View Full Version : A tribute to Ferenc Szalasi: Founder of the Hungarian Arrow Cross Party

01-19-2009, 03:43 AM
Ferenc Szálasi
(b. Jan. 6, 1897 - d. Mar. 12, 1946)


Founder of Hungarian National Socialist Party and the renowned Arrow Cross Party, became Prime Minister in 1944, after PM (Regent) Miklos Horthy

Born the son of a soldier in Kassa, of Hungarian, German, Armenian (one grandparent) and Slovak or Rusyn heritage, Szálasi followed in his father's footsteps and joined the army at a young age. He eventually became an officer and served in the army during World War I. In 1925, Szálasi entered the Hungarian General Staff and by 1933 he had attained the rank of major. Around this time, Szálasi became fascinated with politics and often lectured on Hungary's political affairs. Szálasi was a fanatical right winger and a strong proponent of Hungarism, advocating the expansion of Hungary's borders and the spread of Hungarian culture and power throughout Europe.


In 1935, Szálasi left the army in order devote his full attention to politics, after which time he established the Party of National Will, a nationalistic group which was unpopular with the people. It was eventually outlawed by the government for being too radical. Unperturbed, Szálasi established the Hungarian National Socialist Party in 1937, which was also banned. However, Szálasi was able to attract considerable support to his cause by adopting views that appealed to industrial workers and members of Hungary's lower classes.


After Germany's Anschluss with Austria in 1938, Szálasi's followers became more radical and violent in their political activities, and as such Szálasi was arrested by the Hungarian Secret Police and imprisoned. However, Szálasi managed to remain a powerful political figure in prison, and was proclaimed leader of the fascist Arrow Cross Party (a combination of multiple right wing groups) when it was expanded in 1938. The party attracted a large number of followers and in the 1939 elections it gained 30 seats in the Hungarian Parliament, thus becoming one of the most powerful parties in Hungary. Freed due to a general amnesty resulting from the Second Vienna Award in 1940, Szálasi returned to politics. When World War II began, the Arrow Cross Party was officially banned by Prime Minister Pál Teleki, thus forcing Szálasi to operate in secret. During this time period, Szálasi gained the support and backing of the Germans, who had once been opposed to Szálasi due to his advocacy of Hungarian expansionism.

The Arrow Cross Party gained close to 25% of the popular vote in the 1939 Hungarian elections. Unfortunately, the Arrow Cross Party was banned shortly after and they were forced to operate underground throughout much of the second world war. While underground, the Arrow Cross remained a powerful political force during much of that time.


When the pro-German Döme Sztójay became Prime Minister of Hungary in March of 1944, Szálasi and his supporters were rewarded when the Arrow Cross Party was legalized by the government, which allowed Szálasi to expand the party even further.


With Szalasi and the Arrow Cross Party in charge, Hungary remained loyal to NS Germany until the end. They were the only member of the Axis or co-belligerent never to defect and switch sides even when things seemed hopeless.

Although Hungary did need the help of Otto Skorzney and Operation Micky Maus to install the Fascist Arrow Cross Party to power in October,1944. At that time, Horthy was threatening to sign an Armistice with the Soviets which would've pulled the Hungarians out of the war.


YouTube - Szálasi's oath (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNOBDXr4Vko)

Szalasi being sworn into office

Unfortunately, by the time the Arrow Cross Party got into power the war on the Eastern Front was pretty much a lost cuase at that point. The Battle of Budapest began in December, 1944 and the Arrow Cross government effectively fell the following month. Arrow Cross members and German forces continued to fight a rear-guard action in the far west of Hungary until the end of the war in April 1945.


The Arrow Cross Party was the closest any nation other then Germany ever came to establishing a National Socialist Government. The Arrow Cross had it's roots in extreme nationalism, anti-Semitism, military expansionism, and fierce anti-Communism. The Arrow Cross Party appealed the the working class and it sought to undue the injustices of the Treaty of Trianon in the same way that the NSDAP sought to reverse the injustices which Germany had suffered during the Treaty of Versailles


01-19-2009, 03:45 AM
Some things about the Arrow Cross movement/ Nyilaskeresztes movement

Greetings: Kitartás! ( It's the same as Heil in Germany. It means persistence )
The name of leader: Nemzetvezető ( It's the same as Führer in Germany. It means nation-leader )
The name of the movement mates: Bajtárs ( It's the same as Kamerad in Germany. It means comrade )
The symbol of the movement: Nyilaskereszt (It's the same as Swastica/Hakenkreuz in Germany. It means Arrow Cross)

Two Nyilas SS Division did exist:


SS Hunyadi


SS Hungaria


The Arrow Cross Party had it's own soldiers, they were political soldiers.


Official Arrow Cross Uniform


Szalasi's vision of a greater Hungary had initially clashed with Nazi amibitions in Central Europe, but by 1944 Szalasi had won the full backing of Hitler and the Germans.

01-19-2009, 04:39 AM
Interesting, thanks, I knew nothing of this.

Arrow Cross
10-29-2009, 10:45 AM
A well-made thread, thank you, the only thing I'd like to add is about the supposed Armenian ancestry of Szálasi; it was a faux constructed by his opposition to try to "discredit" him, but it wasn't much of a success, for one thing it was declared false by the Budapest High Court after an investigation, and for the other, it wouldn't have been much of a shame anyway, Armenians aren't so far away from Hungarians in genetic terms.

Which the Arrow Cross Movement never obsessed about in the first place.

01-24-2010, 08:08 PM
If anything, Armenian ancestry is like a winner coupon in a lottery, so if Szálasi screwed up, the focus rests twice on the question of his individual responsibility, which is what it should be about in the first place.

Get this, the party most closely mimicking the NSDAP was considered untrustworthy enough by the Germans to put in power, even after they occupied the country in spring 1944. Being realists, the Nazis recognised that getting the authoritarian Horthy to cooperate would yield more legitimacy to their presence than instating an Arrow Cross puppet regime, the possibility of which they had the sense to keep open nevertheless. It was only as a last resort that the Szálasi-card was played, absolute rock bottom priority, which shatters all defensibility of their ridiculous Nazi worship.

Nobody wishes for their country to be occupied and I have nothing but contempt for the slave-hearted Arrow Cross movement.

01-24-2010, 10:52 PM
I come from region which was occupied by Hungary during WWII and I can only say that Hungarian National Socialists were simmilar to Hungarian Bolsheviks from 1919. They both supported some kind of 'greater Hungaria' and shared simmilar socialistic character, which is not surprising considering many simmilarities between their ideologies. In fact, National Socialism = Bolshevism.

I think that in some way they were not only anti-Slavic but anti-Hungarian too. I don't think that their type of nationalism had anything to do with more traditional Hungarian nationalism, which was liberal.