Letter to the editor: To attribute saving of the Ghetto to Colonel Koszorús is not warranted

I am neither a writer nor a historian, but in 1944 my father (Kálmán József) was more than an acquaintance of Admiral Horthy and has been a friend of Horthy’s Senior Aide-de-Camp, General Gábor Gerloczy.

In November 1944 I was 18 1/2 years old, a labor camp escapee surviving in Budapest in a self designed military uniform and having freed my father from a “sanc aso” camp in Valko and later freed my mother from the international ghetto of Budapest.

Whereas I am not privy to the details of Col. Koszorus’ actions, from my experience and knowledge of those days, I do not believe that if indeed the action of the Colonel saved the lives of the Jews in the Budapest Ghetto, this was incidental of his carrying out the order of Horthy in forcing the Gendarmes to leave Budapest, having been brought to the Capital by Endre and Baky (a former Gendarme officer) for the purpose of deposing Horthy.

The actual saviour of the Ghetto is believed to have been the German SS General who posted SS guards to the gates of the Ghetto after Raoul Wallenberg promised to personally ensure his being hanged after the War if he carries out orders of killing the Ghetto inhabitants.

In my view, to attribute the saving of the Ghetto to Colonel Koszorus is not warranted. But his carrying out the orders of Admiral Horthy, had indeed helped Horthy in not being overthrown by the planned action of Baky Laszlo and Endre Laszlo. Obviously, since Baky and Endre wanted to act against Horthy as well as against the Ghetto, the fact that Col. Koszorus’ was commanding the only Hungarian armed units to carry out Horthy’s orders to remove the Hungarian Nazis who wanted to overthrow the Regent of Hungary, the success of the operation had an effect on the Ghetto. But to attribute the saving of the Ghetto to Col. Koszorus is just as unjustified as my life having been saved by General Gerloczy, who was instrumental in preventing my labour company being sent to Poland or Russia in 1944.

Steven Colman

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