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Hungary in World War IICaught in the Cauldron$
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Deborah S. Cornelius

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233434

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233434.001.0001

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From Arrow Cross Rule to Soviet Occupation

From Arrow Cross Rule to Soviet Occupation

(p.334) 9 From Arrow Cross Rule to Soviet Occupation
Hungary in World War II

Deborah S. Cornelius

Fordham University Press

The failed armistice and ensuing Arrow Cross rule was a catastrophe for Hungary, prolonging the war for five agonizing months. The Szálasi administration governed only western Hungary, while the Soviets occupied much of the east. During the bitter siege of Budapest, Christmas 1944 until February 12, 1945, the city was destroyed; the whole country becoming a battlefield between German and Soviet forces. Massive Soviet looting and rape and war damage to the industrial sector left the country paralyzed, but the Soviets demanded immediate delivery of reparations, including forced labor. In the random collection of supposed prisoners of war, the Red Army abducted an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 people to the Soviet Union—a large number of civilians. The Hungarians were to be punished for fighting against the Soviet Union and to be despoiled of their resources to contribute to its rebuilding.

Keywords:   siege of Budapest, looting, rape, reparations, forced labor, prisoners of war

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