At the Potsdam conference in July and August 1945, the specific deportation of ethnic Germans received the decisive approval of all three major powers. While the decision would certainly be distorted and manipulated, its substance gave a foundation for what followed. “Hungarian opposition to a large-scale German expulsion was fatally weakened by the Potsdam Agreement”, Kertesz insists. “At the Potsdam Conference, in a surprise move, the Soviet delegation proposed that provision for the expulsion of the Germans from Hungary should be inserted into Article XIII which dealt with the expulsion of the Germans from Poland and Czechoslovakia.” The large ethnic German populations of the latter two states had long dominated the Western Allies’ thinking on the topic, but now they had hastily agreed that Hungary should be considered on the same basis. “The Three Governments, having considered the question in all its aspects”, Article XIII began disingenuously, “recognise that the transfer to Germany of German populations, or elements thereof, remaining in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, will have to be undertaken. They agree that any transfers that take place should be effected in an orderly and humane manner.”1

Announced on 2 August, the agreement pulled out the rug from under non-Communists in the Hungarian government, whose hope for mitigating the deportation of German Hungarians lay in the active reluctance of the Western powers. Since the US and UK assumed that including Hungary in the agreement had merely given provisional credence to what Hungary already wanted, it was easy for the Soviets to seize on the tripartite legitimation for Swabian deportations to advance this policy, while avoiding responsibility for it. A week after the Potsdam agreement, Voroshilov’s deputy, General Sviridov, demanded that the provisional government come up with a plan, inside of four days, for the expulsion of at least 400,000 Swabians.2

Kertesz remembers being “astonished to hear this high figure”. Sent by Gyöngyösi to convince Interior Minister Erdei of “the impracticality of the project”, Kertesz reiterated the government’s May estimation that no more than 250,000 of the nearly half million Swabians could be legitimately deported, adding that the Czechoslovak government would use the expulsion as a pretext to expel all Hungarians from Slovakia. Erdei, remembers Kertesz, “simply replied that the expulsion of the Germans was a Russian order which we could not resist. As to the transfer of the Hungarians from Czechoslovakia, this plan was backed also by Russia.” At the cabinet meeting called to discuss Sviridov’s directive on 13 August, Ferenc Nagy, at this stage the Minister for Reconstruction, also pointed out the grim consequences of the impractical Soviet demand. “The statistics of 1940 showed that there were 477,000 inhabitants whose mother tongue was German […] under no circumstances should the Germans be expelled on the basis of collective responsibility.” Despite the Hungarian provisional government’s obligation to follow the Soviet order, as well as the pressure for total expulsion from the obedient Communist and National Peasant Party ministers, including Erdei, the cabinet came up with a plan that reduced the expellees to 303,000.3

But since the Soviets claimed that they did not give directives to the Hungarian government, they had also insisted, as we have seen, that the government request the deportations they were ordered to plan. This was common practice. Before and after Potsdam, Voroshilov and Sviridov used this extracted request to pose as a disinterested party, eager only for the smooth implementation of expulsions. And the simple ruse – despite the acknowledgement of Schoenfeld that the “economic and political life of Hungary is controlled by [the] Chairman [of the] ACC” – was apparently sufficient to convince the American and British representatives on the ACC.4 It diverted all their criticism of the expulsions away from the power which had insisted upon them and onto the Hungarians. In January 1946, responding to complaints about the selection of deportees, General Key “pointed out that the Hungarian Government had, on their own initiative, asked that the Swabians should be deported”. Likewise, in July of that year, faced with Hungarian difficulties in meeting American requirements for the deportations, General Edgcumbe insisted that “it was the Hungarian Govt. who initiated the demand to deport the Schwabs and so it was up to them to do their very utmost”.5

However, once the Western Allies had approved of the deportation of Hungary’s Swabians, they also committed themselves to the facilitation of it, since the deportees’ destination was occupied Germany. In 1945 alone, around two million ethnic Germans were deported from Poland and Czechoslovakia into the various Allied zones of Germany, straining already strained resources and capacities.6 Therefore it seemed, on the face of it, an appropriate piece of logistical assistance when the Allied Control Council of Germany produced a plan on 20 November 1945 for implementing what Potsdam had legitimised. The British zone was allotted to receive 1.5 million deportees from Poland; the Soviet zone was due to receive 2 million from Poland and 750,000 from Czechoslovakia; and the American zone was allotted not only 1.75 million from Czechoslovakia, but 500,000 from Hungary.

