Peter I. Hidas
Although Hungary remained an ally of the Third Reich to
the end of the Second World War, some Hungarian politicians and
diplomats began to pursue a different alliance as early as 1941.
The Foreign Ministry at Budapest was a centre of opposition to
German orientation and most Hungarian diplomats preferred a pro-British
policy. Months before Hungary joined the war against Russia in
1941, Prime Minister Paul Teleki, with the agreement of Governor
Nicholas Horthy, sent Tibor Eckhardt, the president of the Smallholders'
Party, to the United States to form a government-in-exile in case
the government at Budapest would be overthrown by Berlin.(1) Negotiations
for a separate peace began in 1942. Discussions took place in
Istanbul, New York, and several other locations, with the participation
of professional diplomats, spies, opposition politicians and political
György Barcza, former Hungarian ambassador to London, wrote in his memoirs that he had prepared with Prime Minister Nicholas Kállay the re-organization of the Magyar diplomatic corps abroad as a focus of resistance. Barcza discussed this enterprise with pro-Ally Hungarian diplomats Wodianer, Ambro, Ghika, Velics and Bessenyey. The British Foreign Office was informed.(2)
On December 1, 1942, there was a political dinner at Count Jeno Pongracz's house in Budapest. Among those present were the son of the Governor, Nicholas Horthy and Count Istvan Bethlen, the former prime minister, friend of the Governor and leader of the progressive but loyal opposition. This group planned a provisional government. Bethlen suggested that the foreign minister of the new government should be László Velics of Laszlofalva, Hungary's ambassador in Athens, who had earlier represented his country at the League of Nations until his transfer to Athens in 1939. (3) Several months later, in June 1943, two American representatives, Allen Dulles and Royall Tyler, met Lipot Baranyai, unofficial envoy of Prime Minister Nicholas Kállay, to discuss Hungary's surrender to the Western Powers. They agreed that future negotiations would be held between Tyler and one of the following Hungarian diplomats: Gabor Apor, László Velics or György Bakach-Bessenyey. (4)
The purpose of this paper is to outline the career of László Velics and discuss his activities especially during his residence in Athens as extraordinary ambassador and plenipotentiary minister for official Hungary, for unofficial Hungary, and for humanity in general.
László Velics was born on April 20, 1890
in Dresden, although his home was Szecseny, Nograd County, Hungary.(5)
He attended the high school of the archbishop at Kalocsa and was
graduated in 1908. Law School was next. In 1912 he completed his
studies at Pazmany Peter University and in the same year obtained
employment as a clerk at the governor's office in Fiume. Velics
did not stay long. On October 20th, 1913 he entered the foreign
service of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as a provisional clerk.
The war brought a temporary end to his diplomatic career. The
young patriot joined the army and served three years with distinction.
He left the 16th Hussar Regiment as a lieutenant with a Grand
Silver Medal decoration for heroism.
In 1917 Velics returned to Vienna and resumed his duties in the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry as an attache. The following year the Ministry, along with the Empire, ceased to exist. Velics' homeland, Hungary, now a new state, needed diplomats, irrespective of whether Michael Karolyi, Bela Kun or Nicholas Horthy presided over affairs. At least, this is how Velics may have seen the situation. He stayed at his Budapest post during the two revolutions in 1918 and 1919 and the counter-revolution of 1919. During these turbulent times he found time to get married. (6)
The decision to stay at his place of duty during both the democratic and the communist revolution hindered Velics' career, although the solidarity of old diplomats saved him from being purged. (7) In 1921 he was sent to Munich to serve at the consulate. By 1935 all was forgiven. He now led the Hungarian delegation to the League of Nations. Velics came into prominence in the debate over the Abyssinian crisis. His appointment to the Bern Embassy as Extraordinary Ambassador and Plenipotentiary Minister in 1938 was short-lived.(8) He left Switzerland on August 31, 1939 for a new post in Athens.
When the war broke out between Italy and Greece, Velics represented Italian interests. The Italians, the Albanians and the Vatican were highly pleased with both the diplomatic and the humanitarian activities of the Hungarian minister whom they decorated with high honours. The archbishop of Athens dedicated a gift to Velics with "To the Saviour of Greece with affection" for the ambassador's work on behalf of hostages.(9) Velics was in touch with both the Hungarian and the Greek opposition. He organized an international protest to the deportation of foreign Jews in Greece and often appealed on humanitarian grounds to occupational authorities and the Greek government in Athens on behalf of individuals. In his reports to the prime ministers and the foreign ministers of Hungary he drew accurate pictures of the situation in Greece during the war years.
Velics' involvement with the Hungarian opposition was ephemeral. He was considered for foreign minister by the plotters in 1942 for no more than a week and then his name was dropped - allegedly because of his "blemished" private life. (10) Velics was also considered as a potential peace negotiator in 1943 when his name surfaced during the negotiatians with the Americans. Kállay, however, selected György Bakach-Bessenyey and not Velics. (11) The prime minister may not have trusted the protege of Hungary's former Foreign Minister Kalman Kanya who pursued a strong pro-German Hungarian foreign policy before the war.
