Thank you to Konrád Rigó for commemorating the Slovak National Uprising

Last summer Konrád Rigó, a 38-year-old ethnic Hungarian and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture in Slovakia, gave a speech on Slovakia’s National Day. Mr. Rigó, who is a member of the Most-Híd party spoke at Dunajská Streda (Dunaszerdahely in Hungarian) explaining how sons of many nations fought with the partisans during World War II.

In addition to Slovaks, Poles, Serbs, Croats, and Soviets, Mr. Rigó also mentioned Hungarians and Americans.

Mr. Konrád Rigó (in blue suit) commemorating the Slovak National Uprising

The Slovak National Uprising was launched on 29 August 1944 from Banská Bystrica (Besztercebánya) and ended badly. The anti-fascists fought against the Germans, some Hungarian Nyilas authorities and the remnants of Horthy’s pro-Hitler army. The revolt was organized by Edvard Benes, the leader of the Czechoslovak government in exile, and supported by US President Franklin Roosevelt.

The German Nazis mobilized their forces against the rebels and the reprisal was barbaric. Einsatzgruppen units executed thousands of Slovak civilians and 93 villages were destroyed on suspicion of collaboration.

In Budapest no statement was made acknowledging the many Hungarians who fought in the uprising. Viera Kováčova, a Slovak historian has estimated that in the summer of 1944 more than 3,000 Hungarians fought in Slovakia. (Read about the participation here in Hungarian.) Pál Maléter, the hero and martyr of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, led one partisan unit in 1944 as did Sándor Nógrádi who became one of the famous Communist partisan leaders. After the 1956 revolution Nógrádi was sidelined by the Kádár-regime and ended up in China as Ambassador.

The Slovak MKP party (Party of the Hungarian Community) failed to pay respect to the ethnic Hungarians who participated in the WWII uprising. Shamefully this small party followed Budapest’s example and ignored this important anniversary

In the US the CIA honored Maria Gulovich, a Slovak schoolteacher who saved American lives. Later she became an American citizen and died in Los Angeles in 2009. (Read the CIA report about Gulovich here.) Many Americans were captured and killed. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of the CIA, coordinated the activities. OSS agent Captain Edward Baranski, an American of Slovak and Polish heritage landed at the Tri Duby airfield in September 1944 in a B-17 bomber filled with military supplies. He was later captured and sent to Mauthausen concentration camp, where he was executed in January 1945. Lt. J. Holt Green was in command of Jerry Mican, Joseph Horvath and Robert Brown; they were all captured and executed in Mauthausen. Tibor Keszthelyi, a Hungarian-American OSS agent, was also among the executed.

Sonya Jason’s book about Maria Gulovich.

Today few Hungarian Americans know about this tragic episode of WWII which was probably the only occasion where Hungarians and Americans fought together against fascism. This year US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling, and Major General Courtney Carr, Adjutant General of the Indiana National Guard, attended the wreath laying ceremony in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia.

Many of us Hungarian-Americans are grateful to Slovak State Secretary Rigó for reminding ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia that anti-fascists of both nations fought together in WWII against the common enemy, the Nazi Wehrmacht and its local surrogates.

György Lázár

14 Comments

  1. Given Konrad Rigo’s position as State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture in Slovakia, wouldn’t it simply be considered his job to commemorate a major event in Slovakia’s national history? Not sure a thank you is needed. It’s good that he acknowledged other ethnic groups that fought alongside Slovaks, but wouldn’t this be standard practice at such an event? (Provided that the state secretary isn’t a Slovak nationalist.)

  2. Thank you Mr. Lazar for this well researched reminder to us all. The brave anti-fascist fighters, and the innocent villagers and town-folk who were brutally murdered by the Nazis deserve our thanks and a moment of silent reflection. What they don’t deserve is the crassly insensitive words of the troll who goes under the name of Lanark. He belongs in the trash, rather than here.

  3. György Lázár says:

    Dear Lanark,

    Things are complicated in Slovakia. August 29 is a National Holiday, the anniversary of the antifascist Slovak National Uprising of 1944. Ethnic Hungarians were involved on both sides. Thousands of Hungarian partisans fought in the uprising against thousands of pro-fascist Hungarians (the Nyilas and some Horthy troops) on the other side with the German Wehrmacht.

