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Hungarian Partisan Grouping


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Martosi Zoltan was born in 1920 and moved to a house near the outskirts of Budapest with his family in 1932. In 1944 Zoltan was conscripted into the Royal Hungarian Army and was stationed at ?sv?nyr?r?n where he rose to the rank of squad leader awaiting his time to engage the enemy. During Christmas of 1944, the young corporal was given a two day pass to visit his parents in Budapest from December 23rd to the 25th. He arrived on a German transport truck to his house. The battle was fierece and the Red Army was encircling the capitol city. Zoltan spent the holidays with his family in a nearby bomb shelter. When his pass expired on the 25th, the city was surrounded and it was impossible for him to return to his unit. He remained with his family till he was arrested on the 30th for desertion. He sat in a prison for ten days as he awaited his fate - most likely execution. Then he managed to find that a friend of his was a personal friend of the Military Police Colonel and they managed to convince him to release Martosi under the circumstances. The condition of his release was that his new papers assigned the corporal to the SS Division Maria Theriesia. With the new papers - he tried to slip away even but the shelling and fighitng was so intense that he could not get home - so he went to Ulloi Ut to the barracks of the SS Division...still in his Hungarian uniform - but on the roll call of the SS Division, Martosi continued to hold the line as the Division slowly pulled back to the Castle District. When the final order came to retreat to the castle - their Hungarian platton offcier, an Artillery Lieutenant refused (the castle became a death trap). On February 11th Martosi's platoon surrendered to the Red Army.

Though he never made it home during the battle - a German platoon occupied his parents house as it was an excelent defensive position. Martosi's family hid in the nearby shelter, but then later assisted the Germans in the defense. His father was killed delivering ammunition to the Germans in his house.

Recently at auction I was able to aquire nearly all of the grouping to Martosi Zoltan. Interestingly he was awarded the Partisan badge in 1983. This was normaly done for individuals who through some effort had worked to condem the rise of European Faschism through service or literature. Zoltan may have done such work, but it is not known at this time - it may also have been a situation where his serivce to the HUPR combined with the fact that he 'tried to defeat Hitler's army' by attempting to desert may have warranted the badge. Its unknown at this time.

However - what is interesting is that accorind to others I have spoken to, only about 200 Partisan badges were handed out in 1983 - though many of the un-numbered badges appear regularly from this time. What is strikingly interesting about this particular badge (besides the ultra rare document) is that the badge awarded and recorded on the carrying document is an early issue numbered 1136! This could be that it was a 'New Old Stock' or that the 1950's made ones were not handed out in a particular order, or it may also have been a badge that was revoked from the previous owner...uncertain? Regardless -the irony is that he was named a 'partisan' - yet he was a member of an SS Division....

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And the real twist - In 1993 he was awarded Commemorative Medal of the Independant Democratic Hungary. Awarded to individuals who were memebrs of the armed forces after March 9th, 1945 who participated in ridding Hungary of the Nazi occupation - IE - those who volunteered to join the Hungarian Red Army - though they never saw any real action (two units did become supply units for the Red Army - but that was about it) So - not long after surrendering to the Soviets - he joined the forming Hungarian army (as sitting in a POW camp was more dangerious) Only 4500 of these were awarded 1000 of the posthumiously. As Zoltan passed away this year he was one of 3500.

Edited by hunyadi
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