Following the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, Hungarian ambassadors in certain neutral countries formed a committee, and attempted to coordinate resistance and to form an alternative government. The Rome ambassador was anxious to involve Velics and asked the Americans to bring from Cairo to Rome the former ambassador to Greece. (12) There is no evidence that the visit took place. Nevertheless, Velics was listed as a member of the Legation Movement. However, by the time Velics became available at the end of 1944, there was a Hungarian Provisional Government in existence in Debrecen. Therefore, Barcza's discussion with Velics in late 1944 or in early 1945, had no political impact. (13)
Earlier, on December 14, 1942, Velics had met one of the plotters, László Bartok, in Budapest, he was told to get in touch with the British if the Allies landed in Greece. Velics told a Hungarian Jewish acquaintance in Athens, Mr. Joseph Lovinger, that he had met Horthy at the end of 1942 and received $100,000 to finance an alternative government once the opportunity arose. The time became ripe in April 1944, following the German invasion of Hungary. Ivan Bogdan, First Counsellor at the Athens Embassy, and Velics decided to abandon their posts. Bogdan, who was married to Popella Tsirimokos, sister of Elias Tsirimokos, a leading non-communist leader of EAM/ELAS, contacted the Greek resistance which spirited out of Greece the two diplomats along with two British spies and several Jewish refugees, including Mr.Lovinger. (14)
In Egypt, where he was soon moved by the British, Velics could do little for Hungary. The Allies discouraged Hungarian political activity outside Hungary and refused to recognize anyone who attempted to "represent" the Hungarian people. At times Velics was unsure whether he was considered as a friend or foe by the Allies. The OSS was interested in Velics but the American State Department informed them that "Velics is believed to be sound in sentiment but relatively unknown to the Hungarian public." (15)
In November 1944 Velics returned to Athens. With the agreement of the new Greek government he represented Hungary once again but only in a purely private capacity. Apparently, the official embassy ceased to function in October 1944. It took Velics a year to decide on his return to Hungary. At his request the American Mission in Athens sent a note on October 17, 1945 to the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informing them about the presence of the former ambassador in Athens. The Foreign Minister responded promptly and positively. On October 27th a Verbal Note was delivered to the Allied Control Commission in Budapest requesting the return of Velics and Bogdan. (16) Velics made up his mind; Bogdan did not. They were told to return to Hungary by April 1, 1946. Bogdan asked for an extension of the deadline to reconsider; his wife was ill, he had just learnt that Hungarian Arrow Cross thugs had recently murdered his sister. The request was denied; Bogdan soon left for the United States; Velics for Hungary via London. (17)
On April 15, 1946 Velics confronted a de-nazification committee, the Certification Committee in Budapest. The communists were determined to deny the professional diplomat political certification. The communist chairman of the Committee, Sandor Szalai, told Velics that he would serve the people's democracy best by stepping aside because of his activities in the League of Nations in the 1930's. If he agreed, the Committee would certify him. Velics complied. He resigned. But, once the Certification Committee was replaced by the B-List Commission, Velics asked for the cancellation of his request of resignation and for rehabilitation by the new Commission. Foreign Minister Janos Gyongyosi acquiesced and appointed him head of protocol and restored Velics' old rank as extraordinary ambassador and plenipotentiary minister. (18) Next year the cabinet considered him for a new post. The embassy in Egypt was selected first (19) but finally, Rome was chosen. On October 15, 1947 Velics presented his letter of appointment to the provisional Italian head of state. (20)
According to Gabor Tolnai, who replaced Velics in 1949, Velics had difficulties in Rome because of his communist- ridden staff. He was spied upon by Embassy Counsellor György Szekeres, who denounced both his chief and Mrs. Velics. Tolnai informed against Velics to Deputy Foreign Minister Andor Berei, husband of the Stalinist historian Elizabeth Andics, for alleged anti-communist remarks. Foreign Minister László Rajk recalled the Rome ambassador immediately. Following Velics' return the government ordered his deportation. But Velics had some brave friends. They telephoned the office of the Hungarian dictator, Matyas Rakosi - the deportation was delayed. When the second notice of deportation arrived Velics forbade his friends do intervene on his behalf. He died forgotten, alone in a remote village in northern Hungary on February 23, 1953.(21)
2. Velics and the Occupiers
As a representative of one of the Axis powers, Velics
was considered as "one of us" by the German and especially
by the Italian politicians in Athens. He frequently entertained
Reich Plenipotentiary Gunther Altenburg and later Dr. Hermann
Neubacher,SA Gruppenführer and special emissary of
the Reich government for economic matters in Greece.Velics believed
that he had influence in German circles and as a result German
occupational policies were mollified due to his interventions.
During the summer of 1942 when the local press began "a senseless and dangerous political campaign of persecution of the men of the old regime who stayed behind" Velics warned his German colleague that it was easy to start such a campaign but harder to end. The Hungarian Foreign Minister László Bárdossy soon was informed that the Germans had followed Velics' suggestion and, subsequently, the Greek government was made to cease such persecutions. (22) "Illegally" amassed fortunes during the republican era, a target of the quisling government, remained untouched.
On other occasions, taking advantage of his excellent contacts, Velics saved hostages, inmates on death row, freed many imprisoned Greeks, provided news about arrested relatives and found living accomodations for refugees. When the new strongly anti-German Hungarian Foreign Minister Jeno Ghyczy critcized Velics for not doing enough for the Greeks, Velics angrily responded by listing his achievements and claiming that he, in fact, had contributed to the moderation of the occupational style of the Germans which, temporarily, in the summer of 1943 began to resemble the more benevolent Italian method of occupation. (23)
German authorities in Athens never doubted Velics' loyalty to the Axis cause. There is no evidence in the German diplomatic and military records of any criticism of the Hungarian ambassador to Greece. Other Hungarian diplomats and many senior employees of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry often earned the ire of the Germans.
Velics painted an unflattering picture of the Wehrmacht in Athens. "The German army acts like locuses." They put their hands on all stocks, crops and factories. They are undisciplined. Their anti-sabotage measures wiped out any sympathy the Greeks may have earlier felt for them. (24) The Germans are ruthless victors. The famous German discipline is nothing but a myth. They prance around in their swimming trunks half naked on the streets of Athens offending the sensibilities of the locals. Not such a long time ago German soldiers and recently released Greek prisoners were singing anti-Italian songs in the pubs of Athens. But the situation has changed. The city is starving and the Germans are carting away truckloads of meat and tomatoes. (25) In early 1942 Velics wrote: "The country is being destroyed. Greece is dying. Under the circumstances how could the Greeks be enthusiastic about the New Order?" (26) What he resented most was the killing of inncent people which began on a large scale after the surrender of Italy. In September 1943 he reported the executions of Greek child-hostages and the "horrible persecution of Jews." (27) He detailed how the Germans restored order on the islands and, in the process, destroyed hundreds of villages which made half a million Greeks homeless; how they murdered 127 community leaders and intellectuals at Sparta and how they collected all men age 16 and older for mass shooting at Kalavryta in Achaia. (28)
The Germans drove the Greek state to bankruptcy. Since the beginning of the occupation, drachmas in circulation increased from 18 billion to 150 billion. This rapid growth was due to the high cost of occupation which took up 75% of the increment. The result, wrote Velics, is gallopping inflation. (29) Velics reported the desperate attempt by the Greek Minister of Finance Soteris Gotzamanes to reduce Greece's financial obligations (30) and the Hungarian ambassador in Berlin described Gotzamanes' failure to convince Berlin that Greece's obligation to feed the occupying forces should be eased. (31) In fact, Velics blamed primarily the Germans' exorbitant demands for the Greek famine.
Velics recognized the secondary and subordinate role Italy played in the occupation of Greece. He viewed with both contempt and affection the weaknesses of the Italians whose confusions, inefficiencies, corruption and other human weaknesses were combined with humaneness. The ambassador protected the Italians in Greece twice; once, during the Greco-Italian War of 1940-41, and, again, when Italy attempted to leave the war in 1943. His pro-Italian sympathies, however, seldom clouded the clarity and objectivity of his observations.
