Memory erosion is an interesting thing. The leaders of the Hungarian Communist Party, who were helped to gain a foothold in power in 1956, primarily by Russian tanks, preferred not to think about it at all. However, their memory denied them even more memories. About who fought for real freedom of Hungary even earlier - during the war, when the country was turned into a satellite of Nazi Germany, which cost its people hundreds of thousands of lives. Meanwhile, in Hungary, after all, there was also an anti-fascist resistance, not as strong as in Poland and Czechoslovakia, but there was.
The first Hungarian partisan groups appeared in the fall of 1941. Under the leadership of local communists, they settled near the village of Tallash, in the Sentsi district, the Regina district, and operated in the vicinity of the cities of Miskolc, Gyor, Vats and the village of Marcellhaza. These small and practically unarmed groups failed to gain a foothold, and by 1943 they were forced to cease to exist. A few participants went into a deep underground.
On January 4, 1942, at the Carpathian borders of Eastern Hungary, in the Yasin region, a group of six partisans led by Oleksa Borkanyuk was dropped by parachute. Borkanyuk was already a prominent figure in the communist movement of Transcarpathia, its leader. But, unfortunately, his group was tracked down and destroyed by the local gendarmerie. However, in addition to those who died or did not have the opportunity to fight, for three years (from 1942 to the autumn of 1944), Hungarian communist groups carried out sabotage and sabotage in almost 10 cities of the country.
In September 1944, a large partisan detachment was organized in Sarishap under the leadership of the communist Janos Zderk. In October-November, this detachment destroyed up to 150 Nazis and blew up three military echelons. We must not forget the fact that it was the partisans who managed to organize propaganda work in the Horthy troops, which were garrisoned in all strategic points in Hungary, practically not relying on the support of the Germans. This is what allowed the partisans to establish contacts with soldiers, and often with officers, which ultimately led to decomposition in the army. Even the Salashists, who were trying with all their might to curry favor with the German ally, could not cope with the anti-war sentiments in the troops.
On September 28, 1944, the patriotic organization "Mokan-komite" was created by the communists of the city of Miskolc. She conducted anti-fascist propaganda, attacked Hitler's troops, and provided all possible assistance to the Soviet troops. In addition, in August-October 1944, 11 mixed Soviet-Hungarian groups with a predominance of Hungarians were dropped in Transcarpathia, Northern Transylvania, Southern Slovakia and northern Hungary. There were only 30 Soviet citizens and 250 Hungarians in them, but despite this, all of them were subsequently categorized by Hungarian pro-Western historians as “agents of the Soviets”.
They operated most successfully in 1943-1945. partisan detachments under the command of the communist Gyula Usta in the former Slovak Transcarpathia, which was occupied by Hungary since October 1939. There are many glorious deeds on the account of the detachments of József Fabri on the Slovak-Hungarian border, as well as Sandor Nogradi in the Salgotarjan region.
Already during the hardest battles for Budapest, under the leadership of the Communist Party in the Hungarian capital, clandestine combat groups of up to 50 people each operated. Let's name only the most famous of them: "Sir", "Marot", "Latsi", "Homok", "Shagvari", "Varnai", "Lakotosha", "Veresh Brigades". It is characteristic that half of these groups operated under the guise of units of the Hungarian army, taking advantage of the terrible confusion that reigned there during the days of the Salashist coup. These groups, among other things, saved a number of important objects of the city from destruction by the Salashists and the Nazis.
At the end of October 1944, an active participant in the Resistance movement, the communist Endre Baichi-ilinski, took upon himself the preparation of an armed uprising in Budapest. He entrusted the development of the plan to Lieutenant General Janos Kish, Colonel Jena Nagy and Captain Vilmos Tarchai. The main points of the plan were set out in a letter to Marshal R. Ya. Malinovsky: it was planned to forward this letter on November 23, 1944. But the day before, the leaders of the underground group were tracked down and soon executed.
In total, at least 35 partisan groups operated on the territory of Hungary. In addition, many Hungarians fought against the Nazis on the territory of the USSR, Romania, Yugoslavia, Slovakia.
In mid-March 1949, the then head of Hungary, Matias Rakosi, arrived in Moscow to meet with Joseph Stalin. Having received a kind of blessing on political and economic issues, Rakosi agreed with the Soviet leadership on the decision to create a Soviet-Hungarian Pantheon of the Great Victory in Budapest. Along with the state rooms in the Pantheon, it was planned to open a very extensive exposition dedicated not only to the joint operations of Soviet troops and Hungarian partisans, but also to the Hungarian Resistance, the communist underground in Hungary during the Second World War. Of course, a place was also allocated for the story of the terror of the fascists and their local puppets: the Hortists and the Salashists who replaced them.
At the end of August 1949, the leaders met again in Moscow and, having familiarized themselves with the first proposals of historians, architects and artists, confirmed the earlier decision. However, the project never took place. Already at that time, the idea itself had then still "hidden" opponents, and not only in Hungary. Twice the construction of the Pantheon was postponed by the Hungarian side until 1953, apparently for official reasons: financial and technical.
After March 5, 1953, with the death of Stalin, the project seemed to be "forgotten" in both countries. Although the preparation for the creation of the object was actually completed by 1951, and Rakosi himself more than once strongly demanded that "his" engineers and builders start building the Pantheon. Apparently, it was no coincidence that he asked Moscow to replace most of the Hungarian workers and engineers with Soviet specialists.
But Moscow did not intervene in the situation, most likely for understandable political reasons. Moreover, in Hungary in November 1945, in Budapest, not far from the parliament building, a majestic 14-meter monument was erected by the Hungarian sculptor Antal Karoi to Soviet soldiers-liberators. A little later, a "high-rise" monument to Stalin was erected, and obligatory busts of the Soviet leader were promptly placed in many cities of the country. Finally, appeared in Hungary and the Danube town called Stalinvaros - the former Dunaujvaros.
However, a worthy monument to the heroes of the Hungarian Resistance - antifascists, never appeared in the country. They did not remember them for long. Already in the later, socialist period, Hungarian historiography tried to keep silent about the resistance movement in Hungary. And this was done with the filing of the "post-Stalin" Hungarian authorities. At the same time, after the Hungarian events of 1956, the Soviet side preferred to "remind" the Hungarians as seldom as possible of the joint struggle against fascism. The dubious policy of appeasement boiled down mainly to not suddenly "embittering" the not most reliable ally in the Warsaw Pact and CMEA with the facts of its own history.
As you can see, this is why neither Soviet leaders who visited Hungary after 1956, nor its top officials, in their speeches in the USSR and in Hungary itself, even remembered the Hungarian Resistance. And, for example, Hungarian theatrical and film art since the late 50s has completely "dispensed" with plots about the anti-fascist resistance, as, indeed, about the terror in the country, which was characteristic both for the relatively mild period of the reign of Admiral Miklos Horthy, and for the frankly pro-German fascism under Ferenc Salasi.
If we talk about the period from the second half of the 1940s to the mid-1950s, when there was not even a hint of debunking the “personality cult” in the USSR, the heroes of the Resistance were still honored in Hungary. The policy and propaganda of the then “pro-Stalinist” Hungarian authorities completely refuted the version that later became commonplace that the whole of Hungary resisted the “Soviet aggression” both before and after 1945.
Then it became customary to keep silent about the Hungarian partisans. But after all, in the USSR, especially after the events of 1956, for some reason they decided to “forget” about the Hungarian brothers in arms. But it was in 1956 that the overwhelming majority of monuments and bas-reliefs to the fighters against fascism were destroyed "wholesale". Some of them did restore it later, but it certainly played its role in inciting Russophobia and aggressive anti-Sovietism.