    Today in Slovakia ethnic Hungarian politicians of the Most-Híd Party, like Mr. Rigó, commemorate the National Holiday while ethnic Hungarian politicians of the Slovak MKP (Party of the Hungarian Community) , like Mr. Pál Csáky (who is a member of the European Parliament) will not. MKP follows Orbán’s bizarre pro-Horthy nostalgia and claims that the antifascists were “Communists” even the American OSS agents.

    • I appreciate the additional info Mr Lazar. Thank you. What is normal to me about our prime minister and every responsible politician acknowledging the role of minorities in our national history (and rejecting fascism!) must not be so normal in places like Slovakia and Orbanist Hungary.

  4. I don’t see what point there is to celebrate the fight of one extremist group (Communists), versus another (Nazis). Both sides produced tens of millions of victims in the 20’th century. The communists actually killed perhaps twice as many people as the Nazis did. The efforts of the current extreme left (globalists, neo-Marxists…..) to raise the communists to the status of heroes is nothing less than an insult to the tens of millions of people that perished due to that evil ideology, as well as the hundreds of millions who suffered the effects of that Utopian experiment.

    • Christopher Adam says:

      Peter,

      How would you tell that to my grandmother, father, aunt and uncle who just barely survived the Holocaust in the Budapest Ghetto (unlike my grandfather who perished in Dachau) solely because of actions by partisans and especially the entry of the Red Army? None of them were communists–quite the contrary. My father and uncle fought in 1956 and had to flee. But they owed their survival in 1945 to communists and above all to the Red Army.

      • You are right. At the same time, how would you justify the celebration of an extremist movement which led to the murder of tens of millions of people around the world? How would you justify it to the Ukrainians, given that 10 million of them were starved to death? How would you justify it to my mother, whose co-worker and friend was arrested one night, simply because he got drunk and uttered some profanities about the communist regime? The following morning he was declared deceased. Official cause of death? Lung disease! At funeral, plenty of visible marks of torture on his face. The same regime that such partisans helped install, also did that! That same Red Army committed countless crimes in 1944-1945, and facilitated further crimes afterwards. I do understand your point of view, but it seems you focus on your own family’s plight, without considering that of others. Perhaps Jews could simply celebrate the fact that they escaped, without celebrating somebody else’s criminal? Should victims not share compassion and empathy & understanding towards others who were also victimized? Why is it that Jewish groups complain if anyone dares to celebrate Nazis, which in some cases were liberators from the communist menace? Like I said, perhaps twice as many victims of communism than there were do to Nazism.

  5. György Lázár says:

    Peter,

    You might be out of touch (I was polite) when you dare “to celebrate Nazis, which in some cases were liberators from the communist menace?” I don’t think that you understand the nature of fascism and what WWII was about. Here is some help from President Roosevelt, 1942.

    “Many people ask, “When will this war end?” There is only one answer to that. It will end just as soon as we make it end, by our combined efforts, our combined strength, our combined determination to fight through and work through until the end —the end of militarism in Germany and Italy and Japan. Most certainly we shall not settle for less.

    That is the spirit in which discussions have been conducted during the visit of the British Prime Minister to Washington. Mr. Churchill and I understand each other, our motives and our purposes. Together, during the past two weeks, we have faced squarely the major military and economic problems of this greatest world war.

    All in our Nation have been cheered by Mr. Churchill’s visit. We have been deeply stirred by his great message to us. He is welcome in our midst, and we unite in wishing him a safe return to his home.

    For we are fighting on the same side with the British people, who fought alone for long, terrible months, and withstood the enemy with fortitude and tenacity and skill.

    We are fighting on the same side with the Russian people who have seen the Nazi hordes swarm up to the very gates of Moscow, and who with almost superhuman will and courage have forced the invaders back into retreat.

    We are fighting on the same side as the brave people of China—those millions who for four and a half long years have withstood bombs and starvation and have whipped the invaders time and again in spite of the superior Japanese equipment and arms. Yes, we are fighting on the same side as the indomitable Dutch. We are fighting on the same side as all the other Governments in exile, whom Hitler and all his armies and all his Gestapo have not been able to conquer.

    But we of the United Nations are not making all this sacrifice of human effort and human lives to return to the kind of world we had after the last world war.