But this was another blow to the Foreign Ministry and the Smallholders’ Party, who had just won 57 per cent of the vote in a national election, but still remained within a coalition government under Soviet direction and subject to Communist blackmail. Although it may have seemed to the Western Allies in the German Allied Control Council that they were merely setting an upper limit, formalising the figure of 500,000 – which exceeded the most liberal estimate of German Hungarians, doubled the Hungarian government’s projection of legitimate deportations, and even added 200,000 to the excessive compromise figure of August 1945 – strengthened the hand of the Soviets and their Hungarian Communist allies in their drive to present the full deportation of Swabians as a fait accompli which the Western Allies also supported.7

On 22 November, the Soviets began to lay further groundwork, with a lurid piece in Szabad Nép, headlined: “We insist upon a radical solution to the Swabian issue.” Claiming that Swabians were launching an armed uprising against the “Hungarian” population in the countryside, the article repeated the idea that, according to the Allied decision at Potsdam, the German population of Hungary “must be” deported.8 With cooperation in Germany, the operation could begin, and over the next few months, the Soviet authorities had the support of the Western Allies in seeking to expedite the start and pace of Swabian expulsion. In Orderly and Humane, Douglas states: “There is no doubt that the go-slow mounted by the US authorities almost from the beginning of the ‘organized expulsions’ saved many Germans of Hungary from being driven out of their homeland.” But, while it is true that later American reservations slowed and frustrated the deportations, the opposite was true at the beginning. In fact, in the first months of scheduled Swabian expulsions over the winter of 1945–1946, the American and British representatives on the ACC repeatedly expressed frustration at Hungarian delays.

Voroshilov’s aim was for the process to begin immediately, with the expulsion of 30,000 Swabians to Germany in December 1945, and he demanded that the Hungarian government (now led by the Smallholder Zoltán Tildy) commence on 15 December. “If the Hungarian Government were not given some order to make them start the move early, there might be considerable delay”, he told the ACC meeting five days before.9 But, as Kertesz testifies from his experience within the Foreign Ministry at this time, “the Smallholders’ Party and the Hungarian Foreign Ministry delayed preparations as much as possible under the circumstances”. However, the Ministry of the Interior, now led by the Communist Imre Nagy, played a supportive role on this matter within the government, and the first orders permitting and regulating the expulsions were finally issued on 22 December and 4 January.10

On 28 December, Sviridov reported to the ACC that, although the identification of destinations in the US zone of Germany was also delaying fulfilment, “the Hungarian Government are behind hand in their arrangements at this end”. Reacting to this, “Edgcumbe advocated that the Government be spurred on to complete their arrangements so that the scheme could be put into action immediately the destination points had been given”. When Sviridov expressed confidence that this would be the case, Key responded by betting Sviridov a quart of whiskey against a quart of vodka “that the Hungarian Government would not be ready to start movement when destinations were settled”.11 Besides revealing an astonishingly flippant attitude, Key’s wager demonstrated his insistence that it was not Americans but Hungarians that were primarily causing a delay of which he disapproved.

Thus, a confluence of circumstances unique in Central Europe cohered in Hungary. Western officials were inclined to accept Soviet disavowals of responsibility, while failing to distinguish between Soviet-directed Communist influence and the general will and wishes of the non-Communists in government, helping them completely misunderstand the dynamics within Hungary. Moreover, though Western representatives on the ground, at this stage, still viewed Hungary suspiciously as a defeated enemy, many were also inclined to believe Czechoslovak and Polish claims that, in concert with Soviet statements, cast doubt on complaints regarding the early expulsions. When Western officials echoed the dismissiveness of Prague and Warsaw regarding the treatment of ethnic Germans, and of Hungarians in Slovakia, it was yet more difficult for Hungarians to resist the deportation of Swabians.

