Hungarian film Eternal Winter blames President Roosevelt for the Gulag

Attila Szász is an exceptionally talented Hungarian film director. A couple of years ago I saw his film Demimonde (Félvilág) at the Tiburon Fim Festival and I found it intriguing.

Attila Szász

His latest film Eternal Winter (Örök tél) takes place at the end of World War II when many ethnic Germans were rounded up in Hungary and sent to labor camps in the Soviet Union. Irene, a young mother is sent to a coal mine in the Donets Basin. She meets Rajmund, another deportee and develops a romantic relationship to survive the horrible conditions.

Eternal Winter is a film about the Gulag.

The film is a bit slow to my taste. Visually stunning, the cinematography is excellent. Marina Gera as Irene gives a memorable performance but I find the screen romance problematic. Irene and her love interest, Rajmund (played by Sándor Csányi) have zero screen chemistry and I had a hard time imagining these two in love. Szász does paint a realistic picture of everyday life in the camp. Conditions gradually improved and some Hungarian deportees voluntarily remained in the Soviet Union to start a new life.

At the end of the film a Hungarian text appears explaining the context. It states that the deportations were ordered by Stalin “with the full knowledge of President Roosevelt and Churchill.” The implication is that Roosevelt and Churchill were also responsible for the Gulag.

A couple of months ago Szász was in San Francisco and I asked him about this message. He told me that he thinks that this text was added later and promised to check it and get back to me. I never heard from him.

In the last couple of years the Orbán government has started to scapegoat President Roosevelt for Hungary’s failures in WWII, conveniently forgetting the fact that Hungary declared war on the Soviet Union and the United States and attacked the Soviet Union. Since Orbán considers Admiral Horthy an “exceptional statesman,” America has also become a target to blame. As part of its anti-American campaign the government removed Roosevelt’s name from one of Budapest’s most beautiful squares in 2011.

György Lázár

Roosevelt Square in Budapest renamed.


  1. Avatar Don Hermiston says:

    President Roosevelt at the behest of his Communist and Zionist administration made decisions which gave Stalin half of Europe at the end of the Second World War. Anybody who reads history will realize this fact.

    • Don Fool
      Here the old fascists go again with brazen lies and nonsense:
      – Know about the negotiations at the Moscow conference in 1944 and the Percentage Agreement? Without Roosevelt.
      – Heard that Harry Truman was happy to see Nazi Germany and Communist SU mortally exhaust each other?
      – And BTW, who were the Roosevelt “Communist and Zionist admin” members? Sec. of State Cordell Hull ?
      Anybody who reads history will realize that yours are moronic statements.

  2. For several years Orban plays for his base of neo-fascists and neo-nazis with success . Western governments and the EU ignore these actions so why should he stop?

  3. Avatar Todd Edelman says:

    The anti-Semitism of Roosevelt contributed to the genocide of European Jewry, but that doesn’t mean that I blame him for the Holocaust.

  4. Todd E
    And how did exactly US policies contribute to the genocide in Europe?
    How does this “contribution” compare to that of Hungary which transported ~ 500 000 of it’s citizens to be exterminated?

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