Rep. Andy Harris’s unexplained “Gulag story”

The Maryland Democratic Party recently filed an ethics complaint against U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), accusing him of failing to report his new wife’s consulting income on his financial disclosure forms. It seems that Rep. Harris may have forgotten to disclose other things also, among them important facts about his family history.

Rep. Harris is seen next to PM Viktor Orbán as part of a visiting US Congressional delegation.

In 2012 while honoring Hungarian Holocaust hero Raoul Wallenberg who saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews the Congressman got emotional: “This is very emotional for me because my father is of Hungarian descent and he was an anti-communist who was sent to a Soviet Gulag for two years,” and he added “It is an honor to help recognize the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, one the greatest humanitarians of the 20th Century. Even in tragic periods like the Holocaust, heroes like Raoul Wallenberg shine a light for future generations so they never forget.” (Read more here.)

Rep. Harris often refers to his father as an anti-Communist fighter who was sent to the Gulag, yet he has never explained the reason why his father was sent there.

The Congressman’s father was born in 1911 as Zoltán Haris, in Miskolc, Hungary. (The family name later was changed to the more English sounding Harris with a double “r”.) He went to Catholic schools and was trained as a dentist. Zoltán got married, his wife name was Erzsébet and they had a son, Gábor born in 1944. The circumstances are not clear but is seems his wife died soon after childbirth.

Ms. Eszter Gaál lives in Miskolc, Hungary, she is a cousin of Rep. Harris

Family relatives recalled that Rep. Harris’s father served in the pro-Hitler Hungarian army and was probably captured by the Soviets and sent to a POW camp. The Hungarian army fought against the Allies, including the Americans. About 1,000 US airmen were killed in Hungary during WWII.

After returning from the Soviet Union Dr. Haris practiced medicine in Hungary. Around 1948 he left the country and lived in a DP (Displaced Persons) camp in Saltzburg, Austria. There he met Irene Koczerzuk, a Polish refugee from Ukraine. The couple later immigrated to the US and Rep. Harris was born in 1957.

Since Rep. Harris is a public figure representing many veterans, among them WWII veterans, it is important to clarify his family history. When and where did his father serve in the pro-fascist Hungarian army? And how did he end up in the Soviet Gulag?

Mr. Gergely Gulyás, minister leading the Prime Minister’s Office (left) visiting Rep. Andy Harris

The Congressman should also explain his unusually close relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is pro-Putin and who has praised pro-Hitler WWII Hungarian leader Miklós Horthy as a “great statesman.”

György Lázár

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