Although the Italians took almost twice as much Greek land, Velics reported at the beginning of the occupation, the Germans secured the most valuable and strategically important territories. The Italians bragged that they were the true masters of Athens but, in reality, the Wehrmacht limited their authority whenever possible, contrary to the Berlin-Rome agreement which apportioned occupational authority. When Pireus was divided between the Germans and the Italians, the former took the harbour and the three largest airports in the vicinity. (32)
Velics noted both the initial courtesy and the discipline of the Italian soldiers as well as the colonial attitude of the Italian administrators. The former behaved well when quartered with Greeks, the latter issued Mediterranian drachma which they forced on the population.(33) The Germans pilfered the country; the Italians picked up the remaining spoils of war. They confiscated the private cars which the Germans left. They introduced provocative occupational regulations such as forbidding the salute of the Greek flag. (34) The Italian annexation of several Greek islands on the Ionian Sea allienated even the collaborationist government. (35)
Velics made good use of his Italian contacts when Archbishop Damaskinos turned to him on behalf of the wounded and crippled victims of the recent Greco-Italian War. The ambassador brought together the two parties. (36) As a result, the Greek veterans received good treatment from the government as well as the Italian occupying authorities.
In his summary report of March 16, 1943 entitled "Italy's Greek Policies" Velics declared bankrupt Italy's "kid glove" policy to establish an "invisible occupation" in Greece. This failure, according to the ambassador, was due to the opposition of the people. The well-meaning Italian Plenipotentiary Pellegrino Ghigi's policies were often ignored by the Italian army. The army concentrated forces on the shores and only went to the mountains to lead punitive expeditions against the partisans. They seldom found the andartes; instead, the villagers were punished. Frustrated, the soldiers struck at easy targets. In 1943 at the Larissa concentration camp the Italians executed 106 hostages and shot another 10 Greeks in the jails of Aegina and Athens. (37) Nevertheless, when the Germans planned a group execution in certain Pireus factories, Ghigi's intervention saved 200 lives. (38)
On the eve of the Italian ceasefire, the Archbishop of Athens and a ten-member delegation from the City of Athens requested Velics to petition the Italians to free the Greeks in their custody so they would not fall into German hands. (39) Velics' report remains silent on the effectiveness of this intervention. As the Italian tragedy was unfolding in Greece, Velics blamed the British for not taking advantage of the coup in Rome to aid the anti-German Italian forces fighting on the Greek islands. (40)
Velics' sources of information for Bulgarian occupational policies were the reports of his consul in Salonica, the summaries of the Hungarian minister in Sofia, and the regular sources of the Athens embassy.
From Velics' reports emerges a picture of a methodical Bulgarian occupational policy to empty Thrace and Macedonia of Greeks by any means. The Bulgarians initiated this policy during the summer of 1941 with persecution of the Greek Orthodox Church and the expulsion of priests.(41) Soon they began killing Greeks by the thousands. The Bulgarians had their nights of St. Bartholomew between September 28 and October 12, 1941. According to Velics' German sources the number of victims hovered between 25,000 and 30,000. (42) In January 1942 he confirmed the number killed at 25,000. (43) He never explained the discrepancy between his 1943 report of 60,000 (44) and his earlier estimates.
Velics revealed that the Bulgarians employed mass expulsion of Greeks from their zone. In late 1941 and early 1942 he estimated their number at 50,000 but, by the summer of 1942, he gave the figure of 100,000 Greek refugees in Salonica alone when the Hungarian Ambassador Jungerth-Arnothy visited the city from Sofia. (45)
Velics condemned these behaviour Bulgarian policies. "The behaviour of the Bulgarians brings shame to human culture." (46) He blamed the Germans for tolerating Bulgarian atrocities and for transferring historical Greek lands to their Balkan ally.(47) However, for the famine of 1941 he blamed the Germans, not the Bulgarians. (48)
All the occupiers, Germans, Italians and Bulgarians alike, added to their difficulties when they frequently failed to differentiate between those who were for "order" and those who were against it. To quote Velics, they were all Greek to them. (49)
Velics received first-hand information from Athens' city
hall, the Greek quisling government and the diplomatic corps,
especially the plenipotentiaries of Berlin and Rome, the representatives
of the International Red Cross and the office of Archbishop Damaskinos.
The mass of data he had received from these sources led him to
the inescapable conclusion that the prime responsibility for the
famine rested with Germany.
The Italians were not allowed into Athens when Velics wrote his first report "On Starvation in Greece".(50) There was no bread in the German occupied city and medicine was in short supply. Some of the provinces had not received bread for forty to fifty days. There was no cooking oil, rice or sugar to be found. The German army used up all the reserves. Velics rejected the accusations levied against the British that they were the ones whohad exhausted the Greek reserves or had shipped them out when they withdrew from Greece in April. In fact, the ambassador wrote, the British furnished their own food when they were in Greece and upon departure left behind some of their own supplies. The prospects for the winter months were dark - mainly because of the extent to which the Germans were robbing the Greeks. (51)
The Tsolakoglou government blamed the British, but pleaded with Rome and Berlin; the Italians blamed the Germans and they appealed to the International Red Cross for food; the Germans demanded action from the Bulgarians and the Turks but privately held the Italians responsible for the tragedy in Greece while they publicly blamed the British. The latter did not consider they had a responsibility to feed an enemy-occupied country.
