Hungary at War: Civilians and Soldiers in World War II
Cecil D. Eby

This book relates the participation of Hungary in World war II on the Axis side. The core represents various testimonials and experiences of Hungarians. The book is divided in 5 main parts : Soldiers, Jews, Fliers, Players and the Siege of Budapest.

The first part (Soldiers) contains testimonials of various soldiers who have served on the eastern front (mainly with the Second Army). The debacle of Stalingrad is covered deeply.

The second part (Jews) relates the experiences of the Jews in Hungary during the War. Until the German occupation in 1944, they were really well treated compared to the other countries of Europe.

The part concerning the Fliers is the most interesting. You can learn that the Royal Hungarian Airforce was well trained and despite they were outnumbered by the Allies, they inflicted non-negligeable casualities on the enemy. Several testimonials of pilots are given.

The chapter concerning the Players is very useful to understand the various groups (political or not) that were present during the war in Hungary. This includes discussion about Volksdeutsche, Aristocrats, Arrow Cross (very interesting), Gendarmes and Diplomats (foreign diplomats from neutral countries).

The Siege of Budapest contains mainly testimonials of peoples who were trapped in the city. Each ones have their particular stories.

The main strength of this book is that it lets the Hungarians talk about their experiences and their hardships during the war. Unfortunately, it becomes quickly boring and repetive in the parts concerning Soldiers, Jews and the Siege of Budapest. However, it is surprinsigly interesting in the parts Fliers and Players. This book is a good starting point for the one who wants to learn more about Hungary in WW2 because it covers almost all aspects involved.

(Reviewed by Olivier Palardy)

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