|Born||18 Jun 1868|
|Died||9 Feb 1957|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseMiklós Horthy was a diplomat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Turkey then an aide-de-camp to Emperor Franz Joseph. During WW1, Horthy, an admiral in the Austro-Hungarian Navy, repeatedly defeated the Italian naval forces, earning the promotion to the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Fleet in Mar 1918. After the Versailles Treaty separated Austria and Hungary into two separate states, he became an admiral to a non-existent Navy of landlocked Hungary. In 1919 civil war broke out when a Communist regime took over Budapest; Horthy established a government in Szeged. The Communist government collapsed on 3 Aug 1919, and Romania seized the opportunity to occupy Budapest. On 14 Nov, Horthy took back the city and drove the Romanians out of Hungary on 25 Feb 1920. In Mar, 1920, the National Assembly of Hungary re-established the Kingdom of Hungary, but elected not to recall Charles IV of Hungary from exile. Horthy ruled as regent. Befriending Adolf Hitler, he was awarded part of Slovakia, Carpathian Ruthenia, and part of Transylvania. Starting in 1938, he had also passed several anti-Semitic laws, restricting the freedom of Hungarian Jews.
ww2dbaseUnder Horthy's rule, Hungary entered the war in Apr 1941 when it joined the Axis alliance, but as early as 1942 he began negotiations with the Allies in secret. In Mar 1944, with Russian troops standing at Hungary's borders, German troops entered Hungary and held Horthy captive while installing a puppet government in Budapest. The German puppet government, headed by Döme Sztójay, deported Hungarian Jews to concentration camps in Russia. In Jun 1944, Horthy voiced resistance against the deportation of Jews and eventually re-established himself as the ruler of Hungary. He had to give up his rule once again, however, after German commando Otto Skorzeny kidnapped his son. He was then captured and imprisoned in Bavaria in relative comfort. He was arrested by American troops in May 1945. He was not tried as a war criminal after the war.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, he lived in Estoril, Portugal. He wrote his memoirs Ein Leben für Ungarn (A Life for Hungary), in which he argued that he had distrusted Hitler and he had given his life for the best interests of his country. He passed away in 1957. In his will, he asked that his body not be returned to Hungary "until the last Russian soldier has left." In 1993, when Russian troops left Hungary after the end of the Cold War, his body was returned to Kenderes where he now rests in peace.
Last Major Revision: Jan 2006
Miklós Horthy Timeline
|18 Jun 1868||Miklós Horthy was born.|
|11 Nov 1938||Hungarian Regent Miklós Horthy toured territory newly gained from Czechoslovakia.|
|17 Apr 1943||Adolf Hitler met with Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy in an attempt to persuade him to further the attempt to deport Jews, who were "pure parasites" and compared to "tuberculosis bacilli" per Hitler, out of Hungary. Horthy would continue to meet this deportation request as little as possible.|
|15 Oct 1944||Shortly after announcing that Hungary would withdraw from the war, Admiral Miklós Horthy's son Miklós Horthy, Jr. was abducted by Sturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny's commandos. In Horthy's place, the new head of state, Fenenc Szalasi promised to maintain the alliance with Germany. Among the first pro-German policies implemented was the resumption of the deportation of Hungarian Jews.|
|17 Oct 1945||Miklós Horthy met with Thomas Dodd in Nürnberg, Germany.|
|9 Feb 1957||Miklós Horthy passed away.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945