At the urging of his representatives in Athens, Hitler eventually agreed to a one time loan of 10,000 tonnes of wheat. According to the German Field Marshal William von List, Greece needed ten to fifteen thousand tonnes monthly. (51) Despite the urgency, the Germans did not agree to a reduction in Greece's contribution to the high cost of occupation until March 1942 when, for the first time, they halted the export of food from Greece. (52) The Axis Powers allegedly sent 50,000 tonnes of food in the previous eleven months to Greece; a number validly doubted by Velics. Little aid came from the Axis in the winter of 1941. In January the ambassador wrote to his prime minister: "The garbage trucks move hundreds of corps to mass graves." During the Greco-Italian War, Radio Berlin told the Greeks not to dig air shelters but graves for themselves. Alas, that is where we are to-day." "For God's sake, let's help this dying nation!" (53) While others provided significant relief, the occupiers kept removing foodstuff from Greece. (54) In 1942 the supplies which arrived from Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary were minimal and were partly lost because of mismanagement and pilfering. (55) Velics appealed for Hungarian aid several times, but since Hungary's agricultural surpluses were committed to the German war machine the Hungarian government was able to make only a token contribution. (56)
In October 1941 Velics learnt of the fate of American food shipments. When the Greeks of the United States sent their first aid package via the Red Sea to Greece, the food supply was re-routed. The Italians negotiated an arrangement with the International Red Cross (IRC) according to which the food from America was handed over to the starving Italian population of Erithria. In compensation Italy promised to ship canned milk to Greece. A second American shipment of 700 tonnes of flour, canned food and medicine was also re-directed to Erithria. This time the IRC attached no conditions to the transfer but sent a general request to Rome to compensate the Greeks. The IRC also obtained safe-conduct certification from the British, the Germans and the Italians for a Turkish shipment of 1,200 tonnes of food. Velics was also aware of the efforts of the Vatican to obtain the wheat from Australia, which was paid for by the pre-occupation Greek government. (57) The Vatican failed to negotiate the deal, and the Apostolic Delegate Roncalli blamed the British. Velics passed no moral judgement at this time. (58)
The following month he signalled the arrival of food from many countries, including some of the goods purchased by the pre-occupational government from Australia. Then he added: "The occupiers are still taking food out of Greece." (59) The crisis was over by September 1942 with the regular arrival of Canadian wheat shipments. The Germans were cooperating and sent some wheat from the Banat. But it was the Canadian donation that mattered because whenever there were delays in shipment the bread rations of the Greeks were immediately reduced. (60) The high cost of the occupation caused inflation and the economic devastation of Greece; the daily survival of the masses depended, stated Velics in August 1943, on the generosity of Canadians. (61) On 2 April 1942 he listed the causes of the Greek food supply tragedy: occupation, decline of food production, the state of transport, shortage of energy and poor organization. (62)
4. Governments in Athens
On June 19, 1941 Velics offered to follow the Greek government-in-exile
to Crete. This was an unusual request because Hungary was about
to join the war against the Soviet Union. Along with most Hungarian
diplomats and politicians, Velics was under the illusion that
an anti-Bolshevik crusade might be fought and cordial relationships
maintained with the Western Powers at the same time. (63) Velics
stayed in Athens and Hungary was soon at war with all the Allied
General Georgios Tsolakoglou, commander of Western Macedonia, formed the first government in Athens on April 29/30, 1941. The Germans were pleased to find someone who was willing to sign the cease-fire agreement, wrote Velics. They wanted to maintain the fiction of Greek independence. The Italians had little faith in the government. Rome tolerated the Greek administration but considered it an instrument of Berlin. Neither the Germans nor the Italians found it necessary to inform Tsolakoglou about their plans for Greece. The quisling government had no international status. Athens did not notify other Powers of its existence. In the summer of 1942 there was no Greek of status who did not condemn the government which was supported only by a few newspapers. (64)
In reviewing the first year of occupation Velics wrote about some of the positive aspects of collaboration. The Prime Minister, he mused, is not quite a Quisling but he is politically paralyzed. He is anti-Bolshevik, pan-European but wants independence for Greece. (65) While on an inspection tour of the north he tried to reassure his audiences that after the war Greece would be restored. Vice-Premier Dr. Constantinos Logothetopoulos was selling the same message in Crete. (66) Velics also noted the desperate efforts of the government to reduce occupational expenses. In November 1941 the first secretary of the Minister of Finance Athanase J. Sbarounis submitted a memorandum to the plenipotentiaries of the occupying Powers demanding the reduction of Greece's contribution. He pleaded that Greece's ability to pay should be taken into consideration; Greece should only provide quarters for the troops and the expenses should be administered by the Greek government. He failed as did the autumn mission of the Finance Minister to Berlin. Collaboration showed no results. The ill, tired and discouraged prime minister resigned. "The shadow government became its own shadow", concluded contemptuously Velics. (67)
Logothetopoulos formed a new government on December 2, 1942. Despite their dependence on the Germans, the Greek quislings attempted to demonstrate, as had their predecessors, their commitment to Greek independence. (68) Their dual loyalty alienated both the occupiers and the Greek society. When the Prime Minister forbade the Church the celebration of the national holiday of March 25, the Archbishop returned Logothetopoulos' memo scribbling on its reverse that he did not tolerate interference in the internal affairs of the Church. (69) When Velics attended a reception of the Prime Minister on April 1, 1943 he was aware of Altenburg and Ghigi's decision to change the government in Athens. (70)
The occupiers ordered the Prime Minister to step aside. They managed to convince Jean Demeter Rallis to form a new government. Altenburg and Ghigi are "crazy about Rallis", this charming professional politician, hard-drinking womanizing sixty-five years old Greek landlord, reported Velics. The Greek elite, the upper 10,000, welcomed him. But can he help his country? Velics showed scepticism about both the life-span and the effectiveness of the new cabinet. (71) Rellis was unpopular. The savings of hostages and the aid given to victims of British bombing were no compensation for the atrocities perpetrated by Rallis' troops, the AVZONS. A few weeks before his defection to the Allies, Velics wrote laconically about the Rellis regime: "The Greek government is disintegrating. The private politics of the SS now prevail." (72)
The policies of the occupiers and the ineffectiveness of the collaborationist government left only two options for the people of Greece: passivity or resistance. They gradually selected the second one. In Velics' view, they made a wise choice.
5. Velics and the Greek Holocaust
A few months before leaving his post in Bern Velics warned
his government about the "frightening" aspects of the
racial and religious policies of the Axis Powers. At this time
Velics was not against the removal of Jews from Hungary but he
found only the West suitable to help Hungary "solve"
its "Jewish question" because the Germans and the Italians
could not provide Hungary with money or with space.(73) These
strange observations were in line with the Jewish policies of
the regime and they could have been written pro forma rather
than out of conviction. The Holocaust that soon began was not
what Velics had in mind.
On July 31, 1942 Velics sent his first report to his prime minister on the fate of the Jews in Greece under German occupation. As a result of the German occupation of Salonica many Jews moved out of the city. The Germans forced the Greek local authorities to gather all Jewish males between eighteen and sixty, with the exception of the Italian and Spanish Jews, on a given day at a main square where they were registered for service in labour battalions. About 7,000 men reported. Velics was disgusted with DONAUZEITUNG (published in Belgrade) which praised the authorities of Salonica for forcing some of the Jews who took chairs with them "for the sake of comfort" to do callisthenics. The Greeks, he wrote, are neither philo-Semites nor anti-Semites. But "the Greek public deeply condemns the German action in Salonica. And so does the Italian. The Italian Jews behaved very patriotically during the Italo-Greek war and that was one more reason for the Italian Chief Consulate in Athens to protect forcefully the Italian Jews of Salonica." A Gentile Hungarian of the Salonica colony denounced Hungarian Jews to the Germans and, as a result, the extra bread ration of the Hungarians which was given to them because of Velics' earlier intervention was reduced from twenty to fifteen portions. Two Hungarian women who had married Greek Jews and three Jewish women now received no bread. In case of further trouble, concluded Velics, I wish to provide for Hungarian Jews here equal protection with Italian and Spanish Jews.(74)
Velics submitted his second report on the fate of the Greek Jews on January 2, 1943. Under the heading "On the Jewish Question in Greece" he described the ill treatment of the Jews in Salonica and in Crete. He spoke well of the Italian authorities who had frustrated all the efforts of the Germans to brand the Jews. The Italian Chief Civilian Commissioner told Velics that he would not allow the reduction of Jews below Italian standards. He promised to extend the same protection to the Hungarian Jews in Greece as he could provide for Italian Jews. All delaying techniques were employed to prevent the introduction of German anti-Jewish regulations into the Italian Zone of occupation. The Germans agreed not to touch the Italian and Spanish Jews of Salonica. (75) Randolph L. Braham, the noted historian of the Holocaust in Hungary, confirms that the Hungarian Jews in Greece were spared in 1943. (76) The credit to Velics at this point is substantiated.