For example, the US ambassador to Poland, Arthur Bliss Lane, told Secretary of State Byrnes in December 1945, despite the appalling and deadly conditions in which ethnic Germans were being expelled from Poland, that he was “not convinced that Germans have been subjected to any widespread harsh treatment”, since complaints “came from Germans who, in keeping with their characteristic of whining after losing war, make the picture as black as possible”.12 Laurence Steinhardt, the American ambassador to Czechoslovakia, similarly dismissed reports about the treatment of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, before asserting, in complete submission to the deceptive Soviet line, that “a striking inconsistency in the Hungarian position which should not be lost sight of is the determination to expel the German minority from Hungary while objecting to the expulsion in Czechoslovakia of the Hungarian minority”. In an extraordinary claim, which was the reverse of reality, Steinhardt added to the US Secretary of State: “This German policy [of Hungary’s] unquestionably results from Hungarian territorial aspirations against Czechoslovakia.”13 It was utter nonsense, since the Czechoslovak government argued for the removal of Hungarians from Slovakia partly on the basis of the parallel removal of Swabians from Hungary in order to thereby avoid any Hungarian territorial claims in the Magyar-majority counties north of the Danube. There was no scenario in which the expulsion of Swabians from Hungary assisted Hungarian claims on Slovak territory.

Conversely, by mimicking the Czechoslovak position, the American ambassador to Czechoslovakia was further buttressing the Soviet and Communist case for removal in Hungary. And as Steinhardt made these dispatches in December 1945, the Czechoslovak government was seeking to force its will on Hungary by repeating and adding to Soviet fabrications about Potsdam. Even though Beneš had not won the international support over Hungarian removal that he had regarding Germans, he sought to convince Gyöngyösi that he had during Czechoslovak– Hungarian talks in Prague. The head of Czechoslovakia’s representation on the ACC, Dalibor Krno, had already told Gyöngyösi that “the position taken with regard to the expulsion of the Germans”, at Potsdam, “implies assent to the deportation of the Magyars, as well”. According to Kertesz, who was present at the Prague meetings, Beneš “went even further in declaring to Foreign Minister Gyöngyösi that the three major Allies agreed in principle at Potsdam on the removal of the Germans and Hungarians from Czechoslovakia, and he was rather astonished to see that the Hungarians were stubbornly resisting the implementation of this policy” (italics added).14

Beneš had sought to give the impression of linkage on the very day of the Potsdam Communiqué (2 August 1945), when he had issued another of his infamous decrees, arbitrarily stripping all Germans and Hungarians of their Czechoslovak citizenship (Presidential Decree 33). This, concludes historian László Gulyás, “made it possible for the Czechoslovak state to exercise total control over the persons and assets of the Magyar (and German) populace, without any legal restraint or recourse.” Adding to Beneš’ deceit at the December talks, Deputy Foreign Minister, Vladimír Clementis,15 insisted, in Gulyás’ description, “that Czechoslovakia, enjoying the backing of both the Soviet Union and the Western Allies, will remove the Magyars, one way or another”.16 Even though these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, since Beneš never gained the mandate he claimed he already had, false Czechoslovak and Soviet claims repeated by American officials were certainly used against Hungary.

Meanwhile, a month later than expected, the first organised expulsion of Swabians from Hungary to Germany finally began in Budaörs, on the western outskirts of Buda. But despite Soviet pressure, and loud Communist advocacy, many Hungarians reacted with outrage, like they had a year earlier, at the indiscriminate condemnation of Swabians. As Budaörs was virtually emptied in the middle of January 1946, there could be no doubt that collective punishment – often theoretically repudiated by the Allies – was indeed being dispensed, with predictably unjust results. Ferenc Nagy, who became Prime Minister on 1 February, unsuccessfully made this case to Sviridov.

