Thursday, January 05, 2012

The 600,000 that history forgot....

I know that this is a very heavy topic to deal with but one I feel must be addressed. Many in the West have become familiar with great tragedies that have befallen various ethnic and cultural groups in the 20th century. Some seem to take more precedence in the media (films & television). It could be due to the fact of the severity of the injustice perpetrated. Nevertheless, I think that all injustices should be highlighted and that all suffering be treated equally regardless of their ethnicity.

Hungary was apart of the Axis powers during World War Two. In 1945, Hungary was defeated by the allies. The allies, namely the Soviet Union, moved in to occupy Hungary. The Soviet Union  called it a “liberation”, but as we know today, it became an occupation. Almost immediately, the Soviet Union exacted its revenge on the people of Hungary. Immediately after the Battle of Budapest in early 1945, both Hungarian soldiers and citizens were captured and then moved eastward to the Soviet Union. They were to end up in Soviet work camps as forced labourers. This action on the part of the Soviet Union was to continue until the end of World War Two. It targeted both ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Germans living in Hungary. In total, 600,000 Hungarians were deported to work camps around the Soviet Union. Civilians accounted for about 200,000 of that number. Many died during the transit to the camps. In all, 200,000 died, the vast majority of them being civilians.

I learned of this tragedy only two years ago. I often wondered why this received little or no media attention at all. I guess it is because Hungary was a part of the Axis and that it was a case of revenge on the part of the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, the fact that civilians were deported is troubling. This action by the Soviet Union not only went against international conventions but against human decency. Considering what the Soviet Union went through, this is a sad chapter in history. I don’t think that there will ever be justice for these Hungarians. As a result of this, we should never forget the 600,000 that history forgot.