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article imageFirst-ever war crimes prosecution against Soviet Army in Hungary

By Christopher Szabo     Sep 12, 2011 in Crime
Budapest - Hungary’s National Office of Investigation (NNI) has begun an inquiry into a 66-year-old war crime allegedly committed by the Soviet Red Army in which 32 men aged mainly between 16-22 were summarily shot in front of their parents.
The inquiry is significant because although hundreds of Hungarian soldiers have been charged with war crimes, one prime minister and at least six general were executed and hundreds of others tried, no-one has yet dared to point a finger at the Soviet Red Army or the secret police, the NKVD, both of which are widely known to have committed atrocities, including mass looting, mass rape, murder and the enforced deportation of some 600,000 people to Soviet GULAG labour camps, half of whom died.
Politics.hu reports the young men were buried in a mass grave. Other reports say they were buried in hastily-dug graves 70 centimetres (two feet) wide, wrapped only in sheets, according to Napló Online.
The inhabitants of the village, an ethnic German one in north-western Hungary, did not dare to speak about the crime during the period of Soviet occupation, which lasted from 1945 to 1989 and even afterwards, did not tell anyone outside the community.
However, they did tell their children and raised tombstones for the victims. Ten years after the Red Army withdrew from Hungary, they finally raised a memorial to the 32 young people.
According to a lengthy article on Echo TV’s website, it is not clear why the young men were murdered on that fateful day, March 22, 1945. The website quotes József Tóth, the vice mayor, who said what happened should never be forgotten.
“They laid them in a long trench, a few centimetres from each other. None of them were given coffins, they just took them off a wagon where they lay wrapped in sheets, there was no funeral. Neither priest, nor the families, not even the mothers could weep above those murdered.”
Probably the best known crime of the Soviet forces  the Katyn Massacre of about 4 000 Polish officer...
Probably the best known crime of the Soviet forces, the Katyn Massacre of about 4,000 Polish officers took place in 1940 and was carried out by the NKVD.
Wikipedia
According to the eyewitnesses, the Soviet soldiers were surprised that so many young men were in the community. The reason for this was the mayor had “connections” and had been able to arrange for the young men to avoid military service. He thought he would save them from the dangers of the war in this way.
Some think the Soviets were looking for “partisans”. Others think they were bitter and angry because of the tough fighting for the nearby city of Székesfehérvár, which changed hands a number of times. A Soviet counter-offensive aimed at finally occupying the city began on that day. Some believe the stresses of the moment caused the massacre. Another idea is that many had ethnic German names, which seemed to be sufficient reason to shoot them.
Very few Soviet soldiers involved in alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity have ever been charged, let alone convicted. To many, this is seen seen as a symptom of “victor’s justice”. However, some British and American soldiers were in fact convicted of violating the Rules of War after WWII. The Soviets were not.
In Latvia, a former Russian partisan, Vassily Kononov, was convicted of murdering nine civilians, including a pregnant mother.
The names of the victims are:
Mihály Auer (24), József Baumann (50), Ödön Baumann (19) Desző Czabula (19) József Brevics (21), János Büttel (16) József Csipak (20) Gyula Dobos (21) Ernő Gelesz (20), Béla Hanich (16) Lajos Hannig (22), Ödön Zima (17) Károly Hered (21), József Janni (37), Gábor Kajtár (17) Antal Magyar (19) Péter Magyar (16) József Torma (29) István Magyar Jnr (25), András Majkó (19) Tibor Malatin (38), József Mayer (19) Pál Pék (31), Antal Rábaközi (56), András Ringhoffer (20) János Szili (32), József Kis Torma (32) István Tószegi (19) Antal Varga (39), József Vész (21) István Vörösházy (18) Nándor Vurst (20).
In related news, the Hungarian gendarme officer accused of war crimes in Serbia in 1942, Sándor Képíró, who was acquitted by a Budapest court on July 18 died September 4.
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