spent a year as writer and editor for the U.S. Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust Assets in the U.S. He has authored seven books on history and botany including When Angels Fooled the World: Rescuers of Jews in Wartime Hungary (University of Wisconsin/Dryad Press, 2003).

Deborah S. Cornelius is a historian of East Central Europe. Her research focuses on the formation of a new political order after the Treaty of Trianon and movements for social and political reform. Her book, Hungary in World War II: Caught in the Cauldron, examines efforts of the truncated Hungarian state to restore governance, institutions, and the economy after World War I, and the path by which it agreed to an alliance with Nazi Germany during World War II in hopes of restoring its lost lands. The book, translated and expanded, was published with the title: Kutyaszorítóban: Magyarország és a II. világháború. Among other topics she has also written on questions of national identity, radical youth movements, the folk college movement and education for a new peasant leadership. She is currently researching the collapse of the traditional social order in Hungary after 1945. She received her PhD in History from Rutgers University.

Susanne Berger b. 1963 in Hannover, Germany, (B.A.  International Relations, American University,  Washington D.C.). Her research addresses the political and economic aspects of  Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg's humanitarian mission to Budapest during WWII, as well as his disappearance in the Soviet Union in 1945. Ms. Berger's  studies have  also focused on the fate of other disappeared Swedish citizens during the Cold War period.  

  Since 2001, Ms. Berger, together with historian Dr. Vadim Birstein, has conducted a detailed correspondence with Russian archivists and officials about the Raoul Wallenberg case. Their research confirmed that important additional documentation with direct relevance for the Wallenberg case remains available in key Russian archival collections, especially those of the former Soviet State Security and Intelligence Services.  

Ms Berger's reports and  more than one hundred articles about the Wallenberg case and related issues have appeared in various international publications. She  is the founder and coordinator of the Raoul Wallenberg Research Initiative (RWI-70) and the Raoul Wallenberg International Roundtable. 

Dr. Vadim J. Birstein is a geneticist and historian, born in Moscow and educated at Moscow State University. Since coming to New York in 1991, he has been a Visiting Scientist at the American Museum of Natural History, NY, and an Adjunct Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2001, Dr. Birstein published his first history book, The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science (Westview Press). In 2012, his second history book, SMERSH: Stalin's Secret Weapon, Military Counterintelligence in WWII, was published in London (Biteback Books). It received the inaugural St. Ermin's Intelligence Book Award, beating out 33 other nominated books. In 2013, SMERSH was published in Poland. Dr. Birstein is also the author of over 150 scientific papers and three scientific books and papers on the Raoul Wallenberg case and Soviet military counterintelligence. He is a member of the American writers' Authors Guild.

Frank Koszorus, Jr., is an attorney and a life-long student of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Mr. Koszorus has lectured at various universities; debated foreign policy issues on radio; testified before congressional committees; and briefed government officials concerning CEE. Mr. Koszorus has written letters to the editor; chapters; and articles relating to that region, including Reflections on March 19, 1944 and Its Aftermath: A Perfect Storm of Tragedy and Folly. He co-authored Group Rights Defuse Tensions, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. He also participated in a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace self-determination project.

In 1997, Mr. Koszorus traveled to NATO headquarters and CEE as a member of a government fact-finding mission on NATO enlargement. He was also appointed a public member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe on the Human Dimension. Mr. Koszorus is the recipient of several awards, including the The Commanders' Cross of the Order of Merit of Hungary. Mr. Koszorus graduated from The American University and from DePaul University College of Law cum laude.

István Deák, who is an emeritus professor at Columbia University in New York City, was born in Hungary and studied history in Budapest, Paris, Munich, and at Columbia University where he obtained his PhD degree in 1964. For numerous years he was the director of Columbia's Institute on East Central Europe. His publications include, Weimar Germany's Left-wing Intellectuals (California, 1968); The Lawful Revolution: Louis Kossuth and the Hungarians, 1848-1849 (Columbia, 1979); Beyond Nationalism: A Social and Political History of the Habsburg Officer Corps, 1848-1918 (Oxford, 1990); Essays on Hitler's Europe (Nebraska, 2001), and Europe on Trial: The Story of Collaboration, Resistance and Retribution During World War II (Westview Press, 2015). Almost all the books appeared in several languages. He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. István Deák is an external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and has received other awards and honors.