In contrast to the celebratory tone of Szabad Nép, the newspapers Kis Újság and, particularly, Magyar Nemzet responded to the deportations with criticism. On 18 January, a “Writers and Artists Statement on Swabian Deportation”, initiated by Nyugat co-founder Miksa Fenyő and György Parragi, was printed in Magyar Nemzet. It was a cleverly formulated argument, pointing out that the deportations contradicted the principles of the Atlantic Charter, Yalta Declaration and United Nations Declarations, to which the Soviets were signatories, but which were rooted in Western liberal democratic ideas. Although the statement diplomatically stated that humanitarian concerns would be taken into consideration, it nevertheless insisted that good intentions were insufficient – “you cannot humanely take away a man’s home, environment, village, house, land, bread and water”. All of Hungarian society, it concluded, should protest against this.17

In response to this published statement, the Soviet Chairman of the ACC ordered the Hungarian government to suspend publication of Magyar Nemzet. Two days after the piece appeared, on Sunday 20 January, the Interior Ministry announced the suspension, due to an article on 18 January that “infringed the national and international interests of Hungarians and grievously endangers the implementation of a lawfully enacted government edict”. The daily newspaper did not appear again until Wednesday, after Voroshilov permitted the two week suspension to end early. When General Edgcumbe questioned Voroshilov about the suspension at the 25 January ACC meeting, the Soviet leader replied that it had been “owing to improper articles about the deportation of Schwabians”.18 No further questions about the suspension were raised. And so this forthright and public repudiation of the deportation of Hungary’s Swabians was quashed by the Allied Control Commission according to its armistice powers, without complaint from the Western representatives.


But this is not surprising when one considers the issue that dominated the attention of, particularly, the British representative on the ACC at this very moment. Even as the expulsions began and a newspaper was suspended over its criticism, General Edgcumbe and the British political representative, Gascoigne, were strenuously seeking a different newspaper suspension. The paper in question was the Communist daily, Szabad Nép, and the cause of Western outrage was a story that appeared in its 6 January 1946 edition, headlined, “Flower Bills as an Armistice Obligation” (“Virágszámla mint fegyverszüneti kötelezettség”). The British response to this incident, and its position in relation to it, is a significant insight into the Western attitude to its responsibilities and role in Hungary. It provides a further example of the Soviet ability to use the Communist activity it directed to produce antagonism between the Western Allies and non-Communists in government, as well as Western advocacy for the Soviet-led suppression of Hungarian civil society.

As we have already seen, the extraordinary demands and impositions of the occupying Red Army were a crippling burden for post-war Hungary. And, while the Allied Control Commission’s four national missions were obviously less costly than that, they also made expensive and excessive demands on Hungary’s ransacked resources. Not only that, but the occupying powers consistently refuted the idea that their requirements from Hungary were in any way unnecessary or damaging. Most egregiously, Soviet officials lied about Red Army requisitioning. On 15 November 1945, Szabad Nép informed its readers of Voroshilov’s mendacious announcement that, with a few exceptions, there would be no more deliveries to the Red Army. But the Western Allies were also vulnerable to criticism, and, even as the Soviets covered up their own larger culpability, it would serve Soviet and Hungarian Communist interests to expose that vulnerability.