Velics' third report of March 16, 1943 on the fate of the Greek Jews was sent to Prime Minister Kállay. The Germans began their terror campaign against the Jews of Salonica. They were ordered to wear yellow stars. Next they were herded into a ghetto. A gentile Italian woman of eighty-two years of age was also forced to move into the ghetto because she had a Jewish son-in-law. On March 15th 3,500 Jews were deported in railcars to an "unknown destination", allegedly to Poland. The Greeks were outraged. A half a dozen gentile former politicians went to see Prime Minister Logothepopoulos. The Archbishop of Athens also protested. There were rumours that the civil servants were considering a protest strike. It was also said that the EAM was preparing a demonstration. "The Greeks are not anti-Semitic. They say today the Jews, tomorrow us", concluded Velics reflecting Greek public opinion. (77)
The Ambassador showed his outrage in his fourth, April 14, 1943 report. The Germans were in the process of deporting the Jews of Salonica. Out of 40,000 Jews 17,000 were gone. The Jews were locked up in the ghetto and were not allowed to be on the street more than one hour a day. They received hardly any food; they were robbed and starved. Finally, the Jews were packed into railwaycars for transport; at first forty per wagon, but later ninety into each cattle car. The doors were nailed shut. "This is terrible cruelty. Everybody knows that they shall not reach alive their alleged destination in Poland", exclaimed Velics. He continued: A few of the Jews bribed their tormentors and escaped to Athens. Athens is gripped by fear. The Italians branded the deportations "barbaric" as well as a political mistake. The German high commissioner shrugged his shoulder but seemed to be embarrassed. The soldiers blamed the Gestapo. The Greek government made only formal protests. Archbishop Damaskinos' efforts to save the children were rebuffed with the cynical explanation that the purpose of the action was to prevent the children from becoming adults.(78)
A month later Velics made his first proposal to Hungary's premier to save the lives of Hungarian Jews in Greece. He wrote: Systematic cruelty is employed against the Jews. According to German sources 40,000 Greek Jews have been deported to Poland. The Germans are pressuring the Italians to do likewise but the Italians are still rejecting such proposals and refuse to list the one or two thousand Salonica Jews who escaped to their zone of occupation. Due to the urgency of the situation steps should be taken to save the Hungarian Jewish community in Greece because Germans are expected to request the "removal" of these Hungarians. There are only about 130 Hungarians in Greece and out of these no more than ten to fifteen are Jewish. There might be about forty converted Jews. Numerically, the problem is not a serious one. "I presume that under no circumstance can we allow the deportation of Hungarian Jews [living in Greece] to Poland." They should all be saved. "According to my modest views," concluded Velics, "we should, just like the Italians, employ delaying techniques in case of a German request and should not simply accept their solution, which not only offends the interest of Hungarians of Jewish origin, but would offend, indirectly, Hungarian interest and wealth." (79) The Hungarian government did not follow Velics' advice. There was no repatriation.
In describing the Greek implications of the Italian attempt at a separate peace Velics anticipated new dangers that threatened Italian Jews in Greece. "The situation of the Italian Jews [in Greece], would be completely hopeless without the pity and the aid of the Greek public opinion," he wrote. (80)
In October a series of new anti-Semitic measures were introduced in Athens. Archbishop Damaskinos' intervention on behalf of Jewish children, partners in mixed marriages, veterans and the elderly was received with "sympathy" but, in essence, ignored. On October 8, 1943 Velics, whom the Swiss charge, de Bavier, considered the doyen of the Athenian diplomatic corps, gathered his Argentine, Spanish, Swiss and Turkish colleagues to discuss the implications of the German ordinance on foreign Jews. He proposed common action to keep foreign Jews in Greece under the protection of their respective consulates. A note was delivered to German occupational authorities on the same day. Meanwhile, Velics pleaded with Budapest to provide instructions for the repatriation of 22 Hungarian Jews. (81)
Velics could not hide his joy about the small successes of humanitarians and the temporary frustrations of the SS. When SS General Stroop was replaced by Standartenfuhrer Dr. Blume, his former deputy, and S.S.Colonel Dieter Wisliceny, of painful memory due to his activities as leader of the Rosenberg Commando in Salonica, anti-Jewish measures were halted temporarily. Remembering the atrocities in Salonica, most of the Jews went into hiding and refused to report to the authorities for registration. The Greek civil servants supplied many with false papers. Some, with British help, escaped to Egypt. The Orthodox Church made mixed marriages easy contrary to earlier practices. Mr. Wisliceny is in an awkward position, wrote Velics, because as the German saying goes, "They only hang those in Nurenberg whom they can catch. SS Colonel Dieter Wisliceny was trying to deport 8,000 Jews but fewer than 500 were caught in his net. He, in frustration, robbed the abandoned Jewish homes and offered rewards to those who would denounce Jews. Among the foreign representatives only the French cooperated with him stating that the French government was not interested in the fate of French Jews in Greece. (82) The Hungarian Jews were saved, at least none were harmed while Velics was minister in Athens. In April 1944 Velics defected to the Allies. Two Hungarian Jews made the journey with him to Turkey. (83)
6. Velics and the Greek Resistance
Velics was well-informed about the activities of the Greek
resistance groups. His escape to Turkey was engineered by EAM
people. Popella Tsirimokos provided a cover story for the Hungarian
Embassy in case the flight plan failed. (84) It is possible that
contact was established earlier. EDES agents, the representatives
of the Greek Republican Union, were in direct communication with
Velics in October-November 1943.(85) Archbishop Damaskinos, the
veterans' organization and other opponents of the quisling regime
and the occupation regularly sought out the services of the Royal
Hungarian Embassy in Athens. Velics sympathized with the resistance.
Freedom for Greece had a personal meaning for him; his mother
was of Greek descent.
