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Chief of Staff’s gaffe about WW II

May 13th, 2023

A critic of the government concedes that the new Chief of Staff of the armed forces is a competent soldier but finds his recent remark on how the Second World War began unacceptable.

Explaining the government’s stance urging peace in Ukraine, General Gábor Böröndi, the newly appointed Chief of Staff told M1 public TV Channel that in 1939, after the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, a ‘local war’ degenerated into a worldwide conflagration because no peace-making efforts were made to put a brake on it.

In an open letter to the General, Poland’s Ambassador to Hungary retorted that the Second World War was caused precisely by countries tolerating Hitler’s successive conquests for too long. In the face of the brazen Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Ambassador adds, Europe should ‘stand with the victim, rather than siding with the aggressor’. On Friday evening, the Army released photos of a meeting between the Ambassador and the Chief of Staff, as well as a joint communique in which General Böröndi ‘made it clear that he had no intention of questioning Poland’s role as the main victim of World War II’.

On the Magyar Hang website, Benedek Ficsor quotes experts who deem General Böröndi more competent than his predecessor but finds the new Chief of Staff guilty of toeing the government’s propaganda line and being in denial about the facts of History. He asks how Hungarians can trust a military leader who ‘either ignores basic facts or simply lies’. Ficsor also remarks that addressing the competent parliamentary committee at the time of his designation, General Böröndi said he intends to bring back a ‘Scythian mentality and nuclear deterrence’ to the armed forces. The commentator ridicules that statement as entirely nonsensical. Böröndi has ‘dropped the Scythian atomic bomb’ he sarcastically entitles his column. Whilst no doubt a talented soldier, he concludes, the new Chief of Staff has thus made a buffoon of himself.

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