And so the Szabad Nép piece claimed that it had gained access to bills for flowers bought in December 1945 – at Philantia on 9 Váci Street19 – that the British Military Mission to the ACC had submitted to the Hungarian authorities for payment. “These eight bills, which probably escaped the attention of the leaders”, according to Szabad Nép, were for millions of pengős. Even in the context of inflation, which was not nearly as serious as it would be in the summer of 1946, these were extraordinary amounts, bearing in mind that Szabad Nép itself cost 100 pengős on the date of the first bill, 12 December, and 300 pengős on the last, 19 December. On that day, the piece claims, a bill submitted for recompense recorded ten lilacs at the price of 4 million pengős.20

One should by no means assume the veracity of a story in Szabad Nép – which in this case intimated not only a callous profligacy in the buyers, but an extortionate opportunism in the sellers – but it should at least be noted that in the flurry of British complaints which followed, the accuracy of these figures was not specifically challenged. However, the piece was not finished; it moved onto the Americans and the food served at their mission’s headquarters on Falk Miksa Street. It will be remembered that this winter was the height of post-war food shortages in the capital, with average daily rations down to around 500 calories; so this was a fruitful line of attack. “Nobody expects the American soldiers who are here on duty to starve for our sake, but when did the Hungarian worker ever see menu-cards like these?”, the article exclaimed, before printing what it purported to be breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for 2 and 30 October. The alleged spread was, in the circumstances, lavish.

In their immediate outrage, the British and American representatives on the ACC argued that, by “allowing” the publication of this article, the Hungarian government had contravened Article 15 of the armistice agreement. This clause stated, “[t]he Government of Hungary undertakes to dissolve immediately all pro-Hitler or other fascist political, military, paramilitary and other organisations on Hungarian territory conducting propaganda hostile to the United Nations and not to tolerate the existence of such organisations in future”. A plain reading of this text would not seem to support the idea that the Szabad Nép piece’s appearance represented a breach of it, which is doubtless why the first complaints spoke of the “spirit” being contravened.

“I desire to record my gravest concern that Your Excellency should have seen fit to have permitted such a scandalous piece of propaganda against the local Representatives of Great Britain to be published in the Hungarian press”, Gascoigne wrote to Gyöngyösi. “Furthermore this article, inter alia, most seriously contravenes the spirit of Article 15 of the Armistice Convention.”21 On the same day, Key and Edgcumbe met with Deputy ACC Chairman Sviridov, handing him letters of protest, both of which repeated the Article 15 claim, while both also verbally made the first request that Szabad Nép be suspended in response. “I am of the opinion that severe disciplinary steps should be immediately taken by the Allied Control Commission”, Edgcumbe wrote, “in order that: (i) an apology be obtained both for the disregard of Article 15 of the Armistice Terms for publishing offensive criticisms based on information which had not been examined, and, (ii) that there may be no possible repetition of any public criticism of the Allied Control Commission contrary to the Armistice Terms”.22

In this way, Edgcumbe both overstated and blurred his case. Public criticism of the ACC was certainly not mentioned in the armistice, but even if this is what “propaganda hostile to the United Nations” meant, the Hungarian government had been charged in the armistice with dissolving organisations that conducted it. But since, therefore, the appearance of criticism in a Hungarian newspaper was not literally contravening the armistice, it makes little sense to conclude that it had appeared as a result of “disregard” for the armistice, even if one assumed that any non-Communist member of the Hungarian government (such as the Prime Minister or Foreign Minister) had seen it beforehand, which they clearly had not. If the British and American representatives wanted to literally employ a self-evidently applicable armistice clause to the situation, they could have moved to the next one, Article 16. This established that “[t]he publication, introduction and distribution in Hungary of periodical or non-periodical literature, the presentation of theatrical performances or films, the operation of wireless stations, post, telegraph and telephone services will take place in agreement with the Allied (Soviet) High Command”.

If Edgcumbe was seeking an actor which, according to the terms of the armistice, was actually responsible for what appeared in the Hungarian press, therefore, he ought to have addressed a complaint about the article to the Soviets, which would also have had the advantage of being realistic. But this did not occur. In communication with the British Foreign Secretary, Gascoigne insisted that “the responsibility for the censorship of the Hungarian press was transferred by the Russians to the Hungarians in June last”, but this was, as with much else, only nominally the case (apart from the fact that it did not alter or exceed the terms of Article 16). Furthermore, not only did the Hungarian government, according to Gyöngyösi, not actually undertake censorship of the newspapers, the Soviets also continued to maintain final authority over publications in Hungary, as was illustrated a week later when Voroshilov ordered the Hungarian Interior Ministry to suspend Magyar Nemzet over its coverage of deportations.

