SZTÓJAY, DÖME°


SZTÓJAY, DÖME° (1883–1946), Hungarian general and statesman, prime minister of Hungary in 1944. Sztójay was an intelligence officer in Horthy's counterrevolutionary army, and later became the Hungarian military attaché in Berlin. From 1935 until March 1944 he was Hungary's minister to Germany. Already in 1942 Sztójay declared himself Hungary's foremost proponent of antisemitism. After the Nazi occupation of Hungary (March 19, 1944), Horthy and the German Foreign office jointly appointed Sztójay prime minister of the Budapest government. Sztójay established a pro-Nazi, anti-Jewish regime. The Nazis considered Sztójay a reliable collaborator, especially for carrying out the "Final Solution" in Hungary. Within a few days of his appointment, Sztójay called on the members of his government to approve formally severe anti-Jewish measures, including ghettoization and deportation. On March 29, the Hungarian information service announced the Sztójay government's decision to promulgate anti-Jewish laws. Among the many rulings signed by Sztójay was a decree obliging all Jews to wear the yellow badge (March 31, 1944). Sztójay was prime minister until Aug. 24, 1944, when conservative elements in Hungary succeeded in removing him from office after Romania broke away from the Axis (Aug. 23, 1944). When the Soviet army approached Budapest in January 1945, Sztójay fled to Germany. In 1945 he was arrested by American Intelligence, extradited to Hungary, and tried by a People's Court as a major criminal. He was given the death sentence and executed in 1946.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

R.L. Braham, Destruction of Hungarian Jewry, 2 vols. (1963), index; R. Hilberg, Destruction of the European Jews (1961), index.

[Yehouda Marton]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.