Gratitude To The Red Army


 Regarding professor David A. Fishman’s enlightening Opinion piece (June 7) discussing “Our Debt To The Red Army: Now It Can Be Told.”

As someone with family (still) in Budapest, some of whom were saved by Raoul Wallenberg (z”l), I was told the following story by a cousin who served for decades as a physician (Col. Pal Alpar) in the Hungarian Army, and who had been an avowed Communist since the 1930s. He is now deceased.

“The Hungarian Counter-revolution (as he called it) started on 23 October 1956, sparked first by students and then by others.  After several days, there were calls of ‘Kill the Jews … Get the Jews.” The small Jewish population tried to keep to themselves out of sight. It was only the Russian tanks/forces that came in that saved the Budapest/Hungarian Jews from pogroms.” Perhaps there were also Jews who served in that invading force.

Anti-Semitism is sadly alive and well in Hungary, and it is still a source of anxiety. We were in Budapest in May at a concert early evening on Saturday. One of my cousins arrived bit late. When he showed up I exclaimed, “Shabbat Shalom.” Another of my cousins tried to “shush” me, saying: “Ed, not so loud. ‘They’ don’t like that here.” 

Some things never change.