Yet, dissatisfied with the response to their complaints, the British representatives continued to misdirect their complaints and overstate what they were entitled to demand of the Hungarian government, while escalating both their assessment and their demands for Soviet intervention. Two days later, writing to Voroshilov, Edgcumbe now described the publication of the article as a “serious breach of the Armistice Agreement”, dropping the “spirit” caveat. In light of this, he argued, “it is necessary that the Hungarian Government be instructed clearly as to what is expected of them”. If Voroshilov agreed, Edgcumbe requested that he “give them orders”, to carry out measures, including “[a] definite order to be issued by the Hungarian Government to all those concerned with publication of newspapers, etc. that anything that can be in any way construed as criticism of the Allied Control Commission is definitely forbidden under the terms of the Armistice Agreement” (italics added).23 It was a remarkable requirement, justified presumptuously.

Edgcumbe continued to press his case for suspension at the ACC meeting on 11 January, complaining that “the main references by the Hungarian Government as regards disciplinary action were to the author of the article and […] it is the proprietors of the newspaper who are responsible”. Despite their continued dissatisfaction, Edgcumbe and Key eventually agreed “they would not press suspension in this case in view of the promise of the Dep. Chairman [Sviridov] of strong action immediately if any further case occurred”. It was in this context that both Western generals made their previously referenced comments about the unfriendliness of the Hungarian government towards them.24 Writing to the Foreign Secretary five days later, Gascoigne remained dissatisfied by the conclusion, but reflected: “I can only hope that the Hungarians will have learned a lesson and that there will be no similar cases in the future.”25 But, all along, the response of non-Communists inside and outside of government should have been more than enough to convince the Western Allies that the Communist line of criticism was not representative. This, in turn, could have given them pause about what the Communist critique signified.

Immediately upon receiving Gascoigne’s first complaint on 7 January, Gyöngyösi had assured him: “This article treats the problems connected with the accommodation obligations, based on the Armistice Agreement, toward the Allied Control Commission in a manner and with a tendency which the Hungarian Government – far from approving – rejects in the most decided manner.” This was confirmed by the second secretary in the British political mission, F. G. Redward, who noted on 11 January that “the publication of this article is most definitely deprecated by the Hungarian Government”.

Furthermore, as Gascoigne himself affirmed in his 8 January dispatch, the Szabad Nép piece had been “severely criticised by all sections of the Hungarian population, except the Communists and Social Democrats”. Kis Újság, the daily newspaper of the Smallholders’ Party – of which both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary were members – called the already infamous article “irresponsible and malevolent” and insisted that it was “not Hungarian public opinion or that of the majority of Hungarian journalists”. This article was, like the original one from Szabad Nép, translated and disseminated among British diplomats, but it seemed not to effect the calculus.26

In the end, thanks to the Western response, non-Communist Hungarians found themselves on the receiving end in every direction. The Soviets controlled and restrained the government from without – with the help of Communists and fellow travelling ministers and officials within it – despite the Smallholders’ election victories. Prominent non-Communists chafed under these impositions, seeking to survive until the peace treaty was signed. But instead of recognising this dynamic and at least partially counterbalancing the pressure, as Smallholders desperately sought from the Americans and British, Western representatives in the ACC significantly assisted the Soviet and Communist strategy by allowing them to shift the blame for what they had engineered onto the Hungarian government as a whole, thus further isolating it from possible assistance. It is hard to imagine a more total misjudgement in 1946 Hungary than to angrily hold János Gyöngyösi responsible for an article published, and probably written, by József Révai, the Muscovite Hungarian Communist and Szabad Nép editor, who had served on the Comintern Executive and taught at the Lenin School in the 1930s. There was due and evident cause for criticising the Communists and challenging the Soviets for, at best, allowing the Communist paper to single out the Americans and British for disproportionate criticism. Instead, Edgcumbe and Key’s furious response both ignored the actual Soviet role and responsibility, and yet found it appropriate to express strong support for an unnecessary and excessive Soviet control of the press and intolerance of domestic criticism – a principle which the Soviets did not, of course, apply to their Communist allies, but were happy to soon follow against Magyar Nemzet.


