REMEMBERING THE HEROES OF DON
The headquarters of the Hungarian Army’s 5th Bocskai István Infantry Brigade organised a commemoration and wreathing ceremony in memory of the 77th anniversary of the military operations by the Hungarian Royal 2nd National Defence Army in 1943 along the Don River in the Soviet Union. The event took place in the Pantheon of the Military Heroes’ Cemetery of Debrecen on 14 January 2020.
A memorial speech was delivered by Szabolcs Komolay, Municipal Counsellor responsible for relations between educational institutions. As he worded: „the Russians broke through on 12 January 1943, and the frontline held by Hungarian soldiers crashed in a couple of days. Battle casualties were enormous. The 2nd Hungarian Army almost completely perished. Approximately 120 thousand people were killed, wounded or reported missing. Those who returned then or much later from captivity, carried the psychic wounds of the Don catastrophe in their souls until the end of their lives. Literally in their souls, as it was impossible to talk about it during the communist decades following the war, or if so, only in a negative sense. Nobody could call them heroes, there were no fathers and sons, but the „allies of the Germans” who „wanted to overthrow the friendly Soviet powers”. But they were only simple Hungarian men: farmers, workers, tradesmen or teachers who fulfilled the obligation set by their homeland. Now we are confident to say that they are „our 2nd Hungarian Army” – of all Hungarians with all their tragedy and heroism. Let us pay tribute to their sacrifice! Glory be to our heroes!” – finished his memorial speech Szabolcs Komolay.
Photos: János Miskolczi