József Antall senior

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József Antall senior

József Antall Senior (born March 28, 1896 in Oroszi , † July 24, 1974 in Budapest ) was a Hungarian lawyer and politician .


Antall fought as a KuK soldier in the First World War in Galicia , where his unit was broken up in 1915 and he himself escaped capture thanks to a Polish family who hid him.

After the war, Antall returned to Hungary and completed a law degree. From 1932 he worked in the Ministry of the Interior . After Poland's defeat in September 1939, he organized aid for Polish refugees , many of whom were Jewish, on behalf of the Hungarian government and in cooperation with, among others, Henryk Sławik and Cardinal Jusztinián Serédi . He took care of internment camps for Polish soldiers and refugee camps for civilians. Among other things , he has organized and managed Polish schools in Balatonboglár and a refugee center for Jewish youth from Poland in Vác . In the opinion of René Geoffroy (2001), however, his justification, published in 1946, turned out to be insufficiently documented. For a decree of the interior ministry to the border organs cited by Antall from 1942, when the deportations to the extermination camps began in Poland, “none of the Jewish refugees should be deported ” (József Antall: Lengyel menekültek , 1946, p. 67), everyone is missing from the archives verifiable evidence and, significantly, none of the authors who dealt with the subject of the reception of Polish refugees in Hungary after 1946 ever mentioned it.

After the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Antall was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo for helping Polish citizens . After his release in September, he retired from political life until the end of the war.

After the war he became State Secretary, later Minister for Reconstruction, at the same time he headed the Hungarian Red Cross and the Hungarian-Polish Chamber of Commerce. From 1945 he was a member of the Independent Party of Small Farmers, Agricultural Workers and the Bourgeoisie (FKGP), was re-elected in 1947 and again on the Popular Front list in 1949, so that he was a member of the Hungarian Parliament until 1953. He died in 1974 and was posthumously awarded the Righteous Among the Nations Medal in 1990.

A section of the Budapest Danube Quay on the Pest side is named after him. The Polish-Hungarian Society in Warsaw bears his name. His son, József Antall Junior, was the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Hungary after the Second World War.

Fonts (selection)

  • Lengyel menekültek Magyarországon a háború alatt . Introduction by József Antall. Budapest, 1946 (hu)
    • Uchodźcy polscy na Węgrzęch w czasie wojny . Budapest, 1946 (pl)
    • Les réfugiés polonais en Hongrie pendant la guerre . Budapest: Athenaeum, 1946 (fr)

Web links

Commons : József Antall (1896–1974)  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. René Geoffroy: Hungary as a place of refuge and place of work for German-speaking emigrants (1933 - 1938/39) . Frankfurt am Main: Lang 2001, pp. 117–125
  2. Archived copy ( memento of the original from March 3, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / haggard.w.interia.pl
  3. József Antall Senior on the website of Yad Vashem (English)