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Gordon Craig

Levente-Hungarian Youth Organization before and during WWII

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The following article is taken from Wikipedia and reprinted here as background information on the pictures of the medal posted beelow it.

Regards,

Gordon

Levente (organization)

Levente Associations (Hungarian: Levente Egyes?letek) or simply "levente"[1] were paramilitary youth organizations in Hungary in the interwar period and during the Second World War. It was established in 1921 with the declared purpose of physical and health training. Since mid-1930s they have de-facto become an attempt to circumvent the ban for conscription imposed by the Treaty of Trianon and over the time it had openly become a pre-military organization under the leadership of veterans.[2][3]Since 1939, by the Act of Defense, all boys of ages 12-21 were required to take part in levente.[3]

It is usually compared to Hitler Jugend of Nazi Germany and Opera Nazionale Balilla of Italy. While having a common trait of military training with the latter two, levente was neither openly fascist nor particularly politicized, although it was not isolated of political influences of the time.[3]

Levente had also a smaller female branch, initiated as a voluntary association in June 1942. Under the rule of Ferenc Sz?lasi installed by Nazis in Hungary in October 1944 obligatory levente duties were imposed unto girls of ages 12-19 despite the strong opposition of the Catholic Church. However the latter was not actually implemented because of the advance of the Soviet Army.[3]

By the end of the World War II Levente members had to actually serve in auxiliary forces.

During the Soviet occupation many levente activists were tried by Soviet tribunals, convicted of "anti-Soviet activities" and deported to the Soviet Union for penal labor.

Despite the relatively long period that the Levente organization exhisted in Hungary there are few artifacts available. They are highly sought after and don't seem to last long on dealers tables. Today, while visiting the flea market, Petofi Csarnok in city park (Voros Liget) I cam across a Leventeverseny (Levente competition) medal. It is probably associated with a sporting competition. Sports medals commonly have a location on the back where the sport and/or the position the medal was awarded for could be engraved. This often left blank as the case with this medal.

Obverse of the medal;

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Soemthing else to add to my Levente collection. A VIL?GLAPJA magazine, dated December 16, 1942, showing the new women's uniforms for the Levente in wear earlier that year.

Regards,

Gordon

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Take a good hard look... no one will ever probably see one of those unifomrs in real life again...

7 Years in Budapest and I only saw one Levente uniform....

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Posted (edited)

Glad to have stumbled on this thread by accident...I have a photo of an HJ Marine member wearing this medal I have been trying to ID for a few months

2-28-2019 6;34;47 PM.jpg

post-22-0-22086100-1551630731.jpg

Edited by Brig

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Brig,

Now what would a member of the HJ be doing wearing a Levente medal?  Wonders never cease.  Thanks for posting the picture.

Regards,

Gordon

 

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It wasn't uncommon for HJ to go to international youth events, particularly those of Fascist leanings. There was an event in Oslo, the HJ had an award for distinguished foreigners (very rare, only confirmed awarding that I know of was a female in Norway, but I'm sure there were more)

Or maybe this youth's family simply answered Hitler's call for native Germans to return to the fatherland in the 30s?

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