He was convinced that the Greek people totally opposed occupation. In August 1941 he wrote: "95% of the Greeks are sure of England's ultimate victory. They equate occupation with robbery and enslavement". (86) After three months under occupation the mood in Greece turned anti-German. Velics was aware of sabotage and communist propaganda activities in Athens from June 1941. Graffiti such as "V" for victory and "RAF" for Royal Air Force were chalked on the walls in the capital. The occupational authorities launched a counter-propaganda campaign. They claimed that "V" stood for Viktoria and RAF for Recht, Arbeit and Freiheit. The resistance switched to Elefteria (freedom). (87)
Velics noted the first signs of passive resistance. Archbishop Chryssantheos refused to swear in the puppet Tsolakoglou cabinet and the majority of the employees in the foreign service would not to take the newly required oath of loyalty. Notwithstanding, Velics wrote about 1941, the population accepts the current situation and remains passive. (88)
By May 1942 the resistance became visible. On May 27th two cars were dynamited in front of the German regional command headquarters. Within a few days the perpetrators were caught and their leader was executed. Further, the German Lt. General Helmuth Felmy ordered the arrest of forty hostages. Ghigi complained to Velics because the Germans demanded that the Italians agree to the execution of the hostages. He would not. Velics made clear that Hungary also opposed the execution of innocent hostages. On June 4 the Archbishop pleaded for the lives of the hostages to no avail. Eight were shot the next day. "They died like heroes", commented Velics. (89) Some of the protests against the shooting of innocent hostages occasionally succeeded; when Ghigi took up the case of the Pireus hostages saving 200 lives, (90) when the government offered to pay in return for their lives and when the German Ambassador Neubacher interceded on behalf of eighty Greeks in February 1944. (91)
The strike activities in 1942 were restricted to the public sector. In April the Greek civil servants went on strike and a few factory workers joined them.(92) During the summer the resistance remained inactive. The strikes in the public sector, reported Velics at the end of September, only lasted from a half an hour to two days. Store clerks and bank employees often joined them. The government handled the situation without the Germans and the Italians by raising wages, firing strikers and exiling some of them to the various islands. Strikes at plants controlled by the occupational authorities were handled differently. For example, the Italians executed a strike leader at the lignite mines and the Germans shot the leader of the Fix Beer Plant workers. (93)
From the autumn of 1942 Velics reported on the intensification of underground activities. On September 20, 1942, the partisans blew up the office of the ESPO (local Greek Nazis) injuring thirty-seven persons. The Italians first wanted to investigate the bombing but the Germans acted promptly and executed three accused perpetrators. The partisans were picking the wrong target. The movement, in Velics' view, was really inconsequential in Greek politics. (94) Velics noted that partisan activities in Epirus, Thessaly and in the Parnassus and the Olympus mountain areas had increased since September. However, all was quiet in the densely populated districts and the islands and the Peloponnesus. Velics believed that the weak and loosely connected bands, could, within a short time, become the seeds of a major resistance movement.(95)
In early 1943 Velics reported increased partisan activities only in the Italian zone. He also noted the deterioration of war ethics. "The partisans confiscated food and punished collaborators in barbaric fashion. They torture both men and women." But the Italians "also used drastic measures against the suspected supporters of the partisans". Velics believed that the Italians, when they offered a reward of 100 million drachmas for Napoleon Zervas' head wasted their money because he had so few followers.
The Germans told Velics in January that the resistance movement was declining. (96) They wanted to downplay the January incidents which occurred in their zone of occupation. On the Island of Salamis the army reflectors were damaged and, at Pireus, a bomb was found on a ship. On January 7th forteen Greeks were executed in a German prison. Peasants were executed in retribution for resistance without the establishment of responsibility. Velics in his report accused the Germans of disregarding international law. In his estimation the policy of massive retribution made no sense. "While the Axis Powers are co-operating in the feeding of the Greeks, the good policy is ruined by these killings. The upper classes now support the resistance, including fighting in the mountains", concluded his January report on the Greek resistance. (97)
Velics gave a dramatic account of the March demonstrations in Athens against civil mobilization. In essence, he stated that Hitler's speech of February 24, had frightened the Athenians. Hitler said that the occupied peoples must also die for the defence of Europe. Prime Minister Logothetopoulos echoed Hitler but ordered no concrete measures. On February 28th articles appeared in the press about a German mobilization order for all Greek males from age eigthteen to forty-five. Civil servants and bank employees went on strike immediately. The strikers attacked the Ministry of Labour and burnt all labour cards which they could find. Thousands now demonstrated on the streets, not just against mobilization, but also for the restoration of the old borders of Greece and for the expulsion of all the occupiers. By March 5 the number of dead and wounded on the streets of Athens numbered in the hundreds. When the government announced that the mobilization was nothing but a false rumour and granted major wage increases, the crisis subsided. (98)
Velics was aware of the key role played by EAM in the demonstrations and he also knew, since Altenburg told him, that the Germans did plan the establishment of a compulsory labour service in Greece but abandoned it at the request of the Italians. (99) The resistance movement, nevertheless, intensified during the spring and summer of 1943.
In April Velics reported that despite the disunity within the ranks of the underground the interior was gradually taken over by the partisans. He criticized the Italian army who set villages ablaze without actually looking for andartes. He suggested that without German reinforcement Greece could not be controlled much longer.(100) Throughout the summer he reported how brazen the insurgents were getting in penetrating the Athens region and the Peloponnesus, paralyzing the Greek bauxite mines and railway traffic. He did not believe that the German offer of amnesty or their counter-insurgency measures would work. The Germans could not wipe out the partisans of northern Greece nor could they prevent the railway line sabotage. (101)
No terror could restrain the Greeks. In July demonstrators in Athens were attacked with tanks. The shooting of hostages continued throughout the year and in 1944. "The outrage of the people is fully justified", wrote Velics.(102) What worried him was the growing influence of the Greek communists. Before the summer of 1943 he had rejected the allegations of his German and Italian colleagues that all the resisters were communists, but that summer he realized the growing influence of the Greek Communist Party. "Politics here is now dominated by the EAM and the EPON. They control the demonstrations and the strikes in Athens", stated his August report. (103) Money was flowing into the coffers of EAM from Moscow via Bulgaria since England does not pay them any more, wrote Velics in November. EDES was opposing both the occupiers and the EAM. They told Velics that their loyalty to republicanism was not so strong as to oppose England's determination to restore the unpopular monarchy in Greece after the war. (104) Other informers of the ambassador spoke of Russia warning the EAM to abandon their anti-British propaganda activities. (105)
Terror was overtaking Greece in 1944. When several political murders took place in Athens the SS, in response, executed fifty communist hostages. The EAM murdered gendarmes, members of the security battalions and anyone who dared abandon the ranks of EAM. (106) The partisans in the Peloponnesus blackmailed the people to support them. At Kalavryta in Achaia when the resistance killed forty German soldiers, the occupiers rounded up all the men of the village and executed them. The government told Velics the figure was 1000, but the International Red Cross set the number at 1600. At Sparta 127 intellectuals and community leaders were killed. At Kalamata, 380. At Tripolis, 140.(107)
The Germans occupied Hungary on March 19. A viciously anti-Semitic puppet government was installed in Budapest. Velics' First Counsellor Ivan Bogdan was recalled but he refused to return home. At this point the two Hungarian diplomats decided to change sides.
