During World War II, Hungary took the side of Nazi Germany. They managed to recover,
thanks to German arbitration, the Carpathian Ruthenia, and part of Transylvania lost after
World War I. Horthy surveyed the possibility of withdrawing from the war but having limited
room for manoeuvre, he agreed that Germany would seize the country (March 1944). The
deportations of Hungarian Jews to death camps, previously blocked by Horthy, began. More
than 400,000 people were deported. Every fourth Jew out of about 800,000 survived the war.
Meanwhile, in May 1944, the so-called Hungarian Front was established in the underground
on the initiative of the communists. The Front also included representatives of the Small
Farmers' Party, the National Peasant Party, and social democrats. They opposed the German
In October 1944, Horthy tried to surrender to the Hungarian army. However, the Germans
arrested him and the power in Budapest was taken over by the German Prince Ferenc Szálasi,
the leader of the Arrow Crusaders. They began further repressions against the Hungarian
There were fierce fights all the time in Hungary. Budapest was captured by the Red Army on
17 February 1945 and in April the entire territory of Hungary was occupied.