On January 19th, 2021, the 75th anniversary of the day when the expulsion of ethnic Germans from Soviet-occupied Hungary began, there was a little official ceremony near Budapest, where the tragedy took its course.
The country’s conservative President Viktor Orbán (born 1963) laid down a wreath at the commemorative plaque at the train station of Budaörs (Wudersch), accompanied by mathematician Imre Ritter (born 1952), representative of the National Self-Government of Germans in Hungary (Landesselbstverwaltung der Ungarndeutschen, LdU) in the Hungarian parliament.
According to Orbán, the victims and their suffering deserve respect and proper remembrance. Since 2013, the Hungarian government annually commemorates this specific crime committed by the Communists.
Secretary of State for International Communication and Relations Zoltán Kovács (born 1969) called the expulsion an “irreplaceable loss” for his nation, stating: “It is a shame that our German compatriots were deported according to the principle of collective guilt.”
Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony (born 1975) deplored the events 75 years ago as well. It was terrible that an entire nation had been held accountable for the acts committed in its name, he affirmed on Facebook, the social media platform all three politicians used.
From 1946 to 1948, 200,000 of them were deported to what was left of Germany after World War II and 130,000 ended up in Russian labor camps, of which some of them later returned to their homeland.
Those crammed into cattle wagons, expropriated in accordance with the denazification procedures imposed by the new foreign masters and their local accomplices, lost their land, property and citizenship.
Probably the most prominent descendant of those expellees is the notorious Green Party politician and former German Vice-Chancellor Joseph Martin Fischer (born 1948). His nickname Joschka derives from the Hungarian diminutive Jóska.
The second largest community of those allowed to stay concentrates around Pécs (Fünfkirchen), famous for its hots springs, and is made up by descendants of Catholic Bavarians and Swabians that settled in the area at the end of the 17th century.
Former president of the Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen; BdV) Erika Steinbach (born 1943 in former West Prussia, annexed by Poland after World War I) praised Hungary as the only country from which Germans were expelled that acknowledges its responsibility.