* * *
Velics was proud of his pro-Greek activities during the
war. He was most upset when the Hungarian Foreign Ministry showed
dissatisfaction with his embassy's work. "Humanitarians we
are!" exclaimed Velics in September 1943. He stated that
he and his staff contributed to the mellowing of the occupational
style of the Germans.(108) Between 1941 and 1944 the Royal Hungarian
Embassy staff attempted to relieve the sufferings of the Greek
people under occupation. The Hungarian minister pressured the
Italian and German authorities to eliminate the worst features
of their Greek policies. Small successes were achieved. Many individuals
were saved but the claim that cruelties were mellowed was an exaggeration.
Nevertheless, the attitude of Velics and his staff towards Greece
was atypical of Axis diplomacy.
Many Greeks remember Velics fondly. His life-work, and especially his descriptions and evaluations of events in occupied Greece, illuminate our understanding of diplomatic history, the Holocaust, occupation and resistance.
(1) N.F.Dreisziger, "Mission Impossible: Secret Plans for a Hungarian Government-in-Exile in Canada during World War II", CANADIAN SLAVONIC PAPERS/REVUE CANADIENNE DES SLAVISTES 30 (June 1988): 245-262.
(2) György Barcza, "Diplomaciai emlekeim" [My Diplomatic Memoirs], UJ LATOHATAR (Munich) 34 (August 1983): 171-173.
(3) Ibid. According to the American representative Harrison in Bern, Switzerland, Ottlik, the editor of the Budapest daily Pester Lloyd, and Antal Ullein-Reviczky, the head of the Press Department of the Foreign Ministry, were also considered for the post. However, the report speaks of an appointment to the existing cabinet to relieve the Prime Minister of his burdens concerning the sabotaging of assistance to Germany (National Archives of the United States, State Department, NAUSSD, 740.0011 European War 1939/27139, Telegram sent by Harrison from Bern on January 14, 1943.).
(4) Gyula Juhasz, MAGYARORSZAG KULPOLITIKAJA 1919-1945 [Hungary's Foreign Policy 1919-1945], 3rd edition, (Budapest: Kossuth, 1988): 350.
(5) The family archives of the Velics family, of Laszlofalva (Laclava), are located in the Slovak Central State Archives, Bratislava, (Group 33). Some of the material can be found in the Hungarian National Archives on microfilm. Lajos Hajnald, the archbishop and cardinal of Kalocsa, was Velics' uncle.
(6) MAGYAR ELETRAJZI LEXIKON [Hungarian Biographical Encyclopedia], Volume 3, ed. Agnes Kenyeres (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1982): 982; Orszagos Leveltar, Hungarian National Archives, HNA, Budapest, Hungary (cited hereafter as HNA), K 59 1626/89; Budapest City Archives, Velics, Certification Commission.
(7) Pal Pritz, "Emlekirat es torteneti valosag Hory Andras visszaemlekezeseinek fenyeben" [Memoir and Historical Reality and the Recollections of Andras Hory], SZAZADOK 121 (1987): 258-60.
(8) Andras Hory suggested to Foreign Minister Kanya the appointment of Velics because of his lengthy diplomatic service and outstanding abilities. Hory suspected that an additional reason for the appointment might have been the fact that Velics' father and Kanya were once ambassadors and colleagues in the diplomatic corps of Austria-Hungary /Andras Hory, BUKARESTTOL VARSOIG [From Bucharest to Warsaw], (Budapest: Gondolat, 1987): 405/.
(9) Taped testimony of Joseph Lovinger, head of the Jewish Community of Athens, January 31, 1990.
(10) Rudolf Andorka, ANDORKA RUDOLF NAPLOJA; A MADRIDI KOVETSEGTOL MAUTHAUSENIG [The Diary of Rudolf Andorka; from the Madrid Embassy to Mauthausen], (Budapest: Kossuth, 1978): 276. Velics married Blanka Ferenczy on March 25, 1944.
(11) Juhasz, op.cit.
(12) NAUSSD, 864.01/7-1344, Brandt to the Secretary of State, Naples, July 13, 1944.
(13) Ujpetery quotes Barcza concerning the meeting of the Hungarian ambassadors including Velics /Elemer Ujpetery, VEGALLOMAS LISSZABON; HET EV A MAGYAR KIRALYI KULUGY SZOLGALATABAN [Terminal Lisbon; Seven Years in the Service of the Royal Hungarian Foreign Service], Tenyek es Tanuk [Facts and Witnesses] series (Budapest: Magveto, 1987): 350/.
(14) HNA, K80/804; Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Archives, HFMI, "Bogdan"; Lovinger tape; Andorka, op.cit., 276.
(15) NAUSSD, 864.01/7-1344.
(16) HFMA, 4688/1-1945.
(17) HFMA, 3360/1946.
(18) HFMA, 3360/1/1946; 133/eln.res.1946.
(19) HFMA, 3570/1/1947.
(20) HFMA, 5594/1947.
(21) Gabor Tolnai, SZOBELI JEGYZEK; ROMA 1949-1950 [Verbal Note; Rome 1949-1950], Tenyek es Tanuk [Facts and Witnesses] series, (Budapest: Magveto, 1987): 29-32. Rajk was soon hanged and Szekeres was imprisoned for six years by the new communist government which they had served faithfully.
(22) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/12&14 pol.1941, Athens, Ambassador László Velics to Prime Minister and Designated Foreign Minister László Bárdossy, Athens, July 18, 1941.
(23) HNA , K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/44 pol.1943, Velics to Foreign Minister Jeno Ghyczy, Athens, September 24, 1943. Mr.Lovinger informed me about his knowledge of Velics' activities on behalf of hostages. A member of one of the Greek cabinets in 1945 and his assistant told Mr. Lovinger in 1945 how they were saved from being executed by the intervention of Ambassador Velics (Lovinger tape, 1990).
(24) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/1941/13/ ...pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, June 15, 1941.
(25) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/12&14 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, July 18, 1941.
(26) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, January 24, 1942.
(27) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/47 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 26, 1943.
(28) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/60 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, December 2, 1943; HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/2 pol.1944, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, January 2, 1944.
(29) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Prime Minister and Designated Foreign Minister Nicholas Kállay, Athens, September 26, 1942.
(31) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Ambassador Dome Sztoyay to Ghyczy, Berlin, November 21/22, 1942.
(32) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/12&14 pol.1941, Athens, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, July 18, 1941.
(34) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/36 pol.1941, Athens, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, August 16, 1941.
(35) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/ ...pol.1941, Athens, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, September 18, 1941.
(36) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/17 pol.1941, Athens, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, August 11, 1941.
(37) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/3 ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, June 28, 1943.
(38) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/48 pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, September 27, 1942.
(39) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/44 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 24, 1943.
(40) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/48 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 27, 1943; ibid., 51 pol.1943, October 20, 1943.
