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


  1. Are you really trying to blame the son for the sins of his father, if any? I don’t see you offering any evidence that the son has sinned. You really are too much.

  2. While I think that it is right to demand from Congressman Harris to explain his close relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán I believe it is wrong to demand from him to explain why his father spent two years in the Gulag.
    Nobody is responsible for what his father did. And if his father was two years in the Gulag, it is not evidence for wrongdoing.

    • When a politician invokes his father, the public has every right to know what it means. This has nothing to do with wrongdoing.

  3. “Pro-fascist Hungarian Army”.
    Referring to the than called “Honvedsereg”.

    Unfortunately, for some unspecified reason or purpose Hungary become ally of National Socialist Germany.
    It has become a very unfortunate consequence for close to a million Hungarians, if I may say human being, who were directly affected by that outcome of W.W.II.
    But to be honest, hardly any society in Europe did avoid that bloodbath, may be Switzerland and the Vatican.
    But why do you blame the victims always and never those who’s idea was the very starting cause?
    Like Weishaupt, Marx, Hitler, Stalin,etc.?
    Those who were ordered to go to war, are not also victims of the very war.
    Mr.Harris’s father was likely a prisoner of war ?!
    Do you know what that is Mr.Lazar?
    Have any idea what life was in the war as well in a Gulag prison camp ?
    Count your blessing, in case you were lucky enough!
    Not very clear, who is praising Horthy? Orban or Putin ?

    But I do not see the motivation of your attack against Congressman Harris ?

  4. Not all all, this is fair comment in the public interest. Congressman Harris is hugely supporting Viktor Orban, who the late Republican Senator, John McCain, specifically called out as a “Neo-Fascist.” Fact. All Dr. Lazar is asking is the perfectly legitimate question of what was Zoltan Haris (correct spelling) put into a “Soviet gulag,” as his son keeps claiming, FOR? Was Zoltan Haris in the pr0-Hitler Hungarian Army, which was fighting against the Allies, including of course American service members? How did Zoltan Haris come to be picked up later by the Soviet Army and why did they put him in a “Soviet gulag”? For what? And where was he put and how did he get out within such a short time? Harris, the son, is a real right wing Tea Party Republican fanatic in the so-called “Freedom” Caucus who has criticised our dipomats in Budapest for speaking out about the suppression of Hungarian independent media, suppression of academic freedom, cosying up to a blatant American enemy, Putin, etc. So we need more context here for where this total enabling of neo-fascist so-called “illiberal” (an oxymoron) enthusiasm is coming from. We need answers from Andy Harris.

  5. Avatar Phil S. Stine says:

    My grandfather was in the Hungarian Army and spent time a POW. I don’t think any shame is attached to that; I certainly don’t feel any. So, no obvious sins by the father have been presented (accept Anglicising his surname).

    The son on the other hand seems to have misrepresented his father’s incarceration. If I’d read or heard the following without further embellishment;

    “my father is of Hungarian descent and he was an anti-communist who was sent to a Soviet Gulag for two years,”

    I’d assume that he’s been active during 1956; not that he’d been a POW.

  6. I agree with Karl Pfeifer’s comment fully. What Andy Harris and other members of the Congressional “Hungarian caucus” must answer is why they are supporting a regime that is Putin’s “Trojan Horse” in the Western Alliance, why they engage in misleading the American public about an autocrat that has diverted Hungary from the path of justice, the rule of law and sustainable economic development.

    Empirically verifiable evidence is broadly available on the Orbán regime’s breach of the values and principles the Western alliance and the European Union swore to uphold. What we should be focusing on is not Andy Harris’s loyalty to his Dad, but his loyalty to a corrupt, rule of law violator who serves as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece within the Western alliance for all of the dictators in the world.

  7. No one needed to be a soldier in the than Hungarian Army to end up in a soviet Gulag.

    How many were taken under the “malinkij robot” excuse ???

    And that was accepted even under the Yalta Conference. As the invading forces caused damage in Soviet territories. They were held responcible for some of the re-building, beside the monetary compensations, called “war debt” or “jovatetel”.

    There was an article on KMH about a small north-eastern community in Hungary,that stated how many were takes for “malikij robot” to Siberia.
    It was about 15-20% of the community, about 1/3 has never returned.
    Just what crime has those “liberated” citizens might have committed against globalist Marxism ?

    I am sure any one can find more reliable data on the subject ,by a little searching.

    Just why the author would not put the blame where it really belong ???

