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As regular unveiling of former secret agents of the Communist regime stir up emotions these days, 60 years ago the post-World War II. era was filled with news reports of Hungarians serving as agents of the Nazi regime.

“The single report I wrote was made under the hardest pressure, and it is worthless because I simply copied a newspaper article. I don’t feel guilty, but I probably made a mistake when tried to save my life and my wife’s life in ways that are against general ethical rules,” said journalist Pál Király to his own de-fense at his trial in 1945. Király’s name was found in documents of Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazi regime.

The public was shocked to hear the news as Király was a celebrated liberal journalist, who became famous for reporting on crime scenes for tabloid Esti Kurír in the 1930s.

The Communist regime’s State Defense Authority (ÁVH) received a list con-taining 80 names of former Nazi agents from Soviet sources in 1952. The list was probably altered by “the Soviet comrades, who handed it over in one typed copy” and was further censored by the ÁVH.

Another former journalist Kálmán Ráttkay-Radich, the editor of Magyarság, the paper of the Arrow-Cross Party, also worked for Nazi intelligence services, in his case the SD (Security Service). He did not send reports to his superior very often, but was found to be “an insightful source who can check informa-tion.” Ráttkay-Radich left Hungary before the Russian troops arrived and lived in emigration until his death in 1974.

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