General Gusztáv Jány – World War II war criminal, butcher of his own soldiers

In January 1943 the poorly equipped 2nd Hungarian Army was destroyed by the Soviet Red Army near the Don River.  In the senseless battle tens of thousands of Hungarians froze to death.  Some say that 93,500 lives were lost in less than two weeks, while others put the number at 148,000.

The Horthy government covered up the disaster and falsified the records so that even today we don’t know the details.

A couple of days ago Mr. István Szabó, Hungarian Defense State Secretary, declared that the “Don disaster” like many other events in history, showed how Hungarian soldiers do not run away from their task.  Hungarians fought till the very end at the Don River, even when their situation seemed hopeless, he added.

In many cases higher ranking officers brutalized ordinary soldiers and Jewish labor battalion members; most of them froze to death in the bitter cold.   Today the Orbán regime is trying to minimize the responsibility of General Jány and deny the criminal actions of the Horthy government.

General Gusztáv Jány

The 2nd Army was led by Gusztáv Jány who was born in 1883 in Rajka, Hungary and became a military officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army participating in WWI.  He had a successful but unremarkable military career, teaching at Hungary’s military academy and having administrative assignments.

In 1942 Jány was just about to retire when Admiral Horthy appointed him to lead the 2nd Army at the Eastern Front.  The appointment supposed to be a “retirement gift.”

Jány knew well that the Hungarians were ill-equipped, weak and never battle tested, no match to the Soviets.  When the Hungarian lines collapsed Jány did not try to save his own troops.  Instead, he issued draconian orders among them the medieval punishment of decimation, which was introduced to “increase discipline.”  He became the butcher of his own soldiers.

Even Horthy was stunned by his cruelty and forced Jány to withdraw some of his orders.

The introverted Jány had no children and exhibited little humanity or compassion.  He was a strict Protestant, read the Bible every day and one of his proudest achievements was to establish a Protestant chapel at the military academy.

After the Don disaster he was instrumental in the cover-up.  Although many urged an investigation his conduct, he was not charged.   In April 1943 Hitler awarded him the Iron Cross, three months later on August 5, 1943 Horthy dismissed him.   Jány later escaped to Germany where he was arrested by the Americans and turned back to Budapest.

Hitler praised the Hungarian General after the disastrous defeat.

The general has never showed any remorse.  In fact the New York Times reported that in May 1943 he gave a “glowing account” of the successful retreat carried out by his forces.  Nothing was further from the truth; the chaotic retreat was a disaster.  Jány misled the public and never admitted the atrocities he ordered.  He was tried in 1947, stripped his military ranks and executed by firing squad.

Jány gave a “glowing account” of his military success as reported by the NYT.

In 1993 his verdict was reversed on legal technicalities but his military rank has never been restored.  He is buried in Budapest, Farkasrét cemetery.

György Lázár

p.s. An uncle of the author was at the Don with the 2nd Army and froze to death.

15 Comments

  1. In wars, soldiers carry out their orders or they can bee shot ! That goes for buck-private to generals.

    As of the Don casualty list, who would know it better than the Red Army?! I feel sure ,they had informed you in case you contacted Moscow. But why do you fail to put the real blame on the selfish and stupid motives of those that made the decision to jump into a stupid bloody war just in the hope of territorial gains of that so called “Trianon” ?

    By the way, Kun Bela triggered Hungary’s total military occupation by the Romanian army, by pledging to ‘recover the losses of Trianon’.

    But you all do keep falling for the same defluncked dogma today here , that led Hungary into not just one, but two (2) failed bloody wars and total national and economic devestasion. Just how come you have conveniently forgotten that Mr. Lazar?

  2. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Interesting coincidence that you bring up this subject now. Because we just had a book launching of the biography of Nagybaczoni nagy Vilmos, the minister of defense of the times. At the launch we had an opportunity to hear legends and odes about the humanity and fairness of the Nagybaczoni. In my ignorance, not being familiar with his accomplishments, I had to rely on my customary doubts and cynicism. After all, it is definitely makes a great deal of difference and should provide solace to no end, if a fair humanist sends 140 thousand men into their demise.

  3. Sandor Kerekes says:

    Bendeguz79, you stupid, ignorant sod! Bela Kun couldn’t possibly do what you are claiming him doing since he was out of power a year before Trianon. At the time he had no idea that Trianon was going to be in the making a year after his departure.

  4. Andras B. Gollner says:

    Thank you Mr. Kerekes for alerting the readers to one of the rotten goose eggs left behind by the hard-working Bendy goose.

    He is of course correct when he proclaims that “in wars, soldiers carry out their orders or they can bee shot !” He should know. The reason why he comes down to this underpass to white-wash the Hungarian autocracy’s dirty laundry is because he is at war with the truth. He knows that if he doesn’t follow the orders of his commanders, he’ll be out of a job.

    Bendy goose walks like a goose, talks a goose but shits like a bull.