  8. Avatar György Lázár says:

    Andy Harris made the fact that his parents fought against Communism and “escaped Communism” the cornerstone of his campaign. His campaign literature contains references to the Soviet Gulag… He avoided explaining the details so far and his voters have every right to know it. (Watch one of his videos from 7:00 min…)

  9. Mr.Lazar, just where is the stated “Gulag story” ?

    You only mentioned in your work, that Mr.Harris’s father has been in one of Stalin’s Gulags.

    But where is the “story:”?

  10. The “cornerstone” of his campaign.

    Some how , I doubt that the voters in Maryland would be much concerned such things as about their representativ’s parents long ago history.

  11. Avatar Váci Klebelsberg Kultúrkör says:

    The biggest criminals of the human history were ( and are ) the communists/(and the so called “socialists”).
    Their “doppelmoral” has no limits…

    • Avatar Phil S. Stine says:

      Europe is awash with socialists … only one thing for it, Huxit

    • How about the Hungarian administration, the Hungarian police and the Hungarian gendarmerie under Miklós Horthy, who put about 500.000 Hungarian citizens in ghettos, robbed them and sent them to Auschwitz-Birkenau?

    • Can you explain what the “doppelmoral” is?

  12. Ms., Lazar, just where did you get your information that Horthy had been “pro Hitler” or pro German ?

    He made the terrible mistake of becoming an ally of National Socialist Germany.
    Either he was afraid that Hungary could have been invaded just like Poland, OR was in the hope of regain the “Trianon”real estates.
    Likely had the best of intention with it, that turned out to be a total disaster.

    But Horthy was not pro-Hitler, as matter of fact even Szalasy was not one. That is why Horthy could keep him in prison.
    Horthy was not even pro-German. He was raised and educated under the Habsburgh rule,and with the German language and Habsburg influence, but he was pretty patriotic to his birth-country.

    Have you read about his Salzburg meeting with Hitler?
    But let’s be honest, not too many European countries avoided the horror of World War 2, whomsoever they might have allied with.

    Have you considered those simple but undeniable facts ?!

    No,No ,do not start sending Gollner after me , alleging that I defend Horthy or any one !
    Just try to be fair and honest !

    • If you’re right, Horthy is just a stupid and cowardly dog … and if you’re right, he’s been a Nazi-toady … like Fidesz today.

  13. I did not know your Horthy, just what I have read mostly.
    In WWI. he proved himself to be not so cowardly.

    But he was the product of the XIX century. Not clever enough for the big players of the XX century.

    Now, tell us just what have you done differently in case if you were in his shoes ? Now that you have 20/20 hind-site ?

    Your comments here, sure do not demonstrate much intellect nor wisdom either.
    So what do you have to brag about?
    Nobody is perfect ! All fails in this life.

    Did any of your idols have performed any better ???

    • Horthy is your idol …? … I have no idols. Horthy cuddled with Adolf, he did not have to do that. Horthy wanted to negate Trianon with the war on the side of Germany and he sent the Jews to the front as a soldierworker – cannon fodder.

      Yes, there were some politicians who did it better, in one way or another. Like you are better in failing.

  14. Carl Pfeifer;

    Your allegations are not correct.
    The Hungarian authorities have complied with German orders and rounded up many people.
    Even sent many to labor camp, many were killed mostly by German units. But Hungary was responsible for that all.
    But the bloodbath started after Eichman took control of the country in October 1944, and put Szalasy in charge.
    That just about nobody could do anything to prevent or change anything. Not even the Red Army.
    Horthy was a prisoner of the SS.
    His son was held hostage in Dahau.
    Just simple facts to set you straight.

    Now, do NOT start that bull shit that I attempt to “white wash” what happened, but keep your allegations straight !!!

    • For the massacre of Kamenetz-Podolsk, Horthy’s troops deported at the end of August 1941, 23,600 Jews from Hungary to Kamenetz-Podolsk. If that was not cooperation … what do you want to white wash?

  15. You keep repeating that “pro-Hitler Hungarian Army” BS.

    Do you think the US was pro-Szoviet for fighting against your beloved national-socialist Hitler idol?

    NO, simply because Hitler declared war on the USA !

    Just because you were living in that “pro-Hitler” country , were you all guilty of the same ?

    • “Just because you were living in that “pro-Hitler” country , were you all guilty of the same?” Yes, thats is wright, like the Germans. But we spoke about toady, and you defend this horthy and this Fidesz.

  16. Yes, it is true that in 1941 Hungarian authorities deported about 25,000 none-hungarian citizens, who have escaped from Poland,that the Germans executed in Ukraine.

    But tell us who made that very decision ?!!!

    • It was also Hungarians, at that time Horthy was the leader! You remember that Horthy, who established law against the Jewish.

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