    We are fighting today for security, for progress, and for peace, not only for ourselves but for all men, not only for one generation but for all generations. We are fighting to cleanse the world of ancient evils, ancient ills.

    Our enemies are guided by brutal cynicism, by unholy contempt for the human race. We are inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His own image.”…

    • Thats great Mr Lazar, but with all due respect you are referencing The president of a nation that just entered WW2 on a certain side. Not to mention that he represented a country that was not in any danger of being overrun by uncle Joe and his red army. To suggest that to the average European caught between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, there would have been a definite distinction between which one of the evils was more evil is pure ignorance on your part. You are forgetting that the Poles % Czechs preferred to face down Hitler alone rather than accept a British-French proposal to have Soviet troops enter as a deterrent. There was a reason for that!

      The quote you provided highlights US cynicism and hypocrisy more than anything, given the undisputed record of crimes that the Soviets have already committed by 1942, against their own people and others.

  6. Child of survivors says:

    The Russian Army liberated my father from forced in the Hungarian fields, and my aunts in Koloszvar -for this, I will always be grateful.
    It wasn’t Patton, the nasty opinionated anti Semite for sure –

  7. György Lázár says:

    Peter,

    Fascism advocates race war. Germans are the master race, Slavs are the slaves, Jews, Gypsies murdered, „ausradieren”.. etc. Japanese fascists considered Chinese and Korean disposable subhumans. The mankind must avoid race wars, it would be the end of civilization as we know of…

    Communism is a legitimate theory, it is taught at US universities. It does not advocate mass murder. You are correct that Stalinism, Mao’s Cultural Revolution resulted class wars that cost lots of lives and even mass murders took place. But that has nothing to do with the Communist theory. There are functioning and prospering Communist States (China, Vietnam..) I assume that you don’t suggest that Communist Vietnam today murders millions of people…

    Don’t blame Communism, blame dictators like Stalin, Kim Dzsong Un who are misusing the Communist theory in order to maintain dictatorships.

    • Whatever you may think of the ideologies, it does not change the realities that people faced on the ground during those times, which is the subject of this discussion, not so much the ideological relevance. Reality was that the people stuck between Germany and the Soviet Union were faced with a choice between two evils. Neither choice needs to be celebrated in my view, because both led to victims.

  8. Me thinks, it is not worthwhile to get into a lengthy discussion with Peter Troll, since he will fabricate whatever he wants to mislead those who may be critical of his autocratic regime, and of that regime’s turn towards a shameful pro-Nazi past.

    Facts don’t lie. Hungary was not stuck between two evils during the interwar years. It introduced the first anti-Jewish laws in Europe in 1920, when Hitler wasn’t even a blip on anybody’s radar. She declared war on Canada, many of her neighbors, including the US. Hungary joyfully got into bed with the Nazis, welcomed the German army on its territory with open arms, sent 600,000 Jews to the gas chambers, and fought to the bitter end, unlike the Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Romanians, or Yugoslavs, to defend the German Reich. 60,000 Hungarian soldiers were caught deep inside German territory at the end of the war, fighting against the Allies while their hero was popping pills in his Berlin bunker, and hoping his scientists would beat the Americans to the Atom bomb, so he could blow the world sky high.

    Trolls. You are not only disgusting, but you also suck in history.

    • I may not be an expert in history. I would not say I “suck” at it, in fact, I probably know more general history, as well as its procedural and ethical rules, than most of your students. In fact, I get the feeling that the only thing your students get out of you is a thorough Marxist-globalist brainwash.

      While history may not be my strongest subject, you most definitely suck at trying to change the subject. It is not Hungary’s record, but whether either of two evil camps that faced each other should be celebrated. Jews object to Ukrainians celebrating their Nazi liberators from the clutches of the evil communist regime that killed millions of them, yet many on this site think that it is alright to celebrate those who freed many Jews from the holocaust, while they also brought death, rape, imprisonment, oppression, decades of misery that was forced on hundreds of millions of people in East-Central Europe. The effects of the collapse of that nasty Marxist Utopian experiment are still to be seen and felt in the region, therefore the people living there are still victims of it, yet some here think it should be celebrated.

      And seriously, that whole “Troll” thing, it is in its infancy, yet getting really old and annoying! It is also a sure sign that someone has no valid, and reasonable arguments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *