MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
In 1944-1945, in a tense struggle, the Red Army liberated ten European states from the German fascist occupation. In the bloody battles for the liberation of Hungary, the Soviet Union lost about 140 thousand of its sons, 80 thousand of whom died during the heroic capture of Budapest. Over a thousand graves, mass graves and memorials to Soviet soldiers in Hungary keep the memory of those events.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation continues to work to preserve the memory of the heroism and courage of the Red Army soldiers who died in the struggle for freedom of the whole world. Within the framework of the project “No statute of limitations” on the Internet portal of the military department a new multimedia section has been opened “Hungary remembers, cannot forget”dedicated to the liberation of Hungary and the soldiers of the Red Army who died for its freedom and independence. It published documents from the funds of the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense: combat logs, registration cards of military graves, names of the dead, war heroes’ award lists, documents on the attitude of the local population towards the soldiers of the Red Army and on the assistance of the Soviet leadership to the Hungarian people.
The section begins with the pages of the journals of military operations of the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian fronts, which confirm the fierce and protracted nature of the battles for Hungary and the Hungarian capital – the city of Budapest.
The November 1944 magazine reports: “The battles in November, as in October, were fierce and heavy, and our rather large losses in personnel are proof of this.” Particularly stubborn resistance was put up by the German troops, which is why they often carried out the following castling at the front: “… the enemy in the first line of his defense kept mainly Hungarian units. But in the very first days of our offensive, Hungarian units in the first line were replaced by German units or placed between German units. In general, this gave the German defense more stability and resistance. “
However, according to the magazine, by December “as a result of the skillful maneuver of our troops of the 2nd and 3rd UV, the entire Budapest enemy group, which was protecting the capital of the state, was completely surrounded.” At the same time, the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front inflicted unacceptable damage to the enemy.
The magazine for December 1944 provides information that the Nazi troops took up defensive positions in dense urban development, using the tactics of strong points, which nullified the advantage of the advancing and distributed in the siege of Budapest along the entire front of the Red Army.
Ridding the world of fascism, the Red Army men demonstrated unparalleled heroism and courage, gave their lives. Mass graves remained in places of fierce fighting, near Budapest and throughout Hungary. The section contains registration cards of military graves.
One of them is located in the town of Dunajharaszti near the south of Budapest. This mass grave appeared in December 1944, when, during offensive battles on the outskirts of the capital, the 2nd Ukrainian Front captured a large railway station of the same name in this area. 13 Red Army soldiers are buried in the grave. Among them, the Red Army soldier Andrei Bychkov was awarded the medal “For Military Merit”, Private Fyodor Ignatiev and the Guard Private Nikolai Ozeryan were awarded medals “For Courage”.
Another war burial is located 160 kilometers west of Budapest, in the Zala area, in the fortress city of Zalasentgrot. The record of this mass grave contains a photograph of the monument and its description: “A rectangular monument with 8 tablets made of light stone with the names of the buried soldiers in Hungarian. On the upper sloping surface of the monument there is a plaque with an inscription in Hungarian: “In memory of Soviet soldiers who died in 1945”.
12 soldiers of the Red Army are buried here. 11 of them died in these places on March 29, 1945 during the offensive operation of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, during which Soviet troops broke through the enemy’s defenses and, building on their success, made a 30-kilometer rush to the Austrian border. The 35th Guards Rifle Corps participating in this operation was given the task: “from the morning of 28.3.45, to rapidly continue the offensive in its own zone and by the end of the day to capture the line: Zalasentgrot, Zalasentlaslo” and then cross the Zala River. This is stated in the corps combat journal published in the section.
From the record of this mass grave it follows that initially six soldiers were buried in it, among whom was senior sergeant Kh. Khatamov. There is still a stone bridge in Zalasentgrot called the “Khatamov Bridge”. A commemorative plaque attached to it says that this bridge was mined by German troops and that the Red Army soldier Kh. Khatamov, at the cost of his own life, prevented the blowing up of this strategic object and a historical monument. The section contains a list of irrecoverable losses of personnel of units of the 43rd engineer-sapper brigade, which includes Khatamov.
There were other heroes among those buried in the grave. So, the section contains award lists for the guard of Senior Lieutenant Fyodor Kolodyazhny from February 16 and April 5, 1945. According to the first, the battery commander Kolodyazhny was awarded the Order of the Red Star for the fact that during the assault by the Soviet infantry of an important stronghold “… rolled his guns at a distance of 100 meters from the enemy and under heavy fire from the enemy conducted destructive artillery fire.” His actions led to the success of the assault.
In accordance with the second document, the battery commander Kolodyazhny was posthumously awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st degree. From the description of his feat it follows that on March 6, 1945, under the onslaught of large enemy forces, he, “being in the combat formations of the infantry, skillfully controlled the fire of his battery, repulsed the attack of the Germans, while destroying up to a company of German infantry.” On March 11, when repelling an attack by infantry and tanks, he “… with the fire of his battery suppressed 2 enemy artillery batteries, one six-barreled mortar and knocked out one enemy tank.”
In the same mass grave, the Red Army soldier Mikhail Vasetsky, who received the Order of the Red Star for his great labor feat, is buried. So, in the award list of May 30, 1944, it is stated that during the construction of a bridge over the Southern Bug River, he hammered piles for three days without rest. Vasetskiy showed the same resilience and perseverance during the construction of a bridge over the Dniester, continuously laying the nozzles for two days. He did a similar thing on the Prut River: “after a difficult march, comrade. Vasetsky immediately began work / construction of the crossing / and, without resting for 3 days, in spite of unfavorable weather, he successfully continued work until the completion of the construction of the bridge, ”the award list says. From the record card of the fraternal burial of Soviet soldiers in the Hungarian Zalasentgrot, users learn that the Red Army soldier Mikhail Vasetsky died on March 29, 1945.