1 „Potsdam Conference, Communiqué” (2 August 1945) FRUS:

2 Deborah S. Cornelius, Hungary in World War Two: Caught in the Cauldron (New York: Fordham University Press, 2011), 403–404; Stephen Kertesz, “The Expulsion of the Germans from Hungary: A Study in Postwar Diplomacy”, The Review of Politics, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1953), 1884–185; Ferenc Nagy, The Struggle behind the Iron Curtain (New York: MacMillan, 1948), 131–134.

3 Ibid.

4 “The Representative in Hungary (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State” (10 September 1945), FRUS:

5 British Military Mission Notes of ACC Meeting of 25 January 1946, FOA: FO 371/58965; British Military Mission Notes of ACC Meeting on 15 July 1946, FOA: FO 371/58966.

6 R. M. Douglas, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 128.

7 Kertesz, 188–89.

8 „Gyökeres megoldást követelünk a sváb-kérdésben!” [“We demand a radical solution of the Swabian question!”], Szabad Nép (22 November 1945).

9 British Military Mission: Notes on ACC Meeting of 10 December 1945, FOA: FO 371/58965.

10 G. C. Paikert, The Danube Swabians: German Populations in Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia and Hitler’s Impact on their Patterns (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1967), 207.

11 British Military Mission: Notes on ACC Meeting of 28 December 1945, FOA: FO 371/58965.

12 Douglas, 128.

13 “The Ambassador in Czechoslovakia (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State” (10 September 1945), FRUS:; “The Ambassador in Czechoslovakia (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State” (11 December 1945), FRUS:

14 Kertesz, 191–94.

15 Clementis was a Slovak Communist who eventually became one of the highest profile victims of Stalinism in Czechoslovakia. Prosecuted as part of the infamous Slánský show trial, he was executed in 1952.

16 László Gulyás, Beneš: Statesman or Charlatan? The Plans and the Reality, 1908–1948 (Toronto: Corvinus Publishing, 2008), 340–344.

17 „Írók és művészek állásfoglalása a sváb kitelepítés kérdésében” [The position of writers and artists on the issue of the removal of Swabians], Magyar Nemzet (18 January 1945).

18 „A sváb kitelepítés margójára” [Note on the removal of the Swabian population], Napi történelmi forrás (9 February 2016):; British Military Mission Notes of ACC Meeting of 25 January 1946, FOA: FO 371/58965.

19 This shop, with its lovely art nouveau frontage, is still in situ.

20 „Virágszámla mint fegyverszüneti kötelezettség” [Flower bills as armistice obligations], Szabad Nép (6 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965. Interestingly, the specific claim that four million pengős had been paid for ten lilacs at Philantia was resurrected by Szabad Nép 20 years later in a so-called reminiscence of 1946, but in this case it was claimed that Americans made the purchase: “Hű, de hideg volt” [Ouch! How cold it was!], Szabad Nép (18 February 1966).

21 Letter of Gascoigne to Hungarian Foreign Minister (7 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965.

22 British Political Mission Notes on Meeting between Sviridov, Key and Edgcumbe (7 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965; Letter of Edgcumbe to Chairman of the ACC (7 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965.

23 Letter of Edgcumbe to Voroshilov (9 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965.

24 British Military Mission Notes of ACC Meeting on 11 January 1946, FOA: FO 371/58965.

25 Letter of Gascoigne to Foreign Secretary (16 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965.

26 Note Verbale from Hungarian Foreign Ministry to the British Political Mission (7 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965; Minute by F. G. Redward (11 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965; “Mean Attack”, Kis Újság (9 January 1946), FOA: FO 371/58965.

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