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Soviet Prisoners of War and the Hungarian Royal Army 1941–1943

Soviet soldiers in captivity, Summer 1941.

(Source: Fortepan, Tamás Konok)

In my study, I examine the POW's policy of Hungary. My research is based on Hungarian and Soviet documents as well. Beside of the files of the military units and institutions (e. g. Second Hungarian Army, the Command of Hungarian Occupation Group, Ministry of Defence) I research the writings of post-war trials, contemporary diaries and reminiscences. The treatment of POW's related to the German occupation policy, on the other hand, the independent Hungarian politics did not exist.

In the start of the war against Soviet Union the German and Hungarian high commands agreed, that the Hungarians had to hand over the caught soldiers to Germans in the Eastern Front. However, this fact does not mean, that the Hungarian Army had not to do anything with the issue of Soviet prisoner of wars. Before Hungary went to war against Soviet Union, the members of defeated Soviet units had surrendered to the Hungarian frontier-guards in the Subcarpathian border.

The units of Carpathian Group and Rapid Corps took thousands of Soviet soldiers prisoner in the first week of the campaign. The soldiers of the Hungarian Occupation Forces held the masses of hungry and washed out Soviet prisoners in the German prisoner-of-war camps in 1941.

The units of the Second Hungarian Army took captured thousands of Soviet soldiers during the combats around the bridgehead of Don river. These people were got in Hungarian temporary camp, where they did not receive any sufficient treatment and they had to bear atrocities as well. The work of POW's played an important role in the rear area of the 2nd Army. They had to work – integrated to labour units - widely behind the front, e. g. in agriculture, logging and constructions. After the Soviet attack, the provision of the prisoners broke down, that caused the death of many prisoners of war.

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Cite as: Ákos Fóris, The Soviet Prisoners of War and the Hungarian Royal Army 1941–1943 In: Gyula Szvák, Szergej Filippov, Zsuzsanna Gyimesi (szerk.) RUSSIAN STUDIES IN HISTORY IN THE 21st CENTURY = ИСТОРИЧЕСКАЯ РУСИСТИКА В XXI ВЕКЕ: Materials of the 10 th International Conference at the Centre for Russian Studies in Budapest, May 18–19, 2015 = Материалы десятой международной научной конференции будапештского Центра Русистики от 18–19 мая 2015 г .. Budapest: Russica Pannonicana, 2017. pp. 334-341.

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