The materials published in the section indicate that despite the fierceness of the German resistance, on the path passed by the 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian fronts through the Soviet villages and villages burned by the Nazis, the Red Army pursued a peaceful policy towards its former opponents on their territories.
The section on the liberation of Hungary is continued by the decree of the State Defense Committee No. 6803 of October 27, 1944. He approves the order that the command of the Red Army established in the liberated territories. In accordance with the document, due to wartime, commandants of settlements should be appointed, the railway and communication lines should be taken under control; contracts were concluded with local producers on the purchase of food for the army.
It is especially noted that with regard to local authorities and residents, the GKO decree prescribes: “Maintain unchanged all Hungarian authorities existing in these areas and the system of economic and political structure existing in Hungary. Do not interfere with the performance of religious rituals and do not touch churches and houses of worship. ” “To declare to the general public that all personal and property rights of Hungarian citizens and private societies, as well as their private property, are under the protection of the Soviet military authorities,” also appears in the document.
Many other fragments of the decree indicate that: “Not as a conqueror, but as a liberator of the Hungarian people from Nazi oppression, the Red Army entered Hungary, which has no other goals than the destruction of the enemy German armies (…).” These words were subsequently included in the appeal to the population of Hungary, liberated by the Red Army from the Nazi oppression, which is also presented in the section.
The extremely strict attitude towards military discipline and the generosity of Soviet soldiers towards the Hungarian people contributed to the goodwill of many Hungarians towards the Red Army. The section contains materials with statements and testimonies of those who were ready, together with the Red Army, to liberate their native land from Nazism.
For example, the page contains an appeal by the Chief of the General Staff of the Hungarian Army, Colonel-General Vörös Janos, dated November 5, 1944, to the Hungarian soldiers and people. It is given in the section both in Hungarian and in Russian: “I myself saw that in the cities and villages occupied by the Russians, the population lives the same as before, and the Russians do not cause any damage to it … The Germans dragged us into a bloody a war against the will of the people … turned our country into a staging ground for the defense of Germany. They are destroying our people’s property and they take out everything that is possible in their trucks. “
Hungarian soldiers massively joined the Red Army, which is confirmed by lines from the report of the political department of the 2nd Ukrainian Front on January 14, 1945. The document contains the testimony of the commander of the 4th engineer company of the 1st hussar division, captain Niklos Hendrich. “I came to the conclusion that the ultimatum presented to the encircled troops was extremely generous. He did not in the least humiliate the dignity of soldiers and officers … To tell the truth, the soldiers had no desire to resist, because no one wants to expose their capital to further destruction, “said Niklos Hendrich. In the information summary of the political department of the 2nd Ukrainian Front on November 14, 1944, there is evidence: “The Germans severely punish those soldiers who refuse to shoot at the Russians,” Hungarian soldier Thoth Ferenc said during interrogation. “They shoot such soldiers … Most of the soldiers thought before all about how to avoid a collision with the Russians. “
The summary also provides information about the attitude of local residents towards the Germans: “60 percent of the population with all their hearts hate the Germans and are waiting for the arrival of the Russians as a deliverance from torment. The workers of Budapest clearly sympathize with the Russians. “
The section also presents archival documents and evidence of the atrocious crimes of the German occupiers in Hungary.
In the act of March 2, 1945, about the atrocities of the German invaders against the civilian population, it is said that in the winter of 1945, over five hundred numbered corpses were found in the basements of the Hungarian State Clinic in Budapest. Most of them were Jews and Hungarian workers. Among them were killed children, including babies. According to the employees of the clinic, people were shot in the streets and brought here as picked up corpses. All this in the medical institution was registered as “accidents”.
Another report, dated January 23, 1945, reports on the situation of the Jewish population in the city and on the largest ghetto in Europe, into which, according to the document, 30 thousand people were driven by the fall of 1944, and at the time of the encirclement of the city by Soviet troops, in December – 63 thousand. It follows from the report that many who were outside the ghetto hid with Hungarian acquaintances or in foreign embassies; that during the occupation a pogrom was staged with artillery shooting at the houses of Jews and with their mass drowning in the Danube.
Numerous reports from the political department of the 2nd Ukrainian Front also testify to the looting and atrocities of the occupiers. They say that nothing can be bought in the shops of Budapest, the goods are requisitioned by the Germans. Many shops have been plundered by German soldiers. In the city, “the corpses of the murdered residents have been lying on the streets for several days.” The document also reports on the executions of local residents by the Nazis, propaganda and slander against the Red Army, and the lack of electricity and water. The information is supplemented by the report of the political department of January 14, 1945 about the excesses and robberies of the Nazis in the capital of Hungary: “The Germans and Salashists are rampaging in the city, robbing apartments and shops, shooting and hanging many residents, allegedly for deserting and helping the enemy. On some streets, the bodies of the hanged hang for several days. “
With the end of the horrors of the Nazi occupation, the Hungarian people entered a new era in which the Hungarians did not feel defeated or enslaved again. After the war, the USSR provided effective assistance to the Hungarian population and the state, which is described in the pages of Hungarian newspapers. The materials contain words of gratitude from citizens, messages about the arrival of essential goods, food, equipment and fuel supplies, and a hand-drawn illustration with Soviet trucks from the newspaper “Sabad Nep” (Free People). “As a winner, the councils could exercise their rights. They, however, responded to our insane actions with such a beautiful gesture that our people would not dare to count on it, ”said Zoltan Vas, Burgomaster of Budapest, through the newspaper Vilag (Light) on June 22, 1945.
Archival documents included in the exposition of the multimedia section have been declassified and published within the framework of the project “No statute of limitations”, implemented on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.