(41) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/17 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, August 11, 1941.
(42) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/34 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, December 2, 1941.
(43) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/... pol.1942, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, January 24, 1942.
(44) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/35 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 7, 1943.
(45) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, June 12, 1942.
(46) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/34 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, December 2, 1941.
(47) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/34 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, July 11, 1943; HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/35 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 7, 1943. Actually, the Germans did express their dismay at some of the activities of the Bulgarians. When the Bulgarian Foreign Minister Popov visited Berlin in November 1941. Weiszacker told Popov of accusations levelled against Bulgaria on account of the extremely severe Bulgarian measures that were taken against Greek insurgents. [DOCUMENTS ON GERMAN FOREIGN POLICY 1918-1945; SERIES D (1937--1945). Volume XIII: THE WAR YEARS JUNE 23-DECEMBER 11, 1941 (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1964): 843] When new territories were handed over to the Bulgarians, Berlin felt obliged to guarantee the good behaviour of the Bulgarians to the quisling government in Athens.[HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/35 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 7, 1943.]
(48) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, September 25, 1942.
(49) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/17 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, April 14, 1943.
(50) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/6/8 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, June 15, 1941.
(51) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/6/13 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, July 18, 1941.
(52) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, March 26, 1942; DOCUMENTS ON GERMAN FOREIGN POLICY 1918-1945; SERIES D (1937--1945), Volume XIII: THE WAR YEARS JUNE 23-DECEMBER 11, 1941, (London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1964), No.504 Memorandum by the Dirigent of the Political Department. Berlin, November 27, 1941, Record of the reception of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister Popov by the Foreign Minister in Berlin on November 26, 1941; No.155, Memorandum by the Director of the Economic Department, Wiehl. Berlin, July 25, 1941; No. 323, Memorandum by the Director of the Economic Policy Department, Wiehl, Berlin, September 15, 1941; No. 420, Memorandum by Minister Eisenlohr, Berlin, October 24, 1941.
(53) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13 pol.1942, Velics to Bárdossy, January 24, 1942.
(54) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ... pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, May 24, 1942 and September 25, 1942.
(55) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/... pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, September 25.
(56) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13 pol.1942, Velics to Bárdossy, October 12, 1941; Ivan Berend T. and Miklos Szuhay, A TOKES GAZDASAG TORTENETE MAGYARORSZAGON 1848-1944 [The History of Capitalist Economy in Hungary 1848-1944] (Budapest: Kossuth, 1978); Ivan T. Berend and György Ranki, A MAGYAR GAZDASAG SZAZ EVE [One Hundred Years of the Hungarian Economy] (Budapest: Kossuth, 1972).
(57) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/...pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, October 12, 1941.
(58) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/34 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, December 2, 1941; Peter Hoffmann, "Roncalli in the Second World War: Peace Initiatives, the Greek Famine and the Persecution of the Jews," THE JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 40, No.1 (January 1989): 74-99.
(59) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/...1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, May 24, 1942.
(60) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/4 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 25, 1943; ibid., 23 pol.1943, May 13, 1943.
(61) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/36 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 16, 1943.
(62) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/9 pol.1942, 25 biz., Velics to Kállay, Athens, April 2, 1942.
(63) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/6/ ...pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, June 19, 1941.
(64) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/6/14 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, July 18, 1941; HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/1/20 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, September 17, 1941; HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/1/33 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, November [?], 1941.
(65) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, July 14, 1942.
(66) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/21 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, September 18, 1941.
(67) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, February 28, 1942; HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, September 26, 1942.
(68) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/1 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 1, 1943; ibid., 2 pol. 1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 2, 1943.
(69) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/15 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, March 27, 1943.
(70) Ibid., 16 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, April 14, 1943.
(72) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/13 pol.1944, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, February 29, 1944.
(73) MAGYARORSZAG KULPOLITIKAJA 1938-1939 [The Foreign Policy of Hungary 1938-1939], ed. Magda Adam, Volume 3 of DIPLOMACIAI IRATOK MAGYARORSZAG KULPOLITIKAJAHOZ 1936-1945 [Diplomatic Papers Concerning Hungary's Foreign Policies 1936-1945], ed. László Zsigmond (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1970): 362-367.
(74) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/24 pol. 1942, also 67 biz. 1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, July 31, 1942.
(75) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/3 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 2, 1943.
(76) Randolph L. Braham, THE POLITICS OF GENOCIDE; THE HOLOCAUST IN HUNGARY, volume one (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981): 267.
(77) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/13 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, March 16, 1943.
(78) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/17 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, April 14, 1943.
(79) HNA, K 63/Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/46 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 25, 1943.
(80) HNA, K 63/Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/46 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 25, 1943.
(81) Archives Suisse Federales, 2001 (D) 3 Band 170, B. 34.9.5 gr 10; HNA, K 63/1943-1944/112. csomo/58 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, "Anti-Jewish Regulations. The Fate of Hungarian Jews Here." November 4, 1943.
(83) Lovinger tape.
(84) See Note 14 above.
(85) HNA, K 63/Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/57 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, November 3, 1943.
(86) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/13/27/16 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, August 16, 1941.
(87) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/8 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, June 15, 1941; ibid., 13 pol.1941, July 18, 1941; ibid., 15 pol.1941, July 31, 1941; ibid., 24 pol. 1941, September 18, 1941.
(88) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./111. csomo/1940-1942/17 pol.1941, Velics to Bárdossy, Athens, August 11, 1941; ibid., 20 pol. 1941, September 17, 1941; ibid., 24 pol.1941, September 18, 1941.
(89) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/1/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, June 10, 1942.
(90) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/47 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 26, 1943.
(91) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1943-1944/13 pol.1944, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, February 29, 1944.
(92) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/... pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, May 24, 1942 and September 25.
(93) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, September 27, 1942.
(95) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/ ...pol.1942, Velics to Kállay, Athens, November 12, 1942.
(96) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/6 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 28, 1943.
(97) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/7 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, January 29, 1943.
(98) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/13 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, March 16, 1943.
(100) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/17 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, April 14, 1943.
(101) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./ 111. csomo/ 1940-1942/13/32 pol.1943, Velics to Kállay, Athens, July 7, 1943.
(102) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/35 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 7, 1943.
(103) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol. /1943-1944/ 112. csomo/41 pol. 1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, August 30, 1943.
(104) HNA, K 63/Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/57 pol.1943, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, November 3, 1943.
(105) HNA, K 63/Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/10 pol.1944, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, February 6, 1944.
(107) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/2 pol.1944, Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, January 2, 1944; ibid., 13 pol.1944, February 29, 1944.
(108) HNA, K 63 Kül.Pol./1943-1944/ 112. csomo/47 pol.1943,
Velics to Ghyczy, Athens, September 26, 1943.