  5. Andras B. Gollner says:

    The horrors of the anti-Semitic “Christian-National Course” followed by Hitler’s Hungarian ally, Admiral Nicholas Horthy are well known to all who are in possession of a brain bigger than a wall-nut. (Our own Bendy-goose belongs to the latter category.)

    The only reason Horthy was not punished for his war crimes is, that Joseph Stalin came to his rescue and asked the Americans to take him off the Nurenberg list. Stalin did not want to alarm Horthy’s sizeable followers in Hungary when the Red Army took over that country in 1945. He needed to give some time to his Bolshevik agents in Hungary to hunt down one by one the outspoken anti-communists. This was the period of the so-called salami tactics followed by Mátyás Rákosi and the Russian trained Hungarian comrades. Stalin wanted to create the impression that he has no intention to reintroduce a Bela Kún like dictatorship of the proletariat in Hungary. He wanted the Communist parties in Western Europe, especially in France and Italy to have a better chance at the polls in the post-war elections. He wanted the Americans and the British to disarm and mothball their weapons. He played nice and Horthy was one of his cards in this affinity fraud.

    Orbán’s perpetuation of Stalin’s excuse of Horthy, his resurrection of the language of the “Christian National Course” is a continuation of the affinity fraud begun by the Bolsheviks. The Hungarian PM, Viktor Orbán, the President of Hungary, János Áder, the President of Parliament, László Kövér were all Secretaries of the Hungarian Young Communists when Gorbachov took away the ladder on which they were climbing to the top. They were all well versed in the language of the Bolshevik affinity fraud. They merely substituted new words for the old ones, in order to pull the wool over the eyes of Hungary’s ill informed citizens.

    The reason why Orbán is so popular with the white supremacist Christian alt-right in America, why Steve Bannon and the people around Donald Trump adore him is that they envy and admire his fraudulent successes. As Steve Bannon said – Orbán was Trump before Trump.

    The Bendy goose was a siting duck before he began to lay goose-eggs in this underpass. He is working his way to the top of the troll-farm command as a bull-shit artist. 🙂

  6. Thank you Mr. Kerekes, you right Bendeguz79 not just stupid but crazy. He probably was Kun Béla grandson. The Hungarians did non wnat toinvolve in the I. Wordld war. That was before Ku Béla start the kommunist revolution, the romanian army move into Hungary to destroly the kommunists, after thez did, moved out. Unfortunately they get Erdély as a reward.

  7. In wars, soldiers carry out their orders or they can bee shot ! That goes for buck-private to generals.
    As of the Don casualty list, who would know it better than the Red Army?! I feel sure ,they had informed you in case you contacted Moscow. But why do you fail to put the real blame on the selfish and stupid motives of those that made the decision to jump into a stupid bloody war just in the hope of territorial gains of that so called “Trianon” ?
    By the way, Kun Bela triggered Hungary’s total military occupation by the Romanian army, by pledging to ‘recover the losses of Trianon’.
    But you all do keep falling for the same defluncked dogma today here , that led Hungary into not just one, but two (2) failed bloody wars and total national and economic devestasion. Just how come you have conveniently forgotten that Mr. Lazar?

  8. to; Kerekes and Bogar ;

    Not my nature nor my style to slander and accuse any one.
    But want to remind you of your own words, that really was your own confession;

    “..not just stupid but crazy…”

  9. GOLLNER;

    Evidently your PhD do not extend to know that Kun was executed by Stalin because Kun turned into competing against Lenin’s ideas.
    He had to wipe out all the “Kunists” as Joe called them all, like the case of Lev Bronstein.

    • Reality Check says:

      Brother, why are you sock puppeting?

    • “… Kun turned into competing against Lenin’s ideas. …” That is real bullshit Bende … were did you learn Historian, get your money back.

      Stalin had no rational motive for eliminating Kun.
      Kun was not an oppositionist, not a partisan of the Trotskyists or any other such movement, but a loyal follower of Stalin.

  10. Andras B. Gollner says:

    I’m outa here. This place stinks of bendy gas 🙂

  11. In wars, soldiers carry out their orders or they can bee shot ! That goes for buck-private to generals.
    As of the Don casualty list, who would know it better than the Red Army?! I feel sure ,they had informed you in case you contacted Moscow. But why do you fail to put the real blame on the selfish and stupid motives of those that made the decision to jump into a stupid bloody war just in the hope of territorial gains of that so called “Trianon” ?
    By the way, Kun Bela triggered Hungary’s total military occupation by the Romanian army, by pledging to ‘recover the losses of Trianon’.
    But you all do keep falling for the same defluncked dogma today here , that led Hungary into not just one, but two (2) failed bloody wars and total national and economic devestasion. Just how come you have conveniently forgotten that Mr. Lazar?

    • “By the way, Kun Bela triggered Hungary’s total military occupation by the Romanian army, by pledging to ‘recover the losses of Trianon’.” I doubt that but …

      By the way, Horthy triggered Hungary’s total military occupation by the German and later Russian army, by pledging to ‘recover the losses of Trianon’.

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