György Ránki (1930 -1988) was Professor of History at Debrecen University and Director of the Institute of History, Hungarian Academy of Science., Was elected member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1976). Having survived the Auschwitz concentration camp studied economics and history in Budapest. His interest and his many publications covered the economic history of Central Europe, international relations, the Second World War, and Hungary's political history in the 20th century. He was the first vice chairman of the International Committee of Historical Sciences, and member of the editorial board of several scholarly publications.

Thomas Lantos was an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from California, serving from 1981 until his death in 2008 as the representative from a district that included the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwestern San Francisco... A Hungarian-American, Lantos was the only Holocaust survivor to have served in the United States Congress. In 2008, after his death, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, which he founded in 1983, was renamed the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Its mission is partly "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights". In 2011, the Tom Lantos Institute was set up in Budapest to promote tolerance and support minority issues in Central and Eastern Europe and in the world.

Tamás Stark received his PhD from the Eötvös Lóránd University of Budapest in 1993. From 1983 he was a researcher at the Institute of History, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and in 2000 he was appointed a senior research fellow. His specialization is forced population movements in East-Central Europe in the period 1938-56, with special regard to the history of the Holocaust, fate of prisoners of war and civilian internees, and the post war migrations. He was involved in numerous international research projects. In 1995/96 he was Pearl Resnick Post-Doctoral fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2014 he was Fulbright professor at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY. USA. His main publications include Hungary's Human Losses in World War II (Uppsala, 1995), Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust and after the Second World War, 1939-1949: A Statistical Review (Boulder, CO 2000), Magyarok szovjet fogságban [Hungarians in Soviet Captivity] (Budapest, 2006), A magyar polgári lakosság elhurcolása a Szovjetunióba a korabeli dokumentumok tükrében. [Deportation of Hungarian civilians to the Soviet Union. Documentary Collection] (Budapest, 2017).

Attila Bonhardt (b. 1954): Studied history, geography and archival studies at Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest, graduating in 1979. In the same year he joined the Military History Archives as an archivist. He received a Ph.D. in 1984 with a dissertation on the return of Hungarian POW's to their homeland after World War I. In 1989 he was appointed deputy director of the Military History Archives. From 1997 he served as the archivist in the Hungarian collection at the Kriegsarchiv in Vienna. Soon after his return, in 2004, he was appointed Director of the Military History Archives with the rank of colonel. Recently his area of scholarship focuses on the history of the Hungarian artillery in the period 1938-1945.


Julius Varallyay
Washington, DC
20 January 2019

July 1944 - Deportation of the Jews of Budapest Foiled. Jeszenszky, Geza (Ed.) Reno, Nevada: Helena History Press, Saint Helena, CA (2018). Distributed by Central European University, Budapest. (Read the full review)

The volume can be purchased at Amazon. Help AHF help the community by doing all your online shipping via Amazon Smile!

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AHF established the Lajos Kossuth Award to recognize members of Congress for their support in strengthening U.S. relations with Hungary and of democracy and human and minority rights in Central and Eastern Europe.
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March 15 is Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1848 War of Independence and fight for Liberation and Democracy. The 1848-1849 flag is shown here.March 15 is Hungarian National Day commemorating the 1848 War of Independence and fight for Liberation and Democracy. Kossuth Lajos (Louis) (b. 1802, d. 1894, pronounced co-shoot luh-yôsh) was Governor of Hungary and leader during fight for independence which was eventually defeated by the union of the royalist Austrian Habsburg and Russian Czarist Armies (1848 - 1849). Kossuth envisioned a federation in the Kingdom of Hungary in which all nationalties participated in a vibrant democratic system based on fundamental democratic principles such as equality and parliamentary representation. The bloody conflict eventually led to a great compromise known as the "Austro-Hungarian Empire," in which Hungary gained some autonomy, although Kossuth would have no part in it and demanded full indepependence until his death. It also inadvertantly set the seeds for Hungary's dismemberment after WWI at Trianon

[ < back to AHF 1848 Commemorations]



Famous Quotes

The American Hungarian Federation of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., joined Hungarian American communities worldwide andpresented a program commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The 1848-1849 flag is shown here."the house of Habsburg-Lorraine, perjured in the sight of God and man, had forfeited the Hungarian throne."
Hungary, April 1849

"All for the people and all by the people. Nothing about the people without the people. That is Democracy, and that is the ruling tendency of the spirit of our age."
Spoken before the Ohio State Legislature,
February 16, 1852

Audio Resources

Hear Louis Kossuth Speak!Hear Louis Kossuth Speak! [Click Here] - This is the speech of Louis Kossuth which he gave for the dedication of the statue for the 13 Hungarian generals, who were executed at Arad, Hungary, on October 6, 1849 (Arad is in Rumania today after annexation due to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 ). Louis Kossuth was exiled after the fall of the Hungarian Liberation Fight of 1848 and made his permanent home in Torino (Turin), Italy. He could not attend the dedication of the monument at Arad, without risking arrest, so he recorded his speech inTurin, and sent it to Arad using the new technology of sound recording, called the phonograph.
This is the speech of Louis Kossuth which he gave for the dedication of the statue for the 13 Hungarian generals, who were executed at Arad, Hungary, on October 6, 1849 (Arad is in Rumania today after annexation due to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920 ).The recording was made on September 20, 1890, when Kossuth was 88 years old. It is a sad fact that the monument Kossuth sent his speech for was torn down by the Rumanian government when they annexed Transylvania, along with Arad, in 1920, after World War I.

The original recording on two wax cylinders for the Edison phonograph survives to this day, although barely audible due to excess playback and unsuccessful early restoration attempts. Lajos Kossuth is the earliest born person in the world who has his voice preserved. Since the audio is of such poor quality, here is it is transcribed in Hungarian and translated to English (special thanks to Louis Kossuth in North America)


"A világ bírája a történelem fog e kérdésre felelni. Legyenek a szentemlékû vértanúk megáldottak poraikban, szellemeikben a hon szabadság Istenének legjobb áldásaival az örökkévalóságon keresztül; engem ki nem borulhatok le a Magyar Golgota porába, engem október 6-a térdeimre borulva fog hontalanságom remete lakában látni a mint az engem kitagadott Haza felé nyújtva agg karjaimat a hála hû érzelmeivel áldom a vértanúk szent emlékét hûségükért a Haza iránt, 's a magasztos példáért, melyet az utódoknak adtanak; 's buzgó imával kérem a magyarok Istenét, hogy tegye diadalmassá a velõkig ható szózatot, mely Hungária ajkairól a Magyar Nemzethez zeng. Úgy legyen Ámen!

September 20 1890
Kossuth Lajos

"The judge of the universe, history, will decide over this question. Should the saintly remembered martyrs be hallowed in their ashes, in their spirit with the highest blessings of the Lord of Liberty and through eternity; I can not pay my sympathies to the ashes of the Hungarian Golgotha, but October 6 will find me on my knees in this reclusive home of exile, as I open my arms to my disowning homeland. With gratitude's faithful sentiments, I bless the martyrs' sacred memory for their faith in their homeland and for the sublime example they left to their heirs: with ardent prayer I beg the God of Hungarians to make their appeal which echoes from the lips of Hungaria to the Hungarian Nation. So be it, Amen!

September 20 1890
Lajos Kossuth

The Kossuth Anthem:
Hear Louis Kossuth Speak!
Click to hear the recording:
"Kossuth Lajos azt üzente,
elfogyott a regimentje.
Ha még egyszer azt üzeni,
mindnyájunknak el kell menni,
Éljen a magyar szabadság,
Éljen a haza !
Esik esõ karikára,
Kossuth Lajos kalapjára.
Valahány csepp esik rája,
Annyi áldás szálljon rája,
Éljen a magyar szabadság,
Éljen a haza!"


  • AHF and the Kossuth Bust in the US Capitol
  • AHF commemorating 1848
  • President Bush Honors 1848 and Hungary's Contributions to Democracy
  • HRFA's excellent Kossuth in America [visit]
  • Select Speeches of Kossuth, Condensed and Abridged, with Kossuth's Express Sanction [visit]
  • Louis Kossuth, Mason And Apostle Of World Democracy [visit]
  • Count Apponyi's Oration on the Death of Louis Kossuth [visit]
  • Wikipedia - [visit] and add your thoughts!
  • Louis Kossuth in North America [visit]
  • Kossuth County, Iowa [visit]
  • Kossuth County, Iowa statue dedication
  • Dedication of statue to replace one destroyed by
    Rumanian occupation forces in 1921:
    Gyergyócsomafalva, Transylvania [visit]
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