Hungary in the closing months of World War II had two functioning governments in an effective state of war with each other, their spheres of jurisdiction separated only by the fighting front. The government in the west was a carry-over from the country’s alliance with Nazi Germany; it remained steadfast in that alliance, never surrendered and was physically driven from the country. Its evacuation was not a mere military retreat; it was comprehensive. In the words of a Hungarian historian of World War II:

It is without parallel, not only in Hungarian history but in the history of Europe as well, that virtually the entire leadership cadre, the high administrative bureaucracy, the officer corps of the armed forces, the generals and general officers, as well as the police force, should in one body leave the country. It is unprecedented that the entire machinery of the state, its political and economic governance, its parliamentary and law enforcement organs, its defense forces of several hundred thousands, and its [major] institutions, should transfer themselves to another state, sweeping along a significant portion of the social elite, carrying away even the prisoners, certainly the political ones…. On German territory, in an illusion of legality, lacking a political home base, this state apparatus lived and carried out its activities for several weeks.1


Officer Corps Western Power Peace Negotiation Social Elite Great Hungarian Plain 
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  1. 1.
    Gyula Juhász, Magyarország kulpolitikája, 1919–1945 (Hungarian Foreign Policy, 1919–1945) Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 1988, 452–53.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nicholas Kállay, Hungarian Premier: A Personal Account of a Nation’s Struggle in the Second World War, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1964, 370.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Cited in, Mihály Korom, A Magyar fegyverszünet, 1945 (The Hungarian Armistice, 1945). Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 1987, 9.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Mihály Korom, Magyarország ideiglenes kormánya és a fegyverszünet, 1944–45 (Hungary’s Provisional Government and the Armistice, 1944–45). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1981, 104, fn.Google Scholar

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© Eric Roman 1996

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  • Eric Roman

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