Preface by Horthy || 1: Out Into the World
Miklós (Nicholas) HORTHY of Nagybánya. Born in 1868, he belonged to an old family of
Hungary's landed gentry. He entered the Austro-Hungarian navy. Before W.W.I. he served as
an aide-de-camp to Emperor Franz-Joseph. During the war he diastinguished himself greatly
and at the end he was appointed Commander in Chief for the Austro-Hungarian fleet. He
helped to organize the anti-Bolshevik counter-revolution in 1919 and was made Commander in
Chief of the Nationalist Army.
On March 1, 1920, he was chosen Governor or Regent (Kormányzó) of Hungary. It is the
same title with which two other Hungarians have been previously honored: John Hunyadi in
the fifteenth, and Louis Kossuth in the nineteenth century.
On March 19, 1944, Nazi troops occupied Hungary. Horthy was forced to stay on as a
figurehead. In August, 1944, he removed the Nazi puppet government and appointed a new
cabinet to seek an armistice. With a preliminary armistice agreement signed in Moscow, he
attempted to enforce it on October 15, but overwhelming German forces, supporting a strong
Hungarian Nazi movement, thwarted it.
Arrested by the Gestapo, Horthy and his family was taken to Germany. After the war he
served as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials. On account of the Soviet
occupation and Communist takeover in Hungary, he never returned to his homeland. He died
in Estoril, Portugal, in 1956. In 1993, after the last Soviet soldier left Hungary, he was
reburied at his place of birth in Kenderes, Hungary.